i came into this from the wilderness. i have no formal academic background, but i’ve read a little and i think a lot. since i was a very young person i’ve been reading to find information that i can apply to my existential difficulties in real life.
i’ve come to learn that these existential difficulties arise because the “real world” is not the only world in which i live, it isn’t even the “realest”. what is bothering my soul is that i know a me that is so much more than the one that this social Human environment allows me to be… i feel a truth inside and all around, a truth that is denied by the “real world”. a truth that i have never been able to completely deny, ironically, making me live a “lie” in the “real world” as i spent 59 years suppressing my own sexuality and personality.
i have a personal stake in decoupling my male sex from the Man identity that makes the Human male into a patriarchal criminal sociopath (see ‘not divided, different’), to the best of my ability.
which i’m learning, means that i’d be better off going even further than that. what i’m beginning to understand, thanks to many but particularly Andrea Dworkin and John Stoltenberg, is that the problem is not simply identification as one of the two polar opposite sex/genders, but to locate and anchor the meaning of “me” in identifications based on sex/gender at all.
in an essay by John Stoltenberg on his and Cristan Williams‘ wonderful site The Conversation Project called ‘Pt. 2,The Sex/Gender Binary: Essentialism’, Stoltenberg refers to a quote by Andrea Dworkin that opens up the possibility for us to live in a society in which sex, gender and division itself no longer keep us boxed into polar opposites. a way out of endless rounds of argument over “nature vs. nurture” and “biological vs. social” poles that will keep us stuck in circular conflict forever in this deluded social world we’ve made so far.
a possibility to live free lives full of truth, not oppressed lives imprisoned in an unethical, brutal, phony, divided patriarchal reality.
our bodies, nature, the cosmos… this is the stage onto which we Human Beings project our “understanding” of “things”. the result being a Social Reality that forgets that its roots remain infinite in nature while asserting itself and its dualistic, life or death finite point of view as being the “real world”.
what we are without the overlay of our conceptual “reality” is so polymorphous, so full of potential, so varied, so integrated… it is a reality inconceivable to a mind that limits itself to seeing only the practical, the conventional, the hierarchical, the patriarchal. and it is forbidden to us too.
this beckoning realm of ecstasy, of imagination, of intellect and emotion is a realm considered to be utterly dangerous and prohibited for Men and Women (except specialized “professionals”) to be involved with. it is under tight control in our society. we guard against being too aware or influenced by it in our individual psyches, inside our dreams, between each other, in our loving, in our hearts. it is a realm where the parameters of our hierarchically divided “universe” are dissolved into infinity. i call this the realm of truth. for some of us, as we proceed through our lives, we are unable to ignore the realm of truth and conform with “reality”.
i’ve known this forever, but never have i been as clear about how to express that or to apply the knowledge very usefully. i’ve been a pirate, making raids into the true world where i’m the “me” i know i am and avoiding as much of the real world as possible while still being ultimately trapped in it. constantly yanked back to “reality” where i have been a “Man” a “Heterosexual”, a “white person”, an “American”… all phony, all hung onto me as if i was a beast of burden, which in fact in the real, patriarchal Social World, i am.
Andrea Dworkin said in 1975 (The Root Cause, Chapter 9 of Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourses on Sexual Politics):
“I have made this distinction between truth and reality in order to enable me to say something very simple: that while the system of gender polarity is real, it is not true. It is not true that there are two sexes which are discrete and opposite, which are polar, which unite naturally and self-evidently into a harmonious whole. It is not true that the male embodies both positive and neutral human qualities and potentialities in contrast to the female who is female, according to Aristotle and all of male culture, “by virtue of a certain lack of qualities.” And once we do not accept the notion that men are positive and women are negative, we are essentially rejecting the notion that there are men and women at all. In other words, the system based on this polar model of existence is absolutely real; but the model itself is not true. We are living imprisoned inside a pernicious delusion, a delusion on which all reality as we know it is predicated.”
i feel the reality of myself so deeply that i refuse to be nailed into a coffin called “Man”. or “Woman” either for that matter. a Human society free from being chained to the basic precepts that underlay patriarchy — division, hierarchy, polarity, duality — will be a society of Human Beings, not of Men and Women. not of males and females, assuming Genders for the purpose of identification, who look constantly to measure each other based on forms of and configuration of organs and glands, who bind social behaviors and appearances strictly to these configurations and forms. the meanings we assign to these things will be fundamentally altered. we can simply be Human Beings, creative, cooperative, loving and still as always, striving to be higher and higher… and free.