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He confirms the low quality of his genetics to her hindbrain. See my essay on Alpha Widows for more about this. A woman in a good Hypergamous pairing accepts — desires — his authority, but also his genes. This then is signified codified? Even in ostensibly egalitarian marriages the kids generally retain the name of the male who fathered them unless single-mom throws useful step-dad a bone and the kids change their name to his. Human beings are innately tribalistic sorry Jordan. This tribalism is expressed in Selective Breeding practices extending from the personal to the social.

In , and in the reproductive aftermath of the Sexual Revolution, these tribal distinctions are now left to women to determine in a confusing global sexual marketplace. Or the noble Promise Keeper son and holy protector of his single mom and by extension all of womankind who changes his last name to something else. But why? Why bother to go to that trouble if names are unimportant? She can continue searching indefinitely. The social conventions established by the Feminine Imperative convinces women that their sexual market value SMV is unending and imperishable.

Women have various psychological and sociological mechanisms in place to help them rationalize this settling on a Beta in Waiting. This is a fundamental understanding for Red Pill awareness. She probably sees you as a Beta. Is she breaking her rules, the rules she believes she needs to follow in her new Epiphany phase of life, in order to get into situations where she can facilitate sex with you?

Is she putting off responsibilities in order to enjoy herself with you?

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She probably sees you as Alpha. This rule-setting or breaking is a basic litmus test for genuine desire. Because she needs to set rules, because it seems like logic to refuse his surname another rule and because he accepts these rules — even encourages them in himself and other men — his status is confirmed as a Beta. Only a Beta would need rules. Only a Beta would comply with those rules. I should add that this is the basis of all transactional relationships.

Jump through hoop obey rule , get sex. An Alpha, by nature, would have options to replace a woman who made rules for him. There are lots of controversial self-help books published by women on both sides of this conflict. Thus, the conversation leads to varying degrees of compromise to outright self-delusions prompted by outside influences i. Plan B is a compromise. Refusing his last name is a compromise or hedging of her Hypergamous bets. Poly relationships are a compromise. Ideally women would love to give themselves to a worthy man. Today though, women wait too long.

Our young minds, boys and girls, lack the capacity for abstract thought. In fact, our brains continue to develop to their fullest potential right up to years of age. For millennia, adult men, fathers, mothers, the Village that is our larger social order, understood the need to place limitations on boys innate impulsiveness — usually for their own good. In the time of our old social contract teaching young men self-control and self-discipline was a means to self-mastery as an adult man. In the new social contract our gynocentric education system and socialization teaches boys discipline in the hopes that they will provide the security that women need.

And the way this is taught is by embedding a deep sense of shame and self-loathing of the male gender into ever-younger generations of future men. Mental Point of Origin is a constant theme in all of my literary work. I want to stress here that crushing any sense of self-priority or self-importance from boys and young men is the prime directive of a gynocentric education system.

In this episode I pointed out that men are taught to place womankind on a pedestal from an early age. This meta-pedestalization of the feminine begins when boys are taught self-abasement as part of self-control. Essentially, all control becomes for boys is reducing themselves while aggrandizing supporting girls and later women.

This is the main reason why wrapping your head around Mental Point of Origin is so difficult for men later in life. Their Blue Pill conditioning taught them to be servants as a means of proving their self-control. Since the Sexual Revolution our social order has done its damnedest to reverse gender roles — boys are taught to emulate the feminine, girls emulate the masculine. The Disney corporation has been the most active social agent in western culture in fomenting this reversal.

Every story across all genres follows the same plot; a repressed little girl would make an even better boy if not for these Patriarchal rules she must break from. The story of Mulan is a good example. The girl Mulan must impersonate a boy in order to prove herself as a masculine equal — and to get closer to the Alpha male she naturally wants to pair with. Our popular fiction today all follows a similar teaching; girls need to break away from self-control to be more empowered. The notion that little girls are ever taught to repress their natures is laughable in real life.

This old order idea of female repression is a favorite trope for the Fempowerment narrative. They have an entitlement to avoid consequence. The combination of having been raised to prioritize the concerns of women above his own interest, and the notion that doing so will make him a better romantic catch in the eyes of women who already feel entitled to him being a useful servant turns self-abasement into a form of Beta Game.

Why does a man get down on one knee to propose marriage to a woman? Surely this old social contract form of abasement was an expectation of men. Under the old social contract a man was presumed to be above a woman in status. The old intersexual hierarchy of love followed from the man to the woman and then later to the child ren. It was a natural, understood, dominance hierarchy prior to the Sexual Revolution. In all the old stories Disney has ever retold the presumption of this hierarchy defines the plot of the story.

Anything a woman might do just to please a man is abasement. It feels awkward, backwards. But it still looks weird. The man is supposed to initiate. The man is supposed display and she is supposed to choose. The man is supposed to abase himself, right? Male abasement is a sign of submission in an age that expected him to be an Alpha already.

There used to be a time when men were expected to be the masters of their lives. Certainly this achievement was motivated by finding a wife, but more so because of his innate sense of idealism. For all of this mastery the ideal man is expected to possess, the fantasy is that he must abase himself to her due to her uniqueness. The power of love is what he must defer to. Even today, in a post Sexual Revolution era, this chivalric ideal is still an unspoken expectation. That ideal is a superior man who abases himself to her, and only to her.

This is the Beauty and the Beast archetypal story. The fantasy ideal man is only beholden to her particular charms. Men conquer worlds, women conquer men. A few years ago I did a series of posts about the chivalric ideal. Essentially chivalry was feminism 1. Chivalry was a Male Space into which women inserted themselves via courtly love , assimilated the principles and rewrote the rules to better fit themselves.

Male sacrifice now extends to a man abasing himself for an entitled benefit of womankind. This is actually nothing new. One of these maligned concepts is the phenomenon of the Alpha Widow. Back then it was just a useful reference, but it quickly became such a predictable and confirmable phenomenon I thought it deserved more investigation. Only women are Hypergamous , and Hypergamy never seeks its own level — it is always seeking a better-than-merited exchange in SMV compared to her own. For more information on this concept read False Equivalencies. When a woman misses the opportunity to consolidate on a confirmed, high SMV sexual market value male that man becomes the new standard for what she believes she can attract as a potential mate.

As women have become more comfortable in embracing Open Hypergamy , amongst their girlfriends, on social media, they will readily debate this SMV metric of past boyfriends. The Alpha Widow dynamic is no secret among women. Please note that eligible implies an entitlement to a man who would be an ideal. The worst existential prospect for a woman is to have her mating strategy superseded and controlled by that of a suboptimal man.

When I talk about how a woman will make rules for Betas, but break rules for Alphas this is the root of that principle.

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When a woman has had this man — one for whom she has genuine, organic desire for — but she cannot consolidate on him i. This then is the basis of the Alpha Widow : A mental fixation on the man who made the most significant impact upon a woman as her Hypergamous ideal. Usually this male ideal is an actual man from her past with whom she had some sort of relationship with, but not always. Sometimes the fantasy of that ideal will make a mental impression and sometimes a brief, seemingly insignificant, encounter with an ideal man may be enough to imprint on her psyche.

This might be one-night sex, the one guy in the foam cannon party on spring break in her wilder college years, or even just a missed opportunity to fully develop a hoped-for connection at a social gathering. All that matters is that the guy, knowingly or not, instilled a sense of Hypergamous urgency that she just knew represented a prospect for consolidating on that ideal. This is fairly common among women who marry early in their Party Years.

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Most feel like they missed out on having made a good Hypergamous choice or had it made for them by circumstance or social pressures. That missed opportunity leads some women to be widowed from the fantasy of an Alpha who would have been a better choice. Thus, an ideal Alpha mental model is what she pines for.

An interest in romance literature is usually exaggerated in this type of widow. The formulaic stories are a form of vicarious fulfillment of an unrealized Hypergamous ideal. I should also add, this this widow, when married, is a prime demographic audience for divorce porn fantasies. This is the source of that unconscious pining. In it has never been easier for a woman to explore her reproductive options with an ever-increasing pool of potential Alphas from which to be widowed from.

We see this reflected in the age of first marriages getting older and older. And in the age of social media women take for granted that they can remain sexually viable if not indefinitely, then at least as long as a man would. This facility exacerbates the Alpha Widow effect. In fact, there are numerous industries that now thrive on exactly this. Ladies, will you ever find your soulmate?

Our Life-Coaching, our 12 step plan, our positivity training, our magic personality test will help you find him today. I should add here that the very concept of a soulmate began with women pining for their bygone ideal man. The Plan B mating strategy is another social convention that forgives women of the consequences of pursuing that Alpha ideal while concurrently holding on to her next best male option.

And lastly, the ongoing normalization of a female-initiated Polyandry is also a social convention predicated on allowing women to hedge their Hypergamous bets with respect to finding that Hypergamous ideal mate. For the most part these are attempts to straw man the phenomenon with no real interest in how anyone came to understanding the dynamic. Blue Pill conditioned White Knights in particular use this to build their own heroic narrative around women. Of course, not all women are victims of the Alpha they were widowed by.

These are Alpha Widows, not rape survivors. The misconception is that the woman being widowed was somehow traumatized by her former lover. The truth is that the more positive the experience was for her the more impactful the widowing is likely to be. The emotional despair some women feel over that Alpha is usually the result of having missed pairing in the long term with a better prospective man than the lesser man she settled on by necessity. Women in their Epiphany Phase will usually incorporate into it some narrative of their having been used by the Bad Boy Jerk who came before the Nice Guy Beta they found it necessary to settle on.

Women will often use this narrative as a failsafe to excuse their hesitancy to be as sexually available to the Beta as she was with the Alpha she was widowed from. Yes, it is entirely possible that despondent Incels may exaggerate the phenomenon of the Alpha Widow to rationalize their giving up on women. That said, I understand how it might be convenient to disqualify the concept based on the bitterness of the individual piecing together why his wife or girlfriend still seems to be having a relationship with her ex even if just in her head.

For the record, no, not all women turn into Alpha Widows. All women are Hypergamous, but buffers and learned self-control have historically been the checks and balances needed to protect against this Alpha Widow dynamic. The problem is that these buffers are popularly considered sexual repression of women today. Women simply wont police the worst aspects of their mating strategy and any interference, personal, political or social, that would prevent a woman from exercising her Hypergamous sexuality is viewed as misogynist, sexist repression.

Statistically women with more sexual partners have a higher incidence of divorce and find it more difficult to form healthy attachments in LTRs based on their partner count. Men do not appear to follow these stats or dynamics, why? Because men and women have different evolved mating strategies and priorities. Men, it appears, have a much easier time compartmentalizing the sex act and separating it from the emotional aspect women apply to sex.

Men found it necessary to breed quickly and then move out — ejaculate and evacuate. However, in a social order where Hypergamy is unbuffered women have more access to more men and have more opportunities to be imprinted by Alpha men while in their peak fertility years than in any other era before. Blue Pill married men have the hardest time accepting the idea that their wives may be Alpha Widows for a man that came before them. Thus, they turn it into a moral issue for those men or a personality flaw because it absolves their wives of their modern mating choices.

The legacy of the Blank Slate has been one of the most pivotal influences on understanding intersexual dynamics for over the last century. In fact, I would argue that the presumption that an egalitarian state between men and women is ideal is the foundational premise of a Blue Pill social order.

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This equalism my term is akin to a religious belief, albeit one most people are unaware they believe in. I first encountered this belief when I was in college. What we know as the Blank Slate, as a concept, evolved from the Enlightenment era idea of Tabula Rasa. Originally it was Aristotle who came coined the term, then it passed through the Stoics, then other notable minds of antiquity, but the root of what it has become today began in the Enlightenment era with John Locke.

From the time of the Enlightenment the concept of the Blank Slate has been embedded into our core cultural beliefs about human nature. It dovetails very nicely into the concept of freewill and it also satisfies the of hopefulness human beings need to combat the determinism that might lead to nihilism. People who hold a belief in the Blank Slate take it for granted to the point it becomes an ego-investment, and internalized thoroughly, it becomes the subconscious point from which people begin when it comes to understanding human nature.

In fact, as James Damore found firsthand, the Village forbids even the discussion of questioning the Blank Slate. The religion of the Blank Slate is also the state-approved religion, and this has implications in social realms that go well beyond intersexual dynamics. Today, Red Pill awareness in men is one of those challenges. The Blank Slate belief set is codependent on Social Constructionism. Blank Slate equalism would condition us to believe that our biology hardware is insignificant, our firmware is non-existent or inconsequential, and our programming social learning is the only thing that makes us what we are.

Against this backdrop, one of my research questions became: why did those generally understood as perpetrators of violence represent themselves as peacemakers in postwar El Salvador? To answer this question, I deployed activist research methods Gordon ; Hale , ; Speed b , which call for researchers to establish political alliances with historically marginalized and organized groups of people engaged in struggle.

They also call for research design, data collection, analysis, and dissemination of findings to be conducted collaboratively with research participants. Others invited their friends, including army veterans, to practice more egalitarian gender relations. However, these advances did not seek to transform the structures that sustain patriarchy. They exemplified what R. Patriarchal gender norms structured the physical and verbal space I occupied.

I entered the field thinking about strategies to develop shared objectives and political affinities with research participants. While ready to pursue the project of activist research, I underestimated what would emerge as a key methodological contradiction. In August , I returned to El Salvador to conduct my doctoral research. I met with Diego, an ex-guerrilla, and Roberto, an ex-army captain, at a Mister Donut fast-food joint in San Salvador. At their suggestion, we had planned to discuss their informal mentoring of relatives in youth gangs who were supporting the gang truce.

I described to Beto and Manuel the study I had conducted with veterans on their postwar practices of grassroots peacemaking. I noted my use of activist research methods, emphasizing their call for dialogue and political alignment. We ended the meeting to avoid confrontation. I felt a sense of accomplishment that these civil war veterans and gang members had agreed to participate in the study, yet I remained uncertain as to how I would actually conduct the research. Weeks later, Manuel called. I thanked him.

Having a longtime gang member offer to support my research was significant. Due to confrontations among youth gangs and between youth gangs and the state, gang members tend not to talk to outsiders and keep a tight lid on who gains access to gang-controlled territories. It opened a path for dialogue and exploration of a potential political alliance through the research itself.

Once I was positioned as an ally, gang members had honest conversations with me about their family lives, the state violence they faced, and their desires for a better future. To impress me as a young woman, they shared stories about outfoxing the police, but they also had patriarchal gender expectations. Months later, a gang member told me he wanted a romantic relationship with me. The clear implication was that romantic involvement would become a prerequisite for continuing my fieldwork, a cost I was not willing to pay. However, the very strength of activist research methodology, in its calls for horizontal dialogue and political alliance, made my gendered sexualized body vulnerable to gender violence.

Instead, in a postwar context where patriarchy structures gender and political relations, youth in gangs use their identification with, and practices of, dominant masculinity to gain respectability Gordon ; Connell For them, domination through violence or the threat of violence is a valid mechanism to demonstrate strength, compete, and resolve conflicts with the state and the rest of the population. Throughout our interactions, gang member research participants viewed me as a politically engaged researcher and middle-class Salvadoran woman affiliated with a U.

But ultimately, I was subordinated to them due to my gender. My embodiment of activist research methods revealed the ways that multiple forms of oppression and power relations operated between a mestiza Salvadoran woman researcher and male research participants. For these men, there was no contradiction between participating in politically engaged research and the imposition of patriarchal gender expectations. Women researchers can be accepted as political allies, but this alliance does not entail horizontal dialogues within the framework of gender equality. This hypermasculine social context highlighted a shortcoming of activist research: attentiveness to the ways that multiple inequities e.

Instead of retreating from this hypermasculine domain, I changed my approach for doing collaborative research. However, such an analytic must also take into account how intersecting oppressions target some women and men while privileging others, as Black feminist intersectional theory indicates Collins and Bilge ; Crenshaw Any politically engaged research, I argue, should incorporate a discussion of gendered power relations within the collaborative research process. Though this is not a sure solution for mitigating the vulnerabilities of racialized women, my hope is that it will encourage researchers to envision strategies to grapple with gendered power relations in the field.

Humiliated and emotionally raw after my sexual assault by the brother of the boarding house owner in Havana, I sought guidance from the staff at the Cuban academic institution in charge of my placement. After listening intently and quietly, the staff member asked if I had done anything to bring on the incident. The institute had never received any complaints from foreign researchers who had stayed in that house before, he explained.

When I replied yes, he readily acknowledged that the assault was most likely racially motivated. As an Afro-Cuban man himself, he empathized with me but reminded me of the stakes of making such a serious criminal accusation. Pressing charges could put the family out of business or worse. I learned to lock the door to my bedroom behind me. In other words, this woman thought that my assault was a result of my misrecognition as a Cuban national, with the assumption that I should not be treated like the average Cuban black woman, who is presumed licentious.

In Cuba, the sanctity of white womanhood extends to yuma foreign personhood because of the way in which the national economy depends on the tourist as a vessel through which capital enters the nation. I was the only black guest in a house whose clientele consisted primarily of socially white middle-aged men from Europe, the United States, and other parts of Latin America.

The only other black people present in this house were the maids, who served both the foreign clients and the family who owned the casa particular , and the visiting sex workers or novias girlfriends of the guests. As fungible bodies in a competitive labor market, the black women in the house were dependent on socially white actors whose desires demarcated the terms of virtue and propriety. As I confided in different people about the incident, their reactions revealed that my experience existed within a shared logic about blackness as a flesh that attracts sexual violence to itself.

Furthermore, the protection of private business interests was paramount. They all seemed to agree that, regardless of how modestly I dressed or how educada proper I behaved, the actions of the so-called man of the house were not, in and of themselves, out of order. Perhaps my sexual assault was a physical corrective to my contradictory social positionality, a response to my structural ambiguity as a foreigner with a native-looking body and with native-sounding Spanish fluency. In other words, one could interpret my sexual assault as an intimate disciplinary act fueled by the unsanctioned degree of relative power I held as an Afro-Cuban- American.

Accordingly, the man of the house was libidinally compelled to re-establish an asymmetrical equilibrium by toppling me over onto the bed, reasserting white patriarchal dominance over my flesh. The coercive force of U. Empire should have come to my rescue, the logic went, spurring the Cuban nation-state to protect its coveted consumer.

However, given the naturalized rapeability of black flesh throughout the Americas, it was my status as a foreign academic that was out of order. Because our research depends on intimacies. Cultural capital can be understood as flesh and therefore we are always in danger. For black women anthropologists, having social capital is a dangerous liability. Andrea Queeley has researched how, historically, in Cuba, social mobility for black people triggers rather than mitigates white backlash. I join with Davis and Queeley to argue that my very claims to relative privilege in the field were undercut by targeted exercises of power on my flesh.

Despite being a middle-class U. How do black feminist anthropologists who work in underdeveloped countries define redress for racialized-gendered injuries against our bodies? What would it mean if redressing my assault was a prerogative granted to me solely on the basis of U. What satisfaction would criminal punishment achieve if it put this Cuban family out of business or tarnished my institutional relationships in my field site? Would the Cuban institution renew its sponsorship of my residency if I attracted negative attention?

The kinds of political compromises and physical dangers we encounter while doing fieldwork are inextricably tied to how racialized and gendered bodies are differentially situated within intersecting structures of oppression. The kinds of micro aggressions we experience due to our contradictory racial-class-sex-citizenship positions do not vanish when we return home.

Being a black woman got me assaulted and, in this case, my internalized ideas about being an activist anthropologist kept me quiet about it. I maintained my silence out of fear that talking about my assault would potentially overshadow the research or cause harm to its perpetrator. Activist anthropologists are expected to engage in lone acts of bravery in order to shed light on the struggles of others with less relative privilege. I had also internalized the idea that black women cannot afford to draw any more attention to our already hypervisible bodies. These two sets of controlling images—licentious black womanhood and noble servant researcher—unexpectedly converged, rendering me unable to seek redress for my violation.

In other words, internalized scripts defining what it means to be a black woman and an activist anthropologist undercut my ability to disentangle myself from the very controlling affective structures that black feminism interrogates. The embodied knowledge I gained through fieldwork has since compelled me to re-envision a politically engaged anthropology that is compatible with black feminist teachings during both stages of ethnographic research: while working in the field praxis and while representing that experience product.

The rigor it takes to keep our bodies whole while becoming anthropologists is too often illegible in the colonial, patriarchal space of the academy. It is just after midnight. I am awakened by the sound of chanting. Distant at first, it rhythmically builds its way from a gentle hum into a thunderous uproar that passes just below my second story window.

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I rise and cautiously peel back the curtain, just enough to see that the group of Jewish Israelis—fifty or so, most of them young men and boys, some armed with weapons slung over a shoulder, others holding up an Israeli flag—has now taken up post in the street below. I try and block out the sound of their voices by shutting all of the windows, despite the stifling late summer heat.

I place a pillow over my head to drown out their chanting, which is interspersed with bouts of boisterous laughter and whistles. After a while, the crowd disperses. There is no more chanting. Still, the muffled phrase, now seared into my mind repeats itself time and time again: Mavet al Aravim. Death to Arabs. I drift back into a restless sleep, with this phrase and the voices of the crowd still in my mind. Still, I rise from bed and peer out the window—the streets are empty now. Nonetheless, I double-check the locks on the door. In the Israeli settler-colonial imagination, each Palestinian child is a potential terrorist and women, as reproducers of Palestinians, are envisioned as a central component of an impending demographic threat Shalhoub-Kevorkian As twenty-four-year-old Lama recounts:.

My pregnancy was filled with severe anxieties, fear, and depression. I was thinking about each and every act, always trapped. The night before I had my baby—I had him four weeks prematurely [. I called the doctors, and my husband, and they ordered the ambulance for me.

At the checkpoint they questioned my pain. To question my pain, when I am wet. They just look at us. Shalhoub-Kevorkian , For terror is not merely found in the hypervisible attacks on Palestinian bodies, lives, and land—in the constant military presence that defines life under Israeli occupation, the assaults on Palestinian spaces and bodies, and the disposable nature of Palestinian life in the settler colony. While my own nightmare has subsided, the nightmare of colonial occupation does not evaporate, an occupation vested in the surveillance and violation of native bodies and lands.

As a first-generation Palestinian American anthropologist, the lived reality of Israeli racial terror is not an abstract concept to learn about from my so-called informants in the field, but an affective force that comes to shape the social bonds of the Palestinian communities about which I care and am a part, one that is viscerally experienced in my own body and psyche.

For the death of the baby that grows in my womb. While women-of-color feminisms have long carved out spaces for consideration of the racialized female body, the disembodied nature of much anthropological discourse—even in its most politically engaged manifestations—often obscures the lived reality of the researcher herself, who navigates regimes of racial and sexual terror.

It is, in fact, these affective embodied experiences see S. Understanding these sites often required a different methodological approach to activist research: one that relied on informal networks of women; one that attuned itself to the hushed whispers of those living under a regime of colonial surveillance where even the walls have ears and where everyday friendship and care among women were the invisible groundwork for more visible political struggles. The intimacy with which terror invades our minds and bodies also poses a challenge to the idea of the researcher who is inherently privileged in relation to her field site or collaborators.

The global nature of white supremacy affirms race as a fundamental, if adaptable structural logic that constantly produces and legitimates racial hierarchy and power Jung, Costa Vargas, and Bonilla-Silva At the same time, these shared experiences of the embodiment of terror and its wounding effects bind us together across time and space in intimate, womb-like connection with those with whom we work, making us available to each other as ethical-political subjects who can choose to sustain reality Abbas , or to re-birth life in spaces of social death.

Hannah Piterman PhD, MEc, BEc (Hons)

The road leading to this community in the mountains of southeast Mexico is full of turns; many of the edges of these curves have been lost to the oblivion of the adjacent chasms. Members of this pacifist indigenous organization were the targets of a bloody display of state violence in the s, in which mostly women and children were killed. That morning I was submitting the results of an initial phase of collaborative work. When I was finally called to enter the office where we were meeting—a single room with no windows—they asked me to sit on a stool placed several feet away from a long table, at which ten male leaders were seated.

We are just beginning to know you. Boyfriends and girlfriends do not get engaged or get married immediately after meeting each other. It is important to know each other well. The sense of caution and distrust that his words conveyed was not what took me by surprise, especially in the context of the ongoing war of attrition in the region and the banning of academic research within other indigenous organizations.

What disconcerted me was his flirtatious tone and the polysemy of the courtship metaphor in these specific circumstances. The murmuring and concealed laughter of the other male leaders in the room made me feel extremely uncomfortable. All of a sudden, I became hyperconscious about my body, singled out in the middle of the dark room, away from the vigilant eyes of the women working in the kitchen. While the courtship metaphor is commonly used in the region, the way in which this organization publicly talks about collaboration is in terms of brotherhood hermandad , not courtship.

Was it precisely the male-centered idea of brotherhood that made this kind of ambiguous exchange possible? Would the president have chosen to use the courtship metaphor with me if I had not been a mestiza? My uncertainty regarding these speculations made me question my forms of privilege and weigh them in relation to my vulnerabilities, leading me to realize that the collaboration I was pursuing with this politically dissident organization was paradoxically subjecting me to the violence of its patriarchal norms.

The more I tried to clarify with the leaders what the idea of wooing meant for them, the more I began to relive previous fieldwork encounters in which uninvited flirtatious remarks preceded other forms of harassment. In an attempt to create respectful boundaries, the interviews we hold often reproduce the hierarchy of an all-knowing man lecturing a woman who is presumed naive and expected to listen.

The act of listening to our interlocutors in the field as women belies a gendered assumption of passivity; as activist anthropologists, we are supposed to subvert that form and make receptivity the basis of an intersubjective construction of meaning. Therefore, the intimacy created through rapport is one of our greatest achievements just as it is, paradoxically, one of our deepest vulnerabilities as women.

After leaving the office, I decided not to dwell on the gendered connotations of this episode. I was familiar with this kind of interactions, having grown up in a culture of machismo in Mexico City and having learned as a lawyer that suppressing my own rage was key to survival in a male-centered profession. In the end, nobody was obligating me to do this research and I was conscious that my privilege as a middle-class mestiza, chilanga, 9 affiliated with a U. Moments of crisis during fieldwork led me and other indigenous and mestiza women to share our accounts of gender violence.

Precisely because of these colonial legacies, access for Kaxlanes nonindigenous people often comes at a price. In the case of women-identified researchers, there is an unspoken assumption that access to traditionally male spaces must be paid with male access to our bodies, whether on physical, emotional, or discursive planes.

Sometimes it has functioned as a human shield for more vulnerable populations, while at other times it has been expected to serve as a resource to be shared, a fact that visibilizes the logics of collaborative exchange within male-centered struggles.


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Meanwhile, survivors of sexual violence know well that publicly sharing their experiences may revictimize them, especially when others take control of their narratives. Therefore, many of these accounts circulate among women in the form of traumatic secrets that we carry deep in our bodies. Internalized forms of oppression make us complicit with this violence, insisting that we believe we did something to provoke its outcomes.

In the case of women-identified researchers, we feel that these incidents reveal our shortcomings as activist anthropologists. These secrets shame us. It is partly our incomplete understanding of the complexities around these unspoken truths that drives us to maintain our silence.

When we realize that the possibility of collaboration can ultimately rely on these gendered silences, it is then that we need to re-envision our alliances and reorient our paths. In the process of sharing my vulnerabilities with other women, deep sororal connections were formed, backed with a political commitment to help each other. Along one of the winding roads leading to the mountain community, I crossed paths with women who had fruitlessly pushed to get the massacre perpetrated against this organization during the s recognized as a feminicide. They invited me to participate in a campaign against feminicidal violence, and the grassroots work we did granted me a deeper understanding of the internal contradictions within the indigenous organization as well as the politics of solidarity surrounding it.

I realized how much I had naturalized several forms of microaggressions, especially while doing research on more atrocious expressions of violence like massacres and forced displacements.


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  • Selected Poems (Borzoi Poetry).
  • Feminist Perspectives on Trans Issues (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

As the Mujeres Mayas Kaqla have noted, ignoring these microviolences allows us to think that slaughters and feminicides are the exception when in fact they are part of a continuum, structured by colonial forms of oppression and expressed in quotidian forms of violence to which women tend to be the most vulnerable. Discussing this violence continuum with the male leaders of the indigenous organization was extremely complex. As the experience of women survivors within the indigenous organization taught me, speaking up is not always the best path for healing when patriarchal oppression is what compels us to share our accounts of sexual violence to promote awareness.

One of the main challenges we face as feminist activist anthropologists is not only finding productive ways of speaking and writing about gendered violence in the field and its intricate connections with the violence we face at home, but also creating safe social spaces to do so and to heal without giving right-wing opportunists more leverage to suppress revolutionary resistance. We were meeting to discuss my research on the relationship between indigenous land struggles and gender violence within the context of neoliberal development in Guyana.

Despite his support of local queer organizations, his tone belied thinly veiled tolerance of her presumably transgressive femininity read: against hegemonic white femininity , taboo sexuality, and behavior, as well as an implicit assertion that the establishment of trust necessitated full disclosure. He advised me to adhere to local custom by partaking in traditional alcoholic drinks, piwari and casiri , as this formed an integral part of socializing, during which people tended to discuss topics they might not otherwise broach.

Because of my Amerindian heritage, I would have to endure.

I had lived in my village site for several months before it happened. I initially focused on building rapport with elders in order to collect oral histories about the riverine community composed of several Amerindian nations.