I was 15 when I first learned about Female Genital Mutilation and Riot Grrrl and declared myself, officially, a feminist. That was also the year when I had a growth spurt and went on an Atkins diet, and first started to receive a new form of attention. It expressed itself in car honks, and public comments, and aggressive looks, and gossip, and sweet notes written by grungy boys in art class. I felt, for the first time, not as a large pale blob of preteen awkwardness, but as a fully recognizable female social being (despite my persistent worry that my boobs were way too small to qualify me for womanhood).
Thank god (aka livejournal) I discovered feminism at about the same time, because in addition to being confused and scared by all of these new developments, I also got ANGRY. I saw my own experience as part of a global, pervasive system of inequality and oppression. The same system that now gave men permission to treat me as a public sexual object (see also: rape culture), when expressed to a different degree, denied sexual pleasure to over 200 million women and girls across the world (google: FGM), robbed female workers of equitable pay, and produced such deep-seated self-hate that almost every girl I knew was either developing an eating disorder or fantasizing about plastic surgery. The following year, I took my high school?s Women?s Studies class and started wearing a spiked dog collar and made a DIY T-Shirt with a cat face inside a Venus symbol and the words ?pussy power? across the chest.
The fantasy of Female Supremacy (are you relieved that I?m saying fantasy? Or maybe disappointed?) is a useful meditation of the imaginative power of the Reversal, as in the system of Tarot.
In the practice of Tarot divination (which will enjoy a deserved legitimacy under Female Supremacy), when a card comes out reversed (upside down), it can mean the archetypical energy represented by the card is blocked or internalized. Energy blocks cause congestion and suffering, and can produce negative effects in many proximal and distant parts of the system (undiagnosed, chronic pain).
The Empress card represents the female energy, fertility, creativity, the Earth mother. In a system of Male Domination, the Toxic Era, in which we currently live, this female energy is perpetually blocked, perverted and repressed. A system of Female Supremacy would reverse The Empress (the ?Woman Card?) back to its upright position, unleashing the energy that is always there but currently not allowed to be expressed to its full potential.
Imagining and identifying with Female Supremacy empowers me to reverse my energy from anger and suffering towards the celebration and pursuit of female interests and benefits.
Why is feminism not enough to do that? I have consciously identified as and practiced being a feminist in a male-dominated society for over 16 years. Feminism ? both the movement that advocates civil rights and equality for all people regardless of gender, and the larger fight to end all forms of oppression ? takes as its starting point the losing end of an existing social order. From this position, it can aptly articulate the problems and limitations of the current system and work towards addressing them, but it also undercuts its own potential of taking the lead, of taking up a more privileged position, of articulating the imaginary alternative that begins from a place of power.
I am still a feminist, but I would just really love to be one in a society organized under Female Supremacy. I promise, I will work hard to fight against male oppression and for more trans inclusion and representation. I will donate and volunteer to improve career opportunities for boys and all gender identifications. But I would love it if being a woman in the world gave me the special privilege of getting to choose to do that. It would just feel a little more comfortable, and safe, and like it makes sense with this body that I have. I would feel a little guiltier probably, but that?s okay.
So imagine it with me.
How would Female Supremacy benefit you?
How would other forms of Supremacy, that are currently blocked, benefit you?
Afrocentricity. Queer Dominance. The Fat Ideal. What would it be like? How would you feel?
Reverse your cards.