This blog exists to challenge white heterosexual male supremacy as an institutionalized ideology and a systematized set of practices which are misogynistic, heterosexist, racist, genocidal, and ecocidal.
|image of John’s book cover is from here|
I will be offering my own critiques of what is being published by John Stoltenberg, co-creator (with Cristan Williams) of The Conversations Project (hereafter called The Project or TCP) and pro-feminist author of Refusing To Be A Man.
(Quoted text, of John’s, is indented.)
… as [Andrea Dworkin] first articulated in Woman Hating, she did not believe there is a sex binary in the human species. And clarifying that became the second intention of mine in writing the piece. I wanted to explain that Andrea understood there is no essential division of humans (or material or ontological or biological or however you want to say it) into two discrete, fixed, and absolute categories of so-called sex.
It is not true that there are two sexes which are discrete and opposite, which are polar, which unite naturally and self-evidently into a harmonious whole. — Andrea Dworkin [emphasis in italics, mine]
In my view, those of us who are women inside this system of reality will never be free until the delusion of sexual polarity is destroyed and until the system of reality based on it is eradicated entirely from human society and from human memory. This is the notion of cultural transformation at the heart of feminism. This is the revolutionary possibility inherent in the feminist struggle. – Andrea Dworkin
In particular I’ve learned from recent online communications that there are those who identify as radical feminists who either do not comprehend or who disavow what Andrea said here about the difference between reality (the social-political hierarchy and polarity of gender) and truth (the infinite multisexuality that she believed to be intrinsic to the human species).
Some have accused me of being revisionist for pointing out this fact of Andrea’s intellectual framework, which they reject because they believe there exists a true, fundamental, natural, essential sex binary. But the reason I am sure I’m right is that Andrea’s understanding to the contrary expressed itself not only in her written work but in our life together.
…Unfortunately in the ire about the piece that ensued in that faction of radical feminists—on the basis of its title alone, angry objections began appearing online even before the piece published—my three intentions got overlooked.
I have to acknowledge that in that essay I conflated what some people would distinguish as the meanings of the words sex and gender. I’ve used the words interchangeably in other contexts as well, which I know to some is a linguistic no-no.
Drawing a bright line between sex and gender is quite the fashion these days; in some quarters it’s de rigueur.
The thing is, if one believes (as Andrea did and as I do) that the notion of an essential sex binary is a fallacy, then the point of sorting out what’s “sex” from what’s “gender” becomes irrelevant. Understandably, such sorting is insisted upon by those who want to say that whatever vagaries and variables may go by the name of gender, there exists a fixed, essential binary of sex, some core definitional content divisible unequivocally into two. Well fine, if that’s what one wants and needs to say. But if one not only doesn’t want to say that but doesn’t see any point in meaning it—if one doesn’t believe those two so-called essential sexes are true—well then, what’s the point?
I can hear my critics thinking, This dude doesn’t get that there are biological women; he must hate women.
I get why I have rankled these critics:
They believe something Andrea didn’t, and I’ve angered them by saying so.
But beyond that I am honestly perplexed that a radical feminist politics of abolishing male supremacy should need to rest upon a biological determinant at all.
Regardless, since this is presently a conversation between us, I don’t think it rests upon it.
Does one need to believe there is such a thing as a biological black person in order to know that white supremacy and its corollary race hate must be eliminated? Of course not. People with radical, to-the-root politics get that the purpose and function of white supremacy is to construct, assert, and maintain whiteness (which likes to think of itself as having an unequivocally physiological basis in the human genome somewhere but is in fact just phony-identity-defending hatred).
I’m not a fan of reducing white supremacy to an effort to reinforce a phony identity of race hatred. The problem is the material impoverishment and terrorism of Black and Brown people, and of genocide. I state that for the same reason I object to male supremacy being reduced to a problem of sex essentialism or sex hate, which I think The Project does.
Exactly the same justice-based, social-constructivist radicalism applies to manhood (which likes to think of itself as the birthright of biologically “real men” but is in fact just phony-identity-defending hatred). What’s driving both systems of dominance—white supremacy and male supremacy—is nothing innate in human nature; it is the drive to reify an identity construct that exists only through institutionalized dominance and acts of power over and against. But the problem of these two essentialisms—race and sex—goes beyond being analytically false and useless. As pet principles upon which to base an effective politics that has revolution and liberation as a goal, they are not only shortsighted but counterrevolutionary: Insisting on there being biological blacks plays into the malevolent cultural delusion there are and should be biological whites, which is precisely the fallacy white supremacists want to reify. Similarly, insisting on there being real biological women plays into the cultural delusion that there can and should be real biological men—a notion that Andrea saw through before I met her and that I began to repudiate shortly after knowing her.
I guess what I’m trying to express to you, John, is that lots of liberals, progressives, and radicals, and even some conservatives, don’t think race is a product of biological essentialism. Many people who are white supremacist know the history of the construction of whiteness over time–they know it as they reflect on their own families’ relative acquisition of wealth.
I’ve noticed that people tend to think of sex and gender metaphorically. Whatever the science, the data, the findings, the so-called facts, our brains like to conceptualize this dimension of human nature and experience in what are basically images: binary, category, continuum, spectrum, and the like. These are all merely metaphors, really, signs that seem to help us wrap our minds around meanings that in fact can be elusive and consequently easily contested. Disagreements pop up as to which metaphor is the correct one for whatever people want or ought to mean when they say the wordssex and gender. But really, we’re all talking metaphors, mental imagery for different human beings’ experiences of human embodiment.
Everyone I know tends to think of gender as reality, violence, oppression; as what Andrea called Life and Death. That paragraph, especially, is post-modern discourse of the problematic kind: the reduction of harsh and oppressive reality into matters of language, ideas, and disagreement.
I’ll pause here, John, and welcome your responses.
“An activist and writer at the blog, A Radical Profeminist”.
Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!
HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation
Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.
pathogens and gives you more
energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser! Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover - Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video)