The Other McCain

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

‘Could It Be Any More Obvious?’

Posted on | September 30, 2014 | 87 Comments

“I don’t know why people are so reluctant to say they’re feminists. Maybe some women just don’t care. But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word? . . . Feminism always gets associated with being a radical movement — good. It should be. A lot of what the radical feminists [in the 1970s] were saying, I don’t disagree with it.”
Ellen Page, interview with the Guardian, July 3, 2013

“I’m here today because I am gay.”
Ellen Page, Feb. 14, 2014

She was right. It could not be more obvious if it were stated as a declarative sentence: “Feminism is a journey to lesbianism.”

Still, we must not ignore the chicken-and-the-egg question: Which came first, Ms. Page’s lesbianism or her feminism? We don’t know, although when a gay gossip blogger “outed” Ms. Page in 2011, I defended her right to privacy (“‘Outing’ Ellen Page: The Politicization of Sex and the Sexualization of Politics”). The feminist maxim that “the personal is political” has always seemed to me a formula for divisiveness, to say nothing of its explicit invalidation of any idea of social good that transcends narrow self-interest. In feminism, extreme individualism becomes a justification for collectivism, whereby the personal grievances of any woman are transmogrified into political demands delivered as an ultimatum on behalf of all women.

The fact that a majority of women reject feminism, per se, has been claimed by feminists as proof that most women are too stupid to know what feminism actually is. However, when the convergence of feminist theory with lesbian practice is demonstrable — “Could it be any more obvious?” — we must presume that women comfortable with their own lives are fit to judge their own interests, and reject feminism rationally. Under a limited government that protects the liberty of individuals under the Rule of Law, we have no political need of any theory to explain Ms. Page’s homosexuality. Feminism says otherwise.

“The radical feminist argument is that men have forced women into heterosexuality in order to exploit them, and that lesbians, in rejecting male definitions of sexuality, are undermining the patriarchy. . . .
“Lesbianism is . . . fundamentally a challenge to patriarchal definitions of women.”

Celia Kitzinger, The Social Construction of Lesbianism (1987)

Some have claimed lesbians are “born that way,” a claim rejected by radical feminists who insist that their lesbianism is a deliberate political act of resistance to male sexual oppression. Some feminist psychologists, notably Lisa Diamond, argue that women’s sexuality is flexible and adaptable, so that shifts in female orientation — straight to lesbian or lesbian to straight, or the endless indecision of “bisexuality” — are not surprising. Yet radical feminists, including psychologists like Professor Celia Kitzinger and Professor Dee Graham, insist that women who “choose” heterosexuality can never do so freely, because heterosexual women are either brainwashed into it or coerced by what Professor Graham called male “sexual terror.”

What would be the reaction of a happily heterosexual woman upon being told that her normal attraction to men is a mental pathology akin to post-traumatic stress disorder? We don’t know, because Professor Graham’s theory has never been subjected to the widespread public ridicule it deserves. Yet when an unhinged feminist blogger declared that normal sexual intercourse “is always rape,” it was Professor Graham’s theory which informed her claim. How many other unhappy women have talked themselves into lesbianism with the assistance of feminist theory?

“Sex, love and romance seem like natural events — instinctive, unlearned, and universal. For example, think about a kiss. Perfectly natural, right? . . . Yet in many cultures, kissing is unknown. . . .
“Strange as it may seem, sex, like kissing, is not a natural act. In other words, sexuality is not something that can be understood in purely biological terms. Instead, it is a social construct.”

Mary Crawford and Rhoda Unger, Women and Gender: A Feminist Psychology, Fourth Edition (2004)

The etiology of Ellen Page’s lesbian preference (or of any other woman’s preference) presents itself as a subject for political debate only because feminists insist the personal is the political. Radical feminism demands that lesbians must come out of the closet, because a woman’s purely private preferences cannot be useful in the political struggle against male oppression. Having made this young woman’s intimate life a public spectacle, however, feminists insist that no theorizing about Ellen Page’s sexuality is acceptable unless it conforms to feminist doctrine. So it is unacceptable to describe lesbianism as a problem. No one can be permitted to explain homosexuality as a socially harmful maladaptive response in the context of developmental psychology. If Ellen Page had sought therapy to help her understand her same-sex attraction and to attempt to learn coping strategies that would make it possible for her to live a normal (which is to say, heterosexual) adult life, the Southern Poverty Law Center might sue the therapist. It is now evidently a hate crime to say that gay people can live straight lives.

FACT: 97.7% of American women are heterosexual.
They outnumber lesbian/bisexual women (2.3%)
more than 40-to-1. Why do feminists believe
it is wrong to call heterosexuality “normal”
or to say what is normal is also natural?

A free society can tolerate disagreement, but feminism is implacably hostile to freedom. Feminist pioneer Simone de Beauvoir once made this clear, after Betty Friedan remarked that women should have the choice to stay home and raise their children. “No,” replied Beauvoir, “we don’t believe that any woman should have this choice. No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

Beauvoir said this in 1975, and you might think that her declaration of feminism’s totalitarian aspirations — seeking the power to abolish the traditional family by decree — would be more widely known. Yet if that 1975 quote is taught in any Introduction to Women’s Studies course, it has escaped my notice. The fact that Women’s Studies textbooks are edited by lesbians has not escaped my notice, but this potentially significant correlation is not generally acknowledged by college administrators. One suspects that American University’s proficiency at indoctrinating “raging lesbian feminists” isn’t something they advertise to the parents of prospective students. Honesty is perhaps not the best policy if your business model involves charging parents $20,000 a year to fill their children’s heads full of radical ideology.

Yet we return to the chicken-and-egg question of Ellen Page: Which came first, lesbian sexuality or feminist ideology? You think about this when you see lesbian feminist Carmen Rios describe herself as someone who “failed at being normal.” This is the sort of frank admission I truly appreciate; feminists are rarely so honest. Did Ms. Rios earnestly try to find happiness in heterosexuality before she became a Women’s Studies major? Has she ever tried, outside the framework of feminist theory, to explain her failure to become normal? It is vain to ask for such an explanation; feminism has long since become the only framework within which anyone talks about female sexuality. Even the defenders of “traditional family values” often speak the rhetoric of feminism, however unwittingly. You’re more likely to find a college student fluent in ancient Greek or Latin than to find one who can discuss sex in a way that doesn’t conform to feminist ideology. To speak of romantic love between men and women nowadays requires us to learn a lost language.

Thanks to the tip-jar hitters, today I ordered from Amazon ($98.24) five more books about radical feminism, including Theorizing Sexuality, a recent academic textbook by two British feminist professors, plus Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, Volume 1, An Introduction, which is essential to understanding Judith Butler’s theory of gender. My intention to dismantle Professor Butler’s theory presents a challenge that is both daunting and mystifying.

On the one hand, it is daunting in the way that any multi-thousand word writing project is always daunting. My career as a journalist required me to orient myself to cranking out daily bylines in a hurry, not spending several days on one massive treatise. However, what is mystifying about the challenge of dismantling Professor Butler is that no one has ever debunked Gender Trouble before, as the key to doing so seems to me so obvious. Three key sources — Foucault, Monique Wittig and Gayle Rubin — form the intellectual crux of the theory that Professor Butler turned into a 200-page bestseller.

Each of these sources is flawed and biased and, except as a sort of special pleading for the social and political acceptance of homosexuality, Gender Trouble cannot be viewed as a useful contribution to the understanding of “gender” (sex roles) or human sexuality. Certainly, Professor Butler’s Big Idea about the performativity of gender is an intriguing concept, but it is really only a restatement (in gay-friendly terms) of what any careful student of developmental psychology has always known. To be a man or woman, to take on the adult duties and responsibilities of manhood and womanhood — especially as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers — requires young people to psychologically adjust themselves to those roles. Conversely, if one wishes to avoid these adult roles, to find a justification for not marrying or becoming a parent, then your psychological need must find an argument to rationalize your unwillingness or inability to perform those socially necessary duties. And this is what Gender Trouble really is, a psychological defense mechanism (rationalized self-justification) dressed up in intellectual theory.

Because the fundamental problems of Professor Butler’s theory seem so glaringly obvious to me, and because Gender Trouble is one of the most influential texts of the past 25 years, I am mystified that no Ph.D. — a psychologist, biologist or anthropologist — has undertaken the task of dismantling her argument. To say that “gender is a social construct” (as Professor Butler’s insight is usually phrased) is really no different than saying “sex roles are socially necessary.” That is to say, if we wish men and women to form stable families through marriage, to procreate and care for their young, then boys and girls must learn the behaviors and attitudes necessary to success in this work. Adulthood requires us to escape the egocentric selfishness of childhood. We cannot be successful adults if we are unwilling to suppress infantile narcissism and do what is good for others (for society), and the responsibilities of adulthood — marriage and parenthood — are certainly incompatible with reckless sexual hedonism. Because the social good conflicts with our immature selfishness (the imperious “I-want-it-now” demands of our inner Veruca Salt), then what society requires of boys and girls in their growth to becoming men and women can be said to be “socially constructed.” However, it is an error to say that, because the duties of adulthood limit our egocentrism, society is wrong and our ego is right.

Once upon a time, people sought psychological counseling to help them cope with the demands of adulthood. Nowadays, the hopelessly maladjusted enroll in Women’s Studies courses, where professors teach women they are unhappy because they are oppressed.

As a substitute for therapy, perhaps feminism is useful. As politics, it’s divisive. As a basis for public policy, it’s insane. Believing you’re a victim of heteronormative patriarchy — “gender roles,” “the male gaze,” etc. — may help unhappy women feel better about themselves. Yet their sense of entitled victimhood leads them to denounce the rest of us as haters for not joining their feminist pity party, and these denunciations require a response. What we say in response is likely to hurt their feelings.

My response? Baby, I get paid to bring the pain.

HIT THE FREAKING TIP JAR!





 

 

Comments

  • RS

    I’m sort of ashamed I enjoyed that.

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  • http://thepagantemplesecondcomingofbast.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    “Which came first, MS. Page’s lesbianism or her feminism? We don’t know, although when a gay gossip blogger “outed” MS. Page in 2011, I defended her right to privacy”

    I hereby denounce the use, in all instances, of the feminist term Ms., and call on all anti-feminists to revert to using the traditional terms “MISS” and “MRS”.

    Although subtle, the use of these terms would serve to infuriate the RadFems, at least, more than any other thing that could be said or done, because it would be chinking away at the armor of one of their few legitimate long-term victories.

    I say time to put a stop to this. Put an end to this subtle tyranny of feminist language.

  • Mike G.

    I second that.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    <insert Elmer Fudd laugh>

  • Mike G.

    I couldn’t figure out that word- loutette. Looking it up, I found this:
    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoqnqXWeILo&w=420&h=315%5D

    Then it hit me what you were really saying…DOH!!!

  • Mike G.

    I always use the term Mzzzzzz…gets ’em every time.

  • nooyawka212

    Interesting, the deBeauvoir case. Her quite heterosexual gigs with JP Sartre and Nelson Algren are well known. I never bothered to plow through her books to find out what she thought of homosexuality male or female. Sartre’s position on the issue is well known. In Huis Clos (No Exit) he sez homosexuality is a moral failure, a form of cowardice. Do modern feminist writers take that detour when they talk about their beloved Simone?

  • Robbins Mitchell

    “Feminism” is just socialism in panties

  • gastorgrab

    If we take them at their word, the default political setting for any homosexual should be; Libertarian.

    But it doesnt work that way in real life. Feminism is not a consequence of Lesbianism. Lesbianism is a consequence of of Feminism.

  • rasqual

    Does Facebook nix previews on posts with links they don’t like? This entry won’t preview (others will). You’ve been subtly censored, mate.

  • Wraith

    Love their use of the term “authorized.” Who died and made them God?

  • Wraith

    …sex…is not a natural act.
    Seriously, why are these people not wearing I-Love-Me jackets in a room with rubber wallpaper? This one sentence proves that they are completely in denial of reality. They. Are. Insane. Somebody needs to lock them away before they hurt themselves.

  • Wombat_socho

    I think Governor Palin’s all set on the compassion front. And who knows? She might even get Page to realize she’s batting for the wrong team.

  • Wombat_socho

    Of course not, because Sartre was a patriarchal tool. 😉

  • tim hansen

    RSM you are skilled at composing prose using the syntax of feminists which I Imagine annoys some. This particular article nudged me into actually paying you a bit for what you write, which is probably the highest complement a writer could receive on the internet. That is…actually getting paid. My question. Do you ever get tired of writing about or even having to think about this mind-bendingly, horrifically tedious, soul-draining dung of a broken down mule. Given time Feminism will fail because the movement is full of women. Can you imagine what a Feminism conference would be like in 100yrs. Today those conferences are dull in future those conferences will make dull, dull.

  • tim hansen

    I like that bit, “their knowledge is now a mile-wide, but only an inch or two deep.” I’d only add, that they think their knowledge is mile wide. I actually think you are being generous.

  • tim hansen

    Comedic actor? Please don’t insult comedians by linking them with actors.

  • Alexbensky

    Horrible as it is to say, feminists would probably be less vicious about Palin if she’d aborted Trig. “Incepting” sounds to me like “self-actualization.” When I had to use a laundromat I’d often hear Oprah talking about that and I always wondered, if I were self-actualized, how would anyone know it? What would be different about me if I’d been incepted?

  • Fly Lord

    In law school I got on the woman’s rights law journal. As a scientist going to law school I had 0 exposure to any of it. We had to write an article. Mine was going to be corporate governance with feminist theory. I was shocked that there was no real theory. It was just totalitarianism with Marxism. They chose not to publish my article that explored how such models could not work as an organizing principal for business. I got my credit and moved on. You sir, should be commended for staring into this abyss of nonsense.

  • robertstacymccain

    I love Camille Paglia…oh wait, does that make me a feminist!

    No more than loving Christopher Hitchens made me an atheist (it didn’t) or loving Hunter Thompson made me a cocaine addict (it didn’t). To be able to recognize and admire a great writer, beyond any question of politics or lifestyle, is simply to say that we do not surrender our aesthetic taste to politics.

    Paglia, like Hitchens and Thompson, is interesting because she is eccentric and fiercely independent in her judgments. She is idiosyncratic, devoted to her own judgment and not interested in joining some herd of a mass movement. There is a wonderful tradition of independent-minded people like that. George Orwell was one of them. At some point, the lies of the Spanish Civil War gave Orwell a reason to re-think what he had previously believed, and he had the courage to tell the truth. Too bad more intellectuals don’t have that kind of courage.

  • robertstacymccain

    You sir, should be commended for staring into this abyss of nonsense.

    No other journalist in history has ever attempted this, for fear of losing their mind. Fortunately, I lost my mind years ago, so I am immune to the contagion. I hope. You never know. This stuff could drive anybody nuts.

    At any rate, I appreciate your commendation, and remind you of the Five Most Important Words in the English Language: HIT THE FREAKING TIP JAR!

  • Art Deco

    There’s no theory because it is not a theory, it’s a disposition. The disposition has two unstated principles:

    1. Women have options. Men have obligations.

    2. Only the interests and sensibilities of women are important.

    Controversies over ‘campus sexual assault’ concern the misbehavior of administrators following both these principles, to the detriment of formal due process or what any non-demented individual would have recognized as fair 30 years ago.

  • sarah wells

    I live in Virginia and we have been saying Miz as a matter of course since before I was born. A woman of marriageable age might be either Miss or Mrs., and it was the gentle old-fashioned way of covering contingences. An old Richmond accent was useful for so many things.

  • sarah wells

    It’s the polite way to address women whom you do not know personally and whose age and status was unknown but demanded an honorific. Miss was used in a good-natured and flattering way in some contexts, when it was a doubtful fit, but for both youthful women and women of a certain age in positions of authority or respect in particular it could be disrespectful or even unkind. Ms is old, as old as the South.

  • sarah wells

    Thirty years ago it was completely fair to think a drunk girl was off limits to a man of honor. It was also understood that not all men played by the rules and would cheat the rules. A drunk girl was risking a good deal so you avoided that situation if you really wanted to.

  • nooyawka212

    Art Deco sez ”1. Women have options. Men have obligations.”
    Not no mo. I am working on a book which will state that feminism has lifted major financial obligations off the shoulders of men and placed them on the shoulders of women. I won’t say too much more, won’t give away the plot. My working title is “How to stop beating your wife.”

  • Dan

    Ah, come on..when the allegations start piling up, the rumors dog you for your entire career, and a fellow star basically outs you, like when Carrie Fisher said “Everyone knows John is gay, i wish he would just come out already” I think it’s beyond tabloid fodder.

  • Dan

    How’s that? Issa made the statement that Hollywood is so pro-LGBT, and coming out is good for an actors career. This is clearly not true. Anne Heche would be the best example, and how her coming out basically tanked that film she did with Harrison Ford, and how guarded other stars are about their orientation. So, again, if Hollywood was really so accepting of homosexuality gays in the community would be out instead of hiding. They’re not because it hurts box office. That’s bizarre? Amazing how some people chose to read.

  • Fly Lord

    Will do. You’ve earned it.

  • Art Deco

    Thirty years ago it was completely fair to think a drunk girl was off limits to a man of honor.

    I do not recall it being stated in that way. In any case, in the cases being bruited about in the media, both parties are blotto. However, only one gets to retrospectively re-define their debauchery as a crime committed by one party on another.

    Again, women have options. Men have obligations.

  • Art Deco

    See the work of Glenn Sacks and Stephen Baskerville. There are quite a mass of men who’ve been through the family court child support mangle who might find your thesis arresting.

  • nooyawka212

    Art, been there, done that. I know that story first hand. Nevertheless, feminism lifts financial burdens off men’s back in the long run. Save yr money to buy my book.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    What utter BS. Her “coming out” didn’t tank the film. It doesn’t hurt box office.

    America is so over the whole gay thing that people are bored with it. We know they want to be gay. We don’t care. We only want the gay mafia to stop inserting itself into everything and selling that crap as pure genetics and claims of more than 10%.

    Regular gays don’t bother anyone at all. People don’t recoil from them anymore. It’s those stupid gay mafia types that piss everyone off.

    Religious people still pray for the gays, and tell them they are going to hell. Tough beans. That’s not discrimination, and it’s not taking away anyone’s rights. We’re at a point where many conservative institutions have openly gay members or employees. Some of them have a large following even among straight conservatives.

    Your assertions about Hollywood gays are straight out of the 1970’s.

  • Daniel Freeman

    And if we could go back in time, then I would pay money to see that. But here’s the thing: it actually made me relieved to read that.

    If the world seems to be crazy, then maybe that’s true, or maybe you are. If people are insisting that they care a lot about the earnings gap between the sexes, then there are only a few possibilities:

    1. They aren’t serious about the pay gap. “Haha j/k. Wait what, you thought we meant it? No, that would be crazy.”

    2. They’re ignorant. “It is a travesty that a man gets paid more than the woman working at his elbow, just because penis!” That would not only be false but illegal, which means that lots of fools could believe it — but probably not a law school professor.

    3. They say what they mean and mean what they say. This is the possibility that has frightened me the most, because the only way to end the earnings gap between the sexes is by taking away the ability of women to choose to be SAHMs.

    So, I’m actually relieved to read Simone’s quote. It tells me that my logical deduction is correct, and the rhetoric about the “gender pay gap” is just a euphemism for them wanting to destroy the family. Go me!

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