This week marked the beginning of FUTURE FEMINISM In Aarhus, Denmark, a new exhibition held by artist and musician Anohni, along with her longterm collaborators Kembla Pfahler and Johanna Constantine, “calling for the emergence of a feminism collective consciousness to save what remains of our world”. In celebration of the event, she shared an essay about the future of feminism. Read it in full here.
I do not accept the fallacy of the well-balanced binary that we have been brainwashed and bullied into adopting (yin/yang, 50/50, male/female, darkness/light, manifestation/heaven elsewhere, rational/emotional, etc.). This weary assertion that equally endowed opposites, waltzing in perpetual stalemate, determine the natural and philosophical order of things distorts our perception of the volatile and mysterious world around us. It has also secured our paralysis and denial during the final centuries of this Trump-esque quest for a male god as potent as the Female one overwhelming our senses. An infant’s gluttonous wish has been horrifically realised, and sons have used unending violence to spread the FAKE SPIRITUAL NEWS that it was a great patriarch in the sky who authored our world and to whom we will all one day be forced to submit.
The male, like the sperm, serves a supporting role in the perpetuation of life, but he is hardly the leading lady. A fraction of the size of an ovum, that little sperm illustrates a ratio that more accurately expresses the male place within the volatile, passionate, and voluptuous order of creation. Get rid of the great white fantasy of 50/50 in your mind that every well-meaning pastor or his scientific, secular son has ever taught you. Women have long grasped at this insidious equation offered by their sons, an appeasement promising that patriarchy is winding down, that the enslavement of the fairer sex is drawing to a close and that we are driving relentlessly towards a more fair and equal world. You know… 50/50.
But population bloat, wealth disparity, and eco-collapse tell a different story. In his world, the sadism of the Old Teste-ment and the snivelling charity of the New make sense together, and the imprisoned poor are pressured to plead guilty rather than risk failing to defend their innocence. In his world, “belief” in climate research can be dismissed as if it was an opposing system of faith. In his world, poison is sold back to us as a delicate cake, advertised for its medicinal properties. In his world, the future of our species depends on the colonisation of other planets. In his world, half of the Soviet Union’s entire output of radioactive waste is injected directly into the ground, as once reported in the New York Times, never to be mentioned again. It is a dizzying 50/50 of lies galore that continues to confound, frighten, disempower… and ensure our continued compliance.
Meanwhile, creation is Female, through and through. She spirals on inexorably, giving birth to dizzying new versions of herself. She carves penises straight out of her own female flesh. She, All Female, relegates a portion of herself to serve as male in order to support her in creating further life. At the end of the day, the sovereignty of maleness is an illusion. In essence and in origin, we are all entirely Female.
“Creation is Female, through and through. She spirals on inexorably, giving birth to dizzying new versions of herself” – Anohni
Yet trapped in a schism in which he imagines himself to be forever separate from the Femaleness that bore him, “mankind” dreams of appropriating his mother’s magical power in a demented, last-minute land grab. Our hero/baby attempts to assume authorship of this world. But creating life was never his forte. That was not the power that Mother gave him. Like an animal thrashing in a trap, his every advance entrenches him more deeply in his new role as bringer of death. Even his most alienated swerve balls are the fodder of her creative initiative; his thoughts and impulses cannot exist outside the realm of Her Creation.
His role as death-bringer is another part of Her diabolical and glorious potential: to wipe clean the fields when She must; to empty the ocean of all Her beautiful, hard-won babies; to flush the flotsam from Her system in preparation for something altogether new – Her next children, unimaginable to us. She is already using us like jiggly idiots, doing her busywork in our laboratories, paving the way for our replacements, all the while fantasising that the apocalypse we are facilitating might be our ticket to escape from Her clutches, imagining that we might at last be beamed out of this accursed eternity and returned to the piecing hygiene of our father’s mind... that special place where a mean man waits for us in a pile of forgiving feathers, in an imaginary spiritual realm behind the curtain of manifestation.
My senses tell me that there is no such curtain. I suspect it is wo-manifestation, through and through, and it always has been, whether it’s a suckhole of lonely doom in a distant galaxy or a glistening green paradise filled with the most gentle uncurling ferns. It’s a feminine universe, and every person who has ever tried to convince you otherwise is doing little more than pounding on his mother’s breast, enraged by the predicament he faces as a leaf, dangling from the tree of life.
I would like to suggest that the construction in our collective imagination of an “un”-place, conceived as a binary opposite of the world that we sense – that un-manifest world, or “heaven”, that tragic oasis of relief from potentially endless kaleidoscopic experience – is just that: a construct. There may be no backside to creation, no point when Femaleness stops being and finally submits, contained at last within a male god’s mind.
Women are women, and so are men, and the delusion that we are spiritually separate from or are about to spiritually separate from the rest of existence is a psychosis that spins us into virulence. The short life of a virus, although natural enough, is a dismal prescription that will never bring us happiness or enduring joy. In fact, it will only bring us more addiction, misery and death.
“Women are women, and so are men, and the delusion that we are spiritually separate from or are about to spiritually separate from the rest of existence is a psychosis that spins us into virulence” – Anohni
Like marauding zombies, we are taking the turn of least resistance at that crossroads of choice. Shouldn’t we try to put our collective minds together for a minute and at least truly punctuate our decision on this issue, being that it is the gravest decision our species will ever make? The man-made apocalypse we are facing was not written in the stars; it is a notion that grew like mould from the texts of a few frustrated, feather-wielding monks.
We may be here forever in some form or other, whether as a gentle mammal, a seed, a strain of influenza, or simply as a pocket of darkness. Perhaps it is our horror at the thought of this looming existential reality that compels us to torture, drain and enslave the earth, in an effort to diminish Her tempestuous, tender, oozing, explosive, scarily patient Nature. RESTORE THE FEMALE ARCHETYPE AS CENTRAL TO CREATION, and not because it is Hillary Clinton’s turn for a donkey ride, but because unless we repair the belief systems that are at the root of our collective desire to die, we will soon reach our climax.
The Earth doesn’t mourn her loss; she just loses. In time she will imagine another world for us to explore. But the lives that we are designing for ourselves now, like those of so many billions of factory-farmed chickens, will likely be much less beautiful and less merciful than the fading memories of Nature’s cradle, once reserved so lovingly for us.
FUTURE FEMINISM is taking place in ‘O’ Space in Aarhus, Denmark. until September 3, 2017.