Break the Silence ©2007-2013 ~AzFaka
I’ve been thinking lately about the charge that is eventually leveled against anyone that actively fights for women to be treated as human beings. “YOU HATE MEN!!”
Not true. But before I go all into defense mode…let me turn the question: Why is it that men hate women?
Look at the world we live in, and look, honestly, at what this world is like for women. Look at how many women are raped, the majority of the rapes carried out on women by men that they trust, friends even. One of the ones they thought was one of the “good guys.”
Look at how many women are beaten, again mostly by their so-called ‘partners’ and look into how they are often stalked, and live their lives in abject terror. And then, often when they’ve actually left, they are murdered…on the rationale of the murderer that “If I can’t own her, no one will.”
Look at how abortion is stigmatized, how women seeking abortions are harassed and shamed, how abortion clinics and abortion providers are targeted. Clinics bombed…doctors assassinated. Because they provide women with a choice, one of the most important choices that she can have, a choice that determines the direction of her life. Look at the many cases around the world where women that have had miscarriages are criminalized, and sent to jail, on the grounds that they had a “spontaneous abortion.” Look at how an estimated 70,000 women die each year for lack of this essential right.
Look at how women are talked down to, harassed, and groped, every day, and joked about on a regular basis. If the same jokes were made about other oppressed groups, there would be far more outrage, but women are fair game, including women of oppressed nationalities. Even when a woman calls out a rape joke, she is said to be heckling. Nope, she’s telling the truth: Rape jokes are not ever funny. Not when they’re told by Daniel Tosh, and not when they’re told by high school football players in Stuebenville, Ohio. Rape jokes are never funny….unless you are completely mired in seeing women as objects for men to conquer and dominate.
Look, and I mean- SERIOUSLY LOOK into this, don’t just blindly and uncritically defend the multi-billion dollar porn industry, and regurgitate the pornographers’ arguments. SERIOUSLY, would you defend any other multi-billion dollar industry? Why would you defend this one? And why should your “right” to access this perverse and dehumanizing form of “sexual pleasure” trump the rights of women to live lives free of sex trafficking, prostitution, pornography, rape, and murder? Really, look at those lives, see those women, who should have a right to be treated as human beings, look at what women in porn and prostitution face, look at how their lives are destroyed, how they are often coerced, bribed, and forced into horrific acts….and often even have to pretend to enjoy those acts. Look at how this informs and creates a culture of male supremacy, that infects all of society, and affects all women.
I could go on….and on…and on. Every day there is a new outrage, a new horror….many of which will never ever be recorded, never reported on……just part of the woman-hating din of this society. Look at how the institutions of society back up this power that men have over women, allowing, enabling, encouraging men to hate women, and to enact that hate on the bodies and the lives of women. There is no place on the face of the planet that is free of this shit….there’s no place for women to go to escape patriarchy. And there’s only one way that the war on women will be won…and that’s if we FIGHT against it, on all fronts, drawing more people into fighting the war on women with us. The world as it is, its a HORROR for women…how can we let that stand without a fight?
And there is a way out. There is a way out of all these horrors, and all the other horrors that stem from the system of capitalism. When you’re looking into how women are oppressed, look also at how Black and Latino people are oppressed: look at mass incarceration, look at unjust stop-and-frisk laws, look at how many people the cops brutalize, rape, and murder. Look at how the lives of the youth are lost, before they’ve even begun, because this system has no future for them, and funnels them into BS pathways that are death, or worse. Look at the tragic irony of impoverished youth joining the military to take up the domination the US military inflicts on countries and peoples around the world. Look into the eyes of the child laborers in Third World countries, and the people around the world that never have enough to eat. Look into all of this, and look into how all this is bound up together, and rooted in an economic system of ruthless exploitation and oppression, that fosters a culture where the majority of people are seen as absolutely disposable.
We need a revolution, the most radical and thorough-going revolution there is, a communist revolution. We need to overthrow the forces of the old order, in order to institute a new state power that takes as a bedrock principle the emancipation of ALL humanity, including uprooting and abolishing, forever, the ways in which women are oppressed. As Bob Avakian, chairman of the RCP has put it: You cannot break all the chains, except one. You cannot say you want to be free of exploitation and oppression, except you want to keep the oppression of women by men. You can’t say you want to liberate humanity yet keep one half of the people enslaved to the other half. The oppression of women is completely bound up with the division of society into masters and slaves, exploiters and exploited, and the ending of all such conditions is impossible without the complete liberation of women. All this is why women have a tremendous role to play not only in making revolution but in making sure there is all-the-way revolution. The fury of women can and must be fully unleashed as a mighty force for proletarian revolution.”
So again, lets be clear. I certainly don’t hate men…even though if you looked at women’s oppression at face value, without getting into how and why it exists, and how and why male domination of women could actually be ended, you could very easily hate men, and be, to certain degree, justified in hating men. There are horrors carried out by the hands of men every minute on this planet. Many women have many, many, many reasons to hate men. Hatred is a reasonable & rational response to horrific conditions and abuse, a response that is not at all morally equivalent to the hatred that so many men openly instigate and inflict on women.
Yet, that kind of hatred directed towards men would be, and where it exists it is,misdirected, because it lets the real culprit, the system, off the hook. All this is not rooted in “the nature” of men, men are not the enemy, and to follow this path is to go nowhere that would have any real, deep, and meaningful contribution to changing how women are hated and oppressed. You wanna hate something? You should hate this system, and fight to see it ended, along with all the outrages it perpetuates, and you should fight to bring a whole new way forward. And everyone can and should hate male dominance, and how that affects all women. Unleash all that beautiful and righteous fury that’s choking you, and let’s fight to end this war on women. Right now women are losing this war….join with us, and let’s make this a two-sided fight.
While we’re talking about and defining hate, lets get a bit clearer on the kind of feelings that women are expected “by their nature” to have for men. An email I received from someone after reading the first draft of this article says, “I would also like to add, that women are the only oppressed group for whom the very definition of love which is offered to us is, in reality, slavery, submission, degradation and subordination. Women are the only oppressed group who are supposed to love their oppression and lap it up like dogs because we are just born that way. Women are the only oppressed group who are often oppressed the most by those who are closest to us; our families, friends, and lovers, as well as society at large. Everyone expected the black slave rebellions because no one really expected them to like it. But women are. Women who reject this are told we hate men because men/patriarchy want to make us believe that slavery and love are the same thing.”
Humanity needs a much better and more liberating definition of love! Slavery and love are NOT the same thing. Let’s fight for a radically different vision of love, and fight to make real on that vision, a reality that will NOT include half of humanity being dominated, enslaved, and hated by the other half.
Now, lets get clear on another point, when someone levels at us that we hate men….they are saying this to go on the offense, to make us take up a defensive stance, and to cover up some essential truth. Underlying what they say out loud, they are often really saying that they like the tools of the oppressor that have been laid at their feet, they want to hold onto male privilege, supremacy, and entitlement. They are saying that they would defend the right (whether they actually take it up or not) of being a wannabe slave master for this system. What they are saying is that they like male dominance, and want to defend it, by accusing those fighting for women’s rights and women’s lives of hating men. Those who take up this particular BS argument, look at it squarely and honestly: what you are really saying is that you want women to be subordinate, submissive, enslaved and that you hate women. And you would hate women regardless of what we do or don’t do.
Again, lets be clear, people who accuse us of “hating men” are themselves filled with a special hatred for seeing women rise up against the ways they are held down… to have women speaking out, and breaking the deep tyranny of silence that surrounds the oppression of women would and does interfere with their ability to get over on women, to get their fill. They hate that women are stepping out of line, that we are fighting male dominance, and their BS arguments about why things have to stay this way, are exactly that. They are BS…I’m calling it out. Things do NOT have to be this way, women do NOT have to be passive and accept their “lot in life,” and men do NOT have to act in ways that oppress women.
Get off that wannabe slave master shit, for real. Understand that there is a way out, but to get there, you have got to get out of thinking and relating to women the way this system wants you to. You have got to let go of any desire towards being a pimp, player, or any other type of wannabe slave master. Understand that there is a need for men too to stand up for and fight for women, not in some patriarchal and condescending “protector” or “mentor” role, but to foster and to unleash the deep seething fury of women, as well as for men to directly take up this fight against the outrages this system, including by the hands of individual and groups of men, bring down on women. That means not just abstaining from partaking in those acts, but actively and passionately speaking out against them, and fighting for women to be treated as human beings.
So to answer the question, do I hate men? No, I don’t have hate for men….I have a whole LOT of hate, outrage, and disgust for the horrors women face…..and I have a whole lot of respect and love for women. And for anyone, female or male, that will stand up for women; and fight the horrors, the crimes, the system, and the BS with us.