top of page

That patriarchy, part deux...

The saga continues as we discuss patriarchy's place in Black Liberation struggles. This is the 2nd installment... go back and read the 1st one "That patriarchy, tho'," if you missed it...

I was late with my 2nd reply and said to a brotha':

"{ January 13, 2017 }Hi! Please pardon the delay... I wrote a response to you right after I read your reply ... and then life happened. I just came back around to share it with you ( I didn't want you to think I had just left this very lively conversation hanging...)"

I proceeded, then, to lay this down:

Thank you, L. I truly appreciate your views and the hearty interlocution. However, if you note, I never mentioned feminism. The piece* I linked to did, though. But, my main point in linking to that reference was for the information therein, from credible sources, about the overt sexism, misogyny, and even rape used as a tactic of domination experienced by women in the black liberation struggles. I don't subscribe to -isms or -archys readily, if at all. I have only one reality to which I find worthiness of submission and that is the relationship between "me" and That which has given rise to "me." I also define my (and, in fact, anyone’s) “self" as a collective effort on the part of my world to create and experience a unique perspective. Thus, in my view, supplanting one -ism or -archy or -ocracy with another will eventually lead to the same results and reality we are living now... just in different underwear. The beginning question was whether patriarchy was a major hindrance to black liberation. My fast answer is yes, because any hierarchy (founded on whatever basis and rationale) will lead to a lack of fundamental freedom as it is built on an axiology of control, which is built on a perception of otherness, which lends itself to an imbalance in power relations, which breeds an undercurrent of tension between those with more power and those with less. This system of organization is rigid and inflexible. We can see that clearly as we are all living it now. And, if women replaced men in this regard, the same inflexible system would result. Calling systems of women-centered lineage 'matriarchies' is a misnomer at best. Those systems did not function the way we experience patriarchy today - in a top-down essentially dictatorial fashion. This is a view filtered through a male-centered consciousness in describing how matrilineal systems functioned. Just as Afrikan history has been perverted and twisted to suit and being filtered through a narrow perspective and agenda, so has this occurred with women's history. Women had no history for millennia - it wasn't taught, it wasn't recorded. No one thought it was important enough. This neglect began with the rise of the patriarchal view of the world. There is nothing inevitable about the way we view the world now...but, how we currently view it has brought us all to the brink of literal destruction. Climate collapse is upon us because we have viewed our relationship to the planet as optional. We have a lethal obsession with control, and to intimate that this has nothing to do with a male-centered focus on our world and the human role in it is mistaken and gravely so. Economic collapse (particularly of imperio-capitalism) is upon us and to deny that this lust for economic domination does not emerge as a male-centered perspective on resource distribution is mistaken. The oceans are dying. In my lifetime, we will face the very real probability that there will simply be no fish in any of the oceans. None. If the oceans die, we die. To deny that this phenomenon is not grounded in a distinctly male-controlled view of our relationship to our human habitat is just not honest. We have fallen out of balance long ago and simply 'going more feminine' won't save us. Being more feminist in our approach to the systems that hypermasculinity built won't save us. Having more female leaders of this male-dominated world system of control is too little too late and will not right the ship. So, I don't espouse feminism or humanism or matriarchy or goddess worship. I am weary of the polemical wrangling altogether because what we face is so much bigger now than race relations and even gender relations. Yet, the problems we face are distinctly gendered in their creation and as Einstein has noted, we must use a different way of thinking to lift ourselves out of the mess we've made of our world. That different way of thinking, I believe, must include - really include perhaps so much so as to be steeped in - a feminine (read: receptive, inclusionary, cooperative) way of looking at the world, our relationship to it, and our unique predicament as a species facing extinction at this time. What is clear to me is that we have royally f*cked up as a species, and our major problems now are ALL systemic and they must be addressed simultaneity and expedience. And, to my mind and logic, what that means is we must build completely new systems to replace what we are currently using to kill ourselves and our habitat. There may be some "bones," some foundational bits that we can build upon. The way we have done things to this point as humans has brought some useful things forward... but, overall, what has come of industrialization must all be renegotiated and realigned, including and especially patriarchy as a means of organizing and relating to one another. And, again, I say any of the -isms and -archys will lead us right back here, and we have no more time to waste arguing over who is in control or who shall lead. Who leads the way are the people with the best ideas, and “best” being defined by how much good and benefit those ideas provide for the most people and all people in some measure, and benefit being defined as what will carry us to sustainable relations with the environment, its other beings, and our planet (not just our wallets and air-conditioned homes and malls). What is clear is that humans are NOT in control of this world, no matter how many fits we throw about it, no matter how many monuments we build to our supremacy – even the pyramids are abandoned and out of use. We are not the gods we've made ourselves to be. That is a dangerous notion that has proved its results are isolating and lethal. We must come into a true partnership with our place in this world and play the role we are designed and best fit to play in this orchestra of life. We are not supreme. We are not the center. We are not the top of the proverbial food chain. And thus, neither are the men who think this way and see the world this way. Men are no more suited to be the 'natural' head of a family or organization or civilization than they are to be "masters of the universe" (as the elites like to call themselves). Power - the ability to sustain ourselves in harmony with our habitat and build and create within that habitat - is only effective and efficiently multiplied when it is shared. (*as a sidenote... We have yet to even fully realize that our habitat may very well extend off this planet, but we're too busy burning this one to the ground.) We must renegotiate our relationships - from the most profound to the most banal. Or we will perish. Period. We don't have any more time to experiment with -isms and -archys and -ocracys. We need egalitarian power-sharing, redistribution of resources, unfettered access to resources and non-indoctrinal educational opportunities, observed and enforced rights to move freely over the planet, spirituality without requisite religious mythos, and a reorientation of the human ego as the lesser attendant to the needs of the relationship-centered individual... and for the patriarcho-imperialist capitalists to sit the f*uck down, right the f*ck now. Pardon my force of language, but the situation really is that dire. In short, we need freedom to be fully human and that means ruling over each other and abdicating our responsibility to govern ourselves as individuals and groups of individuals and collectives of groups in harmonious cooperation, leaving that responsibility to “representatives” has to end. We need to grow up and do our own work… together.

*here's the piece I mentioned linking to in an earlier post:

Read the final post of this 'Trilogy on Patriarchy,' coming soon...

#patriarchy #anarchy #anthropocentrism

Featured Posts