An Ending

The image says a lot but not the whole story.  Since the early days of scientific exploration, coinciding with European imperialism, we white people have done whatever we deemed nessecary at the time to further our empires and our fortunes.  We have always perpetrated these crimes of progress off the backs of those too unfortunate to realize they were being enslaved.  We’ve lied, cheated and stolen in the name of advancement.  We’ve committed genocide in the name of science.  We’ve enslaved generation after generation in the name of economic growth.  We’ve devised systems to enslave races in perpetual ignorance and poverty. We’ve perpetuated false, fear based stereo-types, we enact hate-crimes, we deny it all.  

But as horrible as we white folk have been to the races around the world, it is nothing compared to what we men have made you women endure since the dawn of time.  What’s worse is that man’s treatment of women transcends race; transcends socio-economic background; transcends religion or region.  Men treat women like shit and they do it as Christians or as Muslims, or Hindu or white or African American or Japanese or Swedish or poor or rich or as vanilla middle class.  In fact, men’s equally shitty treatment of women may possibly be the single unifying thread that binds all races and religions together and not just in this era but throughout all time.  That’s right.  The single unifying belief in all of humanity might just be the oppression of women.    

It’s hard not to think about it right now.  Everyday more and more women come forward with accusations about men in power having committed an ever increasing array of pretty horrible shit.  You have your Weinsteins and Cosbys and Ratners and Louie CKs—you even have the president of the United States and all of these deviants have a line of accusers so long that it’s hard to imagine these guys having any time left for anything other than whipping out their cocks and acting like sexual predators.  And these are just the famous, well-to-do folks.  What if you’re just below poverty line and looking for a job and the guy at the grocery store, while interviewing you, whips out his cock and says if you really want this job, you’ll get to work now?  Who are you going to tell?  What’s your recourse?  

It’s hard not to be ashamed.  I’m a racial oppressor by birthright, shamed by the acts of those in my family and others, years back, but not so many years back that I shouldn’t be paying reparations in one form or another.  But I’m also an oppressor of women by birthright, shamed by those who say that they love all races and creeds but keep women firmly under their boot.  Men who rape and hurt women.   Who threaten them and make them think that they are weak and feeble.  But ultimately it’s we men who are weak and ill-suited for the power we’ve stolen from women.  Our strong beautiful daughters and wives and mothers are our superior in every way.  They’re better adapted at reasoning, conjecture, structure and survival.  They give birth.  They feed us at their breast.  They lovingly guide us into the world and how do we repay them?  

So when I saw Ester standing behind this piece at the Hammer, I felt conflicted.  Yes, we need to truly embrace that we believe all men are created equally imperfect and deserve the same opportunities and inalienable rights as our liberalism ideals dictate.  We should be viewed as a single race, known only as humanity and we should be brothers in arms.  But this applies to all men and all women.  We men need to put an end to the single biggest act of systemic hate ever known and finally show unconditional love and respect to all women of this world for they are more than our equals.  We owe them our lives and they owe us nothing.

“An end” shot on my Mamiya6MF at 50mm on Kodak Tri-X film pushed to 800 at the Icon.

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