Priorities, Man

Much has been made about “privacy” over the last four decades. The discussion of “Privacy” is invoked most commonly to protect a Man’s right to sexual debase or exploit Women. In an online environment, with the rapid expansion of data now available from a simple Google search and the willingness of individuals to volunteer their information, calls for “Privacy” (from Men) are becoming even louder, as Men apparently seek the right to discuss all manner of disgusting perversion without having Women notice or comment on it. The topic of “Privacy” is an important concept for feminists to parse, because it does not work for Women.

What, exactly, does “Privacy” mean for Women?

Does it mean Women have the right to control conversations that occur about them?

Clearly, this is not what “Privacy” means.

Does it mean Women have the right to exclude Men from our spaces?

Clearly, this is not what “Privacy” means.

Does it mean that Women have the right to engage in whatever conduct we choose without having to be subjected to conversations about it?

Clearly, this is not what “Privacy” means.

Does “Privacy” mean the right to name that which oppresses us without interference?

Ha! No. Of course not.

So what does “Privacy” mean and, more importantly, who benefits from it?

Let’s talk about Patriarchy.

I enjoy documentaries about how to make products. Industrial agriculture documentaries or how-to films are particularly interesting, in that they break down how, say, a chicken gets to your table (it’s not pretty). Things that we take for granted, it takes a great deal of effort to make it happen. It doesn’t just *magically happen* – it takes work. Obama was right (about this) – you didn’t build that.

Remember that – entire systems are created to a specific end.

It’s especially important in industrialized agriculture to do things efficiently, to maximize profit out of your product – let’s stick with chickens.

Maximize profit.

Because Male chickens serve a different purpose than Female chickens, it’s important to sex chicks accurately. Males are only good for meat, while Females can be doubly exploited for meat AND eggs (and also that whole Female reproductive capacity that Men are so interested in controlling).

Watch this video, please. You can skip to 3:20 if you are in a hurry.

The sexing of chicks? It occurs quickly and without appeal. No deliberation. No concern about the baby’s “gender feels.” You saw how fast that life or death decision occurred.

Why did I make you watch a video on sexing chickens?

Because you are a chicken.

And the sexing?

That’s Gender.

At birth, human babies are classified based on their external genitalia. If you have a penis, you get dropped in the “boy” bin, and are socialized as being a member of the “Dominant Class” of humans. If you have a vagina, you get dropped in the “girl” bin, and you endure socialization into the “Subordinate Class” – the servant class.

As a member of the Dominant Class, the Public World belongs to you. You define it. And you get to have space away from it – the Private World. As a member of the Dominant Class, Men have decided that Women are property of the Public World. Ergo, Women belong to you. You, sir, have the right to make any Woman a topic of your conversation, regardless of her feelings or objections. This entitlement to Women as Males’ Public Property enables prostitution, pornography, sexual harassment, rape, beauty standards, discussions about looks and weight, Male ability to decide that he is a Woman, and even judgments about how Women RESPOND to these intrusions into our solitude (hello, man hating dyke and castrating bitch).

Women’s “Right to Privacy” (haha!) does not, in fact, exist. It is never valued unless it is Male sanctioned. It is wholly disregarded when Women seek to create our own space to have conversations about those things in our culture that oppress Women (LIKE GENDER) – it is, in fact, a stated goal of third-wave feminism and queer theorists to destroy the ability of Women to (1) define who Women are (thus obscuring what Gender does to Women), (2) identify those atrocities that happen to Women (hello “rape happens to Men too” advocates) and (3) caucus with other Women.  Liberal feminists like Alison Boydell support this direct attack on Women’s sovereignty by declaring with her End Online Misogyny project that it’s “misogyny” for Women to know that Males have penis and Transwomen are Male. Ms. Boydell places this act of naming biological reality on par with the torrents of rape and death threats radical and lesbian feminists have received for years from Transwomen. And Transwomen, invoking Privacy like the Males they are, claim that radical feminists are “obsessed” with their “genitalia” and that we should not notice or comment on the reams of Public statements they make talking about their penises, their desire to harm Women and their sexual objectification of Women and Womanhood.

False equivalence is false.

Useless concepts are useless.

Women can barely leave the house without realizing that the idea of Public and Private spheres does not apply to us and was not constructed for us – we learn early on, and constantly, that our presence in the world is fodder for Public discourse, no matter how much “Privacy” we seek.

So what do Women do?

Women “respond” to our chicken, err, gender socialization in a few ways. One way, of course, is to “adopt” the values of our abusers as our own.

Who am I kidding? We Women are taught every day, with repetition, to repeat after me: “Privacy is important.” It’s no wonder we reflexively regurgitate this.

Ask yourselves: to whom is Privacy important?

If Women actually have no Privacy, why are we defending it?

“Privacy” is a male priority.

Remember, Women are groomed in our culture to be a subject of concern, a topic of conversation, regardless of her feelings about it. We get no “Privacy.”

Women, having been groomed, also have embraced the notion that “Privacy” is a “feminist” value.

Privacy never has been about what Women want, or what Women need.

Indeed, “Privacy” seems code for “don’t notice what Men are doing to Women.”

“Privacy” seems code for “don’t notice that those Women are actually Men.”

Privacy seems code for “stop snitching, bitch.”

So, for example, why is it important for Lesbians to protect the “privacy” of Transwomen who harass us? Why is it “bullying” or an “invasion of Privacy” for Lesbians to expose Men who harass Women?

Why? Says who?

Says you, guy?

Sorry. Your “Right to Privacy” infringes on my right to Dignity, to Solitude, to Respect, to Space, to Freedom.

If Women do not have the ability to uncover the atrocities done to us and discuss them, what good is Privacy? It certainly does not inure to our benefit with regard to reproductive choice – if it did, we wouldn’t have constant and regular attacks on our ability to talk to a doctor about abortion and birth control. It certainly does not inure to our benefit with regard to our ability to hold radical feminist conferences.

So why Privacy? Why should we care?

We don’t.

We don’t have to care about Male priorities.

We can make our own.

 

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7 thoughts on “Priorities, Man

  1. This is great. I’m enjoying revisiting and rethinking my values around privacy through a feminist lens because of your blogs on the subject, thank you for your insight.

    I have one immediate thought about the above, and it concerns the right to anonymity online. It has afforded many women the extra comfort or ‘safety’ to speak plainly about their experience, develop their feminist consciousness, reach out to like-minded women and air opinions that men find unacceptable. Indeed, under patriarchy women have always been forced to do this work ‘underground’, and so anonymity affords them the ability to do so in virtual space. Do you think this makes a case for the necessity of preserving anonymity online? How would this fit with a new conception of ‘privacy’ that works in women’s interests?

    • Women are not Men. Women need space to develop and discuss, and in our woman-hating culture, anonymity is (sadly) important to creating this space. Women’s demands for “Privacy” in this regard are very different from Men’s.

  2. Another good example is how men feel entitled to conversation with strange women. We are cold bitches if we do not reciprocate in a friendly manner. But if we try to talk to men who are unfriendly in response, that’s just the way it goes.

    I avoid strange men whenever possible. Who knows what they will think they are entitled to?

    Life as prison.

  3. I realized this so long ago..and it has been almost my singular focus in PROTECTING those spaces and our bio Female Dyke Beings and identity for all too many years against this onslaught.I also realized this when I was talking to a Lesbian friend of mine, quietly and privately on a bench at an outdoor mall..and these drunk asshole came over and tried to ‘hit up’ on my friend, he literally ‘burst our bubble’ of privacy and conversation, feeling he HAD A RIGHT TO, by virtue of being male, I stood up and told him to move on, he threatened me, and I challenged him, sending ALL my Amazonian Martial Arts/Witch/Warrior energy against him psychically to just MOVE ON. He knew I meant business, and did so…well, with the Force, it works on weaker minds……in any case it was empowering to be fully in my power, say no, and PROTECT my circle against male intrusion and my ability to DEFEND IT IF I HAVE TO and send him away…

    But since that day so long ago, I’ve been totally aware how we as Females, whether Lesbian,bi or Straight are or can be totally accessible to men at any time, that we are the ‘touchable caste’ they can touch us anytime they want, and that women too willingly permit them and do not insist on OUR territory, allowing them to coopt us and silence us. The ONLY answer to this, is true Female Solidarity at EVERY point. No backing down, and preferably not doing it alone either…FeistyAmazon

  4. Speaking of “privacy,” see http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/lifestyle/life/blogs/citykat/getting-to-the-root-of-our-sexual-taboos-20130827-2snfp.html

    ““Prostitution, Polygamy, Incest and Bestiality. I would argue that all of them should be legal.”

    So says American author, bioethicist and social critic Jacob Appel in a recent Big Think article.

    Mr Appel goes on explain his stance is based on the view that the state should only intervene in people’s private sex lives if the behaviour “directly and negatively affects other people in a tangible way”.

    See how he COMPLETELY IGNORES that these behaviors do, in fact, directly and negatively impact “other people” – those people are called Women and Children. They aren’t, apparently, “people.”

  5. Excellent break down, thank you. The chick illustration is straight to the point. As is the subordination of females with the concept of ‘gender’ in this patriarchal structure of society

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