Ostrogoto [en]

Women, Men and Bigots

Rhadija Lamrani

To create a revolution capable of putting an end to all domination, it is necessary to put an end to the tendency that we all have to submit ourselves. This implies that we observe with a sharp and pitiless eye the roles that this society imposes on us and that we distinguish their weak points in order to free ourselves and surpass their limits.
Sexuality is an essential expression of individual desire and passion, of the flame that both love and revolt can light. Therefore, it can be an important force of the will of the individual capable of raising him above the mass as a unique and indomitable being. Gender, on the other hand, is a behavior constructed by the social order to block this sexual energy, to confine and limit it, directing it toward the reproduction of this order of domination and submission. Gender is an obstacle to the attempt to decide freel the way in which onee wants to live and relate. Nonetheless, up to now, men have been granted more freedom of action than women in affirming their will within these roles. Women who are strong and rebellious individuals are so precisely because they have surpassed their femininity... 
It is deplorable that the women’s liberation movement, which re-emerged in the 1960s, was not able to develop a deep analysis of the nature of domination in its globality or of the role carried out by gender in its reproduction. A movement that started from the desire to get free of gender roles in order to be individuals in the full sense and to be self-determined has been transformed into a specialization, exactly like most of the partial struggles of the time. This has guaranteed the impossibility of a total analysis in this context.
Present-day feminism is this specialization, formed out of the women’s liberation movement at the end of the 1960s. The aim is not so much the liberation of women as individuals in relation to the limits of their gender role, as the liberation of “woman” as social category. A scheme that, when it goes back into the mainstream political current, consists of obtaining rights, recognition and protection for the woman as social category acknowledged by law. In theory radical feminism goes beyond the mere legal level, having as its objective the liberation of woman as social category from masculine domination. And since masculine domination is not generally considered as part of total domination, the rhetoric of radical feminism often assumes a style analogous to that of national liberation struggles. In this way, despite the differences in style and rhetoric, the practices of mainstream feminism and radical feminism often coincide. Not by chance.
The specialization of radical feminism in fact consists of listing the wrongs committed by men and suffered by women. Imagining the such enumeration one day ends, the specialization would no longer be necessary and the moment would be reached to surpass the list of wrong that have caused suffering in order to come to a real attempt to analyze the nature of the oppression of women in this society and take real thought out measures to bring it to an end. Therefore, the maintenance of this specialization makes it necessary for feminists to extend the list of wrongs to infinity, even going as far as to explain that the oppressive actions of women in positions of power are expressions of patriarchal power, thus relieving these women of responsibility for their actions.
Any serious analysis of the complex relationships of domination gets dropped in favor of an ideology according to which man dominates and woman is the victim of this domination. But the creation of a person’s identity on the basis of the oppression she has suffered, of the victimization she has undergone, is not a source of strength and independence. In exchange, it creates a need for protection and security that puts the desire for freedom and self-determination on the second level. In the theoretical and psychological field, an abstract and universal “sisterhood” can respond to such a need. But to provide a basis for this sisterhood, the “feminine mystique”, exposed in the 1960s as a cultural construction supporting male domination, is revived in the form of women’s spirituality, the mother-goddess, and myriads of feminist ideologies.
The attempt to free woman as a social category reaches its apotheosis in the course of the recreation of the feminine gender role in the name of a confused gender solidarity. The fact that many radical feminists have turned to the police, the courts and other programs of state protection on a practical level (imitating mainstream feminism) is enough to emphasize the illusory nature of the “sisterhood” they proclaim. Even though there have been attempts to get beyond such limits in the context of feminism, the specialization has been its milepost for at least thirty years. In all the forms in which it has been carried out, it has not been able to thei day to form a revolutionary challenge to either gender or domination.
At the same time, it would be cliched and mistaken to claim that men and women have been equally oppressed by their respective gender roles. The male gender role offers greater freedom to affirm one’s personal will. So just as the liberation of women from their gender role does not pass through becoming more masculine, but rather by getting beyond their femininity, the objective for men is not to become more feminine, but to get beyond their masculinity. It’s a matter of discovering the singularity that there is in each one of us, that goes beyond all social roles, and of making it the point of departure for acting, thinking and living in the world, in the sexual sphere and in all others.
Gender separates sexuality from the rest of our being, associating it with specific traits that allow the maintenance of the current social order. In consequence, sexual energy, that could have a formidable revolutionary potential, is limited to the reproduction of relationships of domination and submission, of dependence and desperation. The sexual misery that this produces and its commercial exploitation are all around us. The fact that people are exhorted, inappropriately, to “embrace both their masculinity and their femininity” is a consequence of the lack of analysis about these two concepts and shows how much these are social inventions in the service of power.
If our desire is to destroy all domination, then we need to get beyond all that restrains us, get beyond feminism, yes, and beyond gender, because only in this way will we find the capacity for creating our indomitable individuality, capable of rising up against all domination without hesitation. If we want to destroy the logic of submissioh, this should be our minimum objective.
Life today is truly too small. Forced into roles and relationships that produce the current social order, it is concentrated on the mediocre, on what can be measured, calculated, bought and sold. The miserable existence of shopkeepers and security guards has been imposed everywhere, and real life, expansive life, life without any limits except our own capacities exists solely in the revolt against this society.