The Other McCain

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

Mansplaining and Femsplaining

Posted on | April 21, 2015 | 52 Comments

An indirect mode of discourse is sometimes best when dealing with highly intelligent people. Don’t tell smart people what to think. Drop a few hints. Arouse their curiosity and leave them some work to do.

You don’t have to connect all the dots. Just show them the dots. Smart people can figure out the pattern.

While commenting on a Megan McArdle essay, I made a series of self-deprecating “mansplaining” jokes because (a) I really do feel bad about my know-it-all tendencies, (b) I hate when friends do that kind of semi-praise/semi-criticism riff on anything of mine, and (c) the feminist “mansplaining” meme has been burning a hole in my brain for months. If you haven’t read Rebecca Solnit’s Men Explain Things to Me, be warned that she is one of those deceptively persuasive writers whose skillful prose can make you almost believe she’s right. Proving her wrong would be a tremendous task, simply because Solnit is so clever in her sophistry.

Look: I’m a blogger and a professional journalist. Explaining things is what I get paid for. What feminists are doing — what the “mansplaining” meme is about — is an attempt to advance their own career interests by convincing women that feminists possess a monopoly on intelligence, knowledge, wisdom and virtue.

The consequences of accepting this worldview should disturb us.

The self-serving motive — i.e., feminists inoculating themselves against hostile criticism by pre-emptively disqualifying men from the discussion — is obvious enough. For a feminist writer whose stock in trade is All Men Are Swine, it is crucially important to persuade her female readership never to trust men’s protestations against this calumny. If a woman ever begins to doubt that men deserve to be hated, her blind faith in feminism might suddenly unravel and this would undermineĀ the market value of commodities produced by the Man-Hating Industry.

Beyond this, however, we must recognize how feminism’s insistence that all men are untrustworthy creates a climate of suspicion that undermines the possibility of cooperation between men and women.

Mutual trust and respect are necessary to effective teamwork, and feminist discourse is calculated to destroy women’s ability to trust or respect men. Feminists relentlessly derogate males, per se, while celebrating the virtue of females, per se. To any woman who accepts feminist ideology, every male-female conflict becomes self-explanatory: He is the wrongful oppressor, and she is his victim. Because feminists believe this dynamic of male oppression and female victimization is ubiquitous under the system of male supremacy, there can never be a reason for a woman to consider any man trustworthy. She must view men with suspicion, hostility and contempt.

Call feminist rhetoric what it is: Totalitarian hate propaganda.

Now think about where this might lead.

You’re smart. You can figure it out.



52 Responses to “Mansplaining and Femsplaining”

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  2. The Razor » Blog Archive » Council Submissions: April 22, 2015
    April 29th, 2015 @ 1:08 pm

    […] Other McCain – Mansplaining and Femsplaining submitted by Don […]