Pye wrote: "It is only just striking me that some folks here haven't any notion of what feminism is now."
It might also be said in truth that feminism does not know what it is either then or now. My perception is that the deeper one goes into it (this broad area: the defining of women by women) the more uncertain one will become. Feminist thinking tends to split into factions and the factions fiercely resist each other. I tend to think that as long as feminist thinking takes place within a purely philosophical realm it will never be able to get to the 'truth'. Personally, I think the most sensible area to start is with evolutionary biology. To define why nature created this division of the sexes, and why nature gave women such a stark and difficult role within biological life. One needs a cool, scientific head to look at the biological platform in this way. I think this perspective is new, and it also threatens the strict philosophical model (for example, de Beauvoir).
Pye wrote: "She's a field into which he plows/plants his seed. Utterly simplistic and completely indicative of his original resentment. He has to go into breeding management so he can control this force and ensure his progeny. He feels "helpless" to it, as he does toward any force of nature."
I don't at all think this is so, for the reasons I mention above. Nature designed women to be nothing but the field in which it plants its seeds. Nature determined that there is no other role possible for her. The pack will track her down and will rope her to the role that nature has assigned to her: reproduction. In a purely naturalistic sense (and one supposes that---eventually---nature will again reduce all to the most basic elements all over again) 'woman' is actually pretty easy to define. It is in truth 'utterly' simple. It is culture, and culture designed by men, the structure of which is brought into existence by man's energy and, at the core (if you will permit such a raw word) his violence, that has created a world apart from nature. And in that 'new world' the role of women begins to shift. Complexity begins there.
But it does seem to me important and necessary, both for women and for men (in a genuine dialectic between men and women if this is even possible), to understand that women have been and are the dependant sex. They did not, do not and likely will not ever have an independence from man's culture or from men. The whole world of culture and technology is a world built and maintained by men, by their inventiveness and their 'violence' (as manipulation, ruthless activity). This is a necessary element in a genuine conversation about women. It is peculiar to me, therefor, that you speak of men as 'redundant'. This is a woman's fantasy it seems to me that has its origin in women's resentment.
Pye wrote: "That "cooperation" has been a tooth and nail affair. As pressure from females increases its appetite for independence and access to resource, men have no choice but to play along to ensure continued access to sex. It is Man's longtime nightmare come true - that he shall become redundant, dispensable, etc. from the sex-breeding loop. Now he has nothing to control her with if he is not permitted to rape/harass or promise to protect from other rape/harassment, not permitted to withhold work, resources, free-passage in the world without fear, etc. (I recall a fellow here once - daybrown? - who was very acute at describing the panic and resentment he felt from a sense of being discarded, unvalued, incidental in a world being moved and arranged by women. The idea of lesbians, if I recall correctly, pissed him off most - women who don't need men. horrors :))"
Well, there has certainly been struggle. However it is interesting to note that in the modern 'liberation of women' it was carried out with an extraordinary lack of violence, with hardly a drop of blood spilled. It was negotiated through dialectic. It also fit into a new economic model and in this sense is supported by a mercantile system, a world-corporate system, that seems to replace the Roman/European model while it extends itself to the whole planet. What the 'freedom' of women means in this new context is very much up for debate.
True, in that new corporate world, the new economic catholicism, there is no real need for 'man' anymore. Best if everyone is reduced to the status of woman/cultivated field. And a Machine shall rule them, and a Machine shall give them freedom! (Excuse that, but I am all into this idea that what defines us and ALL our conversations and values is that we live in the old, dying structure of a Medievalism that has been utterly undermined and yet its vestiges still exist, especially in the mind, as we move into an utterly new territory, vast and blinding, that we are not yet able to understand or define).
Pye wrote: "This question has been wrong from the beginning, especially since it is so often claused with "what do women want so I can get them to fuck me? What will make them happy so they'll fuck?" It's a category error. You're going to have to ask individual women. This is like asking what blacks want, or Asians want, or some other category. The truth is subjectivity. Do you think you could accurately answer for men?"
Oh no, I think it is a good question, though individuals will likely answer it differently (as individuals define feminism differently...) Also, one has to start from the true platform: nature instills in women the need and the desire to fuck and especially to get fucked. Men don't do this to women, it is women's loving Mother-nature who lords it over them. To tell the truth about this condition is important. Women need no help from men to desire man's cock, his seed, and perhaps more especially his image that she holds before her while she accepts 'his' seed and offers her body and mind to that process as if possessed through her vagina---literally a possession of her very self. Men do not do this to women, but her cruel Mother nature does. I would suggest that the way you seek to frame this debate is 'wrong from the beginning'. Again, men have largely allowed a new definition of women to arise and they have, by and large, supported it. In that new order women have had perhaps the best opportunity that has ever been presented to them, at least from one perspective.
By and large men demonstrate what it is they 'want'. They build it. It is visible. It is the structure in which we live. It is subjective, certainly, but in the general sense I mean it is objective. It is man's creation and man's creativity. It is fair to ask what women would have created independant of man, because the answer is...nothing at all like what has been created. Important distinction. For good or for evil human freedom became unleashed from theological control and has penetrated, and will continue to penetrate, in an infinite manner wherever the winds of the mind may blow.
Pye wrote: "This is not the question anymore. Cutting edge feminism is asking after the value of the entire enterprise to begin with. That's why it has, by and large, become effective friends with environmentalism. Since when is male culture our best paradigm? Perhaps there are better, non-dominance models with which to be in exchange with the earth and everything on it."
Well, no argument there. It is as if the 'plowed field' raises its voice and asks for it to be done a little more gently, please. (Excuse the poor joke). De Beauvoir, it seemed to me, essentially defined a philosophical position for liberation générale. It was very much in keeping with the age, with the musings of the French existentialists. But, oddly enough, the way it seems to be playing out has another face: a world corporate machine that has claimed human territory and protoplasm as its possession and which is actively redefining both men and women so they will function within that new order.
Pye wrote: "Before I go to my sleep tonight, I am reminded of a thought from Luce Irigaray and/or Helene Cixous. They described the 3rd wave feminist notion that all will be well for women if they just become equal with and similar to men - if they just enter into praxis with this male culture at large as full participants - as the last act of gynocide - the final nail in her total repression".
Again, the original repression was established by the biological and evolutionary reality. Masculinity and male culture enables other possibilities to arise, and within our late modernism a new role for women has been devised and implemented. It is spreading far and wide and will soon be established in all parts of the world. While women can never and will never be those who design and construct and maintain the over-arching structures that define human life on the planet right now, they have been given a certain horizontal mobility within these structures, and seem to gravitate toward managerial positions but generally on the lower rungs of power. It would be peculiar---a little science-fictiony---if women were ever to 'take over' and run the show behind scenes. And yet I don't think anyone should ever forget or minimize women's power (within all cultures, whether liberal or repressive). In this light, your phrase 'total repression' seems to me absurd. From a natural perspective, that is from a biological perspective, what would a 'total repression' look like? I think it would be to keep her from her reproductive role, wouldn't it? Or to replace her with a reproductive machine. (Excuse this irrelevant musing).
In actual fact, in many parts of the globe, women now have a very decent deal, and it is only getting better.
The rest of what you wrote in this second post seems to me purely philosophical and in that sense non-utilitarian. I mean, it's interesting but not tremendously relevant.
...and one has to stick on at the end a reminder that it is imperative that men focus on themselves and continue to plunge into new territory, that 'blinding territory' I mentioned earlier.
I can't go on. I'll go on.