Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The patriarchy project

The last week in Australian politics has been pretty instructive for any woman reading the news. No matter who you actually agree with in the perfect storm of views on women and how women in the public eye are discussed, it has become blatantly obvious that some sections of the Australian public express views on women that produce overblown opinions and startling venom in other sections of the public.

What I find intriguing is that my own perfect storm of formless anger at how women are discussed is now quiet in the face of last week. My conviction in the morality of speaking up often and loudly has become overwhelming, although now there is another feeling joining it. Before last week I felt as if I had to discuss the daily misogyny of the patriarchy project, because I felt that it needed to be illuminated, so invisible was it to the people trapped in it.

But in the last week I saw that everyone knows exactly what the patriarchy project is about - from the Adam Goodes story showing up the intricacies of the astounding racism on which Australia is founded to the clusterfuck of sexism in the last week - the structures of the patriarchy project and its methods of dividing us are clear for all to see.

There are great thinkers who can communicate the ideological soldiers of the patriarchy project better than me, giving us all the weapons to fight our respective fights. I will read them with great pleasure, but I feel easier about not trying to lend my reedy voice and slender understanding to their conversation. Their job is huge, and it includes all the divisiveness of the patriarchy project along lines of religion, politics, race, sexuality and ability, but their power is growing because the ideologies they are fighting are failing.

Instead, I feel a very seductive urge not to discuss the patriarchy project unless it is in relation to the good parts that can be taken into the future. I feel the urge to embrace my favorite activity - travelling into the future with only the very best of the present and the great potential of change as my companions. The best thing about travelling into the future is that you are utterly free to ignore whatever you please so as not to take weakness with you. And ignore the patriarchy project I will, because I am no longer remotely worried about its survival.

It is going to die a horrid but entertaining (to me) death, because it is clearly in its decline. Due to the incredibly hard work of the mighty women of history - which is every woman, just in case you were wondering - women everywhere know what they have to do. Women everywhere can see that the patriarchy project has failed: it has failed women, children and men; it has failed the environment, equality and liberty. At this moment the women of the world, the women who under the incoherent and illogical patriarchy project kept their sanity, progressiveness and humanity, are ready to strike out on their own path.

And I know I want my path to be projecting the future through speculative writing. That path has long been lined with women despite great efforts to exclude them, and speculative fiction of all genres is going to be the creative part of the larger political project that will see women be the saving of this planet. And now I don't even have to argue for the visionary nature of women and their work by directing my audience to observe the disintegrating present.

The present patriarchy project is not just broken, it is apocalyptic, and there is nothing like an apocalypse for destroying the underperforming and destructive aspects of society. The only better result is when the destructive aspects of society destroy themselves, and the patriarchy project is doing just that, with all the inherent arrogance and blindness of divisive domination.

For those who dodged the bullet of being in Australia while this all happened ...

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard addressing misogyny in Parliament

The Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Howard Sattler

The Australian Army

Some of the very interesting responses of female commentators and public to this new political environment ...

The Misogyny Factor by Anne Summers

Destroy the Joint

And maybe just one man ...

John Birmingham

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