Not to belabor the point, • 4 October 2008

Some questions opened in the long comment thread on the previous post.

This is an interesting set of questions, because of the ways they’re NOT interesting. It’s an almost-annoying topic, because it asks for reflection on stuff that’s somehow fun to leave unseen. Also, there’s this sense in me that talking about masculine domination is “whiny.” Ha! Obviously that’s the patriarchy in me trying to talk back. Still, it is good to speak of this forthrightly, not with self-apology and periodical impulses to run away.

I'm not trying to smash patriarchy. I'm saying it's a big, dumb obstacle that misallocates energy.

So if there is energy that I could put in to self-understanding that instead I'm putting in to reproducing and justifying patriarchal relationships and organizations, it's just inefficient. Why not strip away a bit of the clunky, heavy, distracting outdated technology? 

Maybe I’m asking these questions prematurely. Maybe people aren’t ready to think about masculine domination as an historical pattern, and are also afraid that all this will lead to a deconstruction of the basic ideas of masculinity and feminitiy. It’s not like that at all.

Patriarchy is both a way of organizing human activity (hierarchies, exhales, achievement, dominance) and a way of organizing personal, interior lives. Anyway:

Why would masculine domination be a problem in practice–a practical problem? I’m thinking both principles (goal oriented-ness, performance mindset) and politics (who gets/has to take power, who pretends/has to pretend to be needy).

Can there be systematic practice and transmitted lineage (two super useful things!) without patriarchy? (Is the very idea of energetic lineage just a legitimation racket for patriarchy? Shit.)

Is the experience of surrender sometimes—as we experience it—about participating in male-dominance? Can surrender be something else?

How can you learn to get really intimate with your own experience when you’re taught in a patriarchal manner?