Posted on | August 25, 2014 | 76 Comments
“The idea that acts of violence can be excused due to a victim’s dress, state of intoxication, location and sexual history is absolutely ridiculous and feeds into a cultural view of sexual assault as not a real crime.”
— Liz Sheridan, SlutWalk Chicago organizer, 2014
“Yesterday’s mental illness is today’s social policy.”
— Kathy Shaidle, “Feminism’s Rotting Corpse,” 2012
If you want to understand feminism, begin by studying abnormal psychology. Perhaps no fact about the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1960s and ’70s is more significant than this: Shulamith Firestone, a pioneering leader of so called “Second Wave” feminism who co-founded the radical feminist group Redstockings, was a paranoid schizophrenic who died alone at age 67, having spent decades on public assistance because of her mental illness.
Feminists can blame Firestone’s pathetic fate on the oppressive patriarchy if they wish, but sane people must suspect that the cause-and-effect are quite opposite. That is to say, while feminists believe that the patriarchy makes women crazy, the rest of us suspect that crazy women made the patriarchy — inventing this imaginary conspiracy of “male supremacy” as the phantom menace of their paranoid minds, a fantasy bogeyman, a rationalization of their own unhappiness and misfortunes.
Here is where the meaning of the famous feminist dictum “the personal is political” exposes the real truth of their ideology. Rather than looking at feminism as a political movement to redress legitimate grievances shared generally by all women, we must understand feminism as a personal movement, concerned with the specific grievances of a distinct minority of women. To oppose feminism is not to say that the personal suffering of these women — the aggrieved minority — is not real, but rather to say that their unfortunate experiences cannot be generalized to justify a revolutionary political agenda that aims to transform society. If we change society for the benefit of the angry few, we risk destroying a society whose benefits provide happiness to the many. Feminists see no problem there; when they talk about “equality,” they mean to equalize misery, too. And most feminists are profoundly miserable.
Women who are sane, normal and happy do not become feminists, because such women do not need feminism. Once you understand feminism as an expression of unhappy women’s psychological needs, the general insanity of feminist doctrine makes perfect sense. This phenomenon was evident in March 2014, when a controversy arose at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USCU) because the university’s Center for Women’s & Gender Studies hosted Leigh Hendrix’s one-woman show, “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less.”
Question: Do college girls actually need to be told how to be lesbians? If they are so inclined, do students at USCU (or anywhere else) lack the requisite knowledge to accomplish homosexual activity? Are they smart enough to go to college, yet too stupid to Google this stuff?
Whatever didactic purpose was served by Ms. Hendrix’s performance as part of a USCU symposium called “Bodies of Knowledge,” controversy flared after the event made national headlines:
The show is a one-hour performance that follows Butchy McDyke, a motivational speaker and expert lesbian, as she “deftly guides her captive audience in an exploration of self-discovery and first love, coming out, lesbian sex, queer politics, and a really important Reba McEntire song.”
Hendrix encourages her audience to shout “I’m a big ol’ dyke!” in a show that is “one part instructional seminar, one part personal story, and one part wacky performance art.”
The First Amendment protects Ms. Hendrix’s right to perform her show, but compelling the taxpayers of South Carolina to fund it? That is another matter altogether. South Carolina is one of the most conservative states in the country, and UCSU is in Spartanburg, in the most conservative part of the state. Your right to shout “I’m a big ol’ dyke!” does not include the right to get paid by taxpayers to shout it in a crowded theater full of college kids in Spartanburg, S.C.
Whose crazy idea was this event, anyway? The news reports about the symposium quoted Professor Lisa Johnson, the Director of the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies at USCU, and so I started researching Professor Johnson. I quickly discovered that she is — brace yourself, because I’m afraid this may shock you — a crazy lesbian.
Sex and the Borderline Professor
In 2010, Professor Johnson published a book about her struggles with borderline personality disorder — “a serious mental illness,” according to the National Institutes for Mental Health. In her book, Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality, Professor Johnson describes herself as a “psycho girlfriend” with a history of dysfunctional relationships with both men and women. Her book describes “what amounts to a nervous breakdown as the result of an affair with a married lesbian colleague.” Professor Johnson in 2010 described herself as a “newlywed lesbian” whose partner was apparently her former student:
Stacey Haney was one of Professor Johnson’s most honored students at USCU, receiving one of four Campus Consciousness-Raising Awards for the 2006-2007 school year and also winning an Award for Scholarly Achievement in Women’s and Gender Studies for the 2007-08 school year. Professor Johnson selected the annual CWGS [Center for Women and Gender Studies] award winners in her role as the center’s director. Haney served as president of the student group Upstate Feminists, and in 2008 presented a paper at the Wofford College Conference on Gender entitled, “Butch is Back: The Marginalization of Butch Feminists Across the Feminist and Queer Communities.” Haney, who graduated from USCU in December 2008, subsequently served as a teaching assistant at CWGS . . .
Professor Merri Lisa Johnson.
Is there a law against mentally ill university professors marrying their former students? Not that I know of, not even in Spartanburg, S.C. But shouldn’t the taxpayers of South Carolina have some input on who is employed to teach their daughters? And if it appears that lesbian lunatics are running the Women’s Studies asylum, don’t lawmakers have a fiduciary responsibility to intervene? Evidently, South Carolina legislators thought so, and eliminated the budget for USCU’s Center for Women and Gender Studies in May 2014.
Gay activists may condemn South Carolina as a bastion of homophobia, but the controversy at USCU highlighted the correlation between feminism and mental illness just as much as it did the correlation between Women’s Studies programs and lesbianism. Are there sane heterosexual women teaching “gender theory” at our universities? It’s possible,but when you start checking the curricula vitae of Women’s Studies professors and reading the syllabi for their classes, you gather the impression that lesbianism is both the personal and political agenda of feminism as taught and practiced on campus in the 21st century.
We may avoid speculation about the connection between homosexuality and mental illness, except to note that homosexuality was considered a mental illness per se until 1973, when it was eliminated from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in a vote of the American Psychiatric Association that was controversial at the time. There are sane lesbians, according to the APA, but just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you aren’t also crazy, and if you spend some time examining Women’s Studies textbooks, it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that all the really crazy lesbians now have Ph.D.s.
Professor Sue Wilkinson and Professor Celia Kitzinger are so inseparable they share a Wikipedia entry. The British Guardian newspaper reported on this lesbian academic duo in March 2014:
Eleven years after they married, two university academics celebrated becoming legally wed on Thursday, as the law in England and Wales changed to recognise same-sex marriages performed overseas.
Celia Kitzinger, 57, and Sue Wilkinson, 60, who married in Canada in 2003, cracked open champagne and put on the wedding rings they had not worn in England since losing a high court battle for recognition eight years ago.
As the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force at 12.01am, other couples were for the first time able to register their intention to marry under the act, by giving statutory notice; the first ceremonies will take place on 29 March.
Both Kitzinger, professor of conversation analysis, gender and sexuality at York University, and Wilkinson, professor of feminist and health studies at Loughborough University, said they had never believed legal recognition of their marriage would occur in in their lifetimes.
“At midnight we were just by ourselves at a secret romantic hideaway deep in the country, and we actually opened the window of our room and we heard the bells of the local church ringing midnight,” said Wilkinson. “And when the church clock went ‘bong’ we put on our rings and opened a bottle of champagne. It was just magical, special, lovely.”
Professor Kitzinger has been “out” as a lesbian since she was a teenager, and is an editor of the journal Feminism & Psychology. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that Kitzinger and Wilkinson have spent the past two decades attempting to reverse the previous psychological orthodoxy so that, among feminist scholars, it is now heterosexuality which is considered abnormal for women. This was the avowed purpose of Kitzinger and Wilkinson’s 1993 book, Heterosexuality: A Feminism & Psychology Reader:
The set of questions we asked [in seeking contributions to the book from feminist writers] was a deliberate reversal of those which psychology has traditionally addressed to the topic of lesbianism: “What is heterosexuality and why is it so common? Why is it so hard for heterosexuals to change their ‘sexual orientation’? What is the nature of heterosexual sex? How does heterosexual activity affect the whole of a woman’s life, her sense of herself, her relationships with other women, and her political engagements?”
Citing lesbian feminist Adrienne Rich, Kitzinger and Wilkinson complain that, in much early feminist literature, “heterosexuality is simply assumed as the natural, taken-for-granted way to be for most women, obscuring the overt and covert violence with which ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ is forced upon us, through . . . the socialization of women to feel that male sexual ‘drive’ amounts to a right, the idealization of heterosexual romance, rape, pornography, seizure of children from lesbian mothers in the courts, sexual harassment, enforced economic dependence of wives and the erasure of lesbian existence from history and culture.” This is quite a laundry list of grievances, and if some random woman on a street corner were to start jabbering this radical stuff in public, she’d probably be put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold. However, when these words are published in a book by a pair of tenured feminist professors, no one dare criticize their academic gibberish for fear of being condemned as a homophobe and a sexist, to boot.
Heterosexual Feminist? How Dare You!
In the introduction to their book, Kitzinger and Wilkinson describe their “entirely different experiences of heterosexuality”:
[Kitzinger] has always been lesbian, came out aged 16, has never had, or wanted to have, sex with men, and developed a feminist awareness through the experience of living as a lesbian under heteropatriarchy. [Wilkinson] was happily and exuberantly heterosexual, married for 15 years, becoming lesbian only relatively recently through the impact of feminism on her emotional and sexual experience.
Does feminism cause lesbianism, or vice-versa? The answer from Kitzinger and Wilkinson seems to be, “Both.” Their 1993 book may be seen in retrospect as the moment when the “Lavender Menace” — as Betty Friedan called her fear that radical lesbians would take over and discredit the feminist movement — ceased to apologize for its agenda. The lesbian takeover of feminism, especially within the academic enclaves of Women’s Studies, has now progressed so far that it probably never occurred to Professor Lisa Johnson that anyone would think it weird for her to marry one of her lesbian students. Nor, perhaps, did Professor Johnson think it was unusual to stage a university symposium featuring “Butchy McDyke, a motivational speaker and expert lesbian” inciting her audience to shout “I’m a big ol’ dyke!” This kind of craziness has become so commonplace within the feminist echo chamber that they don’t even recognize it’s crazy anymore, not even if the Republican-controlled legislature cuts off their funding.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) August 23, 2014
This craziness is not recent, however, and has existed within feminism for decades. In 1993, when the lesbian academics Kitzinger and Wilkinson sent out letters seeking contributors to their book on heterosexuality, some of the responses were amusing:
Only when we started to compile a list of heterosexual feminists as potential recipients of our letter did we realize how rare such a public identification is. It would have been much easier to compile a list of self-identified lesbian feminists. “Heterosexual” is not a popular label, and many feminists express their concern about it. . . . A couple of women we had known for years in professional contexts, who had never given us any reason to suspect that they were anything other than heterosexual . . . wrote angrily in response to our letter, “How dare you assume I’m heterosexual?” and “Don’t you think you are making one hell of an assumption?”
If “heterosexual feminist” was already a rare identification in academia in the early 1990s, what does this tell us about the field of Women’s Studies today? If it’s practically an insult to assume a feminist is heterosexual — “How dare you?” — is it wrong to suspect that Women’s Studies is not so much a scholarly discipline as it is a means of maximizing academic employment opportunities for lesbians?
No one is surprised to learn that the woman who organized SlutWalk Chicago is a Gender Studies graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago. Parading around in your panties to protest against “rape culture” may seem crazy to normal people, but normal people don’t major in Gender Studies. Normal people don’t want to “Smash Patriarchy” or “F–k the System,” either.
Straight, Pretty, and Abnormal
Perhaps no feminist is more famous than Gloria Steinem, the longtime editor of Ms. magazine. From the time she emerged as the telegenic face of the Women’s Liberation movement in the early 1970s, Steinem’s good looks made her the living refutation of the oft-heard claim that all feminists were fat, ugly, resentful man-haters. Steinem was not only ostentatiously attractive, she was also heterosexual, which served to refute accusations that the feminist movement was dominated by lesbians. (Although, of course, it actually was.) Nevertheless, just because she was pretty and straight, it is a mistake to assume that Gloria Steinem was in any way a typical woman.
This point was made recently in a video rant by a British commentator whose online pseudonym is “Sargon of Akkad.” In the video, Sargon intersperses his own (frequently NSFW) comments with a television interview with Steinem. Sargon begins his YouTube rant by reading from the Wikipedia biography of Steinem:
Steinem was born in Toledo, Ohio, on March 25, 1934. Her mother, Ruth . . . was a Presbyterian of Scottish and German descent, and her father, Leo Steinem, was the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany and Poland. The Steinems lived and traveled about in the trailer from which Leo carried out his trade as a traveling antiques dealer.
When Steinem was three years old, her mother Ruth, then aged 34, had a “nervous breakdown” that left her an invalid, trapped in delusional fantasies that occasionally turned violent. She changed “from an energetic, fun-loving, book-loving” woman into “someone who was afraid to be alone, who could not hang on to reality long enough to hold a job, and who could rarely concentrate enough to read a book.” Ruth spent long periods in and out of sanatoriums for the mentally disabled. Steinem was ten years old when her parents finally separated in 1944. Her father went to California to find work, while she and her mother continued to live together in Toledo.
While her parents divorced as a result of her mother’s illness, it was not a result of chauvinism on the father’s part, and Steinem claims to have “understood and never blamed him for the breakup.” Nevertheless, the impact of these events had a formative effect on her personality: while her father, a traveling salesman, had never provided much financial stability to the family, his exit aggravated their situation. Steinem interpreted her mother’s inability to hold on to a job as evidence of general hostility towards working women. She also interpreted the general apathy of doctors towards her mother as emerging from a similar anti-woman animus. Years later, Steinem described her mother’s experiences as having been pivotal to her understanding of social injustices. These perspectives convinced Steinem that women lacked social and political equality.
This was hardly what anyone would call a “normal” childhood, then or now, nor was Steinem typical in any other way. Steinem graduated from elite Smith College (where undergraduate tuition for the 2014-15 school year is $44,450), never had children and didn’t marry until she was 66 years old. Sargon comments:
“This is where the confusion has come in, because Gloria is not your average woman. She was raised by an insane single mother. How could she possibly ever know what the average woman is thinking? She is clearly against the idea of the nuclear family. . . . This is exactly the problem with feminism: It goes against what women seem to actually want, and this is led by complete f–king head cases, who presume to speak for all women. She uses the term ‘women this,’ ‘women that,’ ‘women the other,’ as if she has spoken to all women and they had a vote — a unanimous vote for Gloria Steinem to speak for them.”
Here’s the video, which is good for lots of laughs:
Progressive Parents, Lesbian Daughters
Growing up in seriously dysfunctional families seems to be a common denominator with radical feminists. It seems that if they don’t have “daddy issues,” they’ve got “mommy issues,” and the predictable attempt to blame all their “issues” on male oppression is often at odds with the available evidence. In the case of Professor Celia Kitzinger, for example, one can hardly claim that her radicalism is a reaction against her upbringing — her parents are both prominent (and predictably leftist) British intellectuals. Her father, Uwe Kitzinger, came to England as a child, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, and became an economics professor, eventually head of one of the colleges at Oxford University. Her mother, Sheila Kitzinger, whose own mother was a suffragette, has been called “the high-priestess of natural childbirth,” authoring a number of books on the subject, including the bestseller The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth. Two more progressive parents no child could ever have wished for and, in the book Heterosexuality she co-edited with her lesbian partner Wilkinson, Celia Kitzinger actually includes a chapter by her mother. Sheila Kitzinger writes:
I never planned to be heterosexual, of course. If I had known my three radical lesbian feminist daughters back then, I would probably never have made that decision. I was just. A child of patriarchy, I was shaped by it. I expected to love a man, and did. I married, made a home, had a family, established deep loyalties.
My husband Uwe and I have always shared fundamental values — values which may, just possibly, have had something to do with the fact that three of our five daughters are lesbian feminists, and that we both admire their strength and idealism. . . . [Sheila met her husband] at a meeting exploring the problems and challenges of building a better society. We were anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-discrimination of any kind. . . . We called for world government, full employment, international understanding, world peace.
Uwe and Sheila Kitzinger sound like a perfect parody of the type of progressives who are so open-minded they believe in everything simultaneously. That three of their daughters turned out to be radical lesbian feminists doesn’t seem particularly surprising. As a teenager in the 1970s, their daughter Celia was expelled from a prestigious girls’ school where one of her teachers became her lesbian lover. Celia told her own story in another book, Changing Our Minds: Lesbian Feminism and Psychology:
I grew up in a house full of political argument and discussion: questions of right and wrong, both in personal morality and in international politics, were fervently discussed. As children we were all encouraged to be independent and critical thinkers, to challenge taken-for-granted understandings, to question and to take stands where we believed we were in the right, “to speak truth to power.” Although our sex education began at an early age and included all the details about menstruation, intercourse, conception, pregnancy, and birth, I knew nothing about lesbianism. “It just didn’t occur to me that any of you would be lesbian,” Sheila told me years later.
So when, at the age of seventeen, I began my first sexual relationship with a woman, I was, despite my liberal upbringing, desperately confused and unhappy. . . .
This was circa 1974. Celia was plagued by “feelings of extreme isolation [that] led to a suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization”:
Three months in a mental hospital, where I was diagnosed as ‘immature’ and ‘jealous of adult sexuality,’ contributed to my developing sense of psychology and psychiatry as dangerous and oppressive to lesbians.
So, naturally, she became a professor of psychology. Celia Kitzinger considers therapy harmful for women because women’s problems are not personal, in her view, but rather political.
Everything must ultimately be blamed on the patriarchy, of course. It is impossible for any feminist to to say otherwise. They have spent so many decades blaming every misfortune on the all-purpose scapegoat of male supremacy that one imagines the radical feminist who stubs her toe screaming in pain: “Damn the patriarchy!”
Feminism is not a political philosophy; it’s an ideé fixe, the obsession of deranged minds. Male supremacy is to feminists what windmills were to Don Quixote or what Jews were to Hitler. This has been true since the Women’s Liberation movement began, even before anyone realized that Shulamith Firestone was clinically insane. In her 1970 book The Dialectic of Sex, Firestone wrote this:
So that just as to assure elimination of economic classes requires the revolt of the underclass (the proletariat) and, in a temporary dictatorship, their seizure of the means of production, so to assure the elimination of sexual classes requires the revolt of the underclass (women) and the seizure of control of reproduction: not only the full restoration to women of ownership of their own bodies, but also their (temporary) seizure of control of human fertility — the new population biology as well as all the social institutions of child-bearing and child-rearing. And just as the end goal of socialist revolution was not only the elimination of the economic class privilege but of the economic class distinction itself, so the end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. (A reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality — Freud’s ‘polymorphous perversity’ — would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.) The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would born to both sexes equally, or independently of. either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally. The division of labour would be ended by the elimination of labour altogether (through cybernetics). The tyranny of the biological family would be broken.
What would you call that 275-word paragraph? I call it lunatic gibberish. If you call it “political analysis,” you’re either a radical feminist or mentally ill — two ways of describing the same thing.
- July 14: Radical Feminism and the Long Shadow of the ‘Lavender Menace’
- July 26: Feminists Worry That Disney Movies Are Making Girls Heterosexual
- July 28: Feminists Against ‘The Unnatural, Yet Universal Roles Patriarchy Has Assigned’
- Aug. 2: How to Become a Lesbian, Step One: Watch Cable TV While Depressed
- Aug. 3: #DearFeministMen Illustrates a Fundamental Problem
- Aug. 6: Hey, Moms: Feminists Think They Know What’s Wrong With Your Children
- Aug. 10: ‘Hi, We’re Lesbian Feminists and We’re Here to Talk to Your Daughter About Sex’
- Aug. 15: ‘Wacky Conservative Hit Piece About Raging Lesbian Feminist Carmen Rios’
- Aug. 19: A Lesbian Feminist Horror Movie
- Aug. 21: The Madness of ‘Gender Theory’
- Aug. 23: Reading Feminist Theory …