There’s a lot of stuff out there this morning–my cup runneth over. So, picking randomly out of the hat, here’s a marvelous thread by Beth Allison Barr from Monday explaining why abuse happens in egalitarian “spaces” even though they’ve said they’re doing what she says to do, which is to throw over the patriarchy. Turns out, if you discover abuse in some egalitarian space the problem isn’t the egalitarianism, the problem is that you haven’t tried hard enough. There is still systemic patriarchy somewhere crouching in the hearts of the white men, be they ever so sorry about their whiteness and their being “men.” It’s a pretty great thread. I liked this tweet best:
I don’t want to be mean, but Beth Allison Barr reminds me of a really well-intentioned and enthusiastic peace-corp person who goes abroad to educate the benighted women of the world who haven’t yet thrown over the yoke of their subjugation. Step one, drag them away from their families and their pounding of the grain and hoeing in the field to celebrate International Women’s Day by painting a mural of their dreams and aspirations. Everyone is nice and does their best, but goes home baffled, because, well, there is still all that grain in the field that needs to be picked and dinner still has to find its way to the cooking pot.* I’m almost done with a most fascinating book called Gender and I wish more people would read it. Unwittingly, the author debunks everything that Barr has ever said about human society. His distinction between what he calls “economic sex” and “vernacular gender” is most illuminating.
In the spiritual realm, though, it does seem that good intentions are too often the paving stones to hell. What was it that Lewis said about people who want to manage your life? There’s no place, probably, Barr wouldn’t be able to improve if only you would just do what she says.
Whenever you’ve finished painting your mural and filling out your gratitude journal then you can set your mind to decentering the white men in your life. Sure, you may like them because they’re not literaleigh Hitler (yet) but their presence in your life represents systemic injustice and the patriarchy and they are therefore sups dangerous. Sups Dangerous.
Just read the Bible, ya’ll. It’s all there–the decentering, the gender spectrum, the marginalized all getting a seat at the table. You’re Not Reading Hard Enough.
It’s gonna take so much time. Keep doing it until you’ve burned the whole thing down. Don’t ever sit back and wonder to yourself for a minute if there’s something essential you’re missing. That’s the patriarchy talking. You deserve better and stuff.
What I particularly liked is that I had just read this long thread by a man on the phenomenon of the Girl Boss:
Obviously, this guy, “Aristophanes,” needs to check his privilege. How dare he say any of those things. He thinks he’s being nice and taking care of his wife and children but he’s probably totally deluded and repressing her and stuff.
So anyway, have a nice day! (And subscribe to my substack–if you want to.)
*This really happened.