The Perpetual State of War that is Patriarchy

by cherryblossomlife

Today, a man dressed in police uniform went to a youth camp full of teenagers, rounded them all up as though he was about to give a talk, then open fired with a machine gun killing 91 and counting.

Some of the kids lay on the floor playing dead, but being the systematic patriarch that he was, Anders Breivik didn’t miss a trick and walked up to each cowering body, shooting the heads one by one. Some tried to escape by swimming away, so he shot at them in the river, where the search for bodies continues.

Hearing this, just a moment ago, the usually Sorrow, Despair, and Rage at what men inflict on the world rose up inside me, but today a new emotion superseded them, one I had never before experienced in this context–Resignation.

One emotion I emphatically did not feel was Surprise. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming a radical feminist it’s that any time of peace is just a respite from the perpetual state of war that is patriarchy.

The world—the newspapers, the chat forums—does not seem to have noticed that it was a man who did this. Just another “monster”, they think. But I noticed.

Research shows that people are beginning to find it harder and harder to distinguish between what they see on the silver screen and what they experience in real life. In other words, the type of media we watch affects the way we interact with the world.

 The time has come to stop giving violent media the benefit of the doubt. Governments need to stop hand-wringing and pretending there is no connection between the media that boys see and the way they behave as men. Policies must be put in place to limit the Sado excesses of  misogyny-riddled porn directors and movie-makers.

I am angry that “free speech” i.e the right to show gratuitous violence: rape, war, torture, gets priority over our right to attempt to keep ourselves and our children safe. I’m not saying banning violent media will lead to salvation, but what harm can it do to try? Apart from the slimming down of a few men’s wallets.

I want to rile against the violence of men tonight—those cowards who come for our children. The only people around fighting against the belief that the bloodshed is inevitable, suggesting instead that it is a construct of patriarchal societies which train, condition and reward males for dutifully acting out their scripts of terror, are feminists.

So I go back to the drawing board. I won’t resign today.I have written this post instead to Name the enemy, in the hope that he comes into focus for a few more women.

You’ve already taken me away from myself
with my only road back to go forward
into more madness, monsters, cobwebs, nausea,
in order to free you — men — from killing us, killing us.

[ extract from Robin Morgan’s poem, Monster]


24 Responses to “The Perpetual State of War that is Patriarchy”

  1. Governments aren’t going to stop them. Governments themselves are male, and maintain their power only through (threats of) male violence.

    Violence is of the essence of the male. Otherwise, who taught them?

    They are exterminating the female apace. While we watch and wring our hands and hope to “teach” them otherwise.

    What a laugh.

  2. You are right that no one ever notes that it was a male that does something like this, they say he was a “monster,” but what kind of monster? If it were a female who had done this, it would guarantee a very different kind of coverage and much more coverage. Want to bet that this gets far less coverage and generates far less accusatory rhetoric based on gender than the Casey Anthony? Of course, Casey Anthony had very little evidence against her, only suspicion. A high possibility of accidental death. One child is dead, not scores of them. Evidence against others, such as George, was not really explored.

    Yes, resignation. I don’t think there is any realistic hope that the violent media, video games, pornography, will be toned down or censored. I have resignation about that, too. It will likely increase. The patriarchy has violence and war as a central theme. There is more at stake than ever as the population expands, resources dwindle, and the planet dies. The last man standing wins according to them.

  3. thanks for writing this.

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, great post!

  5. “Governments aren’t going to stop them. Governments themselves are male, and maintain their power only through (threats of) male violence.”

    THat is why the Beauvoir quote became part of the article. So depressing.

  6. That really was a great post, thank you.

  7. “If it were a female who had done this, it would guarantee a very different kind of coverage and much more coverage.””

    Yup. That is why females are not even allowed to commit violence against horrendous abusers, because the patriarchy comes down on them like a ton of bricks.

    Men shooting up to 100 teenagers? Just a guy. Par for the course.

  8. Yup. And we just keep repeating the mantra “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.

    Who is it that loves the guns, and the killing?

    If you answer that question, you’ll be stuffed in a sack and thrown off a cliff.

  9. Good post, Cherry.
    I watch the famine in Somalia, and see how men exacerbate the drought. They rape the women (more forced pregnancies) and steal from them, though they have many children to feed, while religious extremists refuse to let aid into certain areas. Religion was the original media, once men took it over, it became a means to belittle and brainwash women, and enshrine the rights of men to own them, and force endless pregnancies on them. Modern media is an exacerbative symptom, but the real cause is men, pure and simple. The Roman culture was appallingly cruel, there were the arenas, of course, but not mass media in the way we have it today.

    I have heard so many women say because of what men are and because of what they do! ‘I don’t want to bring a child into this world, not a single one.’ Yet, in areas where feminism has not yet been able to regain a foothold, women are simply forced into having children. Much of the discord and break down in coping strategies within these African societies has been caused by male colonists in the first place, it is all men’s fault. Maybe there are a few exceptions, but what good are they?

  10. And …. another day, another male-gunman massacre in the USA. Some guy blows away 5 people at a birthday party at a roller rink. A fight broke out. Oh well.

    Thing is, if you were to add up all these male-gunman domestic and random massacres over a year, the total would far exceed the almost 100 people massacred in Norway this weekend.

    When the body count is less than 10, the story is always below the fold, with something entertainment or (male)-political related above the fold.

    And the shooters are never characterized or described as “male !!!11!!11!!!!!!”. If it’s a woman, you betcha.

    ( I’m commenting a lot – the Norway thing has me really nuts. I remember seeing the Oklahoma City bombing in 1994 (was it?), and it’s just going *gong* *gong* *gong* in my head. When I see the Oslo pictures the buildings just flip back and forth in my head, I don’t know which of them I’m seeing.)

  11. In Oklahoma City the male also killed children in a daycare. In Norway, the male went off and killed children at a camp. I don’t know if this was part of the plan, but it shows how heartless they are. They get some sort of male-dominating ideas about winning and being some sort of political messiah swirling around in their brains and they get overly influenced by those ideas, to the point that they can justify killing large numbers of children, either as a part of a plan or as collateral damage. It’s just obscene. War, that’s what they seem to worship.

  12. I posted this on FB as well but will add a bit here:

    Let’s call it what it is. White male supremacy. But this dude is hardly an aberration, despite the media’s attempts to pass him off as a lone, crazed individual, as they always do. The Inquisition was not an aberration. The Crusades were not an aberration. The Nazis were not an aberration. Bosnia was not an aberration. The witch hunts were not an aberration. The Montreal Massacre was not an aberration. The Amish School shooting was not an aberration. The Luby’s Cafeteria massacre was not aberration. The KKK is not an aberration. The Roman, British and Spanish Empires were not aberrations. And neither are the wars in the Middle East. Cripes, how many aberrations do we need before we get that it’s not an aberration? And that white and other male supremacists come a dime a dozen? And how methodical and systematic their extermination is, whether it be by political, economic, religious or military means, or like this dude, just plain old guerrilla warfare? I mean, there’s a woman beaten every 9 seconds, raped every minute, and murdered every 15 minutes in the U.S. Is that an aberration too? Cripes, if it were any other group of people, we’d call it a holocaust. At what point does the media and we, as a society ask, “What is wrong with men?!” instead of pretending like it’s some sort of aberration?

  13. Well said lucky. Just excellent.

  14. Brilliant thread, thanks especially FCM and Lucky.

  15. Exactly, LUcky. IT’s sytematic and yet it’s always passed off as being ” a one off”
    ON another website at the moment, I’m “discussing” this with a group of women, who are saying that my theory about males being conditioned to violence doesn’t work because otherwize “why aren’t more men going on killing sprees”.

    Umm, they are. Two women a week are murdered by their spouse in the UK alone.
    If anything, the government is covering this statistic up because nobody except random radfems know about it.

    Plus, in addition, the male court system and its”justice” is *designed* to protect these murderers. Did you know that the maximum sentence for any crime in Norway is 21 year in jail? Blogs and newspapers around the world are discussing his politics.

    But: He wanted to save the world from the muslim threat. He was afraid. Fear, fear, sickening fear permeates his writing. It is clever. He is well-read. It has all the good, rational ways of explaining a point of view.

    FUCK THAT. Give them to the mothers of the victims, I say.

    BUt no, he’s going to be protected, given a hearing, get his political views aired by the media, psychoanlaysts umming and aahing about his motivation, notoriety….

    Fuck that, I say. Let the mothers deal out justice on his naked, cowardly body.

  16. Systematic. Exactly right, Lucky. They rape and kill women all the time. But they rape and often kill children, too.

    Then they expect to be heard about their bullshit philosophies or excuses.

  17. His manifesto has been described as “rambling and incoherent”. No it isn’t. It’s measured and controlled. He is not some ‘lone wolf’ but the physical embodiment of a group who are, white male supremacists, the ultimate in the patriarchy. I listened to one psychiatrist say that he wasn’t insane and shouldn’t be thought of as so. Quite right. Valerie Solanas produced her SCUM manifesto and injured one man – who lived – because she wanted agency for the work she had done. Yet she was hailed as dangerous with serious mental health issues.

    The Daily Fail (UK paper I’m not linking to) has the headline ‘Mummy’s boy’ to describe Breivik. Ah yes! Let’s find an ‘oedipal’ link somewhere and blame the women for this. It’s deflection. Breivik hated the so called ‘feminisation’ of men in Europe. His hatred for women is glaringly evident in his manifesto but this really shouldn’t be a surprise. It certainly isn’t to me.

    Great post and Lucky your comment was excellent.

  18. This insane male did not kill a single muslim. He killed kids of the same background as himself.

    I have noticed that the number of insane men on my bus, my BART, my airplane, my line to buy tickets or for food, is increasing.These insane men are tolerated. Why? It’s almost impossible to sit on a bus. An insane male will sit down next to you. I have given up the SF BART long since. Every trip was a harrowing nightmare with some crazed insistent dude sitting down beside you and nobody to help.

    This dude had no sane female in his life. We have been talking elsewhere about marriage. Maybe a big function of marriage is to have women available to keep their insane violent spouses semi-functional and nonviolent.

    Ya know?

  19. “almost impossible to sit on a bus. An insane male will sit down next to you”


    Except it isn’t funny is it 😦

    It’s absolutely true that men need women around to stop them going off kilter. THe happiness rankings for people are as follows:

    Married Men: Most Happy
    Single women: Second Happiest (they have to deal with the patriarchal shit and they don’t have a WIFE)
    Married women: more likely to be depressed than their single counterparts (in other words, the fairy tale is a big fat LIE)
    Single men: most likely to commit suicide and end up in jail!

    So it’s pretty obvious that women stabilize men, risking our health, sanity and physical and sexual safety to do so.
    It could be that in order to stays sane, most men need an emotional/physical punch bag i.e a woman at home to take their stress out on

  20. Ironic, really, when you consider that men invented our fucked up societies for THEIR benefit at women’s expense.
    Women are so strong.

  21. “This dude had no sane female in his life. We have been talking elsewhere about marriage. Maybe a big function of marriage is to have women available to keep their insane violent spouses semi-functional and nonviolent.

    Ya know?”

    I don’t think so.
    Marriage provides males with an acceptable target for their violence, a wife, in an effort to reduce the violence they are likely to do to other males. It has worked very well over the years. Now that all women are no longer entirely dependent on males for survival it is breaking down in those areas where women refuse to submit.

  22. Sorry, cherryblossom, I missed that you already said that.

  23. Great post and great comments, I was so looking forward to read a radfem discussion of this crime!

    Nowhere in malestreamland did I see any discussion of the fact the perpetrator was male, that the killing was gendered, and that the violence wasn’t exceptional or deviant but completely normal and in total conformity with the way men are expected to behave in patriarchy. Nobody discussed how this is related to the way our society raises boys into soldieresque dominatrixes, how it desensitizes them from violence from a young age and encourages them to use violence as a means of expression, etc.

    Every pore of our society perspirates male violence, it is born out of male violence. It depends on violence for its very existence. Actually saying patriarchy leads to men being violent is a tautology. It IS violence.

    And all male violence, in order to survive is masked, denied and blamed on women and to a lesser extent, inferiorised/feminised males.

    He blamed his crime on women: they’re all uppity bitches playing sex and the city
    The press blamed his crime on women: women failed their responsibility as domestic and sex slaves for him, so he couldn’t prevent the killing

    Love your chart cherryblossom!


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