Friday, July 4, 2014

Excerpts from The Ship That Sailed into the Living room by Sonia Johnson

"As women we have broken—or at least toyed with breaking—the principle taboos of menstream culture. One of the chief taboos—that women not focus on our own values but on men’s—has frightened more women into more “safe”, male-centered reformist activities than any other single prohibition. –p.82

Facts about patriarchy:
1) It always lies
2) Its lies are exact reversals of the truth
3) So whatever it says is the healthiest way to do things is always the most destructive
4) Whenever it insists that there is only one right way, there are always hundreds of other, better, ways -p.83

"In pre-patriarchal times, before jehovah toppled the goddess (i.e., the knowledge of female divinity) from her throne in the hearts of the human species worldwide, every living woman knew she was the goddess—that her essence was pure creativity and power. She didn’t look for guidance to some smarter, more powerful woman in the sky. The goddesses in her mythical pantheon were representations of aspects of herself, as were all icons and sacred paintings.

"So when men began their take-over of heaven and earth, what they were faced with were female deities on every hand, a planet full of goddesses. Among the many strategies they found for stripping us of our power was one that has come in handy for them in subsequent, though smaller, wars.

"My formative years were spent during men’s so-called Second World War*. From that war and from reading since, I learned some of the tactics that had had to be invented to prevent the escape of prisoners.

"Generally, when a group of men was captured, as soon as possible the captors got them into some sort of holding corral—some cordoned-off space—and set guards to watch them.

"Among the prisoners, leaders would soon arise, those men who might, for instance, urge others around them not to cooperate with the enemy until they were all given water. In some way, those who were less afraid, surer of themselves, and therefore most likely to organize rebellions or escapes, soon identified themselves.

"Their captors discovered through trial and error that to prevent trouble they had either to execute these leaders immediately or to put them in solitary confinement—one man to one cell with his own private guard.

"The analogy is obvious. When men dreamed of controlling women and hence the world, every woman was just such a leader—one of those who would disrupt and defeat the hell-plans. So during the war men have fought against us for thousands of years, they have had either to kill us or to put us in solitary confinement—one woman to one guard in one cell.

"But at first women were so incredibly strong and the bonds between and among us so indissoluble, that these tactics alone could never have succeeded. Our eventual subjugation was accomplished, as all seasoning is accomplished, by a lethal combination of brainwashing and terrorism. 

It was the slow work of many, many centuries to tame us, to persuade us that this captivity, violence, and isolation was in our best interests, that it meant that we were loved and respected, that it was pleasant, that we liked it, that we wanted it, that we couldn’t live without it, and—the ultimate doublespeak—that it was freedom.

"They called it “marriage” and it was literal house arrest."

"There has been only one war fought literally worldwide, affecting every living thing, and that has been men’s all-out, non-stop, millennia-long war against women, a war that not only continues to this moment without the slightest abatement but intensifies hourly." –pp.136-138

"I knew that the greatest fear of all accompanies the breaking of taboos, and that since the most powerful taboo in the world for women is the one against disobeying men, those of us who break this one must be prepared to battle intense and apparently irrational terror.

"We are not afraid because we are fools: we are afraid because the message, 'If you go against the men, you will surely die!' is italicized and underlined in blood by the millions of hideous deaths that have been suffered at men's hands by women who have been perceived as 'uppity'."  -Sonia Johnson

Compiled by Elaine Charkowski

1 comment:

  1. Excellent and eye-opening. Thank you for posting that. Can't wait to get the book.