The Other McCain

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

Are Republicans the Patriarchy Party?

Posted on | March 21, 2017 | Comments Off on Are Republicans the Patriarchy Party?

Jessica Valenti hates men and Republicans, not necessarily in that order.

In an interview last week, Jessica Valenti announced that feminism has reached “a turning point” because the election of Donald Trump was “the ultimate act of backlash against all the feminist progress that’s been happening,” and “shows that misogyny is alive and well.” At the same time, however, Valenti also expressed hope that Trump’s election could be “the last dying gasp of patriarchy.” In her mind, apparently, the patriarchy and the Republican Party are the same thing.

What is this “feminist progress that’s been happening,” according to Jessica Valenti? Did the past eight years bring remarkable improvements to the lives of American women? Or is it rather the case, as I suspect, that (a) Jessica Valenti is a partisan Democrat and (b) she considers it “progress” whenever Democrats win elections, whereas (c) it’s always a “backlash” against feminism when Republicans win elections?

Go back to 1991, when feminist Susan Faludi published Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. What had been happening that prompted this claim that American women were being targeted in an “undeclared war”? Oh, yes — Republicans had been winning elections. In 1980, 1984 and 1988, Reagan and Bush had won by landslide margins, and so this inspired Faludi to go scouring around for evidence that women were particularly oppressed during the Reagan-Bush era.

Faludi’s “backlash” thesis was dismantled by Christina Hoff Sommers in her 1994 book Who Stole Feminism? Sommers devoted a 28-page chapter to “The Backlash Myth.” What was (and still is) actually hurting women is not Republican Party policies but rather the decline of marriage, and feminists have led the crusade against marriage.

“Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the Women’s Movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.”
Sheila Cronan, “Marriage,” 1970, in Radical Feminism, edited by Anne Koedt, et al. (1973)

“We want to destroy . . . polar role definitions of male and female, man and woman. We want to destroy patriarchal power at its source, the family. . .. We want to destroy the structure of culture as we know it, its art, its churches, its laws . . .
“The nuclear family is the school of values in a sexist, sexually repressed society.”

Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating (1974)

“The first condition for escaping from forced motherhood and sexual slavery is escape from the patriarchal institution of marriage.”
Alison M. Jaggar, Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1988)

“The view that heterosexuality is a key site of male power is widely accepted within feminism. Within most feminist accounts, heterosexuality is seen not as an individual preference, something we are born like or gradually develop into, but as a socially constructed institution which structures and maintains male domination, in particular through the way it channels women into marriage and motherhood.”
— Diane Richardson, “Theorizing Heterosexuality,” in Rethinking Sexuality (2000)

The attack on marriage — an institution feminists condemn as “slavery,” and which they have vowed to “destroy” — has damaged our society in innumerable ways, and feminists have never apologized for their role in inflicting that damage. Instead, they survey the debris from the wreckage they have made and declare the need for more feminism.


Jessica Valenti celebrates “male tears” in the apparent belief that the cause of women’s problems is that men are too happy. Any man who disagrees with her is a “misogynist whiner.” This is a perfect expression of feminism’s totalitarian worldview, in which males have no right even to exist, let alone to voice their opinions. Jessica Valenti’s lifelong campaign of anti-male vengeance requires her to make life hell for any man who has the misfortune to be in her immediate proximity:


Jessica Valenti’s marriage to Andrew Golis has been miserable for both of them. As I explained last year in my review of Valenti’s memoir Sex Object, she is a recovering cocaine addict who is under psychiatric treatment for her anxiety disorder. A couple of quotes from her book:

Every time I see a dirty cup on the kitchen counter, my face gets red. The level of disrespect feels . . . as if Andrew has hopped on the counter, pulled down his pants, and taken a sh– there for me to clean up. My husband is lovely. He is a feminist. . . .
He tells me to leave the cups on the counter and the socks on the floor. He’ll get to them eventually. But I can’t. I don’t believe him. And I can’t write in a house where something is wrong. (p. 174)
Andrew and I have been going to couple’s therapy, both for my anxiety and because Andrew is so mad at the space the anxiety takes up in our relationship. Our default mood is low-level annoyance toward each other with a propensity to turn into full-blown rage at the smallest thing. . . .
I feel like I might hate him and I suspect he feels the same. (p. 176)

Her husband’s duty is to serve as a scapegoat for Jessica Valenti’s feminist rage, in the same way that Republicans serve as her scapegoats.

“The personal is political,” as pioneering feminist Carol Hanisch declared nearly 40 years ago, and this is why feminism always fails. If you have a personal problem (e.g., a drug habit or a psychiatric disorder), politics can never solve that problem for you. Still less can you expect to achieve anything but failure when your political goal is to use government policy as retroactive revenge for your unhappy childhood.

In her memoir, Jessica Valenti quotes her grade-school diary: “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.” Whose fault was that? How is the Republican Party to blame for Jessica Valenti’s big nose? Were big-nose girls more popular when FDR, JFK and LBJ were in the White House? The feminist faith in politics as a panacea for personal problems is as irrational as Valenti’s “full-blown rage” reaction to seeing a dirty cup on the kitchen counter.


This is how Jessica Valenti’s latest column begins:

A few years ago, my husband and I ran into a mutual acquaintance at a restaurant. This young man — a person who would surely identify as progressive — spent the entirety our interaction completely ignoring me. He spoke only to my husband; he wouldn’t even look at me when I asked a direct question.
While it would be tempting to write off the exchange as simple rudeness, this brand of slight is familiar to most women. Perhaps it happens when you go to buy a car and the salesperson only speaks to your male partner. Or when you meet someone at a work event and they only introduce themselves to the male colleague beside you.
Or, if you’re Angela Merkel, maybe the notoriously misogynist president of the United States refuses to shake your hand or even deign to look at you during a press conference.
We hear quite a lot about explicit sexism like cat calls or discrimination, but less overt indignities can be just as infuriating — in part, because they’re so hard to explain to those who haven’t experienced them.

You see? Feminism presents men with exactly two options:

  1. Damned if you do;
  2. Damned if you don’t.

If the “progressive” male acquaintance had made Jessica Valenti the focus of his attention, she would have accused him of “sexual harassment,” but when he instead spoke only to her husband, he was guilty of “completely ignoring me,” which she could not “write off . . . as simple rudeness.”

Valenti evidently did not consider any alternative explanation for this acquaintance’s behavior. Perhaps the “progressive” man would have felt uncomfortable being friendly toward her in her husband’s presence. Or maybe the man dislikes her, or had some reason to be angry with her, and was deliberately ignoring her without explaining why.

Likewise, with President Trump’s behavior toward the German prime minister, Valenti leaps to the conclusion that this is further evidence of Trump’s “notorious” misogyny, whereas anyone familiar with Angela Merkel’s role in supporting unlimited immigration by Muslim “refugees” in Europe would recognize his standoffish behavior toward her as an indicator of Trump’s unhappiness with Merkel’s policy agenda.

It is obvious that Jessica Valenti still doesn’t understand why Hillary Clinton lost the election. Was it “backlash” against “progress”?

No, ma’am, I’d say Clinton’s defeat reflected a belief that electing Democrats is not necessarily synonymous with “progress.”

Never does any feminist ask herself the question: “What if I’m wrong?”

Jessica Valenti considers the Democrat Party to represent all that is right and good in politics and, by obverse logic, she considers the Republican Party to represent everything bad and wrong in politics. She has been 100% opposed to every Republican presidential candidate in her lifetime, and will continue to oppose every Republican in the future.

And why? Because her nose is too big. Blame the patriarchy!




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