For All Nails #206: Mi Lucha
by Carlos Yu
From A Luchadora Reader, ed. by Mason Gillespie, UNO Press, 1979
Excerpted from Mi Lucha, Imelda Faye del Valle, Ediciones Malintzin, 1975
- "I detest the overtly feminine point of view. I am bored by her antics, her virtue and honor. I think the best these women can do is not to talk about themselves anymore."
- -- Vicente Mercator
I, too, have a disgust, one common to all feminists who have tried to be participants in the so-called humanism of men, only to discover through bitter experience that the culture of males does not allow honest female participation.
Men have claimed the human point of view. They author it, they own it. Men are humanists, humans, humanism, hombre-ism. Men are rapists, batterers, plunderers, killers; these same men are religious prophets, poets, heroes, picaros; figures of romance, adventure, accomplishment; figures ennobled by tragedy and defeat. Men have claimed the earth, called it Her: La Tierra, Die Erde. Men ruin Her, men violate Her. Men have airmobiles, guns, poisonous gases, bombs, weapons so perverse and deadly that they defy any authentically human imagination. Men struggle with each other and with Her; women struggle to be let into the category "human" in imagination and reality. Men struggle to keep the category "human" narrow, circumscribed by their own values and activities; women struggle to change the meaning that men have given the word, to transform its meaning by suffusing it with female experience.
Male aggression is rapacious. It spills over, not accidentally, but purposefully. There is war. Older men create wars. Older men kill boys by generating and financing wars. The Flower wars, the Kramer wars. Boys fight wars. Boys die in wars. Older men hate boys because boys still have the smell of women on them, of the mother, of the earth. War purifies, washes off the female stink. The blood of death, so hallowed, so celebrated, overcomes the blood of life, so abhorred, so defamed. The scent of the sacrifice is pleasing to the male gods. Huitzilopochtli, Jehovah, Jefferson, Jackson. The ones who survive the wash of blood will never again risk the empathy with women they experienced as children for fear of being found out and punished for good: killed this time by the male gangs, found in all spheres of life, that enforce the male code. The child is dead. The boy has become a man.
Men choose their spheres of advocacy according to what they can bear or what they can do well. Men will advocate some forms of violence and not others. Some men will renounce violence in theory, and practice it in secrecy against women and children. Some men will become icons in male culture, able to discipline and focus their commitment to violence by learning a violent skill: boxing, bullfighting, soldiering, policing. Some men will use language as violence, or money as violence, or religion as violence, or science as violence, or influence over others as violence. Some men will commit violence against the minds of others and some against the bodies of others. Most men, in their biographies, have done both. Vicente Mercator has done both.
Forward to FAN #207: The Dingoes of War.
Forward to 1 January 1975: Happy New Year!
Return to For All Nails.