Fangirl Saves the World

just who the hell do you think you are, anyway?

don’t listen to their lies

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I used to think of the patriarchy as this monolith, this awesomely huge stone wall that stood between us and freedom from oppression. It was hard and tall and cold; it kept us in when we wanted to be out, and out when we wanted to be in. It told us lies about each other, and about ourselves.

Together, I believed, we chipped at this stone monolith; if it was diamond, we were pure Lonsdaleite. One of the lies the patriarchy tells us is that we are weak, and we are soft.

This is bullshit. We are human and we hurt, but we deal with that hurt and we deal with it every day. This makes us strong. It is bigger than us, but slowly, I believed, we could chip away at it, and we did and we do.

We have carved niches for ourselves, but those niches have become molds. The patriarchy has taken our own weapons and used them against us. We demanded the right to pursue sexual pleasure, and the patriarchy told us we must be sexually available (for men, and men only).

We have carved niches for ourselves, but we have often excluded each other. The patriarchy lies to us about ourselves and it lies to us about each other, because only by keeping us apart – fighting against each other struggling for our own individual freedoms in an oppressive system – instead of together against it – for everyone’s freedom in a free system – can it survive.

It is a terribly clever thing, the patriarchy. It’s weakening over time, blows struck against it have caused cracks, but it grows other defenses; allows us in at one opening and traps us, or takes away another option.

A veritable Hydra, there is no one way to kill it. Cut off one head and it grows three others. It binds us in seemingly inescapable Catch-22s, twisting everything we do into some grotesque parody of our intentions and blaming us for the pain that causes.

A vast, unchanging wall of oppression. Little by little, as we realized the truths about ourselves, we began to realize the truths about other people. If it lied to us about ourselves, surely what it told us about each other must also be lies?

So, in my naiveté, I believed that we would start listening to each other instead of it, and we have. This is what allies are. We are imperfect; still tangled in the spider’s web, we trip over ourselves, over our own privileges and oppressions, and we stumble into the paths of those who we should be working with, for ourselves, for each other.

We exist in the framework of the patriarchy and it casts a shadow over everything we do. It informs our actions, our very ideas about how to best combat it, but we are inventing our own battle plans. We are working to bake a whole new pie, so that we no longer need to hope for a small slice of the existing one just to survive and that’s why, even as we are tangled and overshadowed, I have hope.


Written by Fangirl

February 28, 2010 at 3:16 pm

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