The Other McCain

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

Feminism and the ‘Friendly Stranger’

Posted on | June 8, 2011 | 59 Comments

“How many coeds do you have to dick-dial behind the back of your pregnant wife before someone notices that maybe that’s not exactly congruent with the teachings of Gloria Steinem?”
Ace of Spades, “In Which I Confess Some Doubts”

Having resisted the temptation to re-open my long war with Little Miss Attila over the history and meaning of “feminism,” I’m wondering if Weinergeddon isn’t waking some people up to what a lot of people have long suspected about guys who kowtow to feminists. That is to say:

Guys who make a big show of being on board with
the feminist agenda are just doing it to ingratiate themselves
with women, perhaps with the worst sort of ulterior motives.

There — I’ve said it as bluntly as possible and, as I say, a lot of people share that suspicion. Being a cynic means that one expects others to act in their own interests, so that whenever you see someone make an ostentatious display of altruistic idealism, your gut-hunch instinct is to suspect a scam: What’s in it for them?

Conservatism is not hostile to self-interest and, I would argue, requires a certain  philosophical skepticism toward professions of altruism. As Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”

If you go through life counting on the benevolence of others, you’re likely to starve to death. And wise people are always suspicious toward the “friendly stranger.” His friendliness may be sincere. He may have no malign intent. But he is a stranger, and therefore his gestures of friendship trigger our suspicious instincts: What’s in it for him?

This kind of suspicion, I think, is appropriate toward any man who makes himself conspicuous as an advocate of feminism. In fact, I am suspicious of any man who remains silent when feminists start spouting their arrant nonsense. (Some obvious objections: Isn’t feminism really just a way for women to bully men? Isn’t the feminist actually demanding that she receive favorable treatment on the basis of her sex? Hasn’t the feminist therefore elevated her own selfishness to the status of a political philosophy? Why should honest men permit themselves to be pushed around by the adherents of feminism, unless they are such cowards that they are afraid to offend those idiots?)

Yet as I say, it isn’t my intent to rile up Little Miss Attila. Rather I call attention to Ace’s musings about Kirsten Powers and her ex-boyfriend Anthony Weiner — you should read the whole thing — because I wonder why so many feminists seem to lack the instinctive “friendly stranger” suspicion toward their liberal male allies.

Most guys probably wonder the same thing. Don’t these women see that guys who make a big show of being “feminist” are just running a game?

The fact that they keep falling for that same transparent scam might lead us to suspect feminists of naïveté. They are the kind of suckers who are born every minute, and who should never be given an even break.

They deserve Anthony Weiner.

UPDATE: Dan Collins suggests the title of this post requires some good music, and Dan’s right.

UPDATE II: Welcome, Instapundit readers!


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