Monday, August 14, 2006

Looking Cool v. Dismantling the System

Turning (toward) Black III, by Professor Zero. (thanks, Granny Gets a Vibrator, for the tip.)

Speaking of Eldridge Cleaver (and so, necessarily, of patriarchy) and of women, I have talked to a few men over the years. Some of these, I would classify as unreconstructed patriarchs, but gentlemen. Others have been unreconstructed patriarchs, but not gentlemen. Still others have been working towards feminism, with varying degrees of success. And then there is a fourth group, which calls itself 'modern'. This ostensibly mild-mannered group accepts, gladly, some of the effects of feminism: birth control, better sex, dates who share checks, wives with good incomes, paternity leave. They would not describe themselves as feminist. In this they are correct, since they in fact resemble the unreconstructed patriarchs, with the difference that they demonstrate the requisite characteristics in a covert, rather than an overt way.

Perhaps we can draw a loose parallel between these 'modern' guys, and white people who wish to be absolved of racism and then move, instantly, to reap the cultural or other benefits of 'integration'. Yes, you can go out to the zydeco, and be effusive, and say some theoretically sophisticated things. But you looking cool, is very different from you being cool, and that again is very different from dismantling the system.

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