Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

Oppressed versus “fucked up”

From Robin Morgan’s “Goodbye to all that” (1970)

And let’s put one lie to rest for all time: the lie that men are oppressed, too, by sexism—the lie that there can be such a thing as men’s liberation groups. Oppression is something that one group of people commits against another group specifically because of a threatening characteristic shared by the latter group—skin color or sex or age, etc. The oppressors are indeed fucked up by being masters (racism hurts whites, sexual stereotypes are harmful to men) but those masters are not oppressed. Any master has the alternative of divesting himself of sexism or racism; the oppressed have no alternative—for they have no power—but to fight. In the long run, Women’s Liberation will of course free men—but in the short term it’s going to cost men a lot of privilege, which no one gives up willingly or easily.


2 comments on “Oppressed versus “fucked up”

  1. vanessachaland
    February 23, 2013

    When has man ever willing given up power?
    Besides when it involves a piece of ass I mean, lol. 🙂

    • dwighttowers
      February 23, 2013


      I guess it in part depends on your understanding of power – power over as in dominance, control (I always think of the Leonard Cohen line – “give me absolute control over every living soul, and lie beside me. That’s an order”).
      This is the Max Weber sense.
      Then there is power with – collaborative, mutually constitutive etc. What Hannah Arendt meant, for instance.
      The former form of power is exhausting and demeaning and short-sighted. The latter is messy, hard work, and goes against the grain of societal – and individual – expectations.
      Alternatively, you can look at it from terms of Transactional Analysis – do you want parent-child relationships, or do you hope to relate to others on an adult-adult basis…

      Pieces of ass are nice too, though.

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This entry was posted on August 25, 2012 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .
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