Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 82

SPECIAL : BEYOND PATRIARCHY Beyond Patriarchy An Unexpected Encounter JIHAN MCDONALD I ’ VE SAT WITH THIS QUESTION FOR A LONG time now: what is beyond patriarchy? To be honest, some days, I can’t see beyond it. I can’t imagine. The ocean of it that we swim in is so deep, and dense, and the cur- rents so strong that to pit myself against it, one vulnerable body weighted by marginal- ized identities—Black, female-bodied, queer— seems entirely futile. What could this one do against centuries of a system that has managed to make humanity subjugate more than half of its own being? Patriarchy has done this in the name of male dominance, of the justification of breeding aggression, analysis, and judgment as the foundations for decision-making, competi- tion, and fear as the means of control. We are taught this, and we are told that this is our his- tory. I believe this to be true. This has been the HISstory of humanity, but it is not the whole story. In my own non-binary existence, his or hers fails to tell mine fully. If I am to speak of seeing oneself as a complex unity, of seeing oneself as a microcosm of the total story of the universe, of what lives beyond the categorical, then I must get away from HISstory and HERstory and get into THISstory: this story that the Earth is telling itself through us, this story that the Earth is telling the Universe through us, and vice versa. THISstory lives at the queer intersection of HISstory and HERstory. One 82 W W W .T I K K U N . O R G story. Non-gendered. Queer. Abiding. And as I thought about what is beyond patriarchy I realized I must answer it with a thread of THISstory that I’ve lived that allows me to see what lives beyond patriarchy. This episode of THISstory takes place in a store. It is the day after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has been made to testify to her own cred- ibility as a survivor of sexual predation by Brett Kavanaugh, a New Age good ole boy seeking a seat on the Supreme Court. I am the only Black person in this store in a neighborhood that is predominantly White and wealthy, in a city that is becoming increasingly gentrified and defined by Whiteness and material wealth— pillars of this country’s patriarchy. I am in distress. My Black, queer, female body that has also survived sexual predation is mourning and grieving in public; inappropriate to business as usual. In this state I approach the register with my groceries and my tears. The cashier, WINTER 2019