PLUGGING THE PATRIARCHY SPILL!
The BP Oil Spill has been devastating the Gulf of Mexico for over 60 days. The catastrophic man made disaster has unleashed unthinkable pain upon the residents of the Gulf Coast as well as the precious ecosystems of the Gulf. There are many important lessons to be learned from the BP Oil Spill and many deep conversations need to be had, but one of the most important lessons from the BP Oil Spill I have taken from the disaster is how closely it resembles and relates to a different kind of spill, The Patriarchy Spill.
Patriarchy according to the great feminist scholar bell hooks, “Is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially women, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence.”
Now Imagine if you will that the millions of barrels of oils spilling into the Gulf is the system of patriarchy. Imagine that the millions of barrels of oil destroying lives and wild life in the Gulf Coast was patriarchy destroying the lives of women, children, and men all over the world. Imagine that the many warnings against deep water off shore drilling and the many justifications made for it, were the voices of feminist all over the world challenging patriarchy and the insistence by those in power that patriarchy is the best way for the world to be organized. Imagine that our insatiable appetites for oil represented so many of our allegiance to patriarchy despite the many adverse affects of the system.
Feminist and other progressives have pointed out for years that patriarch poisons humanity and is the source of much human suffering. Like the scientist and thinkers who warn about our reliance on oil and its harmful affects which lead to global warming. But feminist who challenge and critique patriarchy, and dream of a new reality where respect for both genders is the way of life, are met with the same resistance as those like Al Gore who are seen as progressive conspiracy theorist trying to whip everyone into a frenzy over nothing.
There are so many parallels between the BP Oil Spill and devastating consequences of patriarchy that it kind of scares me. As long as we continue to support the reckless pursuit of profits at all costs we will continue to see many more BP Oil Spills and in a similar vain as long as we continue to support the system of patriarchy the lives of women, children, and men will continue to be devastated.
11 lives were lost when the Deepwater Horizon oil rill exploded in the gulf and my thoughts go out to the families of those men who died. Our allegiance to patriarchy continues to lead to the deaths of women, children, and men all the world. The notion that a man must be violent in order to be powerful underlies so much of the violence that takes place in our society.
We have a chance to learn from the lessons of the BP Oil Spill and think of new ways to approach our energy needs. We also have a chance to challenge and change the system of patriarchy and conceive of a way of life not based on patriarchy.
This is what patriarchy looks like!