Internet Radical Feminism and Brain Ache.
My head has been completely screwed up for the past weeks. I’ve just finished school, my final capstone, and have basically spent this past month buried in overwhelming stress, pimples, PMS, and family drama. My parents are having their fallout and my mother is finally starting to recognize my father’s 18 years of abuse, while my father just pretends to be nice now. All the while I am witnessing my friend go through ridiculous self-destruction of the family and being a muslim wife and mother. Meanwhile, calling that happiness. Yes being pregnant all the time, not having a house, already having 2 children, and being forced into long amounts of labour.
But since yesterday I have finally been able to sit down and feel a little relief.
But here is the problem.
I feel like I’ve grown this huge gap between my radical feminist self and the surface me. For too long I’ve been experiencing the surface. Men’s eyes, men’s lies, men’s institutions, men’s entertainment, men’s judgement. Which in itself is incredibly stressful. I feel that I’ve been unwillingly forced into performing for the males around me and feel I have been becoming closer in bondage to males. I’ve had terrible visions of males that I despise and weird things in common with them that make me uncomfortable. I feel like I’ve been putting on an entire show for the male authorities around me and at the same time my internal self has obviously been sabotaging my success in the real world.
Truthfully, much of my success is based off of ability to please a bunch of male professors, employers, fathers, partners, and relatives. I know how to act very fake, but the radical feminist inside of me hates this and resists it. So I spend much of my days feeling like I am being ripped in half inside, and having to quickly decide which half to take. Which is incredibly stressful. I feel that I secretly have been internalizing so many patriarchal beliefs and have been unable to recognize them because of all the labor I’ve been doing.
I’ve been saying stupid things lately online that I myself don’t even agree with and am shocked that I have said which are anti-radical feminist. This also worries me. My relationships with other women are superficial and based on me giving them what they want to hear, supporting them in everyday matters, conversating about “normal” topics in a surface skimming honesty, and hiding my radical feminist views and my forming lesbian identity.
For example, I talk to my friend about family issues, my father’s abuse of my mother, but I never talk about how this relates back to my understanding that all husbands do this to their wives and that the marriage and the family are oppressive institutions themselves that are culturally enforced. And that men need the family for the continuation of patrilineal descent, or to continue the male race. The conversations never go deep enough to this. Only at a point to unleash emotions but stay in the realm of het-identified non-feminist women’s comfortability. Which means I sacrifice my true self to please others constantly, meaning I have no honest relationships. Which is a miserable way to live that no counselor or therapist could ever help.
Whenever I show the least hint about what I truly believe or my obvious nature is shown I am teased, reprimanded, or made to be aware that I am making others uncomfortable. For example, I can’t shave my underarms, I won’t shave my underarms, because I’m not interested in fitting into a paedophiliac male beauty standard, or mutilating myself. So I step outside with a tank top, mid-length shorts and Keds, and have to listen to my piers and so called-friends feel that they entitled to bully and try to make me aware of my “disgustingness”. They justify this because they have been taught that this bullying is a “normal” reaction. But it’s nothing but a sick entitlement that people feel the right to do to me because women are a subordinate group. It’s a double standard for sure and not a preference. There’s no way that I would ever go around laughing and pointing out how ridiculous other women look with makeup plastered all over their faces, or how i am completely disgusted by men tackling women in public. No that would make me a “hater”. If I did that I would suffer a severe and violent reaction from others. If I were to critique other’s ways of life I would be dogged and attacked, but people sure can walk all over the black radical feminist dyke.
So that’s how I am in life. Patriarchy is this giant sphere with everyone running in it like hampsters trying to power the male turbine, while mean while I’m not only outside of this sphere I call the world, but I’m directly under it being constantly crushed and ran over by it. And they feel no remorse.
By they, I am referring to women, because men aren’t really in that sphere, men are the one’s benefiting from the sphere, drinking the nice water that turbine generates. Since men don’t talk to me, I rarely have to deal with them relationship wise. Mainly because men aren’t interested in relationships, and are incapable of maintaining them,unless you are offering something they can take like sex, money, or resources I have little interaction with them.
The problem is my female “friends” are unsupportive and don’t seem to understand my deep internal conflict. My problem is focus and distractions. And I feel everything that doesn’t have to do with loving, liberating, and identifying with other women is a distraction. Which is my world when I step outside. Not to mention my family is like we are standing on ice breaking and shifting in the Arctic. I’m about to be the polar bear that’s left mid out in the water because our division doesn’t seem to hold any ground for me.
My mother said we will never see eye-to-eye because I am not christian. Which sucks because it’s either I become a Muslim and live with my older sister, which will never work because I am a closeted lesbian and refuse to live in a Muslim household with a Muslim man at the head, I just can’t do that. The possibility of there being violent conflict, confrontation, and rejection is too risky. Also my problem for the majority of my life has been living in a patriarchal family with the man at the head of the household and God to it keep in place. I don’t want to live in a situation that oppresses me and be with a man that secretly hates all of us. I can’t.
I know I will survive. But I wish I had a community. I think of all the radical feminist lesbians and separatists who survived through the 70s and 80s, but then a remember a lot of them had each other. And then I remember that those communities are gone now because of conflicts within. While our online community, just has the internet and words. The problem is much our connection will be dependent on whether we have access to computers and internet. Which sucks. I notice that when I am not spending enough time writing on the internet or reading other Radical Feminist’s blogs, I feel this distance.
This gap between me and reality. I’ve learned a lot doing internet radical feminism, and have had interesting discussions with amazing women, but I must acknowledge that the internet is not going to last forever. Men’s technology is destructive, and while it may give us fast communication between us, it eliminates the very necessary in person off-screen community, interaction and support we need.
Internet Radical Feminism is also dangerous. Seeing as men have access to the majority of our blogs and the ability to spy on us, harass us, and do basically anything they want to us. Our words are a threat to their entire system, if we get too many women involved, which is what we want, it could easily backfire on us with retaliation from males. Because men have the power to label what a “hate” group is, and what a “threat” is. While they can obviously primarily be described as this by nature. But isn’t it amazing that us women are so naturally committed to love and truth that we will walking on the ledges of buildings just to hear each others voices?
Men could easily shut down our blogs, mess with our writing to make it say otherwise, or even may have the abilities to track down where we live. And given the only anti-thesis to this white male-dominated industrial capitalist patriarchy, people giving a crap about our lives being endangered when we say things like “Men are inherently violent”, especially us being female, is highly unlikely.
But the thing is I have no other idea how to do things outside of writing and creativity. I can’t actually hook real life women I know into radical feminism currently so I feel that it’s best to just say the hell with the relationships.
I feel our activity on these boring machines is meaningful. I can’t guarantee that I will always be online or have access to the internet, but this has inspired me to cultivate off the web ways of creating radical feminist culture. Even if it may not reach too many women’s ears.
Radical feminist culture, eh? That’s all we’ll have in the end, our only way to resist.
The most haunting reason that radical feminism today is isolating to the internet completely, in the form of blogging, is because patriarchy has become stronger. It’s become stronger, bigger, more complex and women are completely isolated from each other and themselves. Men’s destruction has become worse and it’s getting closer to the end. But with the approaching of men’s end, comes the famine of all life beneath their grim robes.
It was only witty strangers sitting behind screens, of various race and class backgrounds, who I could have the closest connections with. Ironically nowadays you can only have real connections with women on an artificial, radiation emitting, highly complex, eye straining screen connected to a server of digitalized info-waves, and monopolized by politically biased, dangerously polluting, labor exploiting, money obsessed industries. On machines that are trademarked for breaking connections and encouraging isolation. Yet 40 years ago you could live with women like you, 40 years ago you could organize women to start an anti-rape gang.
All in all, I understand that If I want to be a radical feminist and connect with other radical feminist women, I will be forced to using big brother’s technology. Writing on big brother’s technology exceeds the meaning of everything I’ve done in school for the past 4 years by 1000. Writing on this blog is only time I feel safe, and in control.
So I hope all the women who read this know that they will survive. I’m surviving, I can survive. And even if this internet connection somehow breaks, I know we will all find a way to rekindle one another, or each other’s energy and wisdom in some form.
Just stay in there. Keep holding on and don’t go back to men whatever you do. I’m fighting this miserable loneliness I deal with, this everyday struggle like all women are. And I know we can make it somehow.