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Chapter 4 of Occupy Vision: Kinship



http://www.zcomm.org/topics/fanfare-for-the-future 

 

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>In discussing visions for gender relations we have in mind a good society's procreation, nurturance, socialization, sexuality, and organization of daily home life with a special eye on three dimensions of implications: relations between women and men, between homo and heterosexuals, and between members of different generations.  

 

Kinship Vision

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>A problem with having this discussion, is that there is as yet very little clarity about what revolutionized kinship relations will be like in a new society. What altered or new institutions will organize procreation, nurturance, and socialization? How will the structures and social roles we fill to accomplish upbringing and home life change so as to eliminate the roots of gender and sexual hierarchies.

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Our values imply that accomplishing kinship functions should enhance solidarity among the involved actors, preserve diversity of options and choices, apportion benefits and responsibilities fairly, and convey self managing influence – taking into account issues of age, etc. 

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>So with that set of broad desires, will there be families as we now know them? Will upbringing diverge greatly from what we know now? What about courting and sexual coupling? How will the old and young interact? How will adults react with the elderly and the young? 

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Fulfilling our values will require that desirable kinship structures liberate women and men rather than causing the former to be subordinate to the latter, and likewise for other hierarchical or degrading relations.  

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>We are therefore talking about removing the features that produce systematic sexism, homophobia, and ageism, plus gaining an array of positive improvements we can only guess at until we have experimented with more complete proposals for visionary kinship institutions. But these will, at the very least, include the benefits of additional people reaching their fullest potentials. 

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>It isn't that all problems associated with gender will disappear in a good society, of course, or that all unmet desires or un-manifested capacities will be perfectly addressed without any pain. Even in a wonderful society, we can confidently predict that there will still be unrequited love. Sex will not lack turmoil. Rape and other violent acts will occur, albeit far less often than now. Social change can't remove the pain of losing friends and relatives to premature death. It can't make all adults equally adept at relating positively with children or with the elderly or vice versa.  

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>What we can reasonably expect and demand, however, is that new forms of engagement will eliminate the systematic violation of women, gays, children, and the elderly which causes these whole groups to suffer material or social deprivations.

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>We can demand that innovations eliminate the structural coercion of men and women, of hetero and homosexuals, and of all adults and children into patterns that have for so long manifested and preserved systematic violations of solidarity, diversity, equity, and self management.

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>How will all this happen? Not how will we get to this better future, which is a derivative and even more difficult question that we will take up later in volume three of Fanfare, but what will the institutions defining a vastly better kinship future look like? 

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Some people have good ideas, no doubt, but we have to admit that we have barely an inkling about this visionary question. Indeed, we can find very little in the way of a proposed answer in the contemporary literature of the left. In the past some women have attempted to provide some visionary sex-gender insights and we would like to mention some of those attempts as being worth trying to elaborate into a gender related vision. 

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>In contemporary societies that elevate men by consigning women to less empowering and fulfilling options, what are the defining structures that intrinsically produce a sexist ordering and therefore need to be profoundly altered to remove that ordering?

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Sexism takes overt form in men having dominant and wealthier conditions. It takes more subtle form via longstanding habits of communication and behavioral assumptions. It is produced and reproduced by institutions that differentiate men and women, including coercively as in rape and battering, but also more subtly via what seem to be mutually accepted role differences in home life, work, and celebration. It also includes the cumulative impact of past sexist experiences on what people think, desire, and feel, and on what people habitually or even self consciously do.

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mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>If we want to find

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