For some people playing by the rules gets you precisely nowhere. You are taught, these are the rules, these are the moral boundaries, don’t be a nuisance to other people, get an education, work hard and everything will turn out right. But this formula is wrong. It is not the key to success because it omits a crucial element – the hostility of other people.
I can only write this from my own perspective, my own experience as a working class white woman. I have experience enough to know that most and all and then some of what I have experienced is also the experience for black people and ethnic women . The common ground is a kind of caste system being applied to all of us which is next to impossible to escape.
You might not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. Just because you have been raised to respect others and treat others equally, to be honest and not cheat, does not guarantee that those around you are operating on the same principles. Why should a man respect the honour of a woman lower status to himself when that gets in the way of him having sex? Why should a middle class man or woman treat a working class woman on the basis of her work and education when doing so means she might compete them out of a job or a promotion? Some prejudice is just simple minded bigotry. Sometimes it is just human nature. It is more convenient to get rid of the competition rather than compete with it.
Playing by the rules often means your qualifications are ignored, you are expected to work harder than anyone else on the lowest rank for the lowest pay, often with contempt and you will never get promoted whatever you do. Your lowly ambition to just get off the bottom rung threatens everyone on the rungs above. It is in everybody’s interests to keep you where you are. In addition being a woman is a huge incentive to all those males in society who see you as a money-making opportunity for them. Criminals are greedy, lazy, immoral, opportunist egotists and you, their “inferior” by the situation of being female are a potential gold mine.
So there you are. Starting out in life from a good background with good parents who have done all they can to teach you the right way to live and how to get on in society. But they didn’t tell you professional advancement is not walking up steps, but scaling a wall topped with barbed wire and watchtowers with sentries with floodlights. They didn’t tell you that many of the predators and parasites in society have got you at the top of their list of fair game. And the establishment protects them but couldn’t care less about you. And nobody will help. Nobody will even admit that there is a problem. After all, it is not a problem for them. That not being prejudiced against others provides no defence against their prejudice against you . And not being paranoid is no guarantee that they will not come after you .
All women know that being a woman causes problems that men don’t have. You have extra problems, extra vulnerabilities and extra obstacles to overcome to achieve your objectives. But if my experience is anything to go by, getting an education, and working harder is counter productive. The more you try to get ahead the more power is exercised against you to push you back, and the same social forces that do not allow you to increase your status whatever you do, are unrelenting in working to push you down further .
When I was young I viewed young radicals with bemusement. I really didn ‘t understand. I thought they were wrong.
I was wrong.
If you belong to certain classes of people society’s rules don’t work. You will never get credit for your education or respect for your character or work . You are not on the bottom rung of the ladder from where you can climb higher. You are not on the ladder at all. All that will be offered to you is slave work for slave pay and conditions and slave contempt. If you have children their destiny is the same and you have produced a hostage and a slave driver.
What can you do when society decides to become your enemy?
At the very least withdraw support from all your oppressors. Withdraw respect.
PUT YOURSELF FIRST
Have nothing worth taking and defend it like Fort Knox. And as a woman never forget that there are sexual predators among the men and you have not been equipped with a reliable tool to determine who the predators are. If you trust any of them, you are gambling and the cost of losing can be high. Nine times out of ten the risk is not worth taking.
If you are a woman cultivate distrust of your sexual and reproductive instincts. They are your enemy. . They have been designed for the good of the race, not your well-being. They will probably betray you. Women who have followed their instincts have ended up dead , very physically damaged, abused and enslaved. Face facts. Your feelings lie. If you are aware of this, but cannot get the monkey off your back, some women find hormonal contraception quells their sex and broody drive. Depo-provera correctly taken will guarantee no “accidental” pregnancies . Depo-provera prevents ovulation, so nothing is being killed.
Don’t knock yourself out, it will get you nowhere . Anything you have of value, and that includes personal qualities there are people eager to take it from you . It is safer to not have anything of value for anyone else to exploit . Become suspicious. Most people you meet will only be there to exploit you. Become self-sufficient in every way possible, including emotionally. But avoid becoming excellent at anything as that will make you a target for exploitation. Be alert to others damaging your interests, and if they are more socially powerful look for ways you can weaken them. Your experience is other people’s strength will be used against you. Learn from their methods and play them back. Identify your enemy, the people who are a danger and detriment to you . You have been put into a situation where you cannot win. So change the game. The objective is to make those who won ‘t allow you to win, to lose. There is satisfaction in that .