My evolution as a feminist has been interesting. I’ve had a radical mindset of some sort since I was a child (my elementary school notebooks are filled with ideas I had for “world peace” and “freedom” — by which I meant mental freedom and freedom from capitalist work, which would allow for leisure time that was not defined by advertising, culture, or dogma) — but I had access to very, very little modern outside media. So on one hand, I didn’t get dumbed down by the mainstream as much as the norm, but I also didn’t develop a community or a consciousness — or at least a way to communicate my consciousness.
So for a long time, I was a radical who was trying to work with a liberal vocabulary, within liberal conventions. See: any comment I ever made at IBTP. My discourse soon caught up with my politics, but now a year or so later I feel as though my politics have again outgrown my ability to communicate.
It’s especially hard because — what is there beyond radicalism, in the common mind? There is something, I’ve always known it and I can see it, but I can’t put a name on it or describe it.
Well, I can, actually, with words like: Rebellion. Revolution. Iconoclasm. Transgression.
But obviously all of these words have been co-opted by men, because every word in every language has been. “Rebellion” has been used to describe some white men’s collective, destructive, and widely fatal temper tantrum about being unable to own slaves (see: The American Civil War), as well as teenage angst manifesting in material and consumerist rejection of their parents’ aesthetics. “Revolution” has come to mean ‘more white men pissing and moaning about stuff like paying taxes.’ “Iconoclasm” to white men means “getting away with doing what I want”, and they often use “transgressive” to describe their sadistic porn practices.
So all of that’s out, because none of that’s what I want. However, as I sit here spinning my wheels, let I remind everyone that every word in every language has been co-opted and stolen from us by men.
There is no actual way for us to communicate about anything, except by redefining words or making up new ones. The problem with inventing new words is that nobody else knows what the words mean until you explain … using previous, co-opted words.
I typically use words the way I think they should mean, dictionary-style. I don’t really care about postmodern intellectuals, academics, people who have never thought about any of this at all, or pornsick morons, because I’m not fucking talking to them. (They don’t listen, or care, even if I was, and I don’t like to waste my time and energy.)
For example, the word “revolutionary” to me means: getting rid of the shit that keeps you down. Most of which is capitalist patriarchy. I’m anti-civilization and literally an anarchist (I don’t believe in laws) — so this revolution means “to hell with all the shit that keeps male power (including power wielded by male-identified women, which is to say all women in politics) intact.” Laws, the medical industry, police, money, agriculture, all that shit and more. Toss it out. Get rid of it. Find something better.
That’s not most people’s definition of revolution, but that doesn’t concern me other than the fact that it’s hard to communicate this and I wish to communicate effectively.
However, this is obviously not the best solution, and hopefully I will come up with a better one soon. In the meantime, I’m going to keep trying to describe abstract things and intangible concepts as best I can with what I have.