However, while it is primarily men who must step up and counter the conspiracy, a further necessity is the realization that we are all in this together: men, women, gay, straight, and anyone who quite rightly resists such categorization. As gender and identity politics evolved over the past forty or so years it has been necessary for a certain amount of separatism to eventuate. Women and queer people, for example, needed to get together on their own, celebrate and assert their identities, and hold their oppressors accountable for the injustices dealt to them.
While it remains as important as ever for such specific voices to be heard, it is now necessary to complement these with strong alliances. This means moving beyond the women’s movement, and beyond the men’s movement, towards a people’s movement. Do not hear me say that individual oppressed voices—such as women and queer people—should be in any way erased in such a movement. A people’s movement is built precisely on the different experiences of its members: it celebrates and advocates for those differences. However, a people’s movement is not defined by specific differences. A people’s movement is defined by the assumption of everybody’s differences. It is in such an alliance that the critical mass is achieved for a multiplicity of new thinking spaces and resulting actions that will overturn the conspiracy not just at the individual, but at the systemic level: the great colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away falls of his own weight and breaks into pieces.
And while the people’s movement is born out of gendered identity, it does not stop there. It is inevitable that the kind of thought processes—and then actions—that go into supporting genuine gender difference extend into other domains, those other sites of oppression referred to above: class, race and so on. The people’s movement demands freedom from power and domination wherever it operates. The people’s movement shouts, “The emperor is wearing no clothes!” The people’s movement calls the conspiracy’s bluff. It’s so simple, so elegant. And it all starts with looking in the mirror, and questioning who it is who looks back.