orig pub. 13.11,14
Over the past few weeks, in the wake of the catalyst that #jianghomeshi has represented, I have spoken out about my experiences of sexual assault, (here) and my observations about the culture of systemic gendered violence against women that we are all subject to, and complicit in perpetuating. The violent, hateful reaction I have received from men has come as no surprise to me. The negative reactions I have received from women about my writings, have revealed to me just how effectively women ourselves have been taught to collude with the dominant norms of patriarchy and misogyny.
The hollow critiques—rarely intelligent or incisive–of my perspective by other women have ranged in tone from angry to accusatory to anodyne: *You are a Man-Hater. There is no systemic gender problem. #notallmen. Women are abusive too. Feminism is a label. Don’t be so bitter! These are isolated incidents.* There is no doubt that just as deeply as men have, women have also internalized sexism, and are invested perpetuating sexist tropes. There is no doubt that women are deeply invested in maintaining alliances with the men who hate us. We have been internally colonized by the normalization of women’s subordination. We have been trained to support patriarchy in lieu of the punishment that anyone who speaks out against the suppression of women is dealt. That punishment is the ridicule, hostility, dismissal, pedantry and arrogance that my fellow sisters have received, across the board, when they too have stood up.
I have spent too many years colluding with patriarchy myself: shutting up, deferring to men, smiling when asked to smile, #notallmen, being a good girl, not taking up too much space, keeping my voice down. Several women, after reading my posts on fb and elsewhere, have told me that I’m brave. That it is considered “brave” to simply speak the truth, is heartbreaking to me. I am no longer tempted by the rewards of collaborating with patriarchal structures on the whole, or with chauvinists, individually. I no longer have any use for social status or acceptance among those who hate me, scorn me, or who see me as a collection of body parts that may or may not be f$%&able. #yesallwomen #howwehatewomen
Bauhaus wife: I write about radical birth, birth politics, mothering, attachment, family, spirit, outrageousness and dissent.