It Takes a Village

[First, a big shout out to all the trans who popped over from Facebook for a visit to learn about how you are using your male entitlement and natural, biological propensity for narcissism, violence and misogyny in order to abuse women and take away hard-earned rights. I’m sorry I don’t allow comments on this site, so you likely had to limit your rape and death threats (you know, male violence against women) to the Facebook vacuum and whatever space exists between the ears. But anyhow, thanks for the blog hits, boys! Traffic is always appreciated, and as an educator and life-long learner, I fully and sincerely endorse your commitment to information-seeking. I hope I could help.]

This current post has nothing to do with trans issues. It was inspired by last night’s short venture out to find some food as my apartment’s fridge was empty except for a green pepper and a small jar of hot chili paste care of a friend from Hunan province. The post was also inspired by the latest posts by and subsequent back and forth on essentialism and socialization with other bloggers.

This post got published and then sent to draft since I thought it was too long, and now I’ve reworked it into something more digestible (maybe).

Background: Children

I don’t like kids, generally speaking. There, I said it. I’m the fucking devil, and I can sense hackles rising around the world as people dig in for a full-scale, personal attack on their individual little monsters. Advice: if you’re getting pissy, don’t throw a hissy. I’ve managed not to kill anyone even though I’ve had it up to here (here being really far up my ass) with mostly women and the occasional douchbag mansplaining man giving me all kinds of nasties about wanting to be childless since I was yay tall (yay tall being about the level of where my ass hangs now) and then achieving it. You like kids, I don’t. Who cares? Although I suspect there are plenty of people who don’t like kids who have ’em. I’ve met plenty. And I say, poor kids. I know first hand what that feels like.

Background: Families

The family unit is one of the worst social inventions men have ever come up with in history. It is solely based on and only survives because of a slavery or ownership model. Traditionally, the man of the household owns the home and assets, including his sex and domestic slave (wife) and all children, whether blood-spawn or adopted. He may also have dominion over other female and under-aged relatives. And he can do whatever he pleases with them as they are all trapped there and meant to serve with a smile. The family unit provides the easiest and cheapest possible way for a man to repeatedly access human prey (women and children). The family unit is the most effective way to hobble a woman and destroy her from the inside out in a long, drawn-out sorta way. And the family unit is the worst possible government-sanctioned environment in which to socialize a child (maybe aside from an orphanage). I’m very much of the village model in child raising. That old proverb (origin unknown, common in many older cultures) “it takes a village” has value. Everyone should have some responsibility in ensuring a child becomes an upstanding citizen, although I’m also in favour of keeping men away from children, especially girls, as they inevitably promote patriarchy and good ole male dominance and female inferiority, and frequently turn to them for sexual amusement.

Somewhere along the way in the family model, we’ve run across things like jumping to conclusions about parents based on limited evidence of something ‘going wrong’. Appearances can be deceiving. We also have a shitload of parents who a) are overworked and absent and who try to assuage guilt by trying to be their children’s friends rather than their parents or by buying them off or mollycoddling them (a sad inevitability of capitalism and the pursuit of wealth/excess), and b) are so out of touch with current society/rape culture that they have no idea the kinds of stuff their children are getting involved with or accessing (porn, drugs, sex, violence, gangs). Kids are disconnected, community members don’t care what’s happening unless they are finger-pointing at parents (which isn’t constructive) or guarding their shit. Moral systems and social/human connectedness need to be a group effort. When everyone feels invested in children, children see themselves as worthy and invest back – everyone wins, and a group effort means less work for all.

Background: Animal Abuse

I love animals. I like them better than people for the most part. Along with pro-lifers and rapists and pedophiles and pornographers and prostitute users, there is a special place on my shit list for animal abusers. When I was five, we came back home to where my stay-at-home mum was imprisoned to find our dog locked in the basement with duct tape wound tightly around her muzzle. For how long? Hours? All day?  Mum hated animals and children, and I’m glad patriarchy and a controlling husband provided her with unwanted children and an unwanted pet and then forced her to stay home with them 24/7. Still, she gets some blame here – she was a chronic, narcissistic abuser in addition to being a victim, and no abuser gets a free pass in my world. To this day, I try to protect animals when I can to make up for mother’s sins.

And being informed is important. I forced myself to watch “Earthlings” (everyone should – it’s horrific) and cried my way through it just like I do documentaries on porn and human sex trafficking.

Bringing it all together

Sweet Chinese Ginger Cat

So last night, I donned my hazmat suit to protect me from my usual dose of misogynistic racism that I’m gifted with whenever I go outdoors, and ventured into the commercial area near my residence. It was early dark. I stood at the corner waiting for the light to change and looked back over my shoulder at the little fruit shop I sometimes go to. In the summer, one of the employees got a sweet little orange kitten (I have a very soft spot for the oranges), which they kept tethered at the side of the shop. Recently, since she has grown quite a bit in size, they’ve been tying her up at the front of the shop to two cement blocks (see the second photo). where, she can sit front and centre for all to admire, interact with, and unfortunately, abuse.

The Kill Zone

Animals are seen differently in China than they are in the West. Only recently have people started adopting a ‘pet mentality’ similar to, but not as prevalent as in, the West. Really, pets are just domesticated animal slaves. We are emotionally attached to them, but we have done more harm than good, I think, in changing them in very fundamental ways. I say this as a domesticated animal lover. Humans are selfish. Anyhow, in China, there still is quite a difference in how animals are viewed and treated. I find that many ‘pets’ I encounter are quite a bit different from the pets of my Western friends. Although I am a ‘toucher’ (I can’t keep my hands off animals if they approach and want to be petted), I seldom touch animals in China. First, they are a bit feral, not human-oriented, and they generally don’t approach humans. Affection isn’t common among humans (it is amazing how many of my undergrads have never said ‘I love you’ to their parents or heard it from their parents). And it isn’t really common with animals either. And second, they are generally dirty and often diseased. One of my students died of rabies a few years back when his pet cat bit him. It’s not so uncommon in southern China. I’d prefer not to die of rabies.

But this little orange cat, although very dirty, is incredibly friendly and loves to be petted. So I oblige. It appears to be mutually beneficial.

Now when I turned back while standing at the traffic lights, I saw the little orange tethered to and sitting atop the cement blocks. In a circle surrounding her was a group of children, mostly boys with a couple of girls. They were young, ranging in age from about 5 to 8. One adult man – one of the fathers? – was looking on wielding a cell phone camera capturing the hijinks. And there were other adults, including the shop owner, the cat owner, and various workers standing around. The children were tormenting the cat. Smacking her. Dropping garbage on her. Poking her. And laughing their asses off. I was horrified. The cat was cringing, terrified, flattening herself to the cement block, realizing there was nowhere for her to go. I was surprised she wasn’t hissing or trying to bite/scratch. And it went on and on. I noticed the adults didn’t give a shit. I don’t really like the word ‘triggered’, but I think at that moment, I was triggered. All I could see, despite the young age of these little shits and despite the tormented object being a young cat, was a group of men torturing a woman prior to raping and or beating her to death. It was just so fucking familiar from porn, from mainstream film, and even from actual video from places where male mobs attack lone women for some bullshit infraction like wearing the wrong clothes. I couldn’t walk away. So I stomped over to put a stop to the bullshit. Very, very un-Chinese. I broke social rules with that one decision. The rule here is not to intervene when you see something wrong, when a person you don’t know needs help. But you can stare all you want. I called bullshit and moved in. Luckily, I speak some Chinese, so I told them Enough! This is a good cat. Be nice. And I demonstrated how to pet her. Immediately, the cat’s posture normalized a little. The kids were freaked to have a foreign person in their face. And I waited for them to go away. I don’t know if they got the message. They did realize, however, that fun times were over.

I feel I’m part of the village, even in this distant land, that needs to contribute to socializing, instilling humanity and perspective-taking and valuing life in the young. How can they grow up to be decent people if they don’t learn? The problem is this, though. I was the only one who saw what was going on as wrong, or at least the only one willing to demonstrate that I saw it as wrong. If the patriarchal ‘village’ doesn’t see violence against women, children, animals, (pick a group) as wrong, how will children learn? And further, the sadistic tendencies in this mostly-male group of children are unfortunately biological, so can they actually learn and truly understand that sadism is wrong, even if the correct socialization is in place…?

There is more to think about here. But in the meantime, I feel like going on a cat rescue mission. I wish I had a stable enough lifestyle to support a cat.

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Posted on December 29, 2015, in Education, Feminism, Violence and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on It Takes a Village.

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