The Movement For Male Restraint
All progressive men should join the Movement for Male Restraint.
I posted two essays recently, A MODEST PROPOSAL CONCERNING MASCULISM http://www.nyc.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=25801 and
TEN THOUSAND YEARS IS ENOUGH!
in which I advocated an end to 10,000 years of male domination, and the beginning of female domination, in order to save humanity from extinction.
Today I would like to respond to some of my critics, and explain more clearly the MOVEMENT FOR MALE RESTRAINT, which I encourage all progressive men to join, and all progressive women to support.
I was rightfully criticized for my use of the word 'domination' and I regret that my impassioned fingers hammered this word into my keyboard. I realized later, meditating on the responses to my article in a quieter moment, that 'domination' does not express the meaning I wish to convey.
'Domination' implies coercion through violence, which I DO NOT advocate.
As the more perceptive readers noticed, I advocate not coercive domination, but free leadership by women, who will lead us into a healthier world. This leadership cannot occur without the MOVEMENT FOR MALE RESTRAINT.
Imagine four activists, three men and one woman, travelling to a demo and their car breaks down. The woman is an automobile mechanic, the other three activists know very little about cars. The automobile mechanic, based upon her skill at solving the problem presented, will be the 'leader' for repairing the automobile. But if even one of the ignorant men insists on trying to fix the car, the four activists will not reach their destination.
That is what I mean by free leadership. It is leadership based on the skills of some, and the restraint of others.
Please keep this little story in your mind, and allow me a few more paragraphs of explanation.
Just as some people are able to ignore the Israeli military Occupation of Palestinian land, others are able to ignore the male domination of humanity. If you doubt me, look for yourself on your favorite progressive websites, and count the number of articles that explicitly recognize the fact of male domination.
Going further, some people are able to acknowledge the fact of the Occupation, but then they ignore the meaning of the Occupation: they ignore its day to day effect on the people of Palestine, or they blame the Palestinians for somehow 'deserving' to be occupied. In a similar way many people acknowledge the fact of male domination, but they ignore its meaning: they ignore its day to day affect on humanity. Again, look at your favorite progressive websites and count the articles in which men explore the meaning of male domination. If you find even a single one you are a better researcher than I.
The Meaning of Male Domination
Is it a coincidence that men have dominated humanity for 10,000 years? Did it happen by accident? Of course not. Then how has it occurred? Why isn't there equality? Why don't women dominate humanity?
Men have dominated for 10,000 years, and continue to dominate, because of male violence. Male violence creates hierarchy, a pyramid of power based on three forms of violence: individual violence (such as rape and murder), legal violence (such as the 'sharia' in Saudi Arabia), and war.
At the top of this pyramid we saw the faces of 8 men last week, secure in their Canadian Fortress, our elected aristocrats. Sometimes there is a woman's face (for example, Margaret Thatcher) near the top of this pyramid, but the building blocks of the pyramid of power are, and have always been, 99% male.
The tendency of men to use violence to resolve conflict is a recognized fact. From the top of the pyramid (the American ruling male elite), to the bottom of the pyramid, (the poorest man in Africa), the violence of men is a constant.
The men who join the Movement for Male Restraint will recognize the historic tendency of men to resolve conflict through violence, and will recognize that this violence forms the foundation stones of the pyramid of power.
Recognizing this, and being aware of the current crisis in humanity, men who join the Movement for Male Restraint will work to allow women to step forward and exercise their historic role.
The historic role of women is to use their skill at resolving conflict without the use of violence. This is not to say that women have this skill 'by nature' or 'by nurture'. But the fact is that they do possess this skill and have been developing it for 10,000 years in order to survive in a world dominated by male violence.
Just as the mechanic in the story above can, unless blocked by an ignorant man, use her mechanic skills to repair the automobile and allow the four activists to get to their destination, so women can use their skill at resolving conflict without the use of violence to allow humanity to travel towards a better world. But women can only do this necessary work if men allow them to do it. This is the meaning of Male Restraint.
Men must allow women to replace the Pyramid of Power with the Circle of Communication. It is only through the circle of communication that conflict can be resolved without the use of violence. The circle of communication is non-hierarchical. Within the circle of communication women can exercise their skill at solving conflict without the use of violence. For this reason all sincere progressive men should join THE MOVEMENT FOR MALE RESTRAINT.
However many male progressives refuse to understand the meaning of male domination, and refuse to understand the dynamic structure of the pyramid of power. It is no accident that the loudest calls for 'violent revolution' are always male voices. These men realize that violence keeps male domination intact. Each act of violence is but another stone in the pyramid of power. The armed forces, with their strict hierarchy, their leadership based on blind obedience and coercion, are male to the core. And lest anyone romanticize the rebels, all violent opposition to the armed forces quickly becomes just as hierarchical, and male, as what they attack. If you doubt me study the Russian Revolution, which led directly to Stalin, or the French Revolution, which led directly to Napoleon. Or read the Standing Orders for the IRA.
The Movement for Male Restraint has numerous implications. Note, for example, just a few of the responses I received from my earlier articles:
1) And (at the risk of sounding sexist myself), give yourselves a few days off at certain times of the month when your judgment may be cloudy.
2) If women ruled the world, we would be at war every month... ..Emma, grow your hair out, stop eating pussy, and get laid. You would be surprised at how enlightening that would be.
3) I'll fight your stinking crotch smelling movement to the end.
Notice the way these men, when their privilege is threatened, immediately create an image of the female body.
In a man's mind a woman is the image of a sexualised body. This image is used by men to provide themselves with pleasure. The habit of adolescent masturbation conditions men for life. Young men concentrate on memories of young women, (the young woman they sit beside in class, the young woman who they watch crossing the street) in order to arouse themselves. Once aroused, they masturbate with these images of young women in their mind. This habit carries into adulthood, so that men learn to view women not as they are, but as an image which gives them pleasure.
This is why men tend to want women to 'look like' the prevailing image of the sexualised female body. Some women respond by trying to please the man, because the women who try to please the men get more attention in our society.
When faced with real live women who exist in the present moment existence of their lives, and who demand to be treated as flesh and blood human beings, men retreat to the image, because the image can be controlled, and the image gives pleasure. And, as the quotes above show, the image can also be used to try and humiliate any woman who dares to challenge male privilege.
The men who join the MOVEMENT FOR MALE RESTRAINT will become aware of the male tendency to use the female image to both please themselves and to also, if threatened, attack women who threaten them.
Politically, this effort will result in men seeing flesh and blood women in the living moment, women whose sexuality cannot be divided from the whole woman. And as the whole woman possesses, in addition to sexuality, the skill of resolving conflict without violence, men will recognize this skill, and will, through male restraint, allow women to exercise this skill for the good of humanity.
The men who join the MOVEMENT FOR MALE RESTRAINT will politicise the act of sex: they will RESTRAIN themselves from penetration until the woman communicates that she is ready, and they will RESTRAIN themselves from orgasm until the woman communicates that she is ready for him to come. Men who refuse to do this do not really care for the woman with whom they are having sex. If men cannot restrain themselves from early orgasm (and 11 out of 10 men lack sexual restraint) they can ask the woman to help them to learn restraint.
In the same way, the vast majority of men can ask women to help them learn political restraint. They will voluntarily give up attempts to solve conflict through violence, (which, after all, is simply another manifestation of the desire for quick pleasure at another's expense), and will allow women to resolve conflict using the circle of communication.
I ask all women to challenge men on the issue of male violence, on the history and meaning of male domination. When we challenge they must respond, and it is by their response to your challenge that you will know them. We must not allow men to draw us into the pyramid of power, which is what they are doing with the new violent sexualised heroines (Lara Croft, etc.) whose appearance in our culture marks the attempt by men to retain power by convincing women that violence is the way to solve conflict. We must not allow men to take over the growing movement against corporate capitalism by channelling it into violent confrontation, which will only allow men to continue their domination.
Woman-led civil disobedience will lead to the circle of communication. Male-led destructive violence will lead to the pyramid of power.
I ask all progressive men to join the Movement for Male Restraint, and allow the skills of women to lead us away from species extinction.
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