The Man-made myth of ‘Women’
Feminist analysists such as Janice Raymond, Ruth Barrett, Simone De Beauvoir, Gerda Lerner to Germaine Greer have provided us with detailed and substantiated critiques of the patriarchal history and practices of male supremacist scientists, technicians, philosophers, writers and above all rulers who ascribe the act of creation to the male, with the female relegated as the inferior ‘other’ designed by him to meet his needs, in contradistinction to the truth that all human embryos in their first six weeks of gestation are female (XX chromosomes) with the release of androgen required for the foetus to develop as XY male – we all have mothers in order that we exist so really a stronger case can be made for nature as female in creation, not male at all.
The patriarchal, Abrahamic myth of Adam creating Eve from his spare rib to 20th century American physicians who first pioneered sex reassignment surgery for a condition then known as transsexualism are part of the very same philosophical tradition which today uses the latest in bio-tech industries to fund and profit from experimental and unsafe surgery and hormonal treatment which direct governments to legislate for their increasingly unreasonable demands of this incredibly influential and rich lobby group, not least the legal requirement in many countries that the now known as ‘trans gendered’ actually undergo treatment and surgery before the state recognises them in their new ‘gender’ (Raymond, The Transsexual Empire, 1979).
The arrogance of the aforementioned cultural, political, social and economic XY influential men comes from their male and class privileges and in-built sexist biases and their continual dominance of society at all levels, especially within the tiny ruling capitalist class globally, which is overwhelmingly male and white to this present day.
These patriarchal myths about the so called ‘essential’ sex based character traits – feminine and masculine – are so deeply embedded into the very state and ideological structures of society that many, many people remain unaware of these facts – for it is in the direct interests of the ruling classes (which yes includes the female ones) who materially benefit from patriarchal and capitalist wealth, power and control they have expropriated and continue to expropriate from the masses – especially women and especially men of colour – to keep us in a state of ignorance, division and fear.
Women are the source of all life and therefore all material wealth; for labour power to create wealth, labour power itself has to reproduced and socially reproduced through female labour, above all, the ongoing labour act of pregnancy, birth and caring of children, as well as the social reproduction of the male ‘head of household’ in the nuclear family unit – when he is still present, that is (Federici, ‘The Reproduction of Labour Power in the Global Economy and the unfinished feminist revolution’, 2008). This is the great insight of feminist scholars who identified the limitations of Marx and Engels in overlooking the role of domesticated, sex based labour in providing capitalism with labour power to exploit at the point of production itself which itself is a product of the sexist assumptions of Marx and Engels, even though these men nevertheless provided the material, historical analytical tools which radical feminists have used to identify and diagnose the historical ‘defeat of the female sex’ by patriarchal private property relations at the dawn of the misleading term ‘Civilisation’ in modern day Iraq and Syria (Gerda Lerner ‘The Creation of Patriarchy, 1986)’.
Feminists have long noted the ongoing dismissal of women’s domestic labour (that is their caring ;duties’ of children and ill relatives including cooking, cleaning and childcare, their emotional labour and their sexual labour) as well any paid job in addition to all of the above by marxists, including specifically male marxists (and their female handmaidens) in the self-described ‘Marxist’, Leninist ‘, ‘Trotskyist’ hard-left groups which without exception reproduce the same sexist ethos within their organisations that is so present and oppressive of females in capitalist and other class-based societies today and historically.
On this point I can speak to my own personal / political experiences in the Socialist Party (formerly known as Militant in the 1980s) for over a decade of my life; I was an active member and local leader of this party from November 2000 to April 2013 until I was effectively with-hunted out of the party for challenging the leadership’s role in protecting their male sexual predators and discarding the usually female victim / survivors and my ongoing opposition to the party’s pro-sex work position .
I co-authored a suppressed oppositional statement critiquing prostitution as an institution of sexist oppression, in support of the basic radical feminist position of opposing it in 2005, alongside two other remaining female leaders of the party in South Wales – Mariam Kamish and Katrine Williams after the national female leadership decided to unilaterally impose a pro-sex work position on the party’s internal ‘Women’s group’ – a development we energetically and vocally challenged within the party. We were forbidden to publicly engage in debate with the leadership because the Socialist Party is a secretive, undemocratic party which operates something it describes as ‘democratic centralism’ but in reality is bureaucratic centralism – a pseudo-LeninIst dogma that is meant to ‘allow the fullest possible debate within the party until a democratic decision is made on say issue X, in which case all members must advocate the SP’s line on issue X’ – which social psychologist and SP critic Denis Tourish damningly describes as an oxymoron ‘ like trying to square a circle’ and as a cultic technique of group think and mind control leading to cognitive dissonance as the member adopts the new ‘line’ internally as well as externally to ease the psychological discomfort of advocating one position when in reality thinking another (Tourish, ‘Ideological intransigence, democratic centralism and cultism: a case study from the political left’). The Socialist Party is extreme in its cultic features and party members are exceptionally loyal to their leaders, as evidenced by their social ostracism and misogynistic bullying of former female members and leaders such as myself and the many other women out there who have similar experiences yet unlike myself, have not gone public and therefore not suffered the unpleasant consequences of public shaming, invasion of privacy and targeted abuse that I have endured since I went public (as a then party member) in early 2013.
Unfortunately, both Mariam and Katrine chose to side with the male dominated leadership and support my exclusion from the party as they considered (and presumably still do) loyalty to the party leadership a higher priority than supporting a long standing female comrade opposing sexist abuse as perpetuated by the man who sexually assaulted and more to the point, actually groomed me to be his victim when I was at my most vulnerable as a depressed, childhood survivor of rape and sexual assault. I wonder how Mariam and Katrine are finding the current ‘debate’ which is apparently being had in the Socialist Party about trans rights and the conflation of sex with gender; my understanding is that the leadership in general support post-modernist gender identity theory and, as per typical with their institutional sexism, prioritise the perceived ‘needs’ of their male trans identified members over the rights of their female members which if nothing else is yet more proof that the Socialist Party, despite its claims to the contrary, is not in actual fact a marxist or feminist organisation since it has abandoned material reality (biological sex is a reality and the material basis of women’s oppression by men) in favour of the idealistic fantasies of self-entitled males undergoing their own difficulties with the highly oppressive rule of ‘gender’ – which again, to repeat – is a sociological category the contents of which is determined by any given society (say 21st century capitalist U.K.) and is therefore neither universal or ahistorical.
I do not envy Mariam or Katrine’s position but neither do I have sympathy for them. They have got themselves into this mess by abandoning their socialist feminist principles in the first place so that they can retain power in Peter Taaffe’s misogynistic party. I haven’t written publicly about the ‘prostitution’ debate in the Socialist Party properly until now – over five years after my exit – but it is timely to do so now in this increasingly totalitarian and violent corporate and male dominated backlash against women’s very right to define ourselves and name of our oppression. Nor is it coincidental that the main so called feminist advocates for trans ideology are from the same liberal, depoliticised wave of corporate feminism masquerading as the ‘third wave’ of feminism argue in favour of prostitution and women’s sexual objectification and commodification by men; as principled feminists such as Janice Raymond explained in her pioeering yet controversial book ‘The Transsexual Empire’ of 1979, yet to this day is deliberately misunderstood and unread by most of the left, transsexualism and prostitution represent men’s so called sex based rights and the triumph of patriarchy over the historic gains of feminism and the attempted erasure of women completely.
Women have no choice but to resist and we will do so no matter the sacrifices it requires. If I wanted an easy life I would keep silent but I cannot tolerate injustice and lies, the oppression of women and the damage post-modernism, patriarchal ideology is inflicting on the struggle to achieve working class unity against capitalism, sexism and racism. I value my freedom of thought and expression and the freedom of all females too highly to abdicate responsibility for the sake of keeping friendships with people who clearly never loved or valued me in the first place, be it former ‘friends’ in The Socialist Party or more recently the vicious online bullying of myself and other gender critical women by the liberals in The Screaming Violets Collective, The People’s Assembly and Cardiff Feminist Network. Real people, real women, are the way forward, not the unreality of the professional deluded left.