Ladies, and yes this one is written directly to women, I have some things to say to you.
But before starting, a preface of sorts. I have to talk about a fundamental problem first. Before we can communicate in way that will work, we first have to figure out a way to overcome a set of social rules that dictate I am not supposed to say things that upset you.
Men are not supposed to upset women. Husbands are not supposed to upset their wives. Politicians try vigilantly not to upset women voters (and even women non-voters). Advertisers tell you all the time about how much you deserve the best in life, which they are happy to provide.
Most men who are interested in you sexually are telling you what you want to hear all the time, which you know about and enjoy to one degree or another. The men who stay with you end up doing it to keep the peace.
As a man, I am not supposed to write things that upset or offend you, or it makes me a misogynist.
Because of all this and much more, it is a rigged game trying to work with you to solve problems in the first place. The rule is I can’t fix a problem with you because I can’t tell you the truth if it is uncomfortable for you. As long as I remember that, there is no problem.
There’s not one shred of decency or sensibility about this kind of human arrangement, and you certainly must know that on some level.
I know the tone I use to write offends some women into quickly disengaging; women who might otherwise have given the information a second look. It is unfortunate, but the fact remains that the problems I just described are so ingrained, so ensconced in the culture, that the only way I know of to get people to pay attention to this stuff at all is the way I do it.
So, what I have to say is only going to appeal to deeply honest women who make it a habit to put on their big girl panties every day.
And by the way, I say I know what I do works because AVfM attracts support from educated, talented and brilliant women from all over the world. And I would wager my last dollar that all or most of them would tell you that this place is remarkable because it actually is an environment where women are treated as equals. No lip service, just action.
These are women that can hear women (and men) being critiqued, honestly and without sugar coating, and not internalize it, or, as we say in more plain English, make it about them.
I know, that was a lot of words without even getting to the meat of the article, but they might come in useful before this is over.
With that, ladies, what I really have to say to you is that your collective environmental values, the preponderance of what women find important as consumers, is a fucking joke. The overwhelming lot of you seriously need to wake up.
I recently penned an article, “The Earth Mother is One Selfish Bitch,” in which I pointed out a few, very few, ways women’s consumer habits damaged the environment, cause war, animal cruelty, slave labor and displacement.
Comments and emails pointed to other things I left out, like the horrendous polluting impact from make-up production, skin creams made with human foreskins and rampant shopping addiction.
Now I could go into quite a diatribe on those things, but at this point any more proofing of the fact that the modern female psyche is a consumer machine is beating a dead Gucci. And besides, it gets us no closer to calling on women to woman up and start acting like there is an actual living earth outside the walls of the mall, and their romanticized self-delusion that they are, as a class of human beings, ecologically sensitive.
That increased awareness would seem particularly important given that women ultimately control the human impact on the environment.
My research on this subject brought me into contact with something unusual; a feminist that I actually agreed with, and strongly, on a very significant point. Her name is Stacy Malkan, an ecofeminist. She had the following to say, and I cannot fault a word of it.
Women absolutely have the power to control the nature of every consumer product on the market. So how are we going to do that? … We can marshal our power to give the chemical industry, the plastic industry, the beauty industries a make over. And the oil and war industries too. Until there are no more toxic chemicals in babies, until we create new economic systems that are compatible with life.
This is absolutely spot on. There is no exaggeration. It’s actually understated. The truth in that first sentence is devastating and complete. “Women absolutely have the power to control the nature of every consumer product on the market.”
Unless that is a lie, and it clearly isn’t, that means whatever direction we take environmentally is directly in the hands of women.
This economy, this demand driven economy is controlled by women. As a group they possess the awesome power to decide much of what the industrialized world produces, and in what way that is accomplished. But collectively, the only thing they have put on the agenda is an ego feed.
Women do have the power to reshape the economy into one much more compatible with life, and less with war, pollution and human suffering. But even most women claiming environmental consciousness squander that power like trust fund babies while they play with crystals, chant, and then go fully participate in an economic system that is driven by their vanity and impulsive immaturity.
It is a system that produces many times more damage than it has to.
Some women, the Earth Mother types, also spend time adorning themselves in the patronizing remarks of other, profoundly less rational ecofeminists, like Vandana Shiva, who claims that “women have a special connection to the environment through their daily interactions with it that has been ignored.”
Yeah, so many aspects of women’s lives that have been ignored. That’s the ticket.
I have heard for fucking years how men have messed up the planet on our own, as though the oppression of women was the only thing keeping them from diving on the grenade to save the planet from our vile hands.
Please get out of my face with that Bullshit.
I know men. Most of them are happy with very basic things. Most want a decent, safe home, a nice ride, some electronics, a woman, and hopefully room in one of the closets for their clothes. Everything else is gravy, and most men don’t demand too much gravy out of life.
Women, on the other hand, run through absolutely obscene amounts of money on vanity and hoarding. Many a western man can tell you that he has to fight tooth and nail in his own home for any space to call his own because the placed is jam-packed with inconsequential bullshit that she rarely or never uses. And he will tell you the lack of space does not slow down the shopping.
Oh, and ladies, I know there are exceptions to this, but I think I will concentrate on the rule just a little longer. The reality that comes with that rule is that all that shit, that childish hoarding of meaningless relics from compulsive shopping comes at cost that exceeds what is on the price tag. The world is breathing, eating and drinking and dying in the toxic runoff from all of it.
It is time to check your privilege, women, and start acting responsibly with the power you collectively wield as this species’ primary consumer. Don’t just conveniently ignore the fact that having that power makes this shit your problem to fix.
I have been talking to men for years, encouraging them to stop enabling your incessant need to consume, and to refuse financial responsibility for your consumer habituation. I have told them to boycott diamonds and all other extravagant and vain indulgences of your desire. Some of them have listened to me. But a hell of a lot more of them will listen a lot more closely to you.
Take what Malkan said to heart, and reshape all those industries. Help us clean up the mess we have made tending to you. Learn to live with less. Don’t create a demand that poisons rivers and the air for the frivolity of putting on your morning face.
For pity sake grow up and get over your need to constantly consume.
And finally, for the first time in history, start showing us that feminism is actually producing the kind of women it has always promised; grown-ups that are equal to men and have something positive to give the world. Quit proving how much that feminism has failed at that promise.
Are you woman enough to do it?
- Danielle D’Entremont: Where is the feminist outrage? - April 21, 2014
- We have unfinished business in Ellsworth, Maine - April 13, 2014
- A Friendly Note from Adèle Mercier - April 6, 2014
- A whiff of bullshit at Queen’s University - March 28, 2014
- A Message for Feminists and the Halifax Police Department - March 25, 2014