Open Letter to Depressed Women

I imagine you crying out, convulsing with revulsion as all the things driving you to madness in your life surround you, perhaps not realizing you are not the crazy party, even if you feel crazy, lost, trapped, stuck, hopelessly overwhelmed with no way out. It is hard not to feel more than a little crazed when masters of policy and technology have it all backwards, any sensible view being ignored or ridiculed in favor of male propensities to contend for dominance. The basis of that paradigm is this drive to subordinate, so everything derived, directly or indirectly, from that is corrupted at its source. The list is unimaginable in length and horrors. For instance, might makes right, rape, battering, sexual harassment, intimidation, manipulation, bullying, winning, cruelty, hierarchy, cutthroat competition, cutting corners, plundering nature, toxic dumping, mixing up genetic structure for profit, war, conquest, colonization, occupation, arms race, superpower, doomsday weaponry, poverty, proselytizing, political, psychological, and economic models, Constitution recognizing rights only of white men, not even most of those getting to vote for decades… The rot is endless, so it is not alarming that you sense things are amiss; they are, and not because of anything deficient in you. That is a reversal scam, wool pulled over your eyes, that the problem is how you look at things, or biochemical imbalance. It is to your credit that you sense things are amiss, deeper than stock markets crashing, so your problems cannot be all your fault. Living in such a messed up world has to bring out charged up reactions, of depression, madness, going numb, or fury. It infuriates me anew beyond belief, to look at fresh examples of this madness every day, that trend showing no sign of reversing, even if Obama does get some things done by working with amenable Republicans. He seems anxious to reach out to them, despite drawing protests from dismayed supporters who expected better than another betrayal from a big talker politician, this time.

The world is effectively mad, upside down, its collective mind twisted into a pretzel by any sensible or rational standard, the worst schemes of the rich and powerful creating chaos as their bubbles of recklessness unravel. Even what men call knowledge is skewed by their basic premises, but fundamental to their learned thought patterns is this drive to subordinate, serving to prop up and escalate theories and practices like hierarchical models, hero worship, violence. One can say men compete to control everything, often with the worst of intentions or tools. Under another model one could say people can work with each other and resources provided by a generous but finite planet to make quality balanced relationships, products, services, instead of competing to control, dominate, master others, show who is boss in a society hierarchical in just about every way conceivable. Why is one group better than another? Sex? Sexuality? Ancestry? The only possible means to make such a comparison make sense is on the basis of proficiency in each ability possible to humans, in other words specific rather than general, since by differences readily apparent by appearances, those comparisons will trade off. Subordination of inferior groups is all twisted delusion maintained for benefit of men in power, a conflation of personal or cultural pride with being better or entitled. Pride does not require feeling better than others, a different kind of pride than feelings of superiority and entitlement associated with hierarchical models.

Convention allows males to look at females as sex objects, since females are different, the Other devalued to prop up male ego. Leave it to man to invent ideological violence. Other animals fight over territory, but man had to expand the territory of battle to beliefs, invent slavery and Inquisitions, turn war into a sinister art demanding ever more money and death. In some parts of the world, I might be killed for expressing my opinions, while in others people send death threats, or lean on me to tone it down. Times are bad, enough for pornography bigshots to stage a publicity stunt applying for a bailout, another maneuver to add insult to injury they must trot out. They are almost accepted as part of mainstream media, so why not? While men feel entitled to devalue women into sex objects, one group can justify devaluing another into slavery or other forms of second classhood. The default to see men as the norm, those who matter, head the household, must be taken seriously, is arbitrary, deliberately set up that way and maintained to keep the clique of the powerful, mostly men, in power, subordinate men contented with power over women. Feminism threatens to disrupt all that, so it is roundly reviled as anything but what it is, women taking power, which would ultimately bring radical change, at least in the way the culture sees and values women and power, since feminist power is not hierarchical or about vengeance or subordinating anybody. There is far more diversity in feminism than the media presents, as if it is divided between Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin camps, or man-hating and pornography is so liberating camps. Radical women are visionary, going to the root of matters, not necessarily extreme, leftist, or lesbian.

The degree and forms of social madness vary, but the trend looks bad. It gets to the point the public relations people do not seem to care how unbelievable their spin is, they expect people to buy it. Why live in such a mad world, where people look down on you, want to abuse, devalue, or ignore you? Any hope of meaningful change seems a forlorn futile pipedream, not going to happen in your lifetime? Rebels try to organize, but are splintered into myriads of narrow focus groups that cannot agree on anything?

It can all seem hopeless, mocking you when hope itself is made into a campaign slogan, and Obama slogans into commercial advertising. Are there ample reasons to suspect Obama of selling out his principles to big money? His marketing program has kept these murmurs mostly off the map of mainstream media, otherwise it would be dealing with President McCain? Life can seem intolerable at times, yet is resilient enough to recover from most insults. Life cannot seem such a wonderful thing if you are having a miserable time with a job you cannot abide, or someone determined to make your life miserable, whether your boss, coworker, relationship, stalker, or your own compulsion. You do not deserve this. Blaming or taking it out on yourself is tantamount to conceding they win, you are too miserable to fight back. However implausible it may seem, a supportive friend or group could help you find a way to fight back. Usually there are ways, at least to work toward a better life, though finding one and making good use of it can seem farfetched, since the cold cruel world at large is so unsupportive.

The world will have to clean up its act more than most people can imagine if there is to be any chance of reversing course before too late to avert major ecological collapse. It could happen before humanity is forced awake by any number of possible disasters awaiting business as usual. It is hard to contemplate living under predictable scenarios, but people do have choices, and having their backs against the wall could bring out the worst in people, or the best. It is hard to see the point in living, if the future is so bleak. Yet there are better ways, and to work for any kind of change is a reason to live. To work for radical change that would deal with this predicament in a practical, realistic way is a reason to live. That may sound utopian, but it is clever but ironic artifice to call what can actually work utopian, when what is supposed to work according to conventional wisdom caused and is compounding the problems.

People will squawk, what a pipedream, yet this is to say there is no way better for visionary women to find than bailing out the scam artists? That goes for more than the financial mess. Scam artists have pulled the wool over our eyes in every way they could imagine. Nothing is left untouched, not science, medicine, psychology, religion, tradition, what one learned to believe. It all goes back to fundamental beliefs, based on fundamentally flawed presumptions on reality, twisting it to maximize hierarchy. Think about what the opposite would mean, if hierarchy had no value. This is closer to reality. There should be no hierarchy for its own sake. There is no need to overvalue necessary evils. The founding document, the Declaration of Independence, of USA says governments are instituted to secure rights,

deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

It seems government has taken it upon itself to stretch another phrase,

organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness

If that last their refers to well off white men, the voters allowed under the original Constitution, there is our system, though it has revealed some heavy cracks lately, so very few powers that be are feeling so safe, smug, and happy at the moment. The Obama bubble might fix that for awhile, but look out below.

It may seem all so hopeless, so beyond any hope of repair, at least on the level of your own life. A woman needs a room of her own, and she needs support as well. When I was young women had a widespread support group movement, of small mostly disorganized groups of women throwing thoughts and feelings out for discussion, finding out how similar some of our issues with men were. Those groups were known as CR groups, for consciousness raising, before New Age and postmodern movements came along to recast consciousness into a ghost of what it meant. If that movement had been able to network as easily as is possible today, it could have turned political reality on its head, because feminist political awareness is powerful, potentially enough to endanger the powers that be. Those groups also helped women work out ways of dealing with our problems that seemed too personal, just your own problems, but other women could empathize, realizing political implications. Most problems are manufactured as consequences of wrongheaded assumptions of prevalent psychological and economic models. These assumptions only make sense if one believes in them, so men run the world, into the ground. That cannot last forever, but the sooner women realize how to turn things around, the better. It is all about networking, to communicate about gripes and figure out practical real life solutions. Eventually enough women will be emboldened to speak out, to express in all our creativity, wisdom, and power, to sweep enough of the rascals out of office to try something really new.

It could also help to try writing out your pain into a blog, or journal. A blog can be private so only friends can see it. If you make it public and allow comments, you might have to censor a few losers who feel like harassing you, but you might find someone who empathizes with you, can relate to what going through your battle is like. Another way is to join a moderated forum at an online support network. There is nothing like a supportive friend to help you ground, get your bearings, find a way out of the maze. The Free Soil Party is sponsoring a Depressed Women Network where women can rant and rave freely in forums carefully moderated to keep the atmosphere safe for that purpose. One section is visible to the public, others more private, some for venting only, others for discussion of issues. I imagine what depresses most depressed women is not unrelated to what infuriates me. This is not in our imagination. Women have reasons not to believe men know what they are doing, with women or anything else in this world of, by, and for men, throwing a few crumbs our way to placate our fury. We cannot agree on what to do about it, but that need not keep us feeling so alone and powerless. This is a political issue for Free Soil, the system built to keep women down, nothing new, but still depressing, infuriating, and under challenge. You can help fight the system by venting. Despite what you learned to believe, do not downplay what you contribute to the world. It is a political issue that depressed and angry women have so little support, our feelings ridiculed or dismissed as our fault, best pacified with drugs. Better to join a feminist revolution, or vent among friends. Repressing your feelings only hurts you, keeps the wounds festering. The drugs only make you numb, apathetic, docile. Your feelings are important. Venting them might help you and others more than you can imagine. You can fight back. You do not have to settle for blaming yourself, or drugging your life away. Most doctors are part of the system, not on your side, telling you how you need to adapt to society, get with the program. To some extent we must all make deals to survive, but Martin Luther King said in The Power of Non-Violence over fifty years ago

God grant that we will be so maladjusted that we will be able to go out and change our world and our civilization.

Think about that the next time you are told how you need to adapt or adjust to society. Society needs to adapt and adjust to women taking power. In the meantime, business goes on as usual, which is oppressive and depressing, but there are many ways to contribute to the struggle. This may seem remote, but so many women seethe inside that you might find some empathy or answers, if you venture to vent. Think on your depression as a reasonable reaction to such a messed up world. If you understand it is not your fault, you can help fight the oppression that is depressing you. To truth, healing, discovery, a way out of all the poison illusions!

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