Maleness seems to have this ‘thing’ about blood, blood and yet more blood– so much so that I think that the Freudian concept of penis-envy is actually a male admission-by-dissociation of the real problem, which is Menstruation/Pregnancy Envy, big-time. When one gets down to it, there is all kinds of stuff in the historical record about men piercing/cutting their penises in imitation of female bleeding. Subincision (which later morphed into the milder form of circumcision) split the penis open lengthwise so that it looked more like labia, and the men who did this to themselves also made themselves ‘bleed like women’ by reinjuring themselves on a monthly basis. Mayan kings– whose bloodletting was supposed to keep the world running– made their ’special blood’ available by (you guessed it) lancing their penises. The men of Native American tribes who performed the Sun Dance (where they inserted leather-tethered eagle-bone spikes through their pectoral muscles and danced until they ripped loose) repeatedly told historiographers that they did so ‘in order to show the same courage as a woman who sheds blood to give birth’. Of course, when you have lard-assed white men writing the history books, they all blatantly ignore the endless parade of maleness through the centuries trying to coopt female menses/birthgiving through everything from couvade and penile mutilation to crossdressing in what are essentially ‘priestess/shamaness robes’ the world over in order to assume religious/political status. That most famous of ancient garments, the Roman ’senatorial’ toga, was originally a form of female dress, the red-dyed hem indicating a menstruating Mother.
As far as I am concerned, the crucifixion is just another blood sacrifice fixated on by men who were/are pissed off because they can’t menstruate. Xtianity as it is practiced today focuses on the human (+deity) sacrifice of Jesus as the centerpiece of the religion– i.e., humanity has to be saved by a male shedding blood, while women’s natural menses are turned into the untimate taboo substance, presumably so males sticking their pee-pees with thorns and sting-ray spines and nailing each other to crosses won’t look like the life-denying idiots they are.
1. War is a three-part mix of Menstruation Envy, mass male psychosis, and armed robbery perpetrated by rich men who want more of whatever it is they already have to excess. ‘Smaller’ acts of violence just involve fewer victims.
2. Rape is a political con-game perpetrated by men against women to ensure that women are kept in a supporting, subservient role to men; i.e., women need ‘good men’ (husbands, cops, judges) to ‘defend them’ against the predations of ‘bad men’ (rapists, batterers) and therefore there is a strong conflict of interest set up when men judge other men, as the ‘good men’ require the ‘bad men’ as the reason for their special status. This is in a nutshell why rapists will always be around as long as men wield the bulk of political power.
I read a creative, though idiotic, defense of transwomen being in woman-only space today*: that feminists should admit transwomen into female-only space because they have nobly sacrificed their penises for the anti-patriarchal Cause, either by having them surgically removed or pretending they don’t exist. Anybody who sacrifices the penis should be viewed as a hero, man, don’t you get that? Where is our fuckin’ monument?
Because, you know, it’s the penis that is the issue here! There’s the culprit! If somebody was raped, or incested, or flashed, or the penis accommodated the moving of ejaculate from the epididymus onto, say, the body of a woman passenger napping on her airline flight, or something like that, well, that’s the penis’s fault. Charge the penis! The man was innocent!
Boys, boys, boys. The women’s court has convened, we have taken up your claims against the penis briefly — sorry, but briefly was all they deserved — and we have found the penis not guilty. There is nothing valorous, honorable, noble or useful, helpful or pro-feminist about cutting off your penis or pretending it isn’t there anymore. Cutting the thing off, or pretending it doesn’t exist, can’t change a thing, can’t solve a thing. A penis is just flesh– skin, fat, tissue. The penis never does it. It’s the man. The man always does whatever he does with his penis, and always enjoys the benefits of what other men do with their penises. And cutting off any given penis never changes that.
Which is what we have been saying to you, you see, for decades now. You can cut the penis off of the man, you can pretend it isn’t there, but the male experiences, male reality, years of walking around in the world as a male, remain. This latter you can never cut off or pretend away, I don’t care what instrument or hormone or technique you find or invent or use or how fine an imagination you have. And those are the experiences and realities we don’t want the embodiments of in our female-only spaces.
The defense of woman-only space is not a condemnation of the penis. A penis is just a body part, neutral, not, by itself, a problem. Woman-only space is about creating a new world in which the havoc and destruction wrought on women by those who possess penises is not a factor, is not an issue. Men get in the way of that work because they don’t get that. They can’t. And they never will–with or without a penis.
As importantly, I think the reasons men sacrifice their penises — whether actually or figuratively — have to do, not with any sort of noblesse oblige, but with the impulses and envies described in Akkari’s insightful commentary there. It’s just that we live in an age in which men have been able to devote their lives — and our money — to providing themselves with mechanisms by way of which their every last bodily fancy, fantasy, wish, resentment, envy and impulse can be surgically, medicinally, or pharmaceutically addressed, then christened with names and descriptive adjectives designed to silence female challenges and to obscure the similarity of all the ways these new and improved surgical and pharamaceutical rites mimic the ancient and traditional male rites Akkari describes above.
The author of this article has one more creative, though idiotic, idea. He (or she) suggests that if we really wanted to be taken seriously, as feminists, what we ought to do is hop to and make men raping other men in prison our number one priority, together with devoting our attentions to determining when an act is homosexual prison rape and when it’s actually gay male sex in prison. Oh, absolutely. We’ll get right on that. Let’s make that our number one action item. It is something we, as females, have to deal with all the time.
I think Akkari covers this superbly in one of her bullet points up there. What she says deserves to be read, and re-read, carefully:
“Rape is, … a political con-game perpetrated by men against women to ensure that women are kept in a supporting, subservient role to men; i.e., women need ‘good men’ (husbands, cops, judges) to ‘defend them’ against the predations of ‘bad men’ (rapists, batterers) and therefore there is a strong conflict of interest set up when men judge other men, as the ‘good men’ require the ‘bad men’ as the reason for their special status. This is in a nutshell why rapists will always be around as long as men wield the bulk of political power.
Rape — of whatever kind, including male rape in prison — will end when the rule of males over all the earth ends. At the end of male power is a rape-less society, whether it is women men are raping or men men are raping, girls or boys, because, as we all know, it is men, not women, who rape. So you’ll excuse us, as feminists, while we apply ourselves to ending the rule of males in the earth. We prefer to deal with root causes, yanno, not these endless symptoms and the overall rottenness which is the evidence of late-stage, invasive, systemic disease.
In the same way, we occasionally prefer to address the issue of male dominance, male violence, male oppression of females, in the absence of those born male. It’s not about women born women being the “default” (and therefore “privileged”) women’s experience. It’s about being female and finding ways to survive, heal, thrive and rebuild after having to spend our lives under the rule of men, those people who have used their penises to hurt us. Whether someone kept his penis or cut it off is of no concern to us. What’s of concern to us, in woman-only space, is that those in attendance are those who have not enjoyed any of the benefits or experienced any of the consequences of having a penis– something all who have ever had a penis have experienced, something those of us who have never had a penis know nothing of, or about.
(*Via a link posted at Amp’s as part of Amp’s ongoing attack on feminist women. As one of Amp’s commenters asked the other day, in response to one of Amp’s posts, “Is this Amp, or Daran?” And no offense to this commenter, whom I appreciate, but I haven’t been noticing any substantive difference between the views of Amp or Daran, a men’s rights activist, in quite some time).