I probably suck as a person

And so, probably, do you. I learned this from Rebecca Searles of the Huffington Post, who recently claimed that you are entitled to call yourself a feminist if and only if your answer to the question, “Do you believe men and women should have equal rights and opportunities?” is “Yes.” Furthermore, says Ms. Searles, if you answer “No,” “you probably suck as a person.”

This raises many questions. If Germaine “males are defective females” Greer and Valerie “Society to Cut Up Men” Solonas, aren’t feminists, what are they? This is not a rhetorical question: Ms. Searles’s proposed definition, while she offers it with too much confidence and too little evidence, is by no means terrible, and she is far from its only proponent. But if we define feminism in a way that excludes the likes of Germaine Greer and Valerie Solonas, we need a word for whatever it is they are. On the flip side, if we accept a sharp distinction between feminists and man-haters, we must also accept a similar distinction between woman haters and equality-minded men’s rights activists of the Warren Farrell variety, and dismiss any attempt to tar the former with the brush of the latter as vigorously as Ms. Searles would presumably dismiss an attempt to tar feminism with the brush of androphobia. Is she OK with this? (Again, not a rhetorical question.)

As I’ve alluded to, I am not, on Ms. Searles’s definition, a feminist. Almost certainly, you aren’t either. In fact, on Ms. Searles’s definition, almost no-one–including the vast majority of self-described feminists, and probably also Ms. Searles herself–is a feminist. To see what I mean, consider these statements:

(1) For sensitive medical procedures (e.g. prostate cancer checks), TSA patdowns, strip searches, etc., one should generally try to match examinees to examiners of the same sex.
(2) There’s no harm in non-intersex bathrooms.
(3) Men should not be allowed to join Daughters of the American Revolution.

If any of these statements are true, the sexes should not have equal rights and opportunities (they should, e.g., be unequal in their right to be members of Daughters of the American Revolution, their opportunity to enter the men’s room, and so on). According to Ms. Searles, therefore, if you believe any of them, you are not a feminist, and your suckiness as a person is probably as high as mine.

“Equal rights and opportunities” is one of those phrases people love to bandy about for the sole reason that it sounds good. But, once you try to define it rigorously, you encounter unexpected difficulty; and if you then try to work out its practical implications completely, you usually end up with something absurd, something totalitarian, or something absurdly totalitarian.

Also, Ms. Searles’s definition gives feminism an air of impartiality and universality which it does not deserve. Imagine a society built by the likes of Valerie Solonas and Germaine Greer, a ruthless matriarchy where men are second-class citizen. Suppose that in this society, a dissident agitated for equal rights for men. Would such a person be a feminist? According to Ms. Searles’s definition, yes. But this is obviously nonsense. After all, the word “feminism” comes from the Latin femina, which means “woman.” And in what sense is our imaginary anti-matriarchalist a “womanist”?

Feminism, as the name reveals, is not really about some abstract ideal of equality. (Not that it would be any better if it were.) Rather, feminism is about, by, and for women. Feminism, for all its pretenses to the contrary, is no more a philosophy or a movement primarily founded on a philosophy than is the tobacco lobby. Rather, feminism is the soapbox of a special interest group. It seeks, mainly for self-interested reasons, to advance what it takes to be the interests of a particular subset of the population, namely women. Actually, scratch that: Feminists hate white, married, fecund, religious, red-state women as much as they hate white, married, fecund, religious, red-state men, i.e. vigorously. No, they represent a particular subset of women: the Sandra Flukes and she-SWIPLs of this world, who spend their lives re-enacting Sex and the City episodes, getting imaginary degrees in victimhood studies, and putting off marriage and motherhood until their mid-thirties, if they ever bow to such reactionary constructs at all. Are the interests of this group compatible with the general interest? Feminists are about as interested in this question as is the tobacco lobby in lung cancer rates.

About these ads

19 thoughts on “I probably suck as a person

  1. No, they represent a particular subset of women: the Sandra Flukes and she-SWIPLs of this world, who spend their lives re-enacting Sex and the City episodes, getting imaginary degrees in victimhood studies, and putting off marriage and motherhood until their mid-thirties..

    Feminism has destroyed that gentlemanly deference all women are owed, the tender solicitude we (as men) feel bound to offer, and that reverence for the miracle of her sexuality – consequent upon its awe-inspiring capacity to bear life. It has destroyed, in other words, any common understanding of a once-regnant term of admiration: lady.

    Case in point: Feminists claim (or used to claim) to despise pornography. Is it just my imagination (I often ask myself rhetorically) or has the pervasive indoctrination of our society in feminist philosophy run an almost perfect parallel with the growth of the pornography industry? It is certainly an equal opportunity industry – in fact, more than equal, since women are the main attraction. It ought to be a paradigm case for the feminist claim.

  2. I am perfectly OK with sucking as a person, because I want to not suck as a _man_, not as a person. Persons don’t exist. Men and women exist. If a leftist ever calls you a good person, beware, that means you are losing your edge.

    You know, one of the recurring themes of this website is that Modernity is a rebellion against Christanity. I say Modernity does an even worse job at being Pagan than at being Christian. It at least preserves some Christian virtues like charity and accepts churches as old ladies tea clubs and soup kitchens. But it equates Pagan values with being a horrible, horrible Fascist.

    In the sense that Pagan Man is defined as the Biological Man driven by hormonal, evolutionary instincts, testosterone, reproductive instincts, the instincts to fight, compete, rule, dominate, make kids and ensure your kids will also have a dominant position and make you many succesful grandkids etc. etc. the same stuff any elk or deer stag does, just with specific human features like intelligence, tool-making, social organization, culture etc.

    Christianity merely sought to transform Pagan Man, not deny his instincts but build a form of idealism on top of those instincts, instead of replacing them. Modernity denies Pagan Man outright.

    Christianity tried to give the human animal a soul. Modernity entirely denies the human animal.

    • I’ve thought something similar. The modern world wars against the reality expressed in St. Thomas’ formula “grace builds upon nature.” It does not deny the grace but the nature, but in having great success in denying the reality of nature, the best that can now occur is great confusion about the working of grace, if it is not also denied outright. As a means of destroying our understanding of reality, modernity has wisely struck at the root.

    • Great comment, Shenpen. I have long thought the same thing: the modern is at war even with his own body. Modernism is the apotheosis of Gnosticism, in which Gnosticism’s skepticism about the goodness and rationality of physical existence devours itself. It’s Gnosticism without the possibility of transcendence, or therefore of gnosis.

  3. Actually I think they hate hate white, married, fecund, religious, red-state women even more than they hate hate white, married, fecund, religious, red-state men. They see them as traitors. ANd women are really good at hating other women.

    BTW, I hate the ubiquitous use of the term “sucks.”

  4. The Huffington Post is an expert source for drivelling nonsense. I suppose one could say it specializes in publishing articles (like this one) that “suck”.

    I also hate the vulgar term “sucks”. What wrong with using words like bad, disagreeable, or even disgusting – except that they have less demotic impact than “sucks”.

    • Right. It’s such a juvenile word, too. For semi-literate tweens, I’ll allow it, but not writers at what is allegedly a serious news and commentary outlet. I’ve also come to dislike the ubiquitous use of “person” when there are other, equivalent words that don’t make you sound like a Kantian Valley Girl. And don’t even get me started on the odious cliché “as a person,” which is almost always completely redundant.

      Larry Auster’s polemics against this sort of sloppy and vulgar language is one of the things I miss most about him.

  5. Another point you might bring up in reference to your examples is just how empty the phrase “equal rights and opportunities” is. A feminist could affirm the sensible answers to 1-3 by affirming that both men and women have a right to be examined by same sex docs, have a right to same sex bathrooms, have a right to same sex organizations.

    Notice also the debate over same sex marriage. Leftoids insist on seeing the absence of same sex marriage as discrimination against homos. But homos have the same right to marry an opposite sex partner as do heteros. “Same rights” just does not get at the distinction between what lefties and righties think about these things. Each side can, if it so chooses, frame its position as non-violative of “same rights.” It all depends on how high you are willing to climb on the ladder of abstraction.

  6. The only objection I have to Svein Sellanraa’s otherwise excellent takedown of Rebecca Searles’s simplistic definition of feminism is the comparison between feminism and the tobacco lobby in his final paragraph. The tobacco lobby is far more noble, just, and honest than feminism and does not deserve to be lumped in with them and tarred with the same brush. ;)

  7. “But when you try to define it rigorously, you encounter unexpected difficulty.”

    Unexpected? Only if you’re a complete moron, utterly lacking in real-life experiences.

    The phrase in question is just a (political) slogan similar to, and as idiotic as, “a woman’s right to choose,” “you can’t legislate morality,” “federal law trumps state law,” “immigration is a federal issue,” “one man, one vote,” “all children are entitled to a pubic education,” “equal pay for equal work,” and so on.

    Any thinking person understands at the outset that such slogans are inherently flawed beneath the surface of what they state, and thus rejects them out of hand.

  8. Excellent article, but I would like to disagree ever so slightly with this:

    Feminism, as the name reveals, is not really about some abstract ideal of equality. (Not that it would be any better if it were.) Rather, feminism is about, by, and for women. Feminism, for all its pretenses to the contrary, is no more a philosophy or a movement primarily founded on a philosophy than is the tobacco lobby. Rather, feminism is the soapbox of a special interest group. It seeks, mainly for self-interested reasons, to advance what it takes to be the interests of a particular subset of the population, namely women.

    Feminism is not ultimately about women. Rather, feminism is about economic redistribution for the purpose of destroying the nuclear family and empowering the state. Spend a little time reading on sites like Feministing, and you will see that those goals aren’t even covert at this point; they are directly stated.

    Virtually everything that has been accomplished by the feminist movement has made women’s lives significantly worse. We still need resources from men in order to raise our children, but now instead of receiving those resources directly from a man who has some stake in our well-being, the necessary resources come from all men via the state.

    I wrote about this in a recent post. I don’t know if you allow linking here, so if I’ve violated the etiquette of this site, feel free to delete my link:

    I would rather be owned by my husband than owned by the state.

    Also, you might find this short, humorous video segment entitled Government Check Dad amusing:

  9. Pingback: Lightning Round – 2013/11/13 | Free Northerner

  10. Pingback: What does sex-positive feminism mean to you? | Sunshine Mary

  11. Pingback: Dark Brightness | No year zero, thank you.

  12. I’ve quoted some of you this morning, for I think we need to add one thing to the excellent analysis in the main text and the commentators (particularly about Pagans getting a soul, and then the Moderns denying any instinct at all). The Moderns will make their system work at the cost of lives. They have not learned from the body count last century: the Bolsheviks killed millions, the Maoists more — and their society got worse and in recovery reverted to a stripped down version of traditional ways as that is the only way to survive in crisis.

    We should not go down that track.

    But not doing so can make you an enemy of the State. Particularly in the USA. I’m not sure if the US preachers have a duty to start proclaiming “Flee Babylon”, but the time is getting closer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s