• Posted on: 16 October 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>[A response to a debate that took place tonight, at Sylvia Federici's talk, at the holdout in Oakland]

‘Not-men’ is a half-assed idea. It takes a problem, and it makes a problem out of it. Let me explain. As was said tonight, this category treads dangerous water, insofar as it excludes bodies from its hallowed ground. For example, transmen. But this categorical way of thinking not only excludes bodies.</td><td><img title="What do you think about slave morality?" src=""></td></tr>...
It reduces a complex field of interactions to the immoral activity of a certain class of people, namely men—those intimately tied to us, and those we have yet to encounter, those we merely pass on the street. We know nothing about these men on the street, except that we fear them, a fear which keeps us and everyone else fixed in their place—statically tied to the categories imposed on us by Christianity, or whatever. But hey, you seem to like the pious, the notion of redemption, of the redeemed. “If you follow the ten commandments of materialist feminism, then you can cross over into the sea of not-men, synonymous with good men. If not, then you become bad men, immoral, and you must be beat up for being perpetrators or like, um, not soft spoken.” This is a really easy way to be in the world, making distinctions that match the very ones that have already been imposed on us. To speak of a distinction of oppression, that some are more oppressed than others, or that different ways of being oppressed must be catalogued, given their proper taxonomical due, is just to participate in society’s favorite game—making ever more fine-grained distinctions between man and man, between man and animal nature. The goal here is society’s own—to shuffle points of power, to make sure power stays around, by sharing it out. Black presidents, women CEOs, queers on TV. You can be whatever you want to be. Go fuck yourselves.

Capitalism is a machine for making money by separating people from one and another.

There is a dire need for women and queers to come together to talk about gender. But talking about gender cannot remain the property of those who are labeled women and queers. “We have the experiences that allow us to talk about these things. They don’t.” Silence among men and censorship of them upholds an environment of uncomfortable misunderstandings. But whoever said that homogenizing our view of oppression, of shouting its name with one voice, will lead to its abolition? By not letting men speak openly about their experiences, you set us back forty years. A lot has changed since the heyday of the women’s movement. Today, some women are our enemies, and not all men are our enemies. Today, we don’t give a fuck about what you were born with. Saying you have taken account of all that—by changing the terminology while doing exactly the same things—is not enough. What you are interested in is boring single issue activism, and that is why we hate you. You say patriarchy is sort of like a distinction between subject-and-object, that we don’t quite know what it is yet. Actually, we know what it is. As the OG materialist feminist, Christine Delphy, points out, it is a “system of subordination of women to men in contemporary industrial societies”, having an economic base, which is “the domestic mode of production”.

Does that even make sense any more? In any case, to make judgements about which of our friends are responsible for this tired system erases its systemic character, thus ensuring its endless reproduction. What we learned tonight, is simply this. What you want is to be more comfortable while the world burns.


Isn't patriarchy the last stronghold of traditional christian morality, the thing that creates industrial wars? What is this righteous correctivism that infects the foundations of liberal western society? Why has progress in the last 2000 yrs been mostly technological and not moral, and why are cultural blueprints reproduced ad nauseum?
Why do I ask so many questions, is it because I am a softly spoken man and prefer dialogue to action?

Why did you give me a negative vote? Why do I return to @news? Why do I ask so many questions? Is it because I am a troll?

Why no, morality, traditional Christian and otherwise, has many footholds, guilty ridden liberalism and leftism *just* for example.

Why is a male identity penis-possessing god or idol always the worshipped entity in patriarchal societies? The mythology states that the supreme god impregnated Mary while she was unaware, asleep or drunk, as if she was a mere vessel for gods son? How patriarchal can one get?! Why was this act considered divine? Don't you see the dominant and subtle powers that christianity invokes upon its believers? Are not most of the footholds within western christian society? Why am I still asking so many questions?

This is idiotic. The concept of not-men doesn't "silence men" or say that all men are the enemy, nor does it imply that men are the only ones who perpetuate patriarchy, or reduce patriarchy to a set of personalized immoral actions. It simply points out that patriarchy is predicated upon the *distinction* between men and not-men (in which category trans-men are also, quite obviously, included, as any transmen will confirm from personally expereince). Women, men, queers, trans-folk: all are capable of reproducing this distinction...
If you want to have an argument with someone try not to disastrously misunderstand what they say.


A Man



yes, they are not men according to the *values of patriarchal society*, which is what the term refers to. this is not a denigration of the experience of transmen or the complexity of their gender experience. it's just rather obviously how society treats these folks... the sad thing is that our identities are largely determined for us by other and by society (!). we don't get to just change this shit out of choice...

that is only how identity is determined... the self is a product of dominating power relations, that affect both men and women, not-men and not-women.

this piece is right on.

"the self is a product of dominating power relations, that affect both men and women, not-men and not-women."

again, who says otherwise? surely none of the materialist feminists being critiqued here. if you enjoy arguing with straw-notmen, go right ahead, but you're really doing nothing but creating noise and talking to yourself.

Another morning in the anarchy ghetto, another circlejerk.

except a circle jerk is much more gratifying than transphobia

Please, please. Circle-A jerk.

But Circle-Eh-jerk if you're in Canada.

What's it called when you can't help but join the circle jerk but feel a great bit of shame about doing so and thus must denigrate the circle jerk? I'm looking at you, KEVIN KEATING.

It's called being a sheepish trolling asshole!

would be so cool if, when people have an argument at a particular place and time, and the entire rest of the world is unaware of it, and they choose to respond to that argument in a forum open to people in the entire rest of the (internet) world instead of in a way that would be specifically targeted to the people who know what is being talked about, they provided a bit of context as to what the argument was, instead of just saying that an argument happened and then making their particular point.

^ pro-tip

Yes, exactly my thoughts. This article left me confused.

Maybe you are so self-absorbed that you cannot know the context! Think about your consciousness and not your genitilia!

sounds like the west coast has more identity politicians and radical liberals than the east coast has ever had... total lolz

True, true, the west coast has more identity politicians, but to be honest I'll revel in that everyday rather than deal with the hoards of cracked out scum fucks that presents itself as the east coast alternative.

we also have more wild asses so I think it evens out.

I really like identity politics when it stays about an individual exploring their own being to reach and deal with deeper rooted feelings and not become a useless persona and something that gets passive agressively projected onto anyone and everyone usually those closest and then devolves into individualist cultural chauvinism. That being said they should still be respected. If the individual takes it seriously the people around them will have no reason to dismiss them as an indulgent hippie and if they do well fuck em because they're probably a narcissistic prick anyway.

The term "not-men" originated in NYC. And the challenge to that was being made by someone who is from the midwest who lives on the west coast.

So youre kinda wrong.

"Please don't move to the bay"

yeah because no one has ever moved to the bay. the bay has never been a place where people move...especially queer people from the midwest.

You say that like it's a good thing.

I should do something because other people have done it before in the past...especially queer people.

Anyway, what is your point? "Please don't move to the bay" wasn't exactly arguing that people shouldn't move to the bay because no one has ever done it before. Sarcasm fail.

maybe as some sort of technicalish "term," but honestly as a form of expression to talk about a thing, "not-men" and permutations "people who aren't men" "my friends who aren't dudes," etc is a way that people have developed to talk to each other.

i know you're trying to provide context here, but you're perpetuating a dynamic that's gotten totally outta hand since you guys read the coming insurrection

please stop making anarchyland mimic academia. please stop making you and your friends sound more important by talking about yourselves as academics, theoreticians, etc. i value your (and yr friendz') ideas, your writings, and your contributions, but this thing that you do where you make discussions sound like professional conferences is REALLY EXCLUSIVE AND ISOLATING (there i used the buzz words, aaaaand go!)

Totally self righteous feminist dude here. Yeah, I treat my women correctly. I don't ever slap them or anything. I totally protect her from creeps and shit. My shits so fem, bro.

You're just an inverted righteous liberal, men AND women need to be slapped around occasionally! You're the fucking psuedo-liberal creep!

This person knows nothing of primitive slapping. The other is accumulated slapping. I think we can all do the math from there, jejeje...

"‘Not-men’ is a half-assed idea. It takes a problem, and it makes a problem out of it. Let me explain. As was said tonight, this category treads dangerous water, insofar as it excludes bodies from its hallowed ground. For example, transmen."

Yep, the only bodies/people excluded are transmen. Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees.

I love these fake critiques of identity politics where the conclusion is more correct identity politics. Actually I don't love them, I really hate them.

Trivia: Are bourgeois women human beings?

Hint: Bourgeois men are not human beings.

I Can Haz Class War?

What'd you guys do with my cat?

it isn't patriarchy to live off your daddy's money! It's materialist feminism!

At least they're thinking about gender? or something.

Or something!

Patriarchy is a species expression, it is not a 'construct' or a 'system'. We are no different then other species, we express these things based on resonances that are deep in our epigenetics. There can be individuation away from this but that's probably about it. The species that is inquisitive and imposing was long marked by our hominid ancestors, if only we had been like bonobos or perhaps behaved like the more egalitarian neanderthals, but alas.

Just think that in social settings where you meet an anarchist you hadn't known before, you will always have to wonder if it is someone as dumb as this whose dumb ideas you have read on anarchist news before.

Exactly! Morality CAN be instinctual, as in the Neanderthal clan mores. I'm really tired of fanatical 'purist' anarchists constructing their own ethic, and at the same time denying a nihilistic intuitive ethos based on common emotional and intuitive social relationships, (call this post-anarchist maybe?). I think that's why anarchism has not evolved in 150 yrs, it has a majority of democratically voted spokespersons who would be better described as platformists solely from the dogma they spout and their rigid political agenda!


yesssssssss ssssssssssssssssssss
you learned this only tonight? this is the fundamental principle of activism, of conscious politicization.
the rise of identity politics in the recomposition of the left is a face of the domination of the jeune-fille. a domination that anarchists have been unusually powerless to fight against. hemmed in on all sides by their pretty consciences and their attachment to the world of bourgeois morality.

"As the OG materialist feminist, Christine Delphy, points out, it is a “system of subordination of women to men in contemporary industrial societies”, having an economic base, which is “the domestic mode of production”."

I think it's time to start questioning whether "reproductive labor" etc. is really the way to define how patriarchy works today. I'm pretty sure in the contemporary US, most women aren't housewives who do all the cooking and cleaning, domestic slaves to their husbands. This isn't Catholic Italy in the 1970s anymore.

Anyway, the old autonomist marxist idea that we shouldn't forget about domestic labor, which is obviously important for "reproducing" things, has been blown way out of proportion in some rather ignorant "materialist feminist" circles, to the idea that patriarchy and the capitalist economy are the same thing, men are just like capitalists, who spend their time exploiting "not-men", and therefore a class enemy that has to be destroyed etc.

The reality is that patriarchy is not directly functional to the economy (actually, getting women out of the home and into the workplace was better for capital!), and certainly can't be reduced to some simplistic binary class relation (even in the economy itself it's stupid to reduce things to some simple class opposition!)

Anyway, it's all a lot of half-baked theory, meant to justify misandry and childish fantasies of a world without men. Genders should be re-defined and multiplied, but the idea that half the human race should be eliminated is just fascism.

I agree with some of this comment but not this — "I'm pretty sure in the contemporary US, most women aren't housewives who do all the cooking and cleaning, domestic slaves to their husbands. This isn't Catholic Italy in the 1970s anymore."

Sure, things are different now and obviously patriarchy isn't the only thing to be destroyed — I'm pretty sure all anarchist feminists & materialist feminists recognize that. But to not acknowledge that reproductive labor is still the position of many women across the world and even within US territory is hella myopic. Maybe this is the case for many white women or people of certain classes, but a huge amount of the labor that drives our economy and builds the physical infrastructure of our cities is provided by immigrants - particularly Latino men, but that's my own particular perspective and there's obviously many other kinds of people doing it. Anyway, lots of these men definitely rely on reproductive labor provided by girlfriends, wives, and mothers, and in general benefit from patriarchal family structures, even though they remain in the lower class & do physical labor to survive.

To clarify, I think patriarchy and structures that benefit men exist across race and class lines, it's just different in every instance. Ugh, it's difficult to write clearly about this stuff.

The person you are 'mostly agreeing' with is completely insane, and completely wrong on every point.

Here, enjoy this delightful website:

That's interesting. Do these "materialist feminists" spend their time organizing with working class immigrant women to improve their conditions? Or producing journals and bad art, while complaining about how oppressed they are?

Oh right, they probably also spend a lot of time "calling out" men they once dated. Quite revolutionary.

Fuck you. I've had so many men in my life do violent, shitty things do partners of theirs. I do think it's important and part of the world I want to live in to have people bring these "private" issues into the public, social sphere. Denying the importance of this, even if you disagree with the approach or language used around these issues (which I usually do, accountability processes are a fucking sham), perpetuates patriarchal violence & structures. I say this not as an identity politician but as someone who wants a world that isn't dominated by capital, the state, or straight white men.

This division seems to be largely around use of language & (perceived) privilege. This is one of the worst possible times to be encouraging these schism between people who should be allies in the struggle against the state, capital, white supremacy, and patriarchy (or as some of my friends and i would say, civilization, but that's another discussion....) Especially in the Bay where's shit's already getting bad enough.

My long experience has been that for every legitimate abuser who's called out, there's a half dozen guys who are persecuted, bullied and harassed because of simple disagreements/arguments, the normal emotional difficulties and conflicts that ARE PART OF LIFE, etc. Haven't you ever noticed that just because someone feels and thinks they're totally right and justified in a conflict, and their partner is purest evil, things are often more complicated in reality?

The idea that anarchists should have their emotional/romantic lives scrutinized and judged by comrades reflects the exact OPPOSITE of the world I'm fighting for. I think the last thing we need is more cops, psychiatrists, judges and witch hunts.

Yeah, it's not like there aren't half a million brown-skinned female maids who do caretaking work so that white women can have careers? And it's not like a lot of the women who work jobs don't do most of the work of caretaking while the contributions of their husbands/partners is superficial? Yeah, parenting is almost always 50/50 between the genders in heterosexual couples. I can say this because, from my position in an anarchist subculture, I never come into contact or have conversations with parents or people who have kids, y'know what I mean bro?

If "materialist feminists" spent their time highlighting the social issues around maids, nannies, and heterosexual parents, that might be interesting. But complaining about your boyfriend or the local anarchist scene is fucking boring and irrelevant and doing nothing to challenge societal patriarchy.

Have you looked at LIES, the writers of which are the materialist feminists being critique here? Check it out, and you'll realize that you have no fucking idea what you're talking about.

LIES is put together almost exclusively by people who's only political project is complaining about their boyfriends and critiquing local anarchist scenes.

what is your political project?

You forgot the part about getting outraged about "problematic behavior" on their "tumblr dash."

This article is ridonk and doesn't deserve a reply, however I feel compelled to ask:

"By not letting men speak openly about their experiences, you set us back forty years."

What was going on 40 years ago that you would like to return to exactly?

And also, who's not letting men speak about their experiences? Just because some people may have had a meeting without cis-men, that doesn't mean "men" are being "silenced", or that we're being "set back 40 years"

jesus, reactionary much? good job talking shit on feminist theorizing and organizing, whoever wrote this.

But if an open meeting which excludes no one has more men than women or there is at least one man in a meeting who is impassioned about something and wishes to speak for more than 30 seconds, women ARE silenced, right?

Furthermore, I don't respect the opinion of anyone who uses language invented on an internet message board as an integral part of their analysis.

you read it wrong lol

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Enter the code without spaces.