Editor’s note: Civilizations are defined by the growth of cities, vast acreages of agriculture, and hierarchical social systems—and after creating short term surpluses of energy and wealth at the expense of sustainability, they inevitably collapse.
Today, we live in the first global civilization. The harnessing of fossil fuels has brought unimaginable power, but also terrible destructiveness. No technological innovation or social organization will be a simple silver bullet to solve these issues.
Nevertheless, people around the world continue to experiment with alternative social arrangements. One is permaculture, which is often reduced to “gardening” but is actually a systems-thinking approach for deliberately designing human settlements, societies, and subsistence economies for sustainability and justice. In this era, systems-thinking around sustainability inevitably includes strategy and action to defend the planet, in addition to building alternative ways of living.
In this piece, Jennifer Murnan argues that permaculture practitioners, who often becomes insular “lifeboaters” or “survivalists,” should link their work to political resistance movements working to dismantle industrial civilization before it’s too late.
by Jennifer Murnan / Communities that Protect and Resist
Currently, permaculture operates in the realm of bright green environmental activism and adherents seemingly believe that the current culture can be transformed. Why should permaculturalists choose to align themselves with the deep green environmentalists that support dismantling civilization?
It’s all about deep abiding love for the truth that requires brave resistance to untruth. It’s about following that love down the path of truth. That’s what resistance in the form of permaculture is. That’s what the allure of permaculture, a permanent, sustainable culture, is for me.
We are animals, terrestrial animals, whose primary needs are for clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe, healthy food to eat, and the security of community and relationship with each other and our fellow living creatures. Life for us is totally dependent on the health of the earth and our kin, human and non human. All that we create must serve this fundamental truth.
The Permaculture movement has always run counter to the beliefs and principles of global civilization. It views nature as a partner, a teacher, and a guide whom we honor and are completely dependent on. This is completely contrary to the cultural view of western civilization; that the natural world is here to serve us, to be used and abused at will, and that this abuse is justifiable.
Permaculture practice, by definition, is an attempt to depart from the model of exploitation and importation of resources necessitated by civilization. To live permanently in one place is the antithesis of the pattern exhibited repeatedly by civilizations. Civilizations cannot live in place. They violently import and exploit human and natural resources, exhaust their ecosystems, experience population overshoot, and collapse leaving an impoverished land base in their wake. Western industrial civilization is currently playing this scenario out on a global scale. Permaculture not only cannot exist within the confines of civilization, it also cannot coexist with a civilization that is devouring the world. It is neither ethical nor practical on the part of permaculturalists to attempt to do so.
Another reason lies in the common visions of the primacy of the earth shared by deep green and permaculture activists. The first ethic in permaculture is ’Care for the Earth’. Without this basis, the second and third ethics, ’Care for people’, and ‘Redistribute surplus to one’s needs’, are impossible. Healthy organisms produce a surplus to feed and enrich the ecosystem in which they exist. Simply put, there is no health unless Earth is cared for first.
“The Earth is the point. It is primary. It is our home. It is everything.”
— Derrick Jensen Endgame
There are attitudes shared by Permaculture and the Deep Green movement. Permaculturalists believe in working with nature and not against it. Fostering a respect for all life is inherent in permaculture practice. Valuing people and their skills creates more diversity, creativity and productivity in permaculture and deep green communities. Alignment between Deep Green and the Permaculture movements is especially apparent in two permaculture design principles.
Seeking to preserve, regenerate and extend all natural and traditional permanent landscapes is a goal of both communities. Preserving and increasing biodiversity of all types is recognized as being essential for survival by both Deep Greens and Permaculturalists.
A primary reason for permaculture to become part of a culture of resistance is that permaculture’s two guiding principles logically mandate dismantling civilization. The precautionary principle states that we should take seriously and act on any serious or destructive diagnosis unless it is proven erroneous.
Civilization has proven itself to be destructive to ecosystems since its inception. Western industrial civilization is causing the wholesale destruction of every ecosystem on Earth.
Practicing permaculture individually can be construed to be a revolutionary act, capable of saving the planet. But individual acts can’t possibly do the trick. Like any other liberal act, it fails to recognize the systems that are destroying the planet and confront them. The most elegant and nurturing permaculture garden will not stop the operation of a single coal fired plant or deep sea oil drilling or fracking or the destruction of a rain forest.
“The dominant culture eats entire biomes. No, that is too generous, because eating implies a natural biological relationship; This culture doesn’t just consume ecosystems, it obliterates them, it murders them, one after another. This culture is an ecological serial killer, and it’s long past time we recognize the pattern.”
— Aric McBay
A large scale and effective response to this destruction is necessary. The tactics of the environmental movement up to this point have been insufficient. We are losing. It is time to change our strategy. Therefore, the Deep Green movement is advocating for all tactics to be considered to stop the murder of the Earth. This includes, but is not limited to, practicing permaculture, legislation, legal action, civil-disobedience, and industrial sabotage.
There are problems with holding the permaculture movement as the sole solution to global destruction. While transitioning to sustainability in our personal lives is important, even more important is confronting and dismantling the oppressive systems of power that promote unsustainability, exploitation, and injustice on a global scale. In fact, if these systems are left in place, the gains made by the practice of permaculture will be washed away in civilization’s tidal wave of destruction.
“Any economic or social system that does not benefit the natural communities on which it is based is unsustainable, immoral and stupid. Sustainability, morality and intelligence (as well as justice) require the dismantling of any such economic or social system or at the very least disallowing it from damaging your landbase.”
— Derrick Jensen
One of the necessary steps to restoring our relationships with each other and our planet is dismantling the current destructive systems of power through organized political resistance. We are in global ecological crisis, and the love and resistance inherent in permaculture can and frequently does ally with the victims of oppression, support and increase the health of natural systems, work to support and reclaim indigenous knowledge and greater than human wisdom and teaching.
The second guiding principle of permaculture, ‘intergenerational equity’, also necessitates immediate action in response to the destructive force of civilization. This principle states that future generations have the same rights as we do to food, clean air, water, and resources. This statement applies to all humans and non-humans equally. Daily, entire species are being eliminated from this planet as result of the activities of industrial civilization. ‘Intergenerational equity’ for them has ceased to exist and every day this destruction continues more species go extinct. Allowing this to continue is unconscionable.
Permaculture is based on close observation of the natural world, and I believe it can only realize its full potential in a human community that acknowledges the natural laws of its land base as primary. Practicing permaculture in any context other than this necessitates subverting our principles and betraying everything that nurtures and sustains us, all that is sacred, our living earth. We can only truly belong in a culture of resistance, and in communities of resistance.
Both permaculturalists and deep greens know that the earth is everything, that there is no greater good than this planet, than life itself. We owe her everything and without her, we die.
“The earth is our mother. We all come from our mother and to her we shall return. We are of the earth and it is absurd to imagine that we can “own” it, even in small pieces.
And yet the earth has been divvied up as private property. Property is a legal concept, a cultural production and not an intrinsic quality of land. Notions of what can be privatized seem to be infinitely expansive: land is privatized; seeds and genes are privatized; and even water is privatized.”
— Sandor Ellix Katz The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved
It is insane to “own” the land, the water, the air, yet this culture’s laws support and enforce that delusion. We design systems within boundaries and fail to challenge those boundaries, so our designs never truly integrate with their ecosystem, are defenseless against the onslaught of subsurface mineral rights which supersede surface rights and the resultant mining operations, the privatization and theft of water from the natural watershed that nourish the land, and rigidly enforced illusion of individual ownership over the concept of collective responsibility.
One of the necessary steps to restoring our relationships with each other and our planet is dismantling the current destructive systems of power through organized political resistance. We are in global ecological crisis, and the love and resistance inherent in permaculture can and frequently does ally with the victims of oppression, support and increase the health of natural systems, work to support and reclaim indigenous knowledge and greater than human wisdom and teaching.
This is it; we need each other, everyone, every tactic we can muster in defense of the earth. We have never been able to afford civilization.
“The task of an activist is not to navigate around systems of oppression with as much personal integrity as possible. It’s to bring those systems down.”
— Lierre Keith
(See also: can permaculture become a revolutionary force?)
Photo by Olivier Mary on Unsplash
On this urgent episode of the Green Flame, Lierre Keith comments on a new development in the war on women. That development is Biden’s executive order on gender identity, an order signed the day of his inauguration which will eviscerate women’s rights. Lierre Keith is the founder of the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF). She is a WoLF board member, a radical feminist for over 40 years and author of six books including the novel Skyler Gabriel, Conditions of War and The Vegetarian Myth: Food Justice and Sustainability.
You can view the video of the interview here.
Jennifer Murnan – Thank you so much Lierre for joining us for this urgent Green Flame. We will be getting this episode out as soon as possible. It is the 22nd and yesterday Biden
Lierre Keith – Two days ago.
JM – Two days ago now, okay…
LK – Two days since the inauguration.
JM – Oh, my god.
LK – He wasn’t even president five hours. Yeah, he did it immediately.
JM – So five hours into his presidency, he issued an executive order that begins to initiate some of the equality and completely circumvents the legislative kind of procedure around those kind of laws. Please explain this to us, what does an executive order do and what did this one do.
LK – Okay. So executive orders are legal. They have been ruled legal by the Supreme Court a long time ago, 100 years ago, a long time. This is a feature of the powers that the president has, that the executive branch holds and they can be very controversial. The way that the government is set up in the United States we’re supposed to have three branches of government. We have the executive, the legislative and we have the Supreme Court, the judicial branch, and they’re supposed to work, by providing checks and balances. We all learn this in first grade, right? The legislature is supposed to make the law, it’s literally what legislature means, that’s their job and the president isn’t really supposed to make the law, that’s not what he does or she does. So, you know of course they find workarounds, that’s what power does, so many, many presidents have done made executive orders. I mean, they have pretty much have all done it for 100 years like very famously Truman, president Truman, desegregated the US military using an executive order. So that’s, I mean, as far as the military goes, that’s for good. He just declared that there was not going to be segregation anymore in the armed forces. And a year or two later it was done. I mean, it’s just with the military they know how to follow orders and they did it. So that was the first major U.S. institution that was desegregated and it went very smoothly and before you know it, black people were ordering white people around and nobody thought anything of it because it was the military. So, there are reasons sometimes that they do this, but you know the downside is that it does circumvent the democratic process. We have a way to pass laws in this country and this is not it so, especially when you’re taking on something that is bound to be controversial, that’s going to change a whole bunch of stuff for a whole bunch of people you want that to happen in the light of day.
Every president does this and then the other side always says, well, this it is executive overreach, it’s this, it’s that. There are always contentious things that happen so I’m not blaming any particular president because, like I said, they all do it. This isn’t like a new evil thing that Biden came up with, but obviously this is one that women are going, we’re going to be hurting from this one. So the promise was that they were going to pass this piece of legislation that was called the Equality Act and that at least would have gone through the proper channels. It would have been in Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives, there would have been debate. We all would all have had time to present our view on it; the way that laws are supposed to be passed and they didn’t do that so we’ve got this instead.
All right, so what does the executive order actually say? Well, it’s fairly short, you can read it. It’s online it’s been posted up, you can go to the White House website and look at it. It starts with a decision that happened last year from the Supreme Court that was called the Bostock Decision. Now, the Bostock Decision was three separate cases that were collapsed into one and part of it ruled that gay and lesbian Americans could not be discriminated against due to sexual orientation. That’s fine, nobody has a problem with that, the problem was this another case, the Amy Stephens case. This was a man who decided he was a woman one day and this could have gone two ways. You could have a man who says I would prefer to wear the women’s professional clothes to work instead of the men’s clothes, I’m a man but I want to wear these clothes. That would be a very different argument but that was not what Amy Stevens argued, he argued that he was a woman and therefore he should be wearing the women’s uniform. He worked at a funeral home, the funeral home really didn’t like this, I mean, you’ve got people coming who are in the worst grief of their lives and this was just not something that they wanted anybody to have to deal with. From a feminist perspective it’s just very simple: men cannot be women. Clothing in the United States, for employment purposes, employers are legally allowed to have separate dress codes for men and women. That is, I think, a problem but he’s not addressing that problem. He’s not saying “Well, we shouldn’t have separate dress codes”. I think that women could certainly make that argument, but the courts have ruled that is legal as long as it doesn’t put an undue burden on anybody, as long as they cost basically the same and whatever, don’t do this or that, you’re allowed to have those, still, in the United States it’s not illegal to have a separate dress code. Instead of trying to address that, to say actually anybody should be able to wear professional clothes in a professional environment, he instead argued “No, I’m a woman.” The real kicker here is that he demanded access to the women’s bathroom. His employer said no, so that was what the case was about. The Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, [which is really all we have in the United States to protect a whole bunch of our civil rights], they ruled that it should include gender identity. This is a disaster for women.
In 1964 this didn’t exist as a concept. Gender identity was certainly not included under the category of sex. The people who wrote that legislation certainly didn’t intend that in any way, there’s no evidence that they did. It has protected women. Women have used the Civil Rights Act more than any other group in the United States and there’s a lot of interesting history there, but we don’t really have time to get into it, but anyway The Civil Rights Act is pretty much what we’ve got. In The Bill of Rights that we have there’s a series of what are called negative freedoms. The Bill of Rights restricts the reach of the Federal Government. So we don’t actually have a proactive right to speech under the First Amendment. What we have is a right not to be interfered with . So “the government shall make no laws…” That’s what the first ten amendments really are about. It’s trying to keep the government out of what are people’s sort of natural human rights. If you look back in history what you had at the founding of this country is you’ve got the rising mercantile class and what they’re fighting is essentially an older system which involved a king, hereditary power. The rising mercantile class was fighting them and saying “No, we have rights and we don’t want you to rule over us, we’re going to rule over ourselves.”
So what you had was a bunch of very rich, essentially white men, saying, “I won’t interfere with you, you don’t interfere with me and we’re going to call that freedom.” Now, as far as that goes it’s certainly been helpful, I’m glad we have a First Amendment but that’s as far as it ever went.
Regardless, here we are today, so what Biden has done, taking this Bostock Decision instead of sex, we’re going to have gender identity. So every place in the law that was protecting women as a group, as a class based on our biology, will now they’re going to instead say “gender identity.” They can’t define gender identity. It’s not in this executive order. There’s literally no definition. A few states that have tried to have definitions; I mean, in New Jersey “a gender identity is a gender-related identity” and I’m not making that up. It’s completely circular and this is because it’s complete nonsense. I know we all keep using the Emperor’s New Clothes as our big metaphor but I don’t have a better one. It’s just complete nonsense, it means nothing. Yeah, “a circle is a thing we call a circle,” great! Does not tell you what a circle is! The most ridiculous thing is that we all know what a man is and what a woman is. This isn’t actually up for debate. We have sexually dimorphic species for 500 million years on this planet. There’s just men and there’s women. This is actually not very complicated. They have made it complicated, but it is not complicated. We all know who can bear the babies and who doesn’t. For the whole history of Patriarchy, they’ve never had a problem figuring out who the women were: who was going to be sold as a child bride, was going to have her genitals mutilated, who was gonna have her feet bound, who wasn’t allowed to vote. I mean, in 1976 when my mother divorced my father she couldn’t get a credit card in her name, she couldn’t get a bank account. That didn’t happen to my father! We all know who that happened to and why we have a feminist movement.
So Bostock has now come to fruition. We saw this in the ruling. Anybody can read it all, this information is public. That’s what they said, that “transgender status” defined a discreet group of people. Again, they never defined it because it’s not definable, it’s simply an internal feeling and it has nothing to do with physical reality. So this executive order, all the federal anti-discrimination statutes that cover sex discrimination, now they’re going to prohibit discrimination on the basis of “gender identity”. This involves all the Federal Civil Rights offices across the country which are now going to have to enforce this. This is where you used to go if you felt like there was workplace discrimination or something that was one of the legal remedies that you had. Women aren’t going to have that remedy anymore. Men will.
JM – That was definitely my question, what does this do to United States women immediately?
LK – Women are now going to be the people who are the problem, right? Men are going to come and say, “Women aren’t letting me do X, Y and Z.” “I’m not allowed in the women’s bathroom, I’m not allowed to take a woman’s job that’s been reserved for women”– and that’s discrimination. So women are going to have to give way. We are now the problem that has to be solved rather than the people who are being hurt, systematically hurt. It’s completely the opposite now–, we are the boundary that has to be broken. So, this is every federal agency. They’ve been directed to do comprehensive assessment of all their regulations and they have one hundred days to plan how they are going to now insert gender identity in the place of sex. How they’re going to interpret all this through the lens of gender identity? So this includes all American employers, it includes all the institutions and indeed eventually all the individuals. So you think about all the federal agencies, well that immediately includes housing and urban development (HUD) and they are the people who run all the, you know, (all the notreligious homeless shelters but) all the public homeless shelters. So now you’ve got an incredibly vulnerable group of women who are not going to be able to keep men out. There have already been cases where women have been sexually assaulted in homeless shelters.
There’s a case that’s still ongoing from Sacramento, California, where [thank God, women were able to find a lawyer but they have terrible experiences of how] a man was forced into the homeless shelter with them and they had to shower and share rooms with him and how terrifying this was and the things he did to them.
JM – Of course prisons, any federal prison.
LK – Yes, all the prisons now, and again there are already cases rolling. There’s Illinois, in there’s Texas, there’s Washington. I just want everybody to feel the horror of this; you are a woman locked in a 10 by 10 cell and now we have a man who’s very likely a violent offender, could be a sexual offender, is now put in your cell with you. You have literally no way to escape and this is what they’re going to do to women around the country. They’re already doing it, we just haven’t been able to get any press about it.
In UK, they had mister Karen White who insisted he was a woman and was put in a woman’s prison. He sexually assaulted women and it was all over the news and it really helped them in their fight it broke through into the mainstream. We have not been able to do that here and we have just as many horrifying cases here and nobody wants to hear it., The press is just the a great wall of silence at this point. What’s happening to the most vulnerable women? We know why women end up in prison. We know that they have been abused as children, battered as adults, that they’re in for economic crimes because they’re living in poverty, a lot of them are survivors of prostitution. They’re the women who have been hurt the most by this system and now they’re going to be locked in cells with men, with male predators. The left is who’s pushing this. The Democrats are supposed to be, you know, the side that’s anti-racist and the side that’s for progress, that’s for unity. That’s who’s bringing this. It wasn’t the Republicans who did this to women.
JM – What does this do to children in school systems?
LK – In school? So that’s the next thing.
JM – The federal level of control in this executive order is one of the most horrifying aspects to me about replacing gender identity with sex.
LK – The entire public school system, so anybody who gets federal money is going to have to absolutely give into this. Every school girl will not have a bathroom that she can use in school safely… * dog barks * Hang on one second, this is my dog.
JM – Hi, sweetie!
LK – Yeah, I don’t know why she thinks we’re in danger, we’re not in any danger.
JM – Actually, I think that it’s in our voices, we are in danger, we, really, really are, she knows she’s got sensible animal instincts, yeah. If you’d like to repeat that because we had the barking in the background.
LK – This is every single public school, that’s where the federal money goes. A private school, if you’re not getting federal money, you might not have to give in to this right away. But all the public schools are going to have to do it. Human rights groups around the world will tell you the number one thing that keeps girls out of school is a lack of safe toileting facilities. This is a huge human rights issue in poorer countries. It’s true when girls are very young but especially when they start to get their periods, when they hit adolescence it’s over. Girls just drop out in droves because they don’t have a safe place to attend to their menstrual needs. And for some reason we’re just gonna decide that girls in the United States don’t need this. The girls in India need it and girls in Sri Lanka need it and girls in Iran need it and girls in the Congo need it, but girls in the United States somehow it’s different. We have a different kind of man or boy here who would never hurt women and girls and women are perfectly fine to just drop their clothes and pee wherever they want. We all know this is not true. We all know that it is exactly the same here. We deal with predators every day as women and girls. We’ve already got stories of the girls who won’t pee all day long at school and are getting bladder infections and nobody cares.
JM – And then also I know that there was some headway, at least I thought, around the issue of women’s and girls’ sports in schools being totally eliminated because of this.
LK – There’s been push back for whatever reason. That’s an issue that has gotten more coverage. It’s gotten just a little bit, we’ve got a little more purchase on that one. I’m not sure why the sports one, I don’t care, you just take an issue and move. Yeah, there are big cases in Connecticut, there’s three girls, high school girls, who are on the track team and of course a boy joined and they just say there’s no point in running. You just can beaten them by a mile. So we all know this about men and women. W, we have different bodies, women have a bigger pelvis, it takes a half a second more every time we walk, just to take a step because we’re kind of making a right-hand turn there, a right angle, and there’s just no way that women are ever gonna run as fast as men. The fastest women in the world are just barely up to mediocre men. I remember when we had this amazing women’s soccer team in the United States that went to the Olympics and they played a game against high school boys and they lost. These are the best women in the world. We have physical differences, the lung size, the oxygenation, the heart size, muscle size, the strength of the joints, justdown the list. We all know that men and women have different bodies.
Infants are born with a template. They can tell the difference between a male and a female face. We all can do this. I don’t know why they have made this so complicated. , Well, I do know why, but I don’t know why everybody’s falling for it. Okay, we’ve got the prisons, the housing, the battered women’s shelters … Can you imagine being a battered woman escaping your batterer and now he can say, “Oh, I’m a woman, take me into the shelter!” You think men aren’t gonna do that? You’ve ever dealt with a stalker, a batterer? Oh, they’re gonna do it., We know what these men are like. They’re gonna do it. That’s gonna happen and now the schools, it’s every girl in the nation is not gonna have a safe place, and we’re gonna lose sports. It’s a grim day. I mean, Trump was a nightmare and I think we’re all glad he’s was gone.Hhe did a lot to hurt this country and to really sort of degrade our democratic processes such as they are, but it just went from one to the other. We knew this was coming, Biden had promised it and he did it.
JM – And the left is a horrible nightmare in the war against women.
LK – Yeah, an absolute nightmare. The way that Eric Weinstein encapsulates it: we have MAGAstan on one side and we have Wokenstan on the other side.
JM – No…
LK – That’s it, right? Those are our choices in the United States. In terms of employment law, a man now can’t be fired for claiming to be a woman, but a woman can be fired for pointing out that he’s a man.
LK – There’s gonna be a lot of compelled speech coming down at us. Right now it’s sort of behind the scenes. There are articles in the law journals in which the lefty, Wokenstan people are horrified that court documents don’t refer to people using their “preferred pronouns.” This has already happened in England. I don’t know if you followed Maria Mclaughlin’s case, but she was assaulted by a man who thinks he’s a woman at a public talk. He punched her in the face and broke her camera. He assaulted her. She was told by the judge that she had to call him ‘her.’She was compelled to use female pronouns for a man who assaulted her. Now, I want you to picture you’ve got a rape victim in court and she’s being told that she has to refer to this man as a woman, “His female penis did this to me…”
JM – And the consequences of not following that compelled speech are fines?
LK – Contempt.
JM – You can be in contempt, of course.
LK – You could be thrown in prison for contempt of court.
JM – You can be thrown in prison.
LK – Absolutely.
JM – For non-compliance.
LK – That would be me, I’m not going to comply to this. But it you’re asking the average woman to have to stand up to this while she’s on trial after the worst trauma of her life, she’s going to have to refer to a man as a woman, I mean, my head is just kind of exploding here. This is where we are. And the outside influence of the United States is always… this is going to go everywhere now. It’s not just us. It’s going to go around the world. So it’s bad and we can’t get any public debate. We can’t get any news analysis., There’s no mainstream coverage of this. This has been the problem for, well, over a decade, where we just cannot get anybody to pay attention to it. We get a little bit of right-wing coverage but that’s it. The mainstream news they won’t touch it and it’s for the same reason, it’s institutional capture., They’ve already been captured. There are journalists terrified of losing their jobs, We hear from them all the time, they know the truth of this, but they can’t say it because they’ve got mortgages to pay, so I don’t know what’s going to break through, what’s it gonna take. Somebody’s gonna haveJM – You would think, of all the places where biological reality would still hold, it would be in health and health care and it’s not.
LK – No, it’s not.
DM – And the consequences of not having that, that’s one of the things where my head just explodes, frankly.
LK – Yeah, and there’s an even bigger problem. The actual doctors and nurses may well be compelled to perform these surgeries and provide these really dangerous drugs. Because what’s already been done legally, the argument is that if you already provide mastectomies for women with cancer or hysterectomies for women who have uterine cancer or other you know polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or whatever conditions, endometriosis, where you might actually have a medical need to have your uterus removed. If you do those procedures, you can’t make a distinction between somebody with a disease, you know, a medical problem and somebody who actually just wants it electively. You are not allowed to make that distinction. If someone calls themselves trans, you then have to provide the same care even though it’s a completely different situation. There’s nothing wrong with their bodies, their bodies are perfectly healthy. But the law will be they’re forcing doctors and nurses to have to do this these procedures. The law will be forcing insurance companies to have to pay for it. This just seems like the ‘right of conscience’ thing for doctors, I mean, they take an oath to do no harm and some of these patients people are just they’re children. We’re talking about 13-year-old girls having mastectomies here in California and in Oregon, that’s madness! You can’t drink, you can’t drive, you can’t vote, you can’t pierce your ears, but you can have your uterus removed, your breasts chopped off. When you’re a teenager you’re not thinking about whether you’re going to have children.
JM – No.
LK – So many people who never wanted children and then they turned 28 and fell in love. Then they had children, you know, found a partner, had have a baby and it just completely transformed their lives. It’s like the most incredible experience they’ve ever had, would do anything to protect those children. We know that having a baby can bring out the kind of love that brings out in people and it’s utterly life-altering. You can’t make that decision when you’re 12 or 13, you can’t make it when you’re 17. You have no idea what’s coming in your life, you’re a totally different person when you’re 30.
JM – Yes.
LK – And we’re letting these kids just… they’re saturated in self-hatred. The porn industry has completely taken over the culture. I have nothing but sympathy for these poor girls. I know why they hate their bodies. They’ve been given their own story, you know, –in my generation, we did anorexia and cutting, that was how we did our self-hatred and it was for the same reasons. We’d all been molested, we were all looking at a culture that considered our bodies public property: ridiculous, insulting, worthy of contempt; they weren’t ours to inhabit, they belong to men, they didn’t belong to us. We all had these experiences of being harassed or groped or terrified or maybe outright raped. I understand, there’s no question why young girls feel this way as they become teenagers.
You hit 11, 12 years old and it’s just a completely different world walking down the street. It’s terrifying and you realize you’re never going to be safe again. So I get why they’re doing it, but they don’t have “gender dysphoria.” They have life in Patriarchy and the only solution is, honestly, Feminism, It’s a political movement that’s gonna change men’s behavior. But they’re not being told that. What they’re being told is that it’s personal to them. They just happen to have a special human essence that was born in a sadly female body, but we can attend to that: you can take dangerous drugs, you can have these horrible surgeries and try to live under the wire as a kind of a faux man, and that’s the option out. There’s already a whole generation of these girls. A lot of them are lesbians, a lot of them are autistic, they never fit, none of the roles seemed right. Well, it doesn’t for most of us, but especially I think for some women it’s probably a little bit harder. Now they’re 21 years old and they’ve been in medical menopause for four years. They have all the problems that you get when you’re 60 or 70, you know, things like urinary incontinence, a 20 year-old needs to deal with that? The surgeries they do on the young men, I don’t even have words, what they did to Jazz Jennings on television. Millions of people watch this young man have his genitals permanently removed and this was supposed to be some kind of liberatory practice. The hatred of the human animal here just blows my mind. That we don’t protect the young, instead we’re going to do this to them. It’s just beyond me.
JM – That blows my mind as a parent too and I’ve heard multiple parents with their hearts ripped out because they’re watching their children be devoured by this insane culture and what is like the antithesis of being biocentric: complete denial of basic biological reality and being eaten alive and they’re gutted emotionally and mentally by what’s happened to their children, that’s one of the most horrifying aspects of gender identity piece so….
LK – No one will help them. The people who should be helping us are the ones who are doing the damage. You’d think that doctors and therapists and school teachers and all these institutions that are supposed to be progressive and leftward leaning, that are supposed to care about human rights and are supposed to care about women and children and every last one of them has been captured. Now we have this executive order, that it’s just like nailing in more nails on the coffin here for these young people. I am not hopeless, we are not giving up, we are going to fight, but it is very hard. This is a hard week.
JM – WoLF has done spectacular work around fighting legislation or working that line of being able to be politically effective in the face of this and I know that it’s really hard, but I don’t know what to do with an executive order. Do you have any ideas about where we begin to fight back on them?
LK – Executive orders are not free from judicial oversight. They can be declared unconstitutional. The very first legal action that WOLF took was actually to try to sue the Obama Administration over the first time that this happened. That was when Obama did it at the end of his term, he went ahead and did these same executive orders. He made everything be ‘by gender identity’ instead of sex and that was the first lawsuit that we filed.
So, we need a few things. One is a whole bunch of money because none of this comes cheap. Which is sad, but it’s just reality. It can be millions of dollars to run a lawsuit. And then we need a plaintiff, you have to have somebody who would support this. It can’t happen right away. We have to find somebody, somewhere, who can say that this executive order has somehow infringed on her basic rights. Or it could be a man, too, I mean, it’s going to hurt young guys as well. We need somebody to come forward and help and be that person in the lawsuit. That’s a big ask because we know what happens to people who put their heads up above the parapet on this issue., We know it can destroy your life rather permanently at this point, but it has to be done. While we’re waiting to do that, we’ve got a bunch of other stuff sort of coming down the pipeline, but the main thing is that we can try to fight this in the courts. But it’s gonna take time, it’s not gonna happen overnight.
I want people to understand another thing about this as well, which is the reason that Obama did it, which is probably the same reason that Biden did it: in the United States, (people who don’t live here don’t get how bad some of this stuff is) first the Supreme Court, well over 100 years ago, ruled that corporations are people so they have the same rights as an actual human being would have. Then they ruled that included the First Amendment, so they have speech rights like you and I would have. Then, not that long ago they ruled that you can’t actually restrict the amount of money that people donate to political candidates because that’s a form of political speech. It’s a very important speech. You can’t put in any kind of line under it. So the floodgates opened and what was left of our political system was completely captured by the wealthy corporations. In people’s daily lives they don’t understand why things have gotten even worse and worse. In my lifetime, it has certainly happened, and that’s one of the main reasons. The magic trick is done completely above board because it’s not craft graft, it’s not paying bribes behind the scenes. It’s done completely openly and legally. The very wealthy– who aren’t even people, they are corporations– are allowed to simply ‘buy’ candidates. I’m not picking on Obama here, every last candidate you see running has these kind of backers. It’s the only way. They need millions of dollars to get their candidates and their candidacies up and running. To run a candidate for president, I don’t even want to think how much money that costs. The only way to do it is to get these backers. In terms of Obama, he’s from Illinois and one of the big big billionaire families out there is the Pritzkers and they’re a pharmaceutical company. This is all public information, they owned an airline, they own the Hyatt hotels, just on and on the amount of businesses churning money they made. Pharmaceuticals is huge for their wealth, and they’re billionaires and they bought him his first senate seat in Illinois. They put a bet on him and their horse won. Then they bought him his senate seat in Washington. Then he became, in the federal government, he was senator. Then they put more money on him. They got him into the White House. They’re not the only ones, there certainly were other corporate interests behind it. Again, I’m not picking on him., This is how the system works. It’s how the Court said it should work and it’s working fine for them, but this is what we’re up against. So Pritzkers put him in and then it was payback time and they also have a very famous member of their family: Jennifer Pritzker who I think was born, what was his original name? I don’t even remember, James, maybe, it started with a J. Jonathan, yeah, he’s a man who thinks he’s a woman. They’ have got a big trans in their family so that was the payoff. When it was his second term, two years in Obama went ahead and did all these executive orders. It was quite clearly just what they wanted so he gave it to them. That was the payoff.
JM – So, is this a replay?
LK – Yeah, it is because Penny Pritzker was a huge backer of Biden. She actually ran the fundraising for Biden. This is public information, I am not making this up and this is not, I just want to be really clear, this is not a crazy conspiracy. This is literally how the American political system works, okay? This is legally how it’s done above board, they just buy themselves candidates and that’s what they did. We are up against billionaires, the Pritzkers are billionaires and they wanted this legislation, they wanted these executive orders. How many of us are there? A few hundred? Okay, here’s my ten dollars. This is what we’re fighting.
We have truth, we have righteousness, we have our love for women, we have our love for the planet. I don’t want to instill more despair in anybody who’s listening. We are not giving up, I will not surrender and I don’t think any of you will either, but this is definitely David versus Goliath and this didn’t come out of nowhere. These men have been planning this for decades. They had an entire plan, it’s called the Yogyakarta Principles. They all got together in 2006 and made a list of what their demands were going to be. One by one they’ve done it. But they’re the billionaire class, they have all this money, they could do it. A lot of people are like, “Where did this all come from? It dropped out of nowhere.” It feels It may feel that way if you’re kind of ignoring it,but I’ll tell you as someone who’s been fighting this since the 80s: oh, no, it didn’t drop out of nowhere. They got billions of dollars. They had a political plan and they’ve gotten it done. Now here we are and all the women and girls in the United States are going to pay the price. So that’s where we are. We’re not going to lose,
We also have truth on our side. It is simply true that men cannot become women and no matter what kind of post-modern gobbledygook they want to put on, it can’t be done. You are the sex you are. You cannot be born in the wrong body, that’s like a prayer. As far as I’m concerned you have one body. It’s your one chance to be alive. You got to be born. How is that not enough? Just to be alive! And I understand all the things that happen to us that make us hate our physical embodiment, but it’s all we’ve got. It’s still a miracle every morning to breathe, to wake up, take that breath of air, look at the green trees and the yellow, the sun and feel the warmth and know that you’re loved and pet your dogs and hug your children. Every single, sensual moment of that is just a miracle! How did we lose sight of that to the point where we think our bodies are lego blocks so we can buy parts and remove them and slap them back on?, It’s a very poor simulacrum at best.
JM – It sounds like Mary Shelley’s nightmare.
LK – It is! She was on it! She was always saw it coming, she really did. She saw the arrogance of that scientific mind and what that had to do with male domination and the male violation imperative., She got it all, and she was just a teenager when she wrote that book., She saw it coming.
JM – It comes to you in dreams and it comes to you out of your heart. That’s so inspiring, Lierre, in the face of such a nightmare. Is there anything else that you’d like to share with listeners about where to look? Because you’re not going to stop fighting and we want to support you and we want to support all women everywhere in the United States. We’re going to have to grind through this and and defeat this nightmare. So where do we look? What do we look to? Who inspires you that you’d like to leave us with?
LK – A few things right away, We have a petition, if you go to the WoLF website you can sign the petition. More important: write a letter. Write a letter to the Biden administration., Write a letter to Kamala Harris. Write a letter to your legislatures. Call your senators on the phone. Tell them you’re upset about this. Explain to them what’s going on and then reach out to your state legislatures too, because this is going to be a state-by-state battle as well. It’s already a state-by-state battle. You’ve got to get involved and, I know it’s terrifying, I do know that. The people who come at us really mean it, they’re unhinged, they’re violent. They will destroy your life if they decide to. You will lose your job. You can lose your house. There’s not a woman I know who hasn’t had serious losses to this. Some of us have lost our careers entirely. I know people about to leave the country, it’s… I’m not gonna sugarcoat what you may be up against, to come out on this one. But it has to be done. So contact every single, you know, anybody who represents representative you have in any government at all, from the local to the to the federal level, reach out to them, talk to them, get your talking points ready, go with a friend. They have to see you if your you’re a constituent., That is your right. They have to let you come and talk to them. You may only be able to see staffers if they’re big people, but they still they have to take your information, they have to sit and listen to you. So, get yourselves together, practice beforehand, but do it. We have to learn how to engage with the political process. I think a lot of us who are more on the radical edge, we a lot of times spend our lives kind of rolling our eyes on at it because it just seems so reformist. But there are times and places where we have to engage and this is definitely one of them. Otherwise they win. If we don’t show up to do our part, they’re going to win. Because there’s no fight back and they have captured everything at this point. We’ve got to start pushing back. We’ve got to learn to do that. Go with a friend, just, you know, put on your your big girl’s shoes and just get it done. They’re just people, honestly. I’ve done it, I’ve lobbied, they’re just people like me and you and they don’t know more than we do either, especially not on this issue. It doesn’t matter whether you have democrats or republicans representing you, they all need to hear it. They have not heard a feminist analysis, they don’t understand how this is going to hurt women and girls. Everybody thinks it’s kind of gay plus and it’s not. It’s not anything like gay and lesbian rights, nothing like it at all. So we’ve just got to speak up. And then speak to everybody in your life about it. I know that’s hard. People are going to be very mad at you, but it has to be done. Whoever you are, if you’re listening to this you probably have really nice friends, you’ve got good family, they probably have really good hearts. They want what’s best for everyone. They need to understand how this is going to hurt women and girls and that you’re not helping young people who hate their bodies by letting them do permanent damage that they will regret in five years. So, anyway, all of that, you know, get yourselves together, but we’ve got to talk to people, our friends, our family, our neighbors and then everybody in a position of political power. Sign our petition, write a letter, and if you want to join WoLF, join, because we need help. We need volunteers in every single state. This is going to be massive and it’s going to take all of us. But never surrender.
JM – Never surrender.
LK – Never surrender.
JM – Never. Thank you, Lierre, for all of that thank you.
LK – Thank you.
LK – Thank you.
JM – Yeah, you are so welcome and I’m so glad that the Green flame is going to be able to put this out there with such an eloquent voice. We thank you so much for taking some time because I know you are working tirelessly for everybody, women and girls and the real world.
LK – A lot of us are, so join hands. We gotta do it.
JM – We will.