The Other McCain

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

The ‘Mechanism of Social Control’

Posted on | April 15, 2015 | 38 Comments

“Since sex is something men do to women . . . men dominate and control women. . . .
“In other words, heterosexuality is the foundation of the social structure of male dominance, and successfully attacking it could bring down the whole house. . . .
“Is consensual sexual activity which entails male dominance and female subordination a form of social control? . . .
“The need for a unified feminist theory of sexuality is clear. If one concludes, as many feminists have, that heterosexuality is the primary and most powerful mechanism of social control, then understanding its meaning in all forms is imperative if male dominance is ever to be overcome. . . .
“Heterosexual instrumentalism practiced at the interpersonal level allows men to dominate and control women, which, in turn, provides the underpinnings of a system where women are controlled in all settings.”

S.P. Schacht and Patricia H. Atchison, “Heterosexual Instrumentalism: Past and Future Directions,” in Heterosexuality: A Feminism and Psychology Reader, edited by Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger (1993)

The authors of that quote were both professors of sociology. Professor Steven P. Schacht taught at Southwest Missouri State University and Professor Patricia Atchison taught at Colorado State University.

Professor Schacht is a rather extraordinary example of male self-hatred, which he has further expressed in a remarkable essay, “Teaching About Being An Oppressor: Some Personal and Political Considerations.” Click through and read it. No Onion satire could possibly exceed Professor Schacht’s absurdity. It might be helpful to know that he received his Ph.D. for a dissertation entitled “Obscene Telephone Calls as Instruments of Male Dominance.” Just in case you are not yet convinced that Professor Schacht is a textbook case of pathetic self-loathing, however, please read his essay “Why Men Should be Feminists”:

Perhaps like many men who claim a feminist identity, the path I traveled to grasp such an outlook has been meandering, often painful, and not well marked. The seeds of this very divergent course of personal being were initially planted by a woman who was, among many other beautiful things, an artist, a poet, a radical feminist, and my mother. She spent untold hours trying to share with me the anguish and the hope of her feminist vision.
In my pre-adolescent years I accompanied my mother on numerous pre-Roe v. Wade protest rallies — the chant “women unite, stand up and fight, abortion is a women’s right” still clearly rings in my ears — often helping her paint banners and signs to carry as we marched. She took me with her to anti-Vietnam protests at the University of Minnesota campus (1968-70), several rallies for George McGovern . . .
As one would expect, almost all of my mother’s friends were strong feminist women themselves. My mother’s feminist values in raising me were very much reflected and consistent with other important women in my childhood.

Did I mention that his father was a former Air Force pilot? How do you think that marriage turned out?

[M]y parents separated for several years during my mid-teen years, each taking turns living in the family home with the other maintaining an apartment. Since my father was a pilot and away for many days of the month, in a sense, their separation had probably already occurred years before their formal breakup. Both dated, my mother even publicly became a lesbian, openly stating and showing her affection for her female partners, while my father pursued flight attendants and other younger women. My parents eventually did reunite, but this was because of my mother becoming critically ill, and their personal differences remained quite apparent.

Professor Schacht’s mother died when he was 19. Honestly,  it seems easier to interpret his story not as proving “Why Men Should Be Feminists” but rather “Why Women Should Not Be Feminists.”

That is to say, if you are a woman whose hobbies include anti-war rallies, pro-abortion protests and campaigning for liberal Democrats, and all your friends are “strong feminist women” . . .

Well, there is a Greek island near the coast of Asia Minor. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. If the first phrase that comes to a woman’s mind when she thinks of heterosexuality is “mechanism of social control,” she might just want to take the shortcut to her ultimate destination — over there on the other side of the Mytilini Strait — rather than ruining some unfortunate guy’s life by pretending to enjoy heterosexuality.

As for “feminist men,” obviously there is no hope at all for them. Professor Schacht recounts his academic career:

I would only spend two years teaching at SMSU. Like many positions to follow, in spite of having high teaching evaluations and a quite active publication record, I was basically fired for being too radical, too feminist, too queer, and an obvious gender traitor of sorts. Consistent with my SMSU experience, since leaving graduate school in 1990 I have held six different positions, spent a year unemployed, been divorced twice, and am presently recovering from colon cancer. Moreover, during the early years of my return to my mother’s feminist ideals, I increasingly found myself being betrayed and rejected by men (especially those in academia). Conversely, many of my attempts for seeking acceptance from feminist women were met with a cool reception, often filled with indifference, mistrust, and even hostility.

There’s a song by Beck. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.



38 Responses to “The ‘Mechanism of Social Control’”

  1. RS
    April 15th, 2015 @ 2:52 pm

    I would only spend two years teaching at SMSU. Like many positions to follow, in spite of having high teaching evaluations and a quite active publication record, I was basically fired for being too radical, too feminist, too queer, and an obvious gender traitor of sorts.

    In Springfield, Missouri? Ground Zero of the Bible Belt? I’m shocked, shocked!

  2. Daniel Freeman
    April 15th, 2015 @ 2:55 pm

    What, no video?

  3. robertstacymccain
    April 15th, 2015 @ 3:02 pm

    You’re saying maybe being a radical queer male feminist sociology professor at Southwest Missouri State University wasn’t a good idea?

  4. Daniel Freeman
    April 15th, 2015 @ 3:19 pm

    Or perhaps this is more his speed:

  5. RS
    April 15th, 2015 @ 3:20 pm

    He must have taught there some time go. It’s been known as “Missouri State” since 2005.

  6. Ruy Diaz
    April 15th, 2015 @ 3:29 pm

    “Sex is something men do to women”…. So, no woman is able to have sex, EVER? This is as crazy as the stuff from PIV chick.

  7. RS
    April 15th, 2015 @ 3:40 pm

    Since sex is something men do to women . . . men dominate and control women. . . .

    The reality in which these people live continues to astound me. Set aside for a moment the entire structure of Victorian courtship mores wherein women called the shots and a woman’s virtue was considered valuable and was given only to one man who was worthy of it. Even with today’s relaxed sexual standards–and don’t give me any “rape culture” BS–women call the shots regarding sexual intimacy.

    I’m old enough to remember the “Summer of Love.” The old mores were deemed stifling to true freedom and expression. “Love the one you’re with” became the mantra. I doubt that these worthies would want to turn back the clock. Yet, while most likely celebrating the elimination of societal prohibitions against promiscuity, they bemoan the inevitable results. Perhaps, they are correct. There is a nefarious “patriarchy,” but it is of recent origin and it’s all their own making by way of destroying the implicit rules of behavior between men and women.

  8. Daniel Freeman
    April 15th, 2015 @ 3:43 pm

    On-topic: Pope Takes on Feminists, Gender Theorists, Gay Activists. Excerpt:

    “I wonder,” he said, “whether the so-called theory of gender is not an expression of frustration and resignation, which tries to erase sexual differences because it doesn’t know how to handle them.”

    Removing sexual differences, Francis declared, “is the problem, not the solution.” Acting as if these differences didn’t matter means “taking a step backwards,” he said.

    “God has entrusted the earth to the covenant between man and woman,” Francis said. Its failure “dries up the world of affection and darkens the sky of hope.”

  9. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    April 15th, 2015 @ 3:51 pm

    Since sex is what some women do to other woman…

    Or as The Who summed up: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

  10. jakee308
    April 15th, 2015 @ 4:30 pm

    The “Feminist” professor? Made me feel better about some bad parts of my being raised.

    Here I thought MY mother was the worst in the world.

    But no. He gets to claim that “Prize”.

    My mom was a crazy back biting psychopath but at least she wasn’t a feminist. (although I was infected with some issues that make relating to women in a positive manner problematic) Hmm. Maybe I did have the worst mom. She at least got him into and through college and a degree.

  11. Law Professor Lisa T. McElroy had a really bad day Rule 5 | Batshit Crazy News
    April 15th, 2015 @ 4:48 pm

    […] TOM: Fempocalypse, What do you expect from a Canadian education expert?, and the Mechanism of Social Control […]

  12. Thomas Jameson
    April 15th, 2015 @ 4:58 pm

    So …the hetero, skirt chasing pilot with the batshit crazy ex wife and pansy, feminist, unable to hold down a job son took back the wife when she was dying.

  13. Durasim
    April 15th, 2015 @ 5:03 pm

    Give that (male-identified organism) the John Stoltenberg Self-Loathing Mangina Award!

  14. concern00
    April 15th, 2015 @ 5:14 pm

    Are these people so self-unaware as to not see the hilarious inevitability of their train wreck of a life unfolding? Self fulfilling prophecies in action.

  15. daialanye
    April 15th, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

    Sure, the wife came back to him once she had to have help, but but that proves nothing about her need for a man. And at least she hung on to her bizarre irrational opinions even when totally dependent upon hubby.

    Woman strong, woman proud!

  16. MichaelAdams
    April 15th, 2015 @ 5:53 pm

    Such a sad man, such a sad life. Why is this person writing books that people buy and read?

  17. Zohydro
    April 15th, 2015 @ 6:41 pm

    He died in 2003 of “colon cancer” at the age of 52 or 53…

  18. Hanzo
    April 15th, 2015 @ 7:27 pm

    Sooo …. when women have sex with each other it’s not sex, as sex is something men do to women? Then what do we call what women (or womyn) do to other women? When womyn get “married” to each other, don’t they engage in sex?

  19. BSR
    April 15th, 2015 @ 7:51 pm

    I find it disturbing that people who are ‘studying’ and claiming to be experts on gender and sociology can be such complete and utter failures at understanding human nature and what their place should be within it.

    I have never taken an interest in sociology and to me it is all very simple. Simple concepts behind Biology and Ecology and many other natural sciences indicate that reproduction is crucial to the continuation of a species. Humans are not so far removed from other organisms that this is somehow different for us. Heterosexuality is necessary for human survival. End of story.

    If you have a beef with heterosexuality then maybe that’s because you as an individual have a problem, not society and not the human race. Take it up with the bare facts of science and the requirements for human survival. Or, by all means, fail quietly on your own and kill off your own personal genetic code, just don’t ruin it for the rest of us.

  20. DeadMessenger
    April 15th, 2015 @ 8:00 pm

    Heh…good one.

  21. Julie Pascal
    April 15th, 2015 @ 8:52 pm

    I suppose that it’s utterly pointless to point out the utter obvious but:

    Heterosexual sex is how *women* control *men*.


  22. kilo6
    April 15th, 2015 @ 9:51 pm

    Isn’t that the guy who recently tried to sneak into Amanda Marcotte’s apartment wearing a disguise??

  23. SouthOhioGipper
    April 15th, 2015 @ 11:44 pm

    On and individual every day level, it is easy for men to still dominate their respective spaces, despite the feminist rhetoric and attempts to change the workplace

    . For instance, women managers or not, I dominate my work space completely because I assume a leadership role regardless of my actual rank in the organization and basically walk around, talk, and act like I own the place. This sort of frame always places my female bosses into a weird submissive frame where they may be the boss, but they make no real attempt to enforce their power over me and would NEVER dream of treating me as some underling.

    If any feminist shrew of a boss ever tried, she would get a right quick tongue lashing, regardless of her authority and would instantly lose her best employee. My skills are that unique and valuable in my industry that I can basically write my own ticket anywhere. I manage myself and do my job spectacularly, and I will not be “managed”.

    The problems come on a political/social level where very small, but very vocal and well funded interest groups can influence public policy over the will of the majority, or with the help of a compliant media, trick a majority into supporting them.

    That is where men lose out. In divorce laws, family courts and the domestic violence justice system. I have no clue how we can fight back against that when pop culture values women more than men is absolutely convinced that women are a “weaker” gender in need of protection from all forms of mental, emotional or physical pain.

  24. The original Mr. X
    April 16th, 2015 @ 4:21 am

    I’m surprised the author didn’t chide him for his “benevolent sexism”.

  25. BSR
    April 16th, 2015 @ 7:11 am

    Regardless, I think the issue is one of the fact that there are people who can’t compete with that and so they try to find ways to rig the game in their favor. If you have natural talent, be it skill, or simply a personal ‘air’ or capacity to enforce your will they can’t stand that. Ultimately if you don’t have a valuable skill to bring to the work environment, you really shouldn’t be there, then bam–here come regulations and rules against people who have the grit to do what needs doing so the positions get filled by weaker candidates who couldn’t compete otherwise.

    I personally believe that the somewhat ‘natural’ dynamic of men being more assertive and women being accepting of that is partly necessary for a successful marital environment. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for variations within that scheme and I do accept that there are some women who are more masculine and some men who are more feminine when it comes to their various outlooks.

    I’m a woman who has a knack for software development. It’s a male-dominated field and I LIKE the fact that it’s mostly men in the workplace. I have generally been highly regarded by my male coworkers. One of the advantages of having me on a team is that I have excellent communication skills for a code monkey. I’ve worked in environments that weren’t very PC and the men would often apologize if they told an off-color joke (it was a small company) but I would just snort and laugh along with them. I was married and didn’t find it threatening in the least. It would have been stupid if I’d gotten all offended over it anyway since it was clearly just joking and playful banter. Work can be really dull and repetitive sometimes if you can’t be relaxed and speak your mind among coworkers.

    If I was less comfortable in my role or my confidence in my talent in what I do, then I might be more suspicious of my coworkers and look for ways to crush them over foolish things in order to get ahead. This is partly why I think it’s critical, especially in small businesses to build a team of people who respect each other and work well together as a team.

  26. robertstacymccain
    April 16th, 2015 @ 7:21 am

    Women still swoon for the dominant male.

    The thing is, dominant males don’t actually have to try to dominate. If you have to try, you’re doing it wrong. In fact, a cheerful cooperative attitude — mission-focused, goal-oriented, team player — is the secret of successful leadership and successful leadership is what “male dominance” is really about.

    It’s not about sex. Women don’t actually respect a “lady’s man.” It’s the “man’s man” — the guy who gets respect from other men — who is most admired (and desired) by women. The guy who is happily married and doesn’t treat women as “sex objects” (evaluating them as potential conquests and “playing favorites” on that basis) is always a more effective manager. Nobody, man or woman, wants to work for a guy who’s a womanizer. Nobody really respects that.

  27. Dana
    April 16th, 2015 @ 7:22 am

    His essay makes the claim that he is a heterosexual male, but he sure has a lot of homosexual friends, called himself queer, was divorced by two women and — and this deserves more attention that people will allow — developed colon cancer. This all points to him being a homosexual bottom.

  28. Hanzo
    April 16th, 2015 @ 8:48 am

    Hear her ROAR!!!!
    Maybe not. Just sayin’.

  29. Quartermaster
    April 16th, 2015 @ 9:36 am


  30. Quartermaster
    April 16th, 2015 @ 9:38 am

    There are two classes of people that a buy a book like his. 1. Insane people like him who want to be sure they aren’t the only ones running loose without a keeper. 2. Those who are researching said insanity. Our venerated RSM is an example.
    If he weren’t already crazy, I’d have to worry about RSM’s sanity after the Sex Trouble series research.

  31. SouthOhioGipper
    April 16th, 2015 @ 9:38 am

    I never meant to imply womanizing. I mean leveraging the very real skillset of the womanizer to advance one’s professional standing within organizations that are increasingly coming under the influence of female authority figures.

    Women use their “feminine mystique” all the time in the work place for personal advancement, we men must learn the same skills now and leverage a “masculine mystique” and learn to be subtly sexual, rather than overtly sexual and engaging in clumsy harassment behaviors in the work place. Most men are simply not real good with simply putting on the airs of sexual dominance. That is what I mean, not actively seeking out and sleeping with the women of the workspace. Today that is a sure way to lose your career at some point.

  32. Quartermaster
    April 16th, 2015 @ 9:40 am

    Francis is dealing with symptoms as though they are the problem. The problem is called ‘sin’ and that’s something he is, supposedly, qualified to deal with.

  33. Quartermaster
    April 16th, 2015 @ 9:44 am

    That’s the HQ city for the Assemblies of God, the 2nd largest Pentecostal Denomination in the US, and has their Seminary, a Bible College and Evangel College, and a fair sized Baptist College as well. It’s pretty much an AG town, and the heretics over at MO State aren’t all that well received.

    I wouldn’t call it ground zero of the Bible Belt, however. It can be called one of the major epicenters though.

  34. SouthOhioGipper
    April 16th, 2015 @ 9:53 am

    Kudos to you madame for being in what for a woman must be one of the most hostile work environments left in the modern work space!

    Privately, deep down inside, I have never met a geek who didn’t have a despicably negative attitude towards women in general, let alone in the work place. In fact the arrogance of the modern geek astounds even me, who isn’t exactly known for being humble. The arrogance isn’t the problem for me so much as that it is unjustified.

    Just read geek articles these days, they honestly believe that because the world is tech driven, that somehow they should “inherit the earth” from all of the “knuckle dragging bro types” that typically dominate the top of the organizations for which they work.

    They think because a few top geeks managed to build empires that they too will one day take over their respective organizations, without realizing that social skill is probably more important than technical skill when it comes to becoming a leader in an organization.

    The work place is definitely changing, becoming female dominated and that is completely okay by me. But I have a sense of emotional intelligence that most men lack and have no problems advancing in female dominated industries.

    The geeks on the other hand.. well. You know what they are about, you experience their aspie syndrome every day.

  35. Rick Caird
    April 16th, 2015 @ 1:39 pm

    “heterosexuality is the foundation of the
    social structure of male dominance, and successfully attacking it could
    bring down the whole house.”

    It certainly would. We would die out because we didn’t reproduce. I wonder if that is the ultimate object of feminism.

  36. arcadius
    April 16th, 2015 @ 6:05 pm

    Given that the mother took him to a pro-abortion rally… No, definitely not.

  37. BSR
    April 16th, 2015 @ 7:07 pm

    I haven’t had that experience with geeks at all (even the ones I dated before I got married). But that may also be because I considered myself something of a geek as well. Then again, in the workplace I liked to place myself in the shoes of the ‘mentee’ when it came to those with a lot of ego and that usually worked really well and some of my early work experience was in a corporate environment.

    I grew up with a semi-aspie-geeky dad though so I guess I have always had a unique perspective on that mindset. My husband, alternatively, is not anything like that. He’s tall, screwed up his knee playing football and has a knack for remembering trivial things (good-looking former college bowl nut). He needed my help with calculus when he was working on his IS masters. The first time I met him he was drunk at a party and i hardly said 2 words to him but he asked me out a day later online.

    Why did I end up with a totally different sort of man? He’s the one who asked. He’s the one who went down on one knee first. Whenever I dated a ‘geek’ I was the one doing the asking.

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