Re: [-empyre-] [empyre] producers and consumers wrote:

I would question the value of 'complete androgyny' except as a dialectical
tool, whether it is on the net or elsewhere. First, there is a bit of a
lexical problem, as andro=male; typically referring to a woman who looks
like/becomes a man.

I'm not sure I meant it that way. I am referring to androgyny as a state of neutrality- with zero expectations of behavior from social programming. I think a truly liberated person would have a psychological androgyny in that they would be gender neutral. The idea of "celebrating" femininity would also, in terms of equality, mean "celebrating" masculinity. This is nonsense; but so is a condemnation of the two. A union is more of what I had by "androgyny." We already celebrate masculinity, and it is unhealthy for men. I don't see why a celebration of femininity would ultimately be good for women. A "healthy respect for both" is always a nice catch all phrase in this regard; unfortunately it is meaningless. What ultimately solves the issue of power imbalances is the constant perception of an actual human being, rather than gender stereotypes, race, economic or social position. This is a personal responsibility and cannot be resolved by "acknowledging women as goddesses" nor by giving encouragement to stereotypically oppressive male behavior.

Feminism is difficult to discuss in any forum, because of
the male hegemony embedded in the language itself. To paraphrase bell hooks,
this kind of language keeps men at the center of the discussion.

It may also be why, as you point out, men tend to be the ones discussing it. The same thing happened at a lecture on ecofeminism I went to a while back at Harvard University, with a friend of mine who was female, and it was me and a male Grad Student who "dominated" [I wince!] the conversation, until I realized what was happening and shut up. Ultimately my friend, as we were leaving, pointed out that the male presence was intimidating to females in the room when it came to discussing oppression from males. Which is a problem- clearly men in the room on a feminism lecture are not the "problem" but it is still difficult to address "typical male behavior" when men are standing right there who aren't expressing it. The concept of gender, in feminism, is flawed. All oppression is linked, what is most important is "humanism," and the acknowledgement of human presence rather than stereotypes and cultural programming.

Further, it seems to me that (in general) feminism is problematic in exactly
this fashion; frequently the goal seems to be to attain androgyny--in a sense,
for women to become more male. I frequently wonder if this is the best path.
Could feminism somehow bypass these Western masculine power structures

That's how I am using the term androgynous. I'm not sure what other term we could use for an entity that bypasses "masculine power structures," since power is almost genetically ingrained into our brains at this point as a male territory; the idea would be to come up with a "feminine" form of power or to shift how we define "power."

Is there an opportunity to operate outside the White Male
Capitalist Patriarchy?

This patriarchy is eating itself. We're all powerless before the money driven market system anyway; if it can boost profits by making men insecure enough to buy make up and excersize equipment it will; it's already trying.


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