The Other McCain

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

A Harvard-Educated Feminist

Posted on | October 2, 2015 | 60 Comments

Sarah Marian Seltzer (@sarahmseltzer) is a feminist and a fool, but I repeat myself. You never heard of her, and I hadn’t, either. Then one of her tweets — advocating “a human blockade around NRA headquarters” — came to my attention, and I wondered, “Who is this idiot?”

Habitual curiosity about people with bad ideas has led me many strange places during my long research into radical feminism. Before news broke of the Oregon shooting Thursday, I was contemplating a 1979 speech by lesbian feminist Adrienne Rich, included in her 1986 anthology, Blood, Bread, and Poetry. The title of her speech, given as the commencement address at elite Smith College, was “What Does a Woman Need to Know?” A few brief excerpts:

Suppose we were to ask ourselves simply: What does a woman need to know to become a self-conscious, self-defining human being? . . .
Doesn’t she need to know how seemingly natural states of being, like heterosexuality, like motherhood, have been enforced and institutionalized to deprive her of power? . . .
The belief that established science and scholarship — which have so relentlessly excluded women from their making — are “objective” and “value-free” and that feminist studies are “unscholarly,” “biased,” and “ideological” dies hard. . . . And the ideology of education you have just spent four years acquiring in a women’s college has been largely, if not entirely, the ideology of white male supremacy, a construct of male subjectivity.

Now, at risk of running down a rabbit-hole, let me ask the reader to imagine that spring day at Smith College in 1979.

Imagine yourself the parent of one of the graduating seniors. You worked hard for your money, and you and your spouse devoted yourself to your daughter’s education, intending for her to have the very best opportunities in life. Every possible advantage that you, as a parent, could give your daughter — a home library stocked with good books, subscriptions to quality magazines, museum visits, vacation trips to historic sites, and so forth — helped her to become a high-achieving student. Not merely did you spend money to provide her with these advantages, you also did the necessary work of parent as supervisor, protecting your child from harmful influences. You made sure your girl didn’t become a drug-addled loser hanging around with juvenile delinquents. All of these things you did, in order to qualify your daughter to attend what certainly once was, and arguably still is, one of the finest educational institutions for women in the entire world.

Imagine yourself, then, as a parent who had done everything necessary to send your daughter to Smith College (the list of alumnae include Nancy Reagan, Class of ’43, and Barbara Bush, Class of ’47), and when you show up for her graduation, the commencement speaker is a radical lesbian who denounces heterosexuality and motherhood as “enforced . . . to deprive her of power” (!) and who condemns “established science” as “the ideology of white male supremacy”! Would it not seem to you that the administration of Smith had been taken over by maniacs? As a tuition-paying parent, wouldn’t you feel you had been hoodwinked, scammed, bamboozled, ripped off, and otherwise defrauded? Wouldn’t you think that all your effort to provide your daughter an elite education and protect her from harmful influences was a complete waste of time and money? Frankly, she might have been better off hanging around the roller rink as a teenager, smoking Marlboros and making out with hoodlum boys in the backseats of their hopped-up GTOs.

Go back and read Bill Buckley’s classic God and Man at Yale, which first called attention to the problem of what we might call academic gnosticism in American cultural life. After he published that book in 1951, Buckley was denounced as a bigot and a reactionary for daring to suggest that our nation’s scholarly elite were guilty of bad stewardship. Buckley accused the administration at Yale of failing to provide students the kind of moral and intellectual guidance that their parents (and Yale alumni) expected from this prestigious institution. Yale had betrayed its own Christian heritage and, in doing so, was not only defrauding the parents and alumni who paid the bills, but was also quite literally sabotaging America, by perverting the minds of the nation’s future leaders. This accusation was quite controversial in 1951, but was much less so during the 1960s, when academia’s liberal leadership proved its moral bankruptcy by surrendering to the insolence of student radicals.

When shotgun-wielding militants took over Cornell University in 1969, everybody with two eyes and a brain could see the consequences of a moral erosion that the scholastic establishment had not merely permitted, but had actively assisted. By 1979, when Smith College brought Adrienne Rich to campus to denounce heterosexuality, motherhood and “established science” for the benefit of the graduating seniors, the institutional collapse of academia’s moral authority was a historical fact. No one in America expects college professors to provide anything like moral guidance to the young. Indeed, we nowadays take for granted that the faculty lounge is overcrowded with perverts and lunatics of one sort or another. If not all the professors are molesting their students, it’s only because the creepy old faculty freaks are afraid even tenure would not protect them from a Title IX lawsuit. Would any responsible parent want their son or daughter to be “mentored” by the kind of wackos and weirdos who teach at American universities? Academia in the 21st century seems to be inhabited entirely by the kind of people George Orwell once described thus:

“One sometimes gets the impression that the
mere words ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ draw towards
them with magnetic force every fruit-juice drinker, nudist,
sandal-wearer, sex-maniac, Quaker, ‘Nature Cure’ quack,
pacifist, and feminist in England.”

Such people are now in charge of higher education in the United States, and have been for many decades, so that there are very few “educated” Americans who would read Adrienne Rich’s 1979 speech and think, “What wicked madness is this?” The whole purpose of our education system is to indoctrinate young people with the “progressive” attitudes approved by the intellectual elite. Even if the students at elite schools do not themselves become nudists, sex-maniacs, pacifists and so forth, they know that they must never speak disapprovingly of radicals, perverts or bohemians. The hiring process in academia is controlled by people who would much rather hire nudist sex maniacs than accidentally permit a Republican or a Christian to sneak onto the faculty.

Our universities today are more fanatically dedicated to the abolition of Christianity than was the Emperor Nero, and it is not the least bit shocking to learn that Thursday’s massacre on the campus of a community college in Oregon was perpetrated by a young lunatic who exhibited a particular hatred for Christians. The extermination of American Christians is a measure that our intellectual elite very much endorse, although their preferred means of accomplishing this are (a) contraception, (b) abortion, (c) homosexuality, and (d) public schools.

If your kid isn’t an atheist homosexual by the time he gets his high school diploma, the public education system has failed to achieve its intended objectives. Certainly, no elite university would be interested in normal kids. The folks who run Harvard don’t want Christian heterosexuals on campus any more than they want Republicans on the faculty. If you are raising your kids to be decent, honest and moral, you wouldn’t want them applying to an Ivy League school anyway. The elite campuses — Columbia, Penn, Brown, Princeton, etc. — now only accept the most indecent, dishonest and immoral young people.

Thus we return, after that thousand-word digression, to the subject of Sarah Marian Seltzer, who popped into my view, as I say, because of her fanatical hatred of the National Rifle Association. That inspired me to click over and see her Twitter profile to answer the question, “Exactly who the heck is this zany moonbat?” Somebody who hates the Pope, considers Planned Parenthood a sacred cause, and shares with her parents a vehement opposition to the Republican Party. Where do these mindless Obama Zombies come from?

Harvard University, Class of 2005.

Ms. Seltzer was on the staff of the Crimson, a position she used to repudiate the university and its values. Harvard proved to be “a disappointment as an institution,” because of “the ambitious, busy, career-focused atmosphere,” whereas Ms. Seltzer had arrived at Harvard intending “to get ready to change the world.” Preparing for a job that might involve the production of goods and services in the commercial marketplace (i.e., capitalism) was something Ms. Seltzer disdained as being “ambitious” or “career-focused,” you see. It is not merely that Ms. Seltzer considers herself an aristocrat, viewing all business-related careers as crass endeavors beneath her personal dignity. No, she has shown a lifelong hostility toward for-profit free enterprise, dating back to high school, when she spent a summer as an intern “for a public interest group,” where she learned “the career-enhancing skill of harassing Nike for its labor abuses. My troupe of fellow interns flyered, hung up posters and took part in every picket line around town, from striking bodega workers to stealth banner drops at Niketown.” You may not be surprised that Ms. Seltzer subsequently engaged in journalistic celebration of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement:

Coming into my own as a journalist . . . I specialized in thoughtful, nuanced cultural critiques as well super-incendiary listicles skewering the right wing. My favorite work? Tailing the badass feminist contingent of Occupy Wall Street around for months, reporting on their organizing efforts.

This is what an anthropologist would recognize as tribal signification for young progressives: “Hey, I’m one of you! I hate capitalism so much, I walked picket lines against Nike. I skewer the right wing and support badass feminism!” She’s a walking cliché — a stereotype, a clone of every left-wing woman you’ve ever known — and it’s more than an educated guess to suppose that her parents were the kind of liberals who voted for Alan Cranston in the 1984 Democrat primaries, who supported the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, who alternated between mocking Reagan as an inept “B-movie actor” and shrieking that Reagan was a dangerous madman conspiring to bring about a nuclear holocaust. (This is more than a guess, I say, because in her Harvard Crimson days, she described how her parents imbued her “with an idealistic distrust of ‘the system,'” and for liberals, “the system” is generally a synonym for capitalism.) It is astonishing, really, to think how common this kind of radical pose is among the soi-disant Best and Brightest, who attend universities where the annual tuition is higher than the median household income in most parts of the United States, yet feel compelled to embrace a politics they identify as aligned with the oppressed and downtrodden “masses.”

This is where I’m reminded of Adrienne Rich. The privileged daughter of a professor at Johns Hopkins, she attended Wellesley and married Alfred Conrad, a Harvard-educated economist. They had three sons and were living what most Americans would view as a very happy and prosperous life, but then the 1960s happened. Adrienne Rich grew restless with her privileged existence, and began dabbling in radical politics. Her husband was initially sympathetic and supportive:

[Conrad] joined her in hosting anti-Vietnam and Black Panther fundraising parties at their apartment. However, he quickly became exasperated: “She was becoming a very pronounced, very militant feminist,” says Hayden Carruth. “I don’t know what went on between them, except that Alf came to me and complained bitterly that Adrienne had lost her mind.”

In October 1970, Alfred Conrad committed suicide. This was, in retrospect, the signal achievement of Adrienne Rich’s feminist career, destroying her own husband as the emblematic personification of “white male supremacy,” and becoming the lesbian partner of Michelle Cliff. As a role model for how a woman becomes “a self-conscious, self-defining human being,” Adrienne Rich is perhaps the feminist ideal.

“The person is political,” as Carol Hanisch famously said, and each feminist is expected to wage war against male supremacy not merely as a matter of public policy, but also in every aspect of her private life. From the feminist perspective, therefore, Adrienne Rich’s father was her original oppressor, succeeded in turn by her husband Alfred Conrad and also, by her three sons. This is the fundamental premise of feminism, that all women are victims of patriarchal oppression, and that all men participate in and benefit from this systemic oppression.

What, then, of Sarah Marian Seltzer? She seems to consider herself oppressed by the Pope, the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party, but every liberal Democrat shares that sense of oppression. President Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, routinely pretends to be a helpless victim of Republican oppression, so there’s no real feminist traction for Ms. Seltzer in such a claim.

Maybe she’s oppressed by her employer. Ms. Seltzer is “Editor-at-Large” for, which is to say, she’s a blogger who produces about 35 posts a month for a site owned by web entrepreneurs Mark Mangan and Sascha Lewis. Obviously, these guys are a couple of slimy capitalist greedheads who get rich by exploiting Ms. Seltzer’s ill-paid labor. This is social injustice, comrades: Harvard graduate Sarah Seltzer compelled to toil away in obscurity as a member of the digital proletariat, cranking out insipid “content,” just so these rapacious exploiters can line their pockets with cash from advertisers. Yet everybody is a victim of capitalism, according to progressive Democrats, so there is no specifically feminist angle for Ms. Seltzer in this aspect of her life.

No, the real villain in this patriarchal tragedy must be her husband.

What? A feminist with a husband in 2015?

This makes no sense at all, after the decades of struggle to liberate women from this cruel yoke of slavery “enforced and institutionalized to deprive her of power,” as Adrienne Rich said. Strange as it may seem, however, Ms. Seltzer has been married since 2010 to Simon Vozick-Levinson, a Senior Editor at Rolling Stone (a magazine owned by the capitalist greedhead Jann Wenner, who has spent decades lining his pockets with cash from advertisers). Mr. Vozick-Levinson is probably paid more than Ms. Seltzer. That’s how patriarchy works. Even though both men and women are exploited by their employers, men get paid more, because capitalists are misogynists who cleverly profit from this kind of sexist discrimination. (Of course, that explanation doesn’t make any sense, but I’m just trying to provide a feminist theory of the so-called “wage gap” here and if feminist economic theories are completely irrational, don’t blame me. Rationality is a “construct of male subjectivity,” as I’m sure Adrienne Rich told her husband, the economist, shortly before he blew his Harvard-educated brains out.)

We can’t expect feminists to do math, nor can we expect them all to pursue the premises of the feminist syllogism to a logical conclusion, the way Adrienne Rich did. Most women who call themselves “feminists” are simply Democrats who think that Republican wife and daughters are somehow oppressed in a way that Democrat wives and daughters are not. Hillary and Chelsea Clinton are “empowered” progressive women, liberal feminists believe, whereas Sarah Palin and Carly Fiorina are victims of the patriarchy. Does such a claim make sense? No, but making sense is another “construct of male subjectivity,” you see.

Sarah Seltzer wants “a human blockade around NRA headquarters,” but where will she find the humans necessary to this task? Liberal Democrats keep aborting all their babies and, while I suppose they could hire Mexican immigrants for this kind of “human chain” work, the AFL-CIO would probably demand they get paid union wages. Also, the National Rifle Association’s headquarters is in Fairfax, Virginia — a long way from New York City, where Ms. Seltzer and her liberal friends dream their gun-free dreams. Busing a bunch of gun-grabber from New York to Virginia for this “human chain” project would produce a lot of carbon emissions and contribute to global warming. Besides, do liberals like Ms. Seltzer really want to stop psychos like Chris Harper Mercer (an immigrant) from killing Christians in small-town America? Liberals hate Christians. Liberals hate small towns and they hate America, too.

When a crazy Muslim shoots a bunch of people at Fort Hood, that’s not terrorism, according to liberals, it’s “workplace violence.” When a black guy kills two white people in small-town Virginia on live TV, liberals don’t call that racism, because only Black Lives Matter to liberals. And a bunch of dead Christians in Oregon? Liberals score that a “win” for their side, because the one thing liberals can’t stand is live Christians like Kim Davis, whom Sarah Seltzer denounced as “that bigoted clerk.”

Sarah Marian Seltzer is a feminist and a fool, but I repeat myself. She is just another liberal with bad ideas, like Adrienne Rich’s husband, who was happy to help his wife host “anti-Vietnam and Black Panther fundraising parties at their apartment” and didn’t expect her to become a “militant feminist” who accused him of oppressing her with his “ideology of white male supremacy.” It’s always that way with liberals, who are forever surprised by the predictable consequences of their own bad ideas. Maybe there’s no reason for Sarah Seltzer’s husband to worry about his feminist wife. He’s a smart guy — scored a perfect 800 on the verbal SAT when he was only 13 — and graduated from Harvard himself. Still, “the personal is political,” and it’s probably only a matter of time until Ms. Seltzer decides she is being cruelly oppressed by her husband because, as every feminist knows, oppression is what all husbands do to their wives. Obviously, she’s a victim of the patriarchy.

Alfred Conrad (Harvard, Class of ’47) could not be reached for comment.



60 Responses to “A Harvard-Educated Feminist”

  1. trangbang68
    October 4th, 2015 @ 4:27 pm

    4000 a week is a lot of hummers. Did you spend all the money on crack?

  2. trangbang68
    October 4th, 2015 @ 4:29 pm

    I think I got about a 1200 total, but I was a teen aged wino at the time so I have a legitimate excuse. It got me into the local community college affectionately known as Nabisco Tech ( it was located in a defunct Nabisco factory.

  3. trangbang68
    October 4th, 2015 @ 4:33 pm

    Fat Albert would eat six cheeseburgers and then fast until they broke in the local White Castle. Nice hunger strike

  4. Steve Skubinna
    October 4th, 2015 @ 8:32 pm

    It all depends on where you are on the Autism spectrum…

  5. Scott
    October 4th, 2015 @ 10:40 pm

    At 12, I only managed 430 on each part of the SAT. The crazy part, though, is that that verbal score was apparently above average…for college-bound high school students. That makes you wonder a bit about the caliber of people headed to college.

    (I retook the SAT four years later as a high-school junior…increased my verbal score to 630 and my math score to 710, so I guess junior high and high school weren’t a waste. 🙂 )

  6. Daniel Freeman
    October 5th, 2015 @ 12:02 am

    Yeah, I had lower math on my SAT — pretty normal — but then I majored in it, since I like a challenge.

  7. Lulu
    October 5th, 2015 @ 7:28 am

    A truly great post/article. Loved: “If not all the professors are molesting their students, it’s only because the creepy old faculty freaks are afraid even tenure would not protect them from a Title IX lawsuit.” and “Of course, that explanation doesn’t make any sense, but I’m just trying to provide a feminist theory of the so-called “wage gap” here and if feminist economic theories are completely irrational, don’t blame me. Rationality is a “construct of male subjectivity,” as I’m sure Adrienne Rich told her husband, the economist, shortly before he blew his Harvard-educated brains out.”

  8. Anti-Asian Discrimination: The Hidden Secret of Elite Educational ‘Diversity’ : The Other McCain
    October 5th, 2015 @ 9:39 am

    […] The academic elite is profoundly and irreparably corrupt, and this corruption has tainted the entire educational system: […]

  9. Harvard Feminists Lie About Rape : The Other McCain
    October 5th, 2015 @ 6:21 pm

    […] honest, decent or moral young person would ever want to go near Harvard University, a corrupt and decadent institution run by depraved perverts. Harvard women are particularly notorious for their shameless promiscuity […]

  10. Bethenny Frankel
    October 8th, 2015 @ 1:43 pm

    You seem to be spending a lot of time thinking about these Harvard girls and women, Robert. Did you get a thin envelope from Cambridge, Mass, when you were 18? I do hear that those liberated co-eds up there are a lot of fun, so… your loss.