A Thermodynamic Interpretation of History: Part Three
An Archaeology of the American Feminist Intraworldly Messianism

CHAPTER 11: A Genealogy of Feminism

11.1 The Origin of Feminism in Eschatological Consciousness
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copyright © 2004, 2005, 2006 by Lawrence C. Chin. All rights reserved.

This thermodynamic interpretation of history implies that the history of Homo sapiens sapiens on Earth is near its end, that they will in a few centuries have destroyed the oxygenated atmosphere, reversing it back to the carbon-oxide atmosphere with which the Earth began its history of life some four billion years ago1, becoming extinct while causing also the extinction of most of the other aerobic life forms, and returning the Earth to the world of single-celled bacteria which were the only kind of life for almost three quarters of the history of life on Earth. The extinction of the human race is the goal of human history: the undoing of the work of cyanobacteria. A philosophy of history -- which this thermodynamic interpretation of history is -- looks for the principle by which all historical phenomena seem to be ordered -- their goal -- and the thermodynamic interpretation finds it in the progressive increase of supraorganismic consumption and defecation in accordance with the material meaning of life as determined by the second law of thermodynamics. We, of course, hope that our theory is wrong, and that the human race will live on.2

Since -- if we are becoming extinct -- feminism -- together with the matrix of humanism within which it derives its force, humanism as that concern with human rights and happiness, which in the end only amounts to a profane concern with the improvement of living-standard, of consumption -- is the most responsible factor for our coming extinction through the destruction of our Earth-environment, in this third part we are preoccupied with the origin of the ideological and experiential content of feminism (in Christianity), the origin of the motivational factor for its rise and success having already been located in the operation of power to achieve the integration of the state (into nation-state) and augmentation of its economy.

We shall distinguish between two types of discourse. First, the ideologies that aid the expansion of power -- now correctly identified as the pressure of the human collective on its members to conform in their life style to its purpose of continual expansion of its cycle of consumption and defecation -- by encouraging persons to participate in its operation or to be enslaved by it and/or by generating smoke-screen that veils this operation or prevents persons from awakening from their participation or enslavement. Second, true knowledge, usually leading to enlightenment or awakening (i.e. Buddhahood), which has the effect of its possessor desisting from participation in the operation of power, as a consequence of their awakening to the truth of existence. To the first belong, most prominently in modern time, Marxism, humanism, feminism. Marxism -- whether due to its internal theoretical or ideological defect or to the corruption of it by its practitioners, no matter -- has failed its purpose of the integration of the human supraorganism and the expansion of its metabolism -- its thermodynamic (the second law) promise -- in competition with its rival, capitalist democracy (the other product of humanism). Feminism, in its evolved form of cultural feminism, and the social transformation, "the liberation of women" (onto the public sphere) and its alter-ego of consumerist mentality which it buttresses in human consciousness, are today the most powerful motor of this thermodynamic promise: they are the most expansive of noosphere consumption and defecation and consequently the most destructive of the Earth-environment and most reinforcing of the smearing out of human individuality (the elimination of consciousness from human subjects to render them unconscious and mechanized) in favor of group homophone (human subjects mechanized as mere cogs in the machinery of the supraorganism). The feminists themselves of course have good intention, especially evident in their making animal welfare (which is against the interest of bio-power) one of their important objectives. That they cannot notice that the result of their promotion is the opposite of their aspiration of "saving the Earth" -- that their efforts have fundamentally been hijacked by the operation of power -- shows the increasing extent to which power is able to hide itself and enslave its participants through deception. Many participants in Marxist revolutions were at least able to become disillusioned after it became clearly evident that their revolutions had instituted a situation of totalitarian oppressive and enslaving power that was the exact opposite of their initial aspiration of the "liberation of the oppressed". Since one is less able to protest against feminism and "the liberation of women" than against all other humanistic tendencies because the appearance of a stance, most intolerable, against the (economic) welfare and independence of women after millennia of female enslavement by patriarchal orders attaches automatically to such protest, this ideology and movement of females have become the most effective agents of power in augmenting noospheric defecation, destroying the oxygenated atmosphere, and leading the human race straight to extinction along with the majority of aerobic life on Earth. Feminist discourse is therefore not knowledge, in the sense that it does not discover any truth of (human social) reality, but, just the opposite, serves to cover it up. This is not to say that in the process it says nothing of true about reality. Just as (as many said) Marx had produced the best analysis of capitalism (at least in its formative period) in Das Kapital, even though any one who believes that historical materialism discovers any truth about the movement of history is simply deluded in the manner beneficial to power, so the feminist discourse has enlightening things to say about aspects of social reality and gender relations here and there. For example, many "traditional" practices, not formerly questioned in this way, have been shown to be contributing to the society's control of females or their life-process to the benefits of men (or rather the society under the control of [elite] men), such as what Mary Daly calls "sado-rituals" in Gyn-Ecology, female genital mutilation in Africa, female footbinding in China from Sung dynasty to the beginning of the twentieth century, suttee in India before the nineteenth century3, or the rise of gynecology in the West with which male physicians took over the administration of the female body which was formerly the business of women (like midwives). But male domination, for which the enlightening re-reading of these practices discovers them as the devices, is only an apparent meaning. The problem lies in this that these diverse means of the control of the females served ostensibly different purposes in these diverse social realities, but deeply probably one other purpose of which male domination has been the mechanism: supraorganismic metabolism. So gynecology, as said, was a dispositif of bio-power during the formative period of nation-state, etc. Or again feminist theorists discover that the society's condemnation of homosexuality was the function of male domination, that effeminate males that did not conjoin with females and lesbian females that did not conjoin with males threatened male-domination and so were condemned by the patriarchal order. Can the truth be even deeper? And maybe the sudden handing out of these superficial truths about the past by power serves a further purpose of hiding some profound truth about the present?4 Most of these feminist critiques of Western social reality illuminate only the situation of gender relations during the formative and transitional (to mature) period of nation-state. The analysis of societal sanction against homosexuality, for example, does not apply to other "classical patriarchies" like China, India, Greece or Rome but it could be argued that, precisely, there, homosexuality did not threaten male-domination. Or again some feminists have pointed out the mythical character of vaginal orgasm, the male interest in perpetuating this myth and in denying the importance of the clitoris and clitoral orgasm, that the belief in vaginal orgasm would bind women further to men. (C.f. Anne Koedt, "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm", in Notes from the Second Year, 1970. "One reason given to explain Mideastern practice of clitoridectomy is that it will keep the women from straying. By removing the sexual organ capable of orgasm,... her sexual drive will diminish. Considering how men look upon their women as property... it is not in men's interest to have women totally free sexually.") Or again feminist theorists have pointed out that the perspective of women (as housewives) had been repressed and hidden -- they were forced to possess two perspectives, one of their own in hiddenness and one of their masters (husbands) which was the official, public "norm", taken as "the way things are" -- and that this bias favoring male perspective eventually gets codified into the spoken language itself which thus becomes alienating to women who now have no way out: there are no other languages and language governs thought and so the male perspective necessarily colonizes women's mind (presumably there are no bias-free foreign languages to learn).5 This is after all worthy discovery. Anyone who has perceived any power relations is aware of the phenomenon that the dominant know -- and care, and take to be real -- only their own language and perspective, while the underdogs have to adopt the language and perspective of the dominant in addition to their own: witness simply an international diplomatic situation involving an American and another: it is always the other who has to speak the additional English to accommodate the powerful. The problem again arises after the "liberation of women" in America since such situation has been completely reversed, with women no longer taking account of the perspective of men while men have had to learn both (among whites at least) in order to succeed in mating. Or again the related revelation by Simone de Beauvoir of women as the Other (The Second Sex). Or again, feminists have illuminated the fact that the fundamental "housewife mentality" of the past was "male identification", a false consciousness that deluded the females to revolve their life around that of their husband as if such were the natural order of things. These are all worthy discoveries, but only of the superficial layers. Relatedly, the analysis of the household by the Marxist feminists has focused "on the family as the site of ideological socialization [to perpetuate status quo gender relations], and on the role of the mother therein." (Josephine Donovan, Feminist Theory [1991], p. 83)

The more serious problem of the timing of these (superficial) discoveries then becomes evident especially with these Marxist feminists (worst combination in the sense of best reinforcement of capitalist-consumerism), as Donovan continues: "Picking up a cue from Eli Zaretsky, Hartmann explores the question of the relationship between the sex-based division of values and capitalism. In particular, Hartmann suggests that the stereotypical behavior expected of men and women is functional to the capitalist system. Such behavior, she implies, is established by ideological socialization. Hartmann notes that the characteristics typically ascribed to men -- competitiveness, rationality, manipulativeness, and a tendency to dominate -- are traits needed for proper functioning in the industrial capitalist public world. 'Sexist ideology serves the dual purpose of glorifying male characteristics/ capitalist values, and denigrating female characteristics/ social need.' Because capitalism values products that are for exchange more than those for use, its ideology denigrates the use-value realm -- the sphere of women -- and the characteristics associated with that sphere -- emotionality, nurturing, etc. So long as this ideology governs, so long will 'the confrontation of capital's priority on exchange value by a demand for use values... be avoided.'" (Ibid.) The problem is two-fold, and the first leading to the second. First is anachronism. It is implied here that male domination is associated with the cultivation (on men) of male competitiveness, rationality, and manipulativeness which then crystallized into capitalism that, presumably, results in the destruction of the Earth through over-exploitation. We have already noted that these "male values" do not correlate with male domination per se, as such "classical patriarchy" of the East as China has not in historical times been cultivating these values with their men for them to compete in the public sphere -- considering the Confucian and Daoist traditions inculcated in them since early age -- yet this society was far more "patriarchal" than Euro-American societies; that rationality was cultivated there, to be sure, which led to philosophy, i.e. the enlightened state of mind; and that this way of thinking of the value base of male domination applies only to the formative period of nation-states of the West, during which capitalism took root but not yet became saturate. The historical function of such thinking is therefore putting the tactics, the culture, of the formative capitalism into question, specifically its monopoly by men but not by women. That is to say, its questioning of the priority of exchange value over use value -- and the associated, implied exaltative revaluation of the sort of "primitive communism" which women's culture at home resembled -- would have had no such reversing transformative effect on social reality as leading it to communism with equality. (Note that capitalist societies never "evolve" into communism but only pre- or half-industrialized societies do, because the goal is not the liberation of oppressed workers but the integration of the state, of which capitalist societies, already well integrated, have had no need.) The demanded demolition of the "stereotypical behavior expected of women and of men" (that is of "the relationship between the sex-based division of values and capitalism) in fact, as it has happened, consists in the destruction of male monopoly of these "characteristics typically ascribed to men" and in the acquisition of these values by women as well as by men. That the result of the liberation of women, of women's movement in conjunction with the proliferation of feminist discourse in academia and in public press, is simply the transiting of women into male sex-roles is a known fact, but which points up poignantly the fundamental failure and irrelevance of the cultural feminist ideology (in regard to their good, saving intention), just as the humanitarian empathetic strand of the Marxist revolutions were irrelevant to the actual social reality instituted. The "liberation of women", especially in America, has merely produced a monolith of female consumption and defecation that even exceeds the rate of consumption and defecation of men today, multiplying the ecological burden on the Earth by several folds.6 The historical function of such questioning of "male values", the indoctrination thereof through the nuclear family, capitalism, and male domination which for such questioning all "hang together", has been revealed as the attempt by power to achieve metamorphosis, its attempt to shed the former shell of social structure where men monopolized the acquisition of consumptional tokens ("making money") and to put on a new one where women too acquire them in perhaps even greater rate so as to increase the thermodynamic dissipative rate, accelerate environmental exploitation, and lead humanity faster toward their destiny of extinction.

Any sort of feminist correlation of the oppression of women or male domination with capitalism is utterly idiotic, since the fact is so obvious that capitalism has done nothing but progressively de-chain women from bondage, that women fared worst under "classical patriarchies" that were invariably agrarian societies. Yet such correlation has been one of the favorites of feminist discourse and proliferated indefinitely, somewhat like the continual zeal of Marxist revolutionary guerrillas here and there today even when communist states have collapsed one after another and their oppressive nature been revealed bit by bit. Examine again the consequence of another way of "feminizing": "In her brilliant study, Sexual Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex Discrimination, Catherine A. MacKinnon delineates the intersection of compulsory heterosexuality and economics. Under capitalism, women are horizontally segregated by gender and occupy a structurally inferior position in the workplace... MacKinnon raises the question why, even if capitalism 'requires some collection of individuals to occupy low-status, low-paying positions... such persons must be biologically female'... She cites a wealth of material documenting the fact that women are not only segregated in low paying, service jobs (as secretaries, domestics, nurses, typists, telephone operators, child-care workers, waitress) but that 'sexualization of the women' is part of the requirement that women will market sexual attractiveness to men, who [are in higher position of power]...' And MacKinnon exhaustively documents that 'sexual harassment perpetuates the interlocked structure by which women have been kept sexually in thrall to men at the bottom of the labor market. Two forces of American society converge: men's control over women's sexuality and capital's control over employee's work lives.'... Economically disadvantaged, women -- whether waitresses or professors -- endure sexual harassment to keep their jobs and learn to behave in a complaisantly and ingratiatingly heterosexual manner because they discover this is their true qualification for employment, whatever the job description." (Adrienne Rich, ibid., p. 642) Since capitalism is taken as a system of oppression in the sense of exploitation for profit, and patriarchy as the same in the sense of reduction of women to sex objects, maids, and reproductive machines for the sake of men living in pleasurable control of slaves, the combined ideology thus manifests as MacKinnon's, written in the late 70's. But the consequence of such feminizing has been clear within the last two decades: equal pay, the rooting out of sexual harassment, and equal hiring have resulted in a much more efficient (free of production-impeding harassment) and augmented production-consumption (more "tokens" acquired by women to consume more) cycle which strained the Earth even further.7 The conservative men who refused to hire women or who kept them down at workplace were, even as "oppressors", not (or no longer) favored by power but became impediments and consequently lost out, now groaning about the perversion of gender roles of the present day. Going through metamorphosis -- formative capitalism transiting to consumerism -- power uses women now, those men formerly favored by it becoming retarding forces for power that must be discarded, pushed aside, forgotten, their time finished, the extinct race, left rotting in the margin for that minority of "conservatives".

As said, the meaning of the social change of recent time -- regarding women working -- is the breakdown of the sexual division of labor and the constitution of an additional economic unit for each nuclear household. It has been recognized that the function of the household in the modern society is as a unit of consumption8. The family in fact has always been a political unit as well. Hence during the further integration of society into nation-state, just as the nobilities as the middle-men of politics in time past had to be eradicated in order for the centralized government to extend its tentacles directly to its subjects, so the large, extended family had to be broken down into unclear size in order for the barrier between it and the state to become thinner. The new consumerist-democracy merely continues the trend to its logical conclusion: the voting right of women allows the state to deal directly with them instead of through intervening husbands. The split of the nuclear family as a single consumption unit into two such units as the function of the "liberation of women" has already been noted. Thus the consequence (the goal) of Marxist feminism is the reinforcement of capitalism through the "liberation" of women.

The reason why (cultural) feminists believe in their feminist ideology -- that women have been fettered and they are now breaking out of the fetters, in the process making the world a better place -- is probably three-fold; first because of personal experience.9 Second, because history simply makes sense for them in this way. That is, given the obvious fact that, in the West, women have lived lives under the control of men (aristocratic women under the control of their aristocratic husbands, and women of lesser class under the control of their husbands of lesser class, although these husbands of lesser class might have their life and death decided by aristocratic women with a snap of finger), and that, in the "classical patriarchy" of the East, women have lived lives of near slavery, it simply makes (metastatic) sense that now women have awakened and are overthrowing tyranny. The firmness of their belief in feminist ideology is the function of their historical sensibility. As we have said, this sort of historical sensibility to which feminists subscribe as well as Marxist revolutionaries or humanistic progress-believers, that history consists of breaks, of transfiguration of the bad into the good -- time as a process of perfection -- comes from the Western experience of Christianity.10 That feminists cannot notice the foundation of the firmness of their belief in something other than truth -- i.e. in history, in the growth of human collective -- is what has made them never wonder why, for over 3000 years in such classical patriarchies as imperial China or India where women fared much worse than in Europe, their consciousness was never "raised" about the absurd injustice of their situation. Perhaps East and South Asian women were not as intelligent as American women? The fact is simply that these Asian women have had a different historical sensibility, i.e. history makes sense for them in a different way, in the sense that there has been no history: they experienced their subordination to men, and their thus presumed constitutional inferiority to men, as the natural way of things given once and for all, immutable and without reason to mutate, just as the grass is green once and for all and without reason to be otherwise. Reality was for them given en bloc, rather than through gradual "installments", given piece by piece and a better piece each time. But Euro-American women were prompted to feel differently about history, in the general circumstances of secularized millennium fervor surrounding the beginning of the formation of modern nation-states. Because of the historical form of metastasis belonging to Christianity and permeating the structure of Western consciousness, the Western mind had always been receptive to a historical perception of the current reality as damaged but transfiguring into a "better" one in the future, as the current degraded reality was to transfigure into the Kingdom of God through the Grace of God and with the return of Christ. This prepared the feminists to perceive that their subordination was not a natural order given once and for all but a damaged stage awaiting transfiguration into a better one. In China, the historical form of a consciousness of the present under "Heaven" -- correlative to the constitution of the Israelite historical form during the Sinaic Revelation and with a consciousness of the present under God -- had after the Han dynasty become stagnant and never made the transition to eschatology. Consequently a metastatic historical sensibility never took hold within the Chinese consciousness to eventually allow Chinese women, too, to begin to experience their situation as not static but as capable of dynamic transfiguration. Hence the cultural perception of time is a necessary and sufficient condition for the women growing up in it to "awaken" to the injustice of their situation -- the oppression itself is irrelevant in the "awakening". Feminism cannot have arisen in the traditional Chinese context because its cosmological mode, in seeing the gender roles as statically recapitulating the static cosmic structure, has exhausted and in this way fixed the female role as completed, already at the end. (C.f. the post-heaven arrangement in yijing metaphysics.) "Static", that is: any such cosmological civilization as experiencing the society as a microcosmic integral component of the (macro-)cosmos, and gender relation as the microcosmic repetition in the human sphere of the macrocosmic ying-yang forces that constitute the very structure of the cosmos means that -- because the cosmos is essentially static, already completed -- the participants in this mode of civilization cannot ever conceive of themselves as engaging in revolutionary change of society which only a people can do who experience society and the cosmos as not yet completed but as in the process of completion. The actual trend of social evolution in China has furthermore been less dramatic and without its explicit awareness by its participants; that is, without the sensibility of history as a process of perfection, although the Chinese civilization did evolve in social structures and economic mode, the people could not interpret this as a sign of a plan of progress; their "human nature" and social patterns being experienced as fixed and already completed, even when there was change, it went unnoticed. The Chinese population increased slowly although only during periods of noted prosperity, until the 1700s11. Mass production, signals of consumerism, did not show its traces until the middle of Ming dynasty, despite the technological progress and the socio-structural changes since Han.12 These less dramatic changes, in combination with the absence of a consciousness of "progress", are simply not factors conducive to a metastatic historical sensibility required for a "feminism". That feminism is fundamentally a product of Western culture, and most maximized only by the American culture, is a point of avoidance for the feminists because its understanding just may reveal the historical function of feminism to be other than a "liberation" or a righting of wrongs.

As noted, when this metastatic faith failed to materialize -- when the return of Christ was nowhere in sight, after the disappointing failures of many "End of the World" prophesies -- the Westerners had through the exhaustion of patience experienced a shift of mind, a degradation of the metastatic faith to the belief in man-made progress, that they could effect the transfiguration of reality with their own effort, dispensing with any reliance on God's Grace. A foundation was thus laid during the Enlightenment on which humanistic progressivists, revolutionaries, and eventually feminists and cultural feminists arose, each with a particular agenda of transfiguration, of making the world a better place. It turned out that this degraded metastatic faith was the most effective instrument for power to attempt metamorphosis in order to become more powerful. The transfiguration of reality became framed in terms of the current "tyranny" and the coming "liberty" or "liberation". This degraded metastatic faith was able to mobilize people's passion and action beyond the capability of any pre-existing political authorities because what it mobilized was religious fervor, because it offered itself (and the political and social agenda associated with it) as the substitute religion after people's exhaustion of patience with the actual religion. The merger between the agenda of the degraded metastastic faith and the aims of power therefore allowed power to recruit the most zealous and religiously loyal proponents of it that it could ever hope to acquire. Thus in a few centuries the European kingdoms were able to transform themselves from the backwater regions of the world into the most advanced and powerful supraorganisms in the environment of global human interaction sphere, embarking on a career of world-domination. Bio-power, revolutions, humanism, technology, and metastatic faith, are the different faces of power. The women in the Euro-American world were the last of such recruits, most religiously loyal, most unshakable in determination, i.e. most incapable of disillusionment. Hence un-stoppable societal integration and environmental degradation.

Eric Voegelin traces the origin and history of this metastatic deformation in Order and History, vol. 4, The Ecumenic Age. Metastasis is the "experiences of the movement in reality beyond its structure" (ibid., p. 266), i.e. transfiguration, which originated with the eschatology of the late Yahweh religiousness and early Christianity, especially with Paul, who in fact was the origin of its deformation. "The troublesome constant is the experience of transfiguration as symbolized by Paul. As far as Paul is concerned, the vision of the Resurrected assured him that the transfiguration of reality had actually begun and would soon be completed by the Second Coming. The meaning of history now was known, and the end was near. This double-pronged assurance, however, ran into the empirical difficulty that the Parousia did not occur; and the variegated responses to the fact of non-occurrence have formed the field of self-understanding for the Western Christianitas right up to the egophanic outburst and the ideological 'philosophies of history' which expect the goal of perfection, the teleion, to be reached in the near future. The main church had accepted Augustine's symbolization of the present, post-Christ period as the saeculum senescens, as the time of waiting for the Parousia and the eschatological events, while the more fervent expectations were pushed to the sectarian fringe of apocalyptic and Gnostic movements" (p.267). David Noble, in The Religion of Technology, traces the origin of the metastatic faith differently, to the Apocalypse of John. "In his vision, John of Patmos foretells a thousand year reign on earth of the returned Messiah, Christ, together with an elite corps of saintly elect. In effect, this last book of the Bible is a return to the first book, Genesis, only now with a happy ending. Here the fate of the Fall is reversed, the curse is lifted, and a redeemed mankind is permitted to return to paradise, eat from the tree of life, and regain Adam's original perfection, immortality, and godliness" (p. 22).13 This line of descent will have greater import later on in pursuing the seeming "gnostic" structure of cultural feminism, but for now we are concerned with the origin of liberal feminism. "Millenarianism is... the expectation that the end of the world is near and that, accordingly, a new earthly paradise is at hand. In the early Christian era, there were myriad millenarian voices heralding the imminent advent of the Kingdom of God... But these voices were soon marginalized by the Clerical caste... the Great Church. In the view of this emergent elite, the millennium had already begun with the establishment of the Church and they were the earthly saints. In their eyes, belief in a millennium yet to come was subversive, because it suggested that the Kingdom of God had not yet arrived but belonged to a future time beyond the Church. Thus, whereas... Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons [second century] could... endorse millenarian expectations, his writings on such matters were eventually suppressed; in 431, the Council of Ephesus formally condemned millenarian belief as heresy" (p. 23).

To return to Voegelin: "By the twelfth century A.D., this inconclusive arrangement had experientially outlived itself. The Western empire of the crusades, of the new religious orders, and the cathedral schools, of cities in growth and national kingdoms in formation, could hardly leave the witnesses of the age unaware that a 'meaning' beyond a mere waiting was being constituted in history. The spiritual ferment became manifest in such representative reinterpretations of history as the Chronica of Otto of Freising (ca. 1114 - 58) and the writings of Joachim of Fiora (ca. 1145 - 1202). Both Otto and Joachim interpreted the flowering of the monastic life as the event that indicated a meaningful advance in the process of transfiguration. Joachim, in particular, apprehended in it the approach of a Third Age of the Spirit, following the ages of the Father and the Son, a symbolism closely resembling in structure and motivation the three theophantic ages of Deutero-Isaiah and Plato. Though Otto's and Joachim's metastatic expectations were no more fulfilled than Paul's, their symbolisms marked a decisive step in the self-interpretation of Western society, because they created a new pattern of expectations: The age of perfection, the teleion, would be an age of the Spirit beyond the age of Christ; it would bring the free association of spiritualists, of men of the new monastic type, unencumbered by institutions; and it would be an age, therefore, beyond the establishment of church and empire. The potentialities of the new type of expectations became apparent in the 14th century, when Petarca (1304 - 74) symbolized the age that began with Christ as the tenebrae, as the dark age, that now would be followed by a renewal of the lux of pagan antiquity. The monk as the figure promising a new age was succeeded by the humanist intellectual." (Ibid.) This is the crucial period of transition to complete immanentization, as Noble characterizes it well. "In the high Middle Ages... in the wake of religious revival, a rigorist Church reform movement, the Crusades, and renewed external threats to Christendom, millenarianism regained a degree of elite respectability, especially among the new religious orders... The founding prophet... [again is] Joachim of Fiore. In pursuit of the most perfect form of monasticism, this ardent, rigorously ascetic monastic reformer ultimately left the Cistercian order to establish his own monastery in Fiore, which he named after St. John. Joachim had been greatly influenced by the monastic and Church-reform movements, by the Crusades, and by the seemingly apocalyptic conflicts between popes and emperors, Christianity and Islam. For Joachim, Antichrist had appeared in human form in Saladin... signifying that the millennium was at hand. In his eyes, the reformed monks constituted the saintly vanguard of redeemed mankind, prepared not to challenge but to defend the established order of Christendom. Inspired by a vision while reading the... Revelation, Joachim formulated what has been described as the 'most influential prophetic system known to Europe until Marxism'... In his vision... the millenarian meaning of history, God's plan for humanity, was revealed to him... [History] had a momentum, direction, and meaning based upon the final events toward which it moved -- the millennial reunification of man with God... Armed with such foreknowledge [of the future], which included an anticipation of their own appointed role, the elect needed no longer to just passively await the millennium; they could now actively work to bring it about... Joachim... believed that the millennium, anticipated in the devotion of his monastic disciples, was due to arrive in... 1260. Soon after his death in 1202, however, the mantle of the third age was claimed by a new breed of spiritual men, the mendicant friars. The Franciscans, especially the more radical... followers of St. Francis of Assisi, emphasized their transitional role as preachers in the world rather than mere contemplatives in the cloister... [The writings of Joachim] appeared to confirm their pre-eminent and predestined role in the pursuit of the millennium. The mendicants were themselves succeeded as the bearers of the third stage by centuries of self-anointed successors, and each in turn added new dimensions to millenarian preparation" (p. 24 - 6). The trend is not just to actively bring about the end perfection, but the perfection is more and more understood as earthly rather than heavenly, the perfect state, the perfect race, the perfect society of equality between the sexes.

Then Voegelin on the final act: "Hegel, finally, brought the potential to fruition by identifying revelation with a dialectical process of consciousness in history, a process that reached its teleion in his own 'system of science'. The Logos of Christ had achieved its full incarnation in the Logos of Hegel's 'absolute knowledge.' The transfiguration that had begun with the theophany in Paul's vision of the Resurrected [and may we add the apocalyptic vision of John] was now completed in the egophany of the speculative thinker. The Parousia, at last, had occurred." (Ibid., p. 267 -9) Thus the deformation: Paul's theophany -> disappointment -> the Augustinian waiting -> monasticism as the re-assertion of transfiguration -> the humanism of the Renaissance -> Hegel, the new prophet revealing the mind of God and prophesizing the final transfiguration of history into the perfect German state of completed consciousness of freedom as the substitute Kingdom of God. Marx then reformulated this Kingdom as the totalitarian classless society.

At the end of this trail nationalism also started springing up to present the ethnic state as the Kingdom, paving the way for the deformed "Christ figures" such as the dictators to set up the State or the Race as the new Perfection for worship. The deformation of Christianity became thus power's means for supraorganismic integration, with such ideological constructs as "liberty", "equality", etc., as substitutes for the belief in Christ to effect personal salvation and with revolutions as the last installment toward the Kingdom. Thus the liberalism of the "Enlightenment" era, from which branched out liberal feminism, e.g. Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792); Olympe de Gouges who in 1791 "had issued a street pamphlet in Paris entitled Les droits de la femme... [and] was later guillotined. The year before, in 1790, Judith Sargent Murray, an American, had published 'On the Equality of the Sexes' in Massachussets. And even earlier, in the midst of the American Revolution, Abigail Adams suggested to her husband, John, that women should have some 'voice, or Representation,' in the 'new Code of Laws' being drawn for the nation." (Donovan, ibid., p. 1) Hence the female intellectuals had envisioned a different Kingdom, partly motivated by the iniquity of their existence but conditioned by the deformed metastasis all around -- and manipulated by power for supraorganismic integration. Thus although it seems that the first liberal feminists were mimicking the male revolutionaries of the time, especially since their sudden eruptions occurred precisely in America and France -- and this is probably how a feminist might explain why feminism arose in the West and nowhere else (a fact seeming to indicate that it was not in response to "oppression" since women elsewhere suffered more), i.e. inspired by men -- the reason had to be more complex. Wollstonecraft's principal lamentation was that women had to have their intellect stunted and to devote their life to "self-plumage" because prostitution (marriage) was their only way "to rise in the world". (Ibid., p. 8) She "embraces the Enlightenment view of the person as divided between reason and 'the senses'", and of reason as the life of the public arena of important business and of the sensuous as the life of the private "frivolous, unimportant pleasures". (Ibid. p. 9) Thus the life of prostitution, as the devotion to the sensuous and the private, denies "access to immortality" (in the sense that "human dignity is bound up with the ability to transcend physical existence spiritually and intellectually", p. 10). The problem was that men stood in the way between woman and her reason. If we recall the purpose of such ideology as "equality" during the revolutionary era as the elimination of the middle-men of politics in order to integrate society, Wollstonecraft's women finding their reason and completing their humanity in the public sphere would essentially result in the same, the breakdown of the barrier between the state and women and supraorganismic integration. This is why power allowed such talks. But the sudden veneration of reason among the male revolutionaries themselves had metastatic origin. Among the English just before Enlightenment, "[a] good deal of theological reflection... focused upon the Fall, in the firm belief that it could be reversed. Much attention was given to... Adam... Adam was the be-all and end-all of creation, that, because of his image-likeness to God, he stood apart from and above the rest of the world." (Noble, p. 45) The perfection at hand was also the reversal of our imperfection by nature through gradual awakening to "reason". It is this sort of frame of mind which allowed Wollstonecraft to perceive women's unfulfillment or loss of their original nature through the denial of their reason. The application of this to women presupposed also a differentiation of consciousness to be discussed later. But in the meantime we need to focus on these two foundational pillars of the emerging liberal feminism, the belief in the possibility of (the restoration of) the perfection of human being (through reason) and the usefulness of this sort of ideology for the integration of the nation-state. "... Wollstonecraft accepts Locke's tabula rasa conception of consciousness" due to the differentiation of consciousness on her part. "Her argument, following Locke, is that if you educate girls to be concerned only with their appearance, with trivialities and with the sensuous, then the result is a woman who is vain, trivial and irrational. This form of female education disadvantages not only women but the entire society [usefulness to social integration] as on Wollstonecraft's account the excellence, or otherwise, of a society is reducible to the excellence, or otherwise, of its individual members." (Moira Gatens, Feminism and Philosophy, p. 22) Thus, "till women are more rationally educated, the progress of [or the restoration of the lost] human virtue and improvement in knowledge must receive continual checks." (Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, in A Wollstonecraft Anthology, ed. Janet Todd; p. 92) Or, after listing the public professions women may pursue, she wrote: "is not that government then very defective, and very unmindful of the happiness of one half of its members, that does not provide for honest, independent women, by encouraging them to fill respectable stations?" (Ibid., p. 104; emphasis added.) Even John Stuart Mill's contention in The Subjection of Women (1860s) should be read in the light of the millennial wish for the reversal of the Fall that became extended to encompass the suppression of women's "reason" as well: "That the principle which regulates the existing social relations between the two sexes -- the legal subordination of one sex to the other -- is wrong in itself, and now one of the chief hindrance to human improvement; and that it ought to be replaced by a principle of perfect equality, admitting no power or privilege on the one side, nor disability on the other." (p. 1; emphasis added.) Then the Declaration of Sentiments -- associated with the Seneca Falls Convention -- "drafted primarily by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and issued July... 1848 [the year of European revolutions]" should be understood not just as the ideological work of power to achieve integration of the (nation-)state and to augment its scope, but also as a secular version of millenarianism, of the reversal of the Fall or damaged social reality: an attempt at the restoration of the original perfection. "This document, rooted in natural rights theory, is modeled nearly word for word on the Declaration of Independence" (ibid., p. 5 - 6):

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the peoples of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitled them, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course. (Cited by Donovan, ibid., p. 6)

The perversion of nature -- the Fall -- via the "domestication of women", so to speak, then indicated an "absolute despotism" of which nature required an overthrow to reach its (original) perfection. The peculiar historical sensibility of the feminist, most exemplified by the radical feminists of the 1960s, then emerged: "The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her." (Cited ibid.) This describes the loss of perfection. The statement itself was not false for history since the bronze age, but it is more important to note at work here power's going through metamorphosis (hence all the symbolism of "overthrow") and its consequent demand for the direct participation of women in the business of the state -- by the use of secularized Christian sensibility.


1. C.f. Chapter 9: "The Progressive Bildung of Open Dissipative Structure".

2. Even if global warming shall not destroy the human race, the goal of history would still be the formation of supraorganism (totalitarian society) with the smearing out of persons' individuality and the intense suffering and perhaps extinction of many other animals.

3. "The close of the third Maratha war, in 1818, brought a temporary lull in fighting, and for a while attention [of the British colonial administrators in India] was concentrated upon improving the condition of the Indian people, principally within the region of direct control. Lord William Bentinck, governor-general from 1828 to 1835, made particular progress in this respect. The old Hindu practice of suttee had been attacked by the missionaries for some time and was finally prohibited by decree in 1829." (Walter Phelps Hall, Robert Greenhalgh Albion, & Jennie Pope, A History of England and the British Empire, p. 670.) As for the attack by the missionaries on native customs, special attention should be paid to the London Missionary Society, Scottish Missionary Society, and the Church Missionary Society limited to Anglicans, all formed during the 1790s, with the continuous multiplication of other missionary societies during this period of missionary fervor. "While the saving of souls was their primary motive, they did extensive work as teachers and doctors. They also labored, with ultimate success, to stamp out barbaric customs. In India they put an end to 'suttee'... and an end also to the sacrifice of infants in the Ganges. In the Fiji Islands they tried to bring humane ideas to the old chief who had set up 852 headstones, each for a human being he had eaten; and they interfered to prevent the strangling of another chief's principal wives when he died. In New Zealand too they fought against cannibalism, so that the practice finally died out... [Their report of triumph came:] 'The natives are fully clothed and in their right minds.' In most of the tropical regions where they worked, the natives had gone in a happy state of near nudity until it became a pious act to force them into flowing raiment of cotton. It is even said that some of the Lancashire manufacturers contributed liberally to the missionary societies because this pious concealing of nakedness meant a tremendous new market for English textiles." (Ibid. p. 658) Occasions for thinking within the framework of a thermodynamic interpretation of history.

4. C.f. Rose Weitz in "What Price Independence?" (in Rereading America; also in Women, A Feminist Perspective, ed. Jo Freeman, p. 448) first points out several ways in which lesbians may pose a threat to male power. 1. Lesbians survive without male protection and provision and therefore suggest "the potential strength of all women and their ability to transcend their traditional roles." 2. "[S]ince they are likely to see their fate as tied to other women rather than to individual men, lesbians may be more likely than heterosexual women to believe in the necessity of fighting for women's rights". 3. Lesbians cause disillusionment with the relation of domination between the sexes by "appearing to present... an alternative to the typical inequality of heterosexual relationships... Since lesbian relationships generally contain no built-in assumption of the superiority of one partner, developing an egalitarian relationship may be easier." (p. 320-1) She further uses as evidences the special stigmatization of lesbians by persons possessed of sexist beliefs and the conspicuous punishment of them from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century when they wear male clothing to conclude that "it was not the sexual aspect of lesbianism as much as the attempted usurpation of male prerogative by women who behave like men that many societies appeared to find most disturbing" (p. 321). In this way she explains also the greater stigmatization of male homosexuality in modern society: "whereas lesbians threaten the status quo by refusing to accept their inferior position as women, gay males may threaten it even more by appearing to reject their privileged status as men", i.e. "rejection of masculine values" in being "sissies" and "queens" (p. 326). Hence she concludes that "the negative social reactions to lesbianism [and to male homosexuality as well] reflect male fears of female independence, and the social sanctions and cultural stereotypes serve to lessen the threat that these independent women pose to male power" (p. 323). The problem of course arises that these negative social reactions to homosexuality have not been a constant in Western societies nor have they been universal across cultures, and in their modern (Western) form arise specifically during the era of industrialization. And moreover they have been diminishing since Weitz's article. Weitz explains the modern origin: "By the second half of the nineteenth century... the combined effects of the Civil War in this country and of male migration away from rural areas in both the U.S. and Europe had created a surplus of unmarried women in many communities. At the same time, the growth of the feminist movement had led to increased educational opportunities for women. These factors, coupled with the growth of industrialization, opened the possibility of employment and an independent existence to significant number of women." Hence the serious attempt to suppress female (and male by extension) homosexuality. Although I don't disagree with an origin of the suppression of homosexuality in male-domination, I tend to see this as only the superficial consequence of a deeper operation of power. That is, I believe the newly constituted praxis of homophobia to be a consequence of the discipline of persons manifested in a strict sexual division of labor reconstituted in the form of nuclear family which the increasing superorganismic integration and metabolism during the formative period of nation-states required. Since the sexual division of labor must break down for supraorganismic integration and metabolism during the mature period of the nation-state, not a wonder that the suppression of homosexuality diminishes after the 1990s. Lesbian feminists would of course see this as the triumphant effect of their effort, though in fact it is merely power metamorphosing. Since Weitz's historical sensibility is such that the principle governing historical happenings is males' attempt to dominate women, she would see that, always, "historically, negative social reactions to such women [who stepped outside of male influence] seem most likely to develop whenever men fear women's sexual or economic independence" (p. 323). Thus she explains "[t]he inquisition against witches that occurred from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries... the most extreme response in the western world to the threat posed by independent women": "The witchcraft trials occurred in a society undergoing the first throes of industrialization and urbanization... The weakening of the rural extended family forced many women to look for employment outside the home. These unattached women proved especially vulnerable to accusations of witchcraft... As Mary Daly points out, 'The targets of attack in the witchcraze were not women defined by assimilation into the patriarchal family. Rather, the witchcraze focused predominantly upon women who had rejected marriage (Spinsters) and some who had survived it (widows)." (Ibid.) If the historical sensibility is shifted from male-predominance as the principle governing history to the thermodynamic one of best arrangement of the economico-productive relations (metabolic pathways), then the explanation of the suppression of independent womanhood changes to understanding it as either prevention against economic arrangements subversive to supraorganismic metabolism or residual resistance to its metamorphosis (the last twitching of the dying horse, like the contemporary conservative men's reaction towards the growing independence of women). (In the explanation she has given, in fact, the thermodynamic answer is there, the "first throes of industrialization and urbanization" which demanded the "weakening of rural extended family" and the reconstitution of a smaller and tighter unit of consumption in the form of nuclear family which required the discipline of persons into strict stereotypical sex roles of the producer and re-producer.) She thus explains the suppression of the Beguines in the same way: "Beguines threatened the monopolies of both the guilds and the church. The guilds feared the economic competition of these organized skilled women workers, while the church feared their social and religious independence... For these reasons, the church in the fourteenth century ordered the Beguine houses dissolved..." The same with convents: "... the independence of early medieval nuns could not be allowed to last long... by the Renaissance, women faced increasing difficulties in attempting to found or to endow convents, while friars began to take over the management of existing convents... The church gradually closed all double monasteries, pressuring nuns to enter cloisters and to wear religious habits" (p. 324). The church significantly reduced education, of Latin also, for nuns by the 16th century. "As Protestant ideas began to infiltrate Europe, the status of unmarried women decline... To Protestants, 'marriage was the most acceptable state before God and... a woman has no claim to consideration except in her capacity as wife and mother.' (Eckenstein...) These beliefs, coupled with the political aims of Protestant rulers, culminated in the forced dissolution of convents and monasteries in many parts of Europe. In Protestant Europe, women were left without a socially acceptable alternative to marriage..." The shift to the thermodynamic point of view would conclude that Protestantism was the chief ideology for human discipline necessary for the formative period of nation-state, industrialization, and capitalism, and that the suppression of the independence of women under Protestantism was a disciplinary measure as examined, prefiguring, in Anderson and Zinsser's words, the "nadir" of the situation of European women under the pressure of centralization and standardization.

Adrienne Rich's "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" in Signs, summer, 1980, p. 631 - 660, is another classic piece to link compulsory heterosexuality with male-domination. "The fact is that women in every culture have undertaken the task of independent, non-heterosexual, women-connected existence, to the extent made possible by their context, often in the belief that they were the 'only ones' ever to have done so... even though attacks against unmarried women have ranged from aspersion and mockery to deliberate gynocide, including the burning and torturing of millions of widows and spinsters during the witch persecutions of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries in Europe..." (p. 635) Such ideology points up: first, the need of power for such radicalism as "female separatism" in order to dismantle its former shell impeding its current growth but so entrenched as to be confused with nature -- thousand years of women in the kitchen and so weak as to be unable to produce commercially -- and acquire a new one that it now needs: a strong women capable of production of consumer products. As Donovan summarizes this long classic article: (1) The symbolism of alienation: the former shell of power is encompassed under false consciousness or "male-identification": "In this essay Rich suggests that 'compulsory heterosexuality' is a 'political institution' that guarantees women's continued subordination, because it requires 'male identification' on the part of most women: this means... putting men's needs, issues, and perspective first, and denying the existence or potential of women-identification." (Ibid., p.165) Kathleen Barry similarly defines this male identification as the false consciousness "by which women place men above women, including themselves, in credibility, status, and importance... Interaction with women is seen as a lesser form of relating on every level." (Female Sexual Slavery, 1979, p. 172) In existentialist terms (such as of Simone de Beauvoir) male identification is called "bad faith" because women learn to look at themselves through the perspective of men rather than through that of their own. Male identification has certainly occurred in the past and in the classical patriarchies, but note that the historical function of this male identification lies not just in male domination, but ultimately in the maintenance of the economic mode of society (whether agrarian or formative capitalism). Consciousness-raising in fact consists in the replacement of this false consciousness of male identification by another false consciousness of women identification which reinforces the new economy of consumerism, and which therefore is the historical function of Rich's manner of thinking. "Citing numerous studies -- especially Nancy Chodrow's... -- that see the mother-bond as primary, Rich asks why theorists have not questioned the violent wrenching required for the girl to switch her affections to a man... Rich suggests that it is the ideology and institution of 'compulsory heterosexuality' that forces women to make this transferal. It is not, she maintains, a natural or innate choice; rather it is forced upon the women by her political environment." (Ibid.) Rich's point is that this is the "fallenness" into false (male-identified) consciousness through which patriarchy operates. "Rich argues that a central component of all women's lives -- past and present -- is this having to live a 'double life' [i.e. a 'true' consciousness locked in a false consciousness]; expressing on the one hand, an 'apparent acquiescence to an institution founded on male interest and prerogative' [maintaining false consciousness], and, on the other, experiencing the strong pulls that draw her toward other women and a woman-identified experience [true consciousness buried inside but making the 'call of conscience']." (Ibid.) The gnostic symbolism (see below) is especially evident here. When women overcome their false consciousness of male identification or bad faith, when they learn to look at themselves through their own perspective, by relating with other women instead of with men, they will have come to their "genuine self", and become "saved" (a secularized second mode of salvation). (2) Here is the point of Rich's article: "One of the central ways in which 'compulsory heterosexuality' is perpetuated is through rendering the woman-identified or lesbian experience invisible." Consciousness-raising is then "so that women in the future will realize that male-identification is not the only option. As we begin to explore lesbian culture we will come to realize... that it is, 'like motherhood', a profoundly female experience' and that it is a pervasive one. An awareness of the continued and widespread reality of woman-identified commitments will show that compulsory heterosexuality is a 'lie' that has been forced upon women as a means of sustaining male domination." (Ibid., p. 166) This gnostic type of symbolism of alienation and salvation -- and this is what I am interested in -- serves the function of women becoming independent through their mutual network and support, which, in the context of consumer society, translates into becoming a producer and consumer in their own right: reinforcement of consumerism and its destruction of the Earth. It is always the consequence of an ideology to which we should turn our attention, not its supposedly profound insight or intention couched in spiritual terms of alienation and salvation.

This is not to say that heterosexism has not in the past contributed to the oppression of women (c.f. the comparison of Lucia Valeska's observation with Simone de Beauvoir's comment in "The Problem of Cultural feminism"); the criticism here relates to the consequence of this insight in the present.

5. E.g. Dale Spender, Man Made Language (1990): "Women are muted because men are in control and the language, the meanings, and the knowledge of women cannot be accounted for outside that male control... Inherent in this analysis of dominant/muted groups is the assumption that women and men will generate different meanings, that is, that there is more than one perceptual order, but that only the 'perceptions' of the dominant group, with their inherently partial nature, are encoded and transmitted." (p. 77) The effect of this and the mechanism by which this is accomplished is the subject of Spender's book, which can be briefly summarized: 1.) On the level of the langue (to use Saussure's distinction), language is a form of conceptual sexism because it subscribes in the structure of its semantic determination to that fundamental binary opposition Norm-Other, or normal-strange. Here she is following de Beauvoir. Her contention is that the universe of language is obsessively divided into these two fundamental categories which are not neutral but have values determined by an operational semantic rule. Obviously Norm is associated with male and Other with female.

Because male considers himself as the norm, the world is assumed male unless proven otherwise. This is tantamount to saying: the world is good when it is male. Thus the decision is essential of when the world is male, and so also the distinction between male and female aspect of the world. Thus arise the two fundamental categories into which the world is divided and the semantic rule for the determination of meaning:

positive connotation negative connotation
male (-plus) male-minus

The words used to signify the world (the denotation of language) belong to either one of these two categories, which confer upon them their connotations. Once a name or word becomes associated with women, it develops negative connotation and is rarely considered suitable for males, and this process does not operate in reverse: such is the semantic rule of language. The word "aggressive", for example, designating the state of something of the world, has different connotations when it is applied to different sexes. But there is an even more extended operation of this semantic rule, two examples of which Spender provides as particularly interesting:

a.) Various types of statement can also be allocated in either of these two great categories. To be allocated in the male-plus category (that is, to be used by males) the speech is considered thoughtful and balanced. To be located in the counter division, on the other hand, is to acquire various negative qualities. For example, the determination of qualifier (functioning like a tag question, considered "inferior" speech) and absolute (making the statement one of suredness, considered "superior" speech): "... it was hypothesized that females used more qualifiers... [and] men used more absolutes... it seems to me that the use of the same term could be interpreted as a qualifier if used by females and an absolute if used by males; for example:

'perhaps you have misinterpreted me.'
'maybe you should do it again.' (p. 35)

b.) Pitch: if used by females the pitch is considered high and unsuitable for public speaking; if used by males it is heard low and balanced. (p. 38 - 41)

2.) All public discourse, parole, is conceptual sexism, and reflective only of the experience of men. Spender painstakingly documents two types of public discourse: that of the lay persons and that of the academic circle. In the discourse of the lay "motherhood", for example, has the meaning of feminine fulfillment, representing something beautiful and leaving women consumed and replete with joy. This meaning, however, which defines women as masochistic, is one produced solely from the male perspective with which the meanings of women do not mesh. Several examples of the meanings in the academic discourse representative only of male experience Spender derives from the discipline of sociology, one of which is that of work, which has been defined by male sociologists as "something which men do", women's experience being decreed as non-data. This is influenced by the binary opposition in the male worldview between production - reproduction (not-production). Spender then points out that, not only is what is expressed in public discourse alien to women's experience, but also the form in which it is expressed: the arts of rhetoric, oratory, persuasion, in which leaders are made and followers won, are suitable only for the expression of male-consciousness.

3.) As feminists commonly assert that social consciousness is not anything other than the consciousness of men only -- the result of the articulation of men and the silence of women -- Spender tries to get a picture of the ways in which women are dissociated from speaking (parole) through the speech priority of men. The initiation on the part of women to develop the conversation of men, to introduce a number of topics which cater to men's interest, constitutes a form of consent to the speech priority of men. Then there are the various strategies which men employ to suppress women's talk, e.g. interruption: "Interruption is a mechanism by which (a) males can prevent females from talking, and (b) they can gain the floor for themselves; it is therefore a mechanism by which they engineer female silence." (p. 44) Other strategies she lists: social injunction against woman talking; discrediting woman's talk without reference to its content (both of these she classifies as "intimidation"); and the curtailment of women talking, achieved when women are in men's presence through interruption, but in their absence by the fact that society provides few places for women to gather and talk.

Thanks to the effort of American feminism, Spender's many descriptions seem no longer applicable after the 1990s. On the other hand a best analysis of the problem of the seemingly inescapable permeation of sexism in the very structure of the Indo-European languages (not others!) can be found in Andrea Nye's Feminist Theory and the Philosophy of Man (1988), Ch. 6, "A Woman's Language".

6. So as for American society, the most massive open dissipative structure in history, Warren Farrell, in The Myth of Male Power, noting that seven times more floor space is always devoted to women than to men in shopping malls, reminds: "Both sexes buy more for women... Overall, women control consumer spending by a wide margin in virtually every consumer category." (p. 33) "The article [Diane Crispell, 'The Brave New World', American Demographic, Jan. 1992] concludes that women dominate consumer spending in personal items, cleaning supplies and housewares, and food. In the category of furniture/ cars, it is close to even -- men have only a technical dominance." (p. 374) "Women's control over spending gives them control over TV programs because TV is dependent on sponsors. When this is combined with the fact that women watch more TV in every time slot... [h]alf of the 250 made-for-TV movies in 1991 depicted women as victims -- subjected to 'some form of physical or psychological mistreatment.'" (p. 33) The important point of this is that women are therefore reinforced to watch more TV. Some say, "'Women work two jobs [outside & at home], men work one.' But this is misleading." For men work more hours outside and commute farther and do hardwork, repair, etc., which are not considered "house work". "The University of Michigan's study... found the average man worked 61 hours per week, the average woman 56." (p. 37) The important point is that women have more time to consume also. (Note that this seems applicable only to whites.) White females' higher rate of consumption results in their higher living standard which translates into their higher life expectancy in the 1990s: white females, 79; black females 74; white males, 72; black males 65; compare this with a mere one year difference in the life expectancy between white males and white females in the 1920s. (p. 30; no data on Asians and Hispanics.) "Among the wealthiest 1.6 percent of the U.S. population... women's net worth is more than men's [1.17 million vs. 1.11 million]. How can so many of the wealthiest people be women when women hold none of the top corporate jobs? In part, by selecting the men who do and outliving them. And in part by having greater spending power and lower spending power obligations..." (p. 33) Behind every man who makes massive income, there is a woman who spends it. Note also that because men are far more likely to die prematurely by unnatural causes (accidents, crimes, etc.), they are not considered reliable consumers. The point is not to moan over the unfairness of American white females' having the highest living standard (though not the same as happiness) among all life forms on Earth with more laws and societal resources devoted to their protection and promotion than for any other species on Earth, or over the fact that by now they are the definitive new masters in American society -- just as men in historical times have been masters, so now it's women's turn... perhaps that's only fair; but that female (noospheric) consumption and defecation, which is the pivot of power and the end product of women's movement, is the greatest ecological problem facing the planet today.

7. A problem here is that companies spend more resources in employing women than men, since women are far more likely to sue their employers for harassment, etc., and require maternal leaves, etc. (Farrell, ibid.) But this is not a contradiction since the extra cost of employers eventually translate into greater female consumption.

A most interesting "metaphysical" way of identifying male-domination with capitalism -- rather than the truth: that capitalism represents the beginning deconstruction of "male-domination" (or rather, elite-male domination) -- is found in Azizah Al-Hibri's "Capitalism Is An Advanced Stage of Patriarchy" in Women and Revolution: A Discussion of the Unhappy Marriage between Marxism and Feminism, ed. Lydia Sargent, 1981. So, she presents here an argument to demonstrate that "capitalism is an advanced stage of patriarchy" (p. 167). The argument is constructed on the thesis that males have by their nature always been troubled by "feelings of inadequacy", which have prompted them throughout history to desire immortality, as expressed in the classical philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. She argues that women in history do not experience such desire for immortality "either in the same way or to the same degree" (ibid.) because of the specific difference between males' experience of being-in-the-world and females' that has been effective since tribal times. (1) "For, in contradistinction to the male, the female exhibited a greater permanence. Not only did she constantly recover from her bouts with bleeding, but more significantly, she constantly reproduced herself -- she had the key to immortality and he did not.... [T]his revealed him... as excluded and cut off from the cycle of ever-regenerating life" (p. 172). (2) The female "had good reason to relate to the world in a more relaxed fashion". "She was planted deeply into the cycle of life and the womb of nature [presumably especially because of menstruation]. Thus she had no reason to feel cut off, frustrated, or shortchanged" (p. 175). Consequently (1) the males attempt to achieve artificial permanence ("the path toward immortality") by first taking over female reproduction as their own (patrilinealism; male ancestor-cult), then using technological production -- from primitive tool-making to today's machines -- as reproduction of a kind that is of even greater permanence than biological reproduction (man-made products last longer than individual human beings). (2) Man's alienation from women and nature causes this technological production to take on the mode of domination (of nature and women) as compensatory. Both are of the essence of patriarchy. Since industrial capitalism is the most advanced in technological production and domination of nature, Al-Hibri considers it to be "the advanced stage of patriarchy."

The "thesis" which is the foundation of this argument shows up elsewhere, such as in Nancy Jay's explanation of sacrificial rites as the artificial "male birth-giving" (Throughout Your Generations Forever). A grain of truth this may contain, we did not mention it in the exposition of the origin of the sexual division of labor, and the conclusion "capitalism is an advanced stage of patriarchy" is specifically rejected. For criticism of the thesis, see 8.2. For Al-Hibri this analysis naturally leads to Marxist feminism as the answer. "... the male is doomed to continue experimenting with different modes of domination until the roots of the problem are finally recognized and faced.... This means that marxism is a step beyond the third stage [of domination through production] in achieving this recognition" (p. 181).

8. C.f. Margaret L. Andersen, Thinking About Women (1983?), Ch. 5, "Women, Work, and the Economy", p. 103 - 139.

9. Many feminists, like women in general, have usually adopted the existentialist attitude -- knowingly or not -- as outlined in de Beauvoir's The Second Sex: "Every subject plays his part as such specifically through exploits or projects that serve as a mode of transcendence." (xxxiv) Namely, a fulfilled person is one who continually transcends his or her current state and becomes something other and better: progress, activity is good. The foundation of Mary Wollstonecraft's is the same. Given such assumption, feminists naturally feel themselves biologically disadvantaged, insofar as because of their physiology and the "grammar of gender" it seems that mysterious forces are happening to them to hamper them (menstruation, etc.) and that their body, their physical being is to be the object of perception as expected; comparing this experience with the superficial perception of a male who is unrestrained to engage in projects of transcendence and whose body is an instrument of transcendence, they feel nature and society to have suppressed them to the level of immanent object, and, thus inclining toward feminism, become convinced in the correctness of its view of the world as oriented by male-domination and -advantage. Note that this background of personal experience of the feminist can only be formed -- as a function of ideology -- in the ignorance of male experience. The adoption of transcendence or immanence as a way-of-life is the function of adolescence, which is therefore a stressful time. "[In America] teenagers attempt suicide roughly 10 times more frequently than adults, although their fatality rate of 11.1 per 100,000 people is about the same as adults'... About 4 times more girls than boys make suicide attempts, but boys are much more likely to die: About 11% of (reported) males' attempts were fatal, compared to 0.1% of females', a ratio of more than 100:1 [CDC 1995]." Geo Stone, Suicide and Attempted Suicide (1999), p. 39 - 40. This seems to indicate the greater distress resulting from the male role of "transcendence". "For both sexes, adolescence sharpens sex-role anxiety... Less attractive girls feel especially vulnerable... As for the more attractive girl, she eventually senses her dependency on a power that'll fade... [but] she becomes... a genetic celebrity... As difficult as this is for girls, I believe that something is happening to boys during this time that makes suicide a greater probability. By addicting boys more to girls' bodies than vice versa, we make boys feel less equal than girls. This reinforces boy performing for girls, pursuing girls, and paying for girls to compensate for their inequality. When they perform and pursue inadequately -- or feel they will never be able to earn enough to afford what they are addicted to -- this creates anxiety which... leads to suicide. Performing, pursuing, and paying... These 3 Ps are what boys learn they must do to earn their way to equality to girls' love. The teenage female has her own set of anxieties but has, on average, less demand to perform and more resources to attract love. Her body and mind are more genetic gifts. Thus, a popular girl is more a genetic celebrity [advantage of immanence], a popular boy more an earned celebrity [disadvantage of transcendence]. The more he is addicted to the genetic celebrity, the more he must become the earned celebrity." (Farrell, ibid., p. 166) This may dispel the objection that the higher mortality (as due to dangerous jobs, victimization by crimes, war, etc.) and suicide rate and lower life expectancy for the males are simply the price to pay for power, as, to earn the status of a hero with the accompanying power, a man has to risk his life. The ease to obtain love without effort on one's part which the life of immanence offers is probably what motivates men to become women through sex reassignment surgery at a rate that is three times that of women transgendering into men.

(The general background for suicide: "About 1.4% of Americans end their lives by suicide, making it the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S... The largest increase in the last 30 years has been among people between 15 and 24 years of age, but the highest rates are still among the elderly. Men kill themselves at about four times the rate for women (19.8 in 100,000 for men vs. 4.5 in 100,000 for women in 1994...)..." Geo Stone, ibid., p. 10. Among races, etc. in the U.S.: "Native Americans have the highest... rate: 16.2 in 100,000 (1991 - 3); while the rate for white[s]... was 11.1 in 100,000 (1992...) Black[s]... have reported suicide rates [7 in 100,000 in 1994] substantially lower than those of whites -- except among males 24 - 35 years old, whose rates are similar... The best single socioeconomic predictor appears to be religious affiliation... Protestant, Hindu, and Buddhist regions have, with a few exceptions, higher reported suicide rates than Moslem or Catholic ones." Ibid., p. 48 - 9; emphasis added.)

The most prominent aspect of this female experience of disadvantagedness that motivates many women to lean toward feminism is probably the experience of alienation resulting from that of sexual objectification. The classic piece analyzing this is Sandra Bartky's "Narcissism, Femininity and Alienation" (Social Theory and Practice 8 [Sum 1982]: 127-143). Alienation -- now passed from its original religious context into the hands of the "secular gnostics" -- as "employed by Marx... refers both to a fragmentation of the human person, a 'splintering of human nature into a number of misbegotten parts' and to a prohibition on the exercise of typically human functions", that is, "the prohibition of those activities which are constitutive of selfhood". (p. 128) Since Marx's conception of alienation "may well apply to women insofar as we are workers, but not insofar as we are women" she sets out to develop a conception of alienation as constituting the essence of femininity which is built on sexual objectification. The denial of woman's body as the instrument of transcendence, and the cultivation of it "as a beautiful object to be gazed at and decorated" rather than the development of "a sense of our bodies as strong, active subjects moving out to meet the world's risks and confront the resistance of matter and motion" -- this, as instilled by society in women, means an "estrangement by being too closely identified with [the body]", that "a woman's sexual parts or... functions are separated out from her person, reduced to the status of mere instruments or else regarded as if they were capable of representing her." (p. 130) This is prohibition. But it also means fragmentation. "[S]exual objectification typically involves two persons, one who objectifies and one who is objectified... [But in this case the two are] one and the same person: a woman can become a sex object for herself, taking toward her own person the attitude of the man... [i.e.] 'narcissism'." But the problem, she names, is that "[i]t would be odd to regard something as alienating if it were not, by and large, disagreeable... [So, then,] many women appear to embrace with enthusiasm what seem to be the most alienated aspects of feminine existence. There is no dearth of contenders for the title of 'Miss America.'... 'Playmate of the Month' is an enviable status." "We can understand the interest women have in conforming to the requirements of sexual objectification" (p. 132); "Knowing that she is to be subjected to the cold appraisal of the male consciousness and that her life prospects may depend on how she is seen, a woman learns to appraise herself first." (p. 134) But "less easy to explain is the pleasure." (p. 132) Bartky does not provide here an explanation of this pleasure, dismissing the existentialist explanation that women "simply prefer the reverent and self-absorbed pleasures of the mirror to the challenges of freedom": the comfort of "false consciousness" or bad faith (p. 135). She does specify that the internalized Other, the Onlooker, is not just man, but the "fashion-beauty complex". To make money, "[o]vertly, the fashion-beauty complex seeks to glorify the female body and to provide opportunities for narcissistic indulgence. More important than this is its covert aim, which is to depreciate woman's body and deal a blow to her narcissism" by presenting an ideal image of woman's body to which women are thus brain-washed to approximate. "The project of transformation, as it is outlined in, for example, Vogue, is daunting. Every aspect of my bodily being requires either alienation or else heroic measure merely to conserve it. The taboo on aging demands that I try to trap my body and remove it from time..." (p. 135 - 6) Women are thus trapped in an ideal of stasis. It is important to note, firstly, that such objectification and fragmentation is alienating or harmful only if, as Bartky notes, the internalized "witnesses are... introjected representatives of agencies hostile to the self." (p. 138) Thus the narcissism that a male body-builder has for his body is not considered alienating because the internalized gaze of the Other is admiring and not hostile. The division of opinions among the feminists on the "oppressive" status of the sex professions has its origin in this fact. The feminists who defend it are seeing that sexual objectification of the female in the advanced industrialized Western countries has become empowering to women rather than alienating (in the mode of stasis) because the profit margin of this profession has tremendously increased due to the consumerist context, the control of this profit has shifted more and more from the hands of male "pimps" to those of the working women themselves, and the juridical and cultural climate has purged from the male consumers disrespectful handlings of the "producers". That is, the Onlooker, external and internalized, is no longer hostile, but seems more and more like an inferior worshipper, whose pathetic longing gaze is empowering women rather than degrading. The feminists who object to it are clinging to the outdated version of the experience of objectification. Our first objection to such exposition of the experience of disadvantagedness is therefore its loss of validity and mere persistence through "fundamentalist" fossilization. Secondly -- and this is our main concern here -- this characterization of femininity as alienation again has its force of victimology only in ignorance of the male experience. The alienation inherent in masculinity, the objectification of men into cash machine, the societal expectation that a man has to unconditionally pay and labor to support "his" woman that he otherwise does not deserve -- that otherwise he has no right to exist -- and their general experiences as the "disposable sex" (c.f. "The death professions, 'My body, not my choice'"; "The armed prostitutes", in Farrell, ibid.) -- these the feminists have to pretend to not exist. And this is because if they admit the unrosiness of men's life, then history, their vision of reality (their Weltanschauung), loses its patriarchal symmetry (men with all the advantages, women with none) on which the experience of disadvantagedness depends. The definitive characteristic of cultural feminism, as of all forms of secular gnosticism, is that the world has to be black-and-white, one side responsible for all the goodness and the other for all the evil in the world. Complexity, and the color gray, cannot be allowed in the conception of any phenomenon. The second reason, historical sensibility, is therefore the far more fundamental factor than "personal experience of oppression" (which it produces) in shaping some women's inclination toward feminism. This analysis, we must be careful to emphasize, is valid only within the contemporary time in the Western nation-states, especially in the English-speaking ones. But "patriarchal symmetry" (black-and-white-ness) is a fundamental mis-conception in the understanding of male-domination, no more valid during the formative period of nation-states and not so either of the classical patriarchies. And we still have to remember Foucault's historical lesson here, that feminism emerges precisely where it is least needed and never appears where it is most necessary.

10. Eric Voegelin's preliminary remark may be brought in at this point to prefigure the following long discussion: "I prefer, however, to draw the reader's attention to the analysis of the metastatic problem in the present volume on 'Israel and Revelation' (Chap. 13, 2.2), and he will see immediately that the prophetic conception of a change in the constitution of being lies at the root of our contemporary beliefs in the perfection of society, either through progress or through a communist revolution." In 'progress' we have thus included the greatest movement of them all, women's movement, i.e. both the 'liberation of women' and feminist discourse. "Not only are the apparent antagonists revealed as brothers under the skin, as the late Gnostic descendants of the prophetic faith in a transfiguration of the world; it obviously is also of importance to understand the nature of the experience that will express itself in beliefs of this type, as well as the circumstances under which it has arisen in the past from which it derives its strength in the present. Metastatic faith is one of the great sources of disorder, if not the principal one, in the contemporary world; and it is a matter of life and death for all of us to understand the phenomenon and to find remedies against it before it destroys us." (Order and History, vol. 1, Israel and Revelation, p. xiii.) Of course our view is that there is no remedy; extinction is the goal of history just as death is the goal of life. As for metastatic faith, it means that reality can be changed by an act of faith, as in "the Isaianic demand that in a war the king should not rely on fortifications and the army, but on his faith in Yahweh who would miraculously divert the danger from his people." (Order and History, vol. 4, The Ecumenic Age, p. 26) The deformation of metastatic faith -- exemplified by the revolutionaries, progressivists, and cultural feminists -- consists in the faith that the damaged reality can be changed for the better, brought to perfection as of the Kingdom of God, by human actions. Such belief is absent from non-Western cultures.

11. C.f. John King Fairbank, China: A New History: "An estimated population of 60 million as of AD 2 in mid-Han had been matched by roughly the same figure im mid-Tang, suggesting a thousand years of ups and downs with only a modest overall increase. Then the estimated total rose under the Song [a noted period of prosperity] to well above 100 million but was reported as considerably less under the Mongols and the early Ming." (p. 167) "One may guess that the Chinese population by 1600 was close to 150 million... From 1741 to the outbreak of the Taiping rebellion in 1851 the annual figures rose steadily and spectacularly, beginning with 143 million and ending with 432 million." (p. 168) China thus experienced a population explosion at the same time as Europe, with however industrialization attending the latter as the obvious cause but not the former. The factor which Fairbank deems most important for this explosion of population is the increase of food supply. Among the factors responsible for the increase of food supply was the introduction of new crops (potatoes, peanuts, corn, etc.) from America. (p. 169) As seen, the European colonization of America had brought about a fundamental change in human diet, with a tremendous increase in the consumption of sweets, sugars, and carbohydrates, which caused a massive increase in human population around the world.


13. The passages which Noble has cited are from Revelation 21:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away: and there was no more sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow (penthos), nor crying, neither shall there be any more work (ponos: hard work, drudgery, pain of body and mind), for the former things are passed away. [This is salvation, the negation of the material meaning of life. No more death, consumption, defecation, and the hard labor necessary to sustain these. Later it shall be seen that the essence of such soteriological movements as cultural feminism, Marxism, and Aryanism lies precisely in the perversion of salvation into the exact opposite, the fulfillment of material meaning of life. This Kingdom of God where dissipative function is negated is to be immanentized into an earthly paradise of happy and unalienated dissipation with lots of love.] And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new... And he said unto me, It is done [has become]. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst the gift of the fountain of the water of life. He that overcometh [the victorious] shall inherit these things: and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Translation altered from King James) Kai eidon ouranon kainon kai ghn kainhn. o gar prwtoV ouranoV kai h prwth gh aphlqan kai h qalassa ouk estin eti. kai thn polin thn agian Ierousalhm kainhn eidon katabainousan ek tou ouranou apo tou qeou htoimasmenhn wV numfhn kekosmhmenhn twi andri authV... kai exaleiyei pan dakruon ek twn ofqalmwn autwn, kai o qanatoV ouk estai eti oute penqoV oute kraugh oute ponoV ouk estai eti, oti ta prwta aphlqan. Kai eipen o kaqhmenoV epi twi qronwi, idou kaina poiw panta... Kai eipen moi. gegonan. egw to alfa kai to w, h arch kai to teloV. egw twi diywnti dwsw ek thV phghV tou udatoV thV zwhV dwrean. o nikwn klhronomhsei tauta kai esomai autwi qeoV kai autoV estai moi uioV. (Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th ed.)

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