Abigail Bray is the author of Misogyny Re-loaded. Recently I spoke with her about her explosive manifesto where she links the present era of sexual sadism to the rise of an authoritarian militarised violence. One of Abigail’s intentions in this book is to shift the focus away from male sexual violence such as domestic abuse and pornography, and concentrate on the larger area of male patriarchal violence in the form of the military industrial complex and show how this parasitic complex is affecting all our lives.
In Misogyny Re-loaded, Abigail Bray quotes Nigerian writer Amina Mama who belongs to a group of international feminists and activists protesting the global degradation caused by militarism. The group is calling for feminist engagement with this industrialised male violence. That there is a relationship between these institutions of capitalism, imperialism, militarism and women’s lives is the focus of much of her book.
In the U.S, half of the taxation revenue goes to fund the military industrial complex, which as well as causing massive amounts of pollution across the globe, is furthering the ‘necrophiliac, patriarchal, supremacist mentality’ which radiates down, and into our lives deciding the violent films we watch, the video games that are played and generally fostering the glorification of war.
At present there is the growing normalisation of military values with America engaged in a cold war with China, a conflict into which Australia is also being drawn. Currently Australia spends $25 billion a year on the military — that’s $68 million every single day. Abigail Bray reminded me that after former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard cut Australia’s defence budget in 2012, PM Tony Abbott, then the opposition leader, flew to the US and promised to increase our defence budget.
The massive amount of public money which is allocated to weapons of war is something that feminists and activists need to learn about, inform others, and rage against.
“Women’s anger has been stolen from them,” says Abigail Bray. “We are expected to smile constantly. There’s a steady narrowing of the range of emotions that we are allowed, while men are allowed to express anxiety and anger, and are not labelled as crazy and hysterical,” she adds.”What’s more, we blame ourselves for our oppression, our unhappiness, our depressing socio- economic conditions, instead of condemning the patriarchal capitalist system.”
We really must become angry once again, for as the author tells me the austerity programs imposed across Europe and the UK are resulting in women, rather than men, losing jobs. And the cruel cutbacks are only just beginning here. While single mothers have had their welfare payments severely cut, the next group of people to see their meagre incomes cut to below poverty levels, are the disabled and the unemployed.
In answer to my question:
Who benefits from this re-loading or heightened misogyny? “Men in general – It’s a complex socio-political complex, almost fascist,” sighs Bray.