Eileen Myles and Jill Soloway's Plan to Topple the Patriarchy

jill soloway, eileen myles

Eileen Myles, the lesbian poet portrayed as a fictional women's studies professor by Cherry Jones on Transparent, and Jill Soloway, the creator-director of Transparent, were watching porn together in Paris late last year. The partners were inspired to author a radical feminist manifesto after coming to the conclusion that the porn industry "distributes portrayals of almost exclusively male pleasure and climax."

Soloway writes that she was feeling in a “revolutionary mood” after watching Hamilton, the popular musical created by Lin-Manuel Miranda about the founding father Alexander Hamilton. The couple had recently visited the White House, which probably added to the revolutionary mood, and were on their way to Berlin to do press for the second season of Transparent. 

While they support the idea of a porn industry and people making a living photographing and sharing images of sex, they want to begin a revolution — one that demands reparations for women and excludes men from governing the bodies of women.

The manifesto includes a list of demands and one of those demands is that porn made by men be “outlawed for one hundred years.” They also called for a 50-year ban on men creating art such as film, television, poetry, and writing. Soloway and Myles, who recently announced in a New Yorker profile that they were dating, write in the manifesto that they made their measures "extreme" because it is the "only method through which we can experience what authentic female representation would truly look like." No stranger to politics or tongue-in-cheek humor, Myles ran as a write-in presidential candidate in 1992. In a video posted to Soloway's site, Wifey.tv, Myles explains "to the 200 lesbians watching" (Soloway's words) that they created the manifesto in response to the "apprehension of pornography that seems to be chiefly serving one set of person's pleasure." 

The showrunner and poet call for the end to male governance, blaming the obsession with war on men: "War is a cultural invention dreamed up by men." They, again, want men to have a hundred-year break from governing. They issue an invite to men to "enthusiastically join us in the toppling of this artificial masculinist hierarchy." 

 

An American Poem with @eileenmyles

A photo posted by @jillsoloway on

Myles and Soloway ask readers to dig mass graves for pistols, rifles, AK-47s, hand grenades, and bombs, in unused real estate closest to them. They call for all people to go to Jerusalem, where they say, "Let us stand there, at the borders forever, holding hands to protect that space." 

They registered the domain name, www.topplethepatriarchy.com, where they posted their charter dubbed, “The Thanksgiving Paris Manifesto.” On her website, Wifey.tv, Soloway calls for people to join the movement, get enraged, and "help us rewrite and rewrite the charter until all of this worldwide gun obsessed war obsessed men obsessed with other men silliness is over." 

 

A photo posted by @jillsoloway on

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