Saturday, 5 April 2014

Violence against women

There's been a lot of publicity recently about men standing idly by while violence is perpetrated against women. One thing which particularly stuck in my mind about the argument was the idea that the bar is set very low for male standards of behaviour in that all men have to do is not be rapists and not perpetrate violence themselves, when in fact that ought to be the bare minimum and may not be even that.

When venturing into this territory, I have to be wary because of my history of misandry. I have, to my shame, considered in the past that the solution to this problem was simply to euthanise all males and abort all male fetuses but clearly that's likely to be considered impractical. Also, I have a son and cannot honestly hold the view that it should've been removed from its mother's body before viability. I want to stress that I no longer hold this view and recognise that it was a form of projection resulting from my gender dysphoria (do I mean projection or transference? I always get those mixed up).  Nowadays it's much easier for me not to hate men. I think of Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and a host of less famous men who are absolutely hunky-dory and OK, although of course not perfect, except for Jesus who is arguably not a man anyway. Nonetheless, there very clearly is a huge problem in male socialisation which we have tried to address with our son.

Now of course everything is always about me, so instead of going further in examining this issue, I'm now going to go on and on about trans stuff.

I've been in men's groups in the past. One had content organised by women, the other was an Iron John type group. I found both problematic. The Iron John group was just impossible to relate to. My fundamental issue with it was that I couldn't see how it contributed to women's liberation and without that element it was surely a waste of time. It also seemed to be about stuff which made no sense at all to me, not because of its shamanistic or spiritual nature, but because it simply seemed factitious. Maybe other men got something out of it. But if one is undertaking a course of action which involves the idea that animals should be killed merely as part of a ritual, one has surely gone in the wrong direction - I would rather just sit in the meadow and eat dandelion sandwiches.  The other group was better but I was very frustrated by one member's veto of any discussion of abortion because to me that is the central ethical question and even more so the giant issue in sexual politics, even more so than rape. A men's group where abortion cannot be discussed is utterly worthless, so vetoing that rendered my attendance at the group pointless, and yes, that is me engaging in splitting again.

So, bearing in mind that men's groups don't benefit women and are therefore pointless, where do you go from there? My answer is somewhat scary and paradoxically also something TERFs seek to deny people. Before I say this I want to point out the soil and seed factor in my GID.  The soil and seed analogy is from complementary medicine. A seed cannot germinate without the right soil, and similarly someone will not develop a particular disease unless they are at that point the right "soil" for that disease, so for instance endometriosis is very rare in men.  I can look at, for instance, my younger brother and note that in spite of substantially similar influences he has not one iota of gender dysphoria in this entire being.  The same seeds, different soil.  In other words, whereas there are clearly psychological and life history influences on why this has happened, they aren't all that's going on by a long chalk.  There's also plenty of rationalisation, subconscious messages, denial, suppression and all that kind of stuff.

I often hear men express the sentiment that on hearing news reports or some disturbing story about what individual other men have done to women, or perhaps statistics on the same, it makes them ashamed to be men.  Well...

I asked myself a long time ago how I might appropriately respond to the existence of violence and rape against women by men.  This was considerably before I read any radical feminism.  I was aware of gender reassignment from quite an early age.  I seem to recall it was from about the age of ten or eleven.  Putting the two together, the solution seemed quite obvious to me:  men are bastards, so stop being a man and have a sex change.  To me, it was a complete no-brainer.  Now, it could of course be argued that I wanted to do that anyway on some level and that's true and probably my real motive, but I remain convinced that that's a logical response to the problem.  Perhaps not an ideal one as there are all sorts of ways of being a man and simply vacating the gender leaves it more stereotypically negative than it would otherwise have been, which is a bit of Janice Raymond which I completely agree with - she's not a monster, remember?

Logical though that may seem, however, the problem was that it turned out that this wasn't what radical feminism wanted me to do at all.  Quite the opposite.  Apparently doing the most emphatically anti-male violence and rape thing I can imagine is the very thing I'm not supposed to do in any circumstances.  The rational alternative (and I mean alternative - one of two choices) is suicide.

Rather surprisingly, another option mentioned by some feminists is to bail out of male gynephilia, something which never interested me personally in the first place.  This puzzles me somewhat since there is also violence and rape in gay and lesbian relationships, so it doesn't seem to solve the problem.  Also, it seems much less extreme than castration, oestrogen and penectomy.

I just don't know to be honest, I'm not really reaching any conclusion here except to say the apparently obvious and most effective solution, putting your money where your mouth is and actually getting castrated and removing the offending member is for some reason completely the opposite of what radfems want.  It is of course true that rape is about power and not sex, but it still seems that this is at least a symbolic gesture of solidarity and I really cannot see why it mustn't be done.  Just seems the obvious choice to me.