Feminist Semiotic Warfare

woman-3036185_1280Structural oppression typically takes the form of semiotic terror whether intentional or not by the person who whether consciously or not takes on the role of agent of structural oppression. While there are obviously collective political measures of varying degrees of discursive efficacy that may be sought against structural oppression need we also consider what individual persons may do to socially and discursively subvert structural oppression indeed.

What then is feminist semitic warfare? This is an important question to pose as the name of feminism in the sense of Intersectionality increasingly refers to opposition to structural oppression generally and so feminist semiotic warfare is subversively transformative socio-discursive action as taken to undermine physionomism (anti-body ideology) and DOLP (discrimination, oppression, lies and prejudice) generally in so called culture.

The question of law is an important one in this context since it is particularly unwise to act in a manner that may cause permanent legal damage to oneself and so feminist semiotic warfare needs in most cases be performed in a strictly law-abiding manner with a very wide legal margin indeed without becoming socio-discursively self-discredited. There are instances when breaking the law is ethically required but since breaking the law is usually not even necessary for the intended social effect needs this be particularly carefully considered prior to taking any action in contravention of or in the margins of law. It is important to be conscious of the fact that the law is not as most citizens assume necessarily a literalist interpretation of a legal text but rather that of the hermeneutics of contemporary jurisprudence in any particular territorial judisdiction indeed.

One example of feminist semiotic warfare is the SlutWalk as performed in different countries. Females in Western culture are typically expected to be sexy, yet not too sexy. In SlutWalks do females and others wear so called sexy clothing in a manner as usually not intended to be perceived as sexy. This is done fully legally since there is police permission for the SlutWalk.

Another example is the FEMEN international movement which is composed of conventionally attractive females who bare their torsos onto which they have written radical feminist political messages as intended to shock and offend patriarchal structural oppressors by turning-them-on-into and/or sexually-arousing-them-into change and transformation indeed. FEMEN activists are typically arrested, physically/psychologically abused and sexually harassed by the patriarchal police which typically seeks to have them prosecuted for simply not disguising their nipples, a practice which interestingly is considered completely non-controversial for the dominant gender class itself.

What FEMEN does is worthy, important, essential, yet also carefully considered and calibrated indeed. FEMEN activists take conscious risks and if convicted does the FEMEN organization pay their fines. What is more problematic however is that they indirectly subject themselves to sexual, psychological and physical abuse by the patriarchal police. Yet they do so with open eyes in ethical courage and they are surely heroines indeed.

SlutWalk activists however are less vulnerable to police abuse yet it could be argued that FEMEN is more effective than SlutWalk precisely due to subversively transgressing and therefore increasingly transforming judicial understanding of law.

Feminist semiotic warfare is indeed about transgression of limits of structural oppression, yet transgression of oppressive socio-cultural norms may be performed with a very wide legal margin indeed. While the anti-democratic police sexually, psychologically and physically abuse social activists generally and treat them as if they were terrorists is it nevertheless essential to act in a manner that is legal in the eyes of the courts. This is not as straightforward as one may imagine since the police is not averse to forging evidence such as extorting someone to provide false witness and so this is even more reason to take every legal precaution as prior to engaging in feminist semiotic warfare.

Feminist semiotic warfare is hence about transgressing structurally oppressive socio-cultural norms in a distinctly subversively transformative manner. What then does it mean “subversively transformative”? It means that feminist semiotic warfare needs subvert structurally oppressive social norms in socially/discursively highly effectively fomenting social behavioral/cognitive change.

It should be pointed out that all politics is semiotic, yet feminist semiotic warfare is calibrated for strategic political effect in the sense that it is not merely argumentative but performatively transformative in enveloping others into a social experience that serves to transform their own social roles. The purpose is thus to transform attitudes and not merely foment change of some kind of legislative or economic nature.

What is needed thus is keen socio-theoretical understanding as to what kind of semiotic action that is subversively transformative indeed. This means that we need engage in deliberate thinking as akin to game theory in keenly understanding what kind of semiotic expression that most effectively foments social change without needlessly causing permanent damage to oneself.

Semiotic expression may take many forms, it may be in the form of verbal strategies, clothes, makeup, hair styles, body/facial language, voice or simply absence of any of those things. We need hence first understand what is subversively transformative and what is not. Simple opposition may or may not be subversively transformative to varying degrees, yet subversion can also be quite subtle in the sense of it not necessarily being in-your-face obvious to others what the subverter seeks to socio-discursively transform.

As already poined out are sexually attractive females in Western culture expected to be sexy, yet not too sexy and so daring to be to sexy in public space may be subversively transformative if correctly calibrated to context. This is so since appearing “too sexy” may indeed be subversively transformative, yet not necessarily so as depending on how it is performed and in what social/environmental context.

While semiotic warfare obviously can be devised to shock and offend is it an interesting question as to how it can be devised otherwise. This is not only an important legal consideration but if feminist semiotic warfare is performed more subtly can it also be performed in daily life and in ordinary encounters and certainly without need for shocking or offending anyone. One may therefore and should I add ought turn one’s entire life into a subversively transformative feminist performance art project indeed.

If you can perform subversively transformative semiotic warfare without offending or shocking anyone then surely so much better. In fact why cause anyone any negative sensation at all unless you truly, genuinely have to? Imagination, ethics, jurisprudence and context are the only limits of feminist semiotic warfare as performed by means of polymorphous sociofluidity indeed.

The Intelligence Entrapment Methods documentation project.