Even though feminism, due to its socialist roots, rejects religion, I am not going to exclude feminists from my questions about what makes us who we are.
Otherwise, another Marc Lepine is in the making due to bullying of the perceived weak by weak-willed people who fear the weak yet pretend to be superior to them, whether it is Lepine's father and late sister, feminist radicals, reviled patriarchal demagogues or even social activists.
Given the rise of feminist paganism and the Goddess feminism movement, I agree with Haraway that with "woman" being a social construct much like "homosexual" and "youth", both movements are reactionary and are based on the hypothesis that in the roots of patriarchism are both the means of oppression of women and their ultimate liberation.
Since the social construct, "woman", arises out of the patriarchy, then feminism is actually rooted in a reaction to it but is in the end both symptom and solution, once a feminist transcends the duality of wo/man.
This is not to imply that cyborg feminism requires religion, but that post-modern fictions and myths are derived from science fiction which are stories based on extrapolations of scientific knowledge, and the stories that turn into cult classics, including animes, Final Fantasy and other online RPGs, and even Hello Kitty, reflect much of what Haraway discusses in her manifesto.
Thus, post-modern pop culture is inspired by various secular ideologies which are ultimately based on socialist revisionism that removed religion's influence on our collective histories, of which feminism was a large influence.
So instead of assuming madness is due to the gods, we assume the person is psychotic and need of help, due to our ignorance about religion which was never used to explain why the things ancient civilization did in the name of God. Rather, we learned that the Pyramids were built to satisfy the egos of the Pharaohs and that the Bible is not a useful reference for factual information - though a few of us got censured by well-meaning Christians for implying that the Bible was "just another book of myths".
But then so are Inuyasha and WoW based on myth!!
In her manifesto, Haraway tries "to build an ironic political myth faithful to feminism, socialism, and materialism". After reading Senft's commentary on Haraway's manifesto, I am inclined to conclude that the Cyborg Manifesto does attempt to transcend patriarchy itself by deconstructing what it means to be a woman by pointing out that "woman" is a social construct much like "homosexual" and "youth". Though, I will point out that her term "myth" does not imply fairy-tales of mythological characters, but rather metaphors necessary for post-modern feminists and their socialist comrades to transcend gender and thus end the mythological gender war.
It is sad then to hear of reactionary feminists adhere to radical feminist ideals to the point of pretending that Marc Lepine is only a symbol of systematic violence against women by the patriarchy, as he originally witnessed such violence in his home and was inculcated in it during abuse by his father. While Haraway does not address such violence in her manifesto, I do tend to get a sense of necessary desensitization by using the cyborg metaphor to transcend the duality inherent in post-modern feminism.
It's not so much about confrontation that should drive feminists to change the world as it is about transcending social constructs such as gender. As long as feminists continue to market the duality of real-world patriarchy versus mythological patriarchy, the gender war will continue victimizing women.
Therefore, December 6 is more about confronting the reality of violence against women than it is about actually changing the world. For in order to change the world, feminists will have to transcend the duality of wo/man rather than just react to the perceived duality of wo/man.
In order to market December 6 effectively, feminists have created as martyrs 14 young women, very few of whom were actually feminists. However, time and time again, they have ignored the symbol of male violence, Marc Lepine.
Indeed, most feminists remain ignorant of the fact that he was a victim of male violence, born to an Algerian father and a Quebecois mother. Indeed, very little facts about his father are known, apart from the fact that he had embraced Western values by becoming a mutual funds salesman yet had retained possibly Berber and thus Islamic influence of cultural values related to the raising of children.
It is unknown whether violence on TV influences gang violence or even violence among young women. One can more effectively argue that poverty may be a far greater influence on violence than violent anime like Inuyasha. My theory on violence in anime is that violence meted out on quasi-mythological characters by other similar characters is amusing at first, but any child who acts out such violence in real life is either going to get smacked down by an older sibling or punished by her parents.
In concluding that in households where the parents are distracted by legislated poverty, children lack supervision and thus "can get away with murder", social scientists are ignored by the State when recommendations to relieve poverty are clearly stated to solve poverty. Locally in BC, the woman judge hired to solve the child care crisis had her request for extra funding refused and a far less amount being given to help her with the provincial government citing "lack of funds". The current BC Liberal regime itself is afraid of losing votes by daring to tax its loyal party members, most of whom indirectly contribute to the daily plight of the poor and especially abused women through their tax breaks, depriving all of the public sector from adequate funding. Creative bookkeeping by the Campbell government's penny-pinchers had hidden this systematic oppression of the underclass, just to stay in power. It continued in the current government of Christy Clark.
Thus, all political parties that fear the loss of votes for making an unpopular move are acting according to the will of the people who vote them in, not the will of the ones who deserve the favour that move provides them.
No doubt in writing her manifesto Haraway performs a similar ignorance of facts by only hinting at the side effects of feminists being a product of the military industrial complex, inculcated through compulsory public education to become women only to react to male dominance by rejecting the patriarchal values learned in public school through enlightenment in post-secondary educational institutes, the traditional hotbed of socialist revisionism of our collective histories.
Therefore, the average reader needs Senft to perform commentary on Haraway since Senft, being an enlightened feminist, can "be the moon pointing to the sun". For me, reading Senft is like reading Shinran: there is no difference between commenting on feminist ideology and Pure Land sutras since both feminism and Buddhism are ideologies first. As well, anyone who declares politics has nothing to do with religion, as Gandhi originally stated, really know nothing about religion at all.
Once you transcend the differences between politics and religion, even the religious statement — "I am that I am" — can be as radical as the feminist hypothesis that "the patriarchy uses the threat of violence to maintain civil order so that States may be prosperous and their citizens productive".
It has been said that "information wants to be free", and that the civilization that is great is the one that rises above religious oppression. But I say that in order to truly be free, one needs to rise above one's political ideology and transcend it. For as long as one clings to whatever flavour of feminism or other ideological "ism", one will remain a product of the military industrial complex, picking sides and fated to endure the hell of dualism epitomized as "wo/man" and similar social constructs.
In order for humanity to be truly free, all it takes is taking a breath and liberating oneself of ideology. For me as a Buddhist anarchist , that seems to be the subtle message contained in the Cyborg manifesto: the process of liberation includes freedom from "isms", even if it means transcending the Buddha and anarchy to support the Christian left.
Even Marc Lepine was fighting against the duality of patriarchalism versus feminism by hating feminists.
In hating feminism, he actually hated the deprivation of maternal nurturance by his recently separated mother after learning to hate her through the beatings his father treated him to for not being a good son.
This shows the failure of patriarchalism, in which the father's power, instead of defending his family from poverty and legitimate threats, is perverted into forcing his family to live by his rules, only to lose power completely through separation and divorce.
Thus, the failure of patriarchalism is evident in the rising divorce rates, the increasing incidents of teen violence, and the mass murders which continue to be a part of our post-modern lives to this very day.
What we need today is not another ISM to replace old traditions with newly minted ones. Rather, we need to transcend the dichotomy of wo/man for something as old as early Christian idealism, which is something the feminists, due to their socialist conditioning, totally ignore.
Yes, we need a transhuman ideology which emphasizes unity, not division, between the sexes. It won't be found in feminism, for the roots of such a world transforming ideology demands that we stop denying God's existence, because so far the current dualism of patriarchalism versus feminism is actually tearing our post-modern society apart with its feel-good sophistry and its ego-centred idealism.
Indeed, we may need to centre the body politic with good, old-fashioned religion for the masses not unlike Matthew Fox's manifesto.
Added the punchline on November 3, 2010.
Corrected spelling on November 5, 2012
Nov. 19, 2011 edition made automatic to 20130120.0425