Friday, February 17, 2012

As the Cookie Crumbles: Next Stop, Gilead

If Chomsky and others are right, the mission of the media is to distract us from the machinations and operations of the hegemons, as they consolidate and extend their power, by providing endless distractions. Hegemony has been patriarchal for about the last 6500 years.

Issues implicating women's--though, indeed, all our--sexuality have been prominent lately through the widely publicized attacks being mounted by the Catholic bishops and (opportunistically, the GOPhux) on one of St. Barry's rare efforts to defend a principle. Strange times: First the Komen Cancer foundation scandal, with its determination to suspend grants to Planned Parenthood, followed now by the birth-control pill "controversy": You gotta say sex has been on our public minds A LOT lately, what with one thing and another.

At the risk of over-simplification, it's a great example of how patriarchy sustains itself, cuz as far as distractions go, this one is a doozy! And I don't mean that in ANY 'trivializing" way, at all. Just the opposite, in fact..

I--and all men living in the USofA today--was of course born into patriarchy. Learning to understand what that meant and means is akin to a fish learning what water is. Fish don't have a word for water.

I would try to illustrate it thusly: I think, (though I'm obviously generalizing) there comes a time in the life of most men when, if he's lucky and falls into the lusty, lunging, hungry embrace of a really, carnally voracious woman, he realizes that, in principle, NO one man has the stamina or the equipment to exhaust that one--and by extension, ANY-- woman. Well, at least, that thought has occurred to this man, on various, memorable occasions.

That was the bright light. In that realization, when considered further, I believe I discovered one of, if not exactly the only, the earliest, most subliminal "cause" of patriarchy. Patriarchy: I'd say it is the systemic imposition of rules, customs, and sanctions the essential purposes of which are to repress such aspects of women's sexuality as men KNOW--in this deep and to some it must be embarrassing way--they simply cannot satisfy--or forbid, or annul--all by themselves.

I think this knowledge--this existential certainty, really--of male INCAPACITY to perform what custom declares in innumerable ways is OUR machismo-destiny-cum-masculinity test, began to impose a kind of psychic burden on male members (ahem). They replied with the patriarchy," and all its "apps": the double standard, relegation to the status of property, denial of civil/political rights, etc. All are products of "civilization." Such evidence as may be adduced from pre-civilized cultures suggests that patriarchy is NOT the "natural" form; a rough form of egalitarianism is. But the patriarchal order was imposed when civilization introduced ideas such as 'fatherhood' and 'property' and their relationship, into the equation, about 6000-6500 years ago.

My first clue to this phenomenological interpretation of patriarchy came (one could say) when I started noticing that many women with whom I was having sex could have numerous--and I thought, in principle--innumerable orgasms while I (and I think if we were honest, most men) can manage about one ejaculation about every six hours, if pressed, hard, and juiced to the max on love. One hungry woman, suitably aroused, could wear out several men, no matter their prowess, in a matter of hours. This also has implications in matters of inheritance, since no man wants his property to go to the offspring of another, competitive male.

Another clue, when I learned of it (relatively recently, I'm slightly embarrassed to admit), is in the practice of what they call 'female circumcision,' but what is, in function, the excision of the clitoris, the primary stimulant to female orgasm. The result is to annul female clitoral stimulation and pleasure, for the purpose of depriving women of any reason to stray from their flock and master.

Biologically, of course the male is the experimental model, the one-off. Ceteris paribus (that is, in terms of science's big lie, all things being equal), men bring only one thing to the society of women: sperm. Otherwise, we're disposable. And from this insecurity, along with the physical strength we also possess, men create patriarchy, for almost no other reason than to give ourselves something to do, to--as Red Green says--make ourselves useful.

Me? No reproductive worries for me: I been to the Vet...

Back in the 80s, Meg Atwell another smart, sexy, Canadian woman, wrote a book called the Handmaid's Tale, an account of women trying to regain and retain their sexual integrity in the depths of a darkly, violently repressive theocratic revolution which overthrows the standing order and imposes Biblical law. The new order was called "Gilead." The desperate ravings of ex-Senator Frothy-Mix Santorum, who stands near the apex of these forces, called this book to mind. We can do some Lit Crit de-con stgructing when I see you at the beach, hippies.

1 comment:

  1. Cool, I enjoyed the construct of a cultural anthropological answer by the collective unconscious of men in reposne to a biological imperative/evolutionary quirk.

    Of course, Sick Rantorum and the Darrell Issa 9 Man Inquisition has no time for such a theory as god told them men are stinger and women should shut up and listen.