Well, I guess I’m not gone for good. As I said, the story never ends. Sometimes, you need to take a break from it, though, and focus on other things. And focusing on other things I am. On mathematics. My story – the story – still goes on, however. I’ve been back in China for almost three weeks, and I’ve been been physically attacked by men twice already – one on my own small university campus – and I went through a terrifying racially-sexually motivated harassment episode by some drunk Chinese men on the subway who didn’t like the fact that my student was speaking English to me in a country where only Chinese is supposed to be spoken. Sigh. No, the story never ends…
But today, I’m talking about something other than Chinese racist misogyny.
So, I’m concentrating on brushing up on over 20 years of mathematics education for personal reasons, and I’m using some relatively good sites that serve my purpose well. One of the sites, in particular, has made sure to include female and non-Western names in the word problems. But still, the site is run by men, so while they can easily address racism issues, cuz all men can get on board with anti-racism, they still can’t get the anti-misogyny quite right. They still refer to many of the female characters as “Miss” and “Mrs.”. And I sent in a complaint with a very clear explanation of why these titles need to be removed from the material and be replaced with “Ms.” or “Dr.” depending on the circumstances.
I know, I know. No big fucking deal, right? I’m just a bitchy, hairly-legged, lesbian feminist cunt who is nit-picking details that don’t really matter because she can’t get a man to fuck her. Or something like that.
Wrong, bucko. And I’ll frame this issue in terms that people will understand easily and take seriously. Racism. People take racism very seriously (unless it is racism against whites, particularly white women). So let me offend your liberal sensibilities so that you can understand why marital titles for women are a big goddamned problem (STILL!!!) and need to be addressed like yesterday.
So imagine that all your math questions, when they refer to a black person, designate them either ‘house slaves’ or ‘field slaves’. There was no other possible job for them. After all, as we all know, blacks are only good for slavery. We saw that proved through a few years of slavery in the US, initiated by Europeans (especially the British) and embraced by black African race traitors/traders, and by American southern owners of plantations. So knowing this tradition and how effective it was in keeping social order and contributing to capitalism and southern wealth and PROGRESS (don’t forget progress), why should we bother changing anything in say, math questions? And also, keep in mind that during that particular period of slavery, black slaves took their designations and adopted families seriously. Being a house nigger was a source of pride and led to greater perks than if you just worked as a field nigger. And belonging to a prominent house/family, raised them up in the world too.
By now, your skin is probably crawling, and you’re probably denouncing me as some sort of race supremacist. And of course, I’m laughing to myself, because nothing could be further from the truth. If your back is up, then part of my job is done. Now for part two, which will be much, much harder for you to get because you, along with the entire world, hate women whether you realize it or not.
My point is that like black slavery, women have been enslaved, but with a few significant differences. First, female slavery is a much more serious and entrenched problem than any racial slavery ever has been. Without female slavery, the international system as we know it would collapse completely. You see, women have always been enslaved. Women were the first slaves, and they were (are) enslaved on the basis of their chromosomes, genitalia and biological capabilities (aka SEX). Men have only been able to accomplish what they have by stealing the intellectual, physical, sexual, and emotional services and energies of women through slavery and the ubiquitous threat of violence. The other major difference between racial slavery and female slavery is that the latter is the only form of slavery that is not only still accepted, but completely, 100% legal. To this day. Marriage, prostitution, exotic dancing, and everything that exists when sexual slavery is condoned are encouraged by ALL societies, and dog help you if you don’t comply. The above board female slavery system (aka ‘marriage’) is alive and well, with a whole commercial industry supporting it, and we still use the titles associated with this slavery. The ‘house nigger’ for females is the “Mrs.” – she holds a higher place in society than any other group of women, and although a slave whose cunt is owned by one man (unless you belong to a polygamous cult) and who can be legally raped by one man (her husband), has more social, legal, and often, economic, perks than does a single woman. The single woman – the ‘field nigger’ – is “Miss”. By her title, we know that all men can have access to her body any time they wish. When unmarried, she has no protection from a single master, unless she is young and lives in her father’s house, and any man can rape her with few to no repercussions. Although remember, like black female slaves were often raped by their male owners, girls today can be raped by their fathers. So what does ‘protection’ even mean??? Anyhow… most married women, like the proud house niggers of days of old, hold their title and predicament as a source of pride and status. Most hold the slave name (family name) of their masters, just like owned blacks did. And some women even say that they have an ‘M.R.S.’ degree (I still remember the gloating look on my uneducated mother’s face when she told me about her ‘degree’).
Note that there isn’t a single person out there who would shame or destroy a black person for decrying the period of black slavery as one of the most shameful periods in American history. Not so for women who denounce marriage, prostitution or any form of female slavery. It is not allowed. Women are still, as Yoko Ono once said, “the niggers of the world”. I would add that they were the original niggers, though.
I know I’m talking to a brick wall for the most part when I talk about why getting rid of marriage, slave designations/titles, and female sexual slavery are so important. I know that most people relegate me and uppity women like me to the category of crazy, feminazi bitches when we draw attention to parallels between racial injustices of the past and currently embraced injustices against women. I’m sure the anal canal is a comfortable, warm, tight, safe space in which to nestle one’s noggin, but keep in mind that the only thing that truly belongs there is shit making its way out of your body. But ‘head-in-ass’ disease is very common these days.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, there has been no response by the MALE writers at my math site in response to ending the endorsement of female slavery in their materials despite me having graduate education and work experience in test construction and question writing, as well as related experience in research showing the effects of sex stereotyping in content and pre-test-sitting instructions for female testees 😉 (Guess what? telling female test-takers that women are shit before they take a test leads to lower test scores for them, even when they are top of the class and excellent test-takers…) But, what the hell do I know about the effect of target content on special populations of test-takers, right…?
I had a rather delightful day on Saturday. I mentioned in a previous post that I was invited to a little grass roots English club. Out of this encounter, I’ve acquired some new mentees. It’s a mixed sex group. I’m quite pleased to have young women present, and I’ve likely mentioned in at least one past post that as a survival mechanism, I de-sex the male students so that I can bear to be around them. In other words, I go out with a group of young women and young students (males). Any outings I have with groups such as these are generally pleasant. If it were unbearable, I wouldn’t do it. I go places I may not have been before, I learn about local culture and history, try new food and new restaurants, and if I’m very lucky, I can give the young women a chance to talk about anything they want. It is my frequent impression that they are not really allowed to voice their deepest concerns or fears. I exist outside their cultural paradigm, and I think that makes me less threatening in a sense.
On Saturday, a group of five students (two females and three students) and I arranged to visit two culturally important venues in our city. It was actually a heap of fun and ended with a glorious meal at a restaurant with Dongbei cuisine. But at one point, the two young women began talking about marriage, which immediately put me on edge. I frequently have to deal with incredulous reactions to being unmarried and child-free. I am on the receiving end of concern, surprise, disapproval, and very, very, very occasionally jealousy. Mostly, it is annoying. I’ve spent my life being told how abnormal I am, that there is something ‘wrong’ with me, and there is always this valuation/appraisal of my human status no matter what culture I live in. Only women deal with this. Even if a man is questioned on his status, which he frequently isn’t, there is no value judgment made of him. Marital and parenthood status does not affect men. With women, you can be denied employment because you are assumed to be defective or lacking an important human quality that magically affects your ability to do work.
But I’m pretty much used to the disdain and questioning. I used to try to justify myself. I don’t do that anymore. Sometimes, I’m downright honest about the whole mess that is female slavery. By the time I’m sixty, I’ll be right salty!
One thing that makes me very sad in places like China is that women have no choice whatsoever about their slavery. Western women have much more choice when it comes to their fates. I get why and how Western women buy into the heterosexuality mandate and why they still cave under the social pressure (which is real, but seldom a life or death situation) to sell their vaginas, uteri, and physical, emotional and psychological energy to men who may not even be the highest bidders. But at the same time, it is bizarre to me and fucks me off to no end. The threat of punishment keeps the majority of women cowering and doing their duty. Those of us who have disobeyed have suffered and will suffer in old age for these important defiances.We help our enslaved sisters when they inevitably suffer at the hands of their Nigels, but we don’t get help in return when we are alone, old, injured or unable to support ourselves. Sigh.
But while I feel fortunate in some ways (economically poor, but somewhat psychologically free) for not being forcefully enslaved, despite my lower status among women and the recipient of punishment no matter where I live, most women in the world really have no choice at all. In China, I’ve never met a single woman who has managed to escape forced marriage and forced motherhood. But I have met a handful of girls who say they don’t want that life for themselves. And I get strong impressions from each of them that they are lesbians or completely sexually naive or asexual. These women, I have great sympathy for. Non-compliance is a much more serious issue here.
On Saturday, one of the young women told me repeatedly in amazement and with some envy that I was so independent. She couldn’t believe my father didn’t push me into anything (I permanently left my mother’s control when I was 20, and the pressure hadn’t started from her at that point in my life). The young woman quietly told me that she didn’t want to get married at all. Interestingly and with insight and sadness, she told me that she wished she did want it. This young woman knows what is in store for her. She knows how difficult something can be when you are forced into doing something you don’t want to do. I’m not sure if she articulates the concept of rape to herself, but she definitely has dreams of freedom, independence and choice. She said she hopes she will change her mind when she gets older. Right now, she is about 19.
It hurts me to hear young women talk about this and that girls of this young age are worrying deeply about this issue. The male students, on the other hand, have nothing to worry about. Marriage was built for them. Marriage benefits men in many ways and it doesn’t negatively affect any aspect of their lives. I’ve never heard a young male talk about marriage or children in anything but a flippant, carefree, positive way, in fact.
The males in our group tried to find out what the conversation was about. I summed it up for them. Marriage was designed by men for men. And it is not good for women. They seemed shocked. Like I said above, they don’t think about this stuff. Life is easy for them. They are the oppressors. One of them concluded that each person is entitled to their own opinion. Sure. Opinions. But I know more about women’s history than they do, so I am coming from a place of facts and reality, as well as my experience as a member of the oppressed, as the basis of my very informed opinion.
These conversations with women are difficult because I can’t do anything concrete to help them. I want for them to have freedom from males and the freedom to do whatever they want with their lives. I’d like to see a worldwide system change away from Patriarchy and female enslavement. I want to see the institution of family and marriage demolished. I wish women to be economically independent so that they don’t need men at all and they can concentrate on healthy, lifelong female relationships. But I know there is nothing at all I can do for them except listen to them, let them know they are heard, and that I care about their experiences and stories.
The heterosexual romantic narrative in all cultures is boring and stinky as shit and as transparent, fragile and scary as an ultra-ultra-thin condom.
And yet so many people buy into it.
Boy meets girl, usually showing himself to be a playboy or outright misogynist. Girl is intrigued: “Boy is an asshole, but I can’t. stop. thinking. about. him”. Boy shows some tiny vulnerability which serves as the ‘hook’, the thing girl remembers years down the road when wondering “what the hell did I dooooo?”. Boy eventually traps girl in holy matrimony, abuses her, and then keeps her there through enforced pregnancy and by mouthing the word love before penis-insertion and after slapping her around physically or verbally or psychologically. Well, this general progression forms the plot of most het lives and most of the rom-coms and steamy novellas out there. And not just in the West.
Part and parcel with selling this garbage as what women want is the programming of feelings: acceptable and unacceptable feelings.
In the romantic narrative, as girl begins to question why she is with boy, in come plot devices – the preferred feelings allowed to girl. You see if these plot devices weren’t employed, the story would end. Girl would leave. Girl might not go down the garden path in the first place. Unacceptable feelings, the effective ones that are programmed out of us at an early age and through the reading and viewing of acceptable film and literature out there, are the feelings that might actually save us from sexual slavery and throw a wrench in Patriarchy.
One of the most popular Patriarchy approved feelings or plot devices is FORGIVENESS. This device, the lack of which would end a romantic story toot sweet, says that no matter what boy does to girl, she must not retaliate or exit stage left. She cannot kill a boy who rapes or tries to kill her. She must forgive him. She must not adopt an eye for an eye mentality. She must forgive him. She must not get angry, take the kids and run. She must forgive him. She must not challenge his rape-supporting porn use. She must forgive him. She must not divorce him because he cheated on her. She must forgive him. And on and on. Several basic events revolving round the same theme.
We are told forgiveness is a virtue. Hmm. I’ll tell you, forgiveness does have some merit – when a woman forgives herself for ‘being so stupid!’ in believing a man has her best interests in mind or makes her a priority or sees her as an equal and free human. When a woman forgives herself for making the mistake of blaming women instead of men for her oppression, forgiveness has merit.
But forgiving men for abusing her, raping her, denigrating her, not fighting for her liberation and humanity? Nope, then it’s just a plot device.
That’s all folks!
As a university instructor in China, I take great delight in mentoring young women who venture outside the traditional ‘women are property’ box. Planting seeds of personal rebellion is my specialty, as is providing validation for the stirrings of feminist thinking that normally get stamped out by controlling parents and concerned friends.
One of my young protégés, a lively English major who took my writing class last semester, had an exciting summer. We had lunch last week and I heard all about it. She had joined up with a volunteer organization that brings young people from different countries together to teach children. I’m not quite clear on what they teach. I thought it was English, but most of the people who came to China to teach were not native speakers of English. Maybe culture? There were young men and women from Vietnam, Indonesia, Russia, Egypt, Tanzania, and the US, in addition to the local Chinese.
But I was less interested in the teaching experience and more curious about my former student’s exposure to people from around the world. On the whole, I think it was a good thing. But there were several alarming elements.
First, it becomes quite clear how sheltered and naive the Chinese are. All of the foreigners, save the Vietnamese and the Indonesian, spent time teaching my young friend English slurs and general swearing. And most of it was woman-hating, of course. She learned how to say cunt, bitch, fuck you, retard, etc. And she also got some odd, inaccurate advice from the non-native English speakers. Apparently, “Screw you!” is a very polite form of “Fuck you!” Huh? I worry about a) ESLers, and b) 19-year-olds, teaching the intricacies of language to the impressionable. So, we had an in-depth discussion of nasty words and who they hurt (usually women, and other oppressed groups), and by the end, I think she was much less enthusiastic about hurling insults at people. But swearing is the number one thing most people want to learn when they are first exposed to a new language. I just give a different perspective on it – I do, after all, swear a lot, and put a lot of thought into why and who gets harmed by it.
Second, the poor thing ‘fell in love with’ the young Egyptian dude in the group. She thought he was awesome. Luckily, he was crushing on the properly diminutive and dainty Vietnamese girl and wasn’t interested in my more outgoing Chinese friend. I got to watch a few videos she took featuring him posturing in his macho way, and I wasn’t quite so taken with him as she was. Personally, I don’t find Egyptian men or Egyptian culture all that progressive. The country is, after all, in full support of female genital mutilation – over 90% of the current female population has lost their clits and/or had their fuck holes sewn up in the name of ‘respecting women’. I personally have had way too much experience with the rapeyness and violence of Muslim men (both strangers and a man I had the misfortune of dating) in a few different countries, and I worry about non-Muslim women who get involved or find themselves trapped with men of that persuasion. Men are scary enough on their own, but when they are religious, there is a whole nuther layer of justification for woman-hatred present.
Third, my young friend got an instructional dose of the ‘female dichotomy according to men’ care of the young Tanzanian man. The viewpoint certainly isn’t limited to Tanzania or to black men – it’s universal. But the dude laid the viewpoint out quite clearly and matter-of-factly. And my friend, being young, female, Chinese and naive, didn’t see anything wrong with it. The viewpoint goes something like this:
There are two kinds of girls: the ones you have fun with and the ones you can take home to your parents and marry.
What my friend didn’t understand, because Chinese girls are not educated about sex, was that ‘the ones you have fun with’ translates into: bad girls, the ones you can fuck, but don’t have to ‘respect’. She didn’t see that men have this thing called privilege where they can place value on women. You fuck the trash and then throw it away when you’re done, but you marry the pure. And both types of women are objects. You are a whore one way or the other – either a public whore (the bad girl/slut – girlfriend material) or a private whore (the pure, wifey-wifey material that you can only rape after marriage).
I made sure to explain all of this.
Do I do young women a favour by telling them how the world really is? How men will always enslave us? I don’t know. As a Chinese woman, she doesn’t have options. She must get married. Her parents definitely don’t want her marrying a foreigner – that is just racist, Chinese culture talking. But marrying a Chinese isn’t going to be any better than marrying a foreigner – they are all men, and marriage is the slavery of women. So is it better to go into female slavery naively than going into it with wide open eyes? I don’t know. I’d like to think that being prepared is better than being bitterly disappointed that the fairy tale that girls are force fed from birth isn’t true.
I was much less naive when I was 20 and a budding feminist to boot, but I do so wish I’d had an older woman in my life to open my eyes to reality. It would have saved me a lot (not all) of the grief I went through in navigating a world of woman-hate.
Addendum written after leaving China. That young woman never spoke to me again after that lunch. Not an isolated incident, in my experience. Most women don’t want reality. The rape-coloured glasses fit way too well and make life shiny and fun, at least if you don’t pay attention to detail. Some women will tell people like me that we are too ‘negative’. Presenting facts is ‘negative’, logic is negative, and we just can’t have negativity around us, right? I call it realistic, but ya know… Most women are just weak. They know what I say is true, but they also know there is immense punishment involved in holding men responsible for what they do. For example, she (and 99.9% of women in the world) socially punish me and women like me for speaking out through isolation. As well, this woman will get married and be financially better off than me – that is the financial punishment a woman like me experiences. And there is so much more.