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  Longish essay on counterpunch, this pull quote doesn’t reflect the thesis of the piece, but rather something that should be concerning to progressives and people who want to see change in society.  The status-quo is resilient for a reason, and not taking that into account pretty much dooms whatever project you happen to be working for to failure.

 

 “It’s foolish to think that the failure of previous non-violent protests to change state structures can be blamed on the failure of the tactics, rather than the failure of the underlying politics in other domains. Those mass movements either did not achieve popular support, or, more poignantly, they did, but that support was coopted and channeled into an electoral theater and a political leadership that undermined and effectively annulled their goals, and turned energetic popular opposition back into apathy and acceptance. The transition from millions of antiwar protestors on the streets against the Vietnam and Iraq wars to <crickets> in the face of Obama’s Libya-Syria-Yemen-drones-around-the-world wars, illustrates that sad political dynamic.”

And there we have the problem folks.  The status-quo only persists because we allow it to.  Without changing the underlying political structures and features of a democracy, you can only count on one aspect, and that is ‘more of the same’.

 

Catch the rest of the article here.

“In the past several years ‘gender’ has been radically re-defined by a reactionary movement that has transformed it from a set of conventions and constraints on what men and women can be or do, to an interior mental state. Chrissie Daz is right in saying that something fundamental has changed in the way in which gender is understood in the twenty first century, with the new transgender warriors representing a major paradigm shift in gender thinking over the last forty years. An idea once wielded by the liberal left against conservative sexist and heterosexist social norms, gender has now been retooled as a weapon in the armoury of a regressive politics that is not only sexist but homophobic. Today’s transgender movement reinforces the myth that ‘men’ and ‘women’ are altogether different species of human beings, not just reproductively, but mentally — with different desires, different needs, different aptitudes, and different minds. Now transgender spokespersons support the traditionally conservative naturalisation of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’ as innate psychological states, intrinsic in the human subject from birth and arising from brain chemistry or other hormonal interactions of the body. The progressive idea that there is no uniform way that all boys as such (or all girls as such) necessarily ‘feel’ or ‘think’ has been scrapped.
Instead of railing against a rigid heterosexist gender binary (as their rhetoric would suggest) the new Trans warriors assume that their innate sense of self (‘identity’) is inherently ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ prior to any socialisation. Apparently, the influence of cultural indoctrination is negligible. Gender has been de-politicised, naturalised and medicalised in the same stroke.”

 

The take away is that trans-ideology is sexist and homophobic excluding it from any reasonable sort of feminism. :)

 

 

It comes down to situations like this in so many conversations with the religious.  When people are ready to entertain the thought of a godless material reality, they will reach out for guidance.  Until then…

 

Accessing a space where gender can be discussed is often fraught with hazards.  Many transactivists are violently opposed to hearing about, never mind discussing, the recent trends in gender identity.  When calls for discussion are met with thought terminating statements -“transwomen are women” or manipulative statements “misgendering is violence and I’ll kill myself if you don’t follow my dictates” clarity is often hard to find.   I gleaned this conversation from the Auntie Wanda tumblr about some possible down sides to gender transition or sex ‘reassignment’ surgery.

I read this and asked, why is this particular body dismorphic disorder being treated so differently than other disorders?  We certainly don’t council anorexics to diet, or tell them how fat they are, nor do we give people who suffer from Body Integerity Disorder or Apotemnophilia access to surgeons who will remove their limbs that clearly (for them) do not belong to them.

So why do foster the illusion that men can become women (and vice versa)?  You simply cannot.  And the pale imitations medical science can conjure up are simply that, bad copies the opposite sex, that require a lifetime of medical upkeep and care that often do nothing to solve the body dysphoria (if the condition is present) at all.

One can only dabble with the current popular music for so long. Today, it is back to the Baroque with Telemann and a wonderful harpsichord concerto.

Telemann’s Concerto in B minor App. TWV 33:1. This work originally was scored for violin and orchestra (now lost) and today exists only in the composer’s own harpsichord arrangement. Unlike the Overtures, this concerto is a simpler, more straightforward piece,

This quote is from Howard Zinn’s article called the Force of Nonviolence which appeared in The Nation in the 1960’s.  Identifying one of the precursors to violent action is information useful in arming oneself in a myriad of situations – the process of rationalizing the unjust treatment of ‘those people’ happens in all of us, almost unconsciously most of the time.  Hopefully we can arm ourselves against our violent tendencies toward others or at least be aware of the process and move to intercede before we act.

  “The human ability to abstract, to create symbols standing for reality, has enabled man to compound his material possessions, to split the atom and orbit the earth.  It also enables him to compound his hatreds, and expands his capacity for violence.  But while there is no incentive to distort in the scientific process which changes reality to symbol for purposes of manipulation, and back to reality for purposes of realization, there is incentive, in social relations, for distorting the symbols of communication.   With man’s use of symbols, the potentiality for hatred and therefore violence is enormously, logarithmically, magnified.  And with word-symbols the possibility for distortion is infinite.  In fact, distortion is inherent here, for while particles of light are sufficiently similar so we can express the speed of all of them in a useful mathematical equation, human beings are so complex and particular, and their relationships so varied, that no generalized world can do justice to reality.  

   War is symbolic violence, with all people who happen to reside within the geographical boundaries of a nation-state constituting “the enemy”.  Race persecution is symbolic violence directed against all individuals, regardless of their specific characteristics, who can be identified with an abstracted physical type.  In the execution chamber, the state puts to death anyone, regardless of individual circumstance, who fits the legal symbol: murderer.  The law forcibly deprives of freedom everyone who falls within the symbolic definition of a criminal; sentences are sometimes meted out to individuals, but mostly to dehumanized lawbreakers whose acts match an abstract list of punishments. “

-Howard Zinn.  Howard Zinn on War p.14-15.

Firstly, read  what Shulamith Firestone has to say.

Secondly, recognize that this work was published in 1970.

Thirdly, become grandly and righteously pissed off that women’s intellectual history is carefully hidden from them and thus, each generation is forced to start from scratch in the struggle to raise their consciousness and name their oppression.

Fourthly, organize and lobby schools/school boards to have Firestone’s Dialectic of Sex become a part of the curriculum so we can arm the women in our society with the theory and knowledge that has already been demarcated, so the struggle can move onto new ground instead of reclaiming what has already been unearthed.

Fifthly, share widely at least this small part of Firestone’s work, so women in the struggle right now can see that they are not alone and that people have been exactly where they are right now, just that no one them about their foresisters work.

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