Posted on | October 18, 2014 | 108 Comments
The troll @streever jumped into my Twitter timeline Friday to challenge my assertion that “Feminism is anti-male, anti-heterosexual and — most importantly — ANTI-FREEDOM.” This inspired me to reiterate the basic theme of the “Sex Trouble” series, by way of demonstrating its relevance to the #GamerGate controversy.
Pause now to consider: I spent weeks ignoring #GamerGate because I recognized a risk of becoming distracted from my research, focusing on academic feminism’s anti-male/anti-heterosexual biases. Yet as soon as I took a belated interest in #GamerGate, I almost immediately found myself challenged as to my authority on the subject which I’ve spent months researching. In other words, @streever wants to distract me from my #GamerGate distraction and, by his ignorant quibbling about feminism’s biases, thereby seeks to discredit my commentary on #GamerGate. It’s like I’ve wandered into a hall of mirrors.
At any rate, @streever appears to be a classic “white knight” Gamma male. He is posturing for an audience, real or imagined, in an exhibitionistic display of his moral superiority. Anyone who has read Thomas Sowell’s The Vision of the Anointed recognizes the narcissistic self-flattery involved in this sort of preening. We need not dispute the sincerity of @streever‘s folly in order to understand its egocentric psychological function. Rationalizations are seldom fully conscious; having dealt with more than a few notorious sociopaths, I realize it’s a waste of time to wonder whether they actually buy the self-serving bullshit they peddle to others. (In addition to The Vision of the Anointed, I recommend Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer and Christopher Lasch’s The Culture of Narcisissm as useful to an analysis of this personality type frequently encountered in political controversy.) Once you realize you’re dealing with an antagonist’s mental illness rather than with his “arguments” (which tend to be composed chiefly of slogans, epithets and assertions rather than actual arguments) your enjoyment of the dispute will be exponentially increased, as the self-righteous fool proceeds to prove beyond doubt that he is, in fact, a self-righteous fool.
I questioned Robert Stacy McCain on his controversial assertion that feminism—#YesAllFeminism?—?is ‘anti-male’, ‘anti-heterosexual’, and ‘anti-freedom’, by questioning the power dynamics at play between oppressed and oppressor.
(Notice the obsession with power, which any reader of Foucault will recognize, although whether @streever got his “power dynamics” jargon from Foucault or some other source, we don’t know, as he cites no authority but himself.)
How can someone be meaningfully ‘anti-heterosexual’ in a society that celebrates, supports, and assumes heterosexuality by default?
My real question, though, is why a viewpoint which is critical of exclusive heterosexuality and toxic ideas of maleness is a problem; why should I or anyone else see this as a challenge to ourselves?
(How much feminist literature has @streever read? I’m sitting here surrounded by dozens of volumes, by feminists famous and obscure, published over a span of some 40 years. The latest addition to this stack is Kate Weigand’s 2001 Red Feminism: American Communism and the Making of Women’s Liberation. This volume is not only important in its own right, demonstrating the roots of so-called “Second Wave” feminism in the pro-Soviet Left of the 1930s and ’40s, but the author herself is significant. Weigand’s lesbian partner, Smith College Professor Nancy Whittier, is one of three lesbian academics who are editors of the popular Women’s Studies textbook Feminist Frontiers. What one may conclude, from extensive study of such works, is that feminism is not “critical” merely of “exclusive heterosexuality,” but of heterosexuality, per se. Nor is feminism opposed only to “toxic ideas of maleness,” but rather feminists regard all males, collectively, as engaged in oppression of all females, collectively. Is this “a challenge to ourselves”? One might inquire of Sally Miller Gearhart, Marilyn Frye, Dee Graham, Celia Kitzinger, et al., whether they actually meant what they wrote on these topics. Also, what about those heteronormative Disney cartoons? But never mind, we return to @streever’s rant.)
Women have been excluded and shut out of the legislative, judiciary, political, and economic structures of our society for longer than they’ve been accepted; the structures we live under now were originally conceived, created, and managed nearly entirely by men. I can not fault a woman, a historically oppressed person, for criticizing her oppressors; nor can I fault LGBT people for criticizing their heterosexual oppressors.
(Observe how @streeter is blind to the problem inherent in his description of “a woman” — which woman, he does not say — as “a historically oppressed person.” This assumes as a premise women’s status as a “historically oppressed” category, so that your mother was oppressed by your father, Nancy Reagan was oppressed by Ronald Reagan, Jackie Kennedy was oppressed by John F. Kennedy, and on backward through the millennia to the dawn of time. We suppose @streever imagines that somewhere in Africa, paleontologists are seeking fossils of the first hominid woman who was oppressed by the first hominid male. While I might question whether my grandmother was oppressed by my grandfather, this is irrelevant to the subject at hand, i.e., whether the culture critic Anita Sarkeesian, or any other 21st-century feminist intellectual, should be automatically viewed as cloaked in the mantle of historical oppression. Exactly who are Anita Sarkeesian’s “oppressors”? The gamers who are tired of her lectures about the “male gaze” in videogames? Or does @streever mean to argue that all women, even powerful and affluent women, are entitled to consider as their “oppressors” all men generally? It would be interesting to see @streever attempt to make such an argument, but he doesn’t do that. He merely asserts this — women oppressed, and men their oppressors — as if it were self-evident. And do not for a moment expect @streever to demonstrate how all heterosexuals are “oppressors” of all “LGBT people.” He doesn’t have to prove this, you see. Oppression is the major premise of his syllogism, and if you do not accept that premise, you’re just a hateful bigot. But now back to @streever’s rant.)
McCain wasn’t able to explain this to me, because it isn’t explainable; he’s simply wrong. No right-thinking human can blame an oppressed person for holding ideas that question and criticize their oppressors.
(Here we see the category “right-thinking human” — bien-pensants, as the French would say — offered as an invitation: “Agree with me and join the Right-Thinking People’s Club, or disagree and be Simply Wrong.” Again, @streever asserts the “oppressed person” and “their oppressors” as self-evident categories, without exemption. Merely by being female or among the “LGBT people,” you see, the “oppressed person” acquires the authority to “question and criticize” everyone outside those categories, and no one may even expect the oppressed to make coherent or factual arguments, for to expect this is to “blame an oppressed person.” We may call this the Solipsistic Subjectivity of the Oppressed. Continuing @streever’s rant.)
What really interested me were his underlying assumptions; he takes for granted that exclusive heterosexuality is the ‘normal’ sexuality of an organism in nature. Although we have any number of examples from nature of animals possessing more fluid sexuality, McCain seems rigidly locked to the idea that exclusive heterosexuality is the only acceptable sex for a human, although I am unable to find either a biological or theological rationale for it in his writing. . . .
You may read the whole thing. Putting away the italic fisking format, anyone can see the startling contrast between what @streever is willing to accept as self-evident premises — i.e., the categorical validity of “oppressed and oppressor,” and “the power dynamics at play between” these categories — as opposed to what he requires to be proven, i.e., the normality of heterosexuality.
Normal heterosexuality explains why there are 7 billion people on this planet, and the question before us in the present tense is not the inherited grievances of the “historically oppressed,” but rather how our own actions today affect the future of ourselves, our families, our neighbors, our society and ultimately the Fate of Humanity. Providing the future with human beings well-suited to assist their fellow humans — to be assets, rather than debits, in the Great Ledger of Historical Accounting — is a philanthropic endeavor.
What philanthropic works does @streever claim to his credit? On what basis does he assert his authority to say that “exclusive heterosexuality” is a problematic idea lacking justification by any “biological or theological rationale”? Is it not just common sense that we should prefer the ordinary way by which man and woman become husband and wife and in turn become father and mother?
Well, @streever is a young fool who, to my knowledge, has never actually done anything to help anyone. He seems to be an entirely selfish person who cares for nothing except his own opinion of himself, posing for the admiration of “right-thinking people.” It is not necessary for such a fool to do anything charitable in order to imagine himself as a philanthropist. No sacrifice, no discipline, no labor is required of him. He need merely array himself rhetorically on the side of the “historically oppressed,” and to denounce as “simply wrong” those who dispute the fashionable idiocies of the intelligentsia, in order to count himself a humanitarian benefactor to others.
Barrett was exactly like @streever in his assumption of his own superiority and his assumption that I would be an appropriate target for his “Mock the Bigot” game. You disagree with them, and therefore you must be a cartoon stereotype of that Reactionary Hater these young fools have been taught to believe “right-thinking humans” must constantly crusade against. Back to @streever now:
The single most destructive influence on both McCain and myself is the type of toxic, angry maleness that he himself advocates and lives by. This narrow-minded view of what constitutes males and maleness is forced upon society by men like McCain, who have a homophobic and bigoted view of what constitutes maleness and men. [Emphasis added.]
Have I exhibited “toxic, angry maleness”? Are my views “narrow-minded”? Am I “homophobic and bigoted”? Never mind all that: Notice how @streever asserts — tendentious assertions are his habit — that my “narrow-minded view . . . is forced upon society,” without specifying the mechanism of force by which this occurs. Whereas the tax man takes your money (by force) and uses that money (without your permission) to fund the promulgation of feminism’s hateful doctrines at schools and universities, thus producing multiple harms to society, inter alia, the complete waste of time and hydrocarbon molecules that is @streever.
“The destruction of the incest taboo is essential to the development of cooperative human community based on the free-flow of natural androgynous eroticism. . . .
“The incest taboo can be destroyed only by destroying the nuclear family as the primary institution of the culture.
“The nuclear family is the school of values in a sexist, sexually repressed society.”
— Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating: A Radical Look at Sexuality (1974)
“[P]atriarchy (not capitalism or sex roles or socialization or individual sexist men) is the root of all forms of oppression . . . 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)
“Is there some commonality among ‘women’ that preexists their oppression, or do ‘women’ have a bond by virtue of their oppression alone? Is there a specificity to women’s cultures that is independent of their subordination by hegemonic, masculinist cultures? . . .
“Is the construction of the category of women as a coherent and stable subject an unwitting regulation and reification precisely contrary to feminist aims? . . . To what extent does the category of women achieve stability and coherence only in the context of the heterosexual matrix?”
— Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990)
“[L]esbian coparents whose children are conceived through donor insemination do depend upon . . . formal, rapidly institutionalizing markets for acquiring the precious liquid that will assist them in bringing children into their lives. . . .
“The erasure of biological paternity that occurs with officially anonymous sperm donation all but seals the fate of semen as a commodity whose exchange value derives almost exclusively from its use value to women who control their own reproduction.”
— Maureen Sullivan, The Family of Woman: Lesbian Mothers, Their Children, and the Undoing of Gender (2004)
“There’s no way a 14-year-old can consent to a relationship with an adult. . . . She took away her innocence. My daughter trusted her, and she deceived her.”
— Tampa Tribune, “Mom Of Minor In Teacher-Student Sex Case Speaks Out,” June 17, 2008
“A former dance director at Humble High School . . . admittedly had sex with one of her female students.
“Amanda Michelle Feenstra pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication and probation. . . .
“Police said Feenstra engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with the student from August 2010 to November 2011. The student was 17 years old when the relationship began and Feenstra was 30. . . .
“The student’s mother accused Feenstra of stealing her daughter’s innocence.”
— KHOU-TV, “Former dance director at Humble High sentenced for having sex with student,” Oct. 23, 2013
“While ‘childless’ means the condition of being without children, it implies that everyone who does not have children would like to have them. However, being ‘childfree,’ like [actress Helen] Mirren — and like me — means that one does not want to have children at all. . . .
“I don’t feel like something is missing from my life because I don’t have children. I don’t want to have kids.”
— Chanel Dubofsky, “‘Childless’ or ‘Childfree’: The Difference Matters,” May 8, 2014
“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 . . .
“I was finally forced to consider a question that had never, ever occurred to me before: Holy shit, am I gay?”
— Lauren Morelli, “While Writing for ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ I Realized I Am Gay,” May 21, 2014
“The first girl I ever dated, and the first girl I married are both gay now.”
— Steve Basilone, June 13, 2014
“A Wallingford woman was sentenced to over 17 years in prison for filming herself sexually assaulting a 3-year-old female child, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Connecticut.
“Angela D. Martin, 30, filmed herself with a cell phone sexually abusing the child and sent it to another individual in California, according to court documents. . . .
“In addition to the video, officials say Martin possessed and distributed other child pornography that she received from individuals through email, text messaging and chat applications.
“Martin is a registered sex offender due to a prior conviction in Connecticut for second degree sexual assault of a minor.”
— New Haven Register, “Wallingford woman gets 17 years for filmed sexual assault of child,” Oct. 15, 2014
Civilization’s most basic unit, the family, has been under relentless assault by a degenerate intellectual elite for more than half a century, wreaking tragic destruction on women and children, undermining law and unleashing upon our citizens a deadly carnival of satanic evil that every day claims its helpless victims. High school students are molested by their teachers, college girls are kidnapped and murdered, creepy lunatics open fire on the streets of lovely beach towns — but, no, not one of these manifest evils should be attributed to the wrong ideas our intelligentsia have taught “right-thinking humans” to believe.
Instead, when a private citizen speaks truth in defense of what is good and wholesome, he must be accused of having forced upon society the narrow-minded, homophobic and bigoted view of toxic, angry maleness. Translation: Shut up, while we ruin the world.
“To live for the moment is the prevailing passion — to live for yourself, not for your predecessors or posterity. We are fast losing the sense of historical continuity, the sense of belonging to a succession of generations originating in the past and stretching into the future. . . .
“Narcissism emerges as the typical form of character structure in a society that has lost interest in the future.”
— Christopher Lasch, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations (1979)
God has entrusted innocent souls to your care, but our decadent elite hate God, they hate you, they hate your children, and most of all the elite hate your obstinate refusal to acknowledge them as your moral superiors. Therefore, they take sadistic pleasure in the wickedness their dangerous ideas inflict on you and your children.
Responsible adults — men and women as husbands and wives, mothers and fathers — who have a direct flesh-and-blood stake in the future, and who are concerned for the world that will exist for their grandchildren and descendants in a future beyond their own lifetimes, must be shouted down and silenced as these irresponsible intellectuals do everything possible to destroy our civilization.
They call themselves “right-thinking” people, and we are ‘simply wrong.”
— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) October 18, 2014
You see what weird cultural ideas #GamerGate brings into focus.