The Female Imperative;
A Manifesto for Female Emancipation
and the Evolution of Human Consciousness.
The premise of the Female Imperative is the impassioned brainchild of Shane Stewart. So apropos that a man should lay the groundwork for The Female Imperative (TFI). Stewart began this work in 2009. At that time, I was working on a collection of political essays. It wasn’t until early in the summer of 2013 that Stewart first approached me with Part I of this project. Knowing my background and area of study in politics, psychology and feminist theory, I suppose he knew before I did that I would ultimately co-author The Female Imperative. But my first read of TFI? – Literally gave me heart palpitations! Was I nervous? Was I excited? Was I hesitant? I was all three! My knee jerk reaction was to delete the file and do my best to convince Stewart to do the same. I almost expected at any moment to hear the roar of the “black helicopters” descending on my condo complex; or white coats bursting through my door to justifiably have me committed. What on Earth were we thinking? Was Stewart truly prepared for the implications of this “Manifesto” for female emancipation and human evolution? Was I truly prepared to go over the falls with him?
Well, it only took a few deep breaths for me to lean back, remove my finger from the “Delete” key, and answer that question with one resounding “YES!” I was in! Either Stewart and I risk going “over the falls” now, or all of humanity is going over the falls much sooner than any of us would dare to fathom. We’re already battling the rapids. The rising mist of our impending doom thickens the air that we breathe, and the deafening thunder of our sure demise gets louder by the minute. The time is now for humanity to turn the boat around and start paddling in the opposite direction! The time is now for The Female Imperative!
The Female Imperative is a manifesto of ideas for the evolution of human consciousness that can only occur through female emancipation. While much of TFI may not expose much of what isn’t already understood on an intellectual level, TFI is not another intellectual exercise of feminist theory that dissects and debates female equality and subordination. It is however, certainly finally speaking the one truth that most haven’t been willing or courageous enough to utter. Truth as thought seethes just below the surface of collective assumption and appearance, but truth spoken rings like a thunder clap that rips through the white noise of ignorance shattering assumptions and appearances that have kept us all deaf, dumb and blind to reality. Ironically it took a man to fearlessly rip the scab off the festering wound that is a woman’s fundamental and contrite guilt for even asking humanity to consider our equanimity and acknowledge our collective experience.
TFI is neither a scientific or academic study or report. So, while many concepts presented in the “content” may be common knowledge to those learned in the social sciences, it is in the “context” of The Female Imperative as a manifesto for change, that this common knowledge must be re-examined. TFI is not advocating the pitting of women against men! It is a firm, concise and unremitting proclamation that humanity will not survive under the historical power base of male ego domination. In fact, it will only survive [evolve] through our collective valiant acknowledgment that strengths inherent to our human natures are only auspicious to congruent leadership and the fruition of human potential when they are no longer divided, but are in fact united. TFI is calling for nothing short of a paradigm shift; a sea change in the way the human race reflects upon itself, its purpose, its destiny, its relationship; beginning with the emancipation and integration of the female half of our human whole.
TFI was written and compiled to be read consecutively. In other words, an understanding of each section leads to an understanding of the next. As a manifesto for change, your first read of TFI should be start to finish; like a treasure map where you need to start at point A if you ever hope to find the treasure at point Z. We are fully aware of the sensitivity and even volatility of the issues presented and discussed here, but the risk of attack from those who will choose to take statements from TFI out of the context of the entire book is something we are prepared for. Our assessment of female oppression and the destructiveness of the male ego, historically and today, is unabashedly frank. That this could and most likely will be construed as “man bashing” by some is also to be expected. The truth is that the term man bashing is only used as a preemptive defense thrown up to diffuse and silence any discussion that even attempts to expose the clear and palpable destructiveness of the male ego. Even with tens of thousands of years of evidence attesting to the immeasurable damage and suffering of a planet and species plagued by destructive male dominance, voices of reason are repeatedly marginalized as man bashers. This effectively indicates that the only problem is the one that we seem to have. If Stewart and I are simply man bashers, then the male ego afflicted human male is exonerated from owning up to the reality of what the destructive male ego has wrought upon humanity.
It’s high time that we collectively stop deflecting that “not all men” are female oppressors, because in fact all female oppressors [male or female] are either afflicted with the destructive male ego or are complicit in the continuity of socially constructed female oppression. Hurt feelings and bruised egos are no longer an excuse for inaction! Frankly, humanity no longer has the time to consider the feelings of those who benefit from the status quo! The time for truth is now! If the truth hurts some more than others; then that’s the cost of clarity. In this case, what we don’t know hurts us even more.
From beginning to end, TFI persistently stresses three principles: 1) Women are and have been inherently victimized by severe and/or clandestine oppression at every level for tens of thousands of years; 2) The male ego is primal, egocentric and destructive; and 3) Male dominance is the result of the destructive male ego, not conducive to the survival of our species and will not freely concede its control. Recurrently stressing these principles in tandem with our introduction of new ones, is completely necessary if we are to reverse the programmed conditioning of tens of thousands of years. These principles must indeed become a mantra so they cannot continue to dissipate into the foreground of the status quo; into the abyss of sustained ignorance. TFI finally arms all advocates for female emancipation, male and female alike, with the unequivocal, powerfully unapologetic permission to not just ask, but irrevocably expect the end of tens of thousands of years of socially constructed, psychologically perpetuated, culturally and religiously institutionalized oppression and subordination of the human female.
Even as we make the case for ending female oppression, our core message goes far beyond the call for equality. TFI makes the case that humanity may not survive even the 21st century under male [ego] domination through its’ global social construct of gender division. As a “manifesto,” TFI introduces terms and concepts such as “animal mind,” “female creational consciousness,” “male ego images,” “human mind,” and “human equilibrium.” TFI ultimately takes us out of our collective history and into our collective present. It provides a blue print picture of how the unity of our male and female natures provides the key to move beyond mere individual survival and oppression and into our collectively liberated and empowered rightful evolution of human consciousness.
In his Prelude, Stewart begins The Female Imperative with An Open Letter to Women and Girls of the World: a personal acknowledgment of the human female’s plight. Stewart preempts the arguments he anticipates may be made against him questioning his qualifications and authority to speak on female oppression. Part I of TFI categorically exposes female oppression for what it is, what it does, and delivers a definitive blow to the deep-rooted nature and pervasiveness of the destructive male ego. We consider humanity’s primal beginnings, original motive and intent, and our stunted and languished evolution under direction of the violent male ego. We expound how female oppression is psychologically sustained, socially maintained, and how socially constructed perceptions of our body parts perpetuates male dominance and female oppression.
By this time, you should have not only a deeper appreciation for our collective history and the development and empowerment of the male ego, but also have absolutely no doubts regarding the palpable reality of female oppression. Even for those whose lives are the quintessential image of equanimity, and for whom the term “oppression” is as far from their immediate reality as the starving children of Africa; even for you, indifference and insouciance to the antediluvian oppression, subordination and abuse of the human female will have nowhere to hide. You may feel exposed and vulnerable as you realize that your apparent immunity to female oppression is actually a precarious and meager fascia that could crumble with a simple change in geography, zip code or income. Then you shudder when you realize that the young woman or girl(s) who went missing in your neighborhood two months ago, could have easily been you or someone you love. You may feel as if you’ve been shaken from a trance, but if you feel anxious in your new-found clarity, you will none-the-less be thankful to be among the “aware.”
In Part II, we begin to more deeply illustrate the difference between reality and the “images” that the male ego fortifies as reality; and how female oppression is effectually human oppression. We consider how the male ego animal mind so brilliantly and effectively camouflages its domination through social constructs of our fundamental pillar institutions and civil structures as modern day mechanisms of “civilized” oppression. Part II equates the subjugation of the female half of the human whole with the subjugation of compassion, cooperation, compromise and community. We show how female oppression is amalgamated with the destruction of our environment. We examine contemporary feminism and the resurgence of anti-feminism. Finally, TFI provides a pioneering and revolutionary conceptual blue print for the essential evolution of human consciousness.
The Female Imperative is relevant and timely. As we began this project and since; day after day, year after year, headlines continue to pour straight from these pages. So, while it may have been tempting to incorporate current events that continue to support the premise of TFI, Stewart and I hold firm to the awareness that these events are simply the latest symptoms of the same old affliction. TFI is current, but its principals are timeless. TFI yanks us from the antiquity of our history, slaps us in the comatose face of our present, and opens our eyes to an alternative future that rejects death and embraces life. As a “movement,” TFI may indeed have an integral role in current events. As a “manifesto” however, The Female Imperative should remain as a set of immutable principles for humanity’s survival and ultimate evolution. As humanity precariously ascends into the 21st century, The Female Imperative is the oar that can turn this boat around before we go over the falls. Can you feel the mist? Can you hear the thunder? The time is now!