Editor’s note: Most of the world’s science is conducted in service of profit and militarism which both depends upon for its creation and results in ruin for the natural world.
In this article, Evan Richards draws links between the destruction of our planet, “anti-aging medicines,” patriarchy, and rejection of biological reality.
By Evan Richards
“The assumption that women and nature exist for the use and convenience of men has generated technologies undreamed of”
— Patricia Hynes, ‘The Recurring Silent Spring’ (1989)
In April, the BBC headlined an article titled ‘Rejuvenation of woman’s skin could tackle diseases of ageing’. The BBC’s Pallab Ghosh writes that “Researchers have rejuvenated a 53-year-old woman’s skin cells so they are the equivalent of a 23-year-old’s” with the eventual aim being “to develop treatments for age-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and neurological disorders.” It is added that “the technology is built on the techniques used to create Dolly the cloned sheep more than 25 years ago.”
Throughout this article I will argue that the BBC is pushing unnecessary “high-publicity” and “high-drama” techno-medical solutions that are distracting and harmful. Overall, health is being weaponised by science to justify unnecessary experimentation that maintains patriarchal values. I argue that a radical-feminist conception of health is needed now more than ever.
“We see the same world. But through different eyes”
— Virginia Woolf, ‘Three Guineas’
First, it is important to look into the myth of objectivity within science and medicine. The subject of medicine is one that is often boasted about and leveraged against those who resist industrial patriarchy. The topics of health, psychiatry, therapy, and science are dominated with liberal rhetoric, with critical voices being routinely left out. As Janice Raymond wrote: “technological progress has become a sort of secular religion and anti-technology, a control mechanism for marginalising criticism”. Through the doctrine of liberalism, theories of “neutrality” and “objectivity” reign supreme to rationalise man’s irrational systematic plunder of the earth.
A friend of mine described the liberal mentality well: “subjective things like ‘good’ are decoupled from their subject. ‘Good for industry’ simply becomes ‘good’. Good for whom? The bears? The salmon? The birds? The humans who have lived there for generations? Supremacist thinking doesn’t just claim the supremacist’s feelings trump all others; the most insidious part is that it completely erases other feelings. They just don’t exist, you’re not just the only one who matters, you’re the only point of view”. Through institutions such as religion and science, objectivity makes what is good for a small elite of rich white men become “good” for everyone else. The subjective experiences of those lower on the hierarchy are ignored.
Take the famous words of Francis Bacon, “knowledge is power”. Here we deal with abstract knowledge, separated from patriarchal society. In saying “knowledge is power” Bacon gives the game away as knowledge becomes defined as that which makes man powerful. Knowledge that does not serve power, but only to heal the land is habitually disregarded as “knowledge”. The knowledge of soil, seeds, biodiversity, bees and butterflies is ignored in favour of the knowledge of chemical fertilisers, pesticides, GMOs and how to increase the profit of agricultural monopolies. Throughout this article, the same problems arise as the myth of male reason attempts to justify unnecessary experimentations, which guise the true goal of possession and control.
“It is instructive to look back on the history of eschatological technology, reproductive as well as otherwise, formerly touted as salvific, but often saving no one.”
— Janice Raymond, ‘The Marketing of the New Reproductive Technologies: Medicine, the Media and the Idea of Progress’ (1990)
Derrick Jensen said that “we in this culture have come to conflate this way of life with all life on the planet”. Health under civilisation is centred on human people, non-human people (often called ‘resources’) are not accounted for. Such blind reductionism will inevitably be destructive as humans cannot live without the vibrant ecosystems that sustain the web of life. Therefore, as Andrée Collard pointed out, “if health were a genuine concern, scientists would turn their minds to restoring healthy conditions for all life.” Patriarchy fixates on isolated problems, naming them diseases. It then focuses on cures over prevention, reflecting the patriarchal mantra of control which “derives from the fear of being subject to nature”.
Unlike the patriarchal sciences, feminism sees everything as interconnected. Robin Morgan said that if patriarchy could be summed up in a word it would be “compartmentalisation”. Patriarchy splits and divides, creating contradictions, and turning reality into antagonistic categories. Reason is split from emotion, culture is split from nature, the mind is split from the body, sex is split from love and science is split from art.
Patriarchy’s lust for division is so uncompromising it even split the atom, spelling out the needless deaths of thousands and poisoning the world into a perpetual schizophrenia of nuclear apocalypse. Through the artificial manufacturing of these splits, patriarchy seeks to elevate man above nature. The scientist under patriarchy is hence always apart from nature, separated in a lab, able to observe nature “objectively”. A radical-feminist conception of science on the other hand recognises that we are instead a part of nature. As Janice Raymond wrote, a radical-feminist kind of science “is thus ecological” as “it recognises that everything is related to everything else.”
Mary Daly had written in 1978 that “scientists are priests of patriarchy”. Indeed, as Sandra Harding wrote “science is a social problem because the society that shapes it is a social problem.” In Daly’s words, “the development of modern technology… Has facilitated movement beyond mere passive expectation to active enactment of the envisioned horror show.” Vandana Shiva, writing in her book ‘Staying Alive’ published in 1988, focused on “science and development as patriarchal projects”. It is this “modern reductionist science” which must be replaced with a feminist science.
“By definition, un-health cannot bring about health”
— Andrée Collard, ‘Rape of the Wild’
Under patriarchal medicine, the health of Mother Earth is not acknowledged in the production of medicines for humans. Given that the etymology of health means to be whole, any medicine which is dependent on the destruction of the environment, is obviously not healthy. For example, premarin based estrogen replacement drugs which come from the rape and abuse of horses, are not healthy. If those horses were not strapped down and routinely violated, civilisation could not provide them.
When you see the world as a whole, not isolated and fragmented, your conception of health is sustainable. However, because patriarchy does not recognise the interconnectedness of our world and our bodies, its projects of “health” are reversed. In the end to be healthy means to escape one’s body (transsexualism / transhumanism), in the end to be healthy means to escape the Earth (space travel) and live “freely” encased in metal or uploaded into ‘the cloud’. Scientists through doublethink will annihilate us in their conquest for health.
“Men don’t age better than women, they’re just allowed to age”
— Carrie Fisher
An Everyday Health article on the history of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) has a section titled “Forever young? Anti-aging Momentum Begins”. In the article, it references a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Gloria Bachman, who said that hormone therapy improves the look of the skin, breasts, and muscles, therefore playing an important role in boosting a woman’s self-image and self-esteem. Underlying the concern for women’s health is an endorsement of patriarchal beauty values. Tying self-esteem to youth, rather than criticising an sexist and ageist culture, does not boost self-esteem, it damages it leading to harmful beauty practices. The cure is not medical-technology that ultimately serves male degraded lust for artificial beauty, the cure is radical-feminism and a women’s movement that challenges an ageist and sexist culture.
It is no surprise that this research targets women. For one, paedophile culture is a driving motivation behind it, shown clearly when organisations such as the Lifespan Extension Advocacy Foundation advertise that “age is just a number”. Paedophile culture affects all women, as Alicen Grey explains, “on the one side you have the infantilization of babies and little girls, on the other side, you have the sexualising of adolescent and infantile qualities in adult women.” This technology will therefore enforce authoritarian beauty expectations, there is a reason “rejuvenation of women’s skin” was the title and not men’s. The science is focused on women, because patriarchy seeks to control women.
For the sadistic priests of patriarchy who are “irritated by mystery” and who desire to “penetrate the unknown”, the yearning for control is endless. The BBC article is particularly dangerous, yet simply follows in a long-standing tradition of the malestream media to promote and advertise these phallocratic technologies, when, as Janice Raymond points out, “failure is often recognized after the fact of damage”. To promote the childish excitement of men like Professor Reik who work for the Wellcome Trust, with no critical voice, allows these projects to become greater catastrophes than they already are.
“I think it is important first to recognise the difference between ageing, which is a physiological process, and ageism, which is a form of oppression.”
— Barbara MacDonald, ‘Look Us in the Eye: The Old Women’s Project’ by Jennifer Abod.
The threats are biomedical as doctors, engineers, scientists and technocrats who experiment on women’s bodies in the goal of gaining “knowledge” ultimately gain control over women’s bodies as women become increasingly dependent on them, unable to live autonomous lives. The threats are also social, as what this technology ultimately achieves is the preservation of an ageist and sexist world. Just as transsexualism achieves the perpetuation of sex-role-stereotyping, these technological “solutions” achieve the maintenance of paedophile-culture, where women ageing is taboo.
This blame shifting from society onto the body, guised under the concern for women’s health, violates bodily integrity through genetic engineering and sustains the patriarchal world. Janice Raymond wrote in 1979 that “we are witnessing in the transsexual context, science at the service of a patriarchal ideology.” The patriarchal doctrine of sex-role-stereotyping creates the problem of transgenderism to begin with, placing sex as the enemy. Here, the patriarchal doctrine is immortality, naming age as the enemy.
“If tomorrow, women woke up and decided they really liked their bodies, just think how many industries would go out of business.”
— Gail Dines
The threats lie in sadomasochistic beauty rituals, there to keep women in a constant state of objectification. Mary Daly said that “the use of beauty… Functions to keep women in a state of being touchable, malleable, pouroverable”. Women are, in her words, made “the touchable caste.” This technology would keep women trapped in the male gaze, never ageing, unable to grow old. An experience which is already the norm. Given patriarchy’s prescription that women must be young and fertile, the abuse of women who do and do not conform and buy into these new technologies, will increase. Given the crippling beauty standards women are already coerced to perform, the prospect is undoubtable. Paedophilic male entitlement to women’s performance of artificial youth will only grow.
This objectification of women goes in tandem with the wider cultural rise of pornbots and development of reproductive technologies in society. This is the continued procession of “robotitude”, a term coined by Mary Daly to stress “the reduction of life in the state of servitude to mechanical motion.” Mary Daly’s prophetic insight in 1978 exposed how “the direction of phallotechnic progress is toward the production of three-dimensional, perfectly reformed “women”, that is, hollow holograms.” As she revealed, “the march of mechanical masculinist progress is toward the elimination of female Self-centering reality.”
“Prevention is the imperative need”
— Rachel Carson, ‘Silent Spring’
The BBC article says that the aim of this research and technology is to develop treatments for “diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and neurological disorders”. This comes under scrutiny however when we realise that half of U.S. cosmetics already contain toxic chemicals that cause these problems in the firstplace. The drive for acquiring youth in the beauty industry already proliferates age-related diseases itself. Exposure to chemicals such as Phthalates for example, found in makeup, “has been explicitly linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in several studies”, the very problems these scientists claim they wish to cure. One would think if the goal was to combat disease as advertised, one would put energies into fighting this problem first before going ahead with the high-risk technology used for cloning sheep.
Nonetheless, these scientists march on in their crusades. It is no surprise that these methods also increase cancer, as it says in the BBC article, “the technique cannot immediately be translated to the clinic because the IPS method increases the risk of cancers.” It continues, “but Prof Reik was confident that now it was known that it is possible to rejuvenate cells, his team could find an alternative, safer method.” The rhetoric of addiction permeates all liberal-scientists.
Patriarchy creates the problem and sells the “cure”. The problem of toxic beauty is never seen as part of the equation, the knowledge of feminists who have written extensively on challenging harmful beauty practices is not regarded. Any solution which does not increase the power of the sociopaths in charge is shunned. The problem is always instead a lack of data, a lack of research, and a lack of test subjects. This myopic, mechanistic and reductionist worldview of modern-day science has allowed the Father to be blind in his abuse, addicted to the torture of the Earth, thinking only of himself, he spells out the demise of all.
“Death has become an imposition on the human race and is no longer acceptable.”
— Alan Harrington, ‘The Immortalist’
The need to read Janice Raymond and revive a radical-feminist conception of medicine whilst rigourously investigating the risks of genetic engineering and pharmacogenomics is stronger than ever. Transhumanists have always been uncomfortable with that which is outside of their control, death is seen as an imposition on humanity that we need to be liberated from, our flesh and bodies are seen as meat-avatars, prisons, limiting us of our creative potential. As the trans-identifying-male Natasha Vita-More stated, “our bodies will be the next fashion statement; we will design them in all sorts of interesting combinations of texture, colors, tones, and luminosity”. This comes from the patriarchal mind/body split, fostering a scientific faith in immortality. As Derrick Jensen wrote “a fear of death and a yearning for immortality is a primary motivator of much human supremacist science”. Transhumanists have always seen age as their enemy, and sought to control it.
The section on ‘Longevity’ from Andrée Collard’s book, ‘Rape of the Wild’, is stupendous in its analysis of this necrophilic endeavour, which makes life dependent on industrial civilisation. That is, dependent on torturing animals, mining rare earths, and of course dependent on phallocentric theories of scientists and doctors. A resistance movement is needed, otherwise there will be something worse even than the gift of death, there will only be the non-presence of the machine.
Evan Richards is from England, and is a volunteer with Deep Green Resistance.
Image from ‘Look us in the Eye: The Old Women’s Project’, a documentary by Jennifer Abod (great watch!).