29 05 2008

I imagine that my rather large female reader base is going to read the first three or sentences of this article, get incredibly angry, stop reading, and start sending me a bunch of angry emails that I will, to return the favor, also not read. But I’m doing it anyway. Fuck it.

My Conoy background has given me a perspective on gender issues that usually enrages traditional western feminists despite it being one that I believe would give women far more power than the standard notion of ‘gender equality’.

Figure 1: Typical feminist, five seconds after I’ve started talking

In the old days before white people came and fucked everything up, only Conoy men served as Werowance and Tayac*. Only men were the soldiers and the builders. Only men could serve on the governing councils. Women were sent away from the villages during their Moon** because of the cosmic power it represented (kind of a “we’re not worthy” thing). In the household, a man’s word was final.

On the flip side, women didn’t have the same TYPE of power as men – but they had power that was arguably equal to or even greater than that of men. Clan Mothers could have a Werowance executed as long as she could prove he was fucking up (if the U.S. was Conoy-run, Nancy Pelosi could’ve had George Bush killed years ago). Women were responsible not just for cooking, but for the land itself. It was the women (and children) that handled the entire planting cycle from seed to harvest and, though there was no concept of land ownership, land was considered to ‘belong’ to women. Inheritance was matrilineal. When a man and woman married, the man and the children became part of the woman’s clan and moved into the woman’s lodge, rather than the other way around. If a woman wanted a divorce, she grabbed up all her husband’s shit and tossed it out of the lodge…and this constituted a formal divorce.

Figure 2: Intimidating, yes. But a woman owns his nuts, I promise.

Unfortunately, this Indian brand of assigning gender roles would never work in the modern world because, at its core, it’s a system of checks and balances between men and women with roles assigned according to natural predispositions (men are naturally aggressive and outwardly dominant, women are naturally nurturing and inwardly dominant). Men had power over the world, but women had power over the men. Hyperindustrialized economies, unfortunately, render this system moot because gender is no longer a parameter in the socio-economic equation (except when it comes to prejudice).

In my view, western feminism has done a disservice to women because it’s actually eroded their real power over men. This is because western feminism is essentially based on the idea of turning women socially and economically into men***. The result of this has been very empowering for women (or so it would seem), but it’s come at the cost of removing co-dependence between men and women which, from a macro-societal standpoint, is a bad thing. Women don’t ‘need’ men anymore, per se – but now the men don’t ‘need’ women either. With men and women adopting the same socio-economic roles, the need (and power) that men and women have for (and over) one another has been degraded to a purely sexual one.

This is why chivalry is dead. This is why we always have to listen to stupid ass men accusing empowered women of “penis envy” and why we always have to listen to stupid ass women asserting their power over men with the “we have the vagina, and we know you want it” argument.

Figure 3: The current state of Chivalry…

Of course, I could direct my anger at industrialized economies rather than feminism, but I choose to attack feminism because its founders chose the first (and lower) of the two roads the ideology could have adopted:

  1. Empower women by adopting the boorish and aggressive qualities of men
  2. Empower women by making men adopt the more reserved and genteel (but not feminine) qualities of women

Both options are fairly unnatural, but I get the feeling that if feminists had pursued option 2, both girls and guys would be a whole lot happier. The ladies could’ve made it happen, too. After all, they have the vagina and yes, we do want it.

Instead they chose option 1, and how very sad it is to see that choice reduce men and women to mere baby makers in the eyes of one another.

*Werowance = Chief. Tayac = Chief of Chiefs
**Menstrual cycle
***I am not a feminist scholar, and am not well versed in what feminism is theoretically based on. I don’t give a shit about theory – I’m basing this claim instead on what I’ve seen and heard from actual feminists in day-to-day life