Sunday, October 9, 2016

Why Letting Violent Patriarchy Dominate Our Narratives Could Mean The Death Of Us All

A peaceworker buddy of mine, retired Bath Iron Works mechanic Peter Woodruff, published a great guest column in the local Times-Record this week. In it Pete detailed the recent history of BIW's pivot from building "anything" to being owned by General Dynamics and in thrall to corporate government that gives it only huge, costly floating weapons to build. The need to diversify was recognized decades ago but BIW turned away from building offshore wind turbines for the Gulf of Maine after outside corporate interest group ALEC put our current governor in office. 

Now our state is torn to shreds to build pipelines for "natural" (i.e. fracked) gas instead while BIW launches one ship every few years with a price tag in the several billions. They could be laying off 1,000 workers soon.

Not to take credit away from Pete, but something that struck me in reading his highly interesting account was the dearth of women's voices. In detailing the 20th and 21st century history of the shipyard, eleven men and zero women were quoted or noted as key decision makers.

Perhaps I noticed this because the national buzz the past few days has been about the recorded misogynist boasting of the demagogue with the bad hair who is the Republican Party's candidate for president. Grabbing women's genitals at will because he is famous and wealthy seems to be ok with him but it did not go down well with liberals who will vote for the Democratic Party's candidate, the first woman to be so nominated. A producer for The Apprentice, the reality t.v. show that made the demagogue super famous in the first place, has warned that there was much more, and much worse, in the offing.

The orchestration of false dichotomy in this election has been particularly effective. It has to be, because fear of the demagogue is the only driving force behind many voters who will line up obediently behind Wall St.'s preferred candidate, a woman who exhibits the opposite of feminist values as she has lived entirely in service to the violent patriarchal system that is late stage capitalism. 

To say that she has blood on her hands would be putting it mildly; that doesn't particularly concern so-called "cruise missile liberals" who have never faltered in their support of the first black president as he bombed, droned, imprisoned or deported millions of innocent people for the past eight years. And he stood by while police gunned down one unarmed black person after another while still managing to remain wildly popular.

The reason for tepid support of the female candidate is primarily, in my opinion, that she lacks charisma. The current president can deliver his lines with fidelity while exuding charm and sex appeal. Unfortunately for the fatally ambitious Mrs. Clinton, she can do no such thing. If charisma could be manufactured, I am confident that she would have paid any price to have it, because that is what gets people to mark their ballot for their preferred celebrity spokesperson of the oligarchy that is our government.

I am also confident that the demagogue -- who oozes negative charisma -- will not be placed in this position by our corporate overlords. He actually might be delusional enough to believe, as George W. Bush appeared to have believed, that he is the "decider" rather than merely a glamorous spokesman.

Meanwhile, the system is upheld by ignoring the wisdom of, for instance, indigenous elder women's voices telling us that the life support system of our planet is fragile and at risk. You can hear them as they explain why they have taken a stand to protect the watershed threatened by the North Dakota Access Pipeline.
I AM A LIFE featuring Randi LeClair (Pawnee), Kelli Brooke Brady (Seminole/Creek), Isabelle Cox (Choctaw), J. Nicole Nahmiapiah (Comanche/Kiowa), Lauren Palmer (Choctaw), Elizabeth Sweetly (Comanche), Ekayah Rosete (Comanche). Read more at Indian Country Today Media Network.

With the rise of social media those voices are available to us all as never before, but corporate media instead fill the airwaves with the demagogue's boorish demeaning of womankind and superstorm Matthew battering the unfortunate residents of coastal regions.

Many older women will vote for Mrs. Clinton because of having to listen to this kind of shit all their lives. The vehement misogyny of Internet trolls and hate radio pundits that has focused on her person since at least her stint as a bloodthirsty Secretary of State has been appalling and many, many people see their own support for her as determined by the need to stand against this sort of thing.

It's evil but brilliantly executed, this false dichotomy manipulation. One can't criticize Mrs. Clinton for using the power of office to force capitalism down the throats of people all over the planet because...the demagogue with the bad hair is too scary! 

I really can't account for why people continue to believe that their vote actually counts even after witnessing the skillful manipulation of election results to ensure that Mrs. Clinton and not Bernie Sanders would emerge as the Democratic Party's candidate. I suppose many don't; voting rates are at an all-time low in the purported "democracy" we live under.

I'll tell you what I find scary. The understanding that, if we continue on the path we're on, silencing the voices of the grandmothers from cultures built on wise living that maintained the balance among the systems of Mother Nature, we humans and many other life forms are doomed. Sure, I won't be around to see the gruesome end of drinkable water and life-sustaining agriculture. But my grandchildren might be. And no one would wish that ending on people they love. 

The wisdom of indigenous grandmothers all over the world is this: respect and honor life. And we had better listen, or collectively suffer the consequences.

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