Tuesday, December 28, 2010

On feminist collaboration with the state

As a veteran of the Watergate era, which I obsessively studied as a young pup, I am so deeply cynical and skeptical of our government, that I initially did not even believe these alleged rape-victims of Julian Assange truly existed. I am still profoundly skeptical, until I see an interview with Barbara Walters or equivalent. (I'll settle for a big blue dot over their faces, as was necessary for Patricia Bowman.)

As I have written before: Deja Vu all over again. The disintegration of the leftist/liberal coalition is in full swing. Obama is a one-termer, as was Jimmy Carter. History repeats itself, almost to the letter, but I can't quite figure out if this is the tragedy or the farce?

When I get confused, I flash back to 1979 and the disintegration of the 70s coalition. And then, it all makes sense.

Feminism was wild, woolly, crazy, brash, overbearing. The refrain was: I am woman, hear me ROAR. Not purr. Not blink our waterproofed-mascaraed eyes and meow nicely. ROAR. As the 80s dawned and Reaganism took over, roaring not only rated patriarchal punishment, but outright banishment. Get with the program, bitches, was the new refrain. 70s feminism became an embarrassment to the new careerist women of the 80s, who bleated incessantly, I'm a feminist but I love men! I love men! I don't hate men! I'm a feminist, but... and then finally FEMINISM as a term, as a philosophy, as a politics, was banished, too.

And something happened.

This phenomenon was first controversially chronicled by a woman I have since been told is "anti-feminist"--which is odd, since she was one of the few women who seemed to understand what the hell was going on. I refer to Katie Roiphe.

From The Morning After: Sex, Fear and Feminism by Katie Roiphe:

The image that emerges from feminist preoccupations with rape and sexual harassment is that of women as victims, offended by a professor's dirty joke, verbally pressured into sex by peers. This image of a delicate woman bears a striking resemblance to that fifties ideal my mother and the other women of her generation fought so hard to get away from. They didn't like her passivity, her wide-eyed innocence. They didn't like the fact that she was perpetually offended by sexual innuendo. They didn't like her excessive need for protection. She represented personal, social and psychological possibilities collapsed, and they worked and marched, shouted and wrote, to make her irrelevant for their daughters. But here she is again, with her pure intentions and her wide eyes. Only this time it is feminists themselves who are breathing new life into her.
Self-described feminists ran to the state, to the patriarchy itself, to local police forces and courts that had never given a shit about women, to punish other men. Without apology. In fact, quite proudly. No political equivocations or similar excuses were given, i.e. we need mean guys to police other mean guys. Battered-women's shelters became beneficent arms of the therapeutic culture; police were suddenly seen as the good guys, keeping an eye on those other dangerous, brutal men. (The most horrific suffering in these situations came from battered women married to police officers, since those particular men had easy access to locations of safe-houses.) Radical volunteers at these shelters, even women who had initially organized them (such as Sue Urbas, R.I.P.) were suddenly persona non grata in the places they had started themselves. The experts and the social workers, acting as arms of the state, stepped in. (You can almost hear John Wayne: We'll take over now, little lady.) And they did. By the end of the 80s, they were in the process of doing the same thing to Alcoholics Anonymous and various other self-help organizations. The state, massive apparatus that it is, does not take well to being left out. And men, in particular, were NOT going to be left out of the project, any project.

By 1999 and the advent of LAW AND ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT, the whole concept was solidified. The law is Our Friend. The state will bring sympathetic justice to raped women. We can trust them. This pro-state, pro-government propaganda has never abated.

If you grew up during that time, you don't know any different. You believe the government is there to help women. You do not believe that the government has its own agenda regarding feminism and women. If you say such things to young women, they will furrow their brows: but there are women police officers, they say. (Mariska Hargitay is popular for a reason, you know.) The concept of the state as an agent of repression, is utterly foreign to them. To say otherwise renders you some kind of lefty/anarchist nut, or worse, a conspiracy theorist. Not a realist.

As a result, the entire invasion of Afghanistan was given a properly feminist spin: Women are being abused by the Taliban! Of course, we must invade. Mavis Leno and other billionaire Hollywood feminists unabashedly called for military intervention.


To review: The US government is a repressive, carnivorous force.

Ask the women of: Japan, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Angola, Nicaragua, Panama, Grenada, Iraq and Afghanistan. (I'm sure I'm missing a few interventions; how could we possibly keep track of them all?) And that is only a half-century's worth of military meddling. As I have written here before, the US government has had its fingers in the business of so many countries, only God knows the extent of it. And by giving our blessing to the state, by running to the state to settle our conflicts and making sure Mariska Hargitay and company have jobs and plenty of work to do, we collaborate. As US residents, we can't help some collaboration (if you don't pay the IRS and fund their wars, they will put you in jail for tax evasion), but other, more insidious forms of collaboration CAN be directly avoided.

Yes, the word for today is COLLABORATION.

The feminists who are currently mouthing well-intentioned variations of: Yes, we know Julian Assange has a big red target on his back placed there by the US government for exposing war crimes against unnamed dark women in Asia with (waving impatiently) smart bombs and stuff, but we must hear out the complaints of these (Daisy first believed nonexistent) Swedish white women who are accusing him, because, well... what would Mariska Hargitay do? What have we been TAUGHT to do?

Listen to the women!

Well, I do listen to women. I listen to the victims of US repression and violence. I listen to the victims of rape in other countries, women who claim their country and governments have been totally destroyed by an advanced, high-tech military campaign financed by MY money, MY government, without MY consent. Have you written about that, American feminists? Have you denounced war, made in your name? Have you profiled THOSE rape victims? Have you believed those victims and made them the centerpiece of your political campaigns? And why haven't you?

Certain feminists have actually written more about Michael Moore declaring the rape allegations are "hooey" --than they have against the war(s) and US imperialism against the unnamed dark women of the world, which is certainly NOT hooey. They seem far more upset over Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann saying predictable and stupid guy-shit on TV, than they are about the wholesale rape and assault of entire fucking countries. Because you know, American feminists should have the right to watch TV without being offended! (Since when?) The fact that these feminists are going after two erstwhile progressives, is pretty gross. Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly trash women and feminism every single day, but somehow, that isn't quite as upsetting.

This disgusting state of affairs has made DEAD AIR almost too nauseated to continue. And then, yes, dear readers, Daisy rallied.

What made me rally? I saw a picture. I decided to share it here. The photo above is of one Dorothy Wetzel Hunt.

Speaking of conspiracy theories, does anyone remember Dorothy Hunt, the wife of E. Howard Hunt?

Dorothy Hunt died. Dorothy Hunt was expendable. Just like all those women in Afghanistan are considered expendable. And the women of all the countries I listed above, were also expendable. American women deserve to live in comfort, and goddamn anybody, male or female, Michael Moore or Dorothy Hunt, who stand in the way.

I can only remember one feminist, Robin Morgan, mentioning Dorothy in a poem. Period. No other feminists gave a shit. She was probably a Republican, after all. No question, she was a CIA agent:
Just before Hunt boarded the aircraft she purchased $250,000 in flight insurance payable to E. Howard Hunt. In his book Undercover (1974), Hunt claims he was unaware that his wife planned to do this. In the book he also tried to explain what his wife was doing with $10,000 in her purse. According to Hunt it was money to be invested with Hal Carlstead in "two already-built Holiday Inns in the Chicago area".

Nixon administration figure Chuck Colson told TIME magazine that "I don't say this to my people. They'd think I'm nuts. I think they [the CIA] killed Dorothy Hunt."[2]Also killed in the December 1972 plane crash was CBS News Correspondent Michele Clark and Illinois Congressman George W. Collins.

"This was probably the most investigated airplane crash in history" said Deputy Cook County Coroner John Haigh. [3] National Transportation Safety Board ruled it to be pilot error.
Sure it was. (Holiday Inns! Ohhh, that is perfect.)

And how thoughtful of Dorothy to purchase all that life insurance just in the nick of time to pay her husband's lawyers! What a nice lady.

I have often imagined how Dorothy felt, boarding that plane and suddenly GETTING IT. What was it was like to know you had that giant red target on your back (the same one now on Julian's back) placed there by the US government? This was the entity she had worked for, sacrificed for, and thoroughly believed in. A lot like The Mafia. It's your life, and then, finally, it is your death.

And so, I write this for Dorothy Hunt. We will never know the truth about your death, Dorothy. And I apologize for all the feminists who didn't bother to investigate. Mariska Hargitay-on-the-trail does not apply to everyone.

This is for all the feminists who believed in ((cough)) "pilot error"; all the feminists who shrugged because you had the wrong politics and the wrong husband.

Similarly, we see that liberal white US feminists are currently picking and choosing which victims are more important than others. Millions of victims of US carnage should rightly rate a few more blog posts than Michael Moore acting like Michael Moore, you know?

My question to all of you is: why haven't they?

As I said, I am profoundly skeptical. I see the hundreds of probably-astroturfed blog post replies with all of the not-linked commenters predictably stating RIGHT ON, we are glad you are standing up to Assange the bully-rapist! How many of these posts are by government plants or right-wing apologists? Are you absolutely certain you are pursuing the right course of action? Do you see that you are (coincidentally!) weakening the individual who has exposed the war crimes of the government? Do these war crimes bother you at all; have you READ the Wikileaks documents? Women's bodies are littered throughout. Do you care about them? (And if you do, why have you not written about them and said so?) Julian's organization, Wikileaks, has exposed horrific war crimes. Why are you going after him, with the blessings of your repressive government? Is your attack on Julian ultimately going to endear you to the women of the world, women unfortunate to have been born on the wrong side, women who have been left without running water and whose children have been blown up?

Oh, please.

They are using you.

And they will continue to use you with aplomb and make sure you get lots of attention, blog links and air time. They will flatter your ego and put you on radio and TV. In fact, you can work for the government right up until the moment of your elimination, when you are no longer useful. Ask Dorothy. Ask her as she was standing at that airline desk, her heart pounding, purchasing all that life insurance.

I'm sure Julian has purchased his.