Posted on | September 14, 2014 | 90 Comments
“Men who rule, and male leftists who seek to rule, try to depoliticize sex . . . in order to prevent us from acting to end our oppression and challenging their power. As the question of homosexuality has become public, reformists define it as a private question of who you sleep with in order to sidetrack our understanding of the politics of sex. For the Lesbian-Feminist, it is not private; it is a political matter of oppression, domination, and power. . . . The only way oppressed people end their oppression is by seizing power: People whose rule depends on the subordination of others do not voluntarily stop oppressing others. Our subordination is the basis of male power.”
— Charlotte Bunch, “Lesbians in Revolt,” 1972
“Lesbianism is the greatest threat that exists to male supremacy.”
— Rita Mae Brown, A Plain Brown Rapper, 1976
“Central to radical feminism is the belief that the patriarchy (not capitalism or sex roles or socialization or individual sexist men) is the root of all forms of oppression; that all men benefit from and maintain it and are, therefore, our political enemies. Within this framework, heterosexuality, far from existing as a ‘natural state,’ ‘personal choice’ or ‘sexual orientation,’ is described as a socially constructed and institutionalized structure which is instrumental in the perpetuation of male supremacy.”
— Celia Kitzinger, The Social Construction of Lesbianism, 1987
When feminists say “the personal is political” and declare that women are oppressed by “patriarchy” and “male supremacy,” they mean what they say and — because Ideas Have Consequences, as Richard Weaver warned — the impact of these radical ideas on the lives of individuals is never really coincidental. Steve Basilone‘s personal tragedy is not really a comedy, nor is it actually personal, according to feminist theory. He is the patriarchal oppressor, and his ex-wife is therefore now liberated:
One of the head writers for “Orange is the New Black” has filed for divorce … the logical step since she’s now realized she’s a lesbian and is dating one of the female stars.
Lauren Morelli just filed divorce docs — obtained by TMZ — from her husband of 2 years, Steve Basilone. It’s actually a joint petition … probably because Steve realizes that ship has sailed.
The story is amazing. Lauren began writing for OITNB 5 months after she got hitched. Lauren says as she started writing for the main character — who had once been in a lesbian relationship — she saw herself in the character. Lauren says she began to feel like a fraud … married to a man but clearly gay.
According to Lauren … as she began writing about Piper’s blossoming relationship with the very hot Alex … “I found a mouthpiece for my own desires and a glimmer of what my future could look like.”
Ms. Morelli’s future looks like sex with OITNB actress Samira Wiley:
We are asked to believe that before Ms. Morelli had this revelation at age 30 — having never previously imagined she was gay — her life was an inauthentic charade, a phony pretense of heterosexuality.
This phenomenon of Sudden Onset Lesbian Syndrome has become more common in recent years, and we have examined it before: “How to Become a Lesbian, Step One: Watch Cable TV While Depressed,” wherein a married mother of two discovered her gayness by watching The L Word on Showtime. We imagine her ex-husband telling his buddies, “Yeah, I should have known better than to subscribe to those premium channels. Whatever you do, guys, stick to the basic cable package or your wife will turn into a dyke and then you’ll have to fix your own sandwiches.”
Sarcasm comes easy to those of us who can’t afford premium cable, and who imagine that our families could never become victims of the Cultural Revolution. Yet the revolutionaries have limitless ambitions, and there is nothing funny about Steve Basilone’s discovery that his wife’s wedding vows included a hidden clause:
“Wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of Matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honour, and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live? Unless, of course, you subsequently figure out you’re actually a lesbian?”
What we are supposed to believe is that the Meaning of Life is the pursuit of your True Self. Any promise can broken, any prior commitment discarded, any vow is automatically invalidated, the moment you realize your True Self is gay. And if you are a woman, those hateful homophobes who would stand between you and your gay True Self are also oppressive agents of male supremacy.
“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.”
— Robert Stacy McCain, July 28, 2014
People who treat feminism as a joke, people who fail to understand how serious feminists are about their own ideology, typically fail to see the symbiotic connection between the political and the personal. More than four decades after the Women’s Liberation movement emerged from the radical New Left of the 1960s, feminist ideology has become so pervasive in our culture that many people don’t notice it for the same reason fish don’t notice water: It’s everywhere, all around us. When these radical ideas have consequences, we don’t even recognize how the political influence of feminism affects our personal beliefs and behaviors.
Because the devotees of radicalism have seized control of the most powerful institutions in our society, there are no professors of history who can teach us how we came to this increasingly strange place in our culture, nor are there popular movies or novels describing this transformation in a narrative context to which we can relate. History has been quietly re-written and new belief systems have been created, so that few if any educated people under the age of 40 are even aware of why or how these changes happened. However, if we could reverse-engineer the Cultural Revolution, we would perceive its agenda in five simple stages:
- Discredit religious authority — Anyone who believes in the Bible must understand human nature as part of a divinely created order: “Male and female created he them,” and, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” This is not difficult to understand, and obedience to the will of the Creator is as simple as “thus saith the Lord.” Those who wish to destroy the created order must therefore first convince us that the Bible is wrong about human nature, and mock the Bible believer as an ignorant bigot whose doctrines are based on a false “myth.”
- Make science the enemy of religion — Nearly 2,000 years after the Apostle Paul warned Timothy about “science falsely so called,” we find that the enemies of God everywhere declare themselves devoted to a scientific view of human nature. Acolytes of the Darwinian cult of evolution are arrogantly certain of their own intellectual superiority to Christians and, while there is much controversy among atheists as to what science actually says about human nature, they are united in their determined insistence that the Bible is a “myth” which can neither offer useful insights about our problems nor provide direction to our lives. This worldview has become hegemonic among the intelligentsia, as Phillip Johnson observed in Reason in the Balance, so that we are now required to offer only secular, naturalistic arguments in discourse. To argue otherwise is to be “anti-intellectual” or “anti-science.”
- Popularize a sentimental bias toward “glittering generalities” — In 1946, George Orwell remarked, “In certain kinds of writing . . . it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.” Intellectuals have not become more sophisticated, as they would have us believe. Rather, our system of education has been so deliberately dumbed down that our elite colleges and universities are now handing diplomas to students who have never been exposed to basic concepts of rhetoric and logic. Allegedly “educated” people are unable to distinguish between sound reasoning and fallacy, between valid arguments and sophistry. Students have never been challenged to examine the political slogans, popular buzzwords and academic jargon that serve to obscure the real meaning of phrases like “equality,” “progress,” “freedom” and “democracy.” One frequently finds that young people are willing to make what they conceive to be the most damaging accusations (racism, sexism, homophobia) without any real evidence and, when challenged to explain their claims, are unable to understand what constitutes evidence, or even to comprehend why such evidence is necessary. This tendency toward sloppy rhetoric and invalid logic leads to what Thomas Sowell has called “The Irrelevance of Evidence,” which is nowhere more apparent than when we try to analyze what progressives believe about men and women, love and sex, marriage and family. Anyone who attempts to use facts and logic in arguing with a feminist will discover what inspired Orwell to write Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- Promote a philosophy of selfish hedonism — Major institutions of our society, from elite academia to popular culture, have embraced the idea that narcissistic immaturity is the highest form of spiritual development. We are told that life should be an endless quest to discover Who We Really Are, and that any limit to this pursuit of our True Self is psychologically unhealthy. The perfect embodiment of this Seeker of the True Self is Veruca Salt: “I want the whole world. . . . And if I don’t get the things I am after I’m going to scream! . . . I want it now!” This philosophy celebrates as “enlightenment” the discovery of our most bizarre fantasies, and praises as “liberation” the satiation of our most perverse cravings. No one may offer moral objections to the acting-out of depraved desires without being accused of prejudice or prudery. If anyone objects on the basis of social good, the Veruca Salt Brigades will predictably (a) condemn as bigotry the concept of “good” and/or (b) declare that the existing social order must be destroyed to permit them to satisfy their deviant urges. By translating their desires into the language of “rights” and “liberation,” the advocates of hedonism thereby present us with a situation described by Shakespeare: “Then every thing includes itself in power, power into will, will into appetite; and appetite, a universal wolf, so doubly seconded with will and power, must make perforce a universal prey, and last eat up himself.” When we find radical feminists at war with advocates of transgenderism, we see how the universal wolf of appetite ultimately leads to self-destructive cannibalism.
- Blame all problems of the New Order on the reactionary forces of the Old Order — Whatever harms may result from the Cultural Revolution, the revolutionaries themselves can never be blamed, nor can any problem of the new regime ever be cited as proof that the revolution’s opponents were correct in their opposition. This was how the Bolsheviks justified the Red Terror in the Soviet Union and how Pol Pot justified genocide in Cambodia. Everything must be blamed on the enemies of the revolution, who serve as scapegoats for every discontent and convenient excuses for every failure. Decades before the Sexual Revolution erupted in the 1960s, there were those who warned that the advocates of “liberation” (e.g., Alfred Kinsey) were perverts dishonestly using science and/or politics to justify their own selfish desires, and that women would especially suffer under an amoral regime of “sexual freedom.” It did not take long for these prophetic warnings to be confirmed. In 1970, feminist Robin Morgan lamented, “It hurts to understand that at Woodstock or Altamont a woman could be declared uptight or a poor sport if she didn’t want to be raped.” Such was the logic of radicalism, however, that the Sexual Revolution, having condemned as “uptight” any resistance to compulsory promiscuity, did not end with a return to traditional morality; rather, the radicals blamed the failure of their revolution on the “sexism” of an ancient patriarchal system that both preceded the revolution and persisted beyond the destruction of the traditional moral order. “Patriarchy” and “male supremacy” are to feminism what “Trotskyites” and “kulaks” were to Stalinism — ideological bogeymen which can explain everything and justify anything.
More than 50 years after Betty Friedan published The Feminist Mystique, denouncing the lives of suburban housewives as an oppressive evil comparable to Nazi death camps, we find young women today are more desperately unhappy than their great-grandmothers ever were under the supposedly horrific sexist oppression of Eisenhower-era traditionalism. Having crossed the feminist rubicon, however, the radicals have burned their bridges behind them and must now either conquer or perish. Therefore, young women today find that they have been cut off from the security of the past and thrust into a chaotic world of sexual anarchy where they are threatened by danger on every side.
‘Queer Theory’ and the Culture of Decadence
Insanity has become the New Normal and the inmates are running the asylum. Things that would have been shockingly scandalous just a few years ago are now commonplace, and anyone who examines these trends from a common-sense perspective is condemned as a religious fanatic, a right-wing ideologue and/or a Victorian prude suffering from irrational sex phobias in need of diagnosis and therapy. No one can be permitted to criticize perversion and lunacy. The intellectual elite are Our Moral Superiors, and all their criticism is directed against sane normal people.
Walter Lee Williams, a Ph.D. in anthropology who was “an eminent professor of gender and sexuality studies” at the University of Southern California, recently pleaded guilty in federal court to traveling the world to pursue sex with boys as young as 9:
As part of a plea, federal prosecutors agreed to recommend that [Williams] serve no more than five years in a federal prison. He also would be subject to 10 years supervision upon release and must pay $25,000 in restitution to his seven victims. Williams will be sentenced Dec. 15.
He was apprehended within a day of making the FBI’s Most Wanted List in June 2013 after he was indicted on sex crimes involving two 14-year-old boys in the Philippines. He was captured in the Mexican coastal town of Playa del Carmen after a resident recognized his photo from a newspaper.
Williams taught anthropology, gender studies and history at USC for about two decades until he quit in 2011. Under the guise of academic research on sexuality in the Southeast Asia/Pacific region, he repeatedly traveled to the area.
Federal prosecutors alleged that the author and Fulbright Award winner used those trips to sexually assault underage boys. Investigators believe he has at least 10 victims across Southeast Asia, aged 9 to 17.
Williams engaged in webcam sex sessions with two boys, aged 13 and 14, in the Philippines in 2010. The next year, he traveled to the country and sexually assaulted both boys and a 15-year-old boy, according to the plea agreement. He was 62 at the time.
While there, he also had sexual contact with three other 16-year-old boys, records show.
When he returned to Los Angeles International Airport on Feb. 11, 2011, he was “intercepted,” and child pornography was found on him. The professor fled Los Angeles a week after being interviewed by the FBI.
Ideas have consequences, and no one should be surprised that “eminent” members of the Gender Studies faculty at USC (or anywhere else) are able to rationalize the most bizarre behaviors. Professor Williams was co-editor of a 1997 book, Overcoming Heterosexism and Homophobia, and also co-edited the 2003 book Gay and Lesbian Rights in the United States: A Documentary History. Nevertheless, you will be condemned as a homophobic hatemonger if you suggest there is any correlation between (a) Professor Williams’ academic advocacy for gay rights, and (b) Professor Williams’ criminal compulsion to sodomize boys.
What sane normal people call “common sense” is ignorant prejudice, according to Our Moral Superiors in the academic elite. Feminists are permitted to invent frightening statistics about the prevalence of rape that cannot be substantiated by actual facts, and they can generalize from the most extreme and heinous example (e.g., mass murdering madman Elliott Rodger) to blame atrocities on oppressive male supremacy. Remember that “all men benefit from [patriarchy] and maintain it,” as Professor Kitzinger explained, so that all men are therefore the “political enemies” of all women. Any student of logic and rhetoric would raise a skeptical eyebrow at such categorical claims, but the prestigious intellectuals on the Gender Studies faculty at USC were probably too busy Overcoming Heterosexism and Homophobia to bother criticizing Professor Kitzinger’s feminist pronouncements.
People who have never bothered examining the curricula of Women’s Studies programs might be surprised how easy it is to find the most insane and arguably dangerous claims hiding in plain sight on the pages of feminist literature. Professor Judith Butler’s 1989 book Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity is one of the top-ranked books in the Gender Studies category of Amazon.com’s sales rankings, because it is almost universally assigned in Women’s Studies programs.
Densely crowded with academic jargon and references to intellectuals little known to the average American, including French lesbian feminist Monique Wittig, Gender Trouble seems to have been written with the deliberate purpose of preventing any critic from claiming that Professor Butler is actually advocating the lesbianism she unapologetically practices. An educated and skeptical reader, familiar with the rhetorical methods of sophisticated ideologues, is naturally alert to the tactics that are predictably employed in such works. The more unusual the claims of the argument, the more likely the author’s meaning will be obscured by pretentious terminology and cloaked with citations to authorities with whom the layman is generally unfamiliar. The intended effect is make the typical reader feel intellectually inferior. You don’t recognize the fancy words. You never even heard of the (supposedly) Famous Dead Philosopher whose theories are the subject of discussion. Because you are reminded on every page of your own ignorance, you are obviously unqualified to say whether the author is accurately representing the Famous Dead Philosopher’s views, or whether the point the author wishes to make has any actual relevance to what the Famous Dead Philosopher sought to explain. It may be that the living author and the Famous Dead Philosopher are both disastrously mistaken about whatever phenomenon is being discussed. Yet naïve readers will typically be so intimidated by the dazzling display of academic expertise as to believe themselves incompetent to question the author’s conclusions.
Judith Butler’s Three-Card Monte Hustle
It is not the mature and educated skeptic, but rather the naïve 19-year-old college sophomore, who signs up for an introductory Women’s Studies class to fulfill an elective requirement for her bachelor of arts degree. She’s majoring in communications or psychology or education, and maybe she’s heard that Women’s Studies is an easy A. The assigned textbook is an anthology like Feminist Frontiers, and our sophomore learns from the syllabus that Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble is required reading. Returning to her dorm room from the campus bookstore, she thumbs through the pages of Gender Trouble and says, “Holy crap! What the hell is this all about?” Nothing in her prior education has prepared her for this, and she is struck by panic at the thought that she must understand this stuff in order to get that easy A.
Our unsuspecting 19-year-old is like the sucker from Hicksville who visits the big city for the first time and encounters a sidewalk hustler dealing three-card monte. The sucker thinks he can figure it out and beat the hustler at his own game, and won’t learn otherwise until the hustler has scammed him out of at least $20. Likewise, even if the sophomore who signs up for Women’s Studies isn’t really interested in becoming a feminist (much less a lesbian), her encounter with Professor Butler is likely to undermine whatever system of beliefs about men, women and sex she brought into the class. Let us turn to Page 50 of Gender Trouble:
Lévi-Strauss’s structuralist anthropology, including the problematic nature/culture distinction, has been appropriated by some feminist theorists to support and elucidate the sex/gender distinction: the position that there is a natural or biological female who is subsequently transformed into a socially subordinate “woman,” with the consequence that “sex” is to nature or “the raw” as gender is to culture or “the cooked.” If Lévi-Strauss’s framework were true, it would be possible to trace the transformation of sex into gender by locating that stable mechanism of cultures, the exchange rules of kinship, which effect that transformation in fairly regular ways. Within such a view, “sex” is before the law in the sense that it is culturally and politically undetermined, providing the “raw material” of culture, as it were, that begins to signify only through and after its subjection to rules of kinship.
Imagine yourself as a 19-year-old college girl encountering this paragraph, knowing that you could be required to explain this in classroom discussion or in an essay question on your final exam.
Who the hell is this Lévi-Strauss dude? Does he make blue jeans?
No, wait: Google is your friend! Claude Lévi-Strauss never made blue jeans. He was the “father of modern anthropology,” who “argued that the ‘savage’ mind had the same structures as the ‘civilized’ mind and that human characteristics are the same everywhere.” The clever sophomore breathes a sigh of relief, but doesn’t stop to consider the possibility that Judith Butler, in arguing against Lévi-Strauss’s structuralist framework, is actually proving what she claims to prove. That is to say, Lévi-Strauss may be wrong about “the problematic nature/culture distinction” without Butler being right. Our sophomore does not yet know where Butler is going with this argument, however, and the key point in this intellectual three-card monte hustle is that the student reader is overwhelmed by Butler’s superior erudition. Obviously, this author is extremely intelligent, and the 19-year-old will probably have been intimidated into a sense of awe well before she gets to Page 50. She keeps reading and encounters this paragraph on pp. 57-58:
For Lévi-Strauss, the taboo against the act of heterosexual incest between son and mother as well as that incestuous fantasy are instated as universal truths of culture. How is incestuous heterosexuality constituted as the ostensibly natural and pre-artificial matrix for desire, and how is desire established as a heterosexual male prerogative? The naturalization of both heterosexuality and masculine sexual agency are discursive constructions nowhere accounted for but everywhere assumed within this founding structuralist frame.
Damn that Lévi-Strauss! Why didn’t he stick to making blue jeans?
Ah, but there’s going to be a final exam, and the sophomore is ill-prepared to recognize the nature of Judith Butler’s hustle. The student may not be familiar with Freudian theory, which was the basis of Lévi-Strauss’s anthropology, and so this talk about incest taboos as the basis of a “structuralist frame” for understanding human sexuality is perhaps deeply confusing. Again, however, you can think Sigmund Freud was completely wrong about the Oedipus complex (and I have thought so since I was a sophomore myself more than 30 years ago) without believing that Judith Butler is right.
Unlike a middle-aged skeptic, however, a teenage college student hasn’t spent decades studying the methodology of intellectual bullshit artists, and doesn’t recognize the “Straw Man” trick that Butler is playing. Pick some Famous Dead Philosopher — Aristotle, Rousseau, Locke, whoever — and subject their claims on any specific topic to a withering criticism.
OK, fine, you’ve discredited their argument. It does not follow, however, as a matter of logic, that by discrediting this particular Famous Dead Philosopher’s arguments that you have (a) disproven whatever point this philosopher was trying to make, or (b) established yourself as an authority on the topic at issue. We often see this trick employed by progressives who, setting up Adam Smith as the straw man for capitalism, then assert that various economic problems they blame on capitalism have discredited Smith, and therefore . . . Well, therefore what?
Smith’s classic The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776, and many hundreds of economists have written books since then, so why are we arguing as if no one but Adam Smith had ever published anything about capitalism? Has the progressive even actually bothered to read The Wealth of Nations? Can he cite the specific paragraph where he claims to have found a fatal error? And is it possible that some other economist — who doesn’t share the progressive’s hostility to free enterprise — has corrected Smith’s error?
Never mind any of that, however. The point is that the progressive who is making this straw-man argument against Adam Smith hates capitalism in the same way that lesbian feminists hate men and heterosexuality.
Once you understand their motives, the specific details of their arguments are less relevant than the tendentious and dishonest methods by which they attempt to persuade others. Meanwhile, the sophomore reaches Page 98 of Gender Trouble:
Can the prohibition against incest that proscribes and sanctions hierarchical and binary gendered positions be reconceived as a productive power that inadvertently generates several cultural configurations of gender? Is the incest taboo subject to the critique of the repressive hypothesis that Foucault provides? What would a feminist deployment of that critique look like? Would such a critique mobilize the project to confound the binary restrictions on sex/gender imposed by the heterosexual matrix? Clearly, one of the most influential feminist readings of Lévi-Strauss, Lacan, and Freud is Gayle Rubin’s “The Traffic of Women: The ‘Political Economy’ of Sex,” published in 1975. Although Foucault does not appear in that article, Rubin effectively sets the stage for a Foucaultian critique. That she herself later appropriates Foucault for her own work in radical sexual theory [here, Butler includes a footnote to Rubin’s 1979 essay “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of Sexuality”] retrospectively raises the question of how that influential article [i.e., Rubin’s 1975 “The Traffic of Women”] might be rewritten within a Foucaultian frame.
The details here are, as I say, less relevant than Butler’s methods. Any well-educated skeptic could study Gender Trouble and see how Butler leads the reader through a series of fallacies (notably including the false dilemma) and misleading assertions into believing that Butler has such an expertise in anthropology and psychology as to be trusted as a scientific authority on the subject of human sexuality. In fact, she got her B.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy. As far as I know, Judith Butler has never done a day’s work of actual scientific research in these fields. Welcome to Gender Studies, where any lesbian is an expert on everything.
Gender theory is to human sexuality what Lysenkoism is to agriculture — a political hijacking of science in the service of an agenda that has nothing to do with improving the lives of ordinary people, but is very important to sustaining the power of an elite. Academics gain employment and prestige as professors of Women’s Studies by their claims to feminist truth, much like the Stalinist regime’s power was justified by its claim to Marxist-Leninist truth. It does not matter to the feminist regime whether their theories help ordinary women; what is crucial is the authority of Women’s Studies professors to claim to speak on behalf of all women, just as Stalin’s regime once claimed to rule on behalf of the international proletariat (never mind the millions of workers and peasants killed or imprisoned by the regime).
Exactly why must we debate (or “critique”) the “incest taboo” in order to understand sex (or “gender”)? What is Foucault’s “critique of the repressive hypothesis” and why should we care what Gayle Rubin said about it in either 1975 or 1979? While we’re at it, who are these authorities cited by Butler? Michel Foucault was a French homosexual who died of AIDS in 1984; Gayle Rubin is a lesbian advocate of sadomasochism whose Ph.D. dissertation was “The Valley of the Kings: Leathermen in San Francisco, 1960–1990.”
It is possible Judith Butler could have based her theories about sex and gender on other less controversial authors, but she goes on about Gayle Rubin for five pages (pp. 98-102) of Gender Trouble and her references to Foucault are so numerous she might as well have called her book Foucault Trouble. One wonders if any heterosexual ever said anything about sex and gender that Judith Butler would accept as true without corroborating it by a citation to Foucault or to radical feminists like Luce Irigaray (The Sex Which Is Not One).
All of these questions would be irrelevant or trivial were it not for the fact that Judith Butler is the high priestess of Queer Theory whose book Gender Trouble is considered the holy scripture of what can only be described as an academic sex cult. Butler’s arguments are the sine qua non of Gender Studies as taught in colleges and universities everywhere.
A One-Way Trip to Queer City
Lea Delaria, star of Orange Is the New Black.
We return from our exploration of feminist theory to its lesbian practice, and specifically to the case of Lauren Morelli who, at age 30, was afflicted with Sudden Onset Lesbian Syndrome. She says she never had an inkling she was gay until she started writing for Orange Is the New Black and then one day found herself surrounded by horny lesbians:
If I was really gay, I would have known when I was younger. There was a prescribed narrative, and everything about my own story challenged the accepted one.
Five months after my wedding, I flew to New York to start production on my first episode of Orange, and from that moment on my life fell into a parallel rhythm with Piper’s story in a way that went from interesting to terrifying in a matter of months. . . .
The sound stage for Orange, where we proudly employ what has to be at least 64% of lesbians in the New York City metro area, is not a place where you can shy away from women or sexuality. . . .
I was so deep in my own self-doubt that I constantly felt like a fraud. I was sure it was bleeding into my writing. How could it not? I was married to a man, but I wasn’t straight. . . .
I realized I was gay in fall 2012, one of my first days on the set. It wasn’t so much one thing, but the sum of many small details: how uncomfortable I felt around groups of lesbians or how I considered myself (shrug) a “not very sexual person.” When considered alone, these seemed like little quirks that made me me. Wanting to read a book instead of have sex is a perfectly reasonable preference to have, right?
But on set, these small moments came into sharp relief, and I found myself answering to an endless stream of cast members who peppered me with questions like a gaggle of kindergartners curious about their new teacher. “Are you dating anyone?” “You’re married?” “To a man?” “But you used to kiss girls?” “Do you miss it?”
I was finally forced to consider a question that had never, ever occurred to me before: Holy shit, am I gay?
In America in 2014, if you find yourself asking yourself that question, you’re never supposed to answer “no,” because answering “no” means that either (a) you’re repressed and cowardly, or (b) you’re a homophobe, or possibly both (a) and (b): You’re a cowardly closet case who is inauthentic, pretending to be heterosexual because you hate your true (gay) self and lack the courage to admit it.
No one is ever accused of being a “latent heterosexual,” nor are we permitted to believe it possible that a lesbian is confused about her sexuality or to suggest she is repressing her inner straight woman.
Sexual confusion nowadays is always a one-way trip to Queer City.
Or so we are told, especially by lesbian feminists who proclaim that men are evil and heterosexuality is oppressive. This double-whammy, where lesbianism is protected from scrutiny by the accusations of both sexism and homophobia, makes it impossible for any woman to question whether the “small details” of her “little quirks” might add up to anything other than the total invalidation of her heterosexuality and the discovery of her True Self, who in these stories is always irrevocably a lesbian.
If Brad Pitt showed up on the set of Orange Is the New Black, and in a casual chat with Lauren Morelli mentioned that he and Angelina Jolie were on the verge of divorce, this would never cause Ms. Morelli to think about hooking up with Brad Pitt. No, instead she would ask Brad for Angelina’s phone number.
Laruen Morelli would prefer any woman to any man as a sex partner no matter the specific alternatives. Or so we are told.
Am I the only one who is skeptical about this?
Am I the only one who thinks 21st-century theories of sexuality have become a sort of dogma, and that the political correctness now surrounding “sexuality” is rather suspicious in its strident rigidity? Are we really supposed to believe that the idea of sex with Brad Pitt would inspire in Ms. Morelli a panic attack — Fear and Loathing of the Penis?
Even if the alternatives are Brad Pitt or Lea Delaria?
You’re still saying no to Brad Pitt? If that’s the True Self you’ve found, then your True Self is not just gay, but crazy.
Maybe I’m no expert in sexuality, but I know crazy when I see it.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) September 14, 2014
This essay is part of the “Sex Trouble” series about radical feminism’s war against human nature, a reader-supported project that began in July.
Among the entries in this series are “Feminists Worry That Disney Movies Are Making Girls Heterosexual” (July 26), “A Lesbian Feminist Horror Movie” (Aug. 19), “Reading Feminist Theory” (Aug. 23), “Kate Millett’s Tedious Madness” (Sept. 1) and “Is Rachel Maddow’s Haircut Waging War Against Heteronormative Patriarchy?” (Sept. 6).
To support continuing research for this project, which I plan to turn into an ebook, readers are encouraged to remember the Five Most Important Words in the English Language: