The Other McCain

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

‘There Is No Spoon’: Radical Feminism and the Paranoid Matrix of Patriarchy

Posted on | March 6, 2015 | 78 Comments

“Given that woman cannot ‘fit’ into the cartography of male thought, she cannot be expected to communicate in ways that are understandable to those caught within a patriarchal mindset. Thus the typically male disparagement of women’s thinking as confused, irrational or superstitious is simply a lack of imagination: women’s thinking is only irrational if understood within a rigid paradigm of linear (phallocentric) thought.”
Jennifer Rich, Modern Feminist Theory (2014)

“While feminists believe that the patriarchy makes women crazy, the rest of us suspect that crazy women made the patriarchy — inventing this imaginary conspiracy of ‘male supremacy’ as the phantom menace of their paranoid minds, a fantasy bogeyman, a rationalization of their own unhappiness and misfortunes.”
Robert Stacy McCain, Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War on Human Nature

My friends Nice Deb and the Lonely Conservative express amazement at my ability to maintain sanity after spending so many months wading deep into the feminist madness. Really, it’s a miracle, and your continued prayers are most earnestly requested as I continue this research. As I remark in the book, you can’t understand feminism without studying abnormal psychology, especially the etiology of paranoia.

Paranoia and narcissism are related phenomena, because the paranoid person’s delusions of persecution require him to believe that he is so important that powerful people and institutions are conspiring against him. Unable to cope with his own inadequacy, overwhelmed by feelings of shame about his failures, the narcissist’s psychological defense mechanisms inflate his damaged ego to grandiose proportions.

He did not fail; they conspired to thwart him. Stipulate that, in reality, people often do suffer unjustly through no fault of their own. Stipulate also that sane people actually do have enemies. The narcissist, however, is unable to accept his misfortunes as simple bad luck. Confronted by failure, the narcissist can’t say, “Well, that’s just the way life is,” and move on to seek success elsewhere. Instead, he becomes obsessed with the idea that he is a victim of injustice, and rationalizes his suffering by attributing malign motives to scapegoated enemies. This characteristic trait of externalizing blame is necessary to protect the damaged ego of the narcissist and, however much damage he inflicts by lashing out at scapegoats, the narcissist may still be able to maintain a neurotic semblance of normality. The descent into madness begins when his failures multiply beyond his ability to rationalize them, so that his enemies — “they” who conspire against him — become fantastic in size and power. He imagines himself pursued and persecuted by demons and monsters, by Jews or Freemasons, by the CIA or by aliens from Mars.

All of this madness begins, you see, with an inability to accept responsibility for one’s own failures and shortcomings. Strong, healthy minds can withstand not only the routine annoyances of daily life, but can even overcome extraordinary hardship without resorting to the kind of scapegoating attitude that characterizes the narcissistic personality. Because we are living in what Christopher Lasch famously called The Culture of Narcissism, however, we have seen a proliferation of movements that offer ready-made theories of victimhood that enable personal irresponsibility, rationalizing the fears of unhealthy minds.

Feminism is an ideology of madness, denying the fundamental reality of human nature. Feminists enable (“empower”) the irresponsible woman by offering her the convenient scapegoat of patriarchy — “male supremacy,” “misogyny,” etc. — as the all-purpose explanation for every misfortune she may suffer. The fact that other women are going about their daily lives, happy and successful, is never acceptable to a feminist as evidence that disproves her ideology. The overwhelming majority of female college students manage to make it through their undergraduate years without being gang-raped by fraternity brothers and yet we find feminists promoting claims that “rape culture” is out of control on university campuses. Feminists produce big-budget documentaries that portray college life as The Hunting Ground where women are constantly menaced by their male classmates. “Rape culture” propaganda is a way of promoting Fear and Loathing of the Penis, as I have described the typical anti-male/anti-heterosexual worldview of radical feminism.


In August 2013, I wrote a post called “Taking Feminism Seriously,” and one of the consequences of my in-depth study of this subject is that when I look at the description of Jennifer Rich’s book Modern Feminist Theory, I recognize nearly all the authors she names. Kate Millett, Shulamith Firestone, Mary Daly, Audre Lorde, Monique Wittig, Gayle Rubin, Adrienne Rich, Judith Butler — this radical roster of lunatics and lesbians is very familiar to me. The question is whether students at Hofstra University recognize this ideology as a sort of navigational chart that guides unhappy women on a metaphorical voyage across the Mytilini Strait to a legendary island off the coast of Asia Minor.

The recent surge of radical madness is so strangely paranoid that even a feminist like Meghan Daum is offended by it:

[T]he idea that all sexual assaults are created equal — and deserve equal treatment in the court of public opinion — has become an article of faith in the liberal gospel.
But at the risk (the guarantee) of being branded a rape apologist or worse, I’m going to say what many reasonable people have been thinking for a while: Violent rape is not the same as psychologically coercive sex, which in turn is not the same as regrettable sex, which is not the same as fielding an unwanted touch or kiss at a party.
None of these things are good; many of them are quite bad. But insofar as they do fall along a spectrum ranging from truly horrific to merely annoying, some demand legal or punitive action, and some simply do not. Some are crimes and some are the inevitable fallout of social obtuseness. Some desperately require more attention, and some — I’ll just say it– are getting too much attention.

Read the whole thing and notice how Ms. Daum cushions her criticism in caveats, aware that anyone who dares express skepticism about feminism’s propaganda claims is subject to becoming a demonized scapegoat, a “rape apologist.” What is happening here?

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead … only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

That famous scene from The Matrix expresses the problem of confronting an imaginary “reality” like the feminist worldview. Once you understand feminism as a theory of radical egalitarianism akin to Marxism (and, indeed, directly inspired by Marxist-Leninist ideology), the illusion of the spoon becomes apparent. Beginning with the premise that men and women are naturally “equal” in the sense that they are essentially identical — that there are no innate differences between male and female — feminists then theorize all observable inequalities between men (collectively) and women (collectively) as the result of oppression. This concept of women as victims of universal oppression requires feminists to further theorize the existence of patriarchy as the social system of male supremacy. All of this depends on the belief that androgyny (a condition of sameness as the basis of “sexual equality”) is natural, and that any apparent differences between men and women are artificial, “socially constructs” imposed by patriarchy.

“[W]oman’s social inequality is not an inevitable attribute of her biology but biologically inherent in the heterosexual sex act. . . . Woman’s biology oppresses her only when she relates to men. The basis of the inequality of the sexes here is seen as the inequality inherent in heterosexual intercourse as a result of sex-specific anatomy. To transcend or avoid this in personal life by having sexual relations only with women — lesbianism — eliminates the gender-based underpin­nings of sexual inequality in this view. . . . Women and men are divided by gender, made into the sexes as we know them, by the social requirements of its dominant form, heterosexuality, which institutionalizes male sexual dominance and female sexual submission.”
Catharine MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989)

“I think that widespread heterosexuality among women is a highly artificial product of the patriarchy. . . . I think that most women have to be coerced into heterosexuality.”
Marilyn Frye, “A Lesbian’s Perspective on Women’s Studies” (1980)

“These people are crazy!” proclaims every sane person after learning what feminist Gender Theory teaches. Our natural instinct, as common-sense people living in the real world, is to dismiss feminism as a joke, to insist that their ideas cannot be taken seriously. Unfortunately, we must take them seriously:

  • Feminism is propagated daily on campusAs of 2009, some 90,000 students at 700 colleges and universities were enrolled in Women’s Studies courses, including 31 Master’s programs and 13 Ph.D. programs. Thousands of professors are employed in teaching Women’s Studies which, because of its “interdisciplinary” nature, influences many other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Feminism exercises hegemonic power within academia — Because federal Title IX legislation prohibits discrimination against women, and because criticism of feminism has often been interpreted as indicative of discriminatory intent, almost no one within academia will dare speak out in direct opposition to feminism. The classic example of how feminism wields uncontested authority on campus was the purge of Larry Summers as President of Harvard University. At a 2005 conference on women in science, Summers suggested that “innate differences” between men and women might explain the relative small number of top female scientific researchers. Within a year, Summers was forced to resign.
  • Feminism has become a decisive force in American politics — The so-called “gender gap” of women favoring Democrat candidates has become a basic organizing principle of liberalism in the 21st century. In 2012, President Obama was re-elected with the largest “gender gap” since Gallup began measuring the difference between male and female voters. This result followed a campaign in which Democrats accused Republicans of waging a “War on Women,” and in which Obama’s election team carefully targeted TV ads at women voters in key swing states.

“Politics is downstream from culture,” as Andrew Breitbart insisted, and feminism’s influence in culture — in academia, in the publishing industry, in the news media and in popular entertainment — is so pervasive and powerful that we can neither ignore it nor treat it as a joke.

Sure we can laugh at their radical insanity, but we need to understand that this insanity defines reality for millions of women who subscribe to the feminist worldview. When Professor Rich claims that logic is “a patriarchal mindset . . . a rigid paradigm of linear (phallocentric) thought,” she dismisses the possibility that men and women experience the same reality. There are no objective facts, according to feminist theory, only subjective interpretations. Anyone who claims that objective reality exists is trapped in “a rigid paradigm” of “male thought.” This insistence on subjectivity is what inspired Irish law student Anja Eriud to invoke the spoon metaphor from The Matrix:

Feminism is like that force, and the spoon represents the object, the thing that this force is wishing into existence, that thing or object being the sum of all evil, the fount of all badness — the big bad patriarchy.
Just like in the film, the only object that actually exists is the boy – the thing he has created is the illusion of a spoon — the trick is not that he can bend this imaginary spoon — the trick, if you will, it is that he can make you believe in that spoons existence.
So. Feminism is — the ability to make you see something that is not there — and to manipulate and bend that thing into any shape. . . .
In effect — the loons of feminism not only created the spoon, they poured all their malice, all their bitterness, all their rage and hatred for men into that creation.
Feminism is that malice, that bitterness, that rage and hatred, polished and moulded, layered and then re-layered with “credibility” with “academic cachet” with “plausibility” . . .

You can read the whole thing. What she is saying is that feminists have invented a jargon — “patriarchy,” “misogyny,” “heternormativity,” “gender,” etc. — to describe intellectual abstractions which have become a reality over which they exercise complete control. Because feminists control the existence of this “spoon” they have created, they are able to bend it however they wish, and we find ourselves in the position of Alice on the other side of the looking glass, arguing with Humpty Dumpty:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

This is where feminist “rape culture” discourse takes us, to a bizarre alternative reality where normal definitions do not apply, where the burden of proof is shifted from the accuser to the accused, who is expected to prove a negative, that he did not rape his girlfriend. Really: Auburn University student Joshua Strange’s ex-girlfriend accused him of assault and he was expelled even after being exonerated by a grand jury. (Watch a video about the case that is deeply disturbing.) In England, this shifting of the burden of proof is now a matter of law:

Men accused of date rape will need to convince police that a woman consented to sex as part of a major change in the way sex offences are investigated.
The Director of Public Prosecutions said it was time for the legal system to move beyond the concept of “no means no” to recognise situations where women may have been unable to give consent.
Alison Saunders said rape victims should no longer be “blamed” by society if they are too drunk to consent to sex, or if they simply freeze and say nothing because they are terrified of their attacker.
Instead, police and prosecutors must now put a greater onus on rape suspects to demonstrate how the complainant had consented “with full capacity and freedom to do so”.
Campaigners described the move as “a huge step forward” in ensuring fewer rapists escape justice. . . .
“We want police and prosecutors to make sure they ask in every case where consent is the issue — how did the suspect know the complainant was saying yes and doing so freely and knowingly?

Read the whole thing. You risk being called a “rape apologist” if you see how this “step forward” jeopardizes the freedom of every heterosexual male. Any woman’s post-coital regret — or her desire for revenge against a man who in some way aroused her wrath — could become a pretext for a rape accusation under this “full capacity” standard. One can easily imagine the bloke in a pub who thinks he’s gotten lucky with a bird. She goes home with him for a shag, everything seems fine, but the next day (or the next week) she regrets their tryst. She goes to the police saying she was raped because she’d had a few pints and thus did not possess the “full capacity” to consent. For that matter, if his wife or girlfriend ever decided to spite him, she could claim she did not “freely” consent because she was “terrified” of him.

“Women never lie about rape!” the feminists shriek, no matter how many rape accusations are exposed as hoaxes.

Just as they have created the “spoon” of patriarchal oppression, however, “rape culture” is also a feminist creation that no amount of factual argument can disprove. Department of Justice statistics showing that rape has declined significantly in the U.S. during the past 15 years, and that female college students are actually at less risk of rape than other women the same age — well, never mind your so-called “evidence,” you misogynist! Facts and logic are tools of the patriarchy! Any evidence contradicting feminist arguments can be dismissed by their rhetorical arm-waving. Once their pet “1-in-5” statistic had been exposed as a lie, feminists launched a hashtag campaign #NotJustAStat to promote the claim that statistics don’t matter.

In other words, feminism is a non-falsifiable theory. It’s a religious cult, and this feminist theology can never be disproven.



78 Responses to “‘There Is No Spoon’: Radical Feminism and the Paranoid Matrix of Patriarchy”

  1. RS
    March 7th, 2015 @ 12:48 pm

    I forgot to mention, along with the shift to “expressiveist” writing in composition courses came a trend among composition instructors known as “content envy.” That is, these instructors envied their colleagues who taught Shakespeare or Thoreau, and as a result, courses in composition became infused with the instructors’ pet interests. Feminists first infiltration was in those composition courses where, instead of reading a variety texts to learn how to write, students began to be fed feminist doctrine and instructed to parrot that doctrine back in their class essays and papers. Soon after the feminists appeared, lo did we see the various other grievance groups slide in. An so, Critical Thinking disappeared followed quickly by the ability to write critically.

  2. M. Simon
    March 7th, 2015 @ 12:55 pm

    We are trying to raise money for it. If you know anybody that might be interested….

  3. Daniel O'Brien
    March 7th, 2015 @ 1:13 pm

    Or buy the e-book!

  4. Marie Harf Splains Hillary’s Email Archives | Regular Right Guy
    March 7th, 2015 @ 2:18 pm

    […] ‘There Is No Spoon’: Radical Feminism and the Paranoid Matrix of Patriarchy […]

  5. Joe Katzman
    March 7th, 2015 @ 3:14 pm

    McCain heard that quote, and decide it meant that he had to investigate feminist fruitcakes. I must concede, “by their fruits ye shall know them” actually works in this case.

  6. Joe Katzman
    March 7th, 2015 @ 3:23 pm is a great site – sorry you aren’t ready for it, Eric, because it enhances long-term relationships as well as short-term ones. Makes you think.

    With that said, Rollo and RSM are investigating different things that are weakly connected. Consider: if RSM’s thesis re: heterosexuality being anathema to the movement’s core theory is true, then hypergamy no longer operates directly for the subject he’s addressing.

    There is one insight that hypergamy could add. How, then, is intrasexual competition conducted in a totalitarian anti-heterosexual environment of core feminism? Answer: by twisting hypergamy into holiness/signalling spirals:

    This explains why teh crazy is actively selected for within the movement, in a way that doesn’t have a counterpart in male homosexualty culture: it’s structural, not just theoretical.

  7. Fail Burton
    March 7th, 2015 @ 4:04 pm

    I was just reading Key Concepts in Feminist Theory and Research by Christina Hughes. She talks about the post-structural semantics they use where they – for example – avoid using the word “equality” and prefer “social justice” in order to control and shape the narrative. These are some whacked out mo fo’s.

  8. From Around the Blogroll | The First Street Journal.
    March 7th, 2015 @ 6:20 pm

    […] Robert Stacey Stacy McCain on The Other McCain: ‘There Is No Spoon’: Radical Feminism and the Paranoid Matrix of Patriarchy […]

  9. Daniel Freeman
    March 7th, 2015 @ 6:33 pm

    Thanks! I couldn’t believe that he lugged those stacks of books there, just for a visual aid.

  10. Daniel Freeman
    March 7th, 2015 @ 6:36 pm

    Only in other languages…

  11. The original Mr. X
    March 7th, 2015 @ 7:52 pm

    Oh, get a room, you two, all this sexual tension is steaming up my computer screen.

  12. The original Mr. X
    March 7th, 2015 @ 7:54 pm

    “As I tell my sons, “Don’t listen to what women say. Watch what women do.” There is a yawning gulf between what women say they want in a man and what they actually go after.”
    Indeed. I’ve often thought that the despised “Nice Guy ™” is really just a man who takes feminist talk about dating seriously.

  13. Daniel Freeman
    March 7th, 2015 @ 10:38 pm

    You’re basically right. I could point you to long debates, clever memes, and painfully personal accounts (on both sides), but that would just waste time that could be better spent reading Nice Guys and Players: Becoming the Man Women Want.

  14. Steve Skubinna
    March 8th, 2015 @ 7:51 am

    Right now the current favorite for my next boat is TANSTAAFL. I fear people might think it’s Afrikaans though.

    So maybe, if there’s room on the transom, I’ll go with Microaggressor.

  15. Steve Skubinna
    March 8th, 2015 @ 7:59 am

    The self destructive aspects of a culture that prizes weakness and frailty and grants authenticity based upon the greatest incapacity is obvious to everyone not actually within the movement.

    A lot of magical thinking in there. The only way it ever works is if it’s entirely insulated from reality. Hence its proliferation in academia and on the internet.

  16. Steve Skubinna
    March 8th, 2015 @ 8:03 am

    I believe that much of what you are describing is covered by deconstructionism.

    The only legitimate meaning for a text is what you ascribe to it.

    Which is utter nonsense to anybody not an academic.

  17. Steve Skubinna
    March 8th, 2015 @ 8:05 am

    With any luck you can goad them into arguing in a circle so that they disappear up their own a$$hole.

  18. » Quote of the week
    March 8th, 2015 @ 11:40 am

    […] Robert Stacy McCain instructs us in Contemporary Logic 101: […]

  19. Bill Peschel
    March 8th, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

    The amazing part of this is feminists’ ability to resist real-world applications of its philosophy against people they support. See Bill Clinton’s repeated affairs with women (and friendship with his sex-trafficking friend) and Hilary Clinton paying her female employees less than men.

  20. RS
    March 8th, 2015 @ 2:45 pm

    Sure. That formed the cornerstone for all the rest of it, but it took awhile to filter down to the level of Freshman English Comp and even longer to weasel its way into the Grammar Schools.

  21. Ashlar
    March 8th, 2015 @ 3:23 pm

    This is one of the best articles on feminism that I’ve ever read, perfectly summing up the mental disorder that feminism is and has always been. People do not tend to realize how truly terrifying it is that such dysfunctional people are in power and their ideas are exposed to little children and students every single day.

  22. News of the Week (March 8th, 2015) | The Political Hat
    March 8th, 2015 @ 3:54 pm

    […] ‘There Is No Spoon’: Radical Feminism and the Paranoid Matrix of Patriarchy My friends Nice Deb and the Lonely Conservative express amazement at my ability to maintain sanity after spending so many months wading deep into the feminist madness. Really, it’s a miracle, and your continued prayers are most earnestly requested as I continue this research. As I remark in the book, you can’t understand feminism without studying abnormal psychology, especially the etiology of paranoia. […]

  23. THX1138
    March 9th, 2015 @ 2:28 am


  24. Paul
    March 9th, 2015 @ 4:39 am

    Kids are far, far saner than those feminists. For a start they know that boys and girls are different.

  25. addicting games
    March 9th, 2015 @ 1:17 pm

    addicting games

    ?There Is No Spoonâ??: Radical Feminism and the Paranoid Matrix of Patriarchy : The Other McCain

  26. The 19th Paragraph: Feminism’s Eternal Quest for the Great White Defendant : The Other McCain
    March 14th, 2015 @ 11:52 am

    […] Always we must remember: THERE IS NO SPOON. […]

  27. The 19th Paragraph: Feminism’s Eternal Quest for the Great White Defendant | Living in Anglo-America
    March 14th, 2015 @ 12:41 pm

    […] Always we must remember: THERE IS NO SPOON. […]

  28. In the Future, Everyone Will Be a Victim : The Other McCain
    March 14th, 2015 @ 6:56 pm

    […] victimhood leads, to a world in which misfits and malcontents can imagine they are oppressed. (See “‘There Is No Spoon’: Radical Feminism and the Paranoid Matrix of Patriarchy.”) Despite the fact that university administrators are “insanely supportive” of LGBT […]