The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

To Expand on What Smitty Said

Posted on | January 18, 2012 | 50 Comments

Finding political symbolism in the latest headlines can be a silly game. It may be that the Costa Concordia should teach no lesson other than to remind us why the phrase “Italian navy” never struck terror in anyone’s heart.

Nevertheless, Vox Day ventured the opinion that feminism was somehow implicated in the disaster, an opinion which was linked by Instapundit, which inspired an eruption from Cassandra at Villainous Company. And then Smitty, a man who knows something about matters nautical, weighed in on the fray.

On the one hand, it’s difficult to say that Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, et al., are directly implicated in the cowardice of Capt. Francesco Schettino and his crew. There were cowards before there were feminists, obviously, so to cite such spectacular cowardice as the fruit of a particular ideology may be going too far.

Nevertheless, we can say that an emphasis on rights tends to encourage the neglect of duty, and we live in an age when considerations of duty seldom enter the public discourse. Without duty — where the is no sense of obligation, responsibility, honor, respect — selfishness natural prevails, and one manifestation of that selifshness is the feminist sensibility.

The famous feminist slogan, “the personal is political,” summarizes everything that is wrong with feminism as an ideology and a movement. What the slogan suggests is that the ordinary discontents of women — their unhappiness with romantic relationships or disappointments in their careers — should be elevated to the status of political causes, because . . .

Well, why?

Good luck getting a credible explanation for that, short of the advocacy of an all-powerful government that monitors every private transaction and treats every disagreement or injury as a potential tort. If every rude word in the workplace is a civil-rights violation, and every broken heart is grounds for a lawsuit, well, yes, in such a society ‘the personal is the political,” but it is difficult to say that such a regime actually contributes to women’s well-being or happiness. Yet this is the regime that prevails in a hyper-litigious culture when any recognition of the differences between men and women is prohibited as “discrimination.”

This is what we mean by the word “feminism,” a species of egalitarianism that is as mistaken and as damaging as any other egalitarian philosophy. This make-believe androgyny is armed with the force of law and protected by the intellectual prestige of academia, and seldom does anyone dare to question its philosophical foundations or its implicit premises.

A deference to feminism has taken hold that is almost never noticed: Anyone who writes about feminism except to praise it is presumed to be ill-motivated, and even most critics of feminism feel obligated to soften their crtiticisms by including disavowals of any intent to condone “discrimination.” But if we cannot discriminate between men and women — if we cannot say that male and female are distinct qualities involving differences significant enough to deserve recognition and accommodation — we are forced into maintaining the pretense of a phony “equality” that exists only in the minds of ideological fanatics.

And what no one can ever say is that feminism is an ideology of selfishness, which tells women that their ambitions, their desires and their grievances are more important than those of men. By embracing feminism, a woman becomes entitled (at least in  her own mind) to deferential favoritism, with an entire political/legal movement standing ready to unleash hell on any poor bastard who dares dispute her “right” to anything she covets.

Feminism = “What’s in it for me?”

This equation often manifests itself in outrageous claims of victimhood and absurd public festivals of indignation like “Slutwalk,” which began when a Toronto police official — noting that a serial rapist who was still at large seemed partial to women dressed a certain way —  suggested as a public safety measure that maybe women should avoid dressing that way. The fact that the officer was merely trying to help women protect themselves against a dangerous criminal was lost in the subsequent rage-fest, which inspired international emulation. A simple fact about crime (i.e., that people can take precautions to reduce their likelihood of becoming victims) had so offended feminist sensibilities that the protests were necessary to silence anyone who might ever again be tempted to state such a fact.

The appropriate answer to this ridiculous ideology is not a counter-ideology; we do not need a “man’s movement.” Rather the appropriate answer is to expose feminism as the dangerous folly it is, and to show courage in doing so. Too many men are afraid to denounce feminism directly and comprehensively, and the scent of fear only incites the feminists to more furious attacks. But let us acquit ourselves as men, and not abandon ship like Capt. Francesco Schettino.

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Comments

  • Anonymous

    As you allude, “the personal is political,” is just a subset of the totalitarian impulse, where “everything is political.”

    The alleged goal of legal equality is very different from feminism, which is just another way in for the totalitarians.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Oh, I agree completely.  We do not treat people as individuals who have distinct and inalienable rights…and distinct and inalienable responsibilities as well.

    Unfortunately, there are those who do believe there needs to be a “man’s movement”, and that is just more idiocy heaped on top of the present stupidity.  Why?  Because people like the easy route — and reactionary will is far more easy than thinking things through and working on the problem from that stance.

    What a freaking, rotten mess; future generations will pay for it though, so only our conscience will pay (if we still have one) thus it’s too easy.

  • Tennwriter

    The PUA guys are completing the process of barbarianization the feminists began when  they destroyed their half of the Chivalry system.  The answer is not to rebalance as Barbarians, but to rebuild a high culture.

    And Conservatism seeks to restrict the scope of the political, to reverse ‘everything is political’.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    You’re last paragraph is dead solid perfect.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Hey, if you guys can kick start a movement to get people acting like responsible adults again, I’m right there with you!

    It’ll solve a lot of our other problems too imho.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    I’m sorry, but in fact they have security video of Susan Brownmiller sneaking into the GPS locker with a hammer and Patricia Ireland pouring saltpeter into the galley pasta machine.

    On a more serious note, any time the Brits wanted a fight in the Mediterranean, the Italian Navy was happy to show up, for some very nasty close-quarters brawls much like those of the Solomons Campaign.

    Schettino is a disgrace to Italian manhood, and a stain on the memory of Fabrizio Quattrochi, but he is not all Italian manhood.

  • http://twitter.com/Bannor007 Dan Gillen

    The only thing i learned from this is never get on a ship captained by some greasy eye-talian 

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Or Greeks.  They ain’t much better.  “Once I give the order to abandon ship, my responsibility is ended.” Captain of the Sea Diamond, 2007

  • Sven

    So….Smitty’s enlistment in the Navy allows him to detect that dead American feminists made a present-day Italian captain cut in front of the women and children? Sounds like you’ve got yourself a tinfoil fedora.

    The two of you are showing signs of Pat Robertson Syndrome, which causes its sufferers to compulsively blame the objects of  their biggest obsession for every adverse occurrence in the universe. In Robertson’s case, it makes him say gays cause all the biggest weather and seismic events.

  • Gchaudoin

    There are Italian MEN of courage.  Remember Fabrizio Quattrocchi?

    Refresh your memory:
    http://justoneminute.typepad.com/footnotes/2004/10/ill_show_you_ho.html

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Why, yes, yes I do.  Look up. *g*

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    Breaking News: Stacy in Kobayashi Maru scenario with SC State Troopers!

  • Tina D.

    In order to reduce the likelihood of becoming victims of rape, all women should cover themselves from head to toe. The Burqa: it’s merely a public safety measure.

  • hardcorps80204

    This is the STUPIDEST conclusion that has ever been pustulated. Please stop talking. Our collective IQ as a species plummets every time you open mouth. Shut up. Do it for the children.hARDCORPS

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    This was not about feminism, this was about cowardice.  This was an Italian version of Lord Jim, but without the nuance or forgiving circumstances.  

  • Anonymous

    But this is still a great post.  Smitty’s too.  

  • http://www.thecoffeeshopblog.net/ Rose

    I will say this – I don’t care how they were dressed, NO ONE is asking to be attacked or raped.

    I recognize the rationale, believe me – but it’s a deceitful piece of rhetoric. A girl wears a mini-skirt, it’s the fashion, or she just happens to like it – it has nothing to do with ‘asking for it.’ I’m surprised when women, especially, make this statement without thinking. Even if it is provocative, they have a right to dress any way they please with an expectation that they are safe in a civil society. It’s the Taliban who think if a woman shows her ankle they incite a man to lust and attack. Not us.

    And, I think ‘slutwalk’ is yet another tiresome and ridiculous waste of time. ‘Feminists’ and NOW, lost all claim to any kind of respect when they married themselves to the left. They allowed what happened to Sarah Palin to happen without a single word of opposition. They don’t stand for women’s rights, they are nothing more than partisan hacks.

  • Finrod Felagund

    What she said.

  • Anonymous
  • Quartermaster

    Day makes a very good point. Feministas don’t care for the implcations, however. Too bad sez I, but continually attacking the virtues of the western civilized male leads to what happened.

    While Cowardice was involved in the disaster, it is cowardice that was decried by men who had normalized to the virtues as inculcated by western civilization. I say to the feministas, welcome to the results of your idiocy.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Jefferson will know what to do.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    That’s just childish [ie: a typical Leftist response].

    What is so wrong with what that cop advised?  It’s just like the advice, given to men and women, not to wear flashy jewelery in rough neighborhoods.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    That’s some counter-argument you got there…I’m convinced!

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    You are correct that no one is asking to be raped, but the reality of the situation is: for many types of rapists such clothing can be the trigger that makes them select a particular victim out of the crowd they are scanning.

    Common Sense is all the officer was recommending.

  • Cass


    I’m sorry, but in fact they have security video of Susan Brownmiller sneaking into the GPS locker with a hammer and Patricia Ireland pouring saltpeter into the galley pasta machine.”

    OMG. That will teach me to read comments during my coffee break.

  • Cass

    Stacy wrote: “The appropriate answer to this ridiculous ideology is not a counter-ideology; we do not need a “man’s movement.” Rather the appropriate answer is to expose feminism as the dangerous folly it is, and to show courage in doing so. Too many men are afraid to denounce feminism directly and comprehensively, and the scent of fear only incites the feminists to more furious attacks. But let us acquit ourselves as men, and not abandon ship like Capt. Francesco Schettino.”
    As both Smitty and Stacy have suggested, the answer to Bad Ideology is not More Bad Ideology. 

    I’ve rarely noticed men being afraid to denounce radical feminism directly – I see such denunciations daily on the net, some more well supported than others.  While I have no problem with such criticism where it’s merited (and it usually is) I do have a problem with selective outrage. 

    Destructive and foolish ideas deserve to be opposed wherever they are found, regardless of who happens to be flogging them this week. And the notion that standards of morality should be set by the worst actors among us (or that adults have no duty to act virtuously unless are rewarded our pains)  is about as destructive and foolish an idea as I can imagine.

    Once upon a time, it was accepted and understood that virtue is its own reward, regardless of whether others are wise enough to value it (and us). A nation of adults who won’t act like adults unless they are bribed with a cookie and a glass of milk is a nation that is circling the drain.

    Thanks for the link to my “eruption”… err… post :p

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  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    You are using the same illogic as the “slutwalkers.”

    The cop was advising: there is a particular criminal who attacks women who dress like this and this, until we catch him maybe don’t dress like that in his area of predation.

    Now, if the cops KNOW a guy is preying on women with orange hair, should they tell women to leave the orange dye in the medicine cabinet until he’s caught, or does your proud Sisterhood of the Fishnet Stockings break out the orange spray, march around downtown, and bemoan your victimhood later, or take the freakin’ advice?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    Ah, NOW I get it.  We’re telling wymyn to use common sense.  Dammit, we ARE a bunch of chauvinist pigs.

    I denounce myself.

  • http://www.thecoffeeshopblog.net/ Rose

    Personally, I would take the freaking advice. :) But it’s the same argument as the “why do they hate us” re: muslims – I don’t care what their fooked up mindset is – we’re not bad, nor is the woman with the orange hair ‘asking for it.’ Taking the argument to its logical conclusion, they are ‘asking for it’ simply by virtue of being female.

    That’s not to say they shouldn’t be smart – don’t walk down dark alleys alone, go to the beach alone, drive at night without locking your car doors, etc. etc. Every woman I know has had to adjust her life around the reality, up to and including an escape plan from their own house.

    But wearing a bikini, a short skirt, fishnet stockings, tank tops, ballgowns, shorts – it doesn’t really matter what it is – the perp is after the weak, the insecure, the convenient victim, tarted up or not.

    No one – not even the streetwalker – is asking to be beaten or killed.

  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com/ Charles

    “Abandon ship! Every man for himself!” has just as long a maritime tradition as “The captain goes down with his ship.”

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GW2ECOZXLYZZH2BCNZMIXJU4QY Teresa

    I’m quite afraid I will have to get my woman card revoked and agree wholeheartedly with Vox Day.  We have brought this on ourselves.  Not, of course through any active participation in the excesses of feminism, but standing by silently while it worked its poison.

    I will admit silent complicity in the matter.  I’m old enough to have seen such harridans screech at men offering them simple courtesies, that they weren’t some weak little nothing that could not open her own door.  Worse, I stood by approvingly when, as some man defended himself, other women descended on him for “talking like that to a lady.”  It was a no win position we placed our men in – be a man and defend yourself ; but don’t you dare defend yourself.

    We welcomed such females among the company of ladies.  That used to mean something, to be a lady.  It’s an accident of birth, now.  When I was in junior high school, a girl was instructed by one of the nuns that if she found herself shunned by other girls for stealing boyfriends, she should behave like a lady and leave boyfriends alone, and her problem would be solved.  Now my nieces and grand-daughters are taken to task for being judgmental.

    The worst of it all is that it is only with the benefit of years that I see how inch by painful inch we have disempowered our men from being men. My father had his clubs to go to, to be with men, to be mentored by and mentor in turn other men.  We’ve done away with them.  My husband has his garage, and I have to confess that feminist indoctrination makes me resent even this sometimes.  

    My brothers were taught in boy’s schools, by men.  My son was taught that such things privileged him, and were sexist.  I’m sorry, ladies.  “Men” did not do this to us.  WE did it – or more correctly, sat by quietly while it happened, voicing only faint and weak objection when the Gloria Steinems of the world claimed our voices.
    Speak all you will about the right thing for the sake of the right thing – you may throw *A* crumb of honor at *A* man now and again for such things, but it has been a long string of moons since society has honored men for being manly.Someone taught the men on the Titanic that women and children went first.  And someone taught men nowadays that such archaic notions are outdated, patronizing, and inappropriate.Hint:  It wasn’t men; for all we have been taught that they are our whipping boys.The Game and PUA guys are nothing new; but in my day, and my mother’s day we were taught about such men.  “Cads” was one name for them.  I was taught to respect myself, to demand better for me.  But feminists knew a better way, so they said,  And I fell for it. And the consequence was they taught my daughters instead of me.  And I was far from alone in doing it.Some people did try to teach our little girls to be ladies, but they were reviled as sexist, mocked as being stuck in “BeaverCleaverWorld,” and belittled as afraid of empowered female sexuality.Guess who was on either side of that divide, sisters?

  • Conan The King of Aquilonia

    Cass,
    Read Teresa’s post above yours. There is Voxday’s point.

    Teresa, your introspective post shows a lot of character.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GW2ECOZXLYZZH2BCNZMIXJU4QY Teresa

    It would have shown more if I hadn’t had to learn it the hard way.

    I’m afraid it is very chic among us women to circle the wagons around other women by sheer dint of their femininity, without questioning if they are worth defending.  And it has cheapened us, as women.  Feminism has snuck in on us the idea that men are a “them” and we are an “us.”

    To be sure, feminism put up a big front of fighting for a lot of things that are worth having.  But it came with a lot of hidden costs that we never questioned, even though I think we all secretly knew were in there.  We bargained with a devil.  And I was as big a reader of “Ms.” magazine and other propaganda as anyone, and I shudder to think of how openly they spoke of their intents, and how many of them they have achieved.

    Admitting that means we have to admit some responsibility in the fixing of it, that we can’t just once again “blame men” for it, or expect them to fix it alone.  I’m past fifty, myself. Very little of that burden will fall me to me, and probably will fall to younger women.

    It took me two tries, but I got a good man; sadly I have to admit that my generation traded away the best part of being a  woman for the worst parts of being a man, and that is the legacy we have left our younger generation, and many of them are bitter and angry at men.

    They should be angry at us.  We squandered that birthright.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Rose is right.  It has much more to do with picking a soft target rather than a provocative one.

    Sadly, I’ve had two friends in my lifetime who were raped.  Neither were dressed provocatively (unless flannel granny nightgowns or long johns are considered risque), both however were sadly seen as easy targets by their rapists (both were home alone and in bed — one  because it was night, the other with the flu — and in both cases their attackers had scoped the place out first).

    Actual rape is a crime of violence perpetrated by people with some form of sociopathy (the whole date rape phenomenon is a questionable thing as many cases of that seem to be next day regret…it lessens the implications of real rape in our society, and also places normal men in an unfair position of being portrayed as mindless, lust filled, booze fueled sexual aggressors, when this is not the truth).

    I consider the whole “dressing slutty makes men raging rape machines” to be a great disservice to men, and to have very bad implications on future generations of the same (aka. men cannot control themselves, therefore it is somehow ok when they don’t because they can’t control themselves).

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    I think part of the problem is, that we women forgot that the first, most important thing, to be considered as is “human being” and “individual”.  The one thing that was promised.

    As such, that opens the door for a wide range of distinct personalities — and all afforded some place in greater society with the wonderful side benefit of leaving an opening for men to come to their definition of manhood in their own, distinct and very human ways.

    Instead we allowed ourselves to be branded as a group — just a group with a new set of definitions handed down to us by a new set of definers, the feminists.  In the process they also had to enact a new definition for men and new rules on how men and women were to interact and react to one another in society…but it was still not leaving any opening for the wide range of possiblities that a human being can address their respective roles; it was still oppressive conformity to some group definition (in fact, it was more oppressive, as feminism at least as it is today is a distinctly leftist and collective ideology).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GW2ECOZXLYZZH2BCNZMIXJU4QY Teresa

    I think this very post itself, without even scratching the surface, very eloquently demonstrates how effective and pervasive feminism has been in society;  I was about to say “radical feminism,” but you’re right in that the driving ideology of mainstream feminism is extreme and left wing, so much so that feminism must be considered a radical and extreme movement, with the moderate and reasonable forms the outliers.

    I find it to be disingenuous and intellectually dishonest in the extreme, as well, to see and hear hand-waving and pooh-poohing about how insignificant a movement feminism must be vis-a-vis the relationship between men and women as far as marriage and law go when above we can readily see just what an impact it has had on society as a whole otherwise.Unfortunately, I’m un-surprised to see such rushes to exonerate feminism as was displayed at the link to the “Villainous Company” blog.  As I noted above, we as women tend to have a blind spot with other women, even when they are demonstrably acting in bad faith, and to ends which, considered as a whole, must be regarded as injurious.  I suspect it is for similar reasons that we find it so hard to fathom mother who abuse their own children – we grasp for a reason, any reason, because we ourselves have been taught that we ladies are sugar and spice and everything nice.To quote the good book, though, “By their fruits you shall know them” and the fruits of feminism in every other sphere of society are writ large with stark and shameful clarity.  To insist that its effects on society, attitudes, and relationships otherwise must be minimal is, to me, the extraordinary claim which requires extraordinary proof.

  • Anonymous

    People who sign their own comments are (usually) brain-dead wastes of oxygen, and best ignored. Unless we can point fingers and jeer, of course.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, the living ones can take their share of the blame too; it’s not like there’s a shortage.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, but we used to treat that behavior as something worthy of this verse by Kipling:

    “On you the shame of open shame;
    on you from North to South
    The hand of every honest man flat-heeled across your mouth.”

    Now? This poltroon will cash in on his 15 minutes.

  • Anonymous

    There needs to be a man’s movement for the same reasons there need to be “activist judges” on the conservative side: without them, the ratchet is locked left, instead of moved back to balance.

  • Quartermaster

    Thanx for saving me the trouble. But, you cheated me of the satisfaction of denoucing you. I hate you for denouncing yourself and depriving me of the entertainment value. You will hear from my Lawyer soon.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    The Captain only gives that order once every possible measure has been taken.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    I’ve noticed that too.

    Yours…
    Robert ‘Bob’ Belvedere

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    I’ll see my lawyer about this as soon as? he graduates from law school [Groucho].

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Bravo!

    Now, the key is for men, as Stacy warns, not to go off and do the ‘counter-ideology’ thing, but seek to restore the natural way of things, while preserving those victories women have won that comport with Right Reason.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Teresa: I would be very interested to see what you and the Pathfinder’s Wife think of my essay over at my site:
    http://thecampofthesaints.org/2012/01/18/a-tale-of-two-ships-and-of-decline/