Quelling the virus…

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bell hooks got it spot on with her brilliant and exquisite savaging of “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.”

Us denizens of America and the West, New and Old of the so-called First World, do indeed live in societies that more or less conform to this horror.

I believe that a good majority of these people don’t actually want to live in such societies, and would rather live in egalitarian, diverse, open-bordered matriarchies.

Unfortunately a good majority of people living in these societies also reap some kind of benefit or the other from the abomination that is WSCP.

Especially dudes.

And white folk.

And citizens.

And people with means and access (and let’s face it, the western world consumes so goddamn much that even those of us in the laboring classes, materially speaking, have more than the vast majority of the rest of humanity.)

This will change of course. Them borders, militaries, and inequitable consumption rates can only hold out for so long before balance sets in. When balance starts setting in, it can get violent, or it can be a caring, nurturing, even fun-filled chaos.

The latter requires coming past WSCP.

Which means actually living against the grain of WSCP, whether out of choice or compulsion.

It means quelling the virus.

The virus of toxic masculinity above all.

For it does seem quite evident that it’s what lies at the heart of WSCP. We wouldn’t have an endless supply of rapists and misogynists occupying positions of power and authority otherwise.

If us dudes continue to fail in this all-important battle for our souls; if we shirk our duties as nurturers and community members; if we continue to stay away from the kitchen, the laundry, and the household; if we fail to scorch this cancer stemming from patriarchal manhood, then this cesspool of power and violence the world over will never disappear.

It is in us to quell this virus. I refuse to believe that all men across the globe are of a cruel and selfish spirit. I refuse to submit to the notion that men have no choice but to be clueless, abusive assholes. I refuse to accept this nonsense that manhood needs to be in any way violent, sexist, or power-ridden.

I truly do believe that the vast majority of my brothers want happiness and peace of mind – the kind that can only come from taking on the never-ending struggle to quell the virus.

And when faltering or failing (indeed as a general fucking rule) I adhere to a very simple credo:

Heed the wisdom of goddesses.

I’m happier for it.

 

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Destroying toxic masculinity, delivering a death blow to racism

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My daughter is a brilliant soul of pure light.

I know that she will, in the years and decades to come, face the stresses and struggles of a sexist, racist world held together by a historic colonial-dominator-guided patriarchy and oppressive social order. I know she will face it with a lot of courage and determination (not to mention breathtaking chutzpah).

Daya’s a mixed race child of Tamil-Germanic heritage, whose skin gets darker and hair gets lighter as she moves into full-blown toddlerhood with a firecracker mind and ancient soul. When I think of the learning, security, and community that Sus and I are trying to ensure for her, I also think of the different contours of oppression our little one will have to face as she charges through life. She being my daughter, me being a bumbling feminist, I always lean towards addressing the sexism and structures of patriarchy she is going to have to fight, indeed already is fighting.

She might face some forms of racism that her father faced. Maybe. I don’t know. She’s likely going to live in a mishmash of transnational American urbana. And she often looks like a white toddler with a really deep tan, you know, like one of them Mediterranean types so meh, I really don’t know how traumatizing the racial microaggressions are going to be in her life. I know it’s something to guard against and develop learning around, but in this current day and age…

…let’s face it, she is far more likely to face the myriad forms of patriarchy and sexism her mother and my mother, and all of our mothers and sisters and aunties faced. More even. Hopefully less, but misogyny is making its last violent stand, one that could last for many, many generations. She’s going to be waging epic battles in the midst of that shit for a while to come.

Because when I see the nastiest and vilest parts of this world, including all the violence, hatred, and destruction…yeah, some of it is couched in religious nationalism or ethno-racial supremacy or whatever (like a few thousand man-babies thumping their pale pigeon chests behind internet chat rooms is the real problem with structural racism in America)…all of it is led, savored, and sustained by men. Cis men. Men with some ridiculously overblown and self-aggrandizing crisis in masculinity, when what they should be doing is looking deep within themselves to undo that toxic crap if they truly want to find love and belonging in this world.

That might take a while.

(Now, you see why I think patriarchy and sexism are at the root of all evil?)

But I see no other way forward and it is as clear a truth as I have ever realized, especially as a father to a brilliant warrior soul and a man of color. We must destroy the toxic masculinity within us all in order to suck the life out of the historic racist structures that still plague our world today. Then our children can finally be free of all this crap.

My daughter speaks truth.

To power and the world around her.

I and my fellow dudes need only follow the light of higher souls like her.

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The alt-right are entitled man-babies, their symbolic leader a predatory rapist (so isn’t patriarchy at the root of the problem?)

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Entitled dudes from privileged ethno-national classes accessing the worst of themselves in order to garner more power and privilege for their self-described “people” have been a pain in humanity’s ass for a while now.

Of course, in the process (and very much by design as has been documented) these whiny little shits incite anger and violence with progressive forces who fight them with no small amount of courage on the streets, albeit tragically ensuring more whiny little shits gravitate into their hateful embrace with the subsequent rise in polarization.

Just to be clear, I’m not coming down on organizing tactics or whatever. For starters, what the fuck do I know? You think fighting these whiny little shits in street battles is going to drive them away, by all means, go ahead and fight that fight. I used to think that way too until I realized that political street fights in America don’t really work out too well for folks who ain’t young cis white dudes. For me it’s less to do with tactics and more to do with egalitarianism within the resistance movement.

What happens to those who don’t have the social privilege to take part in such battles (who are also likely to be the most vulnerable to the kind of hate propagated by right wing forces)? Why is it primarily the over-romanticized tactics of street violence that are given “cred” and progressive media attention?

Antifa type fights have great imagery and symbolism, but they only privilege a particularly masculine, and for the most part Western/white-dominated, form of resistance. Something that hasn’t worked for damn near a millennium of this colonial, capitalist shit apart from some very temporary and fleeting victories. Why then is this the primary form of organizing that’s highlighted and valorized?

It is alienating for large numbers of people, including families with young children, undocumented folk, other vulnerable communities, our community elders, and more. It further prevents us from addressing what I believe lies at the root of this giant steaming pile of inequality and injustice we call our society, even with a cursory glance.

The whiny-ass white supremacists who are occupying media air time right now are almost solely man-babies. Their symbolic man-baby leader and megalomaniac-in-chief is a rapist and unabashed misogynist. It really doesn’t take much to probably deduce that toxic masculinity and patriarchy are at the root of the problem. Shouldn’t our resistance to this oppression then privilege the words, actions, and needs of mothers, women, trans folk, and children – i.e. those who face the worst that patriarchy has to offer? And especially those voices from black, latino, and other communities of color?

It has been documented time and time again that far-right forces across nations and societies provoke violence to further their own recruitment needs. Wouldn’t our mothers and wise matriarchs fight this in more nurturing, egalitarian, and multi-generational ways (albeit with less angry flash)? Might looking into the eyes of our children give us a more sustainable vision for fighting this good fight?

When you have to worry about nurturing those who will live long after you, your ideas of resistance and revolution must also necessarily be nurturing to those who will live long after you.

If we have the community, the love, and the solidarity to weather the storm; They will scream their hatred from their rooftops and no one will listen. They will brandish all the guns and they’ll shoot into empty air. They will choke on their own ill-gotten falsehoods as they wait endlessly for a fight, for we would have moved on to better things. Eventually “they” will be reduced to nothing more than the trauma of the past we all had to endure to toughen our souls for a brighter tomorrow. Rather than continuously sowing that hateful seed onward for future generations, their hate will die with them.

And our children will laugh and play together.

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The path of the male nurturer (and the struggle to prevent easy complacency)

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There is a way in which my ongoing struggle to ensure a nurturing core as a parent has helped me reflect on my internalized and toxic masculinity in a way no other endeavor or life experience has. It isn’t enough to just be a “good guy” (a title for which the bar is set so shockingly low across this globe that it barely qualifies you as a half-decent human being). It isn’t enough to just love in the lazy, entitled (and often infantile) manner that so many guys do with their life partners, something that is celebrated across pop culture as cute and charming rather than being highlighted for the damage it creates. It isn’t enough to just show up and compare ourselves to guys who are more dickish and ignorant than we are to make ourselves look good.

I know now that the male nurturer has to have the humility to start from scratch, to pay heed to the matriarchs around him, and actually learn from the times he messed up. Often it feels like suspended animation. My ego is both my worst enemy and best friend when it comes to parenting. He is a scumbag when it comes to dragging me down from evolving further, but he is also my most honest counsel when it comes to dealing with my shit so I can be a better father.

I’ve realized that us men cannot hope to love and nurture by just following some passive dictum of doing no harm. Our mere existence in this patriarchal world causes harm. Yes, even all us “good” and occasionally feminist men. Reflection is not just some smug asshole we see in a fucking mirror.

For if I’ve learnt anything from the last 17 months as a parent to a brilliant and liberated soul like Daya, it is this:

If loving and nurturing well isn’t the most important thing a guy’s doing with his time, he ain’t living right.

Not in this patriarchal world at least.

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The end of privileged white society (and how an amateur blogger beat the pundits and pollsters)

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Back in May 2016, over 5 months and what seems like a lifetime ago, I published a blog post entitled “9 scary reasons Donald Trump can become president in November

In case you’re wondering how to access it, a shameless, self-aggrandizing link is provided below:

https://loveliberationstruggle.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/9-scary-reasons-donald-trump-can-become-president-in-november/)

I started that post with the following preamble:

Ok, I’m going to come right out and stake my claim on this prediction – it’s one with a very small chance of actually coming true (but I think that “small chance” is getting bigger by the day):

Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States.

Please note that it is Friday, May 27, 2016 – over five months away from us actually finding out whether or not this prediction comes true.

I’m not saying that this is a good thing, if it comes true that is. Not by any stretch of imagination. I’m just saying that it’s going to happen. And I’ve been feeling like this for quite a few months now. (Bless the intrepid soul of my long-suffering soulmate and life partner who has to hear my incessant geopolitical monologues.)

Following that introduction, I listed 9 scary and very true reasons for making such a prediction. You can check out the link for more details.

Now I won’t lie, I do feel a little vindicated. But I am anything but happy. Indeed, the day after that most catastrophic of nightmares panned out in surreal fashion before our eyes, I had a near mental and emotional breakdown and had to take a sick day off.

And yet, despite the return of past traumas and pain, I still feel the power of vindication.

An angry, rage-filled, and thoroughly depressing vindication.

Finally!

Finally, all the privileged, white shits of America can see what those of us who are racialized and come from colonized backgrounds have been seeing for fucking centuries.

Finally all the privileged, male shits of America can see what women and trans people across the globe have been seeing for fucking millennia.

Finally, the brutally patriarchal, white supremacist core of America is there for everyone to see.

For this is white misogyny’s last hurrah – and it was easy to spot. Hence the brazen prediction made about America electing Trump as president.

Now, let’s face it. That prediction was just pure dumb luck. I will be the first to admit that I didn’t use any scientific or statistical analysis, nor did I think it actually had much of a chance of coming true. It was nothing more than a gut feeling based on having lived in the settler-colonial societies of America and Canada for the vast majority of my adult life. Indeed, I even shamelessly back pedaled on that prediction a bit in a more recent essay I wrote about rape culture in our societies.

The reason I hark back to that time (apart from flagrant self-promotion) is because exactly a year prior, in May 2015, I wrote a much lengthier piece entitled “The end of privileged white society” – a tirade calling itself an essay and proud to be doing so.

I didn’t publish it. I merely wrote it, edited it, saved it, and told myself that I would publish it on my blog when the time felt right.

I believe that time is now, a year and a half later, because the dawn of this white-supremacist, misogynistic neo-fascism in the US signals the beginning of the end for privileged white society.

As promised to myself, the essay is published below.

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The end of privileged white society

May 2015, Toronto, Canada

Recently I had a particularly liberatory spiritual experience, a stream of slightly higher-than-normal consciousness.

I have tentatively entitled it: The end of privileged white society.

Mostly it has to do with my own liberation as a colonized person of color, which is at the heart of the story. White folk who fail to truly understand their privilege are and always have been a side story. I’ll explain in due course.

Now, when I say the end of privileged white society in this quasi-threatening tone, please note that I disdain masculine, misogynistic violence, or really violence of any kind barring that which is used in choiceless self defense. What I’m really envisioning with the end of privileged white society is equality, and the liberation of all. I’m just doing so a tad angrily, but that’s ok, I’m in control of my feelings. I know how scary an angry person of color is to privileged whiteness (you can see it in the eyes of the particularly insecure among them).

I really do envision the end of privileged white society. The end of white settler-colonial society in that imperialist, genocidal overlord known as the United States of America, in its parasitic client states in Canada and Israel or, hell, maybe even in that drunken joke known as Australia. The end of white Eurocentric society, in that sociopathic dump of a nation-state known as the UK with a vampirish monarchy for an overlord, or that sanctimonious pile of loser puss known as France, or even that technocratic, soulless beast known as Germany, and their various client states in Europe. I see the end of the kind of nightmarish and violent white nationalism in Eastern Europe, which seems to worryingly resort to it for any and all traumas that it might go through. Indeed, I see the end of privileged white society to such an extent that I truly do foresee it soon being referred to in generations to come as the primary source of oppression for the overwhelming majority of humanity for over six centuries.

As a colonized person of color, it’s an extraordinary feeling of liberation to have coursing through my veins.

And course through it does.

I can taste that feeling of liberation. I can smell it. I can sense it in my mind, my heart, indeed, in my soul. The earthen-skinned goddess of liberation is trembling with ferocious indignation.

(And she’s a little scary, let me tell you.)

For I do believe we are on the cusp of a glorious evolution towards a new epoch where we are closer to equality, real equality, towards the true liberation of all, where we share and share alike, where we all live in communion with each other and our non-human family.

Now, I desperately hope this evolution will be non-violent.

The problem is that there is one inviolable truth to this evolution in humanity happening.

White privilege must end.

Just as patriarchy and misogyny must end. Just as capitalism and imperialism must end. Just as religious fundamentalism and nationalism must end.

Privileged white society has to come crumbling down.

I know all the defensive tropes that can and will be raised to counter the sentiments and sensibilities of this piece. I actually couldn’t care less about them because of one undeniable fact:

One section of humanity cannot consume many times more than the overwhelming majority of the rest, having actively brutalized and exploited from the rest of the world without also realizing that for true equality, for the real liberation of all of humanity, that very same society that consumes so much at the expense of so many must end. The consumption must end. The privilege must end.

The party is over people.

Yes, even for white liberals and lefties who voted for Obama but still wallow in white privilege like its divine right.

The resources need to be shared and shared alike – with the rest of the fucking world, with all of humanity in harmony with the earth.

This is not a wish.

It is a natural fact.

Make no mistake, there are going to be sections of that privileged white society who, deep down will admit, are not going to want to share and share alike. Large sections. The Fox News crowd is large, and they will soon be joined by the CNN crowd, eventually maybe even the MSNBC crowd and the indy media crowd. The right wing, the liberals, the slightly whinier liberals, even those who call themselves leftists – how many, white or otherwise, across the Western world will actually give up their privilege to share and share alike with the rest of the world?

The answer could be quite sobering.

Because the vast majority, a right royal hefty chunk of privileged white society will organize themselves into protecting their privilege. They will likely do this by reverting back to the insecure rationalizations of their power, by further upholding their unholy belief in oppressive nation-states and corporations, and by retreating into sterile comfort zones of privileged fear (picture hordes of insecure, ageing hipsters huddled behind suburban walls, festooned with the flags and bouquets of vapid white pop culture, while being guarded by brutal state mercenaries itching to kill brown people – with everyone involved knowing that there are only so many you can kill before the natural harmony of equality and liberation is restored.)

If they slip back to that soulless garbage, that’s going to be a problem. Because eventually privileged white folk will have to realize (as must we all, cis men, the elites of the colonized lands and more – we must all realize…) that there’s a choice in life:

Choice # 1: liberate ourselves together, share and share alike, and understand that our liberation is inconceivable without the liberation of all.

Or

Choice # 2: fall into insularity, oppression, bigotry, whining insecurity, and vain attempts at hoarding one’s privilege when we all know that, sooner or later, nature takes its course.

Nature is all about true freedom, true liberation, and true equality.

Indeed, nature is all about true balance.

And humanity is a force of nature too.

You see, there is a fear within privileged white society that has been fostered by racism and exploitation over many centuries. It is a fear that was ingrained, nay, interred into privileged white society from the day it was born. It is a fear in them that makes me think that a large section of privileged white society will end up inciting even greater violence around the world than it already has, along with its running dogs of religious fundamentalism and patriarchy.

For there is one thing that all those who benefit from privileged white society, whether they’re white or not, fear about the world that makes me realize that white privilege, imperialism, settler-colonialism, Eurocentrism, and racism will either crumble (or be smashed) into the ground.

There are more of the colonized than there are of the colonizer.

Way more.

Way, way more.

By the very definition that privileged white society consumes so much more than the rest of the world combined, over many centuries of colonialism and imperialism, has resulted in one inviolable fact.

Those who consume little be many. The overwhelming majority of those folk are colonized people of color.

Those who consume lots be few. The overwhelming majority of those folk are privileged white people.

Check the numbers if you don’t believe me. Check how much the West consumes compared to the rest of the world, even when the rest of the world includes big, brutal, sub-imperialist powers like China and India. Put it in actual per-capita numbers (you know, if you believe that all human lives are of equal worth and all.)

Indeed, that duality can be rephrased:

Those who need privileged white society to end be many.

Those who need privileged white society to continue be few.

I don’t say this in a threatening way. This evolution in humanity is going to have moments of violence and trauma that we must always do our best to avoid. This is not, nor can it ever be, about violence or retribution.

It’s just fact.

There are always going to be more of the colonized than there are of the colonizer.

And the barriers, the borders, the nationalism, the military might, the state mercenaries, the criminalization, the prison systems, the imperialist wars, the comprador scum, all the privilege that is derived from consuming ten times more than the rest of the world, all of that cannot hold back the long march of time.

And time is on the side of the colonized.

The oil will end. Economies will crash. Ever-increasing numbers of clownish demagogues will come to the fore. You cannot keep consuming and not expect something to come back to bite you in the ass.

And while I don’t believe that white privilege, racism, colonialism, or Eurocentrism will end in my lifetime in terms of a major shift towards greater equality and liberation for all of humanity; I do know it will happen. Indeed, I don’t have to see this liberation in my lifetime, or in this material world, for me to believe in it and be happy about it.

Because I see its beginning.

And I go to bed at night thanking all the goddesses of the universe for not being born white.

The damage done to the souls of men and white people

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One of the reasons I am a fan of Fanon, is because he dared us to examine the heart of the colonial beast from the brilliantly liberating vantage point of it’s diseased center.

His writings breathed fire. They were powerfully anti-colonial and anti-Eurocentric. No doubt, like any other man, they were also mired in his gender oppressiveness. But he nevertheless helped me understand oppression in a very liberating way. I realized that understanding the damage done to the souls of oppressors was a far more empowering way to engage with the myriad forms of oppression in and around me.

Now, we can further complicate this shit, but I don’t think I have the literary skill or temperament to hold your attention for that long. So for now, I’m going to limit myself to two particularly well-known global demographics – men and white people – both groups of whom, it can safely be said, benefit from the overwhelming majority of oppression on our good green earth. Yes, yes, in varying degrees when we complicate it with class and nationality and yadda, yadda. But wherever you go on this earth, men have it better than other genders – at least in their own local communities and societies – and white people have it better than damn near everyone else on the fucking planet. (Holy crapola did that European settler colonialism work wonders for the melanin-deficient.)

Now, I say that we gain spiritual strength over our oppressors (inside and out) by understanding the damage done to the souls of those oppressors. And in the global north, i.e. the privileged-ass Western world, this means understanding the damage done to the souls of men and white people.

(And I daresay that would be the case in any other part of the earth as well.)

The reason I think it is empowering for me to think of oppression in this way is because it both humbles and strengthens me at the same time.

It humbles me because I realize that even beyond what oppression does to our bodies, our minds, and our social environments – it is at our deepest, most soulful level that oppression is fought.

It strengthens me because I realize that no matter how violently and/or silently oppression might manifest in our daily lives, those who reap the benefits of it cannot hide from the damage it does to their souls.

And that’s a comforting mixture of truth, justice, and that little bit of whacky to help you sleep at night.

Sadly, Trump’s misogyny is commonplace in a rape culture society

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When I inexplicably found myself back in grad school for the second time in my life, during a slightly lonely period in my late twenties, I used to hang out with the “dudes” of my department. These hang-outs were usually drunken, come-to-think-of-it-rather-trite-and-banal, shindigs.

When the hang outs were all guys, sexism in the form of humor was an oft used lingua franca among many of them. Unfortunately they tended to be the loudest and dominated the proceedings. Since this was a progressive social science department, all the guys had taken different feminist theory classes during their grad and undergrad years. Indeed, the most disgustingly misogynistic of the lot apparently even minored in women and gender studies at UCLA, his previous alma mater.

(Just goes to show that ivory tower credentials are highly unreliable in determining good human beings.)

In more than one party, this misogyny masked as ribald humor would rear it’s ugly head. Indeed, the stuff that came out of the UCLA-graduated head misogynist’s mouth was no less than the vileness that has been revealed to come out of Trump’s mouth. And it was all laughed at and seen as fun by the rest of the guys in that group.

All I did at the time was numb my loneliness with booze, as folks guffawed to the drunken ramblings of some white, self-identifying Marxist’s lewd misogyny, heartily egged on by his drinking buddy – a white, Anarchist dude who identified as a very public feminist. (If there’s one thing socialist and anarchist dudes seem to find congruence on, it’s male privilege).

The group also happened to be a really white and heteronormative group. Me and a buddy of mine were the only men of color (and I was, as far as I could tell, the only queer man).

I don’t say this to make some vague point about intersecting forms of oppression.

I say this to undo the shame I feel to this day of not doing a damn thing to intervene – cowering behind the excuse that I didn’t feel safe enough to do so. When in all honesty, I would have been fine. I could have told them off, walked away (and almost certainly have been far happier and healthier for it). I could have even tried to counter it with humor or sarcasm or just done something. For a variety of reasons, I preferred cowardice at the time.

But as I sat there wallowing in my misery, I did make particular note of this feeling that churned inside me, a rather sickening feeling.

There is a particular insidiousness to misogyny when it comes from men of the more entitled sections of society. Because there’s greater social and cultural power behind the words. Whether it’s white men in America or upper caste Hindu men in India or men from the majoritarian sections of society wherever the fuck their miserable selves may exist – rape culture is held up, among other ways, by majoritarian male power and control.

And glued together by the silence and willful ignorance of others.

Now Trump’s misogyny seems to know no bounds – be it his braggadocio in committing rape and sexual assault or his despicable sexualization of his own daughter on, of course, the Howard Stern show – Trump is human refuse. But he is not human refuse in a vacuum. He emerged, or rather was hellishly spawned, out of a society steeped in rape culture.

Indeed, one of the most troubling things about the revelations of his violently sexist conversations is not really being addressed by the media – maybe because it poses far more difficult questions for us as members of this society.

Trump-style misogyny is far more commonplace than we might think.