The Other McCain

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

War Against Human Nature: What Feminists Pay $47,030 a Year to Learn

Posted on | May 17, 2015 | 87 Comments

“Feminism confuses many people who do not understand that the movement has a political philosophy — a theory — and that this theory is fundamentally incompatible with human nature. In fact, feminists do not believe there is such a thing as ‘human nature.’ Instead, they insist, all human behavior (especially including sexual behavior) is ‘socially constructed’ and, because feminists believe that the society that constructs our behavior is a male-dominated system which oppresses women, everything that we accept as ‘human nature’ is part of that oppressive system.”
Robert Stacy McCain, Sex Trouble: Radical Feminism and the War on Human Nature, p. 3

It takes a lot of money to learn how to disregard — or condemn as “oppression” — ordinary common sense about human nature. When my wife and I went to the accountant to have our taxes done, one of my business expenses was the approximately $700 I’d spent buying feminist books from during 2014. This was necessary for my research into radical feminist gender theory in the book Sex Trouble. The research continues because, as I say in the introduction to the first edition, Sex Trouble is “a work in progress,” and my current plan is to publish a revised and expanded second edition in August. Here are the 10 most recent books I’ve purchased in the past two months:

Each of these titles was purchased for a reason. For example, Estelle Freedman is a Stanford University professor who is hugely influential in academia, being for example the editor of The Essential Feminist Reader (2007), an assigned textbook in many introductory Women’s Studies courses. That she was also editor of a 1985 collection of lesbian-feminist essays is not a coincidence and, when I encountered a reference to Professor Freedman’s earlier work in the notes of another feminist book, I decided to check it out. (Very interesting.) As to the 1975 book co-edited by Charlotte Bunch, well, you can Google her name and perhaps figure out why Professor Bunch’s controversial past might be highly relevant and newsworthy in 2016.

What nearly all of these books have in common is that they are either written or edited by Women’s Studies professors or else, as in the case of Adrienne Rich, are by authors whose works are included in the Women’s Studies curricula. As readers of Sex Trouble know, the book focuses on academia — the Feminist-Industrial Complex — because it is by institutionalizing their power in colleges and universities, with Women’s Studies departments as the engine of their influence, that radical feminists have gained hegemonic authority within elite culture.

“I am a gender abolitionist because gender is
a social construct that oppresses everyone.”
“The threat of violence alone affords
all men dominance over all women.”

Academic feminism has received relatively little critical scrutiny (Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women’s Studies by Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge being a commendable exception), and most people have no idea what kind of bizarre nonsense students are being taught nowadays. If you think of feminism as mere “equality” in the sense of basic fairness, you need to read Sex Trouble and find out what feminism really means. And it’s only $11.69 in paperback, which is a lot less than you’d pay to study this stuff at college.

Friday, in discussing Kate Spencer (a feminist victim of “body shame” and other patriarchal oppressions), I mentioned that she had gotten a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from Bates College, an elite private liberal arts college where annual tuition is $47,030. Here is the official description of that program:

The goal of the Program in Women and Gender Studies is to enable learners to recognize, analyze, and transform gender relations as they appear in everyday life. The program provides the opportunity to study women as social agents whose identities and experiences are shaped by systems of race, class, sexuality, and national power. At the same time, to study gender is to refute simple assertions about women, men, and gender binaries, and to strive instead for richly detailed accounts of the political, economic, and technological conditions through which relations of power have been established and maintained.
Analyzing gender enriches our ability to apprehend the differing social roles assigned to individuals, the inequitable distribution of material resources, and the ties between structures of knowledge and larger systems of privilege and oppression. Courses examine women and gender relations in multiple cultural, historical, and material contexts, encouraging the use of transnational, multiracial feminist perspectives.

The chairwoman of the department is Professor Rebecca Herzig:

Historian Rebecca Herzig holds the College’s only full-time faculty appointment in Women and Gender Studies. She teaches an array of interdisciplinary courses on science, technology, and medicine, as well as the program’s required methods course, Methods and Modes of Inquiry. Her latest book, Plucked: A History of Hair Removal, is available now at

A small school like Bates College (with fewer than 1,800 students) can afford only one full-time Women’s Studies professor, but because the field is “interdisciplinary,” it is also taught by faculty from other departments. By this cross-departmental influence, feminist ideology permeates the curriculum. Thus, the Bates College Women and Gender Studies faculty also includes Holly Ewing (Associate Professor, Environmental Studies), Leslie Hill (Associate Professor, Politics), Sue Houchins (Associate Professor, African American Studies), Erica Rand (Professor, Art and Visual Culture), and Emily W. Kane (Professor, Sociology). In case you’re wondering what kind of innovative scholarship these eminent academics are sharing with their students, I’ll point out that Professor Kane is author of The Gender Trap: Parents and the Pitfalls of Raising Boys and Girls (2012) and Rethinking Gender and Sexuality in Childhood (2013). Perhaps you will not be surprised to learn that Professor Kane is implacably hostile to “traditionally gendered childhoods” and “conventional gender expectations,” which she blames for “persistent gender inequalities.”

This is what feminism has been about for more than 40 years. In 1969, the feminist collective Redstockings declared:

We identify the agents of our oppression as men. . . . Men have controlled all political, economic and cultural institutions and backed up this control with physical force. They have used their power to keep women in an inferior position. . . . All men have oppressed women.

The “inferior position” of women and the “power” which men use to oppress women — the source of those “persistent gender inequalities” denounced by Professor Kane — are simply the results of normal human behaviors, i.e., masculinity and femininity, love, marriage, sex, parenthood and the traditional family. Normal relations between normal men and normal women are both the cause and effect of women’s oppression, whereby women are “exploited as sex objects” and “breeders,” as the Redstockings declared:

We are considered inferior beings, whose only purpose is to enhance men’s lives. Our humanity is denied.

Is this true? Was it true in 1969 or at any previous time? Did your father exploit your mother as a “breeder”? Was your grandfather the agent of your grandmother’s oppression? Was your great-grandmother’s humanity denied because your great-grandfather kept her in an inferior position as a “sex object”? This is what feminist theory teaches, that human history has been nothing but a gigantic patriarchal conspiracy through which men (all men) have oppressed women (all women), and the overthrow of this collective oppression requires a revolution:

Because we have lived so intimately with our oppressors, in isolation from each other, we have been kept from seeing our personal suffering as a political condition. This creates the illusion that a woman’s relationship with her man is a matter of interplay between two unique personalities, and can be worked out individually. In reality, every such relationship is a class relationship, and the conflicts between individual men and women are political conflicts that can only be solved collectively.

To achieve this solution, the Redstockings proclaimed, feminists must “develop female class consciousness . . . exposing the sexist foundation of all our institutions.” They denied “the existence of individual solutions,” condemning what they described as the false assumption “that the male-female relationship is purely personal.” The co-founder of Redstockings was Shulamith Firestone who, in her 1970 book The Dialectic of Sex, declared that “the end goal of feminist revolution must be . . . not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself” (p. 11). Firestone called for “an end to the incest taboo, through abolition of the family,” so that “sexuality would be released from its straitjacket to eroticize our whole culture” (p. 55). She flatly declared “Pregnancy is barbaric” (p. 180), described women as “the slave class” (p. 184), and envisioned a “new society” in which “humanity could finally revert to its natural polymorphous sexuality — all forms of sexuality would be allowed and indulged” (p. 187). Firestone denounced the family because “it reinforces biologically-based sex class (p. 198) and asserted that “marriage in its very definition . . . was organized around, and reinforces, a fundamentally oppressive biological condition” (p. 202).

The fact that Shulamith Firestone was clinically insane (a paranoid schizophrenic who died alone in 2012 at age 67) might serve as sufficient rebuttal to her doctrine, but by the time her madness became evident — she was committed to a psychiatric unit in 1987 — the radical movement she helped launch had gained a solid foothold in academia, publishing, law and politics. Firestone and other early leaders of the Women’s Liberation Movement had been political activists of the New Left. Others were journalists (e.g., Marilyn Webb, Gloria Steinem, Jill Johnston, Susan Brownmiller). It was only after the radical feminist movement shattered into incoherent splinters in the mid-1970s that the creation of Women’s Studies programs at colleges and universities provided the institutional infrastructure around which the Feminist-Industrial Complex has since been built. Thousands of professors are now employed to indoctrinate students in this ideology, and no one in 21st-century academia dares criticize or oppose feminism for fear of being accused of “discrimination” or “harassment.” What the Women’s Studies major “knows” is never contradicted by any authority on campus, and what she “knows” is that all women are victims of male supremacy.

“Male power is systemic. Coercive, legitimated, and epistemic, it is the regime.”
Catharine MacKinnon, Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989)

“Recognizing that the ‘personal is political’ allowed women to identify . . . that what they took to be their own personal failings . . . were not just individual experiences. . . . The ‘private’ world was recognized as the basis of the power men wielded in the ‘public’ world of work and government. . . . The concept that the personal is political enabled feminists to understand the ways in which the workings of male dominance penetrated into their relationships with men. They could recognize how the power dynamics of male dominance made heterosexuality into a political institution, constructed male and female sexuality, and the ways in which women felt about their bodies and themselves.”
Sheila Jeffreys, Beauty and Misogyny: Harmful Cultural Practices in the West (2014)

Because feminism now controls the terms of academic research and discussion about human sexuality, the university student today never encounters any articulate defense of normal behavior.

Love, marriage and motherhood are condemned by feminists, as is heterosexuality, per se. All of this is implicit in feminist gender theory — the “social construction” of the gender binary within the heterosexual matrix. — and anyone who does not accept this theory is subject to denunciation as a bigot, a misogynist, a homophobe.

Parents pay for their children to learn how to think this way — tuition at Bates College is, I repeat, $47,030 a year — and the question is, “Why?”

As I say, I spent about $700 buying feminist books last year and probably understand it as well as any heteropatriarchal oppressor ever could. Yet the Sex Trouble project is a continuing effort funded by readers who understand the importance of “Taking Feminism Seriously.” Because I’ve been able to purchase many of these books used from Amazon, my total cost for the 10 feminist books I’ve purchased in the past two months was $136.42, and this library of lunatic literature will keep growing. Why? Because if God will grant me another few months of life, I expect to make some appearances at university campuses next fall, and it can be predicted that young feminists will challenge my analysis: “But you don’t understand feminism!”

Yet there will be a table beside me, and on that table will be these stacks of books, you see. So I’ll gesture to the table, and perhaps hold up a few of the books to cite the titles and authors by name, before answering the angry student: “No, ma’am. You don’t understand feminism.”

Doesn’t that make you want to hit freaking the tip jar?




87 Responses to “War Against Human Nature: What Feminists Pay $47,030 a Year to Learn”

  1. Da Tech Guy Blog » Blog Archive » Robert Stacy McCain asks the obvious question
    May 17th, 2015 @ 8:07 pm

    […] You know we hear a lot about the world war 2 gen­er­a­tion, the gen­er­a­tion of my Father & Mother as the “great­est gen­er­a­tion”. Although this is a des­ig­na­tion that they would not accept (they would likely point to their par­ents) there is one thing about said des­ig­na­tion that begs a ques­tion, a ques­tion so obvi­ous that many in our uni­ver­si­ties where stu­dent pay tens of thou­sands of dol­lars annu­ally for the edu­ca­tion my par­ents could only dream of, never seem to ask. But Stacy McCain asks it […]

  2. Art Deco
    May 17th, 2015 @ 8:15 pm

    I do not see much about thesis-antithesis-synthesis, or historical materialism or class conflict in this mess. Marxism is not just crap you don’t like. It refers to a distinct social theory.

    I’d suggest Joan Didion’s brief assessment of the journalistic feminism of the day, ca. 1971, which saw it as a flight from adult responsibility.

    This isn’t about Karl Marx. It’s about people with deficient coping skills trying to make sense of the mess of their emotions, the mess of their domestic life, and the manner in which age and all manner of factors simply close down options and that’s it.

    Amanda Marcotte likely could not say more than one or two coherent sentences about the work of Karl Marx or David Harvey or Nancy Hartsock. What she can give you is displays of her resentments, and those resentments are a diversion from looking herself in the eye and saying ‘I did this’.

  3. Mike G.
    May 17th, 2015 @ 8:18 pm

    My granddaughter is doing the same thing. Working and going to school. She’s getting all the bs courses out of the way first by taking them at the local two year college.

    She made the Dean’s list her first semester, which brought her an anonymous scholarship.

    She has plans to attend Clemson University.

  4. Prime Director
    May 17th, 2015 @ 8:29 pm

    Approximately 40 percent of child victimswere maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 18.3 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; 17.3 percent were abused by both parents (USDHHS, 2007).

  5. RKae
    May 17th, 2015 @ 8:39 pm

    Both parents reminds me of this line from “Zelig”:

    “As a boy, Leonard is frequently bullied by anti-Semites. His parents, who never take his part and blame him for everything, side with the anti-Semites. They punish him often by locking him in a dark closet. When they are really angry, they get into the closet with him.”

  6. Daniel O'Brien
    May 17th, 2015 @ 8:43 pm

    We need video of the FIC debate on campus!

  7. DeadMessenger
    May 17th, 2015 @ 9:16 pm

    After all the time I spent in a cult (parents still there), I believe I can accurately say that I’m an expert in cult behavior and mind control.

    Christian churches exhibit no cult behaviors, which is why the left can’t accuse them of being such…with a straight face, anyway.

    Though there are cults that call themselves “Christian”, they aren’t, by virtue of heretical doctrine. But they do employ mind control techniques, and are good at them.

    Far leftists are similarly mind controlled. When you suggest their obvious condition to those that are genuinely mind controlled, they exhibit an angry, or even violent, cognitive dissonance response. Which is exactly what many lefists do when you accuse them of being mind controlled.

    So when they accuse Christians of being mind controlled, the correct response is probably “I know you are, but what am I?”

  8. Fail Burton
    May 17th, 2015 @ 9:19 pm

    I didn’t make a medical diagnosis. I said she was a sociopath who turned whatever issues she had into helping form an ideology that defamed all men on Earth and still does to this day. I feel absolutely no sympathy her considering the havoc that women helped bring about.

  9. Fail Burton
    May 17th, 2015 @ 9:21 pm

    Hey, everybody. I have a really groovy idea! Let’s abolish incest so that nuclear families can be destroyed which will facilitate the just androgyny that will prevent people oppressing each other cuz they all look like logs with eyeballs or something.

  10. Fail Burton
    May 17th, 2015 @ 9:24 pm

    Well, some have mimicked the paradigm but not the particulars. I think it’s a mistake to throw around the word “Marx” in relation to this cult. It prevents seeing it for what it is and mocking it the way it needs to be mocked. They are not after all economists angry at capitalism but angry at men.

  11. RKae
    May 17th, 2015 @ 9:47 pm

    The speed with which it became the default orthodoxy and a crusade was pretty stunning.

    What ordinary, rational people SIMPLY DO NOT REALIZE is that manipulating a population is a skill that has been broken down into a science – a science that has become more accurate and powerful in the last few decades.

    Taking over a medium or a genre is a task that is undertaken by people with the skill to do it. And they know how to stomp all over everyone and get what they want… and you never know what hit you.

    It’s a skill like playing a musical instrument; there’s a methodology, and rational people have never had the urge to learn it, whereas, the radicals have studied it intently. (They now OWN entertainment, education, journalism, and they’re sweeping into other things like sports and religion.)

    It’s like a guy mouths off at you, and you mouth off at him and then – BAM! – guess what? He studied kung-fu! …And you thought you were going to push him on the chest and walk away thinking how tough you were. HA!

  12. News of the Week (May 17th, 2015) | The Political Hat
    May 17th, 2015 @ 9:47 pm

    […] War Against Human Nature: What Feminists Pay $47,030 a Year to Learn It takes a lot of money to learn how to disregard — or condemn as “oppression” — ordinary common sense about human nature. When my wife and I went to the accountant to have our taxes done, one of my business expenses was the approximately $700 I’d spent buying feminist books from during 2014. […]

  13. RS
    May 17th, 2015 @ 9:55 pm

    That’s interesting. My son got rid of most of his humanities stuff at his parochial high school and that was all standard stuff. He had to take one literature class and he chose American Lit, 1865-1900. I read the syllabus. It was the canon. We’ve talked about the course and there was little to no propaganda. The thinking seems to be that engineers only need the “basics” so those courses are straightforward and similar to what I experienced 35 years ago as a literature major. Stuff like you describe isn’t even in the course catalog.

  14. RS
    May 17th, 2015 @ 9:57 pm

    My dad went to engineering school in the late ’30s and early ’40s. He had courses in Shakespeare, Ovid, Classical Greek Philosophy and French LIterature in translation, all of which were necessary for graduation.

  15. Jeanette Victoria
    May 17th, 2015 @ 10:10 pm

    When the ACLU and the Democrats forced the closure of State Mental hospitals and and made it impossible for the mentally ill to get the help they need they simply gave them professorships so they wouldn’t have to dumpster dive and live on the street

  16. Jeanette Victoria
    May 17th, 2015 @ 10:13 pm

    LOL I’m currently getting a bachelors in theology not sure how useful that is either. But at least what I am learning this time is edifying.

  17. Matt_SE
    May 17th, 2015 @ 10:16 pm

    On the bright side, I would say we’re only required to take maybe 2 cray-cray courses, and then we’re done.
    I can take that.

  18. Jeanette Victoria
    May 17th, 2015 @ 10:16 pm

    I’m one of those folks, dear ole mom beat me about the head with a cast iron pot. I can’t remember the number the times went to school with huge black eyes give to me by her. The school did nothing.

    The trolls have confabulated this to I tied to kill her.

  19. DeadMessenger
    May 17th, 2015 @ 10:49 pm

    I had to take coursework like that, too, but I only did it under duress. I just wanted to get my degree and get busy designing microcircuits. Or so I thought. Then one day I woke up and I was a mathematician, and I don’t know how that happened.

    At this point in my life, I’d like to go back take certain classes like these for fun, but only if I could be guaranteed not to have to interact with leftists, feminists, and other crazies. Of course, it’s probably true that crazies with agendas aren’t going to bother taking classes requiring critical thinking skills or foreign or dead languages.

  20. DeadMessenger
    May 17th, 2015 @ 10:52 pm

    Good for her! Taking her core stuff at community college is a great idea, too. Because she obviously has motivation and a work ethic, I presume she’s not majoring in something squishy and unmarketable?

  21. Finrod Felagund
    May 17th, 2015 @ 11:23 pm

    Someone did a survey of the political inclinations of the pro-GamerGate crowd, and found out about half identified as some flavor of left, with the rest about evenly split between center and right:

  22. Prime Director
    May 18th, 2015 @ 12:17 am

    This one time, my mom lost her shit and hit my brother with a bug zoo.

    She back-handed me once and hurt her hand, so she open-hand/karate chopped me for hurting her hand.

    My brother and I complained about dinner once when I was 6 or 7. She didn’t cook another meal for, like, years. I think she’s bipolar or something. I try not to dwell on it.

    She had a hard childhood. I genuinely feel bad for her. But… now I unconsciously seek out and replay a lot of weird childhood shit. Big waste of time for everyone.

    Pop was cool (still is). He worked hard and when he came home, he was too tired from work to fuck me up for fucking up (I fuck up a lot). Instead, he would lecture me, endlessly. After a few hours, I was like “juuuuuuust fuuuuucking hiiiiiit meeeeeee…”

  23. Daniel Freeman
    May 18th, 2015 @ 12:54 am

    I’ve seen that before. It could be broadly described as a left-leaning anti-authoritarian movement, since there are hardly any authoritarians, whether left, right or center.

  24. Fail Burton
    May 18th, 2015 @ 2:14 am

    Robert, you have to read this “The Diverse Editors List.” It’s for SFF editors and you won’t believe it. It’s hall of fame stuff, it really is.

    One sample: “Shweta Narayan (Stone Telling)—a chronically ill agender/genderfluid bisexual Desi person”

  25. Fail Burton
    May 18th, 2015 @ 5:11 am

    i don’t agree anyone set out to do this in any kind of by the numbers way. Certainly they wanted to raise consciousness but it’s their innate sociopathy, intolerance and obsessive natures rather than a cool tactical plan that seems to have been at work.

  26. Fail Burton
    May 18th, 2015 @ 5:12 am

    They haven’t even made a case for prejudice. It is not prejudice for Cosmopolitan to not have fly-fishing articles.

  27. Maggie's Farm
    May 18th, 2015 @ 5:27 am

    Monday morning links

    In a spa town in the Swiss Alps, you’ll find snow-capped mountains, chocolate, goats… and soon, the tallest hotel in the world. Insty likes the Audi Q7 The Future of Wind Turbines? No Blades Air Force general who spoke of God in talk should b

  28. Art Deco
    May 18th, 2015 @ 7:58 am


    A sociopath would be a Bill Clinton type con man, or perhaps a manipulator on the order of Jackie Coakley. Shulamith Firestone was nothing like that.

  29. StephanieSReid
    May 18th, 2015 @ 8:21 am

    ????$89 hourly on internet@mf16//


  30. War Against Human Nature: What Feminists Pay $47,030 a Year to Learn | Living in Anglo-America
    May 18th, 2015 @ 9:40 am
  31. Mike G.
    May 18th, 2015 @ 11:25 am

    Not sure how squishy…she wants to teach high school history. But she did tell me she is a feminist, although not of the lesbian variety.

    I hope to disavow her of that notion. Maybe I need to buy her Stacy’s book.

  32. DeadMessenger
    May 18th, 2015 @ 12:19 pm

    You should buy her Stacy’s book!! There’s some history in it. 😀

  33. OttoMaddox
    May 18th, 2015 @ 12:36 pm

    From what I understand, go to any feminist conference and you will find many books about Marxism for sale. I’d say feminism is largely organized by those who seek the abolition of free markets.

  34. Fail Burton
    May 18th, 2015 @ 6:43 pm

    You create a definition and then absolve her. Her feral and extremely activist hostility towards men speaks for itself.

  35. SouthOhioGipper
    May 19th, 2015 @ 2:00 am

    But at the heart of all this is MARXISM. Straight out Marxism.

    When we attack feminism, we should attack it’s root marxism. The problem is that for some reason, the anti-feminist movement treats feminism as its own ideology. It is a sub-ideology of Marxist tradition as laid down by the Frankfurt Communist Critical/Intersectionality Theory.

    I personally would NEVER debate a feminist as a feminist. I would immediately call her what she is, a Marxist, and attack her Marxist social theories, which are the root of her entire feminist ideology. Without marx, there is no feminism.

    We must destroy their Marxist base, the rest all collapses without it.

  36. robertstacymccain
    May 19th, 2015 @ 6:16 pm

    “But at the heart of all this is MARXISM. Straight out Marxism.”

    Which is why feminism’s emergence from the 1960s New Left is highly relevant to understanding what’s wrong with feminism. If you read Kate Millett’s Sexual Politics back-to-back with Shulamith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex, it is impossible to miss how both of these pioneering feminist theorists relied on Friedrich Engels’ Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Both of them, writing in 1969-70, were writing with a readership of young radical women in mind, and both took it for granted that Marxist analysis would be accepted by these intended readers as authoritative. Both Millett and Firestone claimed that Engels and other Marxists had not gone far enough in understanding women’s oppression, and this ultra-radicalism has been the basis of feminist theory ever since.

    We know that, as a matter of historical fact, Marxism failed, and can predict from this that feminism must also fail. Unfortunately, feminism has succeeded in gaining institutional authority through its astonishing hegemony within academia, and has parasitically attached itself to Western capitalist democracies, where seemingly inexhaustible affluence serves to ameliorate or conceal the reality of feminism’s failure.

    Feminism thus obtains power by expropriating resources (including the prestige of institutional authority) from the society feminists are endeavoring to destroy.

  37. FMJRA 2.0: Meanwhile at Balticon… : The Other McCain
    May 23rd, 2015 @ 9:01 pm

    […] War Against Human Nature: What Feminists Pay $47,030 a Year to Learn Dyspepsia Generation Da Tech Guy Political Hat Living In Anglo-America A View from the Beach […]