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“I have a friend whose family tree has been traced back a thousand years, but no women exist on it. She just discovered that she herself did not exist, but her brothers did . . . Go back more generations and hundreds, then thousands [of women] disappear. Mothers vanish . . . patriarchy [is] made by erasure and exclusion. . . Some women get erased a little at a time, some all at once . . . Every woman who appears wrestles with the forces that would have her disappear. . . Feminism is an endeavor to change something very old, widespread, and deeply rooted.”

--Rebecca Solnit (2014: 64-65, 71, 140)

Women now appear in family genealogies (at least in Western culture), but nevertheless, over the last year I have been pondering the enduring, even accelerating, erasure of women in the 21st century. Some may balk at this statement: surely this is the heyday of the visibility of women in human history, is it not? And yet my heart grows heavier day by day, even as current wave(s) of feminism seem unable to acknowledge, much less articulate, the storm clouds on the horizon. As I reach my sixth decade on this beautiful planet, I have come to feel that I must speak out about what I see, in the hopes that there are others who will read my words and thereby glimpse it, too. I also feel that the time is swiftly coming to an end when the ideas discussed here can be advanced in public. [1] Noting that there are not-insignificant attempts to carve out niches for a fifth and sixth wave feminism, I hereby claim Seventh Wave Feminism for those of us, like Rachel of old, who mourn and refuse to be comforted (Matt 2:18).

The theme of Seventh Wave Feminism (7WFem) is that the “very old, widespread, and deeply rooted” evil that feminism fights has shape-shifted in the 21st century to something equally evil and of a piece with what came before, but which now has a wholly different appearance. Despite what I feel is an insidious consistency across the centuries with regard to the themes of disappearance, erasure, and exploitative alienation of women, this shape-shifting has confused and blinded many to its malign intent. Indeed, the transformation of this evil is so profound that what first wave—or even second wave—feminists would have descried as utterly misogynist is now treated by current wave feminists as somehow emancipatory, such as prostitution and gestational surrogacy. To my mind that is a stunning example of “maya” --the Buddhist term meaning “the power or the principle that conceals the true character of spiritual reality.” The mists of darkness are growing ever more opaque—and my personal reaction is that it’s high time to see this for what it is before visibility becomes nil. That feeling of “now or never” is what prompts me to pen this essay at this moment in history.

The battle cry of 7th Wave Feminism is “Against the Erasure and Replacement of Women” (AEROW). One might initially think this some form of science fiction—after all, women are everywhere, are they not? How can we say they are being erased or replaced? How can we say alienation has been made their fate when women, at least in some cultures, are more empowered than women have ever been? And why a “battle cry”? Isn’t all of that ridiculously over the top? Bear with me, and I hope by the end of this essay you will see what I see . . .


The Sexed Body in the Image of God, Our Heavenly Parents

While you certainly don’t need to be a Latter-day Saint to stand as AEROW, embracing the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ (RGJC) is the path that led me to take that stand, and therefore a brief section of explanation is in order. In other work I have spoken at length about how I am a Latter-day Saint because I am a feminist. [2] Among other things, the Restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RCJC) among all the Christianities believes that there is no Heavenly Father without Heavenly Mother, and that Eve did not sin in the Garden of Eden, but rather was foreordained to lead out in bringing souls across the veil into this testing phase of the Great Plan of Happiness. RGJC doctrine also preaches that the correct and divinely ordained relationship between the sexes is one of committed, faithful, equal partnership. This is a strong foundation on which to build a society in which men and women live in peace with one another, though I would be the first to assert that there are still areas of common RCJC practice and even policy that do not live up to RGJC doctrine on this point.

All this is preface to an important pillar of RGJC belief: embodiment and sexual differentiation are integral to being created in the divine image, and integral to our destiny as the offspring of God. We could not become like our Heavenly Parents if we were not embodied, and we could not be like our Heavenly Parents if we did not exist as a sexed body—a body capable of eventually becoming a Heavenly Father or a Heavenly Mother. Indeed, core RGJC doctrine tells us that the body and spirit united are the soul of man, as well as asserting that sex is an eternal characteristic of our spirits (premortally) and our souls (mortally and eternally). One doesn’t “have” a body in RGJC doctrine—one is an en-spirited body. A body is not a possession of our spirit, not a piece of property to be disposed of as the owner wishes, but rather a way of being in the world. Similarly, one doesn’t “have” a sex—one is sexed. Sex is also a way of being in the world. We exist only as embodied, sexed beings. Indeed, it is interesting to note while sex may be eternal, embodiment in our current form was not. Embodiment was a blessing given only to those who kept their first estate in the Great War in Heaven. Embodiment is thus a huge step forward in our eternal progression, and we had to prove ourselves worthy of the opportunity to take that step. This is in stark contrast to belief systems which see the body as an impediment to human spirituality.

Among other things, that embodiment allows the full expression of our eternal sex. Though in a minority of cases here in the fallen world there are pathologies rendering a given body infertile, or even more rarely resulting in several types of intersex conditions, we also know that in no documented case has there ever been found an individual human born who produces the gametes of both sexes. That means there are also no individuals with the embodied power to be both a Heavenly Mother and a Heavenly Father. Rather, we know our destiny is to become as They are, either a Heavenly Mother or a Heavenly Father—that is, to become either an exalted woman or an exalted man joined in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, who together bring about eternal life for their children.[3]

Sexuate [4] embodiment thus stands teleologically opposed to the alienation of souls by making possible a joyous joining of all that belongs together in the divine image. It repudiates any attempted alienation of spirit and body; it repudiates any attempted alienation of soul and sex; it repudiates any attempted alienation of men and women. Furthermore, the particular work of women in organizing that joining of spirit and body for individual souls through the embodied, sexed work of motherhood is a godly work of divine power that stands unalterably opposed to alienation in all its forms. The navel mark symbolizing this work is written into our very flesh (and echoed in the garments of the holy priesthood) as a constant reminder of all we owe those daughters of God who labored to bring us forth as embodied, sexed souls. This mark is a symbol of life-in-joining, a true symbol of the divine work of women.

While the work of women as mothers has been readily acknowledged by many faiths as divine, it is also true that the wellspring of life, mortal or divine, is the embodied, sexuate sacrament of the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. God is not an old bachelor, but a married couple, and the fullest expression of our own divine destiny lies in marriage. With each spouse acknowledging that he/she is insufficient in themselves, the choice to commit one’s sexed and embodied being to the other spouse in faithful, loving equal partnership and become “one flesh” is the very symbol of divinity and a massive repudiation of all sources of alienation. True marriage is the foundation of all turning of hearts—the hearts of men to women, women to men, children to parents, parents to children . . . and humankind to God, and God to humankind. We must remember Christ is the Bridegroom as well as the Father, as well as the Son. Marriage is the very architecture of heaven, welding all who will into the family of God. Marriage is the sacrament of peace between men and women, the fathers and mothers of all who have and will live—a sacrament that creates the possibility of divinity, for there never was a Heavenly Father without a Heavenly Mother, nor a Heavenly Mother without a Heavenly Father.

It does not seem ironic, but rather profoundly fitting and perhaps even a law-like necessity, that our very insufficiency due to the finiteness of our sexed embodiment is what cracks open wide the path to love. Those who seek sufficiency-in-self rather than life-in-joining are doomed to failure and to misery without love. It is no coincidence that Satan will never be married, while God will ever be. [5] It is other-love, and not self-love that powers divinity, and this was true even before God organized Their sons and daughters.

Thus, among its many other profound meanings, sexual union between a man and a woman in marriage is an admission that self-love, or love of only what one is, is sterile. Thus French philosopher Sylviane Agacinski (2001) calls sexual difference the foundation of ethics: to realize that one cannot produce offspring without the Other, to realize that one is not infinite of oneself, to realize one is limited by oneself but unlimited with the Other. Using the term “mixed” to denote that all have female and male ancestors, she goes on to say,

[I]f humanity is mixed, and not single, all individuals are confronted with their own insufficiency and cannot fully claim to be full human beings . . . There is indeed a lack essential to every human being, which is neither the lack of a penis nor some other attribute of men, or women, but stems from being only male or only female. (2001:39)

Sexual finitude of the individual in reproduction, of which the sexual union of a man and a woman in a loving, committed marriage testifies, thus serves an important—perhaps the most important--ethical function in human society. First and foremost, such marriage “generally wards off individual egocentric fantasies of omnipotence” (xxiii), which fantasies are clearly echoes of the satanic aspiration. [6] Second, and no less important, marriage and the family founded on marriage is a fortress against all worldly powers that seek to take away the agency of humankind, which powers are equally satanic. [7]

And the choice of that term ‘satanic’ is not casual: the many forms of alienation of which we speak have a most cunning and malign advocate. Standing opposed to all life-in-joining, then, is Satan. Satan is the salesman of alienation in all its many forms. He sows enmity between men and women, between generations, between God and humankind. But he also promotes division and alienation between spirit and body, spirit and sex, body and sex, sex and marriage, sex and parenthood, body and parenthood . . . wherever humankind is vulnerable to alienation of what is rightfully to be joined in the divine pattern of life, there will be found Satan’s most aggressive efforts. We must recognize that in promoting such alienation, Satan is expressing his fervent desire to extinguish the very possibility of love. [8]

Though a full theology of the body [9] in RGJC terms remains for the future (though important talks by Elder Holland and Elder Bednar point in that direction), this brief overview has laid one possible foundation for the AEROW stance adumbrated below, though I fully believe there are other, non-RGJC foundations that are possible to articulate. [10] The foundation I see laid is this: in the context of RGJC doctrine, it seems that women are the most persistent and most effective obstacle to Satan’s plans—and are thus the special target of Satan’s fury. Men appear to be easy targets of alienation strategies: the natural man has always been keen to remain unencumbered by love, by spouse, by children, by reproduction, by God, by any commitment to another being. And the natural man has always viewed his greater upper body strength and out-of-body mode of reproduction as the natural justification of his embrace of alienation. We will see in the sections that follow that the natural man now sees new horizons of divinely mandated constraints against which to kick: he can now envision challenging mortality/death, the finiteness of sex and sexual reproduction, and embodiment itself. The natural man’s transhuman aspirations are now those of Nimrod of old, and his prideful search for sufficiency-in-self puts him beyond all moral codes. At this quest Satan can only laugh, for there are no princes in Satan’s kingdom—there are only slaves (2Ne 2:29). These would-be Nimrods are not choosing liberty, but rather eternal captivity.

But women, darn them, continue to stand as a testament to the fact that alienation is not the path to joy, and that there is a happier alternative to sufficiency-in-self. While women, too, are under great pressure to finally surrender to alienation, as we will detail below, they remain their Mother Eve’s daughters, holding out to Adam’s sons even today the blessed fruit in hope that men will receive it at their hands and turn from the alienation of the natural man. Women still know there is joy in joining, joy in commitment, joy in fidelity, joy in love, joy in interdependence, joy in insufficiency-in-self. Ironically, perhaps women still know this because the natural man has so intensely strived over the millennia to make women insufficient-in-themselves. But it is also due, I believe, to the vastly different experience women have of embodiment, sex, and reproduction compared to that of men. When not taught to hate their bodies or their reproductive biology, women experience being in their female sexed body as the seat of creation, of incarnation, of sealing, of divine work, of divine power, of divine joy, of divine love in a way that is more visceral, perhaps, than for men. Assuming women have exercised full agency in the matter, joining is still joyous for women. They still offer their gift to Adam’s sons in real hope—and in so doing, profoundly undermine the satanic enterprise in every generation, in every century, in every millennium.

That is why the scriptures state plainly that there is enmity between Satan and Eve’s daughters, and always will be (Gen 3:15; Moses 4:21). Because there are women on this fallen earth, there is always a better way than “evil’s anguished cry.” Indeed, I argue that Satan would rid the world of women if only he could, for women will always remain incomplete subjects; they will always be a reservoir of subversion to his plans. Aside from God and Christ themselves, there is no greater threat to the plans of Satan than women.

It is useful to stop and consider for a moment the possible means by which our common enemy would fight the subversive influence of women. What might Satan, the enemy of all women, try?

Certainly Satan would attempt to persuade men (and even women) to devalue women, invisibilizing or dismissing their work and their power, muffling their voice at every opportunity. Surely he would try to get men (and even women) to hate women and to hurt women, and then invisibilize or normalize that harm.

I pause here to note that in every generation, there have been men who have refused Satan’s ploys. I count my husband, my four sons, and the many good men that I know in and out of the Church among them. (Indeed, we will discuss later in this essay the special role of the Church in countering these ploys.) Rather, we speak here of the natural man, who is an enemy to God, but also an enemy to all women (Alma 41:11). Indeed, I would argue the true mark indicating a man is man of God is that he is a champion of women. A man who professes to love God and yet subordinates women cannot in reality love God at all.

Returning to Satan’s tactics, perhaps more important than the tactics of invisibilization and devaluation would be to attack the possibility of love that women represent to men. Satan would therefore also whisper that it is impossible for men to consider women as equals, which standpoint of equality is the foundation of real love, and assert instead that women are natural subordinates and inferiors of men. And if men cannot love women because women can never be the equals of men, then sex can never be a joining or an act of love but only a male appetite to be slaked. Ejaculation, then, implies no commitment whatsoever to a sex partner or to any children sired, as if the alienability of sperm from a man’s body is the very template for the alienation of sex from love, marriage, and parenthood. In fact, in this twisted worldview, commitment to women is to be avoided as one would a plague. Even women’s bodies are to be considered both sexually enticing but loathsome, and the fact that all men come from a woman’s body is something Satan will attempt to persuade men to find deeply shameful, even horrible. In this satanic perspective, women are not seen as partners or even as human beings, but as commodities to be used, exploited, dominated, discarded, culled, bought and sold. And to the extent that Satan could actually get women to buy into this mindset as well, that is, to the extent Satan is successful in alienating women themselves from their embodied sexed being-in-the-world, making women despise their bodies and its powers, then the greater the soul-destroying misery wrought on earth for all.

But I submit that these ploys are but the opening moves; how better it would be, from Satan’s view, if women could be erased entirely. Invisibilization would pale in comparison to outright elimination of women in terms of strategic effect. Such elimination would be the end game of all end games, and Satan would feel he could achieve his final victory.

Surely, though, that is fantastical? I fervently hope so. But perhaps not. As we shall see, the “post-sex” society we are purportedly entering in the 21st century is best viewed as a “post-woman” society. The erasure of women may not be in hand, but it is in sight on the horizon for those who have the eyes to discern it.


The Old Ways of Erasing and Alienating Women

While we have already briefly summarized the known ways of erasing and alienating women, it is worthwhile to list as many as we can, so that we can see them as a part of a whole stratagem with what is (already) coming after. Some of these are ancient in their history, finding echoes in the present. Some may no longer exist in law, though they once did, but they may still be prevalently practiced within a society in violation of the law. After all, enforcement and interpretation of the law in every country is still primarily a matter of male priorities, viewpoint, will, and action--not female priorities, viewpoint, will, and action, as the current #MeToo movement has made heartbreakingly plain. And, thankfully, in some societies these old ways no longer obtain (though as we will see in the next section, those are the very societies that have moved most swiftly to the newer ways of erasing and alienating women, which is to be expected if the author of these malignancies never sleeps and never stops seeing women as the primary obstacle to his horrific objective). Last, it is important to recognize that women may be wholeheartedly complicit in their own and other women’s erasure and alienation in these ways; in fact, it may be completely rational for women to be so complicit, seeing loyalty to these dark mindsets and practices as the only path to temporal safety for their children and themselves. Let us remember, then, these longstanding ways of erasing and replacing women:

1) We may start with the thought expressed in our epigraph—that women are missing in the genealogies of our forebears. They are missing in the genealogies of their birth, and are missing from the genealogies of the family into which they are married. Sons, husbands, and fathers are recorded—but not daughters, wives, and mothers. This is true across ancient scriptures and ancient chronicles. Only the male line counted and created kinship, and in some societies even today that is still the case. To my mind, this is one of those “Martian” moments: if a Martian came to this planet and saw that those who labor and sacrifice not only for nine months, but well beyond nine months, to bring forth a new life and nurture it when it is helpless are the very lives singled out for being erased in family records--I can only imagine the Martian would be incredulous. The “makers of family” are, in the first place, women.

2) Women are also missing from systems of human thought, and have been excluded from the enterprise of creating such thought. Noted historian Gerda Lerner expresses this most eloquently; “Women were told that they had to learn to think like a man in order to create. Such thought, men have taught us, must be based on the exclusion of feelings. . . Thus [women] have learned to mistrust their own experience and devalue it. What wisdom can there be in menses? What source of knowledge in the milk-filled breast? What food for abstraction in the daily routine of feeding and cleaning? Patriarchal thought has relegated such gender-defined experiences to the realm of the ‘natural,’ the non-transcendent. Women’s knowledge becomes mere ‘intuition,’ women’s talk becomes ‘gossip,’ Women deal with the irredeemably particular: they experience reality daily, hourly, in their service function (taking care of food and dirt); in their constantly interruptable time; their splintered attention. Can one generalize while the particular tugs at one’s sleeve? He who makes symbols and explains the world and she who takes care of his bodily and psychic needs and those of his children—the gulf between them is enormous. Historically, thinking women have had to choose between living a woman’s life, with its joys, dailiness and immediacy, and living a man’s life in order to think. The choice . . . has been cruel and costly. . . . Why no female system-builders? Because one cannot think universals when one’s self is excluded from the generic. The social cost of having excluded women from the human enterprise of constructing abstract thought has never been reckoned. We can begin to understand the cost of it to thinking women when we accurately name what was done to us and describe, no matter how painful it may be, the ways in which we have participated in the enterprise. We have long known that rape has been a way of terrorizing us and keeping us in subjection. Now we also know that we have participated, although unwittingly, in the rape of our minds. . . Creative women . . . are profoundly subversive of the male tradition. [For example], they feature criticism of the Biblical interpretation of Adam’s fall; rejection of the goddess/witch dichotomy; projection or fear of the split self” (Lerner, 1986: 224, emphasis added)

3) Women are missing from history, in particular heroic history. Lerner, again, is the best commentator: “[Because] the record of the past has been written and interpreted by men and has primarily focused on the deeds, actions, and intentions of males . . . [this] myth that women are marginal to the creation of history and civilization has profoundly affected the psychology of women and men. It has given men a skewed and essentially erroneous view of their place in human society and in the universe. For women . . . history seemed for millennia to offer only negative lessons and no precedent for significant action, heroism, or liberating example. . . . women had no history—so they were told and so they believed. And because they had no history they had no future alternatives. . . . [R]evolutionary ideas can be generated only when the oppressed have an alternative to the symbol and meaning system of those who dominate them . . . Where there is no precedent, one cannot imagine alternatives to existing conditions. It is this feature of male hegemony which has been most damaging to women and has ensured their subordinate status for millennia . . . Men’s version of history, legitimized as the “universal truth,” has presented women as marginal to civilization and as the victim of historical process. To be so presented and to believe it is almost worse than being entirely forgotten . . . Women had no history—so they were told; so they believed. Thus, ultimately, it was men’s hegemony over the symbol system which most decisively disadvantaged women . . . Women and men have entered historical process under different conditions and have passed through it at different rates of speed. If recording, defining, and interpreting the past marks man’s entry into history, this occurred for males in the third millennium BC. It occurred for women (and only some of them) with a few notable exceptions in the nineteenth century. Until then, all History was for women pre-History . . . The basic assumption should be that it is inconceivable for anything ever to have taken place in the world in which women were not involved, except if they were prevented from participation through coercion and repression. . . . [M]oving into the center, [women] transform the system” (Lerner, 1986: 221-223, 219, 226, 228).

4) We may also record all the ways in which men have labored to make it impossible for women to be economically self-sustaining, for her economic prostration is one great key to the persistence of the control of women by men. We may speak of how women have been denied education throughout all time and even now in the present in some societies still. We may talk about women’s lack of property rights and inheritance rights throughout all time and even into the present. For example, under British law until the 20th century, any wages a woman earned belonged to her husband under the principle of coverture. Even when women’s property and inheritance rights are codified in law, they may be abrogated at will by men. So, for example, women in today’s China have full inheritance rights by law, but researchers find that 97% of arable land passes from male to male in inheritance. Women in the Muslim world are often denied their inheritance, even though by law their inheritance is half of that their brothers receive. Women are also denied the skills and training that men are given. For example, in modern day Iran, there are 77 university majors closed to women—including such diverse subjects as English and petroleum engineering. Certain vocations are closed to women in many societies—you can be a low-paid shipmate in Russia, but by law you can never be the better-paid captain of a ship if you are a woman. And of course the persistent gap in pay between men and women, and the glass ceiling that keeps most of the powerful positions in any economy in the hands of men, is part and parcel of this drive to keep women economically prostrate compared to men.

3) The treatment of widows and divorcees may be especially cruel in many traditional societies, akin to being “non-entities.” A widow may be forced to marry her dead husband’s brother; she may be stripped of her children (who “belong” to the husband’s family) and thrown out of her home (because it “belongs” to the husband’s family). In some societies, a widow may be forced to have sex with a strange man so that her husband’s ghost will leave the village. In other societies, elderly widows are simply thrown out on the streets to beg. After all, as we have seen in #1, she is not really “family,” though she created that family. And divorce in all historical societies and in many contemporary societies, is always very easy for men and very difficult for women. And once divorced, a woman may again be stripped of all her possessions, stripped of her children, and may have no place to live if her birth family refuses to take her back for reasons of dishonor, as is often the case.

4) Women are often treated like chattel, bought and sold for their body (such as bride trafficking, arranged, forced, and child marriage), or for pieces of their body--for their vaginas and other orifices (such as in prostitution), for their uterus (such as in gestational surrogacy), for their eggs (such as in egg selling), for their sexual acts (such as in pornography). The whole woman is not wanted; the woman was not meant to be loved for the woman is merely an instrumental thing--and no ties of real kinship or commitment or compassion are given her in exchange for her exploitation in this way. The magic wand of “money” is used to placate those whose sensibilities might be outraged on her behalf—the “groom” offers money, the john offers money, the “intended parents” offer money, the pornography film “director” offers money. The faux contractual nature of these arrangements is meant to obfuscate the real harm being done to these women and the real alienation being foisted upon them. Some even try to suggest a woman is simply putting to economic use her possession, i.e., her body. But the truth is that for her body to be sold, her soul is sold as well because, as we have seen, her body is the way a soul exists in the world. Somehow we live in a world where it is against the law for a person to sell themselves into slavery (or even sell a kidney), and yet something analogous happens all the time to women--so that men can use them as they wish. But this is maya. Sex is, first and foremost, a relationship, not a service. Pregnancy and birth are, first and foremost, relationships and not services. Our embodied souls touch other embodied souls in these acts in the most profound ways possible. When we pretend this relationship does not exist, we lie, even if the lie is greased by money.

And that lie harms—it produces the deep harm of alienation of body from soul, of men from women, of women from children. Prostitutes, surrogates, unwilling brides, women who have been forced to bear children or abort children or be sterilized, porn “stars” all learn they have to “turn off” or dissociate in order to survive. They must pretend they are not in their body in order to stand the pain of what others are doing to them. As researchers studying prostitutes, such as Kajsa Ekis Ekman have found, “Rather than speak of sexuality as a way of being closer to another person, many speak of the necessity of maintaining distance. One Australian woman says: “I can only work it from below the neck. If I have to think of a service that involves my mind even slightly, I feel dirty” . . . her body must be sectioned off from the mind.” (Ekman, 2014: 94). The defensive strategies that prostitutes use are universal, according to Ekman, and they all involve the alienation of any feelings their body might have from their mind (which, ironically, is located inside their bodies). “Every day, she has to go through the process of transforming her body into a product that will feel as little as possible, and afterwards, she has to attempt to reawaken her body, remind it how to feel.” (Ekman, 2014: 97). The same logic is applied to gestational mothers, who are only “good” at their job if they feel nothing whatsoever for the innocent child who is in the most intimate joined relationship possible with her embodied soul.

5) We can also speak of how what women do every day is erased so well that it becomes invisible to our minds. All unpaid caregiving labor, whether of pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, child care, elder care, care of the sick and disabled, sustenance activities such as gathering food and water, making meals, washing and laundry, and the infinity of tasks that keep households going—of which labor women perform the overwhelming proportion of hours in every society—is completely unrecognized in our system of national accounts. In a typical hospital room where a woman is giving birth, everyone in that room—doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, aides—are all contributing to the Gross Domestic Product and their social security benefits will reflect that contribution. The only one who has done “nothing,” whose labor in blood, sweat, and tears does not count for anything in the GDP or social security (or even in genealogies, as we have noted), is the woman herself who has just given birth. Economists estimate that GDP figures would be at least 40% higher if value was imputed to women’s unpaid caring labor. Capitalism itself is built upon all of this sustaining labor being valueless, for what average man could pay a wife the going rate for the tasks she performs every day? Salary.com estimates a mother of young children would bring in an imputed salary of well over $125,000 per year. But both men and women are socialized to believe that all this caring labor is nothing—that the woman is not even working when she is obviously occupied, busy, and striving to serve those who are dependent upon her. We have even seen attempts by men to take over and market-ize what women do in reproduction, for example in taking over the delivery room and in creating infant formula and its accessories. Men, of course, are happy to be paid for such imperial colonization of women’s territory, and once again what embodied women do as women can be erased or minimized thereby. We are told we don’t need to be conscious for birth, we don’t need to push, we don’t need to lactate—en fin, we are told the best birth we can imagine doesn’t involve our body at all!

6) We have also erased women’s voices. Historically, we have denied her any rights of decision as a married woman—it was not until 1970 that a French wife was entitled to an equal say in where she lived. The concept of “head of household” ensured that a woman’s voice was not heard in household decisionmaking. We have also erased women’s voices in democratic societies when we denied women the right to vote. We have ignored, erased, and overlooked the accomplishments of women throughout history, and teach our young children this “womanless” history to their detriment. In this way, we erase women from our memory and from our very consciousness. We have intimated to our children that women are not as intelligent as men: “the height of a woman’s thoughts are the height of a kitchen spoon” goes one traditional proverb, and modern research shows that men even in developed societies severely discount the expertise and credentials of women. Many societies also underinvest in girls’ education due to the idea that it is either useless or positively dangerous, and our societies actively punish women who wish develop their skills and talents in the workplace, especially those who are mothers. Women’s voices have also been ignored at the highest levels of policymaking, where law has been made and interpreted by only one half of the population based on sex, often to the detriment of the other sex whose priorities, concerns, and insights go unheeded. And when a human right is proclaimed and it is not specifically mentioned that the right belongs to women as well as men, many will assume it only belongs to men.

In addition, we have almost completely erased women’s interpretations of the divine will, such as interpretations of scripture, so the only God many know is a God that men created who apparently despises women as the natural man does. We have even refused to listen to women’s voices when they are raised, with researchers noting that men often process the voices of women as “background noise.” We have also erased our very sight of women, forcing her into purdah or underneath all-encompassing fabric in some societies, refusing her entry to certain public places in others. And we have virtually no figurative memorials of real women, only abstract women such as Mother Russia or Lady Liberty. While there are memorials galore of real men, especially those who have shed blood for their country, there are none of the women who have shed blood for their country by dying in childbirth. Wherever our daughters look, there are men, men, men—monuments, portraits, stamps, currency--but almost no women who have been honored by their country. We treat women as if they were only the “support staff” for men—their cooks, laundresses, prostitutes, wet nurses, governesses. And when we want to compliment a woman, we say she does things like a man, but when we want to insult a man, we say he does things like a woman.

We cannot help but be reminded of the famous quote by Carrie Chapman Catt in 1902, “The world taught woman nothing skillful and then said her work was valueless. It permitted her no opinions and then said she did not know how to think. It forbade her to speak in public, and said the sex had no orators. It denied her the schools, and said the sex had no genius. It robbed her of every vestige of responsibility, and then called her weak. It taught her that every pleasure must come as a favor from men, and when to gain it she decked herself in paint and fine feathers, as she had been taught to do, it called her vain.”

7) Women are also erased physically. If our culture does not value daughters, there are means such as sex-selective abortion or female infanticide to erase them. Estimates are that we are missing almost 200 million women worldwide through these and other practices. In 1990 there were five countries with abnormal birth sex ratios, and now there are 19, as more and more societies avail themselves of this technology. If women are considered dishonored in some way, they can be erased through honor killing or honor “suicides.” More broadly, domestic violence worldwide is a leading cause of the death and erasure of women. Indeed, the “boot camp” for hatred and violence and terrorism becomes the home, where men hurt and erase and oppress women—and children watch and learn. And through threat of harassment and other forms of physical harm, women become erased from the public square, and feel they must limit their mobility in order to be safe from harm. We also erase women physically by not caring about their health. When our society chooses not to care about preventable deaths from childbirth, or looks the other way when sons are immunized and daughters are not, or when sons are fed well and daughters are given scraps, then we are colluding in the physical erasure of women.

8) In many societies, we also erase women by erasing the nobility of their bodies. That is, in many societies, a woman’s body is considered shameful, dirty, loathsome. That a woman’s body bleeds in menstruation, or becomes swollen in pregnancy is considered disgusting. That a woman’s vagina is meant to accommodate a male’s penis is considered utterly demeaning and a testament that God sees women as subordinate to men and even that God has cursed women. Women are viewed as a mutilated form of humanity, at least as far back as Socrates. Of course, to hold such an attitude as a man is a recipe for sheer insanity, because it is that dirty, loathsome, inferior body that has given birth to you. It’s that dirty, loathsome, inferior body that you crave because of your own sexual arousal. It’s that dirty, loathsome, inferior body that will give you your sons. Think what such an erasure of the nobility of a woman’s body does to sexual intercourse, then. It turns it from what could be the joyous, loving joining of two equals into an act of degradation, contempt, humiliation, violence, and dominance. It is the ultimate alienation of the human race to detach sexual intercourse from all that it should be attached to—love, equality, commitment, fidelity, honor, peace. As the early feminist Lucretia Mott put it, "The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation, because in the degradation of women, the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source."

When we consider all that the world has done to erase and harm women, we cannot help but be stunned by the enormity and the malignancy of Satan’s plan. How viciously Satan hates women! No wonder God weeps! Many have taken the scripture in the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 7:33, to suggest that God weeps because of man’s inhumanity to man. No, in the first place, God weeps because of man’s inhumanity to his own blood—women.


The New Ways of Erasing, Replacing, and Alienating Women

The 21st century has brought a new variety of means to promulgate the same old ends of erasing and replacing women, and of alienating all that was meant to be joined. This includes, as we have seen, alienating women from their own bodies, alienating men and women from one another, alienating parents from children, and so forth.

We see immense effort put forth to alienate women from their own bodies, in ways that were little imaginable before. In the West, plastic surgery has become something unremarkable; cutting open one’s skin and putting bags of silicone in one’s breasts or buttocks or other types of fillers in one’s lips, or freezing, cutting, or sucking out fat in order to satisfy the female understanding of the all-important male gaze seems quite ordinary. The body becomes a thing to nip and tuck, something one’s will works on, as if the body were but an accessory. Alternatively, women who reject the Jessica Rabbit stereotype of the female anatomy can use modern science to erase their womanhood in myriad other ways—by elective mastectomy, elective tubal ligation or hysterectomy, elective permanent suppression of menses, etc. Women may loathe their bodies to the point of starving them or causing them to vomit many times a day through eating disorders. We have already seen how women have erased their mammary glands by outsourcing lactation to a non-bodily system of bottles and formula; now women can outsource pregnancy itself by using the bodies of other women in surrogacy arrangements. Women sell their eggs; women sell the services of their uterus in addition to the longstanding sale of the services of their vagina and other orifices. These are all signs of a deep alienation of women from their bodies.

There are also signs of woman’s alienation from the bodies created from their bodies—that is, women’s alienation from their descendants. When a woman sells an egg, she sells her birthright of connection and joining to her descendants. When a woman joins with a fetus in surrogacy, sharing a full-body connection for nine months, and then for pay relinquishes the resulting child, she sells her birthright of connection and joining to her descendants. And society, dominated by men who devalue corporeal reproduction because they will never experience it, is quite willing to maintain the erasure of these women by pretending that the egg seller and the surrogate mother do not exist: their names may appear nowhere on the birth certificate of the child born of their bodies. The child of these women—for it is their child—will never even know who they are. Some societies are even willing to state a child has no mother at all, but only a father or fathers, when such a statement is a complete lie. We have seen such erasure before in the genealogies of our forefathers that do not even mention our foremothers; that we see it again, now, in 21st century forms of erasure, is heartbreaking. That such erasure is considered “progress” is profoundly misogynist. That some who consider themselves feminists do not even see the misogyny of these acts is stunning.

But even the existence of a gestational surrogate mother is too much for some, especially men who resent that their children must come from female bodies at all. Men are pioneering technologies that will allow their own cells to be manipulated into creating eggs (Lewin, 2017), and are also developing artificial wombs (Devlin, 2017). Such “ectogenesis,” where babies are developed outside the womb of their mother, will take the erasure of women and the alienation of women from their descendants to a whole new level. As political scientist Jacqueline Stevens suggests, this development may be the end result of male envy of the power to give birth: “In compensation for the lack of a womb and anger at the humiliation that entails, and out of a fear of reproducing the initial experience of dependence . . . . men apparently organize their public, social lives through the manipulation of women and things . . . As much as the penis represents desire, it may also be the sine qua non of a lack, and as much as the penis allows men to possess women and things, it seems born of ressentiment, a sign of men’s experience of ultimate dependence and humiliation . . . Politically, masculine compensation manifests at its most basic structural level in the urge to control reproduction, to determine rules that govern the traffic in mothers and their children” (Stevens, 2005: 285, 289).

This existential humiliation will finally be done away with when men no longer “need” women for either eggs or for wombs. And you can bet these new technologies will be sold to women as a step forward for them—liberating women from the “needs” of men, liberating women from the “demands” of their own bodies. As one male commentator spun it, “The powerful, feeling-filled bond between a mother and her child is a big part of what leads working mothers to take their child-rearing responsibilities more seriously than working fathers. If this essential difference is the problem, if it is the root of gender equality in the workplace, and if our highest priority is to eliminate gender inequality, then ectogenesis offers a way forward” (Salam, 2014; emphasis added).

Forward? Christine Rosen points out that women will lose far more than they would gain from the development of these technologies. “’If reproduction is at once completely separated from sexual love,” [British scientist J.B.S. ]Haldane wrote, “mankind will be free in an altogether new sense.’ But free to do what? In just the last few years, we’ve used this freedom to create mixed-sex, “she-male” embryos. We’ve harvested the undeveloped ovaries of aborted fetuses, and thus opened the door to producing children with aborted fetuses as biological mothers. We’ve produced female oocytes from male-derived embryonic stem cells, and thus laid the groundwork for single-sex procreation. In this context, ectogenesis seems more like a culmination of present trends than a radical departure; it seems like yet another sign, or signpost, of our inability to accept limits on the use of reproductive technologies” (Rosen, 2003)

That inability to accept limits is suspect; it portends the transgressing of all limits. Rosen perceptively notes, “To be ‘born of woman’ is not merely to be born using a certain technique, a means that is suitable today but perhaps will be superseded in the future by our own ingenuity,” and then quotes Charles Krauthammer: “[Ectogenesis] may be severing the connection between the child and the mother, which is a way of protecting that child by giving him a belonginghood to someone who will care. Once you put him in an animal, which is a thing for these purposes, or a machine, which might happen in the future, you create a completely atomized and defenseless creature, and that opens the way to all kinds of tyrannies, social control, and lack of autonomy, which we would not want” (Rosen, 2003). As we have discussed, the mother-child bond is one of the most powerfully subversive forces opposing Satan’s plan for just such absolute tyranny. Erasing or severing that bond puts the adversary’s end game in view. In a very real way, you are free because you were born to a mother who loved you more than she loved the state or an ideology or a social system, and who would thus fight to the death to protect you from the predations of all these. Even knowing such love can exist, even in cases where your mother has already passed on to her eternal reward, gives you the courage to resist the large and impersonal forces that would squash you. Take her away, erase her, replace her, and the individual is truly defenseless. Motherhood lays the foundation stones of all freedom.

And yet the common thread in all these new developments has been the sequence of alienation, then erasure, then replacement of women. The tactical philosophy appears to be ‘Alienate her from her motherhood and cause her to commodify it as a result, then erase it, and then replace it with the artificial.’ And this tactical pattern is not limited to the realm of procreation. We see it also in the case of sexual intercourse: alienate woman from her embodied experience of sex and cause her to commodify it as a result in the form of prostitution and pornography. Then erase it, and then replace it with the artificial. It is stunning to know that the greatest advances in artificial intelligence have been spurred on by men’s quest for the perfect sexbot. The turn to sexbots is of course heralded as being liberating for women, as a way of reducing demands for “real” prostitutes, or as a way of decreasing sex crimes. As the so-called “right to sexual expression” takes hold in certain legal circles, the existence of sexbots sweetens the mix to make these “rights” palatable and to make them seem non-misogynist, just as artificial wombs and male-produced eggs sweeten the nascent legal “right to procreative expression.” By getting rid of the need for females and the need for those females to cooperate in order for males to have their ‘freedom’ to have uncommitted sex and uncommitted procreation, the foremost difficulty faced by men has been surmounted, just as it was when it was deemed possible to have a legal marriage without a woman involved. “Alienate, erase, replace.” These steps are not for the benefit of women; rather, they are clearly for the benefit of the natural man whose ‘freedom’ is compromised by women.

Nowhere is this made more plain than by the recent questioning of the existence of women. Are “women” real, or is the term a purely social construct? Is “sex” real, or is the term a purely social construct? The turn to the post-sex society is misogynist in the extreme—if there is no such thing as “women,” then they cannot be oppressed. If “women” do not exist, then not only can we not claim they have been oppressed, we cannot assist in their greater empowerment. Thus, there need not be any special laws or programs or quotas to help “women.” If there are no “women,” then anyone can speak for women. If there are no “women,” then we cannot speak of women’s experiences or women’s needs or women’s rights. We cannot speak of breastfeeding, but only “chestfeeding”; we cannot speak of vaginas but only “front holes.” And if one perceived need is space free from the male gaze, a post-sex society could not even recognize such a need as valid. Women cannot resist if there is no such creature as a woman; sexism cannot be resisted if there is no such thing as sex. The final defeat of the female sex is to be won by denying there is such a thing as a female. And with procreative erasure through technology such as artificial wombs, such a defeat can be made finally effective. You can hear the laughter all the way from hell.

What is astonishing is how some who call themselves feminists feel these developments are liberating. They see the trees, but not the forest. We have seen in the past how some feminists have called for the legalization of prostitution, seeing in it a better situation for individual prostitutes rather than as a general defeat for women that men are legally allowed to use and discard the alienated bodies of their sisters. We see in more recent days how feminists have supported egg-selling, surrogacy, sexbots, even post-sexism. Once again their focus has been on individuals whose freedom would otherwise be constrained, rather than on the general historical defeat that the acceptance of these practices represent for women. So penny wise, so pound foolish.

Listen, my sisters: the foundation for women’s equality cannot be women’s non-existence. It is time to understand that the foundation for women’s equality is the reality of sexual difference. Hear Gerda Lerner on the subject:

“Women are a Sex. Woman are a separate group due to their biological distinctiveness. . . . [They are] half of the whole. Men are the only other sex. . . . Gender is the cultural definition of behavior defined as appropriate to the sexes in a given society at a given time. Gender is a set of cultural roles. It is a costume, a mask, a straitjacket in which men and women dance their unequal dance. Unfortunately, the term is used both in academic discourse and in the media as interchangeable with “sex.” In fact, its widespread public use probably is due to it sounding a bit more “refined” than the plain word “sex” with its “nasty” connotations. Such usage is unfortunate, because it hides and mystifies the difference between a biological given—sex—and the culturally created—gender. Feminists above all others should want to point up that difference and should therefore be careful to use the appropriate words.” (Lerner, 1986: 238).

Certainly gender stereotypes should be questioned, for they can be restrictive and harmful. My own life has been one long snubbing of such stereotypes. But sexual differences cannot be restrictive or harmful, for sexed-ness is our way of being in the world. Rather, it is what we make of sexual difference that has been the problem all along, whether that be Stevens’ pregnancy envy or Agacinski’s “nostalgia for the one.” [11] Denying sexual difference is the path to utter defeat for feminism, for as Lerner comments, “The recognition of a wrong becomes political when women realize that it is shared with other women” (Lerner, 1986: 242; emphasis added). Thus when feminists make the point that you should have a uterus to have a real say on abortion policy, that presupposes that sex is important to political feminism. There’s just no way around it—you can’t have feminism without sex.

And that means that male attempts to redefine “woman” to include men should be strongly resisted by those who consider themselves feminists, for this is but a 21st century form of male imperialism and entitlement. Sisters, when you are shouted down by men for your resistance to this male imperialism, remember this is but of a piece with millennia of men bullying women to sit down and shut up so that men can do whatever they want, particularly in a sexual sense. It is very telling that the fiercest battles have been over women’s right to exclude men from spaces where women desire physical privacy from males, such as restrooms and domestic violence shelters. Rape, sexual harassment, voyeurism, and domestic violence are highly gendered crimes; it makes sense that barriers to these crimes would be resented primarily by men. As one commentator put it, “Being oppressed by men is being oppressed by men, even if those men are wearing dresses” (Comments, 1). A second commented, “This feels like just another tyranny of those who have penises over those who do not, no matter what they call themselves,” and a third, “It is always females who are asked to make accommodations for whatever special treatment males desire in life” (Comments, 2).

One day, far into the future when hopefully one can research these things, it would be interesting to determine how much an effect on the 2016 election the Obama Administration’s May 2016 DOE guidance on opening school restrooms and locker rooms to self-identifying transsexuals had. The timing could not have been worse. Though it could not be said aloud at the time, for fear of hurting others’ feelings and of or being hurt economically (cf. Curt Schilling), it was almost as if in the United States one could actually hear that particular straw cracking the camel’s back.

What struck people at that time, and still does, is how very little regard this post-sexual stance has for women. Comments from websites during that time period are instructive (Comments, 2):

“Sheila”: “1 in 5 girls are victims of sexual abuse . . . That would be 20% of girls in the locker room may have been molested or raped. Having to shower with a person that has a penis may very well harm the girl psychologically. As a victim of child abuse I would not have wanted to see a penis when I showered after swim class. The girls have civil rights too and should not have to identify as an abuse victim.”

“Nikolai”: “This is the ultimate in sexism. What trumps a woman's right to privacy? A man who says he's a woman.” “cbg”: “So if a girl born as a girl doesn't wish to be seen naked by someone with a penis, now she is contributing to that person's suicidality? So she has no natural right to her own bodily privacy, but must expose herself naked for the comfort of others? . . . It is warped and wrong to accuse girls of causing harm to others for doing nothing more than protecting their own bodily privacy.”

Such ‘heretical’ thoughts also led to commentators at the time (2015-2016) recognizing that a “post-sex” society would specifically undermine all progress made by women, just as a “post-race” society would do the same for racial minorities (Comments, 3):

PacNWMom: “This is a perfect illustration of just how far down the pecking order women are in this world. If Bruce Jenner had started appearing in blackface, cornrowing his hair, having his nose widened rather than narrowed, and claiming to be black because he'd always 'felt' that way, there would be protests in the streets. But let him get hormone shots, hair extensions, and dress in a teddy and everyone swoons. I guess being a woman must be easy. Any man can do it, right?”

Anon: “I find it sad that transwomen seem to have so little empathy and regard for those of us born women. It just seems like more male entitlement on steroids (or hormones).”

Clover: “Apparently woman now means whatever a man wants it to mean.”

Reader: “Who are you to tell women that their womanhood is nothing but a fantasy? . . . My womanhood would not exist without my sex, and any man saying he understands what it's like to be a woman even though he is born with the privileges of a man is proving how manly he really is.”

Reader: “It's a movement to let men bully women just like they always have.”

Reader: “It is about wanting women to admit what they refuse to admit: that men can be 100% women too if they just say they are. And they will not stop until women have shut up like good women should.”

Earthling: “That transgenders now get to compete with real women in beauty contests, athletics, in MMA matches underscores how deeply misogynistic society is, that men who are fake women are judged better than real women.”

Elinor Burkett, long-time feminist activist, journalist, former professor of women’s studies, and an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker penned a cri du coeur in June 2015 in the pages of the New York Times that expressed in very poignant terms what women were losing:

People who haven’t lived their whole lives as women, whether Ms. Jenner or Mr. Summers, shouldn’t get to define us. That’s something men have been doing for much too long. And as much as I recognize and endorse the right of men to throw off the mantle of maleness, they cannot stake their claim to dignity as transgender people by trampling on mine as a woman. Their truth is not my truth. Their female identities are not my female identity. . . . . In January, Project: Theatre at Mount Holyoke College, a self-described liberal arts college for women, canceled a performance of Eve Ensler’s iconic feminist play “The Vagina Monologues” because it offered an “extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman,” explained Erin Murphy, the student group’s chairwoman. Let me get this right: The word “vagina” is exclusionary and offers an extremely narrow perspective on womanhood, so the 3.5 billion of us who have vaginas, along with the trans people who want them, should describe ours with the politically correct terminology trans activists are pushing on us: “front hole” or “internal genitalia”? . . . “Abortion rights and reproductive justice is not a women’s issue,” wrote Emmett Stoffer, one of many self-described transgender persons to blog on the topic. It is “a uterus owner’s issue.” Mr. Stoffer was referring to the possibility that a woman who is taking hormones or undergoing surgery to become a man, or who does not identify as a woman, can still have a uterus, become pregnant and need an abortion. Accordingly, abortion rights groups are under pressure to modify their mission statements to omit the word woman, as Katha Pollitt recently reported in The Nation. Those who have given in, like the New York Abortion Access Fund, now offer their services to “people” and to “callers.” . . . Ms. Jenner and Ms. Manning, to mention just two, expect to be called women even as the abortion providers are being told that using that term is discriminatory. So are those who have transitioned from men the only “legitimate” women left? (Burkett, 2015)

While Burkett is absolutely right about this devastating loss, it is also true that mainstream American feminism appears to view this male imperialism as something quite salutary—as something to make common cause with. NOW, for example, has prioritized making common cause with all marginalized ‘others,’ even if such embrace in practice provides cover for this egregious form of male imperialism (O’Neill, 2014). In essence, the National Organization for Women has acceded to the male standpoint, which is, if you stop and think about it, shocking. There are, however, other feminist voices that oppose accession, such as Burkett’s. Though they have been vilified, legally persecuted, and even physically attacked, they are fighting the most important battle possible, and deserve praise for their courage and their voice. In subsequent essays, I hope to explore their work with Sq2 readers (New to this? Start with Maria MacLachlan’s peaktrans.org ).

Now, such accession by women to the male standpoint is of ancient origin, of course, and is a common form of misogyny. All through history, women have parroted the male line to protect themselves and their children from the consequences of contradicting it. But one could argue such was an instrumental and insincere accession. What is striking in the history of humanity is the turn from insincere to what appears to be sincere accession to the male standpoint on the part of women who call themselves feminists. “Isofeminist rhetoric” is one example, so-called because at its core such rhetoric suggests that sexual difference should be invisibilized because otherwise sexual difference would serve to undermine women’s equality. So, for example, when you see a woman defending the proposal (put forward, sardonically, by arch conservative Jeff Sessions) to extend the military draft to women, that’s isofeminist. It suggests that to be truly equal, a woman must be treated exactly like a man. On the other hand, if you argue that it is fine to accept women volunteers and let them fight even in combat roles if they are capable, but that extending the draft to women is folly, isofeminists will suggest such a stance reifies conventional mindsets about the inferiority of women. Never can isofeminists admit that sexual difference is important in making the distinction between the equality of women and the exploitation of women.

This is even more easily seen in the isofeminist rhetoric about prostitution and pornography. The isofeminist stance is that there is nothing wrong with these practices, because women and men are equally free to enter into these professions. The argument is that all persons are entitled to somatic entrepreneurship—making money from the use of their body. But such a stance precludes us from seeing that the vast majority of prostitutes are women, and that the vast majority of pornography shows women, not men, being used, abused, and discarded. These are strongly gendered ‘professions’ that testify of men’s entitlement to and titillation by the use and exploitation of women. Arguably, it was this isofeminist rhetoric that laid the foundation for the emergence of the post-sex society and the harms it perpetrates on women. It is astounding that such rhetoric acceding to the male standpoint is often identified with feminism, even though such accession is inherently misogynist. (Again, fortunately, there is another strain of feminism capable of cutting through the maya, and that strain was responsible for the Nordic abolitionist approach to prostitution, as well as the general European rejection of the drive to legalize surrogacy.)


The New Nimrods

The newest vistas of alienation, when you scratch the surface, are all connected to the drive to extinguish the gifts of women. For example, the new quest for immortality, paid for by the wealthiest men in society, rejects the gift of death given all mankind through their embodiment by women. When a woman gives birth, she brings not only new life, but new future death, for that child will one day die. Of course, it was the faith of Mother Eve—faith that this mortal life and this mortal embodiment were not all there was and that there was a glorious immortality and faultless bodily resurrection to succeed it—that allowed her to countenance giving her beloved children the gift of death. For, yes, death is a great gift, if we have the eyes to see (Nelson, 1992; D&C 42:46, 2Ne 2:22-23; Alma 11:42-45).

But many do not have such eyes, and it is predictable that those with the greatest sense of entitlement--powerful men--should feel resentment that women have given them a ‘despicable’ gift. Just as in so many other things, the natural man is determined not to be constrained by women. And so we see new horrors, such as the experiments to give blood transfusions from young people to old people to “revitalize” them (DeGraaf, 2018). Is it even necessary to mention the first individuals paying for these $8000 transfusions are wealthy Silicon Valley executives—males? (Best, 2017). Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, which is now a trillion dollar company, has invested an amazing amount of money into any and all companies that promise to stop the aging process, as has Sergey Brin of Google. Yuval Harari of Hebrew University, predicts that “the rich will become god-like cyborgs” with power over death (Best, 2017). PayPal founder Peter Thiel, for example, is planning to have his body stored in liquid nitrogen at the moment of passing so that one day he can be resurrected by more advanced medical techniques.

And, of course, it may be that to defy death one must find a less human form of embodiment, and the transhumanist movement heads that quest. Currently envisioned as a part-organic, part-inorganic embodiment, the dream is not only that you could choose your precise form, but could also switch your personality and mind between forms whenever desired. You would no longer be limited by the body your mother gave you—you could finally transcend those female origins and repudiate the limitations of the gift of women. The H+ movement, as it is called, believes “we can and should eradicate ageing as a cause of death; that we can and should use technology to augment our bodies and our minds; that we can and should merge with machines, remaking ourselves, finally, in the image of our own higher ideals” (McKie, 2018).

The idea is Nimrodian in its goal: “Ultimately, adherents of transhumanism envisage a day when humans will free themselves of all corporeal restraints. Kurzweil and his followers believe this turning point will be reached around the year 2030, when biotechnology will enable a union between humans and genuinely intelligent computers and AI systems. The resulting human-machine mind will become free to roam a universe of its own creation, uploading itself at will on to a “suitably powerful computational substrate”. We will become gods, or more likely “star children” similar to the one at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey” (McKie, 2018). Again, need we say that the money and vision for the transhumanist movement is overwhelmingly provided by wealthy males, and that transhumanism is fundamentally a male enterprise? Think Elon Musk, a leader in the movement.

If you are seeing a similarity between transgenderism and transhumanism, that’s not coincidental. Some of the most influential figures in H+ are M2T, including Martine Rothblatt and Amara Angelica. These two movements, transgenderism and transhumanism, are extensions of the same philosophy of throwing off all constraints imposed by your mother’s gift of embodiment, which is very clearly shown in this interview excerpt with another tech writer, “Valkyrie Ice” (Pellissier, 2012):

Interviewer: What in your opinion are the mutual interests of transgenderism and transhumanism?

Valkyre Ice: At its heart, I see both as about embracing change. As a transsexual, I suffered from a genetic mix-up that resulted in a feminized brain inhabiting a masculinized body. In the past, there was no way to change this. The technology simply did not exist to enable a physical change to be made and allow this error to be corrected. Now, it does. I can change my body to be a match with my brain.

In much the same way, the human being has been relatively unchanged for thousands of years, our physical shells unable to match the adaptivity of our brains, and the rapid evolution of our social and mental structures. Our knowledge and culture has advanced by leaps and bounds, while our bodies are still chained to the slow pace of biological evolution. We’ve been trapped by our DNA as a species in the exact same manner I have been trapped by mine in a physical shell that does not mirror our inner selves. And just like the technology now exists to change my body, so too will we soon have the technology to allow all of humanity to bypass random mutation and become a self directed, consciously evolving being.

So, as a transgender, I am merely a singular example of the transformation humanity itself will undergo as we move out of the era of limits, and into the era of limitlessness.

Yet despite this fact, society is much slower to accept that such corrections are possible. Even with all the advances made by transgenders over the last few decades, I still have to deal with people who flat out refuse to accept transgendered individuals on the basis of their mental self identity, but must instead insist that I act “male”. I cannot even count the number of times I’ve been told to “act like a man!” with the person telling me this acting like I’ve committed some crime by daring to not meet their expectations of what I should act like. When I reveal to many people my further desires to be a succubus, and can even tell them precisely why I see it being a strong possibility, even many transhumans dismiss it as fantasy. It’s this struggle to open societies eyes to the changing reality that the future is bringing that makes being transgender and being transhuman inseparable to me. . . .

More than anything else, H+ is about CHOICE. It is about enabling humanity to choose what it will be, rather than passively accept the dictates of biology and random evolution. It embraces those who have overcome limits, who have chosen to ignore society’s demands that we “not rock the boat.” To BE H+, we have to believe that we have the ability to improve, to change, to become something other than what we were, or are. As transgenders, we are merely precursors of the changes that humanity will have to face as we enter into a future of unlimited choice. Soon, we will have the ability to change nearly every aspect of our physical selves, from gender to race, even to species. Our right to be the sex we feel we should be is trivial compared to the right everyone should have to BE whatever they wish, be it elf or centaur, human or inhuman, or even biological or non. If H+ cannot even accept transgenders on their own terms, how can they justify humanity’s right to even greater morphological freedoms? We cannot selectively fight for one, and deny another.”

Ah, yes, unlimited choice. It’s those darn limits that come from women—whether we speak of women’s desire for commitment and fidelity and love, or their “flawed” embodiment of our souls that limit us to a specific sex or form, or their “despicable” gift of death—that must be defied. There is a deep misogyny amongst the new Nimrods which is not terribly difficult to uncover.

Of course, of a piece with these social trends are the new entitlements to euthanasia. If a perfect and unlimited body is the only desirable one, then the lives of those with imperfect bodies—those with physical, mental, or age-related defects—are ‘clearly’ not worth sustaining. [12] With new laws on euthanasia come rights for others to make the decision that life should be terminated out of compassion. Often these others include doctors, in addition to close family. Of special interest are the recent findings that in Holland, where euthanasia has been legal for some time, those whose lives are deemed no longer worthy of living by these others (doctors and family) are overrepresented by elderly women (Boffey, 2018). Given that the lives of old women have the least value of all in societies with enduring but unacknowledged misogyny, surely this comes as no surprise. Again, this is but an echo of all that has gone on before—we cull women before they are born because their lives are so devalued, and we cull women when they are past childbearing because their lives are so devalued. Perhaps it is worth asking, when women are no longer required for childbearing because of artificial wombs or even required recreational uncommitted sex because of artificially intelligent sexbots, will we cull them all? Or perhaps a few could be kept as exotic possessions by those male god-cyborgs? It appears we need a completely revamped “Handmaid’s Tale” to keep up with what the real dystopia for women is likely to be in the future.

The upshot of all this is a conclusion that many have drawn, but is perhaps most eloquently stated by Carl Trueman from the Westminster Theological Seminary: “When there is no reality out there, when history and biology count for little or nothing, then all things, from gender to ethics, become simply whatever the people with power and influence decide that they should be” (Trueman, 2015).

What Trueman forgets to add is that those people will be male. The post-sex, post-biological society is a male vision designed to serve the desires of men. The Nimrodian impulse is, in the first place, always male.

At this tipping point in world history, what we need is a feminism that sees these trends for the virulent reincarnation of misogyny that they truly represent. In some things (not in all, to be sure), we must hearken back to first wave feminists who saw real value, and not inevitable inferiority, in sexual difference. Current mainstream feminisms, with their capitulation to the male standpoint, are apparently incapable of standing up in defense of women at this critical moment.

The question no one can answer is whether there are enough human beings who are convinced that the gifts given by women are not only good gifts, but gifts essential to any hope of love and joy and freedom for all men and women—and who are willing to defend those gifts and speak out against those who despise them. If there are not enough, it is worth remembering that Nimrod not only brought about his own destruction, but also a curse upon all the people in his society.


A Theology of Desperation

Sometimes women become so psychologically motivated to pursue what they feel is a good end in this mortal life that they are willing to harm their sisters to achieve it. But we suggest that this cannot be ethically justified. A woman must live her life as if other women’s lives mattered and as if the fate of women mattered. Anything an individual woman might do that would facilitate the erasure, replacement, exploitation, or alienation of women must be rejected, even if that means abandoning one’s personal aspirations. Personal desperation or pain can make such action understandable, but cannot justify it.

For example, infertility is an incredibly painful experience for many women. But does the pain caused by infertility justify buying another women’s eggs or renting another woman’s womb, thereby alienating those other women from their own bodies, and erasing the fact of their biological connection to the child? No, it does not. (For more on this subject please see here.) Would it justify purposefully planning to place an embryo in an artificial womb, or the womb of a female animal, erasing human females from reproduction of a human child? No, it would not.

However, often the unethical behavior on the part of women is slightly different than the usual case of pursuing one’s aim at others’ expense. Men often take unrighteously, but women often give unrighteously. In this light, it is also not ethical for a woman to give that which would alienate, erase, and replace her as a woman. It is not ethical, for example, to offer sex to men in prostitution, to appear in pornographic films, to serve as a gestation-only mother, to sell one’s eggs, to allow one’s uterus to be transplanted. Just don’t, even if you want to, even if you need the money. Such unrighteous giving hurts all women, both those living now and those who will come after us.


To Love a Woman: The Societal Ramifications

To live as a woman in this fallen world is to feel hated. This hatred comes as a shock to girls who have been raised in loving families. To experience exclusion, contempt, mocking, loathing, silencing, predation, and violence simply because one is a female—in a context where we not only know we are as intelligent, wise, and good as men, but also that every single man was brought into the world through the body of a woman--is like being doused in ice water. It chills to the very heart. Every single woman on this planet can tell you the story of the day this was brought home to her.

We have explored earlier in this essay that one source of this unreasoning hatred is our Adversary, who cannot hope to achieve his horrifying goals unless men can be fully alienated from women.

But at this point in our exploration, it is worthwhile to ask, how is such alienation engendered in the hearts of men, and even women? After all, every single person, male and female, is (currently) brought into the world by a mother to whom they have been physically joined, and in the vast majority of cases that mother loves, protects, and nurtures the young soul to whom she has given birth. And in turn a mother’s love is reciprocated by her child; the child loves his or her mother. In earlier times, philosophers such as J.J. Bachofen opined that “At the lowest, darkest stage of human existence [mother-child love] was the only light in the moral darkness . . . Raising her young, the woman learns earlier than the man to extend her loving care beyond the limits of ego to another creature . . . Woman at this stage is the repository of all culture, of all benevolence, of all devotion, of all concern for the living and grief for the dead” (quoted in Lerner, 1986: 27).

Given that first non-alienated love relationship between a brand-new soul and, specifically, a woman, how is the vast, fierce, almost universal hatred of women ever kindled? Shouldn’t all souls love women because of their original experience in this world as babies in the care of mothers? Shouldn’t it be incredibly difficult, almost impossible, for Satan to get anyone to hate women, the mothers of us all?

Apparently not, and that is the puzzle that demands investigation. Some psychologists assert that it is the very fact that their mother was once all-powerful in their lives that causes children, especially sons who cannot hope to emulate her power, to ultimately resent and fear her (Dinnerstein, 1999). Lerner comments, “[U]nder primitive conditions, before the institutions of civilized society were created, the actual power of the mother over the infant must have been awesome. Only the mother’s arms and care sheltered the infant from the cold; only her breast milk could provide the nourishment needed for survival. Her indifference or neglect meant certain death. The life-giving mother truly had power over life and death” (Lerner, 1986: 40). In reaction to these uncomfortable feelings of fear and resentment, perhaps subordination of the threatening mother therefore becomes perceived as necessary. Lerner, once more: “The ego formation of the individual male, which must have taken place within a context of fear, awe, and possibly dread of the female, must have led men to create social institutions to bolster their egos, strengthen their self-confidence, and validate their sense of worth.” (Lerner, 1986: 45).

This may well be part of the answer, but I do not believe it is the full answer. I would like to suggest that it is when the child comes to realize that his powerful, loving mother is considered an inferior by their society that a profound psychological trauma is engendered in the child. What can it mean that the person who loves him the most, the person that is most concerned for his welfare, the person that sacrifices herself on a daily basis for him, and who would unhesitatingly die for him, is devalued and perhaps even despised within the community in which the child must one day find his place? What a deep, painful trauma this must be. And surely this trauma is slightly different for boy children and girl children, with boy children traumatized into wanting to “erase” all vestige of the dependence they have had on womankind as personified by his mother, and with girl children traumatized into wanting to “flee” the fate society decreed for their mothers and thus has decreed for them, as well.

What would be required to heal this society-wide trauma, with all its tragic consequences for men and women, would be nothing less than the creation of a society that loves and values women. Only when their mothers are loved and respected by the entire society will our children be whole. And only when our children are whole will our society have a future.

Furthermore, in a very deep way, how we treat women defines how we feel about God. Reflect again on the resentment of our modern-day Nimrods who kick against the gifts of embodiment and love and death that their mothers gave them. To forgive women for bringing us into the fallen world and not hate women for accepting that responsibility in the Plan of Happiness and the vulnerability it entails, is to forgive God and not hate God for the Plan. Embodiment, love, and death, the gifts of women, added to the ordinances of salvation and exaltation, the gifts of men, together constitute the only path to heaven. If a soul rejects embodiment, love, and death, that is, if a soul specifically rejects the gifts of women, it is the same as if that soul rejects God’s Plan. This insight gives new understanding to President Thomas S. Monson’s saying, “One cannot forget mother and remember God. One cannot remember mother and forget God” (Monson, 1974), or perhaps we can suggest, “One cannot hate women and love God; one cannot love women and hate God.”

Building a society that loves, respects, and honors women is the most daunting task facing humanity. So many things that we view as unremarkable would have to be problematized; for example, seeing domestic violence as the number one security threat to the society. In addition, societal priorities and resource commitments would have to shift in dramatic ways, for example, to ensure that mothers have temporal security and are able to fully contribute their talents and voice to society. Furthermore, certain ‘freedoms,’ such as the freedom to use the body of a woman in prostitution or surrogacy—or even just for casual sex--would have to be re-examined and perhaps relabeled as crimes against humanity. Much would change. Those who are currently entitled to commit those crimes and those with Nimrodian aspirations would feel deep resentment. But the children would finally be whole, and the possibilities for love and for joy would exponentially increase for all.

One of the most important first steps we could make is conceptual. Gerda Lerner explains how our ability to perceive reality is actually degraded by our subordination of women:

“[M]en have explained the world in their own terms and defined the important questions so as to make themselves the center of discourse. By making the term “man” subsume “woman” and arrogate to itself the representation of all humanity, men have built a conceptual error of vast proportion into all of their thought. . . . they cannot see [reality] correctly. . . . As long as men believe their experiences, their viewpoint, and their ideas represent all of human experience and all of human thought, they are not only unable to define correctly in the abstract, but they are unable to describe reality accurately. The androcentric fallacy, which is built into all the constructs of Western civilization, cannot be rectified simply by “adding women.” What it demands for rectification is a radical restructuring of thought and analysis which once and for all accepts the fact that humanity consists in equal parts of men and women and that the experiences, thoughts, and insights of both sexes must be represented in every generalization that is made about human beings.” (Lerner, 1986: 220).

This suggests that efforts to express women’s experiences, thoughts, and insights are a necessary first step to creating the society in which we would want our children to live. Surely #MeToo is part of that effort, and I believe there will be new waves of equally profound restructuring of thought, judgment, and expectation in the future, including within our faith communities. As we move towards a greater apprehension of reality through a greater appreciation of women’s reality, our society cannot help but change in a salutary direction.

Because we believe that a society that loves women transforms hell into heaven, we feel to articulate the set of principles which could guide that transformation. It is to that concluding task that we now turn.


The AEROW Manifesto

Every movement needs a manifesto of its principles. Lest there be any confusion, the AEROW movement is avowedly feminist, but does not support all positions taken by those who self-identify as feminists. The AEROW movement is bipartisan, and sees both good and bad in the ideologies of the left and right. The AEROW movement is as much a male effort as it is a female effort, for men will never be free or happy until women are free and happy—that is, until men treat women as their Heavenly Parents would want them to be treated. The AEROW movement welcomes those of all faiths or of no faith who agree with its tenets, which are:

I. We assert that “women” exist in reality. “Woman” is not a conceptual category open for redefinition, but represents an eternal truth. Thus, while gender may be performance, sex is prior to, and thus not, performance.

I-A. We hold that biology is not bigotry unless we force it to become such. Sexual difference must never be made a justification for the subordination of one sex to the other, or the erasure, exploitation, replacement, or harming of one sex. Rather, sexual difference is an occasion for humility in the face of our own personal incompleteness, and an occasion for joy when we learn of the possibility of partnership between the sexes.

I-B. The quest to eliminate sexual difference can never be the foundation of equality between the sexes. The post-sexual society is no friend to women.

I-C. Since gender performance is socially constructed, in contrast to sexual difference which is not socially constructed, any societal gender role that constrains the full development of the talents and abilities of a man or woman should be challenged. Women can be engineers, and men can be nurses, for choice of career does not affect sex role. Women can wear camouflage and men can wear pink, for what color you wear does not affect your sex roles. We assert, in keeping with I-A, that sexual roles do not by definition constrain the talents and abilities of a man or woman.

I-D. Since in this era of continuing male dominance the words “persons/people” and “individuals” tend to be defined male as the default sex, we of the AEROW movement use the substitute terms “men and women,” “sisters and brethren,” “ladies and gentlemen,” and so forth to ever bring to our consciousness that we do not define humanity in default male terms.

I-E. We reject any attempt, especially by men, to redefine “women.” Men do not have the right to tell women who women are; a male has no right to call himself a female. Men do not have the right to imperialize women’s right to self-definition, or to deny women the right to establish women-only spaces.

II. Sexual difference is to be valued and respected, and the difference in life experience wrought by sexual difference must also be valued and respected. Nowhere is this more pressing than in the experiences of fatherhood and motherhood.

II-A. One sex cannot be the template for the other’s manner of reproduction. If one sex experiences out-of-body reproduction, that is no ideal for the other sex that experiences in-body reproduction, for example.

II-B. Men cannot speak for women. Men cannot decide for women. That means that all councils of human decision-making, from the household to the nation and beyond, and from the executive to the legislative to the judiciary, from the secular to the sacred, must have their foundation in the parity of representation of the two halves of humanity, women and men. That might mean equal representation, or it might mean parallel institutions, such as a women’s congress and a men’s congress, both of which must agree before any law for the entire society is passed.

II-C. Women’s caring labor, currently invisible in measures such as GDP, must be made visible and valued in our system of national and international accounts, and the workplace and places of education made woman-friendly.

II-D. The structural inequality in our societies, where men hold preponderant political and economic power, must be dismantled for any true partnership between men and women to emerge. Political and economic power must be shared between the two halves of humanity.

III. The body as a basis for being in the world must be respected and valued. Any force attempting to impose an alienation of sex and love, of body and spirit, of man and woman, of parent and child, must be opposed. We thus oppose:

III-A. Prostitution, sex trafficking, sex with children, and any other form of exploitative sex, which is by definition loveless. We also oppose creating robots in the form of female bodies that were meant to be abused in similitude of practices such as prostitution.

III-B. Gestational surrogacy and egg donation

III-C. Forced marriage and marriage of children; forced childbearing, forced abortion, forced sterilization, and any similar practices.

III-D. Reproduction by erasing or replacing human women

III-E. All the historical forms of harming women, such as rape, domestic abuse and violence, femicide, and the myriad other forms of harming women.

III-F. All means that destroy the gift women have given, including the quest for immortality, genetic engineering of humans, embodiment of human spirit in machine, creation of artificial life, cross-organism genetic engineering, cross-species gestation, and all the many variants of these things.

IV. We call upon men to reject the siren call of male dominance over women and instead seek happiness, which can only come from an equal partnership with women.

IV-A. We call upon men to be humane, as we know they can be.

IV-A-1. We call upon men to include, rather than seek to exclude, women who desire to contribute their talents, skills, and insights to the joint venture of this world.

IV-A-2. We call upon men to value “siblinghood” over “fraternity.”

IV-A-3. We call upon men to refuse impunity for harms perpetrated against women, and to eschew the rationale that “boys will be boys.”

IV-A-4. We call upon men to give each other esteem for valuing women, rather than giving each other “points” for devaluing women. We call upon men to socialize boys to value and respect women.

IV-B. In particular, we assert male bodies should be re-visibilized and held accountable for the harm and alienation they are allowed to create with impunity in all too many cultures.

IV-B-1. The political conversation about abortion should foreground the fact that sperm is the ultimate cause of abortion.

IV-B-2. The question of how it is possible that men are entitled to purchase the exploitation of the bodies of women must be asked and asked again until all concede that men are not entitled to do so.

IV-B-3. Domestic violence must be treated as the top law enforcement priority in the nation, bar none.

V. We call upon women to reject the many forms of alienation being peddled to them.

V-A. We call upon women to reject subordinative gender constructs, and to stop valuing relationships with men who desire to dominate them or who call such domination “love.”

V-B. We call upon women to fulfill the measure of their creation, and contribute their talents, skills, and insights to the world they jointly create with men, and which their children will inhabit.

V-C. We call upon women to embrace the power of embodied reproduction they possess and value it.

V-D. We call upon women to develop a language and a vision of the meaning of their sex that does not view maleness as the ideal type for both sexes.

V-E. We call upon women to refuse to collude in their own exploitation or the exploitation of other women, and to teach their daughters to refuse as well, enabling a solidarity among women that has been missing from the world for too long.

VI. We argue for a re-understanding of heterosexual marriage, which was meant to be the sacrament of peace between the two halves of humankind who together are responsible for bringing forth its future—our children.

VI-A. We argue such marriage must be based on the equality of the husband and the wife, or love cannot exist.

VI-B. We assert that all decisionmaking in the home must be equally shared by the husband and the wife.

VI-C. We put forward that no violence or threat thereof must ever be employed within the marital relationship, and that all sexual relations must be consensual and respectful.

VI-D. We assert that sexual intercourse between husband and wife must be reconceptualized by both parties so that it is not seen as an act of eroticized dominance between a superior and inferior, but rather as an act of mutual giving that maintains and does not subvert equality between the spouses.

VI-E. We assert that perfect fidelity, including sexual fidelity, must be a guiding principle for both husband and wife.

VI-F. We assert that conception within such a marriage is owed every child so that all children may inherit peace and joy because they have seen it lived by their own parents.

VII. In taking our stand, we are prepared to stand against any, whether of the right or the left, whether male or female, of whatever ethnicity or whatever religion, that would wink at or support/facilitate the erasure, replacement, and alienation of women:

VII-A. We oppose certain liberal stances, such as those that elevate gender performance as being more important than sex, or imply that sex is not real, or those who advocate a post-sex society, or those who would do away with women-only places of safety and retreat, or any who make common cause with those seeking to erase, replace, or alienate women.

VII-B. We oppose certain conservative stances, such as those who would ban abortion regardless of circumstances such as rape or incest, or who would advocate a draft for women, such as former senator Jeff Sessions did, or who would legalize surrogacy or enforce surrogacy contracts.

VII-C. We oppose certain stances taken by some who call themselves feminists that endanger women or the advances women have made, such as those feminists who support the legalization of prostitution or celebrate pornography. We oppose any, even feminist, who collude with those who harm and alienate women in any of the ways discussed in this manifesto.

VII-D. We oppose men who feel entitled to treat women as they themselves would never want to be treated. We oppose men who look the other way when women are harmed. We oppose men who deflect accountability for the harm and alienation they cause, especially through their sense of entitlement to uncommitted sexual relations. We oppose men who think of women as their inferiors, or who value their sons more than their daughters. We oppose men who endeavor to exclude women through all of the infinite means available, including harassment and silencing. We oppose men who seek the unholy grail of reproduction without women.

VII-E. We oppose women who collude with men and male-centered systems that harm women, even when those men are their kinfolk or loved ones. We oppose the madams, the cutters, and the mothers-in-law so desperate for a grandson they would urge the killing of their granddaughters. We ask women who have acquiesced to the systems of erasure and alienation to re-think what their acquiescence does to all women, and make a different choice based on that reflection.

VIII. We believe we must raise our voices in the public square and articulate the AEROW position so that those who feel the same way are emboldened to raise their own voices.

VIII-A. We will endeavor to undo the erasure of women who lived before our time, and to chronicle their historical experiences and preserve their voices insofar as we are able, as well as exposing the means by which they were erased or subordinated.

VIII-B. We will fight against all current means of women’s erasure, replacement and alienation, by fighting for equitable family and personal status law, for the economic empowerment of women, for the abolition of practices that exploit the female body such as prostitution and surrogacy, for the eradication of all forms of violence against women, for the equal sharing of decisionmaking power at all levels of human activity, for the right of women and women alone to define “woman,” and for all other positions consonant with the spirit of AEROW as articulated in this manifesto.

VIII-C. We will stand fast against all new and emerging forms of women’s erasure, replacement and alienation, calling these out for what they are. We will also stand fast against any practice that seeks to nullify or mutilate embodiment, that great gift of women.

Would you like to express your support for the AEROW manifesto, even if you feel you could only do so anonymously? Then please visit http://aerow.org and “like” it. Show the world there are men and women who stand by these principles.



REFERENCES

Agacinski, Sylviane (2001) The Parity of the Sexes, New York: Columbia University Press.

Best, Shivali (2017) “Silicon Valley Executives are Getting $8000 Blood Transfusions from the Young in an Effort to Turn the Clock Back on Aging,” DailyMail, 5 September, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4851074/Silicon-Valley-executives-getting-6-000-BLOOD-transfusion.html

Boffey, Daniel (2018) “Dutch Prosecutors to Investigate Euthanasia Cases After Sharp Rise,” The Guardian, 12 March, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/12/dutch-prosecutors-investigate-euthanasia-cases-sharp-rise-docter-assisted-deaths-netherlands

Burkett, Elinor (2015) “What Makes a Woman?” New York Times, 6 June, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/opinion/sunday/what-makes-a-woman.html

Comments, 1. Prose taken from the comments section of the following article: http://thefederalist.com/2015/06/03/how-the-hypersexual-trans-movement-hurts-feminism/

Comments, 2. Prose taken from the comments section of the following article: Both from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/us/illinois-district-violated-transgender-students-rights-us-says.html

Comments, 3. Prose taken from the comments section of the following article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/17/us/caitlyn-jenner-says-shell-push-for-tolerance-of-transgender-people.html

DeGraaf, Mia (2018) “Top Scientists Claim Transfusions of Young Blood Will Put an End to Sickness in the Old,” DailyMail, 7 September, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6144799/Top-scientists-claim-transfusions-young-blood-END-sickness-old-age.html

Devlin, Hannah (2017) “Artificial Womb for Premature Babies Successful in Animal Trials,” The Guardian, 25 April, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/apr/25/artificial-womb-for-premature-babies-successful-in-animal-trials-biobag

Dinnerstein, Dorothy (1999) The Mermaid and the Minotaur, New York: Other Press.

Lerner, Gerda (1986) The Creation of Patriarchy, 1986, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lewin, Tamar (2017) “Babies From Skin Cells? Prospect is Unsettling to Some Experts,” New York Times, 16 May, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/health/ivg-reproductive-technology.html

McKie, Robin (2018) “No Death and an Enhanced Life: Is the Future Transhuman?” The Guardian, 6 May, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/may/06/no-death-and-an-enhanced-life-is-the-future-transhuman

Monson, Thomas S. (1974) “Behold Thy Mother,” Ensign, January, https://www.lds.org/ensign/1974/01/behold-thy-mother?lang=eng

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Rosen, Christine (2003) “Why Not Artificial Wombs?” The New Atlantis, Fall, https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/why-not-artificial-wombs

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Solnit, Rebecca (2014) Men Explain Things to Me, Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Stevens, Jacqueline (2005) “Pregnancy Envy and the Politics of Compensatory Masculinities,” Politics & Gender, 1(2), 265-296. doi:10.1017/S1743923X05050087 http://www.jacquelinestevens.org/PregnancyEnvyPoliticsGender06.pdf

Trueman, Carl (2015) “A Cheer for Greer,” First Things, 26 October, http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstthoughts/2015/10/a-cheer-for-greer


NOTES:

[1] Though I am heartened by movements such as “Hands Across the Aisle.” [Back to manuscript].


[2] https://www.fairmormon.org/testimonies/scholars/valerie-hudson-cassler [Back to manuscript].


[3] As a corollary to that doctrine, for those who are found worthy of eternal increase in the eternities, there is no infertility. [Back to manuscript].


[4] I will use the neologism “sexuate” in cases where the multiple meanings and connotations of the adjective “sexual” would distort the intended meaning. [Back to manuscript].


[5] It is also no coincidence that Satan is male. But that is a topic for another essay. [Back to manuscript].


[6] Which may explain why adultery ranks behind only denial of the Holy Ghost and murder in the pantheon of sins. [Back to manuscript].


[7] In commenting on the forced separation of Uighur and Kazakh families in Xianjiang by the Chinese state, one scholar opines, “[A]uthorities in Xinjiang have recognized the power of families as an alternative source of authority. The kind of extreme party loyalty they want has no room for that.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/08/world/asia/china-uighur-muslim-detention-camp.html [Back to manuscript].


[8] Complementary to this strategy, one might say that Satan simultaneously also promotes the joining of things never meant to be joined, such as good and evil, light and darkness, truth and lies, pleasure and pain, into one undifferentiated mass incapable of producing happiness. Furthermore, though again this is a topic for another essay, while Satan’s salesmanship of alienation works best with men, his salesmanship of illicit joining works best with women. [Back to manuscript].


[9] As one insightful commentator put it, “the theology of the body recognizes that the human body, male and female, carries revelation about both human nature and our relationship to God; indeed, even about God’s nature.” http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/whos-afraid-of-the-theology-of-the-body [Back to manuscript].


[10] One such non-religious foundation, articulated by Germaine Greer, is founded in gratitude to the woman who gave you birth and gave you your body, whether or not you believe in God. (See, for example, Greer’s The Whole Woman, 1999: 80, 107). [Back to manuscript].


[11] Of course, there’s been an appalling historical track record of men ascribing inferiority to women based on pseudo-scientific inquiry into sexual difference. But that history cannot be the excuse for creating a post-sex society, for the real harm of that society will be felt first and foremost by women. [Back to manuscript].


[12] And of course the idea that a mother could love a child, even if less than perfect, and deeply value its life, is at odds with this more masculinist viewpoint that individuals are only worthwhile if they are of use, especially use by men. Damaged children and the elderly, especially elderly women, will likely never be seen to be of such use. [Back to manuscript].



Full Citation for this Article: Cassler, V.H. (2018) "The Seventh Wave Feminist Manifesto: Against the Erasure and Replacement of Women (AEROW)," SquareTwo, Vol. 11 No. 3 (Fall 2018), http://squaretwo.org/Sq2ArticleCasslerAEROWManifesto.html, accessed <give access date>.

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COMMENTS: 1 Comment

I. C. Stanford

This was powerful and insightful.  It's good to question things that society takes for granted, particularly innovations in convenience or personal freedom, especially when these mutilate our core attributes as human beings.  The use of Nimrod as a metaphor for the male hubris behind this is brilliant - reminds me of the mythopoetic work of Robert Bly.  And the outrage burning through the article reminded me of Lloyd deMause and Alice Miller, who have written extensively about the effects of child abuse on culture and how it has shaped world history for ill.

For years the thought of the "singularity" has unsettled me, because to my perspective it is quite obvious that all the means of unnaturally prolonging life will of course become the prerogative of the rich and powerful first and foremost, and any of us on the left that see liberatory potential in trans-humanism are deluding ourselves.  The dream of immortal cyborgs is a nightmare of egos severed from their unconscious.  A proliferation of technocratic demiurges - God save us all from such a horror.

Admittedly before I had read the entire article, I found myself inspired and animated by your arguments to record a couple of brief monologues on the subject of alienation - or dissociation might be the better term.  If it's all right to share them with readers, here are links:

Part 1.  https://youtu.be/qCZvqUsMt6I

Part 2.  https://youtu.be/T9UyOUeYbc0

Thanks again for expressing these thoughts.