Polishing up the Homeland

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Collage by Rebecca Bronson

I attended the wedding of a couple who were in their late 20’s held at a Catholic church in the midwest. The ceremony included the stock priest reciting a biblical passage from Genesis; that morbid discomfiting image of Eve being “born” (her only way of escape) from Adam’s rib. I was stunned that a young woman of her generation would include or agree to this aberrant mind-body incantation. I’ve wondered over the years how that ramshackle myth is playing out in their day to day lives.  

Not long after the wedding, I was organizing a public event with college artists when I observed a kind of mechanized behavioral trope between the male artists and the female artists. The males were clearly taking charge and the females stupefaciently assumed the role of secretaries and backdrops.  There was a muted superiority that the males artists claimed for themselves and the young women simply slipped into their acolyte positions without question.  Like the wedding scene, the males and females were just doing as they had become accustomed; performing their roles as scripted in the restrictive male-as-prominent educational and social environments they have been raised in from cradle to classroom.  The films made by the women film makers rang heavy with a sexualized stipulation that their most valued asset is the female naked body; each film felt to be a performance for the male ogle; sexualized, fetishized images of nudity and totemic cruelty; genre erotica is how they classified it.  So impeccably leveraged the male-in-prominence curriculum was in this high profile art school in a big American city, none of the female artists named a single woman when I inquired of their artistic influences.  It simply was not part of their curriculum or their thinking.  When I asked one of the young women in a casual conversation over a glass of wine if she had studied any feminist artists or read feminist art critics (so few as to count on three fingers) she was put off.  With a refined hubris, she set me straight on the matter.  She does not use “that word”;  it is not a word any of her professors use and in her mind there were no differences between male and female students, all sharing a kind of happy oneness and artistic equality.  

Females raised in the exclusionary prominence-of-males have been undergoing psychological drills and practices which pervert our sense of Selfhood and manipulate our capacity for our original agency. We are often left dumbstruck in the midst of the carpet bombing of our elemental memory, with no clear access to the appropriate feeling space.  Until one takes on the essential task of restoration and deprogramming from the falsity, one does not have the proper tools (critical thinking and feeling) to recognize Operation Erasure for what it is.  Young women who have not done the necessary intellectual repartition will very likely, often  fiercely, defend patriarchy even as she is being psychologically and spiritually harmed by it.  I doubt the young woman who chose or agreed to the imagistically morbid woman-scourging myth had much of an idea of what she was really agreeing to and to whom it benefits. Or the young women film makers whose creative, intellectual, and aesthetic sensibilities have been shaped almost exclusively by their consumption of images, narratives, and history in which they have been “given” little to no value or visibility.  

The internet provides the main stage for the acting out of the ever increasing psychopathy of hyperpornified patriarchy and a repository for all of its swelling, dominating, disordered ideations and products.  Feminist writers, activists, and artists have our work cut out for us as there will be no shortage of toxic waste and sludge runoff to call out, clean up, burn down for the unforeseeable future. 

 I recently came across a real gem of a salvational product on my Facebook shared timeline; a nail polish that changes color when exposed to “date rape” drugs. It was developed by four male students from North Carolina. Where does a tsunami feminist even begin to take this one apart?  I’ll start with this in my effort to assist in the restoration project of our fierce feminist faculties.  Date rape is a social meme constructed by the dudes of dumbdom which serves to reposition and redirect the narrative of the real, lived savagery of rape. The term date rape, a crafty marketing term,  induces passivity and normalization.  It has an Eeyore-ish sway; “oh well, it was just a rape-on-a-date, uhoh, that happens on dates sometimes (not the analysis of a clear thinking female.)  At lease she knows who she had sex with.”   And, like Eeyore, back to sleep in the hay one goes.  Date?  Are the literally millions of women worldwide who are slipped these drugs and then raped, often brutally gang raped at university frat parties, really on a date?  Hardly.  The term is a spin, an Orwellian meiosis meant to contour the imagination, to psychologically massage away the brutality and deep trauma of rape. 

Ok, one might say, these guys really have the best interest and safety of young women in mind.  I mean, gee, they concentrated their scientific and heroic efforts developing a girly product that will give young women peace of mind, help them feel safer in public spaces.  Well, that may be true; it may even become compulsory, like vaccinations,  for young women to carry this on their person. We may soon be seeing females everywhere dipping their Mountbatten Pink nails into little dixie cups of water as they giggle and sip  sloe gin fizzes wearing 50 Shades of Grey t-shirts and matching thongs.  But the larger framework of consideration for one on the path of radical restoration is this: The product is (like other products and pseudo-science that originate from the greed soaked, emotionally devoid, dominator driven mind-loop) a psychic driver; a cleverly conceived accessory to porn culture which IS rape culture; the annihilation of female power, principles, and passions.  The salvational product is a reinforcement, a glamorization of punishment, designed and delivered from the entrails of a female hating system.  So, here you go you cloying, ambrosial darlings of our morbid perverted imaginations, have some nail polish, because you just never know when or who’s spiking the punch.  You just know that it WILL happen and since you’re in the unescapable confines of combat, here’s a little bling for the swing.  And (wink-wink) it’s because we really do care about you and your safety.  Yea, that’s what they wanted the thousands of girls and their mother’s to believe about gardasil, but that’s for another essay. One less, keep the hope alive, keep running for that cure.  All the while the insatiable constables of the free market will, however, when the returns look promising,  provide you with some defensive weaponry; nail polish.

I sincerely doubt that these boyish nail polish tycoons are even slightly truly madly deeply outraged by the culture of rape as it exists today. I doubt as they were sitting around  swilling budweiser waiting for the lightbulb of ingenuity to go off that they felt much rage; that gutsy intelligent audacious emotion which has been made mostly inaccessible, stolen from us by the gate keepers of the paranoid surveillance obsessed war culture. They themselves have been raised in the artificially designed environment of porn-war-sadism-sports .  As such, they have never experienced a real Man or Men shouting their outrage about the brutality, the incredulous violation of girls and women, let alone their rage at the boys and men who rape; because rape is a sacred tenet, an encoded precept of patriarchy.  It is in fact cemented into place through systems of sadism and masochism specifically to make fear and dominance interchangeable mandatory commodities; to break the spirit and soul of the collective species of females and males.  To let that fury burn in their hearts, to speak wrathfully against the Fathers of War is a psychological and spiritual impossibility; for they too, these young naive males caught up, brought up in a system of reversals and immorality also feel the hammer of threat, of unimaginable punishment for breaking rank inside the father’s house.   

Young men, through the dehumanizing psychological operation of mainstreaming porn and violence have been pummeled, force fed these humiliating, degrading images and narratives of females and males.  They have been emotionally and spiritually cauterized; used and abused through this surgically precise psychological procedure.  A procedure that, like in Abu Ghraib and other torture environments, is purposed on the delivery of cruel and unusual punishment, in this case through a bombardment of images, slogans, and media tropes.  We therefore cannot then expect the boys or the males in their lives to have easy access to their empathy.  For those deeper, finer, sensitive human feelings which are critical to a life of loving, a life of radical truthspeaking have undergone severe distortion and trauma.  And this too, for our girls as well as our boys, requires nothing short of a soul retrieval; Radical Restoration of the Sacred.

Sadly, to conclude, I’m guessing that the nail polish gimmick strategizing sessions unfolded  in the same calculated, unemotional way that most business schemes transpire; the market (rape) is there, and rape, like war (according to the biocidal delusional madmen) will be eternal and ubiquitous. The product is dependent on the offender (rapist), the rapist dependent on the victim (young women).  It’s a win-win deal AND it greases the wheel of the prince-charming-rescuing-the-endangered-princess myth. Capture that market boys, kill two birds with one stone, let the girls be safe. Because it’s all in the Capture and there’s Profit to be had in them there nails!

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