I said the F word!
oh my, the image of that giant woman on that page reminds me of the final scene in the film Paprika.
so, BlueHeron, any thoughts on feminism as it pertains to rewilding? what that perspective brings to breaking down the hierarchies of masculinist civ?
Wildeyes, thanks for asking.
I do have some thoughts on this. After I take the time to sit down and organize them and give them expression, I’ll get back to this thread.
Well, I’ve been waiting Blue Heron.
Ack, sorry I didn’t reply sooner! I’ve been very busy. Camping on the Olympic Peninsula, etc.
Feminist thought and practice, if you couldn’t tell already, is a very big thing to me. So big that every time I approach this topic to write about it, I find that I can’t really put it all in a forum post. I will need a lot of time to collect my thoughts and pull all of the pieces of the puzzle together.
I’ve been thinking about setting aside some time to write an essay, something beyond a forum post. Maybe I will even submit the essay for publication in Green Anarchy or something.
Please don’t think this isn’t important to me, it has been simmering on the back burner for quite some time. And to extend the analogy, it is a very big kettle of stew. When it’s ready, I will certainly share it.
In the meantime, enjoy this poem by Anne Sexton:
I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.
I have found the warm caves in the woods,
filled them with skillets, carvings, shelves,
closets, silks, innumerable goods;
fixed the suppers for the worms and the elves:
whining, rearranging the disaligned.
A woman like that is misunderstood.
I have been her kind.
I have ridden in your cart, driver,
waved my nude arms at villages going by,
learning the last bright routes, survivor
where your flames still bite my thigh
and my ribs crack where your wheels wind.
A woman like that is not ashamed to die.
I have been her kind.
A “feminism” based on the principles of indigenous tribalism would be a very different kind of feminism than the feminisms that have come out of the dominant culture. There have often been problems between white feminists and indigenous women, when the feminists try to convince indigenous women that their cultures are patriarchal and oppressive toward women, because they see any culture with gender roles as oppressive by definition.
Tribal communities are actually made up of two communities, a women’s community and a men’s community, each of which has its own distinct culture and traditions. One crucial thing that is missing in civilization is the women’s community. The community-wide sisterhood. Women are placed in their own individual boxes, where their lives and problems and children are separate, while men at least get to meet and work with other men in the “real world.” Home-and-family is a separate domain from the “real world” and marginalized. (At home he cares about his kids, at work he makes decisions that poison their future.)
In an indigenous tribal society, the women’s community is at the center of the community. And the children, and the unborn future generations to come, are at the absolute core. But the sisterhood of the women’s community is at the center of the tribal community. And the men’s role is to protect the community, and to do anything that involves dealing with outsiders. This is why all the famous Indian “chiefs” are men, because men are the ones who deal with outsiders. But there are many different kinds of leadership in an indigenous community.
But imagine, as a woman. A community of women, who support each other, and who develop their own culture as women. Women’s culture – that is almost forgotten in civilization. But imagine generations of women teaching each other and nurture each other. Raising the children together, so that no woman is ever imprisoned by the responsibilities of children, but could always have time to get solitude, to do craftwork, etc. (Take a look in some museum at the fully beaded dresses or quilled cradleboards, etc., that took hundreds of hours to make. Women who share their work together end up with plenty of leisure time to devote to making their world beautiful.)
In my ancestral culture, as in most other hunter/gatherer cultures, two or more women could share the same husband. Two sisters or two close friends could opt to marry the same husband and share a household, and having a co-wife was considered the best setup for a woman to have, even if it was not always possible. The elders say that co-wives often literally would forget which children were biologically theirs. If you asked them, they would have to stop and think in order to remember. If a woman was widowed, she and her children would be readily taken in to another family where she would become a co-wife. If a child was orphaned, or born to parents who couldn’t take care of it, or to an unmarried girl, someone would take it in.
(I don’t know why polygamy should be illegal, except that patriarchal cultures like the Mormons and Muslims have created an image of polygamy that is completely patriarchal.
I have long felt that one reason that a lot of alternative communities have failed is because they are still missing that strong sense of sisterhood among the women. The culture of civilization divides women, and teaches them to compete with one another for men. Their whole lives depend on what kind of man they catch, because that determines what kind of box they will spend their lives in. (Or, if they are career women, they can work out in the “real world” as well as in the separate box that is home and family.)
I read the Green Anarchy link. It does have the beginnings of a feminist critique of civilization, but there is more to say about this:
Woman come to be seen as property, no different then the crops in the field or the sheep in the pasture. Ownership and absolute control, whether of land, plants, animals, slaves, children, or women, is part of the established dynamic of civilization.
This is true, but it happened in a more specific way. The internal kinship structures of tribal societies fall into two broad categories: clan-based societies, and societies in which kinship is structured like a spiderweb, a series of concentric circles in which there are many different degrees of closeness or distance in relationship. Sedentary tribal societies tend to be clan-based and nomadic ones tend to be based on the “spiderweb” model.
But the kinship model of civilization is linear. The line of parent -> child -> grandchild etc is the core, with relationships outside of that (cousins, aunts, etc) branching off from that like branches on a Christmas tree. This linear kinship model was created to facilitate inheritance of property,
A lot of feminist theory points out that women have been controlled and circumscribed because of men’s need to ensure beyond doubt the paternity of the children (sons). Yet the question is not asked: why this should be so important to the men? The question of whether their children were really theirs only became important to men after the invention of private property, and of social class, both of which were inherited, father to son, and society split up into separate families, each responsible for itself, rather than everyone taking care of everyone, as in a tribal community. Children thus became private property. And women became property as a result of children becoming property.
There’s a lot more to say… later.
There is something strange here, in how the forum is organized. From a tribal point of view, at least. There is Relationship/Marriage/Partnership, and then there is Raising Children as a separate section, and Social Technology as a separate forum. I can’t make sense of this from a tribal point of view. Relationship/Marriage/Partnership seems to place the romantic/spousal relationship first, then there is Children as a separate forum… separating those two is strange enough, and I almost posted the bulk of the above post in the Caring for Children section as well, partly to make the point that these can’t be separated…
But then all other human relationships are placed in Social Technologies. All other kin relations, other than the linear ones, are grouped together with non-kin (friend/buddy/customer/co-worker/boss/whatever) relationships.
It is as though the organization of this forum is based on the primacy of the nuclear family and linear descent. If Caring for Children is not about being part of a larger kinship network, then it must be about individual couples raising their own individual children in separate non-tribal boxes.
And our relationships with our relations who are “other-than-human” are in a separate category called Spiritual Technology. (Our relationship to our nonhuman relatives is not separate from our human kinship network, and on the other hand, there is much more to indigenous spiritual technology than simply recognizing our nonhuman relatives. There is a whole technology of the spirit world for which languages of the civilized world barely have a vocabulary…)
Tribal societies are kincentric societies. Not necessarily kinship by blood descent, but rather, if you have a deep friendship with someone, they become your brother or your sister… not just your friend or beer buddy or fellow commune member…
In indigenous tribal societies, kinship bonds extend out to all beings that share or participate in life together in the Place they are in. The universe is a network of mutual kinship bonds and obligations, obligations which include sharing and reciprocation and placing priority on the well-being of the whole. The Sun may be Father, Grandfather or Elder Brother, the Wind may be Grandmother or Elder Brother or Sister – it doesn’t matter exactly what kinship term is used. What matters is that every element around you is a being and is related to you, and all of them help to support your life, and one another’s life, and you help to support their life in return.
If it were up to me, the “Invisible Technologies” section would be reorganized to express a tribal kin-based point of view. Looking at it through a tribal, kin-based lens. “All Our Relations” of the human community (including but not limited to spouses/partners), “All Our Relations” of the larger non-human community, and “The Coming Generations” meaning both children we are entrusted to care for at this time and the unborn generations to come. This would frame things more in a tribal framework. Just a thought.
Hmm. Well, you have my attention. I think I like it.
What about it mods? Any chance of reorganizing the Invisible Tech section?
Sacha- I’m really glad to be reading your posts here. You are bringing a very important perspective to this forum.
(Preface: This is not a put down in any way just my observation)
I think that quite a few of the people who post here are young and single and still trying to figure out how to look after themselves. The idea of responsibility for the welfare of others in terms of raising children and kinship bonds is something that many have just not come to in their lives yet, or see as a yoke around their neck that will keep them from realizing their dreams.
I had to leave home, get away from my blood family and start over, creating new family and kinship and then not until I was probably in my 30’s did I start to get the idea that the responsibilities I had were anything other than a burden to carry.
The de-programming from being raised in the dominant culture is very deep even for those of us who are aware and working for alternatives. There’s all of the concious stuff but the real hard stuff is the stuff that happens on the unconcious level.
Then there’s the propaganda that is aimed at the rebellious youth. It caters to that desire and points to alternatives that are worthless so of course those who get taken in by it come crawling back.
Sacha has really expressed some important stuff that should be looked at in depth and not glossed over.
I agree, Sacha has brought some excellent thoughts & views, and I think it can really help us dig down and break down some of the crap at the unconscious level.
I already understand responsibility as other than a burden (then again, I just turned 34 :P) and it frequently surprises me (in a very “Of Course!” way) how much Sacha’s descriptions of indigenous tribal societies resembles the oldest views I’ve found of frith (the social bonds my own ancestors shared) so this is all very relevenat and important, imho. If we can all get to a good understanding of the shift Sacha brings up about how Invis Tech is organized, and we can express it well enough so that newcomers can immediately start to see that rewilding requires a 2nd (and a 3rd, and 4th, …) look at how we relate to one another, I can only call that a plus.
I know we all acknowledge that our relationships need rewilding (that’s the point of having an Invis Tech section in the first place). I would just consider a reorg of it a natural result of going through with the rewilding process. We discover, we change, we share…
I agree with everything you said! And I love it!
I hadn’t really given much thought to the organization of the invisible technologies section. I know the big challenges that most people want to discuss, so I put them as categories to attract people to them. Really, the invisible technologies section is about all of our relatives, human and other-than-human. I’ve never really thought that the organization of that section implies a seperativeness, because I don’t personally see it. Perhaps if you could outline a new way of organizing it in more specific terms I can pick up more of what you mean. I love the idea, so please tell me more about how you see the forum reshaped to better express that. Thanks for bringing this up!
I really had to think about this, because I would like to see the section framed with a tribal viewpoint, yet it is also important not to make it so remote from the experience of rewilders who do not come from that background.
This is what I finally came up with:
The Tribal Way
Relationships within our human communities
The Coming Generations
Relationships with children and the unborn generations
All Our Relations
Relationships with our more-than-human kin
The Spirit World
Relationships with spiritual beings and forces, ancestors, and ritual and ceremony
I love your categories. I’ll get about re-organizing them soon.
While I do not question the accuracy of your description of gender roles in a traditional tribal social structure, and while I recognize those gender constructs as valid and healthy ways to organize a society, I take major issue with the idea that it is categorically advisable/wise for a group of people to rewild along similar gender constructs, and that anybody who rejects gender roles (in the manner of modern feminist thought) cannot know a tribal way of life.
I am not interested in modeling my behavior after the traditions of a culture that I do not identify with and have no experience living in, and for good reason. To do so would not only be racist and appropriative, it would also be untrue to myself. I have experienced firsthand the social and psychological damage that gendered behavioral expectations can do in a hierarchical society, and I desire to avoid gender constructs if at all possible. Many of my friends in Seattle strive to live without defined gender roles, and from their perspective (and my perspective) they are not Ã¢â‚¬Å“missing outÃ¢â‚¬Â on anything because they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t follow any precedent based on gender division. Many of the people I know in civilization are so deeply socially conditioned into a model of gender inequality that I believe the responsible way to avoid relapsing into that hierarchical conditioning is to consciously choose a non-gendered social organization. I would be extremely uncomfortable rewilding with anyone who has grown up in civ and who doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t reject gender roles.
A rewilding society (comprised of people who have lived most or all of their lives under the regime of civilization) looks very different from a traditionally intact indigenous society. People who rewild, who choose to move out from civilization, have to find a way to go forward, starting from the lasting imprint of their experiences (not to mention the lasting imprint an industrial society has left upon the world). So by default, rewilding looks very different in its material culture (as discussed in the section on transition tech, for example) as well as in its adaptation to the realities of a post-industrial world (such as the introduction of non-native plants into an ecosystem). The possibilities are more wide open to people who are totally new to an intentional lifestyle of tribalism. They are not obligated to follow any particular aspect of indigenous tradition if it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work for them or if they are prevented from doing so because of systemic changes that civilization has invoked. I understand that any rewilding culture I personally undertake will not look exactly like a traditional indigenous society that has already been done, and I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want it to. I believe that for any rewilding culture to assume it can go back to a pre-industrial world, to pretend civilization never existed, is dangerous, ignorant thinking.
I can think of an analogy: LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s compare the growth of civilization to the development of an alcohol addiction in an individual. If a person with alcohol addiction gets sober, they still canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t go back to the life they had before the addiction. Before the addiction, they may have gone out for drinks on the weekends without a problem. But now, after coming out the other end of addiction, they canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t drink a single drop. The addiction has changed them. They have gotten rid of the addiction, and, as in their past before the addiction, they are no longer abusing alcoholÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ but they havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t gone back to the same life they had before the addiction.
So it is with people coming out of civilization. My worry is that by blindly and irresponsibly copying indigenous cultures, we will behave like the alcoholic in lifelong recovery who denies that ever-present reality and says one day, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t had a drink in five years, I can control myself, I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see why I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a drink every once in a while like I used to doÃ¢â‚¬Â–and then falls right back into full-time drinking. It would be a similar kind of tragedy for a rewilding culture to say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“We know what is wrong with civilization, we hate it and we have every intention not to repeat it, we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t see why it should be so impossible to organize a tribe after indigenous models like our ancestors lived thousands of years agoÃ¢â‚¬Â–and then fall right back into civilized pathological relationship patterns.
Some people (for example, people in your situation who can still remember and/or retain aspects of a traditional indigenous culture) may choose to follow traditional tribal gender models of the types you outlined. Some people may find it easier and more internally defensible to take what weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve learned doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work (civilized gender roles) and invent something new that escapes the notion of gender altogether (just as a recovering addict escapes alcohol altogether, even though other people may have a healthy relationship with alcohol). I have learned in the course of my discussions with people on this very forum that it is perfectly acceptable to bring what we have learned from living in civilization into a rewilding scenarioÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ whether weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve learned knowledge we want to keep, or whether weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve learned simply what we want to avoid.
I am not out to deny the validity of gendered organization in traditional native societies or to suggest that they need to change, as you claim is a danger inherent to contemporary feminism. My brand of contemporary feminism is a response to the society that I live in and a guide for the society that I envision for my rewilding future, but as for the choices of societies outside of my own, I am content to leave them well enough alone as long as they pose no direct threat.
If you can prove that a society without gender roles will either A) fall apart or B) repeat the calamities of civilization (in other words, if you can prove that a society without gender roles is categorically in conflict with the principles of rewilding), then by all means I would like to hear about it. If you canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t prove it, then I would implore you not to be so quick to invalidate contemporary feminist theory & practice simply because some of its practitioners (with whom I personally do not identify) have applied their own standards onto another culture. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m willing to bet money that most of the feminist activists who have criticized indigenous gender roles are not familiar, or in agreement, with rewilding thought and practice. As such, their actions do not concern me and have nothing to do with me. I share common ideological roots with modern feminists and a common goal of wanting to be rid of our societyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gender inequality, but I have chosen a different way to proceed from that foundation. If rewilding cannot give me the freedom to choose my own path as it may differ from the paths of other rewilding or indigenous cultures, then rewilding is of no use to me. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe that to be possible, rewilding as useless. Can you?
You basically hit all those points I wanted to get at, BlueHeron. We’re not part of old growth, traditional societies with gender roles. We don’t need to, nor should we, imitate those.
Building on that, we need to find our own way(s) to organize ourselves and distribute work and activities. I don’t just mean gender roles. I can’t really guess exactly what that will mean right now. It might mean more men than women hunting, and more women doing plant gathering, or perhaps vice versa. Maybe we’ll just do better if everyone does a bit of everything. Maybe fire-keeping will only be done by certain age groups. Maybe this, maybe that. We’ll just need to find what works for us, and perhaps it’s just my feminist sensibilities, but I think it’ll end up with few or no gender roles in our tribes.
The way I imagine a society I’d choose to live in as organizing itself is by a mix of individual choice and group consensus according to considerations such as:
- What needs to be done? What are the priorities?
- Where can I be most useful? What are my talents/skills/knowledge?
- What do I like to do? Who do I want to work with on this task?
BH, I am startled at the way you seem to be hearing things that I did not say:
“the idea that it is categorically advisable/wise for a group of people to rewild along similar gender constructs”
that “anybody who rejects gender roles (in the manner of modern feminist thought) cannot know a tribal way of life”
that you should be “modeling my behavior after the traditions of a culture that I do not identify with and have no experience living in”
that rewilders are "obligated to follow any particular aspect of indigenous tradition [even] if it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t work for them or if they are prevented from doing so because of systemic changes that civilization has invoked.
that "any rewilding culture [you] personally undertake… [should] look exactly like a traditional indigenous society that has already been done
that "any rewilding culture [should] assume it can go back to a pre-industrial world, to pretend civilization never existed
that rewilders should “blindly and irresponsibly copy indigenous cultures”
that, in contrast to you, “as for the choices of societies outside of my own, I am [not] content to leave them well enough alone [even if] they pose no direct threat”
that I wish to “prove that a society without gender roles will either A) fall apart or B) repeat the calamities of civilization (in other words,… that a society without gender roles is categorically in conflict with the principles of rewilding)”
that I am “quick to invalidate contemporary feminist theory & practice simply because some of its practitioners … have applied their own standards onto another culture”
I did not say, suggest, or imply any of the above.
I dd not suggest that rewilders should adopt a particular set of gender roles, or any gender roles at all.
I did talk about women’s community, women’s culture, and my opinion that the lack of a sense of sisterhood may weaken some intentional communities, but that isn’t about gender roles. In fact, I barely mentioned gender roles (except indirectly in talking about how women used to share the mothering of all the children, but communal childrearing need not depend on gender).
Can you point to a single sentence in my post that says [b]any of those things you attribute to me??
I do not agree with BH’s apparent conviction that a feminism based on tribalism has no relevance to rewilders and no place among the schools of feminist thought. There are some key critiques of civilization that tribalism-based feminism offers, that mainstream strains of feminism seem to touch on almost not at all.
A foundational principle of all civilization is the separation of the domain of family from the “real world,” and the separation of families (and women) from each other. The domain of family is secondary and marginalized; what happens within the family has little effect on the important domain of the “outside world,” and each family is in its own little box pursuing its own fortunes, separated and competing from other families. (This is one of the forces of civilization that causes population growth.) So each home-and-family box in effect becomes a prison, and a person (usually a woman) whose life is spent inside the home-and-family box is isolated, often confined to some degree, treated as of lesser value, and rendered powerless with regard to the outside world.
In civilization, family is secondary, and separated from the business of “real life,” because the main purpose that family serves in civilization is to create lineages for the inheritance of private property. Family itself becomes a kind of private property, owned by a man.
In a tribal society, however, family is not something secondary and separate from the “important real life” business of society. In a tribe, family IS society, because the society itself is an extended family and deals with itself as a family. Everyone in the community is related in some way (and so are all the other beings who support life). (Kinship does not depend on blood relation – kinship is a human instinct.) And this is why tribal societies can work without mechanisms of coercion (police, governments, etc).
All successful anarchist, egalitarian societies have been kinship based societies. There have been no successful anarchist experiments not based on this principle.
In a tribal society, the center is the children and the generations to come. The society is organized around a sense of an axis of continuity from the ancestors to the unborn ones.
In tribal societies, yes, there is a role called Mother. In the larger community of life, the Earth is the Mother, and in a tribal society, the community of mothers collectively plays the same role for the community as Mother Earth does in the community of life.
One need not be biologically female, nor does one need to biologically bear a child to share the role of Mother for the coming generation. (Collective mothering helps keep birth rates down – it is one of the ignored reasons for low birth rates among hunter-gatherers.) Nor does being biologically female oblige one to be part of the community of Mothers.
These roles are Kinship roles. Kinship roles in tribal society are something like Jungian archetypes – like archetypes of Mother, Father, Grandmother, Grandfather, Nephew, Cousin, Wife, Husband, etc. But the spirits have ways of keeping the energies alive and changing, not hardened and automatic: the Trickster, who brings the unexpected and things that don’t turn out as you intended; the Clown, who caricatures, and the Heyoka, who does things in reverse; and the Shaman, who lives half in the spirit world and may be compelled by the spirits to do things in very uncustomary ways.
But the “roles” are not gender roles (like the ones civilization dictates) as much as they are kinship roles expressing relationship to one another. Brother’s relationship to Sister is not the same as Grandfather’s relationship to Grandson or Wife’s to Husband.
But Mother is the only indispensable kinship role. Mother is the kinship role upon which the survival of the tribe depends, the axis of the coming generations. So Mother is the one kinship role common to all tribal societies, and is usually central to the tribal community, the way Mother Earth is central to the community of life.
Kinship can be very informally defined, as it is usually in societies of small nomadic bands of up to a couple dozen people. Just a strong, generalized sense of being kin (and a general sense of who was too close relationship to marry) can be enough in a very small band. The entire community can play the essential role of Mother to the next generation.
To respond again to your question, BH, “gender roles” are not necessary to rewilding. What is essential to rewilding and retribalizing is that the walls that separate individual families each in their own little civilized boxes break down, that kinship bonds interconnect families, and that caring for the next generation become communal and tribal and the central focus of the community – which, as among hunter-gatherers, ensures lower birthrates, better care, and much less burden on adult caregivers, while giving the children many siblings to play with, and much more freedom and space to play because everyone is keeping an eye out for them, and because, as tribal children, they also know how to keep an eye out for each other.
You are never going to create tribes by just getting together with your friends and saying “Let’s make a tribe.” A tribe might be born, though, if you and your rewilding friends are struggling together and then, somehow, some parentless children fall into your care, and suddenly you and your rewilding friends have a reason to live beyond just preserving your individual survival: suddenly you are all bonded together with the common purpose of making good lives for these children in this precarious world.
THAT is when a tribe would be born.
Imagine a tribe of say, ten adult rewilders tribally raising four children.
Imagine how much the focus would change from “how’m I gonna survive” (a mentality which I think is a great impediment to true rewilding) when the group shares a common purpose of ensuring the survival and well-being of this next generation with whose lives you are entrusted.
It’s not “gender roles” that is essential for retribalizing. It is kinship and the central focus on the next generation.
Edit: I recently saw a video in which Onondaga chief Oren Lyons told about a meeting he had with a conference of business executives. One said that he would like to “go green” but as a CEO he had to show the highest profit to shareholders or he would be replaced. Oren Lyons asked: “Are you married?” The man said yes. “Do you have children?” Yes. “Do you have grandchildren?” Yes. “When do you stop being a CEO and start being a grandfather?” The man was speechless at this question. This one exchange summarizes perfectly the difference between the position of the family in civilization and in a tribe.
Sacha, I like your explanations of tribalism and civilization as relationship oriented. It is different from my way of looking at the same situations through subsistence and food getting. I think they both cover the same ground, but from different directions. It gives me some things to mull over in how I look at social systems.
Sacha, your post about our unfortunate lack (and tribal people’s use/practice) of a “women’s community” recapped a good bit of a conversation I’d just had with a couple of my housemates the night before. (That sort of explains why we all live in the same house! Support rocks.) Amazing timing.
Regardless of “feminism”, “gender roles”, “identity” or any of civilization’s misleading constructs that provoke us to run screaming in the opposite direction out of fear and self-protection, putting together ways for people to live that nourish and support everyone, from soup to nuts, oldest to youngest, and all possible sizes and shapes, while oppressing no one, pretty much defines what I want from rewilding.
I just saw this in a Tom Brown book–“Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men [sic] of old, but seek instead what they sought.”
I’d say rewilding encourages us to take a look at what has worked for others, and particularly at why it worked, and allow that to influence the shape of our new culture, to make it work for us. No reason we have to take anything in direct translation that doesn’t work for us and doesn’t derive from our particular context of people and place! Like Reverse Transition Tech.
Yes! I feel that the feminism of civilization (please ignore if this doesn’t fit you! I realize many flavors of feminism flourish out there) that seeks “equality” sociopathically manipulates women to want the same thing men have, the money and power and career status that our culture identifies as wealth, while (forgive my pun) throwing out the baby with the bathwater by stigmatizing and de-valuing vital functions like hearthkeeping and raising the kids, outsourcing these precious roles, giving them away, trading them in (in part by splitting them up into separate house/box/cubicles a la June Cleaver, as Sacha mentioned, a potent recipe for insanity and dysfunction. Or by making daycare and school the “normal” place where kids to spend their time, putting the whole family into separate boxes like a plastic lunch tray).
The whole thing feels divisive to me. As long as folks focus on reacting to the last failed cultural movement (x-ism, post-x-ism, etc.) and feelings of scarcity (“I want what he has! Not fair!” like kids in the sandbox), how can we move beyond choices a and b to find c, d, e, f and all the combos in between? Think of the yin and yang symbol. Maybe a good new thing has room for traces of the thing that didn’t work, instead of just boxing itself into the farthest opposite corner?
Doesn’t equality and sameness fly in the face of rewilding? Don’t we value diversity? Uniqueness? Particular qualities that make us special? Yes we all have human bodies and can do many of the same things. But I’d rather celebrate the differences than pretend they don’t exist.
Maybe rewilding feminism itself (whoa, did I just hijack this thread? sorry BlueHeron. maybe we need a new thread? ) means taking a hard look at what we really need and want and value, taking a step back from just reacting to what we’ve had. The very existence of feminism implies the context–> a patriarchical society, otherwise, duh, we wouldn’t even have to come out and say that we value women and all things feminine, we’d just all know it!
And when I say we, I don’t mean each individual, I mean what does our whole culture want and need? What about our grandchildren? what if that includes those grandchildren who don’t carry your blood and DNA? what about their grandchildren? How do they need for us to live?