I'd better add a bit of context. CUP published a title called War and Gender
by Joshua Goldstein in 2001 -- the book argues that war is not natural for
either gender and that conditioning is largely responsible (with perhaps a
hint of testosterone) for the massive presence of men in warfare throughout
The title also shows how well women fight when they do. What surprised me in
considering this is why the power base had been constructed in this way -- I
concluded that women largely -wanted- men to fight (was this a vicarious
form of domination?) and actively condition men towards a state of war and
militarism. Of course gender preferencing for men is not without its male
determinants, but a great deal of male expectation is derived from women and
both genders have contributed to the current state of Western civilisation.
We saw a wonderful example of this last year with a Palestinian woman
celebrating the martyrdom of one of her sons in the war against Israel. I
suppose in an idle moment it crossed my mind that women may have chosen and
conditioned men to oppress them. Why else wouldn't women have fought against
men and dominated them? There are of course examples of such societies and
it is entirely credible that women can be as warlike as men and can succeed
in oppressing men. Why choose this?
It made me wonder about feminist complicity in the capitalist and colonial
system -- perhaps the power really did lie with women who drove men to
exploit themselves and the earth's resources. I could never understand why
women would want equality within that system, rather than elect to create an
alternative system? Who stopped women from bearing arms and killing their
oppressors or from starting their own society? So in terms of being
apathetic, I guess not -- there must have been active complicity in electing
for a means of oppression.
> From: Liz Kirby <[log in to unmask]>
> Reply-To: Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and
> poetics <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 13:15:53 +0000
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: "form"
> do we look apathetic??
>> From: Chris Emery <[log in to unmask]>
>> Date: 2003/01/08 Wed AM 09:28:07 GMT
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: Re: "form"
>> A couple of questions on this thread . . .
>> What do folk think about why did women allow themselves to be
>> suppressed? And why did/do they allow societies to continuously oppress
>> them? Is there a flaw in feminist resistance and attack? Is there a
>> feminist apathy in the face of male oppression?