e know that there is more to feminism than feminism, and that the feminist enterprise is connected under-the-table to many things which don't ostensibly pertain to feminism at all . This web of relations adds up to an extended cultural supply chain -- called the femplex
-- and without it feminism would amount to very little. Accordingly, feminism is resident within society as a whole. That is why we say that feminism has fuzzy borders:
because it is unclear where feminism ends and the rest of the world begins. We believe, however, that this may be remedied, and that feminism may be isolated and turned into a commonly understood target of operations.
The project of isolating feminism and turning it into a commonly understood target, is called clarificatory discourse.
The projected outcome of clarificatory discourse is called target consensus.
We of the non-feminist world propose to bring such things about, and we do not mean to seek feminist approval. If our conclusions violate official feminist self-presentation, that is not our concern. So in the end, feminism is what we say it is -- and we will make it stick.
For the present discussion, I divide feminism along a vertical axis. From top to bottom, feminism reveals an upper stratum we shall call the narrative superstructure,
and a lower stratum we shall call the psychic sub-structure
-- or if you prefer, the deep structure.
The narrative superstructure (or just superstructure) is the level of worldly agreements or conventional discourses about the nature of reality -- the realm of politic fictions, if you will. Please note that the superstructure often appears irrational, or two-faced, or inconsistent. It doesn't always "hang together".
The psychic sub-structure (let's say deep structure) is the foundation which the superstructure rests upon, including both the timeless bedrock of human nature, and the bedrock of longstanding cultural fixtures not easily eradicated. When the superstructural narrative doesn't seem to make sense it is because part of the story is missing. To get the complete story, you must dig into the deep structure and patch the superstructural narrative into what you find there.
This is nowhere better illustrated than by the nearly worthless left-right paradigm of political discourse. The majority of self-declared feminists are keen to inform you that feminism dwells strictly on the political "left". However, a great many non-feminist partisans have concluded that feminism is evenly distributed from one end of the so-called political spectrum to the other. These partisans, from their perch of superior insight, have pierced the smog of semantic hanky-panky. They have latched onto something very basic and profound: that the word "feminism" is merely that, a word. Nothing but a word. And so these partisans have learned to brush aside mere words and to see, clearly and directly, the objective underlying state of the world itself.
The left-right paradigm is a thing of the superstructure, as is the word feminism -- mind you, just the word.
I mean that these things merely float upon the surface, and like the superstructure in general, they tell an incomplete story. So you must plug the gaps with material from the deep structure. In this case, we must reason from the premise that not only is gynocentrism
the chief hallmark of feminism, but that the entire social world arranges itself in the service of women and revolves around their needs. Deep-structurally considered, it is clear that gynocentrism stretches across the political spectrum from "left", to "right".
To begin: both men and women can be gynocentric, and that is politically significant.
To speak of gynocentric men: social-conservative white knights and left-wing profeminist collaborationists both descend from the "woman-firsters" who long pre-date feminism as we presently know it. The more things change the more they stay the same, and such men are a perennial fixture of the social landscape. Such men have one very important thing in common. Both groups are willing to throw other men under the bus in the interest of protecting and serving women -- although their justifications for this are elaborate, circumspect, and varied. The bedrock stratum of gynocentrism unites them on a horizontal axis; deep-structurally, they are as one.
But in superstructural terms, they differ quite a bit. The "left" gynocentrists have signed on to a programme which includes the destruction of marriage and family, the deconstruction of male identity, and various shadings of Marxism or crypto-Marxism. Also, these gynocentrists are willing to embrace "feminist" as a self-appellative, that is, they have chosen to collaborate with feminism intellectually.
For this reason, we prefer to call such men "collaborationists" rather than "white knights" -- although in a certain sense all gynocentric men are white knights.
However, the "right" gynocentrists are more fittingly called "white knights" because that term reeks of chivalry and traditionalism. These fellows are gallant bucks avid to defend the ladies for old-school reasons, even at the expense of men. As such, they are easily gulled into serving forces that originate politically to the leftward. They certainly don't want to break up marriages and families, and they are keen to denounce feminism as they understand it.
The trouble is, they don't understand it. Their understanding is trite and muddled. And so they are serving feminism every bit as much as their gynocentric brothers on the "left". They are fools.
To speak of gynocentric women: socially conservative females are often misandric to some degree, just like their man-hating sisters on the "left". However, they refuse to co-sign with any left-wing agenda. They don't wish to be in the same corner with hairy-legged radical lesbians, pagans, atheists, commies and the like. Also, and most importantly, they will have no truck with the left-wing attack on marriage and family, because marriage and family are the foundation of their power base. They don't want to overthrow "patriarchal" institutions, they want to be a controlling force within
Such women will hypocritically harvest the rewards of feminist innovation if it suits their purpose, savoring the fruit while hating the tree -- and possibly hating men as well. Occasionally, they will even declare themselves "feminist" by name -- with no profound grasp of what the hell they are talking about. Their shallowness of understanding, however, in no way disqualifies them as feminist, since nobody has a patent on that word. A case in point would be Sara Palin. Left-wing feminists hate her, and one cannot dispute that she is a bimbo, a bird-brain, an empty-headed twit -- all of which qualify her as quintessentially feminist in my opinion. She is also, in her way, a "strong, powerful woman." So if Sara calls herself a feminist, who am I to say otherwise? But the point of note is that Sara Palin has zero grasp of the issues, and if she gains a high seat of power then mark my words, she will bolster the Republican version of gynocentrism. I have no compelling reason to predict otherwise. So it is a case of "pick your poison."
In the end, socially conservative gynocentrists and left-wing feminists, both male and female, differ from each other only in a superstructural way -- by virtue of an ideological decision or want of such decision. If one were pressed to name the principal ingredient of feminism, lacking which it would be pointless to speak of feminism whatsoever, that ingredient would need to be gynocentrism. And gynocentrism, as we have pointed out, runs wall-to-wall. Many have noted that "feminism equals female supremacism", and while that is undoubtedly the case, it is quite arguable as well that female supremacism breaks apart into elements. And female supremacism is nothing if not gynocentric.
Those who argue that feminism is entirely a thing of the "left" are arguing nothing better than semantics. They are saying that the word feminism
may be stuck to only certain sectors of observable reality, on the strength of criteria which they, themselves, have proposed. But they are merely thinking superstructurally and ignoring the complete story. For I would maintain that we can never properly understand feminism as an object in the world -- and in particular the political world -- if we ignore those binding factors which, by their proximity, support the existence of feminism as a whole.
I put it to you: what would become of feminism (left-wing or otherwise) were it not for the presence of gynocentrism on the political "right"? And I will answer. If the roots of feminism extended no further than the narrow soil of the "left", then feminism would never draw the necessary strength to germinate at all, let alone grow to its present mighty proportions. So deep-structural gynocentrism, across the entire culture, is absolutely necessary and crucial to the efflorescence of superstructural feminism on the political "left". And how if this were not given? Well if nothing else, a monolithic non-feminist power-lock would form everywhere outside the "left". This would bottle up feminism so effectively that it would never advance two steps in any direction, and so it would wither and die.
On the other hand, feminism as we presently know it would never have emerged from deep-structural gynocentrism alone and unaided. We mustn't discount the power of the superstructure -- that power is mighty indeed. For it was imperative that the force of world-historic evolution, in the realm of particular, concrete ideas, be joined to the formless primordial power of the psychic sub-structure. It was only in this way that things could have happened the way they happened, and yielded the state of matters which now confronts us. To properly understand the femplex and its operations, we must examine both the vertical dimension of superstructure and sub-structure, and the horizontal dimension of culture and politics.
The present treatise does not pretend to deal exhaustively with the matter it proposes, but only to illuminate the pathway for further investigation. My purpose here has been to advance the project of holistic understanding, in the service of clarificatory discourse, with the goal of target consensus always in view. In conclusion, I would submit that those who represent feminism as an exclusively left-wing phenomenon, are harboring a sequestered motive to block the growth of holistic understanding. They wish to confine the narrative to a purely superstructural dimension in which they themselves control the frame.