Feminist take on the economic crisis/London Riots

A masked man on the streets of Hackney where a car burns out of control on the third day of street disturbances across London. Photograph: Kerim Okten/EPA

A masked man on the streets of Hackney where a car burns out of control on the third day of street disturbances across London. Photograph: Kerim Okten/EPA

Three days ago my youngest brother, my baby, the one I raised while my mother was off doing other things, let slip that he has decided to go in the army. They have accepted him. He will be sent to a war zone, no doubt. After my shrieking at him for being so stupid died down, he calmly informed me he had been thinking about it for a while, that he had heard all the arguments against going, but it was something he had to do.

We are from a working class backgound. Entering the army is the best economic option for a working class man. Just like entering the sex industry is the best economic option for women. But this post is not going to be about men. It’s going to be about women, and how the British coalition government has utterly shafted them.

The riots have been a long time coming. No proletariat can handle the type of unequal distribution of wealth that’s been going on in British society for very long. It is the unequal distribution, not the economic crisis, which fuels these youths’ anger. But lets look at the economics for a moment.

The U.S has been downgraded by S & P from a AAA rating to an AA+, and Britain is surely set to follow.

Call me cynical but I often wonder whether all the point of all the shouting is partly to get women focused elsewhere. There’s nothing the patriarchy likes more than a good smoke screen, and I believe that women often underestimate how crucial their oppression is to the continuation of the status quo. Women’s oppression is NOT a by-product of patriarchy, or of capitalism: it is the basis upon which the power structures stand. If women were free, there would be no powerful men. Men know this but women are slow to catch on.

What I am concerned about is that amidst all the kerfuffle and panic, the British electorate are overlooking the fact that the government has put policies in place designed to keep women poorer, and men richer. The Fawcett Society has drawn up a document and taken it to The Equality and Human Rights Commission:

The coalition government’s emergency budget could be branded unlawful after a groundbreaking legal case was launched in the high court. Papers filed on Friday claim that Treasury officials broke the law by failing to carry out an assessment of whether the plans for heavy spending cuts would hit women hardest.

The action is being taken by the country’s leading women’s rights group in what is believed to be the first ever legal challenge to a British government’s budget. The Fawcett Society, which believes the plans “risk rolling back women’s equality in the UK by a generation”, is being represented by barristers from Matrix Chambers, which was co-founded by Cherie Booth, wife of the former prime minister Tony Blair. It follows research that suggested women would shoulder three quarters of the pain inflicted by the budget.


As far as I am aware, the government has ignored the Fawcett society and has kept to their original policy changes, designed to keep women, especially mothers, poor and unable to leave the fathers of their children, should they wish to do so, for economic reasons.

Yesterday I was accused, on a malestream website, of peddling the “politics of envy” for holding the men in power accountable.

Stating facts has nothing to do with “the politics of envy”.

That’s the mistake Freud made, you see. He mistook women’s desire for equal rights for a desire to posess a penis. IN his confusion, he could not grasp that critiquing a system of power distribution is not connected with the subjective emotion, envy.

That term rather sounds like something you would coin to throw at people who dare to criticize a system where those people are marginalized economically, such as women, are paying through their taxes to uphold the lifestyles of the wealthy.

Women take on shitty part time jobs to fit around the kids, or a fired for not adhering to the feminine standards foisted upon them, and yet we are supposed to support the scrounging bankers, who were utterly incompetent at their jobs, and in return their taxes are taken to support these men, who are rewarded with bonuses.

And anyone who criticizes them are envious? No, I don’t envy the bankers, or any other men who rely on the subordination of women for their success. I wonder how they can look at themselves in the mirror, or how they sleep at night. How do you envy people who are that amoral?

Poverty is relative and is broadly defined by academic Daniel Dorling as “the inability to participate in the social norms of a community”

If you live in mud hut in an Amazonian rainforest, without a mobile, TV or air-conditioning, but have a full stomach, can barter with your neighbours, and most importantly, feel that the distribution of wealth in your community correlates with the work people put in (women aside here: we all know whatever women do gets valued and paid less coz it’s women doing it) then you are not poor, indeed, you do not feel poor.

But if you live in a rich, developed country, even if you are in posession of a mobile and a car, you can still be poor, and indeed you are poor if you cannot participate in social norms such as sending your children to university, or going out to a restaurant now and again.

In addition, a mobile is an essential part of daily life in developed countries, as is a car. Many people cannot shop for food, or simply get out and about to see other people and socialize, without a car. Nobody uses land-lines anymore so if you have a job, you are often expected to be on call, hence the need for a mobile. These are the basic requirements needed for living, although some people of course don’t have them.
In fact the people most in need of a car are women with young children, and they are the very people least likely to own a car.

In the same community, a single man without children can own several cars?

This is the problem. Vulnerable groups are supporting and subsidizing the wealthy and powerful.

I’m still in shock that tax-payers shelled out for bankers’ bonuses after they caused the crash. Don’t think I’ll ever get over that one.

As for the rioters, I don’t condone violence any more than I condone illegitimate governments such as the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition making decisions that affect the lives of the proletariat, but which they themselves are protected from, through their wealth and male privilege. But I did notice that the youths torched department stores–out of town complexes built adjacent to run-down estates, places the locals passers-by had no legitimate right to enter themselves, seeing as they had no money to buy the goods. If we are to prevent more violence, we cannot pretend this incident was random and arbitrary. We cannot pretend it was “just kids wanting to play supermarket sweep” as one paper reported it. This is political unrest. We should name it for what it is.

And we all know what vulnerable men do when they are being fucked over by more powerful men.

They take it out on women.

Let’s play let’s pretend, just like the politicians and papers are.

Let’s pretend this was totally unexpected.

Let’s pretend it is RANDOM.

Let’s pretend that the group comitting violence is not economically and socially marginalized and disenfranchised.

Let’s pretend this has nothing to do with the U.K being one of the most unequal societies in the world in terms of income.

Let’s pretend the government has not been implementing policies designed to shaft the poorest

Let’s pretend taxpayers money has not gone on upholding the lifestyle of powerful people who should have been sacked and thrown in jail (bankers’ bonuses, anyone?)

Let’s pretend a political analysis of the gross inequalities in society is unecessary

Let’s pretend this is “just kids wanting to play supermarket sweep” as one paper reported.

Let’s pretend that some people just like looting and vandalizing, and others don’t.

According to the media and politicians, some people just like causing chaos and other people don’T.




82 thoughts on “Feminist take on the economic crisis/London Riots

  1. Thank you so much for bringing this up, CBL. The pictures are powerful.

    Here in the U.S. the markets are sharply down today. I wouldn’t venture to guess where they will be tomorrow but a collapse does seem underway and I expect it to accelerate. I think it’s a one-way trip downward, if not this week, then next month or next year, or in five years.

    Although there are gross inequalities, I think there is a larger picture than inequality affecting the economy. Males have ruined the planet with toxic substances and climate change. They have depleted it of resources. They have destroyed indigenous cultures that were sustainable, stolen their land and ruined it beyond recognition. The collapse of our economy is not something that will be turned around through equality. It stems from having destroyed our planet, including the people and animals that live on it. A healthy economy needs a healthy planet as well as financial equality.

    Acknowledging this appears to be not feminist. However, I think radical feminism needs to take these things into account. I’ve been very interested in the environment for a long time (and I did not pay as much attention to feminism as I should have).

    What I was not seeing until I got back to my feminist roots is that males have done this. (I kind of knew it, I’m not blind, but I mean females have notdone this–it is males, as a group, they have done it). The system they have set up, patriarchy, has done this, since male supremacy is a given in patriarchy. It is true also that white males have done this, but I suspect males of other races, under patriarchy, would have done the same, given the same opportunity. (Not all peoples are patriarchal, so I’m not saying all males would have done this if not in patriarchy).

    I’m not sure what needs to happen to include this in radical feminism, but I think it is how feminism now needs to be different. We cannot afford fun feminism, and we must move beyond second wave feminism and take a new tack. I was never attracted to marxism or radical groups like that, at least not for long, given the harsh male presence in those groups. (It took a few meetings and some women getting hurt by the male prick leaders). I do think that groups of women in sisterhood need to think about how to grapple with these problems. The only way I can think to do it is as separatists. I don’t know where or how we need to begin. I’m just stating the problem that I’m aware of. I’m not panicking, but think we need to get serious about it.

    • @KatieS: Your post really talks to me. I was also first interested in the way humans destroyed the earth and life – but after being introduced to feminism, it was like a lightening that connected all the dots – I realised that the destruction and domination wasn’t neutral but specifically maculine, as in inherent to male dominance and perpetuated by men as group. I realised that patriarchy rested on the exploitation, appropriation, consumption and destruction of women and/or anything constructed as feminine/associated to “femaleness”.

      Men’s relation to the world is based on the way men relate to women. And vice-versa, the way men treat nature has much in common as to the way men treat women (religion of rape/hunt/war/destruction). I see both as connected and interdependent, and the strategies to dominate and destroy come from the same point.
      Patriarchy is but an organised system of appropriation of women, animals and the environment.
      I totally agree that we need to take this into account as radical feminists, because only from this perspective is it possible to totally overthrow each aspect of the patriarchal world-being.

  2. In the spirit of things here, I offer you a poem by Caryatist Cardea, published in the Lesbian Separatist anthology in 1988:


    by Caryatis Cardea

    what i am thinking
    will never be forgiven


    are destroying
    the world

    should they discover my heresy
    and they do a little more each day
    it would not be condoned

    i say to my sisters
    are destroying the world

    and my sisters say
    it is not men
    who have done this
    they are not alone to blame
    it is caste and class
    it is nation
    it is religion and race

    and i say
    who has done these things
    not a one is organic
    rising like lava
    each has been planned carefully
    and executed

    executed i say
    maimed raped murdered
    poisoned drugged
    buried alive


    and my sisters say
    gender is nothing
    it is culture and the role of mothers
    the exploitation of labor
    it is not men

    and i say to my sisters
    i know what i believe
    that every crime
    has a perpetrator
    and every criminal
    has a victim
    and i do not speak of law
    written down by men
    but of ethics so cosmic
    they are of the very stuff which holds
    the world
    in balance

    and they
    and we
    the womyn
    are violated
    every moment

    of every day

    year after year

    for centuries

    and i say to my sisters
    men are destroying
    the world

    and my sisters say
    coalition androgyny
    we all must work together
    some men
    may be destructive
    but they can be healed
    they are only the later form
    of little boys
    poorly trained

    in a culture
    whose root and purpose
    we will not name

    and I say to my sisters
    castes yes and class and religion
    heterosexism and hatred yes
    of queers and jews and dark skinned people
    fear of nature
    animals slaughtered and held captive

    magic banned

    and the love
    of womyn by womyn
    abhorred and outlawed

    war and weapons of war
    prisons and tools of torture
    these things i will not forgive

    languages obliterated with their cultures
    and sometimes their people
    radiation and chemical dumps
    land laid waste
    minds laid wste
    the hunger of millions
    a prereqisite of society
    the domination of children
    a necessity of power

    the slavery of womyn
    a deep and primal desire

    confinement intimidation genocide
    starvation rape torture incest terror
    pain poison terror rape


    and we scream in the night
    and we agonize in the day
    who has done these things

    and i say to my sisters

    men are destroying the world

    and my sisters say
    there are institutions
    beliefs and prejudices
    we must struggle to erase
    we can stop their institutions
    but we need not confront
    the ones who built them
    and want them
    and profit from them
    and love them
    and rebuild them
    and rebuild them
    and rebuild them on our bodies

    but no
    my sisters say
    it is not
    not men

    and i say
    to my sisters
    but it is

    • Thanks for posting this poem, Mary! It was great to read this and feel less alone. As does this discussion help me know there are other women out there thinking about this differently. When things begin to (inevitably) break down we need one another’s voices.

  3. This morning I feel for all the residents in the affected areas. Most of those little shops have flats above them, and many people have been made homeless over the last few days. Many more have been evacuated from their homes due to nearby buildings on fire.

    Last night looters – I refuse to call them rioters – were attacking and robbing people in restaurants and shops.

    The violence of the last two nights was nothing to do with the original violence, it was opportunistic.

    Of the larger businesses that have been burnt, there will now be many employees without jobs.

    I am not sure that I fully agree with you on the disenfranchisement aspect – I am one hell of a lot poorer than most of the looters, I don’t even have a mobile, or a car. I have no desire to go out looting.

    This is all spreading regionally now, and many regional forces have pledged their officers to London for tonight. I do fear that more regional areas are now going to be hit.

    I do of course totally agree that taxpayer bailout to irresponsible bankers (most of whom are basically suited gamblers) was ridiculous.

    It is going to be a rough next few years. This is the start of the second dip in the double-dip recession. It will get a lot worse before getting any better.

  4. Thanks for your replies.
    Katie: lots of food for thought in your post, lots to mull over. I’m trying to unpack it all in my head.

    MarySunshine: thank you for that poem, yes, it is men.

    Fab: Yes, women don’t react the way men do, no matter how poor, or abused they are.
    I suppose the angle I’m coming from is that in Japan, where everyone is middle class or thereabouts, due to governmnet policies such as a hefty land tax, and no CEO of any company earning more than 6 times the lowest earner in the same company (in the U.S a CEO can earn over 240 times that of the lowest earner in the same company!), and where private schools are regarded as places you send your child if she wasn’t quite clever enough to get into your state school of choice (i.e no prestige attached), where blue and white collar workers frequent the same restaurants and shops, then the atmosphere in the community is so different. (The figures I’ve quoted are from Daniel Dorling’s Injustice)

    I suppose what I mean is, this entire scenario was created, artificially, by these bloody men in power.
    It wasn’t formed by a random clash of the universe. IT was deliberate. The policymakers must have known these men would loot and pillage their own comminities–because political women have been warning about this for the past two years.

    • I suppose what I mean is, this entire scenario was created, artificially, by these bloody men in power.

      Partially, and indirectly.

      Look at the targets the mobs are going after, small local businesses mainly, there have been a lot of smaller businesses burnt out or looted. The big businesses make more news due to spectacular fire pictures.

      I have been watching dozens and dozens of the smaller businesses attacked, sole traders, single family businesses, and the flats above the houses.

      If this was truly a class war going on, then the targets would primarily be the big business, the government, police stations. These have not been the targets. These are opportunistic criminals using numbers to get away with looting. They, mainly teen-twenties males, are also the product of a consumer generation, a generation brought up to expect everything – for nothing. They are using a faux political stance to justify their actions.

      They need to bring in the army, with the guns, because most of the UK police are not authorised to carry guns (only the special armed units). And just start shooting them. I am serious. We are better off without these mindless violent male scum on the planet.

      There must be several hundred families at least made homeless in the last few days. No clothes, no food, the loss of everything, and many will not be insured because they rent these flats above shops. That is where my sympathy lies, not with the thugs. The ordinary people are the ones already affected by this recession, and now they have this shit and terror to live through. Shoot these looters and thugs. Wipe them off the planet.

      • “If this was truly a class war going on, then the targets would primarily be the big business, the government, police stations. ”

        I do think this is a class war, but I agree that they have targeted the wrong people. A bit like when you see women targeting other women for abuse because they have so little power themselves in the grand scheme of things. They’re frightened to target the real enemy.
        But I think we’ve all agreed on the fact that this is a MALE thing going on here. None of it has anything to do with women at all.

      • I don’t even think it is a case of “wrong target” or “closest target”.

        Check out this BlackBerry message from the first or second day:

        One BBM broadcast posted on Monday evening appeared to urge protesters to go looting in Stratford, east London. “If you’re down for making money, we’re about to go hard in east london tonight, yes tonight!!” it said. “I don’t care what ends you’re from, we’re personally inviting you to come and get it in. Police have taken the piss for too long and to be honest I don’t know why its taken so long for us make this happen. We need a minimum of 200 hungry people. We’re not broke, but who says no to free stuff. Doesn’t matter if the police arrive cos we’ll just chase dem out because as you’ve seen on the news, they are NOT ON DIS TING. Everyone meet at 7 at stratford park and let’s get rich.”

        That is the motivation of all/most of them. Just the looting, for the hell of it, because they can. Thugs and thieves.

        One guy has died of a gunshot wound last night (I think he may be a bystander in a vehicle, and probably shot by looters).

        28 families in Croydon (alone) made homeless last night. Of course there were about a dozen hotspots over London last night. It will be hundreds of families made homeless already.

  5. It’s just opportunistic, regular old male violence, as happened in Vancouver after some recent male-thuggery sports playoff when the home team lost.

    Males are attention grabbers: jump up and down and wave stolen booty for the cameras, impress their mates, get on TV !!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!222!!!!!!!!!! all over teh world , be celebs just like all the rioting blokes in other countries.

    I say to my sisters, men are destroying the world because they can, and because they want to, and because they love their own violence and destruction. It sexually and mentally excites them. No diff, which country or race they are, or what language they speak.

    And now we may ask, where are the women and children in these “riot stricken” areas? What are the corresponding opportunistic rape stats? Are those women in fear (right now) of the state or of the male rioters? [ as she searches high and low for the *female* rioters ….]

  6. “I say to my sisters, men are destroying the world because they can, and because they want to, and because they love their own violence and destruction. It sexually and mentally excites them. ”

    Yes, you are right. I suppose wHat you’re saying is that the race and class issue is all very well but let’s be honest here, men don’t need an excuse do they. Historically, they have been known to happily rape and pillage on the flimsiest of pretexts.

    • but let’s be honest here, men don’t need an excuse do they. Historically, they have been known to happily rape and pillage on the flimsiest of pretexts.

      Yes, that sums up what I have been *trying* to say above.
      I still say shoot them.

    • “I say to my sisters, men are destroying the world because they can, and because they want to, and because they love their own violence and destruction. It sexually and mentally excites them. ”

      Yep, agree. The demonstrations were just a pretext for those looters to display their male power, with the consequence of maintaining a system fear at the detriment of women.

      However I wouldn’t totally neglect class component in there – physical violence is often the adage of the poor, since having less power, in order to dominate they have to use force. Rich men by contrast are powerful, so they never get to use violence themselves because all they need do is lift their hand and poorer men will loot, pillage and kill for them. They never get their own hands dirty.

      This is pretty convenient for rich men; since the use of force is more visible than real status power, the blame of violence is always put on the lower class men and thus maintains rich men’s power invisible. So occasionally they put some of these poorer men in prison to make people believe they’re doing something against violence.

  7. I do see that there is a class issue here. And race issues attached to class. Class issues came before race issues. I just finished Toni Morrison’s amazing book, “A Mercy” where she researched historical records about race in the earliest North American colonialist communities and there were slaves of all races. It was much more clearly about class, though race was beginning to figure in then.

    But class issues are what men create in their patriarchal systems. Class is really a male issue, male created. It is a system of rape and pillage. Class is one manifestation of patriarchy. The men at the bottom then do these things in retaliation. But their retaliation is against the women and the poor. Even the men at the bottom must play out their entitlement. So they will use and rape the women in their own class.

    I do think that having less disparity between rich and poor is important, Cherry. It mitigates the harm, but it still does not change the direction of the trajectory downward. I think that the nuclear issue in Japan is a horrifying indication of this. I do think race is important. But even if we could solve these problems it will not ultimately stop the downward trajectory because it is based on real harm to the physical world. In many cases this harm is irreversible. We do not know how many except it’s too many.

    So, the cause is patriarchy, causing class issues, race issues, and doing physical harm to our planet. Economic systems are ultimately based on the real world, though they have warped them beyond recognition in their insatiable quest for more and more power. It’s like Humpty Dumpty. The cause is one thing, but the effect is another, there’s no going back. And this is how, I believe, it is quite different from any other historical time. Before, humans had a planet that was not so utterly decimated.

    Harm mitigation for women is important. But beyond that, how do we do something different? How do women move forward? Separatism is one key, since it cannot be done by trying to reform patriarchy, that’s for sure. It also won’t be done by men overthrowing their class systems while leaving patriarchy intact. That’s been done. Throughout history. And we had a healthier planet at all those times.

    • But class issues are what men create in their patriarchal systems. Class is really a male issue, male created. It is a system of rape and pillage. Class is one manifestation of patriarchy. The men at the bottom then do these things in retaliation. But their retaliation is against the women and the poor. Even the men at the bottom must play out their entitlement. So they will use and rape the women in their own class.


  8. FabLibber, you said, “It is going to be a rough next few years. This is the start of the second dip in the double-dip recession. It will get a lot worse before getting any better.”

    My concern is that we are being told this, but it is not going to happen that way. It will get a lot worse before it gets even worse. Likely double-dip recession followed by depression, followed by economic collapse. Men will be raping and pillaging the whole time.

    That’s part of what I’m saying, because the planet has been raped and we are running out of resources. While there may be some ups and downs, it is structural change, no going back to “normal” after a while. “Normal” for the first world, that is. It was never like that for the third world.

    I want to bring this into the rad fem dialogue because we need to understand what we are facing. Not to get us into “solidarity” with working class men, or men of our race, etc. who will try to continue patriarchy. But for present and future women and for the planet.

    • I probably shouldn’t have mentioned my brother in the first paragraph, because that obviously suggests I am aligning myself with working class men. No.. I’m not aligning myself with them, but what I see is that patriarchy consists of strong/powerful/winner men and then losers/women (homosexuals are classed as “losers”, as are poor and marginalized men)

      Working class/unemployed men are impotent in western society. In the past they could have earned a trade or worked on the farm or what have you, but now all production is in China.

      I suppose this post is more of a critique of masculinity than anything else.

      Greer believed that men have it wrong: it’s not women who are the enemy, it’s other men. All other men. Because of their high fertility, they are expendable, whereas women, by virtue of their low fertility, are apt to co-operate and get along.

      • Cherry, I wasn’t responding to that at all, BTW. I felt sad for you and for your brother. I have brothers and we grew up urban poor and both my brothers enlisted (were not drafted) during the Vietnam war, a dangerous time to enlist. It was their best option. I care about my younger brothers, like you, I helped raise the youngest and a younger sister. At the same time, I do see that our interests diverge when it comes to patriarchy. They are always welcome to stand up for women against other men. They can express support for women, and be in solidarity with women’s interests, but not the other way around. Balance is needed. That’s how I see it. I do agree that there are lower and higher classes and yes, I think that’s right that men are the enemy to other men.

        There was male solidarity amongst the urban poor men that I grew up with, especially in the form of gangs. Males in gangs held the power. They were in constant tension with the police. No young person in my urban poor neighborhood trusted the police, like people in middle class neighborhoods generally do. I hear intellectual marxists say that the poor–the males who are poor is what I think they mean–need to target the rich and go after the rich. That is unlikely to happen, since there will be a firewall around the poor communities, violence done within the group.

        Yes, a critique of masculinity. Thank you, Cherry!

      • Oh, I know you weren’t. Should have put that reply at the bottom probably.

        I’ve never thought about what you said before— about there no longer being anywhere to go now that men have destroyed the planet. THis is IT, isn’t it.

        The U.S will fall, as every empire does, like the U.K did, and they say it will be replaced with China. China, god, what CHina is doing to its environment is heartbreaking. I know the U.S and U.K did this during the industrial revolution and teh menz argue that it’s every country’s sovereign right to develop (except Iran, for some strange reason), but now they’re doing so in a nuclear age, not the textile age. I saw a documentary about CHina, and some Chinese peasant women were pleading into the camera “All we want is to see the sky again” 😦

    • Katie, I somehow missed this earlier comment of yours.

      My concern is that we are being told this, but it is not going to happen that way. It will get a lot worse before it gets even worse. Likely double-dip recession followed by depression, followed by economic collapse. Men will be raping and pillaging the whole time.

      Technically speaking, I think we already are in a depression, but society is structured differently to the 1930s, so it appears to be different (and is in some ways). The only thing that really pulled the 1930s out of it was a world war – conscription has a way of getting the unemployed off the streets.

      I totally agree that menz will get totally out of control during times of economic strife, or war, which is no prediction, it is historical fact. That is how they behave. And they are even worse now, than ever before. So the safety of women (and children) is in grave doubt. After the NZ earthquake this year, DV rates shot up. Seriously, wtf is wrong with men? At the slightest bit of unrest or trouble, their true nature shines through – and it is not one of community spirit and working together, it is raping and beating women.

      Not to get us into “solidarity” with working class men, or men of our race, etc. who will try to continue patriarchy.

      Absolutely agree. Men, again proven historically, will show their nice side to women supporting them. As soon as the men get what they want, “back to the kitchen for you” is the attitude. We saw that happen in Egypt this year, what was all of five minutes after women supported men in their movement, International Women’s Day in Egypt saw the women verbally abused and hounded on the streets. Independence is only for men it seems.

      So yes, we need to opt out of this society. Find a place off the beaten track, and create women-only communities. That also means no male children, because even male children are dangerous to female children. Find a clump of land, grow your own food, be as independent as possible from the outside world. If the community becomes big enough, you could declare its independence or autonomy in some way, create it as an independent territory within some other state. And shoot any male that tries to trespass on the property, as accorded in the community bylaws. 😛

      Because feminists have been working solidly for the last 30-40 years to reform the current situation and environment, with very little impact. Feminists have been fighting for hundreds of years to be accorded equal status – and still to this day women routinely get paid 80 cents on the dollar. Women in UK parliament is still only around 19%. How many generations of girls do we wait before we say “this will not work”? I officially declare it said now. Males will always find some way to continue to keep females subordinate, it is gain-backlash-gain-backlash in an endless cycle.

      The one reason the male capitalist monetry system is unsustainable is that it is built on an endless growth requirement. It periodically corrects and has bust periods. These cycles seem to be getting shorter. The stock market is just “gambling in suits”, with “value” primarily based on a popularity contest of stocks. Stupid fucking system. Designed by ego-led idiot males.

      So to keep our sanity, we need to opt out. It is like being tied to the tail of an angry dragon, there is nothing we can do stop the dragon lashing its tail about, the only thing that can be done is to cut the binds and jump off.

      • Thanks for that post fab, lots of info in there.
        I agree with you that separatism is the answer, I am looking into that myself actually. The problem is, is that when women gain enough independence men crush it, which I think is what was the witch-craze was all about: women were more powerful then than now, and because they had greater healing powers and were more effective than the “doctors of death” (because they were in tune with nature and didn’t seek to destroy it– they would have instinctively known which herbs to use, and which to avoid) they were destroyed. Men’s egos couldn’t handle it, so they massacred the women.

        So we have to be sneaky. If women reach critical mass and the police will find reasons to be violent towards groups of women separatists. I actually personally know of two lovely women in Wales (lesbians possibly) who went into business together, whose health food cafe shop was closed down by Health and Safety. there is no way on this earth that that shop was unclean. IT was the loveliest, safest food around. Next to it were a couple of minging greasy spoons, owned by blokes (though their wives did the shitwork). It only struck me recently that that could well have been a witch-hunt. The men at health and safety can close down whoever the hell they want. THey have that kind of power. They have awarded themselves with that kind of power.
        All these male organizations and institutions are the emperor’s new clothes.

        I personally believe men would rather kill every last woman on the planet than allow patriarchy to fall.

        We remove ourselves, and our energy, from male spaces. Actually blogging is a perfect way to do this. We doN’t go to male-owned cinemas for our entertainment. We grow and cook as much as we can ourselves; every time we put our hand into our pocket, we can ask ourselves, ^which^ man are we supporting ^this^ ^time^ ? Whose pocket are we lining now? This has already been done with Christianity. Women are starving that particular patriarchal institution of their energy by no longer believing in God.

        So I suppose what I’m saying is, we need to get enough women on board. There are so many women out there (caitlin moran, for example) who are just living their lives as fembots, too scared to hear what feminism has to say.
        On a lighter note, anyone remember this amazing feminist film, 🙂 We can see the sexual predator, Jareth (David Bowie) in his role of classic narcissistic abuser, complete with his illusions and fake magic, representing the patriarchy,

        Jareth: Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I will be your slave

        but in reality none of his power has any substance. Compare it to women’s earthy, life-creating, life-sustaining, creative power. Watch this clip.

        And the anti-cinderella scene 🙂

      • That first clip (I have never seen the film) is quite metophoric for patriarchy over women everywhere. And if women would wake-up, we could rid their control and domination over us.

        The separatism that I proposed is largely without the current system – not living in towns and cities run by men – but going off the beaten track, setting up our own communities/towns, and making our own laws and rules (hence declaring independence from the state, or at least trying to). I figure if the US Indians can have their own laws independently, then we can. Dammit if we too aren’t refugees from white man’s rule.

        And yes, it has to be done on the quiet, because they will try to destroy it – it is the only thing they know how to do, destroy – they have fun doing it, just look at the London riots, destroying just because they can. Hence in my proposed constitution, it will be legal to shoot male tresspassers. Cover our asses with the outside authorties with the old “tresspassers will be shot” sign. Ideally too, find a location with some natural borders. You can see I have given this some thought. I am searching for locations 🙂

        Whilst on the one hand separatism like this is a form of cop-out and personal solution, which does not help the women left behind, on the other hand there are so many women who are so male-identified and effectively working against us, that frankly, if they luv and worship menz so much, they are welcome to them. They are more than welcome to ‘our share’ of the menz. It seriously is not that hard to see through the brainwashing, it takes very little to get the analysis going, so no excuses for continuing to believe in ‘the goodness of menz’. They continually prove that there is little goodness in them.

        The energy in all-woman space is envigorating. The energy in mainstream society is draining – that is because men suck the life out of us, energy vampires.

      • “That first clip (I have never seen the film) is quite metophoric for patriarchy over women everywhere. And if women would wake-up, we could rid their control and domination over us.”

        Yes, that is what I see in that film too. I wonder how the writers and producers managed to slip it past the patriarchy. Putting it as a PG and pretending it was just an innocuous film for kids seems to have worked. If you look at it closely though, it actually holds the key to the revolution, complete with instructions 🙂

        Did you hear his line: “You cowered before me; I was frightened”
        This is exactly the type of reversal an abuser uses against his victim. Telling her “you made me do it.” Gas-lighting her, distorting the truth, reversing what actually happened, so that she ends up losing her mind, or clinging to him for security.

  9. One of the most memorable moments, for me, of the Los Angeles 1992 riots (living there at the time, could smell the smoke and see the fires’ glow, under curfew and all that) was a live tv reporter asking a teenage boy, in the midst of complete chaos, why he was burning down his neighbors’ homes and businesses when what *sparked* the whole thing was supposed to be pent-up anger in the black communtity about INJUSTICES of every kind.

    His sort of incredulous answer was, “Because I live here!”

    Or in the words of entitled man and mountaineer George Mallory, “Because it’s there.”

    It’s the only excuse men need for anything and everything men do; it exists, therefore I beat, burn, steal, rape, castigate, kick, punch, explode and DESTROY it because it is my birthright.

  10. I will also never swallow the tax funded bailout that generated a debt unborn children will have to pay. Wasn’t “taxation without representation” the root cause of the U.S. revolution?

    I just posted a comment on the London riot article in my local newspaper, and lifted some of your factoids from here (hope that’s okay). I did not toss out what I consider to be the root cause of all this, which is Male Testosterone Poisoning. Nor did I mention the New Guinea women who advocated male infanticide because their men are creating so much war and destruction (which quickly got stamped out, whereas India and China kill girl babies for decades now without public outcry). Could there not be some kind of abortifacient that is activated when the unborn differentiates to male?

    Here’s my post, like spitting in the wind but feminists have got to call it out:

    “Based on eye witnesses reporting on numerous blogs, these thugs are all MALE. No one is talking about that.

    I hope they call out the military and shoot to kill these thugs. Opportunistic scum.

    Comments here name liberalism as the culprit here, I would say the same enemy that is destroying our planet for greedy male CEO profit: PATRIARCHY.

    Dollars for doughnuts there are a lot of freaky right-wing nuts like the Norwegian shooter, but right wing violence is seldom vilified. Reports are that there are dozens and dozens of right wing groups in the U.S. advocating this type of violence. It is so lame to blather about the London riots being caused by liberals, ridiculous. It’s caused by men, period.

    CEO salaries in Japan are held to 6 times the average worker but in UK CEO pay (similar to U.S.) is 240 times the average worker wages. Income disparity like that does breed rage in the under classes.

    Thanks MALE CEO’s for taking a taxpayer bail out for your stupid mistakes, then awarding yourselves obscene bonuses and now hanging onto your ill gotten loot and not creating any jobs. 90% of big fish gone from the oceans. Oceans dying. Waters poisoned. 200 species per day disappearing off the planet, the biggest die off in planetary existence is happening right now. It’s a man’s world.”

    • That’s a great comment survivor.

      Just one thing, in Japan a CEO earns no mo more than 6 times the lowest earner in the same company but it’ the CEO’sin the U.S that earn over 240 times more, and the U.K is slightly less than that (will check the exact figure). But it doesn’t really matter because the most important part of the argument is that the UK is up there as one of the most unequal societies in the world.

  11. “We’re not all gathering together and fighting for a cause, we’re running down Foot Locker.”

    My friend just e-mailed me this guardian article, which basically echoes what all the commenters here have been saying.

    “I think it’s just about possible that you could see your actions refashioned into a noble cause if you were stealing the staples: bread, milk. But it can’t be done while you’re nicking trainers, let alone laptops. In Clapham Junction, the only shop left untouched was Waterstone’s, and the looters of Boots had, unaccountably, stolen a load of Imodium. So this kept Twitter alive all night with tweets about how uneducated these people must be and the condition of their digestive systems. While that palled after a bit, it remains the case that these are shopping riots, characterised by their consumer choices: that’s the bit we’ve never seen before. A violent act by the authorities, triggering a howl of protest – that bit is as old as time. But crowds moving from shopping centre to shopping centre? Actively trying to avoid a confrontation with police, trying to get in and out of JD Sports before the “feds” arrive? That bit is new”

    I 100% agree with the woman in the video at the top, and i agree with what you are all saying about this being about men liking and enjoying destruction. The second political perspective on the looting is outlined here:

    “At the other end of the authoritarian-liberal spectrum, you have Camila Batmanghelidjh’s idea, movingly expressed in the Independent, that this is a natural human response to the brutality of poverty: “Walk on the estate stairwells with your baby in a buggy manoeuvring past the condoms, the needles, into the lift where the best outcome is that you will survive the urine stench and the worst is that you will be raped . . . It’s not one occasional attack on dignity, it’s a repeated humiliation, being continuously dispossessed in a society rich with possession. Young, intelligent citizens of the ghetto seek an explanation for why they are at the receiving end of bleak Britain, condemned to a darkness where their humanity is not even valued enough to be helped”

    Camila Batmanghelidjh’s quote is clearly talking about women. But as you’ve all said, it was not women who looted and pillaged.

    But it’s still a class war, because poverty is relative, and these men clearly have no stake in the community. You don’T burn down the shop of a family you’re friends with. But businesses are faceless these days, run by men far away, often in another country (Sony was burned down, I noticed, and that’ s a Japanese company.) Capitalism and patriarchy have created a completely dis-connected, discontinuous society. Here is a quote from the same (Zoe Williams) article:

    Between these poles is a more pragmatic reading: this is what happens when people don’t have anything, when they have their noses constantly rubbed in stuff they can’t afford, and they have no reason ever to believe that they will be able to afford it. Hiller takes up this idea: “Consumer society relies on your ability to participate in it. So what we recognise as a consumer now was born out of shorter hours, higher wages and the availability of credit. If you’re dealing with a lot of people who don’t have the last two, that contract doesn’t work. They seem to be targeting the stores selling goods they would normally consume. So perhaps they’re rebelling against the system that denies its bounty to them because they can’t afford it.”

    • Gosh, you put this up as a post, then you make it a comment – I wondered why my comment stalled! Here it is:

      Amazing woman, with a cane too I noticed.
      Within afro-caribbean culture, a woman can still wield a certain degree of “mother authority”, which was what she was using there. White women don’t have it all any more, in spite of what everybody seems to think, their “mother authority” has been very much eroded to nothing.

      I partially agree, that deep deep deep down, a tiny speck of a reason, that the British class disparity has an element. But primarily it was a male destructive/looting thing. I think that is actually clear with the video, because that woman is from the same community as them, is pissed off with the system, class, and discrimination like them, but knows that what the looters were doing was pointless and off the mark as far as making any political statement.

      So still I default back to the position, there is something very wrong with males.

      Oh, and it was not all non-white males either, it was a complete mix of white, afro-caribbean and asian.

      • sorry!! Still getting the hang of knowing when a topic deserves a whole new blog post of its own ( and I thought that woman’s speech did!!) or when it’s just a continuation of the old discussion.

        You are right about the mother-authority. It has completely disappeared in the west, except for a few places (Italy, perhaps). You do get it in Russia, definitely: the babushkas (grandmas) are an institution there. The average life expectancy of a russian man is 58, so after that age it’s predominantly women!! In Japan, you get the “aunt” figure, the oba-san, but it’s not as powerful as the black matriarch figure. (have to add, that I did feel a certain invincibility after giving birth, a sort of “after praying to be shot in the head to make the pain stop, I can now stand my ground with old sexist codgers in a way I could never have done before) but culturally that “mother-power” has been wittled away to nothing. Mothers aren’t even respected anymore. THey’re expected to be sexy and fuckable ASAP after the birth.)

        ANd yes, a cane too haha!

        Yes, I noticed the looters were both blacks and whites, but all the authority figures were white. I think class is a much bigger issue than race in the U.K

  12. After writing about the “oba-sans” in Japan just now, I realise I’m talking a type of “spinster-aunt” figure, which no longer exists in British culture anymore either, as Sheila J pointed out in “Spinsters”
    So both the spinsters and the mothers have had their social authority usurped from them by the patriarchy over the past 50 years in the west.

  13. So both the spinsters and the mothers have had their social authority usurped from them by the patriarchy over the past 50 years in the west.

    Yes!!! 😦 I have seen this happen over the course of my own adult life, much to my grief. It feels like a form of gynocide to me, as is the pornification of female children. We have been killed off, psycho-socially, even more than we were before.

    • since I first wrote this article, Fab, I have to say you have swayed me.
      This is men, just men.
      Class is a side issue. Race is negligible. This was originally a critique on the ins and outs of masculinity, and I’m glad I posted it because there has been some really interesting discussion, but yes, fuck them.

      • Of course, meeja spin is in full swing, the tiny percentage of females taking part are highlighted, specially.

        See Hecuba’s comment

        And headlines such as
        “Nottingham riots: Girl aged 11 among 17 people charged”

        The Guardian article was the first one that was closest to the truth. Most have just focused on the “disenfranchised youth” and “bad upbringing” and “underclass” as the reasons. As I said in a comment somewhere, I am fairly poor, don’t have a mobile or likely most of the expensive gadgets that these looters do, but I would not go out looting or stealing or destroying stuff just because it is there.

        What is worse though, is that these fuckers have ruined it for any genuine uprising of the poor and recession-affected. The cops now are pumped up to quell any uprising with maximum response. So even a relatively peaceful demo will be met with cops on a testosterone-fest. London has been clamping down on demos for the last few years actually, now it will be damn near impossible.

        So again, another group of greedy selfish men ruin it for everyone else. Just like the greedy selfish men at the top of the hierarchy.

  14. I found the following to be insightful in many ways, entitled “Shopocalypse Now.” Basically, the author is saying that it is anti-establishment sentiment (like the police shooting of Mark Duggan), and underlying it are issues like class, but it manifests in consumerist ways. I thought he articulated that aspect well, but of course, as always, missed the elephant in the room, the male violence and entitlement. As radfems we know that the entitlement ethic in consumerist culture (including young women as consumers) has a foundation is all-patriarchy.

    How is this anti-establishment sentiment made manifest? By what can only be described as violent shopping. Rampaging through the communities they grew up in, they take out their frustration at a lack of occupation or engagement on the shops and businesses that provide employment in their area, they smash-and-grab the luxury items which are supposedly the fruit of all the social climbing, work and effort our society enshrines. Their generation’s grand gesture of disobedience is straight-up Western-style consumer-capitalism, pure and uncut, direct from the amygdala. Take whatever you can get your hands on for yourself and trash the commons with impunity.


  15. The woman with the cane in your video, Cherry, understands that it is community, rather than shopping that is important. She addresses that they need to fight for a cause. She understands that you don’t torch your own neighborhoods.

    There’s also a video circulating of an older black East Indian male writer, Darcus Howe. He tries to address the underlying issues, pretending that the young men are rioting about Mark Duggan rather than mainly motivated by “violent shopping” as discussed in my previous post. Yet Howe comes across as dishonest compared to the woman with the cane. Why? He does not honor community as the older woman does. Let me tell you, my family was urban poor and my sister-in-law (who is also disabled) and brother have managed to have their own business. (She started it and he came it later. It is a woman-owned business. She knew the people, the community and understood people’s needs better than my brother did, though to his credit he took some risks for the business that she started, too). It is small, local, and offers something to the community. Often it just hangs on, especially in an economic downturn. If It was burned out like this there would be no way to rebuild. This is a reality. It has everything to do with community. Darcus Howe does not discuss this because he is male and does not see the underlying issue which is that males do this and in so doing destroy the communities that are often built with the sweat and blood of women.

    Yet there is no critique of gender by him. In fact, he puts forward his “grandson who is an angel” in support of his argument. Is his “angel grandson” misogyist? Does he mention that, or the patriarchy that provides a foundation for the racism and classism? No. That is why male political movements are doomed to fail. Obviously for women, but also for men in their stupidity, like their gutting their communities because their testosterone cannot be controlled. It is always about disenfranchised young males who are out of work. It is about their testosterone poisoned brains out of control, no?

    I think the older, brave woman, who is not a writer or broadcaster, should be. She is more honest and eloquent. The class/race and “radical”/establishment issues between the white woman interviewer and Mr. Howe are blatant, and I find her questions to him disrespectful and offensive in some cases, but I think that she also highlights concern about the communities, or tries. How would this interview have appeard if a white male upper-class establishment broadcaster were interviewing Darcus Howe? Quite different, I’d warrant. I think that this interview is another illustration of why separatism makes sense. I would trust women to sort out race and class issues together, even if painful and difficult. Men will only use these issues to compete. Male movements have used these issues to disrupt female unity and will continue to do so unless we are separatists.

    • Sorry, but no cigar for Howe.

      He is merely hijacking the incidents to put forth a political agenda. Hardly any one else in the world believes that this is so connected with the Duggan shooting.

      I would rather listen to the woman with the cane. She makes 100x more sense than this dude.

      This is the thing, you cannot listen to dudes full stop, does not matter what colour they come in. They always push their own agenda, never have an idea of the bigger picture, like that woman did. She was brilliant. This guy is a dick.

      Oh, and about the grandson-angel thing, oh sure, they all think their little dudes are angels that would do no wrong. Just like mothers rant about their little Nigel Jnrs who do no wrong, even when on trial for rape “oh noes, little Nigel would never rape anybody… must be martians”.

    • yes, isn’t it interesting Howe comes across as disingenuous, compared to the woman above. I’d watched that video of his before, and yes I noticed the interviewer’s faux pas, and offensive questioning… and I could see that Howe was trying to piece everything together in his mind, but it just wasn’t working… especially when he said his grandson was an angel (!) I do believe there are race and class issues, which is what Howe was attempting to identify, but HE WAS ONLY TALKING ABOUT 50% of the populace. He’d discounted the other half. WHereas women always take on men’s worldview before they even adress their own.

      That woman’s words were based on integrity, and BECAUSE SHE’S A WOMAN shen wasn’t given a prime spot on BBC to air her views.

      • Yes, integrity, a good word for her. Smart women like that should be community leaders, but they are not. Instead, candidates like Howe, who cannot be relied upon for a true and unbiased assessment of a situation.

        But, it’s the same the world over. Useless/dishonest males running the show, smart and intelligent females relegated to the kitchen. Any wonder the world is so fucked up.

    • One of the theories is “lack of a father.” Were they cloned? Biologically speaking, not a single human alive today lacks a father. 😉

      Seriously, it is not lack of a father. It’s seeing, every day, in every way, that males are allowed to act in entitled ways. The patriarchy is rife with what? Males acting atrociously. The patriarchy is based on what? Fatherhood. It’s the whole foundation. Too much fatherhood, way, way too much. It’s another reversal, radfems.

      If it were a matriarchy, young males would be listening to people like the cane-woman instead of rap music (which is one of the other theories). Nor would there be such a discrepancy in wealth between the bottom and top (another theory). These theories are all related (except perhaps the last one). The common thread is patriarchy.

      My theory is this: “lack of a matriarchy.” That’s what’s missing. This implies things like having a cohesive community. That’s the cane-woman’s concern. Where’s there’s community, it is the result of women, often women behind the scenes. Yes, women make the coffee and get people talking over that coffee. Women often build the small community businesses, or are the backbone of them, “mom and pop” stores, no? But men tear down the communities.

      Lack of a matriarchy. That’s what’s missing.

    • haha, thanks for that Fab. Yes, what a surprise.

      Yes, in a normal, non-patriarchal world, women like the cane-lady would naturally rise to the top as leaders. Because we live in an artifical society–a patriarchy– that is upheld and continued by violence, she will be relegated to the “Blue rinse” brigade within a few years. Women’s status is so so very low. 😦

  16. This post has consistently yielded the most hits I’ve ever had. We’re on 270 a day right now (that’s more than average for CBL), Though I’D mention it so the radfems who are contributing know that somebody out there is reading your words 🙂

  17. Yes, in a normal, non-patriarchal world, women like the cane-lady would naturally rise to the top as leaders.

    Pauline Pearce is a star. And yes, women like her rarely get heard but in fact should be the ones who are taken most seriously and given the most respect.

  18. What is worse though, is that these fuckers have ruined it for any genuine uprising of the poor and recession-affected. The cops now are pumped up to quell any uprising with maximum response.

    This bothers me too. Cameron and his crew must be delighted they have this excuse to “clampdown” when it’s not what the rest of the community need at all.

      • My point was that the boyz at the top could see the civil unrest growing, due to the disparity in income and opportunites, and have been actively “tightening up” allowed protests in London. This has been happening for the last few years. So they have pounced on these riots to close the net.

        They have been comparing things to the student riots earlier this year – which is a bit rubbish – those riots look like summer camp compared to what happened in the last week. The meeja are playing into all this of course, promoting the myth.

  19. Woman “looter” jailed for 6 months for stealing 10 packs of chewing gum. The paper is entitled “The modern face of the British rioter”

    Actually, the patriarchal reversals are out in full swing there in that Daily Fail article about the 22 year old woman. It is entitled The very modern face of a British rioter

    When we already have hard data (BBC) which shows 95% of the rioters are men.
    So it’s the same old faces, committing the same old crimes

    Men are murdering (what’s the riot death toll so far?), women are stealing gum and yet it’s women who are the “modern face” of the riots

    Kiss my arse, Daily Mail

    Men in the UK, on the other hand, get an average of 4 years in jail for murdering their spouse. If they say it was a “sex game” and the women “wanted it” they pretty much get let off.

    • We shall see the other riot sentencing (for males) shall we?
      What a fucking joke (bad one) 6 months for 10 packs of chewing gum.

      And what did I tell you – now that a few females joined in the looting (but not main destruction) they are the ones highlighted by the meeja, promoting the myth that this was a riot of ‘people’ and not a riot of ‘greedy destructive males’.

    • It seems that sentencing has been just as stupid for the males convicted of theft – six months for a dude who stole a few bottles of water worth £3.50. Six months seems to be the max sentence (I gather for petty theft, or similar)

      Frankly, all of the minor thefts, with no priors, should be given lots of hours of community service, not jail time. The ones with priors should be given the maximum jail time of course. There were a lot of career crims involved in the looting.

      Destruction of property should also be given jail time.

      One dude, who got 4 months for “abusive or threatening language”, should have gotten community service or good behaviour bond.


      These judges are stupid. They will clog up the jails for months, for the theft of a few pounds, how much does that cost the taxpayer to house them in jail for six months? And by clogging up the jails, this means that serious offenders will be given shorter sentences or earlier release to make room for the newcomers. Dumb dumb dumb.

  20. Just heard on the radio news, a woman who said that the government’s proposal to evict families from council homes (due to any member being involved in riots) would require a change in the law. Which was my thinking also when they started talking about this.

    Again, see, females are ten times smarter than the males in power.


    • Yes that’s what I thought. It’s called collective punishment, usually an Asian thing. In Japan, if a man commits a serious crime such as drunk driving and hitting someone, his wife loses her job, especially if she is a civil servant or a teacher. In China I think they go even further. I watched a talk by a Chinese writer who said that when she spent some time in a village in China then when she went back years later it was no longer there. It had been burned down by accident by a 92 year old man who had fallen asleep in the winter with the gas left on and his blanket had burned. The villagers banished his two sons, who were forced to live in a pigsty down the road.

      • The day a father is punished and made homeless for a crime his daughter has committed (not counting these madmen who think a woman having sex outside marriage is a crime) will be the day hell freezes over.

  21. UK riots: magistrates told ‘ignore the rule book’ and lock up looters


    Which seems completely dumb to give six month sentences to those that got a handful of chewing gum or a couple of bottles of water. Yeah it was wrong, but what cost of imprisoning them?

    One of the dudes mentioned had quite a haul, so yeah, lock him up. But the real petty stuff? No, that is stupid.

  22. Now, not that I have been paying too much attention to the civil unrest in Syria, but apparently months of it. The US and UK leaders are calling for Syria’s leader to step down.

    Does anyone see any irony?

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