After reading Nine Deuce’s – one of my fave feminist writers – latest brilliant article about her own heartbreaking personal adolescent experience with the misogynist colonist rape culture, and after seeing one #MeToo story after another after another after another, I felt moved to share some thoughts.
First, an illuminating excerpt from her article (and worthy of a separate analysis and some clinical studies of the phenomenon):
When I grew up in Southern California, it was palpably uncool to have feelings of any kind. You didn’t respond to cruelty with tears. You didn’t respond to a reciprocated crush with honest excitement. You maintained the empty, dead demeanor of a sociopath lest you be vulnerable to the terrifying emotional possibilities around every corner. It was also extremely uncool to be intelligent, emotionally or otherwise. You forgot highfalutin words on purpose to prevent the idiot arbiters of coolness from descending upon you with their brutishly stupid rebukes. Everyone was smoothly empty and dull on the surface, their interiority completely invisible if not totally excised.
So heartbreakingly, soul crushingly true.
I quickly and deeply learned these lessons in my adolescence too, if not earlier in childhood. And what Nine Deuce describes is ever present among mainstream adult society all around me here in the colonist culture in Canada. What to call it? Normalized sociopathy? Socially acceptable inhumanity? How ’bout just BAU baby – Business As Usual.
The thing is, “unfeeling = cool” is the core nature of the colonist-patriarchal culture (CPC). It is not simply “men’s nature” because we do not exist outside of culture — culture shapes people in very profound ways; the culture clash between Indigenous cultures and the colonist culture underscores the profoundness of this reality. My last two articles discuss this culture clash in more detail.
The violent colonist-patriarchal culture – so
“developed” devolved and “civilized” removed in its savagery – has become expert at dehumanizing itself, in wholly disconnecting itself from the pulse of life, because it is necessary in order to pursue this culture’s CORE VALUE, which is simply the relentless destruction and exploitation of ALL FORMS OF LIFE, at any cost, in the name of mindless consumption.
This way of life is given different Orwellian names such as “progress”, “the American dream”, “civilization”, “modernity”, etc. What is critical here is that this way of life HAS to make feeling so-called negative emotions “uncool” in order to make its harm OKAY and acceptable. And the more violent and disconnected people are, the more gleefully they will sustain this culture and its values.
This means that not only does feeling/having/expressing emotion become UNCOOL, the next natural step is to then PATHOLOGIZE this part of being human.
The People are led to beLIEve that:
- Emotion is bad/weak/not real/not important/etc, and
- This uncool, unsexy, “ugly crying”, unbecoming emoting belongs mostly to the female domain, which makes us unattractive and open for ridicule, infantilization and more harm (and of course drugging via psychiatry and slapping mythical “mental illnesses” on the natural human distress and trauma this shit produces)
- “Real men” don’t show emotion, so males are taught/encouraged/rewarded to bury those feelings DEEEEP down, which as we all know, results in shitloads of intense, unexplored feelings erupting in all sorts of harmful ways to BOTH sexes.
All of this ensures a cycle that creates and maintains layers of hate, distrust and disrespect towards females, further cementing the violent misogyny of the CP culture. Arnold Itwaru describes it well in the context of racism and imperialism, but it fits sexism like an intersectional glove:
When people accept this sort of thing (and it takes a long time to happen, years and years, it doesn’t happen overnight), what tends to happen is people begin to suffer from various forms of psychic anguish, psychic torture. People begin to feel, without any explanation, that they’re somehow inferior, that they’re somehow incomplete.
All that said, my kittens, it’s not ALL doom, gloom and hopelessness though, which the CPC would have us beLIEve.
Human beings who are plugged into their humanness know these ways of being are not sustainable or do-able, so we resist this slander. We decide to FEEL our emotions, TALK about them, talk about them some more, and however long we need to fully understand what is going on, and then we DO something about it.
The #MeToo movement is one example and a critical first step.
But let’s not make the mistake of looking to this same culture of hate for any kind of appropriate response, let alone answers, to our collective pain and anguish. The colonist culture doesn’t know HOW to respond. It is too dis-eased and lacking in heart and soul.
This same culture is a knee-jerk, reactionary one, with little thought (let alone heart) put towards a problem before jumping to fix it. And “fixing” usually results in drowning in the quicksands of judgment/shame/blame/punishment/revenge, which does NOTHING for healing or actual resolution, let alone prevention.
Nine Deuce says in her article that she has no hope for addressing the behavior of the culprits [of rape/assault/mass violence inflicted by the colonist-patriarchal culture]. Nor IS there hope for addressing any of it within the same dis-eased culture that creates dis-eased people.
As is the purpose of my whole blog, decolonizing our minds and reclaiming our traditional indigenous ways of life is THE ONLY WAY and our ONLY HOPE for reconnecting with our humanity and respect for Life (i.e. all living beings, including eachother). This is as simple as it is complicated, since so many of us are so lost and disconnected from our indigenous roots.
Most of us in so-called “developed” nations live on stolen indigenous land, and we are so LUCKY that those who trampled over here before us didn’t completely annihilate The Original People (just more than 90% of them).
Because it is these Original/indigenous people and THEIR (traditional) cultures and ways of life that will lead us out of the cultural hell us non-indigenous people are stuck in. If we can just start looking at them as dignified humans with MUCH value to share, rather than drunken wastes who should “hurry up and assimilate” to the white people’s ever-so “evolved” way of living. HA!
The #BlackLivesMatter movement is an important one, but like feminism, and like the #MeToo movement, it is not enough, nor is it the full picture.
When we move from #MeToo to #NoMore to #I’mSorry to #TeachingRespect or #TeachMeDifferent (everyone’s responsibility), will we make big progress. Again, #MeToo is a good and important START.
It’s a starting point because of the overwhelming sea of pain and frozen-ness among the masses of girls and women (and males) who’ve been victimized by the misogynist colonist patriarchal culture – a very, very specific culture that many OTHER cultures are jumping on board with the mistaken idea that it is a preferred or superior way of life.
So this starting point of #MeToo pain is a place of beginning, and far from an end state of being. The critical truth-speaking that came from the great Andrea Dworkin reminds me a bit of the same collective state of being incited by the #MeToo movement – so many women resonated with and aligned with her because she spoke the truth of [colonist] male violence so eloquently.
Life doesn’t end at victimhood. People are more than what was done to them. AND, people are as fragile as we are resilient. But we MUST listen to the stories. Our stories are everything, and mean a fuck of a lot more than 10,000 peer reviewed studies.
All of that said, feminism (including the most radical of radical feminisms), Black Lives Matter, and #MeToo are the beginning.
It is only when indigenous lives matter, that ALL lives will matter. Female lives, Black lives, Brown lives, Disabled lives, non-human lives, and all of Life period.
Those who are quick to jump & dismiss the mere idea of respecting, listening and following traditional indigenous people and their ways of life as “noble savaging” or “romanticizing”, are a perfect example of colonized, mined minds, and why we so desperately need TO DEcolonize.
We have a lot of work to do, and we have to do it individually and collectively.
Understand that what is needed is nothing short of a radical CULTURAL SHIFT.
Taking in these words is a small step.
Another small step is hearing – really hearing – the words here.
This is all part of UN-MINING OUR MINED MINDS. That is the only way these links I’m sharing will mean something to you. If they don’t, then you have more work to do than others. That’s okay, everyone has to start somewhere. I sure started way behind some people.
If you’re still with me, and if you are able to take this speech in its entirety into your mind, heart and spirit, AND if we are able to fumble our way onto the same heart-mind-spirit page, only then will REAL answers to the very troubling colonist-culture issues emerge.
Remember, we must not knee-jerk up some bandaid solutions like the attention deficit-riddled colonist-patriarchy does; for example, its legal system – a cruel joke – which does NOTHING to stop or prevent the massive injustices around us.
DEcolonization takes years – I personally achieve different depths and degrees of understanding the more I decolonize myself, which has taken years, and which is a lifelong process.
And last but not least, as per these last few links I’ve shared above, true DEcolonization can only come from actual traditional indigenous people and cultures, not their wannabes OR academic “experts” on the subject.
Thank you for your time and interest. Peace and Love, my kittens. ❤