The Other McCain

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

What Is ‘Rape Culture’?

Posted on | July 28, 2016 | 49 Comments

“Once you understand what rape is, you will understand the forces that systematically oppress you as women. . . .
“What is rape?
“Rape is the first model for marriage. . . .
“Rape is the primary heterosexual model for sexual relating.
“Rape is the primary emblem of romantic love. . . .
“Rape is a function of male imperialism over and against women.
“The crime of rape against one woman is a crime committed against all women.”

Andrea Dworkin, “The Rape Atrocity and the Boy Next Door,” in Our Blood: Prophecies and Discourses on Sexual Politics (1976)

As previously mentioned, I will be giving a presentation for the “Forum on Campus Sexual Assault, Consent and Due Process” Aug. 1 at Central Piedmont Community College Central Campus in Charlotte, NC. The title of my presentation will be “Sexual Paranoia: The Ideology of ‘Rape Culture’ Hysteria,” and will include about two dozen quotes demonstrating how the current campus crisis has its roots in feminist theory, especially as this anti-male ideology is promoted in university Women’s Studies programs. My presentation will include about two dozen quotes from feminist sources spanning nearly five decades since the emergence of the so-called Women’s Liberation movement in the late 1960s. Most of those quotes have been used here at the blog over the past two years and many are included in my book Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature.

The quote from Andrea Dworkin cited above is not included in my conference presentation, but I wanted to discuss it here to show how this anti-male belief system is so deeply rooted in feminist belief that it is impossible to speak of “moderate feminism.” This quote from Dworkin, describing rape as “the primary heterosexual model for sexual relating,” is about as close as she ever came to saying that all heterosexual intercourse is rape. She never said that in so many words, but in reading her work — and I have read four of her books — this is the only reasonable inference of her meaning. This is not a matter of a few phrases in a single book or article, but a theme endlessly reiterated throughout Dworkin’s career, and her vehement opposition to heterosexuality, per se, was the entire basis of Dworkin’s fame. “Maligning Andrea Dworkin in death amounts to little more than misogyny,” feminist Meghan Murphy wrote last year on the 10th anniversary of Dworkin’s death, but who is “maligning” Dworkin? Is it “misogyny” to quote Dworkin?

Feminists are fundamentally dishonest, and their defensive reaction when confronted with their own words — compelled either to defend or repudiate what they or one of their eminent comrades have written — exposes this dishonesty. Andrea Dworkin was a particularly bold liar, whose career was built on slanderous falsehoods. Her hateful anti-male screeds were constructed by an artful use of propaganda tactics. The speech quoted above was one she delivered seven times between March 1975 and April 1976, mainly on college campuses, including SUNY-Stony Brook, the University of Pennsylvania, SUNY-Old Westbury and Queens College/CUNY. Her use of evidence is selective, as she presents various authorities (e.g., the biblical Book of Deuteronomy and Ovid’s Ars Amatoria) as sanctioning rape and cites these ancient sources as supposedly representing a universal regime of male supremacy. The problem with this, of course, is that the vast majority of Americans have never read anything Ovid ever wrote, and how many Americans in 1975 were living as if they took the Bible seriously? Was it pious Christian young men whose “male imperialism” was terrorizing helpless college girls at SUNY-Stony Brook or Penn? Or perhaps Andrea Dworkin meant to impugn scholars of Latin, who left the library filled with concupiscent lust after reading Ovid and assaulted the first coed who caught their eye.

Speaking of dishonesty, Dworkin was often guilty of using the work of others without due credit. She was not a plagiarist, but she had a habit of citing the same facts from the same sources used by other feminist writers, without acknowledging where she had found these facts. Susan Griffin’s groundbreaking 1971 article “Rape: The All-American Crime” gets a single footnote reference in Dworkin’s Our Blood, although anyone can compare her 1975 speech “The Rape Atrocity and the Boy Next Door” to Griffin’s 1971 article and see the repeated use of the same sources (e.g., a 1952 Yale Law Journal article and a 1971 book by Menachim Amir) to make the same points. You might think that Dworkin could have been bothered to mention Griffin’s name in the actual text of her speech in acknowledgement of her debt, but it would not do for The Great Author to admit the extent of her wholesale borrowings from a lesser writer.

The Methods of Anti-Male Propaganda

Dworkin’s skill as a propagandist, however, was remarkable. She tosses out the names of a few 20th-century novelists (e.g., D.H. Lawrence and Norman Mailer) and claims their work proves that society condones rape:

A woman is taken, possessed, conquered by brute force — and it is the rape itself that transforms her into a carnal creature. It is the rape itself which defines both her identity and her function: she is a woman, and as a woman she exists to be f–ked. In masculinist terms, a woman can never be raped against her will since the notion is that if she does not want to be raped, she does not know her will.

Let us admit that the attitude Dworkin describes flourished among certain bohemian and intellectual types as a consequence of the popularity of Freudianism and other theoretical explanations of sexual psychology. Well, theories are a dime a dozen, but the basic idea that some sort of natural instinct is involved in sex is just a matter of common sense:

Sex is about reproductive biology. Human beings are mammals, and any eighth-grader can figure out what that means in terms of sex.
Once you understand this scientific definition of sex, everything else is just details.

Alas, intellectuals require theories to explain everything, and novelists require action for their books, so Freudian theory inspired a great many triumphant rape scenes in 20th-century novels. Could I discuss this at length? Could I point out, for example, that women are naturally reluctant to engage in sexual intercourse because the potential consequence of pregnancy involves a tremendous responsibility? Could I furthermore point out that women are naturally concerned to avoid a reputation for promiscuity, since such a reputation decreases her opportunities for marriage? Yes, I could discuss many factors related to the issue of consent, and why the “default no” is every woman’s basic attitude toward sex, thus requiring men to engage in negotiation to close the deal. However, it is not my purpose here to articulate any theory of my own in regard to human sexual behavior. Rather, I merely wish to say that the particular theories which produced what Dworkin calls “masculinist” ideas about rape as “the primary emblem of romantic love” were no more to be considered typical of the average male than Dworkin’s own attitudes could be considered typical of the average woman.

 

Dworkin employed a typical method of feminist “rape culture” propaganda, playing games with statistics and anecdotes. First, use dubious statistical methods to exaggerate the frequency of rape, making it seem commonplace, creating the impression that every man is a violent sexual predator and every woman must live constantly in fear. Then, include anecdotes about particularly atrocious cases (e.g., a gang rape where the accused suspects were not prosecuted) to convey the idea that women are routinely victimized in brutal ways and that the system — patriarchy! — is deliberately rigged against women. And so, about midway through “The Rape Atrocity and the Boy Next Door,” Andrea Dworkin offers this:

The FBI, in its Uniform Crime Reports, reported that in 1974, 55,210 women were raped in this country. This was an 8 percent increase over 1973, and a 49 percent increase over 1969. The FBI notes that rape is “probably one of the most under-reported crimes due primarily to fear and/or embarrassment on the part of its victims.” Carol V. Horos, in her book Rape, estimates that for every rape reported to the police, ten are not. Applying Horos’ estimate to the number of rapes reported in 1974 brings the total estimate of rapes committed in that year to 607,310. It is important to remember that FBI statistics are based on the male definition of rape, and on the numbers of men arrested and convicted for rape under that definition. According to the FBI, of all those rapes reported to the police in 1974, only 51 percent resulted in arrest, and in only one case out of ten was the rapist finally convicted.

Dworkin here demonstrates how the propagandist uses facts to create lies. A false impression (i.e., rape is common) is intentionally created by the use of an actual statistic (55,210 reported rapes) combined with an estimate of unreported rapes used as a Magic Multiplier to produce a figure of more than 600,000 rapes — a Scary Big Number. Whatever the actual number of rapes in 1975 was, however, the U.S. population in 1974 was 214 million, about 110 million of whom were women, so that even if we accept the 10x Magic Multiplier and stipulate that there were 600,000 rapes in 1974, this means 0.5% of women were raped that year. In other words, 99.5% of women managed to get through the year without being victims of rape and (something else Dworkin doesn’t mention) this was during an era when violent crime had spiraled out of control.

Crime ………………. 1960 ………. 1975
Rape ……………………….. 17,190 …….. 56,090
Robbery ………………… 107,840 …… 470,500
Aggravated assault ….. 154,320 …… 492,620
Murder………………………. 9,110 ……… 20,510
All violent crime …….. 288,460 …. 1,039,710

There was a frightening increase in the number of reported rapes during this 15-year span, but this was part of a trend when all violent crime increased by 277% percent, when the number of murders more than doubled, aggravated assaults tripled, and robberies quadrupled.

Activists who now claim that there is a “campus rape epidemic” never acknowledge the historical background of how rape, like all violent crime, increased so dramatically during the social upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s. This was an era when “reforms” promoted by liberals (including the decriminalization of pornography) were arguably major contributors to the breakdown of cultural norms that had previously served to restrain sexual violence. The crime wave that erupted in the 1960s was finally halted in the 1980s and 1990s as a result of conservative policies (including federal “mandatory minimum” sentences for drug traffickers) that put criminals in prison where they belong. Technological developments — national computer databases of DNA, fingerprints and criminal records, as well as widespread video surveillance — have made it easier to solve crimes and prosecute perpetrators, and this has produced a remarkable decrease in crime since the 1990s:

Between 1997 and 2013, the rate of rape or sexual assault against women dropped by about 50 percent. . . . The decline in the rate of sexual assault is part of a widely observed decline in violent crime more generally, which is down about 60 percent over the past 15 to 20 years.

Remember that, even according to the figures cited by Andrea Dworkin in 1975 — when violent crime rates had sharply increased — only 1 in 200 U.S. women were victims of rape annually, assuming that the actual number of rapes was 10 times the number reported to police.

Yet here we are, more than 40 years later, when authorities agree that crime rates have significantly decreased, and feminists insist that 1-in-5 female college students are victims of sexual assault. This aspect of “rape culture” rhetoric cannot be justified by reference to known facts, which means that feminists are lying about rape — and doing so on a monumental scale, deliberately exaggerating the frequency of campus rape perhaps as much as 40 times the actual rate.

“No, 1 in 5 women have not been raped on college campuses,” Ashe Schow wrote in the headline of an August 2014 column explaining the basic flaws in the methodology behind this phony statistic. The problem of campus sexual assault “will not be solved by statistical hijinks,” as Christina Hoff Sommers has said. Sommers seems willing to extend to feminists the courtesy of believing they actually care about preventing rape. But why should liars be granted the presumption of good faith?

For more than 40 years, feminists have been exploiting the issue of rape in the same way that Andrea Dworkin did — combine horrifying anecdotes of violence and injustice with inflated statistics to create the impression that these atrocities are routine, that all women are victims and all men are dangerous predators. And this anti-male propaganda culminates in a call to action: “We must do something! Organize! Protest! Demand new laws! Pay more feminists to give speeches on campus!”

Feminism: Sex With Men Is ‘Impossible’

What was Andrea Dworkin’s motive for lying about rape? To make money. To sell books. To encourage young women to hate men as much as she hated men, thus to build a loyal readership of man-hating women sympathetic to her radical message. Why?

“Rape culture” is a feminist synonym for heterosexuality.

When Andrea Dworkin began touring campuses lecturing college girls about rape in 1975, she was promoting her book Woman Hating: A Radical Look at Sexuality, which makes genuinely strange arguments, as Dworkin avows herself an apostle of “natural androgynous eroticism”:

The discovery is, of course, that “man” and “woman” are fictions, caricatures, cultural constructs. As models they are reductive, totalitarian, inappropriate to human becoming. As roles they are static, demeaning to the female, dead-ended for male and female both. . . .
I have defined heterosexuality as the ritualized behavior built on polar role definition. Intercourse with men as we know them is increasingly impossible. It requires an aborting of creativity and strength, a refusal of responsibility and freedom: a bitter personal death. It means remaining the victim, forever annihilating all self-respect. It means acting out the female role, incorporating the masochism, self-hatred, and passivity which are central to it. Unambiguous conventional heterosexual behavior is the worst betrayal of our common humanity.

In her first book, Andrea Dworkin declared herself against heterosexuality, per se, and she never recanted this radical position, condemning sexual intercourse as synonymous with “personal death” for women. Her next book, Our Blood, included the speech she made at a 1975 Lesbian Pride rally in New York, in which she declared that lesbianism “shines as bright as the summer sun as noon.” Depicting men as the forces of darkness, Dworkin issued this remarkable prophecy:

In this country in the coming years, I think that there will be a terrible storm. I think that the skies will darken beyond all recognition. Those who walk the streets will walk them in darkness. . . Those who are raped will see the darkness as they look up into the face of the rapist. Those who are assaulted and brutalized by madmen will start intently into the darkness to discern who is moving toward them at every moment.

Men are darkness, a looming threat in a “terrible storm” of rape, assault and brutality — this is what Andrea Dworkin believed and, we are told by feminists today, it is “misogyny” to criticize Dworkin. Her speech about rape, which Dworkin gave on so many college campuses, concluded by summarizing the themes of her book Woman Hating, which rejected “polar role definition” and the “fictions” of male and female identities:

Rape is the direct consequence of our polar definitions of men and woman. . . . Given these polar gender definitions, it is the very nature of men to aggress sexually against women. . . Rape is no excess, no aberration, no accident, no mistake — it embodies sexuality as the culture defines it. . . .
In this society, the norm of masculinity is phallic aggression. Male sexuality is, by definition, intensely and rigidly phallic. . . .
The fact is that in order to stop rape, and all of the other systematic abuses against us, we must destroy these very definitions, of masculinity and femininity, of men and women. . . We must excise them from our social fabric, destroy any and all institutions based on them, render them vestigial, useless. We must destroy the very structure of culture as we know it, its art, its churches, its laws; we must eradicate from consciousness and memory all of the images, institutions, and structural mental sets that turn men into rapists by definition and women into victims by definition. Until we do, rape will remain our primary sexual model and women will be raped by men.
As women, we must begin this revolutionary work. When we change, those who define themselves over and against us will have to kill us all, change, or die. In order to change, we must renounce every male definition we have ever learned; we must renounce male definitions and descriptions of our lives, our bodies, our needs, our wants, our worth . . . We must refuse to be complicit in a sexual-social system that is built on our labor as an inferior slave class.

Heterosexuality is synonymous with slavery, Dworkin declared, and she is certainly not the only feminist who has said as much — the quotes in my presentation next Monday will include numerous other examples of such claims. And notice that Dworkin’s demand for “revolutionary work” is entirely destructive in its motives and goals. Because “our social fabric,” our “institutions” and our “culture” are based upon definitions of masculinity and femininity that assume heterosexuality as the norm, then everything must be destroyed in order to end “phallic aggression.”

Thus we return to the original question: “What is ‘rape culture’?”

Feminists who have fomented a phony “rape epidemic” hysteria on our nation’s capital have relied upon public ignorance as to the nature of feminism’s core belief system. Anti-male hate-mongers expected that no one would ever take the time to do what I have done in the past two years, namely to acquire more than 100 books by feminist authors, dating back to the very beginning of the Women’s Liberation movement and including textbooks commonly assigned in Women’s Studies courses today, and extract from these works the fundamental elements of feminist theory.

For too long, most conservatives have treated feminism as a joke, a thing to be mocked when it occasionally erupts in daily news headlines. It is easy to laugh, for example, when we hear about a staff member at a Catholic university being suspended for having a discussion with a student in which the staffer was accused of “denying transgenderism” — an accusation that Los Angeles investigated as a hate crime. Yet the fact that a formerly religious institution has now become so corrupt that no one can be permitted to teach Christian belief on campus is no laughing matter. Nor is it humorous that university students in the throes of bizarre delusions (Cosette Carleo calls herself “gender-neutral”) wield the power to inflict career-ending punishment on anyone on campus who criticizes their madness. Before you laugh at this, imagine the horror of parents who have sent their children to Loyola Marymount University (annual tuition $42,569) only to discover that this allegedly Christian institution has instead been captured by the Gender-Sexuality Alliance which, along with the office of LGBT Student Services, annually promotes “Rainbow Week,” otherwise known as LGBTQ+ Awareness Week.

 

Here we see how the radical project announced by Andrea Dworkin — the destruction of masculinity and femininity, etc. — has attained official authority in academia, so that no one employed at Loyola Marymount (or any other university) would dare speak out against feminism’s avowed purpose to “destroy the very structure of culture as we know it.”

Our nation’s universities are now committed to this cultural destruction. Readers will perhaps not be surprised to learn that female students are a majority (57%) of enrollment at Loyola Marymount, where the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies has just hired Dr. Mairead Sullivan as a new assistant professor. Dr. Sullivan’s dissertation, “challenging the conventional border between feminist and queer theory,” makes “a claim for the theoretical value of feminism’s radical variant and its commitment to an ‘anti-social politics’ and a violent ‘politics of destruction’ as providing a specific and terrorist threat to reproductive futurism.” Exactly why Catholic parents would pay $42,569 a year to send their children to a university that promotes this “politics of destruction” is something the administration of Loyola Marymount has not bothered to explain. Adam Cassandra asks, “Why Is This Catholic University Trashing Catholic Teaching On Sexuality?” Well, because that’s what it takes to “destroy the very structure of culture as we know it.”

What is “rape culture”? Everything — and feminists want to destroy it all.




 


Comments

  • Quartermaster

    C’mon Stacy. You know that quoting a feminist is harassment and denigration. Didn’t they say so?

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Mr. McCain,

    As I’ve said before, not all feminists.

    There are Christians who use little more than the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule and don’t even attend church every week. There are chess players who get much more from just playing than by studying books and the past games of the masters. There are musicians who can’t read music but can still touch your soul. There are practical engineers who never formally studied, but can do amazing things.

    Academics are supposed to study, not to Proclaim The True Way.

    There are women who have never heard of all these female writers and professors you cite but still call themselves feminists. From what I’ve seen many of them would be horrified by these ideas.

    I respect the work you’re doing. I agree with many of your reasons with this one proviso. I do not think the females you’ve highlighted deserve respect, much less study. I agree their ideas are poisonous and dangerous.

    But not all feminists.

  • Daniel O’Brien ?????????

    Then they are not actual feminist. McCain is quoting foundational Feminist bible material here. Your so called “equality feminist” just don’t know they are quoting exoteric feminism (pablum for the masses).

  • Justice4all

    So very glad that you will be presenting at the National Coalition For Men Carolinas forum on 8/1 in Charlotte. I see that Ashe Schow is also speaking. Can’t wait to see you there.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    I didn’t call them “equality feminists.”

    If they don’t use the foundational feminist material but still call themselves feminists, why aren’t they feminists?

    Does a musician have to study the works of the great composers before they can start jamming? Does a cook have to study for years before making great meals? Does a writer have to study Shakespeare and Tennyson before they can write a story?

    Remember the people making the definitions in this case are the same dishonest females that McCain has spotlighted.

  • Jeanette Victoria ?????????

    Beat me to the punch, this is the feminism that is pushed in the media and taught in the “hallowed” halls of academia. Anything else is not feminism.

  • Jeanette Victoria ?????????

    I’ll be there as well.

  • http://pushingrubberdownhill.com/ Adam

    So who exactly are these “not all feminists” that you claim to exist? What are their core values and goals? And how do they differ from mainstream feminism?

    You say that these feminists don’t deserve study but they are the ones being studied, in every women’s studies course on every campus in the world.

    A woman who calls herself a feminist outside this realm is what exactly? Please clarify with firm examples because appealing to weak analogies of musicians and chess players just doesn’t cut the mustard in the face of formal feminism wishing to eradicate heterosexuality.

  • jakee308

    It appears that to the Lesbian Liberation Front (AKA “Feminists”) any male-female sex is rape. PIV as it’s known. (thingy into hoo hah in scientific terms)

    And that’s all you really need to know about the LLF’s real agenda and goals and underlying philosophy of being.

    And unfortunately, many women ascribe to this view but don’t try to avoid it quite as much as the LLF. They do extract penalties from the men that they participate in the act with.

    It’s like a blackmail setup. They agree to be “raped” and then make you pay forever for having done so.

  • jakee308

    This falls into the same category as “moderate Muslims”, unicorns and a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

    Fairy tales told to either hide the truth or assuage someone’s fears at seeing the truth.

    If anyone doesn’t believe what the Lesbian Liberation Front proclaims, then they’re not really feminists. They’re just fellow travelers. Hoping to benefit from them but without sharing in any penalties.

  • jakee308

    Hope you’re not holding your breath. This is a typical response by those who do not want the truth to be accepted and wish to muddy the water to hide what’s really going on.

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Our esteemed host asked:

    Is it “misogyny” to quote Dworkin?

    Yes, apparently it is. It might even be misogyny to read Miss Dworkin, given that your purpose in reading what she wrote was done with the intention of finding silly things she said, to challenge her thinking by quoting her.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Great question! Let’s look at two of the groups involved. One is very definitely made up of Those Who Want To Be Noticed. They desire fame, power, adoration, and deference. Oh, and Moral Authority™ backed by the force of law.The one thing they are not interested in equality. They break the rules to get what they crave, all in the name of the “greater good” of course.

    The other group is interested in working to make things better for them and theirs. All they really want is equality.

    It’s pretty obvious of those two groups, one will focus on saying. They want to get publicity, they want to exploit the perpetual victimhood of others, they want to destroy what they can not control.

    The other group focuses on doing. For them the act is important, not the acknowledgement. They’ll work honorably within the system because that’s the kind of people they are.

    So which group will you hear about? Which group do you want as neighbors?

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    It was always impolitic to say, but Miss Dworkin’s rape speech tour was always accompanied by the derision of those who actually saw her, or her photos, and mockingly noted that Miss Dworkin herself would not only never be raped, but never have a normal male interested in having non-rape coitus with her.

    And it wasn’t just men: women are just as hard — if not harder — on other women concerning their appearance, and the coeds who were better looking than Miss Dworkin (a percentage in the high nineties) all knew that rape was a concern in Miss Dworkin’s mind only, and never an actual threat to her.

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Or, put another way, teenaged boys have always bragged about the teenaged girls with whom they have copulated, sometimes not truthfully. In Miss Dworkin’s high school, no teenaged boy ever bragged, either truthfully or otherwise, that he nailed Miss Dworkin.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Pardon, but have you looked for them?

    Have you talked to them?

    I have.

    Just as I can say that most Christians are good people, I can say not all feminists believe these terrible ideas.

    The ones getting the headlines are the FamousFeminists. The ones who are quoted in books are the FamousFeminists. The ones defining the terms are the FamousFeminists. The ones lying are the FamousFeminists.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Words matter. Actions matter more. Intentions don’t.

    Look at the motive.

    Before American progressives hijacked the term, the word “liberal” meant what we call “libertarian” today. The progressives were trading on the label’s reputation to hide their true goals and actions.

    Sound familiar? It should. It worked so well that progressives keep pulling the same stunt with new labels even today.

    You know that the media lies to manipulate you. You know that academia lies to manipulate you.

    Why do you think they can be trusted with labels?

  • java

    One question:
    According to those idiots rape equals heterosexuality, however the rates of rapes male on male in homosexual relationships are through the roof (as well as domestic violence and harassment). How do they explain this dichotomy? I have also read a report that claimed that among the many dysfunctional rainbow ‘families’ most of the times the ‘top’ behaves like a male patriarch and forces the ‘bottom’ to stay at home, do house chores, stay with children (sic) while he goes to work and the same is noticed among lesbians where the butch lesbian assumes patriarch behaviour towards the other (I do not know what is called).

  • Art Deco

    College and university faculties have no trouble declaring people beyond the pale merely because they are eccentric in the society of college of university faculty, no matter how scholarly they are (William Dembski and John McAdams are two examples). It is the business of college and university faculty to maintain authentic boundary conditions for considering someone a contributor to the life of the mind. It is the business of trustees to intervene forcefully with pink slips when the faculty fail. The negligence of both faculty and trustees is truly disgusting, and leaves the observer with the conclusion that much of intellectual life in this country is just a sewer of status games.

  • Trespassers W

    It doesn’t matter if “not all feminists” believe Dworkin’s lunatic theories. What matters is that this codswallop is taught as manifest truth to young skulls full of mush in schools and colleges across the country. Even if these alleged moderate feminists exist, for all the impact they’re making, they are having just as much impact on society as unicorns.

  • robertstacymccain

    The problem, sir, is that (a) it is the anti-male radicals who control academic feminism, and (b) none of the “feminists” who disagree with the radicals will devote any effort to refuting them.

    Radical man-haters have ALWAYS controlled the feminist movement since the late 1960s. Despite their attempts to maintain a facade of “mainstream” respectability — a Trojan Horse tactic — the feminist movement has always been led by, and dependent on the support of, disgruntled and destructive would-be revolutionaries. Many of the movement’s early critics (among them George Gilder and Phyllis Schlafly) understood this. However, it was (and still is) considered somewhat boorish to criticize feminism directly, in plain words. Instead, respectable conservatives have tended either to (a) treat feminism as a joke, or (b) to occasionally criticize the “excesses” of the movement.

  • robertstacymccain

    To amplify the problem with “not all feminists,” would you agree that the National Organization for Women (NOW) is the major feminist group? The founder of NOW, Betty Friedan, was a Communist. Friedan was a devoted student of Smith College Professor Dorothy Douglas, a doctrinaire Marxist who pleaded the Fifth during a HUAC hearing when asked about her contributions to CPUSA. Friedan, who joined the Young Communist League while in college, was also mentored by psychology professor James Gibson, an avowed Marxist subsequently investigated by the FBI. After she founded NOW in 1966, among the women Friedan hired and mentored in the organization’s New York offices were Ti-Grace Atkinson and Rita Mae Brown, both of whom soon emerged as radical feminist leaders. By 1969, Atkinson had formed her group called simply “The Feminists” and denounced marriage as “slavery,” while Brown helped form the “Lavender Menace” lesbian activist group in 1970. So where is this “moderate feminism” everybody keeps telling me about? The actual history of the feminist movement shows no evidence that any such thing as “moderate feminism” ever existed.

  • robertstacymccain

    Can you please — PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE — refrain from making fat/ugly jokes about Dworkin?

    Here is the basic problem with such an attack: While it is obvious enough that Dworkin’s feminism stemmed from deeply personal motives, (a) many women who are not feminists also fall short of an aesthetic ideal, and (b) feminists need to do to refute an appearance-based ad hominem “argument” is to produce an attractive spokeswoman who will endorse Dworkin-style radicalism.

    Every time I post a photo of Dworkin, the comments fill up with jibes about her appearance, and this is rather frustrating. It’s like when men criticize feminism and feminists respond by suggesting that their male critics are a bunch insecure losers with small penises. This kind of sexualized ad hominem is not only false (at least in my case) but also insulting — and pointlessly so, in that criticisms of feminist ideology are not refuted by such insults.

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Our esteemed host wrote:

    The actual history of the feminist movement shows no evidence that any such thing as “moderate feminism” ever existed.

    The simple fact that 98.4% of all women are heterosexual means that either “moderate feminism” exists, or that feminism exists solely at the margins.

    The lovely Amanda Marcotte, one of your favorite whipping girls — is that too sexist a turn of phrase? — certainly identifies as a feminist, yet she is proudly heterosexual, as are many others. Either you have been conflating the self-proclaimed academic leadership as being more representative of feminism than they are, or your definition of feminism excludes many women who would disagree.

  • http://www.journal14.com/ Dana

    Making jokes about Miss Dworkin’s appearance is certainly easy, but it’s also true that people are judged by their physical appearance, and Miss Dworkin’s influence has been limited by her appearance.

    Feminism is no different from any other philosophical position: it has to be sold to have influence, and Miss Dworkin was a particularly ineffective saleswoman.

    That was why Gloria Steinem had more influence: because she was physically attractive, people could actually picture her as having interactions with men, which was a subconscious validation of her opinion.

    In the case of Miss Dworkin, her opinions concerning men are often filtered by the readers’ minds, because they will subconsciously think that Miss Dworkin’s dislike of males is in part due to the seemingly obvious fact that she had no options with men.

    Now, that seemingly obvious fact isn’t quite so obvious, as she had actually been married, twice. Her first husband was physically abusive, and her second was homosexual, so it’s arguable that she had no normal relationships with men.

  • Art Deco

    I think Friedan was also anxious that the feminist movement would be taken over by lesbians.

    Friedan had red haze associations ca. 1947. So did Ralph de Toledano. It was a vice of a certain generation of politically engaged people. So did Molly Yard and Bella Abzug, though I don’t think either belonged to the Young Communist League. I don’t think Karen deCrow or Eleanor Smeal had any such associations, however, nor did Gloria Steinem, who had all sorts of establishment connections (John Kenneth Galbraith, Clay Felker, George McGovern) or connections to connections (Allard Loewenstein).

    The trouble I have with your insistence that there is no ‘moderate’ feminism is that it conflates what are distinct strands of thought and distinct dispositions. You’re either left with saying Eleanor Smeal, Ellen Goodman, and Anna Quindlen are not feminists or that they’re indistinguishable from addle-pated campus lesbians.

    I’ll offer this hypothesis: Ellen Goodman did not provide a critique of Ti-Grace Atkinson because she didn’t know the woman’s writing from tiddlywinks. Erma Bombeck did not critique truculent feminism either. Bombeck’s whole life was a refutation of feminism even though she agreed with certain points made by people like Marilyn French (while finding Friedan quite hopeless).

    The problem is, the worldview of Goodman and Quindlen merits a critique. But you don’t kill that bird with a stone thrown at Andrea Dworkin.

  • Art Deco

    Steinem never married until she was 66 years old (and her husband sadly died a few years later). She did not have normal relationships with men either. She was handsome enough to be squired around into her 50s, an option most middle aged women do not have.

    Eleanor Smeal, Bella Abzug, and Molly Yard did have normal relationships with men (all long married). (None were handsome in middle age; Abzug was at least attractive when young).

  • Art Deco

    An assessment of Marcotte might call attention to the other women in her circle. Her sister is married to a salesman and lives in a town on the road between Amarillo and Lawton, IIRC. Her stepsister is married with children, resident in a suburb of the Dallas metroplex. Her father (now widowed) and stepmother were married for a quarter-century, residing first in El Paso and then in Lubbock. Very middle American, in a Texas sort of way. I cannot help thinking her writing is derived from some sort of rejection of the women in her family circle.

  • Eric Ashley

    Neither. I don’t believe in equality.

  • Quartermaster

    They may have. Dworkin wasn’t always a beached whale.

  • robertstacymccain

    Recognize the problem, please: You very much want there to be something called “feminism” that you approve of and can endorse. Yet as I have demonstrated at great length over the past two years, you are dreaming of a “feminism” that does not resemble actual feminism.

    Also, when did Eleanor Smeal ever say anything good about men? Smeal is a veteran Democrat Party operative who makes her living as an abortion advocate. If she is an example of a “moderate” feminism you support, perhaps you need to dig a bit deeper.

  • robertstacymccain

    As I recall, Marcotte has written of her family being Catholic and conservative. I believe she has brothers who are Republican.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Excuse me, but I am not convinced that academic feminism is mainstream feminism much less “true” feminism. I know that they want you to think that and I know that’s the position of the MSM.

    But again if the academics are known liars and they are defining what it takes to be a “real” feminist, why believe them?

    Why don’t the NAF feminists devote more effort to refuting the RadFems and FamousFeminists? I think part of the reason is because the FamousFeminists attack anyone who dares disagree. As you yourself can attest.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    The NAF feminists I am talking about aren’t interested in the feminist movement or feminism as an institution. Revolution is not their thing. Change is what they are after. The intramural political battles are a waste of time.

    It wasn’t so long ago that women were paid less for doing the same job at the same hours. While the RadFems and the FamousFeminists were out marching, the NAF feminists were confronting the situation and changing things. Not every time, no, and not as much as they would like, but change did happen.

    And it happened without invoking patriarchy, or rape, or sexual intimidation, or any other thing except justice.

    Yes, they were revolutionaries. But sometimes revolutionaries are necessary when injustice threatens them. Society isn’t always perfect.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    I agree that NOW has crowned itself the major feminist group, but I am not sure that counts. You and I both know the usual worth of self-appointed elites. Particularly if they speak more than do.

    But does feminism mean that one has to be a member of the approved group?

    Look at what happens outside the elites getting all the press. You and I both know the attention and the importance of the elites is manufactured. It puzzles me why you insist that all feminists must speak where the RadFems hold sway as if the RadFems control feminism totally. That’s no more true than proclaiming Constitutional originalists control the Republican Party.

    Why pick fights with the FamousFeminist crowd if your goal is not political power? I suspect that the NAF feminists focus where they can make positive change.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Perhaps I misspoke.

    Do you think equal rights is a better way to put it?

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Sorry, I missed this one.

    I’d argue that they’re having more impact than the FamousFeminist crowd, in large part because they use character and honor.

    I’d also argue that the FamousFeminsts are desperate to hide that.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    ?Never mess with the aunts and grandmothers.?

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    I suspect it has to due with too much money.

  • http://pushingrubberdownhill.com/ Adam

    You cannot work honorably in a system that is inherently dishonorable. These two groups of yours may differ in their methods but their goals are the same. Equality is simply another word for communism. Women do not need activists working to improve their lot, (which is the opposite of so-called “equality”.) They are streaks ahead of men in any number of issues.

    Modern feminism, in any of its forms, seeks to destroy the traditional family unit, a process which has been ongoing since the late 60s. They are all tainted with the same brush and should be resisted in an appropriate manner.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I meant work honorably within the system of American society.

    ?Equality is simply another word for communism.?

    I disagree, although “equal rights” might be a better phrase.

    ?Women do not need activists working to improve their lot…?

    The NAF women that I talk about would agree with you. They don’t need or want activists. But the NAF women will produce change.

    Pardon, but who defines what is and is not “modern feminism?”

    If it’s the RadFems that McCain loves to spotlight, we know they lie. So why let them define anything?

  • http://pushingrubberdownhill.com/ Adam

    You continually shift the goalposts. Let us be clear – NAF women are activists themselves. Women do not need them either.

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear – American society as it is is no longer honorable.

    You’re disagreeing with Milton Friedman over equality. I’ll take his word over yours.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    *looks around* Nope, same goalposts I started with.

    NAF women aren’t activists. That was my point. They don’t march, sue people they disagree with, or stage press events.

    American society is still mostly honorable. American elites are not and haven’t been for decades.

    As I told Eric Ashley above, perhaps equal rights is a better phrase.

  • Joe Joe

    A couple of thoughts before you walk into the lion’s den:

    1. Rape is an under-reported crime, and that will be used against you if you quote the 2% US Justice Dept. figure. Fortunately, DOJ estimates the under-reportage. DOJ actually estimates the for every rape reported, 2 are not reported. Instead of 2%, this give you 6%: still not good, but still in the single digits. Certainly nowhere near 1 in 4 (25%) This is worth throwing out there.

    2. Sexual assault on college campuses is very broadly defined. It can mean anything from attempted (but uncompleted) rape to a kiss on the cheek (or a brush against the shoulder). This means that figures on “sexual assault” are unreliable until the actual results are teased out.

    Part of the reason for this ridiculous continuum is the fact that universities (and feminists) are conflating sexual harassment–a largely civil infraction with civil remedies–and sexual assault. Universities are used to dealing with sexual harassment issues (usually poorly) but not sexual assault (which is a crime). The conflation of the two makes it difficult to know what actions campus activists are talking about.

    3. Point out the contradiction in the feminist view that a woman should NEVER be told to curb her drinking or take precautions but that she should feel free to act on whatever sexual urges take her fancy. Sex, especially with strangers and multiple partners, is inherently dangerous, but feminists, disempower women by making it politically incorrect to offer advice on taking precautions.

    4. Watch some Janice Fiamengo:


    (I’m sure you already do this.)

    You got a wingman?

  • Daniel Freeman

    NW, there is a difference between an ideology and an art or craft. For example, if you attempt to create communism without studying it, then you will still cause millions of deaths and decades of mass impoverishment and unfreedom, no matter what your ignorant intentions.

  • http://www.paganvigil.com NeoWayland

    Assume for a moment that the NAF women believe in the dictionary definition of feminism. They see it as a matter of equal rights and opportunities.

    How is that wrong?

    Why isn’t that the standard of feminism that society expects of women?

  • Art Deco

    If she has brothers, they would have to be from her mother’s second marriage. The stepmother’s obituary listed the three daughters by name.

  • Art Deco

    You very much want there to be something called “feminism” that you approve of and can endorse.

    I have no interest in that whatsoever. I do not care for Dworkin, or Abzug, or Quindlen. I do recognize that they are not advocating the same things.

  • Jeanette Victoria ?????????

    Poof I was there!!