The Other McCain

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

The Problem of ‘Equality’

Posted on | October 29, 2014 | 50 Comments

Thanks to the reader who tipped me to this wonderful essay on “feminism as male role envy” by Roger Devlin:

Much confusion exists regarding the feminist attack upon women’s status, because the feminist movement has always presented itself to outsiders — usually with success — as an effort to improve that status. Feminists, as we all know, assert that women are rightfully the “equals” of men and deserve a “level playing field” on which to compete with them. In our time, it is a rare person whose notions about women’s claims remain wholly uninfluenced by these slogans; that is true even of many who think of themselves as opponents of feminism. For example, certain would-be defenders of Western civilization believe Islam presents a danger to us principally because it does not accept “equality of the sexes.” Indeed, they sometimes make it sound as though they would have no objection to Islam if only Muslim girls were free to wear miniskirts, join the Army, and divorce their husbands. Or again, many in the growing father’s movement describe their goal as implementing “true” equality rather than recovering their traditional role as family heads. I have even known conservatives to earnestly assure young audiences that the idea of sexual equality comes to us from Christianity — a crueler slander upon the Faith than Voltaire or Nietzsche ever imagined. The extreme case of such confusion can be found in “mainstream” conservatives such as William Kristol, who claims to oppose feminism on the grounds that its more exotic manifestations “threaten women’s recent gains”: in other words, the problem with feminism is that it endangers feminism. It is difficult to combat a movement whose fundamental premises one accepts.

Splendid work! The problem with “equality” is that it requires us forever to feed the crocodile, hoping to be eaten last. Any one of us can look around and see some condition of inequality and say, “That’s unfair.” Once we adopt equality as a moral principle, we will find social injustice everywhere we look. Fifty years ago, Ronald Reagan famously remarked: “We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.”

Equality is a totalitarian doctrine with no rational limit nor any logical stopping point short of the gates of Hell. Human beings are vastly different in their abilities and interests and, therefore, inequality is the natural condition of mankind. Whatever measures we enact this year to advance the cause of equality, you can be sure that next year inequality will continue, so that the advocates of equality will always have an excuse for new interventions in the natural (unequal) order of society. The Armies of Progress are always on the march, inviting us to join them on the Road to the Utopia of Equality.

The problem is that “Utopia” is a word coined by Thomas More from Greek roots meaning “nowhere.” The egalitarian ideal has never existed in history nor can it be brought about by even the most determined government policy, because equality is incompatible with human nature. As Freidrich Hayek observed, “social justice” is a mirage. Progressive advocates of equality are therefore the enemies of mankind, destroying the natural order to pursue an unrealistic ideal that we would not enjoy if it were actually possible, which it is not.

Making equality into a moral principle and a political objective always has the result of  of inflaming irrational resentment. People ask why feminists are always so angry; it is because the egalitarian mind sees injustice everywhere. If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. If the only ideology you have is feminism, every problem looks like patriarchal oppression. Any attempt to placate feminists is as doomed as Neville Chamberlain’s attempts to appease Hitler. Feminists are totalitarians who crave unlimited power and can never be satisfied with partial success or compromise. Grant feminists every demand they make today, and tomorrow they will return with a new list of demands. One day it’s “peace for our time,” the next day the Stukas are dive-bombing Warsaw.

Vague rhetoric about “equality” and “progress,” as general principles, tends to obscure the reality of what feminism actually means, when you begin to convert their theories into human reality:

Researcher Liz Gallese thought she had finally found an example of a happy role-reversal marriage: the wife’s career was more successful than the husband’s, so he began looking after their child to let her focus on work (the economically rational thing to do). The woman seemed proud of her accomplishments and happy with the arrangement; and Gallese must have thought she had a bestseller on her hands. The reality came to light only when she began speaking to the husband. It turns out that the couple had entirely ceased having sexual relations. Armed with that new information, Gallese began probing more deeply into the wife’s sentiments. The woman eventually admitted she wanted another child, but — not by her husband.
“I absolutely refuse to sleep with that man,” she declared; “I’ll never have sex with him again.” Instead, she was now flirting with other successful businessmen. She did not divorce her husband, however; he was still too useful as a nanny for the child. Such would appear to be the thanks men can expect for accommodating their wife’s career and “sharing the housework.”

Read the whole thing by Roger Devlin.




 

 

Comments

  • kilo6

    Exoteric “equality” and “progress” rhetoric

    Esoteric insanity

    Honestly, feminism appears to be a strategy to return humanity to living in trees or some type of neo feudal society where “income inequality” will be a binary function.

  • Adobe_Walls

    ”Any attempt to placate feminists is as doomed as Neville Chamberlain’s attempts to appease Hitler. Feminists are totalitarians who crave unlimited power and can never be satisfied with partial success or compromise. Grant feminists every demand they make today, and tomorrow they will return with a new list of demands. One day it’s “peace for our time,” the next day the Stukas are dive-bombing Warsaw.”

    There just isn’t enough written these days making comparisons between the various left ideologies and Hitler/Nazism. Well done sir.

  • RS

    The fact of the matter is, our founding documents presuppose that equality already exists among humans, i.e. “all men are created equal;” Equal in human dignity and worthy of life, liberty and freedom to pursue happiness. Modern Man has taken that dignified view of being equal in the eyes of God, to mean an equivalence in all things. As you point out, it is unattainable, inasmuch as it reduces all human interactions to keeping a balance sheet. All human interactions are by the modern definition of equality, zero sum. If I gain something, you lose something. And we wonder why so many people are bitter and unhappy.

  • RKae

    This is what I try to tell people in “cool, hip” churches that are so beaming with pride that they accept gay marriages.

    I ask them, “Do you really think the left is done with you? You really think they won’t come back with ANOTHER need for you to erase a long-held line?”

  • RKae

    Inequality is not oppression.

    If you’re on the fringe, you’re on the fringe. It’s not a prison camp.

    When I click on my car radio, it’s always the same old bland canon of pop tunes that were jukebox hits of their time. I’m NEVER going to hear Gentle Giant or the Flower Kings. I can’t demand that radio stations play Gentle Giant in equal amounts to The Beatles. It’s nonsense.

    When you’re obscure, you just deal with it – perhaps even embrace it.

  • http://twitter.com/TheUsaian Isaac T

    Is this sarcasm?

  • robertstacymccain

    When I was in college, I read (as an assignment in a British history class) A.L. Rowse’s Appeasement, the lesson of which I have never forgotten. The statesman must see things as they really are; he can ill afford to let his idealistic hopes become the basis for his judgments in matters of life and death, pertaining to the safety of those whose welfare he is entrusted to protect. And this was the error of the appeasers, of whom Chamberlain was merely the most prominent.

    They believed in diplomacy and compromise and peace, and it never seemed to occur to them why it mattered whether Hitler believed in those things. Rather obviously, he did not — as anyone who had really studied Hitler could have seen. Churchill and others saw the truth, but the appeasers were committed to not seeing the truth because the truth did not fit within their idealistic wishful view of the world. So they were deliberately ignorant; the appeasers did not know the truth because they did not wish to know it.

  • Adobe_Walls

    That’s one of the confusions about the left’s goals, that being that they’ll use any means necessary to gain their ends. While true enough on it’s face it doesn’t account for the fact that for the left the means are the ends. They can’t accept a victory such as gay marriage and then move on. That would end their reason for, and joy in, tormenting and harassing their opponents.

  • Messenger

    100% correct.

    I think anyone who tracks these things can see that feminists are not satisfied with the gains they’ve made over the years, which gives them every individual right a man has in terms of careers, education, the vote, etc. and are forever wanting more, and more. It’s also clear that the movement is no longer about civil rights for women, and is now consumed with trivial issues like “cat calling”, what defines “consent”, and of course monolithic “patriarchy” with the end result being more state power, expansion of government, and an erosion of civil rights for everyone. It took me awhile to figure it out, but leftists will always be leftists no matter what they hide behind, and the end result is always the same: authoritarianism, and it’s partner, totalitarianism.

  • Adobe_Walls

    If it were sarcasm at least one of us would have known it.

  • Fail Burton

    Orwellian contradictions seem to be baked right into radical gender feminism. Notice how they cry about diversity as if it is a principle good for all but never claim to want to be seen as sharing equally in the failures of humankind such as the gender hatred they propose only exists in men. That not only defines supremacy but virtually defines paranoia as well. By the simple expedient of having no race and gender neutral definitions of racism, sexism, bigotry and supremacy, feminists and their protected groups are literally never wrong – about anything.

    In radical feminism, diversity is never a requirement for anyone but the unholy focus of Western feminists: the straight white male. Everyone else skates – everyone, including feminists themselves. They have women and gay-only literary awards I can never win. I on the other hand, a supposed supremacist ideologue, have no such segregated awards. Which side of this can maintain a thing like the Constitution then? Principle has been replaced by race and gender as a moral ethos.

    You also notice feminists aren’t marching to demand they must sign up for the draft by law, like American men have to.

    It appears resentments and shared low self-esteem is at the bottom this since intersectionalists emotionally relate to every second-place player throughout human history, which is retooled to be one giant Jim Crow and patriarchy eternally dedicated to oppressing the Rainbow Coalition. The true complexities of human history are simply thrown out the door in favor of warring binaries of black-white, gay-non-gay and women-men; Devils and Angels in intersectional thought. If you relate to losers, of course you won’t like winners, or reality.

  • Messenger

    Absolutely. They have every individual right that men have, and still want more so we are now nagged to death with concepts like “consent”(which doesnt mean anything to them when it comes to girl/girl love), “rape culture”, “patriarchy”, “sexism”, etc. and all this leads to the expansion of state power, and state sanctioned violence to settle grievances. The GamerGate fiasco is a perfect example of all the insidious way they go about their goals, and the cover-ups whenever they’re caught. Right now it;s about “criticism of sexism in games” which they say is benign, but undoubtedly next it’s lobbying game developers, boycotts, legislation, etc. Anyone who thinks Anita Sarkeesian, or Leigh Alexander, or Zoe Quinn aren’t Kommisars in the making is out of their mind.

  • Fail Burton

    People on the fence are often too naive to understand that a woman who claims a single murder is the result of “toxic masculinity” and then uses “misogyny” in the next Tweet is intellectually dishonest, if not deranged. It’s Sarkeesian who has a thing for men, not 160 million Americans a thing for her.

  • Fail Burton

    Simple comparisons like that are beyond literalist identity addicts. They can’t see principle, only what identity is literally in front of them. That’s why there’s never a thing LIKE Nazis, only Nazis. A neat trick since it means radical feminists can never occupy that philosophical space, no matter their obvious supremacist ideology and Nazi-like demonization theories like white privilege.

    This is all so simple: just read the frickin’ Constitution and get up there and take your swings at the plate.

  • Adobe_Walls

    The problem is that the left doesn’t want equality but rather egalite. In theory these are both the same word or are words that have the same meaning (as opposed to definition) in two different languages. In historical context they have very different meanings. The French still don’t have it right despite trying five different republics.

  • RS

    And speaking of equality, Slate, gets vexed because there are not enough white guys harassing women on the street. (Via Instapundit)

  • concern00

    One of things that Islam absolutely gets right is not embracing the fallacy of equality of the sexes, though their enforcement techniques may be questionable. Hence, their demographic is currently flourishing while ours inexorably recedes.

  • Durasim

    In his essay “Sexual Utopia in Power,” Devlin made a sensible comparison between the French Revolution and the Sexual Revolution:

    “The well-worn phrase “sexual revolution” ought, I believe, to be taken with more than customary seriousness. Like the French Revolution, the paradigmatic political revolution of modern times, it was an attempt to realize a utopia, but a sexual rather than political utopia. And like the French Revolution, it has gone through three phases: first, a libertarian or anarchic phase in which the utopia was supposed to occur spontaneously once old ways had been swept aside; second, a reign of terror, in which one faction seized power and attempted to realize its schemes dictatorially; and third, a “reaction” in which human nature gradually reasserted itself.”

    http://dontmarry.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/sexualutopia.pdf

    During the sixties, the revolution was in its libertarian anarchic phase of “free love.” Men who were gullible and “useful idiots” thought that they had hit the jackpot of everlasting sex. Then in the eighties and nineties, the next phase came along. Did libertine college students and hippies imagine that their cavorting was going to beget things like Title IX. campus speech codes, and campus rape seminars?

    Whether there will be a “reaction” sufficient enough to stop the “terror” phase remains to be seen. I do not think the “terror” phase of the sexual revolution has even reached its pinnacle yet.

  • http://theological-geography.net/ David R. Graham

    Back in the day — i.e., Way back — boys and young men spoke of some women of their acquaintance as “ball-crunchers.” I do not know if the phrase has currency now. But it said something practical and realistic that has not changed in the interim between then and now: such women exist. Indeed, they always have existed. My mother was one. Feminists remind me of nothing more exalted than the time-worn, well-known, always-present “ball-cruncher.” Ball-crunchers tend to be promiscuous, by the way.

    Normal women love whom they love and see if that man loves them. If not, they mend their broken heart and see whom now to love, if anyone. But love never ends. With a different phenomenology but the same impulses, normal men proceed in parallel to normal women. Both women and men want really just one thing: to feel comfortable in the presence of a member of the balancing nature.

  • Adobe_Walls

    May be questionable?

  • https://twitter.com/Mthomps016 M. Thompson

    When ever I see demands for unqualified equality, it all strikes me as being rather procrustean.

    Or, first the sentance then the verdict!

  • concern00

    Yeah, the sarcasm didn’t quite make it out of that post!

  • Durasim

    The feminists are not always supreme or first among the leftist movements.

    One thing I have noticed is that an accusation of racism can cause even the feminists to shrink back and scurry away with their tails between their legs. They even stopped using the term “female genital mutilation” because they were afraid it was racist and insensitive against black and brown people. They started using terms like “infibulation” instead.

    Of course, the suggestion of racism has to come from a person that is designated as authoritative (like a Ta-Nehisi Coates type). The Slate article is by Hanna Rosin, herself a feminist. Feminists sometimes try to one-up each other by making “racial” or “intersectional” indictments of their feminist sisters. It’s like watching Soviet commissars trying to get promoted by denouncing and informing on each other until they’re the only ones left.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    I have even known conservatives to earnestly assure young audiences that the idea of sexual equality comes to us from Christianity — a crueler slander upon the Faith than Voltaire or Nietzsche ever imagined. The extreme case of such confusion can be found in “mainstream” conservatives such as William Kristol, who claims to oppose feminism on the grounds that its more exotic manifestations “threaten women’s recent gains”: in other words, the problem with feminism is that it endangers feminism. It is difficult to combat a movement whose fundamental premises one accepts.

    This is why I have been saying for years that no Restoration of our Freedoms and Liberty will last if we do not purge Leftist Thinking from our own Souls.

  • Durasim

    The complaint from Roxanne Gay is priceless:

    “The racial politics of the video are fucked up. Like, she didn’t walk through any white neighborhoods?”

    You hear that, feminists? Next time you want to do hidden camera videos on sexism, make sure you only do it in white-bread towns. Maybe stick to Idaho or North Dakota just to be on the safe side.

  • Zohydro

    I think “equality” has little to do with it… It’s really more about reducing the greater mass of humanity to its lowest common denominator!

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Researcher Liz Gallese thought she had finally found an example of a happy role-reversal marriage: the wife’s career was more successful than the husband’s, so he began looking after their child to let her focus on work (the economically rational thing to do)

    Must not have been looking very hard. What is she, a TV reporter?

    We did that career-reversal thing with no creepy problems like that. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t any harder than than the way it is for all young couples with kids who are determined to be a family.

    Further, I’ve met a LOT of people who did the same thing. Still do. It isn’t even a big deal in our society anymore.

    The trick is to not get confused over who’s who. You aren’t reversing sex roles, you’re reversing economic roles.

    The classic nuclear family where the male works at the office *ALL* the freaking time, and leaves the family upbringing solely to the wife is asking for trouble. This hapless couple described in the quote sounds like they fell in the same trap.

  • RS

    The trick is to not get confused over who’s who. You aren’t reversing sex roles, you’re reversing economic roles.

    A very perceptive observation. And, as you mention, therein lies the rub for Feminists and those whom they’ve indoctrinated. They do not distinguish the two. The problem is, human nature wins out many, many times, and the wife begins looking for a male whose status is higher than hers and higher than her now stay-at-home husband. Unfortunately, in my line of work, I’ve seen it many, many times.

  • Daniel Freeman

    So if the Western white men who pay for the genital mutilation of black African men started doing the same for black African women, would Western white feminists stop being afraid to call it what it is?

  • Adobe_Walls

    That will be much easier after purging the leftists.

  • http://proteinwisdom.com darleenclick

    The thing is, that Judaism (and then Christianity) did indeed elevate women from chattel to partner. It did it by channeling male & female sexuality into committed monogamy and emphasizing the complimentary natures of the sexes. “They shall be as one flesh.”

    Equity feminists (1st wave) did not eschew this observable fact. Any person who seriously looks at American principles understands that we all created equal in essence that we are all humans in God’s image. We are entitled to the liberty to pursue where our talent, skill, hard work, luck and circumstance takes us. No more, no less.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Yeah, I saw that same thing a few times, but only among serious “climbers.”

    You have to be determined to put the family first.

    Also, I had an entire decade of success at my profession under my belt before I quit my job to take over home duty. (A decision derived from the shocking fact that we were paying more than our mortgage every month in childcare expenses. And we were getting sick to death of dining out.)

  • Fail Burton

    For a full look at feminist in-fighting google “the hounding of Adele Wilde-Blavatsky.” It’s a lulu.

  • Fail Burton

    She profiled them, just like cops profile New Yorkers where less than 2% of gun violence is white. Reality does it too. Reality should be sued by Eric Holder.

  • Fail Burton

    Egypt has lots of genital mutilation and by law no woman can be president but “Sarkeesian lone wolf theory” throws that onto straight white Western males because they do nothing of the sort.

  • Zohydro

    ‘Tis a pity the feminist brand has been co-opted by the Left…

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    When the SHTF, I look forward to doing just that and much else.

    Make More Pikes.

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  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere
  • Adobe_Walls

    Your quite welcome that’s what I’m here for.

  • RS

    As for dining out, I do virtually all of the cooking in our household, inasmuch as I do it better. I grew up in a house of only sons; my mother determined that we should know how to cook. She told me, “If you can cook and serve an elegant meal to a woman, she’ll swoon.” After 27 years of marriage, I see she was correct.

  • Eric Ashley

    Sometimes to understand is just to hate more deeply. O

  • Eric Ashley

    Eric Holder tried to but he could not find Reality.

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Same here. I worked in restaurants as early as age fourteen. I learned how to cook for small and large groups of people. So I’m passably decent at it, although the majority of my life I’ve been more like an Army cook than a chef (we had all boys in our family).

    But since the moment my wife and I started dating I was always the one who cooked the majority of meals. Once my wife entered grad school, it was a slam-dunk decision that her cooking days were pretty much over (and she was a good cook, too).

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    It might be time to take a cue from the guy who repelled Mehmed II from Romania.

    It’s about time our beheading-addicted friends in the Middle East and elsewhere were confronted with the cost of their behavior.

    Especially since turning their land to glass is no longer an option (they’re everywhere now, thanks to Bush and barack, although barack bears the majority of the blame).

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  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Would that be my hero, Vlad The Impaler?

  • http://boogieforward.us/ K-Bob

    Indeed. I just read a few articles on him. Evidently he was saddled with a title he didn’t quite earn. Oh, he impaled people, to be sure. But he was following local custom, or the custom in the country from which the accused hailed.

    Supposedly. 20,000 people seems a bit excessive. But in the case of ISIL, perhaps a bit subdued.

    It seems an appropriate response, especially since impalement is something from the Ottoman days. It might make more than one group of would-be caliphate enablers sit up and take notice.

  • Daniel Freeman

    These days, equity feminists are little more than useful cover for female chauvinists. I have no respect for them continuing to use that tainted title.

  • Trazymarch

    “I ask them, “Do you really think the left is done with you? You really
    think they won’t come back with ANOTHER need for you to erase a
    long-held line?”

    It will never end. Incest, zoophilia, pedophilia sooner or later will also be taken up on the banners. And I am sure it won’t be the end of it.