“The shame of being a man – is there any better reason to write?”
“Writing has nothing to do with meaning. It has to do with landsurveying and cartography, including the mapping of countries yet to come.”
― Gilles Deleuze
When I became disenfranchised with Marxism at 17 the first political thinker I read and whose writings I found any resonance with was Emma Goldman. Her brand of fiery and impassioned anarchism and feminism struck a chord with my perception of the word, a century after she had written her work Anarchism and Other Essays. And as I delved into the world of individualist writers, like Nietzsche, Stirner, Novatore, Armand, Thoreau and Wilde, her words forged connections to theirs – probably due to her being influenced by some of them – so that I came to an understanding of individualism within the multiplicity of a society. You then throw in Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology, some Baudrillard and Guy Debord and you get most of the basis for what set me off into the worlds of books, essay and philosophies I’ve been exploring and write about on this blog, in my articles on other sites and in my book.
Here I am going to make two brief comments, one on why I choose to write and the other on my personal outlook on gender, sex and patriarchy. These won’t be long and I won’t seek to elaborate, explain or justify myself very much, as I don’t see the need to here.
Writing: I agree with what Deleuze states about writing in the 2 quotes above, but will focus here on the second. So writing involves the simultaneous acts of creating new cartographies to navigate life and living within this culture and of destroying those cartographies that came before.
Why the creation of new cartographies and destruction of the old?
Because my feral-Being drives me towards iconoclastic projects. And as the onto-theology of civilisation culminates as the physical landscape of the technosphere/metropolis/ecological-domestication, as the construction of a set of geo-spatial boundaries, territories, machinery etc., so as to produce a heaven(/haven) for the civilised, with God, the state, the market, the plough(/other technologies), the Leviathan and other Other’s functioning as the deity who provides salvation through rule, this renders new cartographies of this landscape, new descriptions of the geo-spatial, psychogeographical terrain, acts of iconoclasm. In destroying the image of the Leviathan/civilisation, which channels life and flows of living energy into the production narratives of this culture, and finding/identifying/describing alternative routes for activities and the flow of energy that is life, we undermine the functioning of the Leviathan and so destroy its image through the creation of our own.
Books and pieces of writing have done this for me for a number of years now. And those that I have found value in, they have presented new descriptions, depictions of landscapes and scenes that fit my experience of these landscapes and scenes, from my existential-phenomenological subjectivity. This is what Goldman did for me and those other writers I mentioned in the first paragraph of this short piece.
Gender, Sex and Patriarchy: Again, like Deleuze, the shame of “being a man”, if I embrace the biological realist notion that I am “a man” for a moment, is one of my main reasons for writing, as His-story/civilisation has been a nightmare for 10,000 years, with patriarchs ruling this ecocidal and genocidal monstrosity for basically the entirety of its lifespan. I generally distance myself and my lifestyle from hetronormative masculinity and have been (at least I have intended to be) an ally to a number of anti-patriarchy struggles.
Before I go on I’m gonna state here that I shan’t be naming names of any specific groups or individuals here, so as to not cause upset and not undermine friendships I’d like to retain by pissing off friends I have disagreements with on this stuff.
So first of, I fucking detest being called a cis-male (or cis). I’m not fluid, non-binary, queer, trans, cis or any other social category, I am just simply me, this unique living being, identical to no other living being who has or will ever exist, even myself as I change through the transience of time and motion. I adopt a biological-realist term for pragmatic purposes within this culture, but who I am and all that I am, the beauty of my Being and becoming is not a category to be defined by, and I reject being categorised.
I will completely honour and respect the personal desires of anyone who views themselves in any way/form, will use whatever pronoun they wish when talking to them and support them as much as I can in their Being and becoming. But I won’t adopt the masks and dressings of a social practice I find counter to many of my own.
In Feral Consciousness I include, in sections on ontological-nihilism and the construction of the self, arguments on gender and sex-typing in human domestication. So it’d be fair to say that, if I embrace any category for pragmatic purposes in discourse (nihilist-paradox woohoo), I fit within the gender-nihilist/gender-eliminative categories within this discourse.
But (and moving into the second point of this section) I recently cut ties with a group who supposedly takes a gender-eliminative position, in its feminist ideology. This group has been accused of being TERFs – a term I fucking hate as it fails to acknowledge and its users fail to acknowledge the lived experiences of those individuals who live lesbian lives and are women (of a biological realist category) who have undergone oppression by the patriarchal narratives of this culture – those narratives that gender-nihilism seeks to destroy through its cartographies and landscaping – and, while I don’t approve of the transphobia I have seen from some of the members, my reasons for leaving reached a tipping point over one particular, relatively small (straw-camel situation) thing: I received an email stating I’d been tagged in a comment on the groups website and when I looked the tag was “males”.
It might seem petty to leave over that and on that alone it would be – the bureaucracy and dogmatic leftism had also reached a point of being too much. And I personally believe that part of the project of creating radical cartographies and situations that undermine the narratives of this culture, through events that create its destruction, has to include abandoning routes for the flow of energy, like this one that the group is embracing, of reductive social-categorisation, and the embrace of alternatives. So out of being tired of the retention of this narrative by this group I left, and while I wish them well in their activities and share in many of their desires still, I am glad to not be involved with them anymore – I’m also just far more involved in other projects and outlets anyway, so it doesn’t change much for me leaving.
“If you’re trapped in the dream of the Other, you’re fucked.” – Deleuze
In this piece I wrote for Radical Art Review the focus is on Situationism and post-Situationism as a route for radical art projects. Lets destroy and abandon the masks/situations civilisation places us within and find ourselves engaged in new situations, born out of the transience of the present and a wild becoming in iconoclastic fury.