Monday, February 20, 2012

Deconstructing IOZ

In honor of IOZ, now with real obscenities and the occasional use of the first person!

Trust fund baby IOZ recently came out of the bigotry closet with the following:

The principal locus of the oppression of men is the state, whereas the principal locus of the oppression of women is men. Anarchism implies the most radical feminism. If you are not antidude, you are not an anarchist.

This hatred--which this one had earnestly hoped to be put deliberately badly for the purposes of sparking discussion--did indeed spark a long discussion on the merits of human males being vile, which unfortunately turned out to not be the point.  IOZ recently ended the discussion with a lengthy essay explaining that, in order to be "anarchist," one must be also "against" Othered male humans.  Naturally, being a "male human" himself, IOZ delivering this message was seen by some as just as effective as when Christian organizations front gay men who have been cured of their gayness and promise that you can be, too.

His essay, which I'll quote below at length, can be found fully here.

What's IOZ doing here?  Well, he's using the principle of classification to divide humanity against itself in the ultimate interests of antilife (Hatred via Classification discusses in more general terms how classification tends that way).

Right now, it's relatively hip and cool to say that male humans have great advantages over female humans that require what would otherwise be seen as "unfair" (terrible and mean) treatment to be meted out to them by society at large.  Right here, we'll look specifically at IOZ's sickness.  Quotes are his unless otherwise indicated.

Most libertarians and anarchists are not really concerned with freedom or liberty or self-determination or property or the nonexistence of property or any of their other infinite set of synonyms for autonomy per se.

A good opener as far as mass slurs go.  IOZ's anecdotal experience of human beings who say they are libertarians or anarchists gives him the wherewithal to make such a sweeping generalization.  Sure, maybe he's just whining--which could well be appropriate--but here, we're not talking about identities that have a publicly stated platform and formal membership status.  We don't know how many anarchists, for example, are out there, because it is professionally dangerous to be an avowed anarchist.  Just like it would be personally dangerous for IOZ to be an avowed homosexual in a gentleman's club seventy years ago.

Keeping things hidden from others out of fear allows bigots like IOZ to slur people with little fear of mass recrimination.  A bigot of yore might stand up and say, "All fags are child rapists!"  And this could go unchallenged, because the only publicly-known male homosexuals were "homosexuals" convicted of child molestation.  Disgusting, ignorant slurs work really well--particularly when you're so comfortable and arrogant that you never imagine your claims might end up applying to someone who can't openly disagree with you.  Because who's going to stand up in, say, 1920s America and say, "I'm proudly a male homosexual and I am not going to rape anyone's son"?

To some degree or other, we are all in it for the weed, the guns, or the butt sex. By we, I mean men, and I'll come back to that.

Ahh!  So, the token "man" has stood up in open court and confessed--to the delight of all the members of the opposition party--that all the men are, in fact, selfish pricks.  And because it came from the mouth of a member of that group, it must be an accurate depiction of that group.

Just like when Obama says racism is over.  Cheap demagogue.

This is delivered from a sorely ignorant human being who has never known a male who has worked two and three low-paying jobs for fifty years, straight into the grave, so that he could send three daughters to college and make sure his wife doesn't lose the medical insurance that keeps her, albeit lying in bed all day shaking, at least alive.  Oh yeah.  Because it's worth it for the "dominance" of the patriarchy.  Even when the kids are all working careers in other states and the wife is in a care facility one of your pensions helps pay for, being the "head of household" is so worth it, because you get to emotionally repress the women "around you"--that's the only reason you go through it.

Oh yeah, IOZ--because all the men are wife beating rapists who spend up the cash at the bar on the way home from diddling the secretary.  This stereotype is riotously popular right now; almost as popular, perhaps, as the old one about the henpecking, lazy housewife who gets fat and gossips constantly and wastes all the money just as soon as the door-to-door vacuum salesman shows up.

(A mean person might take this as an opportunity to point out that a family-less richie jerk like IOZ, a childless wunderboy who never had to grow up and help another human being learn how to breathe, move, speak, shit in the toilet and not on the floor, and provide for itself the way someone else did for him and his partner, is exactly the type of scum to start spouting off at the mouth--in between lubed up assfuck sessions with his "bottom," trust-fund-paid trips overseas and expensive wine and organic food--about how society just doesn't appreciate women enough.  Thank goodness we're not mean, here.)

Now, tell one of these freedom lovers that every interaction with the state rests on a foundation of violence, and he will nod in considered agreement, but tell him that every interaction between women and men rests upon a foundation of rape, and he will throw up his hands in genuine bewilderment and cry that he is never going to rape anyone! The theory is disproven.

Yeah--every relationship between female and male rests upon a foundation of rape.  That's why women never physically abuse men in relationships.  When an urban, American, black father jumps in front of a car to push his daughter out of the way--or an Iraqi man lets his mother have the last spot in the bomb shelter, then walks into the street to wait for four hours to die--that's evil patriarchal oppression and rape.  That underscores that encounter.

Luckily, rape doesn't exist as a problem for men.  Rape belongs to women as a popular hot-button issue.  It's not as though the most powerful government in the world maintains a massive, primarily male population of prisoners subjected to rape, and it's not as if every American man knows that, if he ends up in prison, he might end up taking dick or just getting shanked to death.

"No one's paying the bills.  No jobs in this town and I can't afford to move.  I don't wanna get shot--I saw what happened to that guy from high school after he'd only been there a year--but welfare's like $300 a month and if I apply I'll never get a job or get into school again.  Rachel's scared and says the baby's hungry and why won't I do something?"

Yeah, IOZ--rape.  Right there above, that's rape.  That evil patriarch selfishly went off and put himself in mortal danger because he was a bloodthirsty, egotistical chauvinist willing to die just for the video-game pleasure of proving academic concepts of masculinity by shooting darkies until they shoot him in turn.

This is a large part of why opposition to war cannot connect with the proles: the unbelievably arrogant, violently abusive condescension to people who really have no other choice and are struggling to keep their heads above water.  War is really being driven by bratty, selfish domestic people; the pawns who actually get their limbs blown off, get PTSD and die are not the ones making the policy.  The elites, and their arrogant, PC, neoliberal fucktard flunkies--whether they blather about bad Republicans, bad Democrats, bad patriarchy, bad "state," or the like--are the ones shifting the money scales such that the only choice for some is martial maybe-death.

Yeah, the only choice, Arthur Silber.  Maybe you're content living on charity as a pauper senior, slowly starving yourself and your cats, but you can't fairly say that someone else should let themselves, their human children (or their domesticated animals, if that's all you care about), or their infirm parents starve if they can take a way out serving in the military.  Or working in the coal mines.  These things I do that others might live, you sad, malignant little souls.  You back a rat into a corner, and it will fuck you up.  The expression "high horse" might not coin well for Silber, who is genuinely miserable, but it does for a plump richie shit like IOZ--who isn't even interested in anything except men--when he offers patronizing criticism of people whom he's sure can't possibly care about women except as rape-objects. rule women--a statement so banal as to be a truism in any other circumstance...
Yeah.  Joe Blow rules Ms. Thatcher.  Some guy in Iraq is guilty of exerting patriarchal dominance over Hillary Clinton.  What a simplistic pile of shit that "one size fits all" statement is.

What is banal and utterly oblivious is that being a "female human" and/or a "male human" has no absolute bearing on how one fits into any of these equations.  Or what makes a male human or a female human.  Perspectives like IOZ's are medieval in their disallowance of genderqueer and transgender people, and what rights they should or shouldn't have.  Does a "man" who identifies as a "woman" suddenly have all her interactions with men underscored by rape?  Even if they can't tell who she is?

When a "woman" identifies as a "man," does he instantly inherit culpability for patriarchy?  Does he need to stop being an asshole and start trying to make it up to all those oppressed women out there?

Sorry; no room.  Bigotry doesn't see those kind of shades.  Cisgender pricks like IOZ can behave so blindly at times, insulting whole groups of people they aren't even aware of.

What about people who don't want to be pigeonholed either way?  What about a straight man physically abused by his wife, who stays at home while his wife works as a corporate lawyer?

Just like the "and what if the negro scored higher on a test than you did, Bob?" example, thought experiments like these destroy the fanciful illusions of bigots.  That's why they usually get mad and ignore them, relying on the bandwagon to support them for the rest of their life, until society switches to a new target and it becomes popular for the kids to hate and slur someone new.


  1. Shit, Silber and IOZ. How many bridges do you have left to burn?
    And why exactly are you lashing against the idea of patriarchy exactly? Yes, there's Hilary Clinton and Thatcher, but they are/were also mostly surrounded by conservative military men, so it's likely they've adapted the gung ho trait, I imagine. I personally think patriarchy is still a real thing, it just comes in different forms.

    1. Hilary and Maggie are probably both self-identified feminists.

      When will the old feminists be satisfied that women participate in oppression just as much as men do? Women already get most of the graduate and professional degrees. Women are in business and government and the military. No amount of scholarship money can seem to get them to equal the numbers of male bomber-building engineers, but the opportunity is sure there for those who want it.

    2. JM, patriarchy does/did exist, and was/is noxious. This one's written on it before, in On Patriarchy.

      The problem with most "patriarchy" discussions is that patriarchy is just one type of bigotry. "Right now" in the temporal sense, imperials are using fading patriarchy as a justification for new types of bigotry.

      So, it's not that identifying patriarchy is bad; what's bad is that IOZ, and many others, are using it to build the next model of mass accepted hatred.

    3. Hatred of men, you mean? Really? How can you tell that this is the case?

    4. As IOZ presents himself, and for the "radfems" with him, all relations between men and women are underscored by rape, and all men are the inheritors of and benefitters from oppression. He calls upon people to be "antidude," e.g., anti-male.

      This kind of literal bigotry has disappeared from the dialogue of clever radical feminists, who--like Obama--talk about pragmatic reason and acceptance as they undertake the same policies as their more cumbersome counterparts. Yet building this flawed model that justifies discriminating against a massive set of people (here, "male humans") is one of the necessary steps for however many years of anti-group (again, in this case, "male" being the group) behavior.

      Right now, it seems culturally laughable that "men" could be discriminated against, just as when the first tribes left Africa to settle other parts of the world, it would have seemed laughable to some that there would be discrimination against people of African descent. It happened, though.

      Tides are shifting to bring bigotry around. Bigotry does not come announcing itself "I am bigotry, here to treat people unfairly." There are always "reasons" justifying why one large group needs to be held responsible for, then discriminated against for, the sins of the past, be they true or false. The stage we're in now is what the groundwork looks like.

  2. It is really one of the big cons on women that so-called feminists are looking out for her interests. The best I can figure is that people really buy that shit about original sin, and babies and men being the curses we have to suffer, so when someone comes along to liberate us from them, we're supposed to cheer.

    Do you know the etymology of the word "obstetrics"? It comes from Latinate roots meaning "to stand opposite to." I.e., the obstetrician is one who stands between (like an obstacle) the woman and her baby. (Compare this with the Germanically-derived "midwife", i.e., mit wif, or "with woman.")

    And that's what modern feminism all comes down to, folks: separating the woman from everything else. Women's interests couldn't possibly correspond to men's interests, or babies' interests, because those things are the iron shackles around her ankles. Maybe there is some kernel of good-natured assumption, in there, that men have historically only been concerned with men, so this is comeuppance. But its effect is devastating. Now, instead of being allowed to forge our own identities as women, and to interrelate as we choose with our fellow humans, we're encouraged to all be little Ayn Rands, islands among harsh competitive seas. Competition might not actually be the way that women have evolved to relate to each other, or to men, but see how good we are at it when we try?

    Who the fuck is IOZ to tell me I've been raped? Should I stand up and say that as a woman, I'm qualified to say we're all in it for babies, clothes and money?

    Luckily, I do see this old-guard feminism dissipating, being replaced by the notion that to be proudly female is to take control of one's destiny as a woman, whether that be at the head of a board room or at the playground. It means participating fully in the human race, not just as a woman or an anti-man.

    Separating interests is what got us in all the trouble, isn't it? Black people can't possibly want the same things white people do? The interests of Iraqi kids can't possibly be the same as American ones?

    Men all want rape, and terrorists all hate freedom.

    1. She admitted it! We're all in it for babies, clothes and cash!

      Also, the new model Hoovers are out. Want to host a tupperware party while Jack is at the office, and we can spend twice the household budget on food containers AND vacuums?

  3. i think the word "patriarchy" is misleading. it carries us down that same errant slope that views feminism as monolithic. it relies far too heavily on stereotype, spokesmanship. misses the trees. and thereby, misses the forest entirely.

    however, the word "privilege" seems reasonably accurate. i suggest its neutrality derives from the fact that we all have our own privileges (moreover, there are privileges that adhere not by class, culture, &c., but even by individual quirk). there's nothing controversial about that, really. i think a lot of radicals want to say that we each ought to renounce our privileges. i don't think that's realistic, though i might suggest we should each/all be open to recognizing or rectifying on a case-by-case basis.

    and even if we aren't willing, that may be ok too (for a given circumstance). which is to say, i bemoan the lack at ioz &c. (and i applaud your deconstruction's inclusion) of situational account/anecdote. the devil is in the details. because that's where smug self-righteousness must give way to the starkness of reality, where fanciful but unreflected daydreams and delusions must evaporate; where we find commonality of humanity in its true manifestation (that is all to say, where we find compassion, empathy, understanding and mitigation).

    1. Fighting awful privilege with awful privilege, besides being unfair, unpleasant, and getting the discriminated-against angry, also leads to (or better put, "is part of") an endless cycle of different privileges and discriminations to be used to redress the past ones. It's rather like trying to dig ourselves out of a hole.

      And of course, the privileges of being a woman--of finding a much higher degree of instant social acceptance, consideration, lack of fear/suspicion/anger upon random appearance--could be said by some to outweigh the privileges of being a man. Like the privilege to work to death or be considered a coward and a failure, or the privilege to get an erection on command or be a laughingstock with commercials and sitcoms to back it up, or the privilege to be the instant suspect whenever something's stolen or harmed.

      Too bad Saurs and IOZ both have no time for it. It's always hard to engage bigots, but they contain the most room for improvement.

      Surely someday...

  4. danged reply button doesn't seem to work for me.

    but that's right... and i had initially meant to acknowledge that we all have our burdens too. (i was going to write something about the etymology of "privilege" and then coin an antonym--until i realized that there's no antonym for "personal law"--because "personal law" cuts both ways.)

    i think the main difficulty of engagement is that ioz and saurs are either unable or unwilling to acknowledge the end game. for whatever reason, they see anger, resentment, guilt (and i fully agree with your notion that guilt is about punishment) as the end game.

    what they don't see is that anger, resentment, guilt, etc. are the problem. (just as anarchy cannot be the solution to the status quo when anarchy is the status quo.)

    which means that the end game has to be the opposite of anger, resentment, guilt, etc. it has to be happiness, fulfillment (and at least in this venue, it goes without saying, happiness in the sense of true happiness, not saurs' incomprehensible "personal happiness can be achieved quite easily by fucking other people over to your heart's content" sense.)