hierarchy of violence

  • 16 Year Old Me: Why are people poor? There's enough food and shelter for everybody.
  • Conservative Parents: You're too young to understand. Go to college.
  • Goes to college. Acquires bachelors in political science. Reads books and essays for a decade on structural poverty: Turns out poverty is a man-made creation structured to maintain a hierarchy of power. Vast majorities of people have little to nothing because the top of the capitalist hierarchy deploys state violence to horde wealth.
  • Conservative Parents: Bla bla bla, liberal commie-talk. A college degree don't make you smarter.
  • Me: Liberals and communists aren't the same thing.
NYT: Opinion | Black Lives Matter Is Democracy in Action
A decentralized movement can be effective, even without a Martin Luther King Jr.
By Barbara Ransby

The interesting thing about today’s protest movements is how they’re attempting to subvert the idea of centralization and hierarchy. 

Yes, there are those who do the organizing, but there aren’t leaders like Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, Jr because there aren’t supposed to be. BLM is democracy in action, showcasing the power of the individual within the protest movement. This is why BLM has had such lasting power, and why they’ll have lasting power years and decades into the future.

it terrifies me that so many young people are being told that violence & hierarchy are necessary for passion & intimacy, and that “aftercare” will fulfil their need for comfort & security.  sex can do that!!  sex doesn’t have to terrorize you so that aftercare can comfort you.  sexual intimacy can (should) be an enjoyable experience, not The Gauntlet you have to run before cuddling

never forget: violence is supposed to flow downhill, that is from people with more power to those with less. If it happens that way, it is normalised, naturalised and excused. If it flows uphill however! Outrage! Underlings aren’t supposed to fight back! Can’t happen! It’s either invisibilised or scandalised and treated as justification for even more violence being unleashed downhill.

I wish people wouldn’t describe radical feminism as an ideology that’s all about opposing transgender ideology. Because the trans issue is actually so peripheral to feminism in general, and the notion of transgenderism as an identity is only like thirty years old. (And yes, I know that the concept of transsexuality dates back farther than that, but the modern concept of transgenderism is really extremely recent, and only came about because of the degree to which neoliberalism has reduced all political analysis to analyses of individual, personal, chosen identity.)

Radical feminism is feminism. Radical feminism is about liberating females from patriarchy, a hierarchy created and enforced by violence which is used to extract labour and resources from women and give them to men. The logic of patriarchy is than applied to other forms of oppression, just the social construction of race, because racism justifies slavery and colonialism, but it’s really the same logic at heart: I’m me, you’re you, I am stronger and more violent and I will take what I want by force. Racism is real and harmful, and fundamentally, about theft of labour and resources. So is misogyny. Both of these things share their roots in patriarchy.

Radical feminism is about not falling for the hierarchy-justifying traps that liberals fall into (”But some women enjoy make-up!” or the no-longer-in-vogue “But women are too weak to take care of themselves!” or “But children need fathers as male role models, even if their fathers are abusive!”).  Radical feminism says FUCK ALL OF THIS BULLSHIT, IT’S ALL A LIE.

The radical critique of transgender theory is only a tiny portion of radical feminsim and should not be used as a way to describe the purpose of this ideology. I’m pretty fucking sure the suffragettes didn’t spend their time literally hiding from the police and having their children taken away and being raped and beaten because they were talking shit about non-binary people. Radical feminism is the only true feminism and it’s about liberation, not “representation,” not “diversity,” and certainly not about “trans exclusion.”

Blake Brockington’s death was NOT a suicide, it was a murder. He was killed by Trans-bigotry, White Supremacy and the oppressive state violence that we encounter DAILY as Black trans and gender non-conforming people.

If we truly believe ALL #BlackLivesMatter we must fight against depression, we must fight against isolation, we must heal from trauma, and we must be committed to each other, and we must fight to create a world where we want to LIVE, and we must reclaim our right to take up space in a world where we are deemed unworthy, undesirable, and disposable.

Each day we are fighting against a mental, spiritual, and physical death.

Audre Lorde taught the world that, “There is No Hierarchy of Oppression” and I’m saying, There is No Hierarchy of Violence. Whether we die at the hands of the police or oppression and state-induced suicide, we must address all violence and death with the URGENCY OF NOW!

bdsm practitioners who criticise “50 shades of grey” for being a harmful, inaccurate description of their lifestyle are such hypocrites.  when bdsm practitioners are criticised for fetishising abuse, hierarchy, & violence, their response is “it’s just fantasy!  it’s just play-acting!  it stays in the bedroom!”  but isn’t a film just play-acting?  isn’t it fantasy?  couldn’t it conceivably stay in the theatre?

but that’s transparently untrue, right?  the media we consume impacts us - our understanding of self, our relationships with others, our judgement of what’s normal, acceptable, or healthy, etc.  it’s not “just fantasy”.  and the same goes for our intimate relationships.  if it’s wrong to romanticise & glamourise simulated abuse on screen, it’s wrong to romanticise & glamourise simulated abuse in our personal relationships.

“The rich may have lots of pieces of green paper that many pretend are worth something—or their presumed riches may be even more abstract: numbers on hard drives at banks—and the poor may not. These “rich” claim they own land, and the “poor” are often denied the right to make that same claim. A primary purpose of the police is to enforce the delusions of those with lots of pieces of green paper. Those without the green papers generally buy into these delusions almost as quickly and completely as those with. These delusions carry with them extreme consequences in the real world.”

–Derrick Jensen

Empowerment lies not in adjusting to patriarchal gender norms for women but in destroying them. It’s choosing collective liberation over the feelings of individuals. It’s fighting and striving to free women from everything based in the gender hierarchy, in male violence, in female subordination and objectification. Empowerment is not what feels good for you but what does good for women as a class.

She also sent me a message on chat ending with “ I believe in co-existing, just like our prophet co-existed.”

Yeah because i’m sure mohammed would definitely approve of my atheist, liberal pansexual ass. And i’m sure he’d appreciate my views on male hierarchies, child marriage, violence and sexism in islam.

whiskeyii  asked:

I see this scenario pop up a lot in YA lit, so I'm just curious how valid it is: a competent fighter pretends to be grossly incompetent in order to lure their opponent into a false sense of security, only to curb stomp them into the pavement. My question is, wouldn't your own movements give you away? Someone who knows what they're doing doesn't waste as much motion or energy as bona fide newbies, right? What about muscle memory reactions?

It is a thing. The way it gets presented in YA? Not so much, no. It’s actually very difficult to do. There are two different scenarios with very different meanings that these authors might be pulling from:

1) Wuxia films, and in some Anime, where it’s a matter of principle. The protagonist doesn’t consider the fight to be worth their time or the combatants are so far beneath them that they cannot actually hurt them. Their understanding of martial arts allows them to be in a more enlightened state. You should not be beating up anyone who is weaker or less than you. (This is not a matter of reality, but more philosophical in bent. It’s also a very basic explanation of a very complicated cultural hierarchy and philosophy about violence and the appropriate use thereof.) In this case, they are choosing not to engage as a part of their ideology, because they have nothing to prove, and it is only after they’ve been put into real danger that they turn around and act.

It’s the sort of outlook that makes the more pragmatic martial artists crawl up inside their own skulls, but it exists in real world martial arts. It’s also vastly more complicated in terms of spirituality, cultural context, philosophy, and responsibility than a single paragraph can sum up. The same can be said for the use of the trope in cinema, and where it often fails in Western media.

There is a difference though between:

“This is not worth my time.”


“If we fight, I will most likely kill you. So, let’s save ourselves a headache and not fight.”


“I will recklessly risk my safety for some kind of small advantage that I didn’t need anyway.”

2) The sequence comes out of a lot of spy fiction, the trick there is that they’re usually pretending to be something that they’re not and they also allow themselves to actually be beaten.

I mean beaten into the gutter beaten. Beaten so hard you’re bleeding out on the sidewalk beaten. Beaten that it took your special skills to preserve yourself without them knowing while they were kicking your stomach in.

Beaten within an inch of your life, spitting out blood and maybe a few teeth. You’ll be spending the next three months dealing with fractured ribs, a broken collarbone, and you’re flat out lucky they didn’t rupture something vital.

Annihilated. Eviscerated. Done.

So done that you’re not even in their hemisphere anymore, you don’t even exist in the same galaxy. Because that’s the point, you don’t want them to think about you anymore. You’re not any more of a threat to them than the janitor they spit on while walking to work or the store owner they shake down every weekend.

You’re invisible.

You can go where you want, within reason.

When it’s part of establishing a cover, then it is a real-ish thing. It is also a very dangerous thing. It is a gamble. It is risk. You’re risking your life, you’re risking them noticing that something is up, your betting big on your ability to play your cards and throw the fight well enough that they don’t notice anything. You can’t just do it, you have to do it well. You have to try, but not too hard. You have to get your hits in, you’ve got to make them mad, you’ve got to press them to the point where they’re willing to kill you, so that when they finish beating you into the pavement they feel damn good about it.

You’ve got to make them work for it and let then let them establish their own sense of superiority, both without dying in the process and not giving away that you’re letting them win. This is like watching someone try to throw a chess match. If they just stop playing in the middle of the game, you know something is up. And in the end, when you’re life is in their hands, all you can do is hope that they don’t kill you or blow your cover and actually play it straight to save your life.

Throwing a fight in this way is a con. The YA novels that I think you’re talking about, they’re not doing that. In their case, it’s just a cheap way to establish drama/tension with a character who is already overpowered.

“I’m so good I don’t even have to try.”

9/10 when you see the scenario presented in this way, the author has usually bought into their own bullshit about their character or the character’s bullshit about themselves. They’re not facing real opposition, so they have to pretend they are for things to even approach being interesting. The author has already decided the victor, one character has already claimed victory, and there’s not much point to watching the fight play out on the page because we know who the winner is.

They’re being dragged along by the plot. The writer is trying to make it interesting. Their pet will never be ground into the dirt the way they probably deserve by someone better because there is no one who can stand against them. There is no tension.

“Gosh! They might be tough! Maybe I can lure them into a false sense of security.”

Combat training informs the way we move, it informs how we think, it’s there in everything we do. Someone who excels? You can see it. It’s in their attitude. It’s in the way they walk into a room. It’s there as they survey an area. When they’re looking at you, you can feel the confidence roll off them. Go look at someone like Ronda Rousey, watch videos with cops, or check out videos posted by soldiers in the Marine Corps. You’ll see it, even in the ones who aren’t that good. You can feel it. There’s something different about them, even if you can’t quite figure out what it is when they’re wandering about in plainclothes. You get a similar feeling off of athletes too. A sense of self-ownership, confidence, and it takes more than just ducking your head and playing the fool to throw someone off. Especially someone who knows what they’re looking for.

The better they are, the more it’s there. The ones good at hiding it are the ones who’ve trained themselves to be changeable, to hide. This is why I brought up spy fiction.

“What even is an advantage?”

A lot of YA novels shortchange their villains. They do more than handicap them, they bind them by their hands and feet, weight them, and toss them into a lake. They move when the plot says and sit when it doesn’t. They notice what the plot wants them to notice, and they let slide what’s the hero needs to pass. They rarely behave like people and when they have to be bad to prove how bad they are, it happens to someone else. This provides the protagonist with their time for self-angst and other personal issues that the plot would rather focus on.

No one is setting fire to trees or fouling the water supply with a few good corpses. No one is breaking arms. No one is getting shot by their teachers. No one is just getting shoved off a cliff and down a raging waterfall because, well, they failed.

Do you wonder if the villains of this story could beat these protagonists? Do you wonder if the hero can pull it off when you’re reading these scenarios? Or is it just “of course”. That’s the plot device.

It doesn’t take into account anyone’s thought process but the protagonist’s. It will work because they decided it would and no effort is made, really, on the part of the author because they don’t really know what failing looks like.

Except failing in fighting means you get hurt. It means you take hits. It means you die. They must overcome more pain, misery, and injury from wounds they could’ve avoided if they just took this shit seriously.

Why was this a good idea again?

3) The last one is that they might have taken a joke too seriously.

“What do you mean? I’m just luring him into a false sense of security.”

The witty comeback a protagonist makes to save their pride when the other guy actually has them on the ropes and they win by sheer luck or because someone else cheated. It’s very common in Han Solo types.

It… doesn’t really work when you play it straight. Then, someone is just being a dick and it starts to transcend into cruelty. Basically, when you play it straight then the villain can’t hurt the hero and the hero is just playing with their still living food. It’s a fucked up thing to do.


White men, who more than any other group have dominated the planet, have need of a history that does not lie to them about the abuses of white male power, the terrible skewing of behavior and psychic life in a society dominated by a single-sex, racist, and profit perspective. White men need a history that does not simply ‘include’ peoples of color and white women, but shows the process by which the arrogance of hierarchy and the celebration of violence have reached a point of destructiveness almost out of control. In other words, white men need to start questioning the text handed down from father to son, the dominator’s version.

Adrienne Rich

“Resisting Amnesia”


The lack of remorse, empathy, and/or the willingness to change among police officers is better grasped when we understand that the power afforded through policing inevitably leads to the mentality of an abuser. And, as has been the individual and collective history of abusers, they never change unless they are forced to change. Lundy Bancroft put it best:

“An abuser doesn’t change because he feels guilty or gets sober or finds God. He doesn’t change after seeing the fear in his children’s eyes or feeling them drift away from him. It doesn’t suddenly dawn on him that his partner deserves better treatment. Because of his self-focus, combined with the many rewards he gets from controlling you, an abuser changes only when he has to, so the most important element in creating a context for change in an abuser is placing him in a situation where he has no other choice. Otherwise, it is highly unlikely that he will ever change his behavior.”

Transposed onto the institution of policing and its officers, Darren Wilson felt no remorse for slaying Michael Brown. It did not suddenly dawn on Daniel Pantaleo that Eric Garner might deserve better treatment than being choked to death on a Staten Island sidewalk. Because of policing’s self-focus on the preservation of a world where cops gain power from controlling other people, they will only change when they have to, so the most important element in creating a context for change of any kind, whether reforms or abolition, is placing policing itself in a situation where the institution of it and its officers have no choice.