The Other McCain

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

A Simple Question: Is This True?

Posted on | July 25, 2016 | 88 Comments

“Patriarchy — an enforced belief in male dominance and control — is the ideology and sexism the system that holds it in place. . . .
“Homophobia works effectively as a weapon of sexism because it is joined with a powerful arm, heterosexism. Heterosexism creates the climate for homophobia with its assumption that the world is and must be heterosexual and its display of power and privilege as the norm. Heterosexism is the systemic display of homophobia in the institutions of society. Heterosexism and homophobia work together to enforce compulsory heterosexuality and that bastion of patriarchal power, the nuclear family.”

Suzanne Pharr, Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism (1997)

Last week, I spent some time compiling about two dozen feminist quotes into a Powerpoint slide presentation for the “Forum on Campus Sexual Assault, Consent and Due Process” to be held Aug. 1 at Central Piedmont Community College Central Campus in Charlotte, NC. These quotes are intended to demonstrate how the anti-male ideology of radical feminism has contributed to the current climate of fear and suspicion on American college campuses. Feminist rhetoric incites irrational hostility toward male students that fuels the “rape culture” hysteria, and this attitude of sexual paranoia is promoted in Women’s Studies course that enroll some 90,00 students annually in U.S. colleges and universities.

That quote from Suzanne Pharr cited above is actually required reading in many Women’s Studies courses. For example, it was assigned in an Introduction to Women’s Studies (WMS 302) class at Cal State-Fullerton taught by Dr. Susan Feldman in spring 2011. Originally published in 1988, Pharr’s feminist treatise about homophobia is including in numerous anthologies used as Women’s Studies textbooks, included Feminist Frameworks (edited by Alison M. Jaggar and Paula S. Rothenberg, 1993) and Making Sense of Women’s Lives: An Introduction to Women’s Studies (by Michelle Plott and Lauri Umansky, 2000) among others. Its widespread recognition (more than 600 citations listed by Google Scholar) can be taken to mean that Pharr’s ideas about homophobia and sexism are recognized as Official Truth in academic feminism.

Well . . . is it true?

For example, does patriarchy as Pharr describes it — “an enforced belief in male dominance and control” — actually exist? And in what sense is “heterosexism” distinct from “homophobia”? Aren’t these just two different words describing the same concept? Words mean things, and a failure to interrogate the definitions of terms often leads us into confusion, especially when confronted with the tendentious claims of special pleaders like Suzanne Pharr, a lesbian who begins her treatise with what can only be described as a solicitation of sympathy:

Homophobia — the irrational fear and hatred of those who love and sexually desire those of the same sex. Though I intimately knew its meaning, the word homophobia was unknown to me until the late 1970s, and when I first heard it, I was struck by how difficult it is to say, what an ugly word it is, equally as ugly as its meaning. Like racism and anti-Semitism, it is a word that calls up images of loss of freedom, verbal and physical violence, death.
In my life I have experienced the effects of homophobia through rejection by friends, threats of loss of employment, and threats upon my life; and I have witnessed far worse things happening to other lesbian and gay people: loss of children, beatings, rape, death. Its power is great enough to keep ten to twenty percent of the population living lives of fear (if their sexual identity is hidden) or lives of danger (if their sexual identity is visible) or both. And its power is great enough to keep the remaining eighty to ninety percent of the population trapped in their own fears. Long before I had a word to describe the behavior, I was engaged in a search to discover the source of its power, the power to damage and destroy lives. The most common explanations were that to love the same sex was either abnormal (sick) or immoral (sinful).

She is a victim of hateful prejudice, Pharr would have us believe, and anyone who disapproves of homosexuality is “irrational.” Gay people are oppressed, and heterosexual people are “trapped in their own fears.” We must all RSVP to her pity party, or else be condemned as bigots.

What of this “irrational fear and hatred” of which Pharr speaks? Most critics of the gay-rights movement fail to see how the accusation of homophobia involves a diagnosis of psychopathology, an 180-degree reversal of the former consensus that homosexuality is a mental illness. Whereas Freud and other early psychologists saw homosexuality as a disease in need of treatment, it did not take too long after the American Psychiatric Association removed this diagnosis from the DSM in 1973 before gay radicals began playing armchair psychologist and telling straight people that we were the ones in need of treatment.

This kind of reversal is typical of the social justice mentality. Progressives constantly accuse their opponents of bad motives (mala fides), and contend that ordinary common-sense attitudes are harmful prejudices. For example, most people consider obesity unattractive, but this widespread attitude makes fat people unhappy, and so we have the “fat acceptance” movement insisting that “all bodies are beautiful” and feminists demanding equal representation for fat women in fashion ads. Almost any majority attitude is subject to this kind of indictment by the social justice crowd. Patriotism is stigmatized as xenophobia and religion is “anti-science,” etc.

Most people are heterosexual, and insofar as they ever think about homosexuals at all, it is not with “irrational hate and fear,” but rather to wonder: Why are those people so miserable and angry all the time? If “gay” is a synonym for happiness, it sure as heck doesn’t fit the militant activists and pathetic whining sad-sacks like Suzanne Pharr.

Well, you see, this is where the accusation of “homophobia” comes from. It’s not their fault they are so miserable. Instead, society is to blame. Our “irrational” disapproval make gay people feel sad. This accusation raises several questions that the accusers are never required to answer. For example, why is our approval for their private behavior so important to them? Beyond that, however, if an aversion to homosexuality is “homophobia,” isn’t every heterosexual in some sense a homophobe?

That is to say, if we really buy into the “equality” argument, believing that homosexual behavior is such wholesome fun that no one would dare disapprove of it, shouldn’t we be eager to participate in this pleasurable recreation? The mere fact that we are not gay ourselves rather strongly implies that we personally dislike homosexual behavior, and why should heterosexuals sit in guilty silence while Suzanne Pharr or anyone else lectures us about how “irrational” our preferences are?

The reason so many heterosexuals do suffer such insults in silence, I suspect, is that they have a guilty conscience and are afraid of being accused of “hate” if they defend themselves against the charge of homophobia. This is how “Kafkatrapping” tactics work: The liberal calls you a racist, and if you try to deny it, your denial is cited as proof of your guilt. How do you prove your innocence of such Thoughtcrimes as racism, sexism and homophobia? Shouldn’t the burden of proof be on the accuser? And beyond this lies the question that the person targeted by “Kafkatrapping” seldom thinks to ask the self-appointed Thought Police: Exactly how does my personal opinion on this subject harm anyone?

Suppose, for example, you find yourself accused of “Islamophobia.” You were engaged in a discussion of terrorism or immigration or foreign policy and said something a liberal didn’t like: “Islamophobia!” the liberal shouts, accusing you of being a hateful racist bigot. What the liberal is doing here is asserting that it is immoral to disagree with him.

Well, who is harmed by your opinion? You aren’t the Secretary of Defense or a member of Congress, so that your alleged anti-Muslim prejudice doesn’t influence public policy in any meaningful way. It’s not as if you are running around hurling Molotov cocktails at mosques or otherwise committing lawless violence against innocent Muslims. Therefore, why is this liberal ANGRILY TYPING IN ALL CAPS about what an awful person you are, merely because you expressed an opinion on the Internet? And exactly what does “Islamophobia” mean, anyway?

Words mean things, and the Left’s habit of coining new words to define as “oppressive” any attitude or opinion the Left dislikes is one that isn’t challenged often enough. It wasn’t until the AIDS crisis hit in the 1980s that the word “homophobia” began being hurled around haphazardly. In common usage, “homophobe” is simply a synonym for Republican. As with “sexist” and “racist,” the word “homophobe” is really just a political label which can be defined as someone a Democrat doesn’t like.

No one ever accused Suzanne Pharr of being a Republican, and she testifies to having “experienced the effects of homophobia through rejection by friends, threats of loss of employment, and threats upon my life.” Well, I’m not gay, but I’ve suffered “rejection” and “loss of employment” on various occasions, and I’ve been threatened, too. However, because I’m not a member of an Official Victim Group, there are no textbook anthologies teaching college kids to feel sorry for poor, pitiful me. And damn their pity all to hell, anyway. This whole liberal guilt-trip mentality is nothing but a political hustle, the kind of cheap scam no ordinary con artist would touch less it taint his reputation.

Suzanne Pharr would have you believe that your disapproval of her preference has “the power to damage and destroy lives.” I don’t make a habit of inquiring about people’s sexual habits, although since I began researching feminism I assume that all Women’s Studies majors are lesbians. It’s impossible to imagine how any woman could fill her mind with such toxic anti-male poison and actually like men. Only a man with enormously high self-esteem could read as much of this wretched stuff as I have without becoming completely demoralized.

Why does Suzanne Pharr hate men so much? In typical feminist fashion, she justifies this by accusing men of unjust “dominance and control” and denouncing the nuclear family as a “bastion of patriarchal power,” and more generally depicting men as brutal, loathsome tyrants:

Violence against women is directly related to the condition of women in a society that refuses us equal pay, equal access to resources, and equal status with males. From this condition comes men’s confirmation of their sense of ownership of women, power over women, and assumed right to control women for their own means. Men physically and emotionally abuse women because they can, because they live in a world that gives them permission. Male violence is fed by their sense of their right to dominate and control, and their sense of superiority over a group of people who, because of gender, they consider inferior to them.

Who are these men? Every time I read feminists going on about the universality of “violence against women,” and the “sense of superiority” over women by which men allegedly justify their abuse, I start wondering if somehow I’m failing here in my “bastion of patriarchal power.” Having been married for 27 years and fathered six children, certainly such a patriarch as myself ought to have some of this “power”and “dominance” and “control” that feminists insist I possess, but where is it?

Also, “boys don’t hit girls” is a basic rule that I was taught from childhood, as was every other boy from a decent Christian home, and my wife and I have taught the same thing to our sons and daughters. For a man to hit a woman is the act of a coward and, if a man should feel himself insulted by a woman, the manly thing to do is to walk away, speaking of which . . .

Never talk to a feminist.

How many times do I have to repeat this advice? To be accused of oppressing women through domination, control, abuse and violence — which is what every feminist accuses all men of doing — is a deliberate insult that no decent man should be expected to tolerate.

Any intelligent person who reads Suzanne Pharr’s Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism can see that what she is really doing is asserting the inferiority of men. Her vehement anti-male prejudice — her belief that all men are brutal monsters — is essentially a rationalization and justification of her own lesbianism. The emotional subtext of Pharr’s argument can be summarized succinctly: “I do not love men because men are bad and therefore do not deserve love.” 

Of course, no one can be forced to love anyone else, and it would be cruel to compel someone to empty out their subconscious and publicly confess their most shameful secrets, but you read enough of this stuff (and dear God, I’ve read more than enough) and you cannot help noticing the rigidity of the psychological defense mechanisms involved. Dress it up in all fancy jargon you like — try reading Judith Butler sometime — and feminist theory is still a whirlpool of childish narcissism, an explanation of personal unhappiness inflated to the grandiose scale of a revolutionary creed. It’s not just the lesbian feminists who blame the patriarchy for all their woes, but also embittered heterosexual women like Jessica Valenti:

I wrote in my diary at the time, I’m so ugly I can’t stand it. I have a big gross nose, pimples, hairy arms. I will never have a boy like me or a boyfriend. All of my friends are pretty and I will be the one with no one.

All men must be made to suffer for her adolescent misery, you see.

What is Jessica Valenti’s feminism except an elaborate revenge fantasy? And how is her vindictive hatred of men different from Suzanne Pharr’s? On the one hand, the lesbian feminist Pharr asserts that heterosexual women are all victims of violent male domination, whereas on the other hand, the heterosexual feminist Valenti recounts all the horrible abuse she’s suffered from every man except the handful of men she personally likes. Pharr asserts that 100% of men are bad, and Valenti merely reduces this figure to 99.9999%, to exempt from condemnation her husband and a few ex-boyfriends she remembers fondly. A Venn diagram:


To heterosexual feminists like Jessica Valenti, “sexist” is really nothing more than a synonym for a guy I don’t like, whereas to lesbian feminists like Suzanne Pharr, “sexist” is simply a synonym for male. Why are men expected to tolerate insults from emotionally damaged women who want to use us as scapegoats for their childhood resentments?

We can define feminism as an “irrational fear and hatred” of men. Why aren’t all feminists lesbians? This is the great mystery. If feminist theory is true, then Jessica Valenti is a victim of patriarchal power and also a willing enabler of oppression, since she is forcing her own daughter to be raised under the tyrannical male authority of her father.

However, the phrase “if feminist theory is true” signifies a speculative hypothetical, requiring us to imagine an alternative universe. Even I am not crazy enough to understand what the world would be like if feminist theory were true. And thank God, it’s not.



88 Responses to “A Simple Question: Is This True?”

  1. Steve Skubinna
    July 25th, 2016 @ 5:56 pm

    I was spending a lot of time “entertaining” wealthy passengers. Dance with enough blue haired widows, and you end up in a lot of wills.

    Of course, you have to share the legacies with several dozen cats.

  2. Steve Skubinna
    July 25th, 2016 @ 5:58 pm

    Now it’s courageous. You get awards and magazine covers and reality shows.

  3. Steve Skubinna
    July 25th, 2016 @ 5:59 pm

    A common pithy rejoinder at Tim Blair’s place is “Sod off, Swampy.”

    Comes from an article he did years ago about a fracas in the UK when a bunch of working class stiffs piled into a gaggle of greens. It seems the former had somehow gotten the impression that the latter wanted to put them out of employment.

  4. Finrod Felagund
    July 25th, 2016 @ 6:30 pm

    I’ve heard it called farmer’s tan or trucker’s tan.

  5. M. Thompson
    July 25th, 2016 @ 6:32 pm

    Truckers works as well, but for a farmer, I would expect it to be a bit more even, but still really stand out.

  6. DeadMessenger
    July 25th, 2016 @ 7:28 pm

    I need a job, so taking notes here. Thinking about self-identifying as Bruce Jenner or Bob Tur.

  7. DeadMessenger
    July 25th, 2016 @ 7:30 pm

    Well, in the case of Ms. Pharr…

  8. DeadMessenger
    July 25th, 2016 @ 7:32 pm

    The pun…it…it…it burns…

  9. CC
    July 25th, 2016 @ 7:35 pm

    I would just like to point out that most of the victims of “male violence” are other men who are fighting over drugs and such. And the LEAST likely person to suffer murder or any other type of violence are married women…in spite of what feminists may claim. AND that feminist relationships have a remarkable amount of physical violence (hitting, assault).

  10. CC
    July 25th, 2016 @ 7:45 pm

    Ms Pharr claims she has had friends killed because they were gay. Really? Such things are so rare that they make the national news, as in a couple every year, and almost always a male. Beatings and rape of her friends BECAUSE they were gay? Really?
    She claims she has had her job threatened because she is gay. Perhaps her job was threatened because she wouldn’t shut up about her sexuality which has no business being discussed at work. Perhaps she wasn’t good at her job. Perhaps her job was at risk simply because there is always economic turmoil but she blamed it on the patriarchy.
    So many questions.

  11. robertstacymccain
    July 25th, 2016 @ 8:07 pm

    I’ve seen Pharr’s resume. She was a college instructor and then … feminism. By the 1980s, she was running a non-profit activist group.

  12. Eric Ashley
    July 25th, 2016 @ 8:29 pm

    This is the world as Feminists nightmare that it is. Sorta. Maybe. Or it could be that pizza. The one from Unicorn Delivery Pizza.

  13. Adobe_Walls
    July 25th, 2016 @ 8:38 pm

    Why are we constantly being hectored about issues related to “LGBT” when there are probably more Lithuanian-Americans than there are lesbian Americans? Should a minority be rewarded with extra attention just because they make obnoxious pests of themselves?
    What was once “The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name” has become The Alternative Lifestyle That Won’t Shut Up, and their constant yammering about it has become clichéd and repetitive.

  14. Adobe_Walls
    July 25th, 2016 @ 8:40 pm

    Cab driver.

  15. Steve Skubinna
    July 25th, 2016 @ 9:03 pm

    And now for some reason I am put in mind of “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.”

    Either the original Poe story or the musical version by Alan Parsons, take your pick. In either case, the inmates are running the asylum.

  16. Steve Skubinna
    July 25th, 2016 @ 9:07 pm

    A “Farmer’s Tan” has the upper arms and the forehead pale, what you’d get from lots of solar exposure while wearing a workshirt with the sleeves rolled up and ball cap.

    About two decades ago I drove across the US east to west in a car without A/C. When I got to Western WA my left arm was deeply tanned from resting on the window sill. That would be a classic “Trucker’s Tan.”

    For me it’s hard to beat a classic redneck tan, where the pale image where your tank top was glows luminously at the lakeside.

  17. Steve Skubinna
    July 25th, 2016 @ 9:08 pm

    Since my pun hinged on use of a homonym, that makes you homophobic.

  18. DeadMessenger
    July 26th, 2016 @ 3:35 am

    Speaking of inmates running the asylum, I’m actually a decendant from Poe’s family line, true story. Great Grandma Poe had stories to tell. Wish I’d have been more attentive while she was alive. Anyway, that may answer some questions you may have had about my mental state, lol. Quoth the raven.

  19. DeadMessenger
    July 26th, 2016 @ 3:36 am

    There it is.

  20. DeadMessenger
    July 26th, 2016 @ 3:42 am

    I’d argue more like homyphobic. But the point is, I’m full of anti-SJW phobias. Better stay away from me unless you’re not an SJW. Because I’m also armed. See this tube of toothpaste? I could kill somebody with this; my dad taught me how. And if the toothpaste doesn’t work, I can cry, and patriarchs will come to my rescue with much higher caliber stuff than toothpaste.

  21. Quartermaster
    July 26th, 2016 @ 6:14 am

    Amoebas are the ultimate homosexual. You can’t more homosexual than self reproduction.

  22. Quartermaster
    July 26th, 2016 @ 6:17 am

    Mine does. But in my case, I’m a Surveyor, but it’s quite similar to a Farmer’s tan.

  23. Quartermaster
    July 26th, 2016 @ 6:17 am

    I’m still trying to delete that pic of RSM in a speedo from my memory.

  24. Steve Skubinna
    July 26th, 2016 @ 9:20 am

    A few years ago In Charleston I went to Sullivan’s Island, toured Fort Moultrie and later spent some time at Poe’s Tavern. At first I was perplexed.

    Turns out Poe was stationed at Fort Moultrie in the Army, so there is a bona fide connection there. Plus, there is an actual Poe Museum on the island, and some of the street names come from his works.

    A much better place to commemorate him than Baltimore, I think.

  25. java
    July 26th, 2016 @ 9:26 am

    I have never heard those questions posed. By anybody. Not politicians, not pundits (some conservative pundits do not want to upset the gheys), not commentators. Another fallacy is the incompatibility of homosexuality and transsexualism. If you accept that anybody can ‘change’ sex just by saying it and demanding acceptance then homosexuality has got no need to exist. The fact that you can claim to be your opposite sex just because you put on a wig is the opposite mental paradigm of saying I am a man and I want to have sex with other man. It just takes a wig to be something else other than a man.

  26. java
    July 26th, 2016 @ 9:29 am

    Unfortunately it is not 1.6% of the population. A lot of dumb idiots, some of which also claiming to vote republican have bought into the homophobia bandwagon. The homos would still be in the closed closet if it wasn’t for their heteros enablers. You need to add a good 55% to that 1.6%.

  27. java
    July 26th, 2016 @ 9:31 am

    there is a race to blame every single suicide to being homosexual and not accepted. Even if the person was not homosexual at all, the ‘community’, based on some non-confirmed detail push the meme of ‘he killed himself due to homophobia’. They have based their power on their numbers and even if you killed yourself for a million other reasons, they will always try to frame it as it is convenient to them to extort sympathy and power.

  28. ShadrachSmith
    July 26th, 2016 @ 12:11 pm

    Pharr’s meme is a clinical application of Gramsci’s advice that destroying the current cultural hegemony is a condition precedent to establishing yours. Her message is current culture = evil, so the Ds help her say that.

    I’m new here, and you are going to love me 🙂

  29. Darth Chipmunk
    July 26th, 2016 @ 12:55 pm

    Exactly. The point of the argument is to silence dissenting opinions. Name a progressive bullet point and there’s an ugly trope ready to go: You think an unborn baby should have a shot at life? Misogynist! You notice Islam lopping off heads, self-detonating, and tossing gays off rooftops? Islamophobe! You notice human trafficking, drug gangs, and other criminals coming across the border and say you want to stop the loss of life while increasing everyone’s safety? Xenophobe! You believe that all lives matter? Racist! If you don’t openly applaud gay marriage? Homophobe! And it goes on and on…

  30. Quartermaster
    July 26th, 2016 @ 3:26 pm

    We hate each other, cordially. You’ll have to get used to it. Particularly that Skubina fella. he spent a long time riding Uncle Sam’s cruise ships and sucking up all the bennies that went along with his luxury stateroom and accommodations. He prolly ate with the Captain quite a bit too.

  31. ShadrachSmith
    July 26th, 2016 @ 3:33 pm

    I can do cordial. Any thoughts about Pharr?

  32. ShadrachSmith
    July 26th, 2016 @ 3:34 pm


  33. Quartermaster
    July 26th, 2016 @ 6:18 pm

    Please don’t make me think about her. I’m still recovering from RSM’s last shock to my system.

  34. Jack_of_Spades
    July 27th, 2016 @ 10:11 am

    The thing to keep in mind is that leftists like Pharr are basically making assertions about society with no evidence, much less logic, to back them up. What does back them up is the Left’s Ministry of Truth which acts as a megaphone/echo chamber. We’ve all seen what happens when you try to discuss the topic with a feminist. This is a shouting match, not a debate.

  35. gunga
    July 28th, 2016 @ 10:56 am

    Once meaningful anthropological terms and decades of serious observation have been obliterated by the rigid dogma of the false religion of feminism. Texts that I once enjoyed now screech like a stung banshee. Thanks, bitches. If feminists didn’t have lies, they’d have nothing at all…and they don’t want you to either. Well, lies and cats…and the stench of both.

  36. gunga
    July 28th, 2016 @ 10:59 am

    That’s because gays work in Personnel and lesbians work in Complaints…

  37. FMJRA 2.0: Secret Treaties : The Other McCain
    July 30th, 2016 @ 8:57 pm

    […] A Simple Question: Is This True? Batshit Crazy News […]

  38. News of the Week (July 31st, 2016) | The Political Hat
    July 31st, 2016 @ 5:10 pm

    […] A Simple Question: Is This True? Last week, I spent some time compiling about two dozen feminist quotes into a Powerpoint slide presentation for the “Forum on Campus Sexual Assault, Consent and Due Process” to be held Aug. 1 at Central Piedmont Community College Central Campus in Charlotte, NC. These quotes are intended to demonstrate how the anti-male ideology of radical feminism has contributed to the current climate of fear and suspicion on American college campuses. […]