Posted on | July 28, 2014 | 22 Comments
“We had turned the corner at U Street and were marching up 14th Street when the woman with the megaphone leading SlutWalk DC started a new chant: ‘We love consensual sex! We love consensual sex!’ Well, OK, but who doesn’t? Is there any actual opposition to this agenda? Is there an Anti-Consensual Sex Movement that someone forgot to tell us about? Oblivious to the absurdity, about 400 women joined in shouting this slogan, which was at least better than their previous chants: ‘Blame the system, not the victim!’ and ‘One! Two! Three! Four! We won’t take it anymore! Five! Six! Seven! Eight! Stop the violence! Stop the hate!’ The ‘violence’ to which that chant referred is rape, and ‘hate’ is any discussion of rape (or any other subject) that doesn’t conform to feminist ideology. To distill their rhetoric to its totalitarian essence: ‘Shut up, because rape.’”
— Robert Stacy McCain, “Slutwalk Insanity,” The American Spectator, Aug. 12, 2013
There is a lot of confusion about what “feminism” means. Many people seem to think that a vague commitment to slogans — “choice,” “equality,” “progress,” etc. — is sufficient to qualify them as feminists. Such “feminism” is very simple and very superficial:
- Do you have a vagina?
- Vote Democrat!
As simple as it is, this kind of feminism is neither an ideology nor a movement. Being “feminist” in this superficial sense is convenient, because it requires neither thought nor action. Just repeat the slogans and vote Democrat and you’re OK, sister.
This thought-free feminism has little in common with the historic Women’s Liberation Movement of the late 1960s and ’70s, nor does it reflect the ideas of the radical intellectuals who dominate academic feminism in university Women’s Studies programs. These feminists — the real feminists, not the silly women who parrot simple-minded slogans about “equality” — speak a rhetoric in opposition to women’s subordination as inferiors in a patriarchal society.
What they mean by this is that normal expectations for women, including ideals of beauty as well as common beliefs about marriage, motherhood and heterosexuality, are a form of oppression. A radical feminist blogger posted this manifesto:
The controversial politics of liberating women in an age when even the title of ‘woman’ is given to any man who asks for it.
Radical Feminism is, and has always been a political movement focused on liberating girls and women, those who are born into the sex caste female, from the unnatural, yet universal roles patriarchy has assigned.
This role is always subordinate to the male role no matter where on the planet you are born, the color of your skin or your socioeconomic class. . . .
Radical Feminism fights to disassemble the subliminal sex role behavior performances that cause female subordination. We recognize females are not born to serve, be weak, pretty, wear dresses and make up, like princesses and cater to male feelings and pleasures. This is socialized behavior instruction. It’s a teaching, a grooming from birth that is false, harmful to our freedom and must stop.
Do you see what I mean? Fighting “to disassemble the subliminal sex role behavior performances that cause female subordination” — that is an ideology, the credo of an actual movement. As the author of that manifesto says, this is a “controversial politics” and, when you translate all that jargon into plain English, what they aim to liberate women from is femininity and heterosexuality.
This is what I mean when I say that feminism is a journey to lesbianism. If we take feminist ideology seriously, if we study the doctrines and objectives of the movement — especially as manifested in the teachings of Women’s Studies professors — we must admit that these revolutionary goals are incompatible with everything most people take for granted about women, about men, about sex.
Feminists have declared war on human nature. In arguing that men and women should be equal, proponents of feminist “gender theory” are in fact arguing that men and women are the same.
This intellectual commitment to androgyny, whereby differences between the sexes are “deconstructed” and analyzed with the presumption that sex-roles are an “unnatural” condition imposed on women by the system of male supremacy called patriarchy, is a radical idea with radical consequences. (Ideas Have Consequences, as Richard Weaver famously warned.) These radical ideas are not new; they have been part of feminist doctrine for more than four decades. However, it is only in recent years, with the political triumphs of the gay-rights movement, that academic feminists have cast aside the mask of moderation to declare heterosexuality itself the essence — both cause and effect — of “female subordination” under patriarchy.
“We do not seek tolerance and acceptance. We seek freedom from oppression, intimidation and harassment. We seek justice and a legal system that is capable and willing to defend our rights.”
— Wanda Henson, co-founder of the lesbian feminist community Camp Sister Spirit, 1994
Far be it from me to oppress, intimidate or harass anyone pursuing their rights under the Constitution and the rule of law. My interest is solely in discovering the truth about feminism and exposing that truth to the widest possible audience. Yet in the 21st century, the most precious of our rights, including freedom of speech and religious liberty, are now menaced by feminists and their allies in the gay-rights movement. Revolutionary developments in our law, our education system and our culture have quite nearly reversed the situation of which Wanda Henson complained. What seemed radical two decades ago has now become the law of the land. The 2013 Supreme Court decision in Windsor v. United States has had the practical effect of overturning the constitutions of more than 30 states where voters had ratified amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. It was in the wake of the 2008 passage of once such amendment, California’s Proposition 8, that I made these observations:
Seizing on the triumphant narrative of the black civil-rights movement, liberals adopted the habit of framing political debates in terms of minority “rights” versus majority “discrimination.” . . .
“Rights talk” allowed liberals a means of preemptively delegitimizing their opponents and thereby to avoid arguing about policy in terms of necessity, utility and efficacy. If all legal and political conflicts are about “rights,” there is no need to argue about the specific consequences of laws and policies. Merely determine which side of the controversy represents “rights” and the debate ends there.
The gay rage in California can be traced directly to the Supreme Court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, which voided a Texas sodomy law because, as Justice Anthony Kennedy declared, “our laws and traditions in the past half century . . . show an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex.” . . .
If homosexuality is a right, and denying legal recognition to same-sex marriage is a violation of that right, then the rage of gay activists against their opponents is entirely justified. Proposition 8 does not deny tolerance, safety and freedom to gays and lesbians, whose right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is as secure in California as anywhere in the world.
Tolerance, safety and freedom are not the same as equality, however, and equality is the freight that liberals seek to smuggle into arguments via “rights talk.” Gay activists do not construe their “rights” in terms of liberty, but in terms of radical and absolute equality. They insist that same-sex relationships are identical to — entirely analogous to and fungible with — traditional marriage.
Only the most shallow minds could fail to recognize in the 2003 Lawrence decision a radical revision of American society’s basic understanding of the relationships of men and women under the law, a revision which predictably led to the 2013 Windsor ruling.
If any recognition of differences between men and women is “discrimination,” if homosexuals are oppressed by our belief that heterosexuality is normal, if ordinary expectations about masculinity and femininity are “socially constructed” delusions imposed as a means of oppressing women, then the legalization of same-sex marriage is merely the first stage of a new radical era.
“PIV is always rape, OK?” Mocking laughter greeted this declaration from an anonymous radical feminist blogger who, in December 2013, explained that heterosexual intercourse — PIV being a feminist acronym for “penis-in-vagina” — is “inherently harmful,” a manifestation of male supremacy and the patriarchy’s violent oppression of women. The same blogger elsewhere declared, “No woman is heterosexual,” a statement that seems absurd, except to those who have studied the influential feminist scholars whose theories lend themselves to such a claim. Heterosexuality, these authors argue, is never a woman’s own free choice, nor is female heterosexuality the result of natural instinct or biological urges. Rather, according to radical theorists whose works are commonly taught in Women’s Studies courses at universities everywhere, women who are sexually attracted to men have been indoctrinated — brainwashed by “hetero-grooming” — to believe that male companionship is desirable or necessary to their happiness.
The blogger whose anti-PIV rantings inspired so much laughter (“Was she dropped on her head?”) was, in fact, able to cite as sources for her arguments such eminent feminist authors as Mary Daly, Dee Graham and Sheila Jeffreys. To say that these lesbian feminist authors are “controversial,” and that their radical views are not shared by the majority of American women who call themselves “feminists,” is by no means a refutation of their arguments. Such attempts to separate “mainstream” feminism from the more radical aspects of its ideology cannot avoid the problem that the faculty and curricula of university Women’s Studies programs — where feminism wields the authority of an official philosophy — are overwhelmingly dominated by radical lesbians. This hegemonic influence is not merely manifested in the fact that outspoken lesbian activists are employed as directors and professors in Women’s Studies programs everywhere, but also plainly evident in the textbooks and readings assigned in their classrooms. Even if a moderate heterosexual feminist were to become a Women’s Studies professor, she would find it nearly impossible to find a textbook that was not crammed with radical anti-male/anti-heterosexual readings from lesbian feminists like Charlotte Bunch, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Janice Raymond, Judith Butler and others. Within the campus environment of Women’s Studies, where today’s feminist intellectuals train tomorrow’s feminist spokeswomen, it is normal heterosexual women who are the intimidated and oppressed minority.
“There is a deep recognition in culture and in experience that intercourse is both the normal use of a woman, her human potentiality affirmed by it, and a violative abuse, her privacy irredeemably compromised, her selfhood changed in a way that is irrevocable, unrecoverable. . . . She, a human being, is supposed to have a privacy that is absolute; except that she, a woman, has a hole between her legs that men can, must, do enter. This hole, her hole, is synonymous with entry. . . . By definition, as the God who does not exist made her, she is intended to have a lesser privacy, a lesser integrity of the body, a lesser sense of self, since her body can be physically occupied and in the occupation taken over. . . .
“There is no analogue anywhere among subordinated groups of people to this experience of being made for intercourse: for penetration, entry, occupation. . . . Intercourse is a particular reality for women as an inferior class; and it has in it, as part of it, violation of boundaries, taking over, occupation, destruction of privacy, all of which are construed to be normal and also fundamental to continuing human existence.”
— Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse (1987)
“I am Female. This means I have a Female reproductive system and am vulnerable to impregnation, like all Females, by Males . . .
“What are the behaviors and roles considered appropriate for one’s sex? . . .
“If you are a Feminist . . . the answer to this should be ‘There are no behaviors and roles considered appropriate for my sex because Females can be and do anything.’
“If you are not a Feminist, your answer might be ‘My role as a women is to be a Wife (fuckhole) and Mother (breeder).'”
— Cathy Brennan, December 2012
Fear and Loathing of the Penis is the esoteric doctrine of feminism. Whatever feminists say in popular media — their exoteric discourse, intended for dissemination to the larger public — when these intellectuals speak to each other in academic journals, in classrooms and conferences and in online discussions, it is impossible to ignore their profound hostility toward men, and toward women’s role in normal relationships with men. Women who relate to men in the context of traditional relationships, who find satisfaction in their roles as wives and mothers, are viewed by feminist scholars with a mixture of suspicion, pity and contempt. The woman who enthusiastically enjoys sexual relations with her husband, and who views motherhood as an achievement of greater ultimate importance than anything she might do in her paid work outside her home, is a mystery to the man-hating lesbians whose theories prevail in the world of academic feminism. Normal women’s lives and beliefs must be deconstructed, analyzed and theorized in the context of her oppression within a patriarchal society.
This intellectual scrutiny is expressed in scholarly jargon that seems deliberately designed to prevent the reader from discovering the plain-English meaning of these academic arguments. Any careful reader of feminist literature will perceive the bias against men that pervades these arguments, and the advocacy of a lesbian alternative to oppression under “heteronormative patriarchy” is equally evident whenever the subject is addressed. Yet the critic of feminism who calls public attention to these esoteric doctrines, who translates the academic jargon into plain English, is automatically accused of fomenting prejudice. If you say these professors are man-hating lesbians who have made their selfish grievances the basis of a philosophy, you are a homophobic sexist.
Such is the fate of the truth-teller in an age where intellectual dishonesty has become standard practice in our news media, in popular culture and especially in our most prestigious institutions of elite higher education.
Truth cannot be forever suppressed, and lies cannot ultimately prevail, so long as honest people have the courage to withstand the insults and indignities that will always be heaped upon them by the enemies of truth. So I have begun a series of essays I call “Sex Trouble”:
- July 14: Radical Feminism and the Long Shadow of the ‘Lavender Menace’
- July 26: Feminists Worry That Disney Movies Are Making Girls Heterosexual
If you are a first-time reader — if you are not among the regulars who have followed all the previous blog posts in which I began compiling my research into radical feminism — those two articles can serve as an introduction. Regular readers already have some sense of how this series may develop, and several have urged me to compile these essays into a book, which is of course my hope. Yet for now there is before me only many more hours of research and writing, on top of all the work I have already done as I have surveyed the terrain of the battlefield on which will be contested the future of human society.
My lifelong habit of sarcastic humor should not deceive anyone as to the seriousness of my purpose, because the enemy’s seriousness should never be underestimated.
While academic feminists are usually careful to conceal their purposes with scholarly jargon and politically correct euphemisms, their activist disciples are not always so careful when expressing their contempt for normal women. Read their blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds, and you quickly learn that radical lesbians routinely disparage heterosexual wives and mothers as “fuckholes,” “dick receptacles,” “slaves” and “breeders.” When speaking amongst themselves, unrestrained by concern that their words may inspire political opposition, feminists quite routinely speak of normal women in such obscene and insulting terms, demeaning wives and mothers as ignorant victims who cooperate in their own oppression. Despite feminists’ willingness to use such hateful anti-female rhetoric to insult normal women, however, it is always and only the opponents of feminist who are accused of misogyny.
“Well, you’re quoting them out of context,” say feminism’s defenders, who automatically assume that anyone who does not agree with them is (a) ignorant and (b) motivated by hatred of women. However, as someone who has spent years reading and analyzing feminist literature, and having spent the past several months immersed in an in-depth exploration of radical feminism, I certainly cannot be accused of ignorance in this matter. To say that all critics of feminism hate women is a sort of tautology, by which mere disagreement with a specific group of writers is magically transmogrified into categorical hatred of women. This is like saying that a critic of Maoism is anti-Chinese, or that those who disagree with radical Islam are anti-Arab.
As for the frequently made claim that any excerpt from a feminist treatise cited by feminism’s opponents must have been quoted “out of context,” I invite skeptical readers to examine for themselves Andea Dworkin’s Intercourse. On Pages 155-156 of the 20th anniversary edition of Ms. Dworkin’s most famous book, she compares women’s condition to that of prisoners at Auschwitz, insisting women’s oppression is actually worse than the deadly fate of victims of Nazi genocide. Dworkin’s use of the phrase “the God who does not exist,” borrowed from a 1964 poem by Edna O’Brien, is repeated six times in Chapter Seven of Intercourse (Pages 153-182). Dworkin is not only at war with nature, but at war with God, a militant atheist who rejects any claim of a divine purpose in human life. It is impossible to mistake her meaning, or to claim she has been taken out of context, when one reads the words with which she concludes Chapter Seven, which is titled “Occupation/Collaboration”:
Maybe life is tragic and the God who does not exist made women inferior so that men could fuck us; or maybe we can only know this much for certain — that when intercourse exists and is experienced under conditions of force, fear, or inequality, it destroys in women the will to political freedom; it destroys the love of freedom itself. We become female: occupied; collaborators against each other, especially against those among us who resist male domination — the lone, crazy resisters, the organized resistance. The pleasure of submission does not and cannot change the fact, the cost, the indignity, of inferiority.
Any reader can see that, in this analogy, men are the totalitarian invaders, sexual Nazis whose “occupation” of women is coercively imposed “under conditions of force, fear, or inequality.” All women are victims of male oppression, but some women — those who willingly participate in heterosexual relations with men — are collaborators against their fellow women. Extending this metaphor, Dworkin insists that women “who resist male domination” (i.e., lesbian feminists) are the heroic female resistance fighting against the hostile male invaders.
Confronted with this argument, an honest person has no alternative but to take the bull by the horns, to say that if feminism is anything other than a meaningless phrase — if it is not merely a partisan slogan of the Democrat Vagina Caucus — Andrea Dworkin is right.
If indeed the existence of our society is founded on the inferiority of women, if our laws and customs and beliefs are nothing but the expression of male domination, then it is foolish to speak of women’s “consent” to sex with men. Her choice in the matter is an illusion and, by pretending to take pleasure in her role in this “reality for women as an inferior class,” she is collaborating not only in her own subordination, but also assisting in the male oppression of all women. Her “consent” is a betrayal. She is a traitor to womanhood.
Obviously, I don’t believe this, because I am not a feminist. If you don’t believe Dworkin’s claims, you’re not a feminist, either.
It is not just so-called “mainstream” feminists who must ignore the inherent paradoxes of the radical anti-male ideology which is taught as official feminist philosophy in Women’s Studies courses, where the syllabus for even an introductory class for freshmen usually relies on the works of unapologetic man-haters like Dworkin.
Ironically, even many lesbians find that they cannot fully reconcile their sexuality with feminist ideology. Lesbians whose preferences are expressed in “butch” and “femme” roles complain that their identities and behaviors are impugned as inauthentic by feminist theory. After all, if a man is a metaphorical Nazi for desiring to penetrate a woman’s vagina, and if a woman who desires penetration is cooperating in her own “occupation,” then there are many lesbians who enthusiastically “oppress” each other every night.
Expecting feminists to follow their premises to a logical conclusion is a futile hope. (Facts and logic are weapons of the patriarchy.) Nevertheless, insofar as feminism can be reconciled with logic, it is the man-hating radical lesbians whose arguments are more consistent with the fundamental premise of their ideology, namely that all men (collectively) oppress all women (collectively). The slogans of liberal feminists, who want women to believe they can have both equality and heterosexuality, are intellectually dishonest. “Sexual equality” ultimately means androgyny, the elimination of both men’s masculinity and women’s femininity — this is what feminists mean when they speak of “gender roles” — so that all humans are essentially identical, neither masculine nor feminine. No sane person desires this androgynous egalitarian utopia that is the ultimate teleological destination toward which feminism’s core ideology would lead us. Whether we are male or female, gay or straight, conservative or liberal, the vast majority of people understand that human nature — the basic difference between men and women — is one of the most delightful aspects of life.
Feminists have declared war on human nature. They are at war not only with men, but against women who love men, and also against all that is beautiful about the love between man and woman. Every love song, every kiss, every walk in the moonlight — insofar as anything in our culture and customs celebrates the love of man and woman, somewhere a Woman’s Studies professor is “deconstructing” it and subjecting it to a gender-theory analysis that interprets our love stories in the context of male oppression. When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. When the only ideology you have is feminism, every problem looks like heteronormative patriarchy.
Just as psychotics cling to their delusions despite any fact that a sane person may present to them, no one can ever hope to persuade a feminist that she is wrong. There is no point arguing with the tenured professors and professional activists who devote their careers to destroying whatever aspect of human happiness excites their angry resentment. All we can do is to reveal their beliefs, to make sure that anyone deceived by the superficial slogans of “mainstream” feminism understands the dangerous ideology behind the slogans. And yet we need not doubt that feminists are inspired by good intentions.
How else do we expect them to pave the road to Hell?
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