do politicians kiss babies?
A short introduction to a matri-sociological perspective which underlies my work and informs my hopes.
[written early 2005 for my strategicvoter website, now with minor revisions]
A longer article which draws on Goddess feminism is in the next section, Re-sonning 'men' , where I link 'matri-sociology' and the critique of unaccountable 'fraternities' to the 'end of manhood'.- to quote the title of a marvellous book by John Stoltenberg, a leading figure in (and against) the anti-sexist men's movement in the US (and partner of the late Andrea Dworkin). Although to some this article must seem very dated, harking back to Greenham Common glory days, I would rather hope it was renewing the charge, drawing on the 'Myth' of MayDay to look forward to an era of planetary organisation according to matri-Guilds .
Here is one of the key passages - to encourage feminists to visit the next section!
" If sex (biological) and gender (cultural) are different and sex comes more or less bi-polar, why do we need to restrict ourselves to only two genders? Perhaps we need to organise a third (or more) genders. WOMEN AND TRUE SONS VERSUS THE ‘REAL MEN’ COULD GIVE US THE WINNING SYNERGY TO DECONSTRUCT THE MEN’S HUTS BEFORE THEY WRECK THE PLANET TOTALLY.
As bio-males it is out of place and self-defeating
for us to ask for admission to the women’s movement, but to the extent
that we re-son I believe it may be possible to achieve acceptance into
formal and ad-hoc women’s-presided mixed social spaces which can
- both prefigure a future society of radical co-humanity of all Her children (and where gender identities were held much more loosely, alongside others such as earthling which brought humans together with non-humans);
- and serve as training grounds, camps and coalitions for skillfully challenging injustice, ecocide, etc in wider, deeper and bolder ways.
For this to happen we need to give more thought to what I call the POLITICS OF GATING SYSTEMS. In moving from soft sonhood to real manhood we passed through a series of initiations into a socially conferred and confirmed status; so in moving back out the other way we need to gain social recognition with other loyal sons and daughters, we need to shed the privileges of manhood, learn political courtesy and nonviolence, get straight (equal) with collective local matri-exchequers (most men have more money than most women) and with the matri-‘departments’ organising care rotas, late night lifts home after meetings, whatever is needed for us to build socio-political space where everyone is equally respected and equally free to participate fully – not excluding serving as skillful defusers/bouncers on the door or gate to enforce justly enacted rules protective of the equal freedom of all (learning to bridge the whole split between responsible anarchy and just governance/true authority). In short the CREATION OF A THIRD GENDER (Matri-sons) REQUIRES ORGANISATION and the ability to negotiate with women collectively.
What are some of the potential advantages
of this way of looking at things?