The Other McCain

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

Narcissism, Nipples and ‘Social Justice’

Posted on | August 9, 2016 | 1 Comment


Christine Lasher wants you to notice her daughter’s nipples:

This is my daughter; and those are her nipples.
In fairness, let me give you a minute to process that. . . .
I’ll just wait here quietly while you rant, drool, hurl, or whatever other judging and/or inappropriate response you wish to express.

(We would not have noticed, ma’am, if you hadn’t posted this on your blog and titled it, “My Daughter and Her Nipples.” But please continue.)

It’s only women’s nipples that we shame.  That’s right. More gender asymmetry meant to keep women…covered…silent…less than. A 21st Century burka of sorts right here in the U.S. of A. Less fabric. Same idea.
But I digress because this photo has nothing to do with any of that.
In fact, my daughter says F–K THAT! And, oh by the way, she doesn’t say F–K THAT for you. In fact, she couldn’t care less what you think of her nipples one way or the other.
This photograph of my daughter is not a political statement. It is not a sexual statement. It isn’t even about you…for you…or related to you in any way [GASP]. You egomaniacal moron. . . .

Well, generic second-person “you” can read the rest of that, but speaking of egomaniacal morons, Christine Lasher is a perfect example.

Feminism turns personal failure into victimhood and incentivizes narcissistic self-pity. Every woman who tells a tale of woe contributes to the larger narrative of women’s suffering under the tyranny of patriarchal oppression, and feminism thereby gives meaning to her unhappiness, endowing her with a sense that her life has a larger significance. A sadly familiar story (e.g., “my ex-husband is a jerk”) is thereby transformed into The Heroic Struggle of a Survivor of Domestic Abuse.

“Sometimes, I feel helpless. I wonder how I am doing as a Mom. My divorce is beyond hostile and I have so little financial means. I often feel as if I am failing my children somehow.”
Christine Lasher

After her divorce, Christine Lasher ended up paying child support to her ex-husband. How’s that for “equality,” eh?

Well, I’m against divorce and also against domestic abuse, and there is a reason I put “equality” inside quotation marks. Social justice is a mirage, as Friedrich Hayek said, and this means that the philosophical basis of feminism is fundamentally flawed. The basic premise of feminism is that inequality is a synonym for injustice, which sets up a zero-sum-game mentality that Ronald Reagan once famously described:

“We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.”

This class-warfare worldview tells us that we are poor because Warren Buffet is rich, and that successful singers don’t deserve success, because the music industry unjustly discriminates against tone-deaf people. Whereas Marxism interpreted the world as a struggle between classes (the capitalist bourgeoisie vs. the industrial proletariat), feminism views the world as a struggle between men (the patriarchy) and women (as victims of male supremacy). Both Marxism and feminism are collectivist philosophies, which deny the possibility of individual autonomy within a social structure that the collectivist condemns as a system of injustice. Many people are confused by rhetoric about “choice” and equality,” failing to understand what these words mean to feminists.

“Feminism is about the collective liberation of women as a social class. Feminism is not about personal choice.”
Anita Sarkeesian

“F–k equality. That implies I want in on your system. Gimme justice. Shut the system down.”
Melissa Fabello

Feminism’s goal of collective “liberation” requires destruction of the “system.” A leading advocate of socialist feminism, University of Colorado Professor Alison Jaggar, explained this worldview in her textbook, Just Methods: An Interdisciplinary Feminist Reader:

Defining feminism as a commitment to gender justice means it cannot be reduced to a matter of personal ethics, choice or style. Instead, feminism is a commitment to social change. . . . “The personal is political” was a powerful slogan expressing radical insights. These included the insights that one’s so-called personal life can be a site of injustice and domination whose inequities stem from social arrangements rather than individual personalities. . . . Although these insights were, in their time, revolutionary, accepting them does not entail that feminism can be equated with “lifestyle” choices. To the contrary, taking seriously these insights suggests another popular slogan of second-wave feminism: “There are no individual solutions.” Personal choices are important, but feminism is more centrally concerned with transforming the social contexts within which such choices are made.

Thus, “the personal is political” means that a woman’s awareness of her unhappiness leads to “radical insights” (i.e., she is a victim of patriarchal oppression), but “there are no individual solutions,” so that whatever a woman may do to improve her own personal situation, ultimately this is futile. Instead, she must make a “commitment” to a feminist project of “transforming the social contexts.” As an individual, her life is devoid of meaning or purpose, except for her “commitment to gender justice.”

‘It Was a Technical Malfunction!’

The politicization of personal life means, among other things, that trivial subjects like Christine Lasher’s daughter’s nipples become fodder for a rant about “gender asymmetry.” She says her daughter’s photo “is not a political statement,” even as she turns it into a political statement:

When you look at this photo you see only…nipples?
Pardon my candor but you seem to have issues.
Or maybe, just maybe, you do see her ferocity too. And it terrifies you.
The winds of change are stirring things in a counterclockwise direction. Undoing the damage done. Undoing the iniquity. Undoing the imbalance. Undoing the machismo, and the stronghold, and the bulls–t.

Can the generic “you” be permitted to deny these accusations? Because there seems to be a great deal of psychological projection here.

By her own admission, Christine Lasher feels that she is “failing my children somehow,” and generic second-person “you” might agree. Everybody knows the damage that divorce can inflict on children, and perhaps Christine Lasher feels a sense of personal guilt about that. She says her marriage “was literally killing my body and spirit,” and that she “was advised by health care professionals and counselors at the time that, if I did not leave, I would not survive.” Is this true? We don’t know. We don’t have her ex-husband’s side of the story and it doesn’t actually matter, for the present discussion, whether or not he is as monstrous as Christine Lasher says he is. The point is that the psychological defense mechanism of rationalization requires Christine Lasher to explain the failure of her marriage as entirely the fault of her husband, so as to exempt herself from blame for its impact on her children.

Where does generic second-person “you” fit into this scenario? You never heard of Christine Lasher, and you have your own life to worry about, so you don’t care about Christine Lasher or her problems. You were minding your own business until Christine Lasher accused you of being an “egomaniacal moron” who is apt to express an “inappropriate response” to her daughter’s nipples, despite the fact that you never would have noticed this photo if Christine Lasher had not brought it to your attention with the headline “My Daughter and Her Nipples.”

Externalization of responsibility — scapegoating and blame-shifting — is the ego’s attempt to protect itself from criticism, not only from others (the generic “you”) but also from the super-ego (conscience).

Have you ever seen the movie The Right Stuff? There is a scene where Gus Grissom, whose spaceship sank after landing, has grown tired of being treated like a pariah. Scolded by his wife, Grissom finally erupts: “I did not do anything wrong! The hatch just blew! It was a glitch! It was a technical malfunction! Why in hell won’t anyone believe me?”

NASA considered Grissom’s explanation extremely dubious, but he never admitted any fault, and we often witness a similar defensive reaction to personal failure like divorce: “It was a technical malfunction!”

The generic second-person “you” may find Christine Lasher’s 750-word essay about her daughter’s nipples suspiciously defensive. Does she fear that the judgmental “inappropriate response” toward her daughter from you, the “egomaniacal moron,” reflects also a judgment on herself as a mother? Could this have something to do with Christine Lasher’s concern that she is “failing my children somehow”? We dare not imply as much, however, because The Heroic Struggle of a Survivor of Domestic Abuse can never be subjected to critical scrutiny. No, you “egomaniacal moron,” her story always means exactly what she says it means, and the facts can never be construed to mean anything else. If Christine Lasher says her essay is about “gender asymmetry,” then we must accept this without question. We cannot be permitted to notice that her indictment of the generic second-person “you” is not actually generic. In a footnote “updated for clarity,” she tells us she wrote her essay “because a man repeatedly told my daughter that this beautiful photo is inappropriate.”

Who is that man and why doesn’t Christine Lasher name him?

It would be irresponsible to speculate, but the generic second-person “you” may have the same hunch I have about the identity of the man who “repeatedly” criticized this photo of Christine Lasher’s daughter. Yes, the generic second-person “you” might suspect that her ex-husband is the “egomaniacal moron” for whom Christine Lasher wrote “My Daughter and Her Nipples,” but that is only your suspicion. You cannot claim to know this, no matter how likely it seems to you that the entire essay (like almost everything else on her blog) is a vindictive reprisal against her ex-husband. Bitter, you say? Why would you think she’s bitter?

I’m a 48 year old woman who hasn’t yet experienced true partnership. And I don’t just want true partnership; my entire being aches for it. . . .
It is clear at this point in my hastening life that I will never know what it is like to feel the warm, strong and loving arms of my partner embrace me while I cradle our child. That opportunity has already passed. I held them each alone and did the best I could. That would be lovely beyond words and I ache for it too, but this I have let go.
What I’m really talking about is the person who is willing to lay his challenges on the table beside mine so we can sort through them together deciding which things we will address in order to build something. Sometimes all of those chosen things would be mine. Sometimes all would be his. In truth, neither of us would really care as long as it supported our life together and moved us forward in partnership and (sometimes) sacrifice. . . .
I want someone to notice me for who I am and to tell me that my contribution to this world thus far actually matters. That it is enough. That I am enough. I want to trust again. And, most of all, I want to finally love and be loved.

Ah, “the personal is political” — and vice-versa. Christine Lasher is a victim, who believes herself to have been unjustly deprived of what she is entitled to have. She has a right to be loved, in exactly the way she wants, by exactly the right sort of partner, and the fact that she has never “experienced true partnership” is an injustice in more or less the same way that it is an injustice that I never dated Phyllis Coleman.

Who? Miss August 1973. Perhaps we could have “experienced true partnership,” she and I. Alas, circumstances beyond my control meant that I never got to meet Phyllis Coleman, which is every bit as much an injustice as Christine Lasher never having those “warm, strong and loving arms” of a partner who will fulfill her fantasies, the way Phyllis Coleman would have fulfilled my fantasies as a 13-year-old boy in August 1973.


Growing up requires us to cope with failure and disappointment. We learn to accept the distance between fantasy and reality, and adults do not expect anyone to pity us because our wildest dreams never came true.

Ah, but there is no scheme of “social justice” that justifies me (or the generic second-person “you”) in imagining ourselves entitled to date the Playmate of the Month, whereas feminism tells Christine Lasher she is entitled to “warm, strong and loving arms,” “true partnership,” et cetera.

Patriarchy: The All-Purpose Scapegoat

Feminism tells women that their “so-called personal life can be a site of injustice and domination whose inequities stem from social arrangements rather than individual personalities,” as Professor Jaggar said, and this translates into a “commitment to gender justice.” We are never supposed to ask what this “justice” would look like in practice, nor are we permitted to wonder what sort of policies would be required to achieve this goal. It is taken for granted, by Professor Jaggar and her comrades, that the promised future utopia of “gender justice” would be an improvement on the status quo. Ideologues will tolerate no skepticism from anyone who thinks that four decades of feminist “progress” haven’t really improved anything since I was a 13-year-old boy fantasizing about Miss August.

Narcissism is not only about the quest for admiration, but also about the corollary traits of self-pity, rationalization and scapegoating by which the narcissist evades responsibility for her failures. Everything is always about her, but nothing that goes wrong is ever her fault, so that the narcissist must always find someone else to blame for her failures.

Feminism offers patriarchal oppression — the “gender asymmetry” that Christine Lasher blames for what the generic second-person “you” might say about her daughter’s nipples — as an all-purpose scapegoat for any failure or disappointment a woman may experience in her life. When men object to this utterly one-sided blame game, we are told that our objections to feminist rhetoric prove that we are ignorant sexists. If a man is truly enlightened, according to feminists, he will never say anything at all, but rather silently nod in assent while they lecture him about what a worthless, contemptible wretch he is. The “true partnership” of which Christine Lasher dreams is actually a dictatorship, where man exists solely for her pleasure — a narcissistic fantasy quite analogous to how a certain 13-year-old boy probably imagined Miss August 1973.

Men and women are different, these differences are socially significant and, therefore, “equality” is impossible. To bring about feminism’s fantasy of “equality” would require androgyny, eliminating differences between men and women, rendering them exactly the same.

Feminism is a War Against Human Nature, as I have said, and this war is waged on behalf of women who cannot let go of the juvenile narcissism that tells them they have a right to the fulfillment of their fantasies. She is a victim of injustice insofar as she is unhappy. Men are always to blame for her unhappiness, and what man would volunteer to become a scapegoat cruelly slaughtered on the feminist’s altar of self-pity?

You might suppose that Christine Lasher, who majored in psychology at Colgate University, would be able to recognize, analyze and resolve her own personal problems. By the same token, you might also suppose that Christine Lasher, who is a Strategic Account Manager for Hewlett-Packard, would not be boohooing on the Internet about how her “entire being aches for” the opportunity “to finally love and be loved,” like some silly schoolgirl reading a Harlequin romance novel.

Generic second-person “you” will probably not be surprised to learn that, after ending her marriage 10 years ago, Christine Lasher subsequently found herself in “an unhealthy, long term relationship” that lasted more than five years. Generic second-person “you” is cynical enough to figure that some people just have bad luck (or poor judgment) when it comes to relationships. Generic second-person “you” knows the type who bounces around from one romantic failure to the next without ever realizing that the common denominator in all these unhealthy relationships is the person staring back at them when they look in the mirror.

“Social justice” can never solve that kind of problem.



One Response to “Narcissism, Nipples and ‘Social Justice’”

  1. News of the Week (August 14th, 2016) | The Political Hat
    August 14th, 2016 @ 3:07 pm

    […] Narcissism, Nipples and “Social Justice” Christine Lasher wants you to notice her daughter’s nipples […]