A weed is a strong plant thriving where those in power do not want it. A witch is a strong person thriving where those in power do not want them.
The Inquisition was a centuries long movement to discredit and destroy the caregivers of communities and land and put all knowledge and power in the hands of industry. Wherever women or indigenous people possessed knowledge and influence they were labeled as witches, discredited and silenced. This still happens to both women and indigenous people today, especially those in caregiving roles, but today instead of fires, they are mostly kept in place by class. As the possessors of knowledge and social influence, witches were at the top of their societies. To keep these societies in a lower class, the top had to be decapitated.
Women in the last millennium were vilified, sexually terrified, driven from science and knowledge based fields and left with no purpose after menopause. The most powerful traditional careers for old women in Europe were forcibly stolen, taken over and commodified. For centuries, women and indigenous cultures were afraid and ashamed to share their knowledge, now ridiculed as old wives’ tales and superstitions. Photoshopped history and the centralized press entrenched the dominance of wealthy western men and laws regarding official certification, patents and copyrights kept stolen community knowledge from community use. Women and indigenous people who want to enter science now must enter a field controlled by western men and act according to their rules. They must study and accept that caucasian men have been responsible for every innovation in history. They must attend a university full of subjects whose histories teach they are inferior, imbecilic and inherently evil alongside the heroic Great Men who reputedly solved all of the world’s problems with one Nobel Prize after another.
Women are now accepted as token Great Men if they come from an approved demographic and are fully accepting of the teachings of the other Great Men. Acceptable roles are as representatives of all womankind under the label Feminism, that affiliation which is used as a club to push corporate strategy under the guise of helping women, or as promotional tools for Great Men, citing, interviewing, speaking about and generally acting as a reflective moon to their suns. Unless a woman sees a great need to distribute their own point of view, they probably will not as there is no benefit, it will not be heard and it usually leads to ostracization. They have generally learned to fear mobs, economic survival and social acceptance depends on acceptance by the Great Men and communication is too difficult without group support. They will rarely, if ever, see their vision come to fruition in the way they wished anyway and they will nearly always see their ideas co-opted for the glorification and empowerment of a Great Man.
In the debate over how much of Albert Einstein’s work was collaboration with his wife Mileva Marić, a lot of men decided she did not actually have anything to do with his work, pointing largely to the fact that she did no work after they separated. After they separated, she was a single parent of one schizophrenic son and another angry fatherless son, was responsible for a sister suffering pyschotic episodes and two parents and had no professional encouragement. Einstein had all of the adulation, time, resources and expert colleagues at his disposal and he also produced nothing comparable to their work in 1905. Even during their marriage, the relationship was obviously unbalanced enough that he felt the list of demands[cite] he presented to her were reasonable. Great Men are usually given a huge amount of time and resources to sit and think and study. Someone offering to take over Mileva Marić’s unpaid work while she thought is laughable even today.
Even when a Great Man such as John Stuart Mill states that his wife, Harriet Taylor Mill, co-wrote his essay and it includes the same arguments she published years earlier, male scholars decide that he was lying and he wrote it all himself. Women must excel in their belief of this history. Their acceptance is contingent on their proof that they are in all respects, identical to men. Women who are disinterested in studying an endless and unbroken stream of caucasian men are chastised as being disinterested in politics, science, or other serious topics, despite the fact that they still make up the vast majority of voluntary action based labour in all of those fields. The ridicule of every woman who speaks in public as a big mouthed woman, the endless complaining about the sound of women’s voices, and the instant sexualization of any woman who speaks in public is still used to prevent women from escaping the role they were assigned by capitalism.
Media and corporations attempt to ensure that all women seen in public are under 30 in a continuance of the demonization of women past childbearing age. Women must do everything men do, with all of the above obstacles, before they are 30 and then be compared with men at the end of their careers. Men are shown billionaires in the media, women are shown plastic surgery. The token women in Hollywood films, half the age and exponentially more attractive than the men, are echoed in technology conferences and elsewhere in the business world.
Booth babes and women as display appear to serve no purpose other than a warning to women much as hanged cadavers once warned travelers away from city walls. The picture here illustrates, as does nearly every tech conference, that while fat bald old men are welcomed everywhere in IT, women over 25 do not exist and women do not exist except as an attractive display of body parts in any case. Since women were once equal in technology, writing the first algorithm, the first programming language, the first compiler and leading many important projects such as the software development for the first Apollo moon landing, the current demographics are not the result of ability or interest but the result of the drastic increase in power associated with the field.
Photo from Consumer Electronics Show 2013 via Mashable.[cite]
It would not be acceptable in IT to have constant headlines like How to explain the new data-leaking ‘Heartbleed bug’ to your mom[cite] directed at an ethnic group instead of a gender. Neither would it be acceptable to have a conference full of caucasian men decorated with naked bodies of men from another ethnic group. From funding caucasian men for being caucasian men[cite] to ensuring networking strongholds are as female friendly as frat houses,[cite] IT has aggressively driven women from its clubs just as medicine, the formerly most powerful profession, did.
It is common to point out that men score more highly in math and abstract areas than women to account for their prevalence in STEM fields. By that logic we would also expect almost all public speakers to be women since they score significantly higher in verbal areas. There should also be far more older women in all professions than older men since mental faculties in men deteriorate more quickly.[cite] Since both fields are completely dominated by men, especially as they become older, we can concede that there are plenty of both that are qualified for both areas but something is still sending far more men to the top in every high status field.
In 1996 Ellen Winner wrote: “… gifted girls have much more trouble socially than do gifted boys. For example, in one study, academically gifted boys were shown to be more popular than average ones, while gifted girls were less popular than average girls. In fact, the most popular of all four groups were the gifted boys, and the least popular of all were the gifted girls. The gifted boys were perceived as funny, smart, and creative, while the gifted girls were classified as moody, melancholy, self-absorbed, aloof, and bossy. What is seen as leadership in a boy is seen as bossiness in a girl.”[cite]
“Girls with high grade-point averages report more depression, lower self-esteem, and more psychosomatic symptoms than do boys with such grades. The conflict between intimacy and excellence is also felt acutely by children from minority groups in which it is not “cool” to excel at school.”[cite]
“… the striking decrease in the number of girls in gifted school programs in later grades. Girls make up about half the population in these programs in kindergarten through third grade, but by junior high school they make up less than 30 percent. Girls show lower self-confidence and lower career aspirations than do boys of equal ability. The ambitions of bright girls decline in high school, even though they tend to get higher grades than boys. And girls are more likely to hide their abilities in order to be socially accepted.“[cite]
If you ascribe to the theory that the extra X chromosome brings women an extra resilience from neurotypical deviation we can speculate that the very rarity of women who stray very far from the mean is grounds for their persecution. There are many factors yet to be eliminated before we can accept any such theory, such as the effect of poverty[cite] and chronic stress[cite] on iq testing, but whatever the cause, less deviation in women could lead to less tolerance of diversity. You may also consider that persecution of witches, whether women or other lower classes, may create a greater need for solidarity against a common enemy elite. It could be a cumulative rage against the idea of survival of the fittest in a trade economy which was designed specifically to exclude them that causes hostility towards elitism. Equality may evoke memories of the Commons, an idea which for women represents the last time they were recognized as contributing members of society entitled to their share, not just parasites dependent on charity or pale reflections of men. Or perhaps societies in which women were beaten and killed for incompetence and burned at the stake for attaining skill or knowledge have created a culture where pulling attention is taboo.
Whatever you choose as the cause, it is impossible at this point to deny the hostility the majority of women feel for women who excel too far beyond them or lag too far behind them. If girls are now in some cultures more accepting of higher achievement among girls it is only as a class movement. There is still no support for relative excellence or originality or the independent thought that would lead to radical creativity. Feminism, like all group affiliation, preaches solidarity not individualism. There is also still the ancient divide between the good women who obey society’s strictures and the bad women who disobey. It is women as much as men who now police this binary divide.
“For it seems very evident that another person’s narcissism has a great attraction for those who have renounced part of their own narcissism … It is as if we envied them for maintaining a blissful state of mind.” – Sigmund Freud[cite]
Both women and indigenous people very frequently offer work anonymously to parasites to get their ideas heard through group work, NGOs or media, or as assistants to Great Men, partners or children. As Nietzche instructed,[cite] the greatest achievement women should strive for was to produce an Übermensch, not be one. Centuries of women’s and indigenous work unacknowledged and used freely by the commons has made it habitual for Great Men to pick it up and market it as their own. Any group that produces great content will also attract people who will attempt to use the content to become Great Men. In either case, control of the power created by the ideas will not be wielded by the originator and it is very unlikely it will be wielded in the manner they intended, one reason so many Great Men act in ways completely opposite to their original promises.
In medicine, women were allowed back much later as subservient nurses, providing care and forbidden to act without permission from a male doctor in a continuation of the fear that women with no male supervision would conspire to kill babies. This is typical of the class structure created where caucasian men are assigned the roles with titles, authority, credit and media attention while others have been permitted action based paths. A horizontal system of action based governance would remove the misplaced authority. As it is, the labour is dissociated from the authority. Part of the reason for this dissociation is that recognition and credit follow social approval which is overwhelmingly accorded to the top class of caucasian men, by all classes.
Women promote husbands, sons, friends and sometimes strangers as a matter of habit. Women sometimes promote other family members as a way to improve their own situations, but often they simply use their energy and skills to promote others since they aren’t going anywhere themselves. They sometimes marry or give birth to people they want to deliver their message or attain their goals, a frustrating experience all around. Women will work tirelessly to elect a man to a position where he may enable the social change they desire. They will do all the background for male journalists, NGO’s or others in a position to achieve their goals while knowing the camera will be on the man and they will never be acknowledged. They will provide ideas and assistance to men in power because they have the skills and will never have the position themselves.
Women very often promote men involuntarily by having credit for their work stolen. There are endless job descriptions filled primarily by women which essentially mean all of the credit for all of their work will be applied to the man who hired them. Women tend to fill these jobs due to lack of higher employment opportunities. Often credit is stolen and women lack the voice and credibility to stop the theft. While this theft may certainly happen to men as well, it happens far more often to women as there is less risk involved. It is much less likely she will ever attain a position of power so her ability to retaliate is limited. Women who want recognition for their own work are most typically dismissed as hysterical, having giant egos, and caring more for themselves than the cause, a throwback to the slave morality expected of women in caregiving roles.
Both men and women tolerate the idea that some people are going to be at the top and that those people will be men. They may individually resent the advancement of specific people, but there is no widespread feeling that no men ought to be advancing, especially among people with the power to promote. The strata ceilings which keep people from rising above their class are also strata floors to keep them from dropping, voluntarily or not. There is always instant social justification for a caucasian man who fails and hatred for a man who voluntarily lowers his status by being openly homosexual or a caregiver. Men who seek to protect those outside their class instead of exploiting them are ridiculed as white knights by the class protectors. Group narcissism and strata protection also ensures hatred from men when a celebrated man subsequently identifies as a woman like Chelsea Manning or glee when a celebrated woman is discovered to have previously identified as a man like Dr. V.[cite]
There is also a practical benefit to both men and women of promoting men as they may rise to the top of any ponzi scheme and elevate their supporters. There is no personal gain in promoting women and almost no one does it. If a woman achieves a position where a man would typically receive non-reciprocal promotion, they are resented instead of promoted. Women who expect other women (or men) to work for them with no recognition are commonly regarded as bitches and sabotaged instead.
Disinterested men will tolerate women advancing. Many of these men feel they work to help women advance, but at very best, they do not stand in their way. A man devoting his life to furthering a woman’s career with no ulterior motive is extremely rare. Even those men that treat women equally generally expect far more ego-stroking and recognition in return for their magnanimity than they give. Women who promote men typically receive nothing in return and this is commonplace throughout the world. The reverse simply doesn’t happen outside rare isolated occurrences.
Many men actively work against the advancement of women. One reason is real or perceived gain for themselves. Either they do not wish to lose the unreciprocated support which is propping up their own success or they fear the advancement of women will create more competition for themselves. Another reason is group narcissism that sees women as a competitive outgroup.
Many women loudly proclaim that they promote other women. Usually, they do not, and they do not even tolerate it happening. Women very rarely promote the advancement of women past their class. They guard their strata ceilings as much as men guard their strata floors. Women certainly do promote and support each other but it is very much a reciprocal exchange. Where distribution deviates it must be based on their perception of fair. They will offer up those within two standard deviations below the normative mean as candidates for promotion while undermining and bringing back those above the mean. If men say another man was born with more ability, it is acknowledgment of superiority. If women say another woman was born with more ability, it is a demand for compensation. Hollywood depicts men and boys in terms of unchanging social strata. The hero usually remains a hero and even when the nerd gets the popular girl, he remains a nerd. Girls are depicted in conflicts over their social stratas: the unpopular girl is transformed into a pretty and popular one or the popular girl is humiliated and brought down. Successful men tend to tell people of the positive things in their life, successful women tell of their challenges. This is not humility, it is justifiable fear.
This does not mean most women are haters of elitism. They are equally vicious to those below them. When homely becomes ugly, fat becomes obese or stupid becomes learning disabled, these women are again more vindictive and vicious than their male counterparts. Women with poor social skills or incompetence are treated with derision, while for men these weaknesses just reaffirm their masculinity. Women will also happily promote elite men all day. It is just other women that need to stay within the acceptable range for their class.
Class war really occurs between stratas, not arbitrary assignments of gender or race. Women and others trapped in lower classes attack those who attempt to rise and try to knock them back into their place much as gangs and cults will murder people who try to leave and some men despise other men who lower themselves to the level of women. In stratified society, the stratas are the real societies and those attempting to leave are shunning their society. Retaliatory shunning is the reaction. Even with no further attack, shunning is one of the most effective punishments humans have devised for each other. It is possible that the effects of shunning are felt more by both women and those in indigenous cultures because of vulnerability to outside threats, a greater biological or cultural workload to share and more poverty. Shunning and lack of approval from the vast majority of class peers and a lack of class peers in higher stratas is enough in itself to strongly discourage women and other lower stratas from offending their class with any attempt at excellence or achievement. Women with superior ability either accept inferior roles or learn that other women are their mortal enemies.
Witches, whether women or other lower classes, usually never realize they are intelligent, as they are more likely to be told they are arrogant. While potential Great Men will be hailed as leaders and class examples, witches will be destroyed by their peers as class traitors. If witches excel they must downplay, apologize, minimize and hide it. Beautiful women must stress their stupidity, brilliant women must hide their sexuality. All women must be shown as having sacrificed their family life or career, and the word sacrifice is usually explicitly and accurately used to describe an offering made to appease their class. Women and other lower classes are consistently criticized for not promoting themselves but the risks in doing so are too great.
Women at the top are the ones chosen to be there by men and not eliminated by women, a dual filter that excludes most witches: those with brilliance and originality and those capable of disturbing the class structure.
Excerpted from Autonomy, Diversity, Society. Citations will be transferred when I get a minute.