ColumnsHeli St. Luce

Is true liberation for women possible?

To be in a space where it is possible to create true liberation for women and from that by extension the dismantling of all the oppression which are required to keep the patriarchy floating – ecocide, sexism, racism, classism, enforced labour and poverty.

We have to completely re think, redesign and then restructure all the pillars on which this current society is based.This includes and most especially the nuclear family and ‘work’. In truth if we can eradicate these two, we are more than half way to a space where true liberation will be possible.

The nuclear family is the seat and cause of the vast majority of women’s problems and also the main arena of their subjection to violence and murder. It is the place where boys and girls are assigned their oppressive gender based identities.

The space in which children who are unable to conform to these stereotypes are isolated and tortured into blaming themselves.It is the place where the domination of men and the subservience of women is given right of way and forced into our individual and social consciousness as being the (only acceptable) norm.

I am devastated by the women who clamour and fight for the preservation of this state in preference to their own survival. Women completely attached to the trickle of patriarchal power the nuclear family gives them over their children.

Women so imbued with misogyny that the thought of sharing, (or even abdicating) the raising of their offspring to other women (un enslaved to them, to follow their will) is anathema. Such is the depth of wimins self-hatred obeisance and allegiance to their own oppression.

However before we even delve into how it would be possible to release women from this addiction to being ‘oppressed’ mostly manifested in their addiction to the self abuse of ‘romanticism’; the notions of ‘falling in love’ ‘getting married’ and ‘living happily ever after’, let alone the ‘princess wish’ there is something much more pressing and urgent that we need to address and eradicate ruthlessly – male (pattern) violence.

95% of all violence that occurs on the planet is perpetuated by men. There is in general a physicality and brutality in these acts that is so distinctive and so rarely seen in the acts of violence perpetuated by women that it is called male pattern violence. In natal females it is less than 1%. Unfortunately this term is is needing to be used increasingly as trans women increase the statistics of ‘women’ who practise male pattern violence.

368 trans women were murdered internationally in the last year (2017/8) a number that in addition to being shameful is devastating to such a tiny international community. At the same time the murder of transwomen would be severely ameliorated by the cessation of the acceptability and normalcy of the murder of natal females.

It has been said to be transphobic to state the fact that over 90% of the trans women murdered were working in prostitution at the time of their murders however I am stating it because over 99% of the buyers of sex, the profiteers and beneficiaries within that system (it is not an industry except to those who would name the trans African slave trade an industry) are men. Men are the murderers of trans women.

The official number of murdered natal females for 2017 is 87,000, more than 50,000 of those from family members, including partners (you will be reading this statistic more often in my writings). These United Nations figures don’t note how many of them were murdered by women but as the international figure of women perpetrators of violent crime is around 5% and most of them murder men it is unlikely to be a significant number.

They also as was pointed out to me in India are a result of reporter murders of women internationally from the police, so they do not include the women listed as missing who have been murdered or the women unlisted but still missing or disappeared. We can assume from the fact that as most crimes as not reported to the police this is also true of the murders of women so this figure could literally and is mostly likely to be a tip of an iceberg.

From unborn female foeti to prostitutes, from sisters and wives to lesbians there are always excuses for the perpetrators.   From a raped 14 year olds underwear being accepted as evidence to be used against her, the taxes on sanitary products as luxury items, to judges in the U.S. deciding that female genital mutilation is a cultural right.

There are way too many examples of rapists (and murderers) of minors, indigenous women, women incarcerated and handcuffed, women of all ages, all classes, all educational level, all sizes; being found innocent, or given non custodial sentencing to three months so as not to ‘jeopardize’ their lives and/or careers to Cintonia given 51 years with no hope of parole for killing the man who raped, and mistreated her for years.

The deeply ingrained hatred of women (misogyny) is clear and manifest in the 21st century. Most importantly I would contend that it is held in place most fiercely by women.

The women who support the men who do these crimes, the women who support the sentencing of these men for these crimes and the women who feel that the victims (all be they five) must have done something to warrant being targeted. Yes, they committed the crime of having been born in a female body and being somewhere where a predator could think himself safe from detection.

The mothers of son’s have shown themselves to be unable or unwilling to protect our daughters. For me they cannot be seen as but, must prove themselves our allies in our struggle for the right and space to live free of the fear of male violence, male oppression, male expectations and demands. In exactly the same way that men will need to prove and not just once, that they are willing to truly learn (and re learn) what it takes to be an ally.

I am fed up of the assumption that if the reins are handed over to women that they will build the same structures and operate them in the same way. That women will ‘take revenge’ on men is seen as being a valid argument for retaining the status quo is to me a fatuous and pitiable argument or justification for working against a much needed change that cannot help but benefit everyone and everything on the planet.

I have been delighted to find that many of the ideas and suggestions that have occurred to me spontaneously over the years are already to be found espoused by educated women and men particularly in female feminist writings of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. I would particularly like to posit the research and subsequent articles by Heide Göttner-Abendroth.

It is also clear to me that first on the agenda will be tackling women and their competition with each, their allegience to men, especially to the ways in which they ruin their sons for other women. This task seems pretty much impossible, a lost cause when I observe all the women I know with (only) sons.

So maybe there is no point in even dreaming about a world that is free of ecocide, sexism, racism, classism, enforced labour and poverty because it would seem glaringly apparent that the first step necessary for that is women raising and relating to their sons differently.

If you ask the question of the mothers of sons “Would you be willing (re think and possibly undergo training?) to change the way you raise and relate to your son at this moment the answer to that question and also the answer to the question of the title of this article would be a resounding “No”.

Heli St. Luce

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