'What is the most damaging thing feminism has done? Is it the destruction of the family? Is it the damaging of relations between women and men? Is it the institutionalisation of selfishness and making personal benefit the yardstick by which everything is judged?.'By It is high time that feminism was recognised as a hate movement, that its ideology was felt as an embarrassment and being a feminist was seen as a badge of shame.
While the article by Suzanna Danuta Walters has been reassuringly and roundly condemned from all quarters – feminists appear to have been embarrassed into silence. Perhaps they are mortified that a mainstream, high profile, feminist academic has shouted from the rooftops those thoughts they knew to keep private and has made unambiguous the association between feminism and hate.
While Connor Friedersdorf of the Atlantic was quick to assure us that Walter’s article was not mainstream feminism – I would beg to differ.
We may dress it up prettily in Suffragette colours but there should be no mistake made. Feminism is rooted in hate.
Christabel Pankhurst, early feminist and doyenne of the Suffragette movement argued in her treatise “The Great Scourge” that most men had venereal disease. She told us 75 to 80 per cent had gonorrhoea, 20 to 25 per cent had syphilis – she was very precise.
She said this was the cause of childless marriages and the high rates of infant mortality. She argued that the only reason men were against Suffrage was because they thought it would stop women’s promiscuity. Oh, how wrong she was there!
However it wasn’t till the sixties that the pandora’s box really opened up – Christabel had been ahead of her time.
The following quotes all from feminist icons are not just prescient. They helped to formulate feminism and we can see their fruit around us. Quoting feminist platitudes, like those of Emma Watson, jars painfully with what I see.
“Only when manhood is dead – and it will perish when ravaged femininity no longer sustains it – only then will we know what it is to be free”
“I feel man-hating is an honourable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class hatred against the class that is oppressing them”.
“So the end goal of feminist revolution must be,…not just the elimination of the male privilege, but of sex distinction itself”
“In a patriarchal society, all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give meaningful consent”.
And while Valerie Solanas with her S.C.U.M (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto might be seen as an extreme example it is worth knowing that this work was translated into over a dozen languages and is excerpted into several feminist anthologies. While some tried to claim her work was a parody she insisted it was ‘deadly’ serious. I think the author would know.
Besides she was not alone when she said that civic minded responsible females ought to eliminate the male sex. There have been four books where the authoresses have fantasized about male free “utopias” which have all involved elimination of males and various forms of parthenogenesis. Mizora (1890), Herland (1915), The Female Man (1975) and The Wanderground (1978).
These sentiments have been echoed since.
Sally Miller Gearhart, the author of The Wanderground said in her 1982 pamphlet “The Future, if there is one, is female”:
“The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race”.
When we think of crimes against humanity we think of violence – genocides and holocausts.
But perhaps we need to think about more subtle definitions if political power is going to increasingly move into women’s hands.
As recently as 1999 these sentiments were echoed by Mary Daly in an interview called ‘No Man’s Land’ for the Enlightenext magazine with Susan Bridle:
“If life is to survive on this planet, there must be decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males. People are afraid to say that kind of stuff any more”, she ruefully adds.
Sally Gearhart combining her wishful thinking with pseudo science had some ideas about how this could be done:
“It’s not genocide, exactly. It’s more like job attrition, the way employers cut back positions without actually firing anyone. A 75 per cent female to 25 per cent male ratio could be achieved in one generation if one half of a population reproduced heterosexually and one half by ovular merging”.
These people were not left field but tenured professors in high profile colleges. Gearhart’s website describes her as a human rights activist. Daly’s work is written about reverentially at Goldsmith’s College today.
It is not a long shot to suspect direct linkages between these mainstream feminist writings and the destruction of fatherhood. This wishful thinking is implicated in the social changes described by Hanna Rosin in “The End of Men”. Indirect linkages to the reduction in testosterone, the decline of the male gene and certainly to our complete failure to do anything about this could also be found.
Connor Friedersdorf in his otherwise decent commentary on Suzanna Danuta Walters assures us that when she insists men should “Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power” – these comments are actually a perversion of #teamfeminism.
No. They are not. They express the aims of #teamfeminism very well.
Just a couple of days ago a Treasury Committee report told us that senior men should lead by example by working flexibly to show it is not just for women.
A couple of months ago the Women and Equalities Committee insisted that fathers should get 12 weeks use it or lose it leave to get rid of the gender pay gap. Ruth Graham recently wrote in an article in Slate:
“Think of all the financial and emotional damage that could have been avoided if men simply stayed at home where they belong”
Voicing a question we could ask of women but would not dare even think.
She then goes on to ask whether:
“men really have the judgement and intellectual abilities to be entrusted with our most important resources” and concludes that they should not.
I suppose this is what they call “sassy” or “ironic” feminism but when we look at what Graham or Walters writes in a historical or contemporary perspective what they are saying is morally repugnant and I admire those men who withhold their hate.
Throughout history work has been regarded as a burden not a privilege and it was always men who were whipped, beaten and who sacrificed their lives to hard labour so they could feed and clothe the women and children in their family. Men have done the vast majority of all work throughout the world and throughout human history and to the extent that they were rewarded they largely gave these rewards away. While females participated in the labour force at various points their contribution was significantly less than the male contribution and it was always men who took the dirtiest and most dangerous work. It was only when work became prestigious, easier, more comfortable and convenient than women decided to enter the fray. For those who don’t believe me read about it here.
But perhaps we should not get too hung up on the declarations of feminists – perhaps their deeds are more important than what they say.
For if you sit idly by while boys flail around in schools, if you winkle men out of families, if you believe that men working long, hard hours at stressful employment oppresses you, if you criticise the way men speak, sit or even dance, if you believe a man telling you he finds you attractive and even gently touching you is actually harassing you and abusing you – isn’t that sufficient to show how much you hate men?
One of Walter’s justifications for hating men is that they are more violent than women. But men themselves are the vast majority of the victims of this violence. Is a solution to human weakness really to put men down? Evidence suggests that women get just as angry as men do but they have other ways in which this anger is expressed. They are more likely to seek the aid of allies and to engage in indirect aggression through the manipulation of social relationships and attempts to inflict relational damage. As feminism shows us, the effectiveness of this female strategy is great.
Besides violence is never far from the surface of feminist thinking. It is marked by gratuitousness – think Andrea Dworkin (here) , or the sisters of Jezebel (here), or even our dear old Suffragettes. Nor does there appear to be shame associated with it – Lucy Worsley’s triumphant documentary about Suffragette violence has already been shown twice. When Bahar Mustafa tweeted #killallwhitemen, rightly or wrongly she did not lose her job. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/bahar-mustafa-charged-with-sending-malicious-message-after-tweeting-kill-all-white-men-a6683241.html It is used for making money – see here and here. Even Walters herself refers to a radical feminist ‘smackdown’ and insists that we all go Thelma and Louise and Foxy Brown (bywords for gratuitous violence for those not in the know).
In my musings about feminism I ask myself what is the most damaging thing feminism has done? Is it the destruction of the family? Is it the damaging of relations between women and men? Is it the institutionalisation of selfishness and making personal benefit the yardstick by which everything is judged?
For me the best description of the damage of feminism comes unwittingly from Hans Christian Andersen in his story The Snow Queen. He describes a mirror made by the wickedest magician – ‘a real demon’:
“One day he made a mirror which had the magic power of making everything good and beautiful that looked into it, shrink almost to nothing; but all the things which were useless and ugly were thoroughly magnified and grew worse. The loveliest landscapes reflected in this mirror would look like boiled spinach and the very nicest people would turn ugly…and their faces so distorted that no one could recognise them….”
You get the idea.
Feminism was created from the hearts of women who sometimes were damaged and twisted. And sometimes they were literally sick. Others may have been genuinely well intentioned and imaginative but their product was poisonous because they were working with assumptions and lies.
Relationships between men and women are the bedrock of our society and provide a template through which other conflicts of interest or perceived imbalances of power can be resolved. This would unleash enormous constructive potential; the benefits would be great. But this can’t happen while women are trying to copy men rather than understand them or while they are busy telling men what they should be and what they should do. Understanding requires dialogue and this can’t happen while women dictate the terms. If women put a bit more effort into understanding men they might find out more about themselves. And then they could revel in being women in their multitude of guises and let men get on with just being men.