Thursday, January 29, 2015

On Equality

You'd be surprised, unless you're a vocal feminist as well, at the amount of people who accuse me of wanting to replace the current patriarchy with a matriarchy - of wanting to switch things so that women have all the power and privilege and men are the oppressed ones, instead of desiring "equality."

And I don't want "equality." I don't want women to have everything that men currently have, because men have power and privileges that they shouldn't have. I don't want a toxic urge to cling to shitty, harmful gender roles. I don't want to feel like my worth is only equal to the amount of money and power I can acquire. I don't want to feel like I need to commit violence or conquer by violence to prove that I'm worthy of existing. Fuck that noise.

And considering the current state of things, equality is basically impossible. Even if we took away power from men and somehow found a way to distribute it evenly among all genders, it's still not equal. Because we humans have a long history of gender-based oppression across many different cultures, and that history informs the way we think of gender and the way we make judgments about people and the way we view power and what makes one worthwhile and everything everything everything the way we view everything, is all informed by our history and the social norms that are passed on along generations.

You can't just take a bullhorn and scream "THINK OF ALL GENDERS AS BEING EQUAL" and expect that people will do it. Even if everybody tries, the brain just doesn't work that way.

So what will we need to achieve "equality" then? Should we even out history? Maybe a couple thousand years of oppression for men and power for women so that everyone knows how the other feels? How many thousands of years do non-binary genders get in power? I mean, if we're talking about equality, then we need to even the playing field. It's only fair, right?

Sounds to me like the people droning on about "equality" want a matriarchy.

Equality isn't simple. It's not something that can be achieved with public service announcements and good vibes. I don't want equality, and I don't want to switch places with men. I want radical change in how we think of gender. I want people to question what is masculine and what is feminine, and I want the world to actually be aware of and accept the fact that you can be both, neither, or something else entirely, or switch from one to another. I want people to question the very idea of power and why one type of person should ever have it, whether any one person should ever have power over another, and what that means. I want people to deconstruct every social norm they've taken for granted and come to realize that there's no real reason for them to exist.

I want people to consider the gender they were assigned at birth and whether it really works for them. Whether they only went along with it because they didn't realize there's another way.

I want to watch the patriarchy collapse like a bad idea under this mass scrutiny. Then, and only then, can we even think about equality.

What is equality? What does that look like? I've never seen it before.

And that's just for gender. We have to do the same for race, sexual orientation, ability, weight, etc. It's going to take a very long time. Which is one reason I don't really even use the word. I don't expect to see anything close to it in my lifetime. I'm just trying to lay the groundwork.

So to sum up, don't even talk to me about "equality" unless you've done your own work and put careful consideration into everything I've mentioned. And I'll be able to tell if you haven't.

No comments: