“Men who want to be feminists do not need to be given a space in feminism. They need to take the space they have in society and make it feminist.”—Kelley Temple, NUS National Women’s Officer (via emilopia)
The problem, Althusser suggests, is that we don’t notice the forms in which our lives are constructed. Society functions as something obvious, something given, almost natural.
In order to understand the hidden imperatives, the codes of being, the secret requirements that philosophers call ‘ideologies’, we need to remove the veil of obviousness and givenness. Only then do we notice the bizarre but highly ordered logic that we obey, unthinkingly, in our everyday lives.
We may well feel ourselves opposed to ‘society’ or the ‘status quo’: however, paradoxically, for a particular ideology to survive, it is not essential that people actively support or believe in it.
The crucial thing is that people do not express their disbelief. For them to abide by the majority opinion, all that matters is that they believe it to be true that most of the people around them believe.
Ideologies thus thrive on ‘belief in the belief of others’.
“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”—Mario Savio