If I am to adopt “Kounter Dominator Culture” as some kind of slogan or template, then I must explain what I mean. The Dominator Culture is that of paranoia and patriarchy, driven by a desire to control and destroy whatever does not fit that male and fearful paradigm. It abhors the “feminine”, those things deemed traditionally to be feminine, the dark, mysterious and unpredictable. The creative that does not seem productive ( from that controlling male point of view), the wild, dark, dank places, fecundity, the weedy, pointless wilderness, the community of sisters in which the male is irrelevant, the soft, the weak, the uncontrollable. Even the power of sex, in which man can be lost – unmanned- so sex is trivialised in pornography. Porn controls sex and puts it in its place. However much it talks about slippery and steamy places, there is control. It’s the straightener mentality, that wants everything neat and fitted into boxes, packed into drawers, labeled, categorised, computed. Untidy things that wont fit into the grid will be trimmed to size, unruly clippings discarded and hidden in deeper drawers. ( In science, this has happened – with fossils and archaeological finds. They don’t fit the theory – so they are ‘lost’.
Paranoia is not at all adventurous or free thinking. It does not want to know new things. It fears everything hidden and unknown, and assumes, for safety’s sake, that whatever is hidden and unknown must be inherently evil and therefore to be avoided at all costs and destroyed if possible. In colonial times (which are not entirely over) this has been the approach to native peoples and their culture. They become part of that Great Feminine which must be controlled or else destroyed. If it wont be tamed with beads and mirrors, then it must be hunted down and shot, or at least, moved onto a mission or reservation, and taught to behave.
Having established some notion of what Dominator Culture is, how to Kounter it? Not with any sort of violence. With ahimsa. Non-violent non-co-operation, passive resistance. By refusing to co-operate, refusing to be controlled, refusing to lie down and play dead, refusing to obediently consume all the trash that is being pushed. Arundhati Roy says that women must be at the centre of resistance, and that women will leave and that fundamentalists will take over, if violence is used as a means of displaying disgust and resistance. All you have than is terrorism, which is part of that Paranoid Patriarchy – right up its rigid fear-filled alley. Fundamentalists are just an arm of Patriarchy, anyway. This is what is wrong with Fear Factory and other such roaring resistors of the way things are. You just cannot change a paradigm and fit into it at the same time. To Kounter Dominator Culture is to build a new one, gently dismantling the old one, like a puff-ball pressing its gentle way through the asphalt of a footpath in Moonee Ponds. Seemingly unlikely, yet irresistible inevitable (and true)
Dominator Culture equals Male Culture, or rather, Masculist Culture, which is very hard for us to see, because we are up to our necks in it. It is necessary to climb out and look at it from another angle in order to see it more clearly. It is necessary to be separated from it, differentiated. This cannot happen at the social level unless individuals en masse first take the step, or rather, begin that journey. Only when so many individuals have risen from the masculist social soup and dried themselves off a bit that the point of critical mass is reached – only then will the ‘soup’ evaporate and something new take its place. How many million personal revolutions must there be for the social revolution to quietly unfold? I’ve no idea. But every parent who comes clear will raise a child or children less messed up than they themselves were. Slowly, slowly. Its the puffball effect, quietly shouldering its way through the hard, unforgiving crust.
Differentiation- if a couple isn’t differentiated – if there’s an ‘overfunctioner’ and an ‘underfunctioner’ – the underfunctioner becomes, not a person in their own right, but a function of the other, some sort or vassal, vessel, bent out of shape and diminished by being (or seeming) part of that other person. And the dominators personhood is in no great shape, either. That’s dominator culture on the small scale. The dominated, colonised one needs her (generally it’s her) self back, but usually she has no idea what that ‘self’ might be, her life having been subsumed by the other, their wants and needs. That’s what has happened between ‘male’ and ‘female’ in traditional society. The ‘female’ needs to draw a line in the sand. She needs to figure out who she is, what she is, and what she wants and believes and to stand up for that. And never give in. and say like it or lump it, and mean it, too. That’s not easy for someone trained from birth to roll over and play dead as and when the Master requires. To give, but not to receive. To accept with gratitude whatever it is the Master does not want, to take the leftovers (and share them), to be leaned on but never to lean. To conceal pain and cry in secret places. We have been complicit in our own bondage, because we did not know what it was. But we are learning. Anger is an energy, but if it is not put to constructive use, then it is a waste of energy. Anger tells us there is a problem, if only we can recognize the anger for what it is, and then figure out what we want to do next. Stand up and be counted. Kounter Dominator Culture, where ever that may be, non-violently. Ahimsa!
Derrick Jensen A Language Older Than Words
Alice Miller- The Truth Will Set You Free, For Your Own Good et al
Arundhati Roy -The Cost of Living
Anger Is An Energy is a song by John Lydon and his band PIL