A Nice Respectable Word
Feminazi is a saucy portmanteau that combines feminist with nazi, meaning to infuse the odium of the latter into the former by encouraging hearers to make note of percieved similarities between feminism and naziism.
So, what are those similarities? Are we ever right to use such a word as feminazi? Is it a good word, a bad word... or merely a word?
I think it is revealing to examine some of the reasons which feminists and femsymps have given as grounds for their objection. Their arguments are often fallacious or weakly constructed, as I hope to show.
The perennial favorite among this group seems to be, that the word feminazi "trivializes the holocaust". Such trivialization is apparently not only a bad thing in itself, but has a spin-off consequence in being particularly upsetting to the large number of feminists who are Jewish.
First things first. Does it really trivialize the holocaust? Or is this objection simply a red straw herring?
For example, it is not a bit clear that all people who use the word feminazi have the holocaust even remotely in mind when they do so. Granted, SOME of them do - mostly those of the religious right, men and women both, who from passionately held moral conviction, equate abortion with murder. Give these folk points for authenticity; they are not phonies; they speak from the heart.
But what of the others? Is the holocaust-abortion paralell a prime consideration for them, when they formulate the feminazi concept in their own minds, or communicate it to others? Likewise, does the holocaust alone weigh pre-eminently into their calculations? I would say, not so. Rather, I believe this group of people is simply expressing what it deems to be the salient points of comparison, in terms of character inventory, between nazis and certain feminists.
And what are these points of comparison? What is this character inventory? One way that the average person gleans such information is impressionistically, from having encountered feminist words of the kind given below:
• "All of history must be re-written in terms of oppression of women. We must go back to ancient female religions like witchcraft"
•"The media treat male assaults on women like rape, beating, and murder of wives and female lovers, or male incest with children, as individual aberrations...obscuring the fact that all male violence toward women is part of a concerted campaign."
• "He can beat or kill the woman he claims to love; he can rape women...he can sexually molest his daughters... THE VAST MAJORITY OF MEN IN THE WORLD DO ONE OR MORE OF THE ABOVE." (Emphasis in the original.)
• "If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a 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."
• "The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race."
• "But then, I have great difficulty examining what men in general could possibly do about all this. In addition to doing the shitwork that women have been doing for generations, possibly not exist? No, I really don't mean that. Yes, I really do."
• "Men love death. In everything they make, they hollow out a central place for death, let its rancid smell contaminate every dimension of whatever still survives. Men especially love murder. In art they celebrate it, and in life they commit it.
• "Men are animals; don't you think so?"
• "To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he's a machine, a walking dildo."
• "I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig."
I am not aware of any feminist who is literally a member of Adolf Hitler's NSDAP. Nor am I aware of any counter-feminist who has ever made any such claim regarding any feminist. I certainly have never made any such claim, nor do I make one now.
But look at those words! If you can't see the Nazi similarities, you need glasses. Everything from the degree of malevolence and scapegoating, to the mystical yearning for pagan antiquity, to the ominous hints of genocidalism, to the conspiracy claims - it's all in there. All of the earmarks. Tweak a few terms, and this material would settle right into the pages of Der Stürmer . I'm pretty sure Streicher would raise no objection to any of it.
So, that is what the word feminazi is talking about. It does not say that feminism is identical with Naziism, but only that it bears remarkable similarities in the domain of rhetoric and ideology, and in the moral nimbus of certain of its proponents. I say certain of its proponents, since I recognize that not all self-identified feminists would express themselves in such terms. Nor for that matter would many mild-mannered, enrolled NSDAP members have done, during the Third Reich era.
But in terms of sheer concentrated viciousness, I doubt that any Jew-baiting Gauleiter had much beyond these people whom we call radical feminists. It is to these people, and them specifically, that the word feminazi refers. And they do exist. They are unquestionably "out there".
And once again, does the word feminazi trivialize the holocaust? Hopefully, the response to that puerile imputation is clear by now. No, it does not trivialize the holocaust, because it does not necessarily refer to the holocaust in the first place. And even when it does, it cannot be objectively proven to have commited the offense (trivialization) in question.
As explained earlier, only pro-lifers (chiefly of the religious right) have the holocaust in view in this connection, when they liken the holocaust to abortion. And it is hard to make the case that they are 'trivializing', because they are certainly doing nothing of the sort within their own ethically consistent minds. You might think the comparison is a bit strong, but they clearly think it is right on the money, and who are you to prove them wrong? It all comes down to their ethics against yours, and I'm sure it would make a very lively discussion!
The most you are entitled to say, is that in your opinion the word feminazi trivializes the holocaust when (and only when) the abortion-holocaust paralell is implied by the speaker. In other cases, where such a paralell is not implied by the speaker, you cannot accurately assert that the speaker is trivializing the holocaust because the speaker isn't even talking about the holocaust in the first place, and he can't very well trivialize something if he isn't even talking about it...can he? So in the end you are left with precious little ground to stand upon, and you cannot uphold your claim against anybody else's save this were done by means of a triumphalistic actus rapiendi.
So much for any claim that the word feminazi trivializes the holocaust. And so much for any use of this claim to discredit any use of this word. But what of the sensibilities of the Jewish feminists?
No doubt the holocaust comparison disturbs them, but having rendered that point pointless, I can think of two reasons why Jewish feminists don't like the word feminazi. First, for the more personal reason that, being Jewish, they don't want to be compared to Nazis. Second, for the more political reason that, being feminist, they don't want feminism to be compared to Naziism.
What strikes me straight off the block, with regard to the first reason, is that Jewish feminists are not the only Jews on the planet. On that account, the first reason feels disingenuous and phony, and I feel that I am in no way bound to respect it. Permit me to elaborate: No Jew who is not a feminist would have any reason to get his hackles up if somebody compared feminists to Nazis. How pray tell does it implicate Jews as Jews? It doesn't! Jews as Jews are entirely out of the loop here; the comparison isn't talking about Jews at all! Certainly, the word feminazi does not target Jews in any way.
It targets feminists, and anybody can be a feminist - Jewish or goyish, it makes no matter. Not all Jews are feminists, and not all feminists are Jews. That the "nazi" part of feminazi would impress a Jew with unfortunate poignancy is only "the luck of the draw", a collateral outcome in every way.
Consider further, that not all Jews are women. If you are a Jewish man, and moreover not a feminist sympathizer, then some part of you is apt to respond as any man might do when he understands what radical feminists think about MEN.
I, the present writer, am a man. But I am not a Jew. However, having manhood in common with any Jewish male, I can speak with some authority of common feeling and know, that when either of us hears Andrea Dworkin say that she would like to see "a man" beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heeled shoe in his mouth, a kindred sensation afflicts us both.
That the authoress of this touching sentiment was herself Jewish, will not be lost upon my Judaic brotherman. The irony of such a thing will doubtless give him pause, and the more so when I direct his attention to the obvious, by pointing out that Dworkin the Jewish feminist was distinctly nazi-like. I daresay he'll find little enough reason to take my observation amiss. Moreover, the Judaic filiation could add a further dollop of repugnance on his part - a sense of betrayal imparting an extra twist to the dagger. He would feel it even more keenly than I, as a non-Jew, would feel it.
Oh, I'd feel it keenly enough for all of that. I contemplate my features in the mirror, and imagination paints a curious transformation involving blood, matted hair, lacerated flesh, a nose wildly askew, one eye lower than the other, a mouth bereft of teeth with a spike-heeled shoe stuck in it.
Another well-known Jewish feminist is Robin Morgan, erstwhile editor of MS magazine, and the champion of Valerie Solanas. Yes, Valerie Solanas the attempted Warhol murderess and source of the 'walking dildo' statement quoted above. Most feminists nowadays will insist that Solanas was not a feminist, but they'd need to get up pretty early in the morning to assert the same of Robin Morgan. And Robin Morgan thought so highly of Valerie Solanas that she even campaigned to get Valerie out of jail. After that, she anthologized some of Valerie's writings in Sisterhood is Powerful, so there seems little doubt which sisterhood Robin Morgan had in mind in terms of its membership roster.
It is Robin Morgan who endorsed the prospect, quoted in the list above, that men should "possibly not exist", and left no serious reason to doubt that yes, she really did mean it. Again, Robin Morgan is Jewish, and being Jewish she ought to understand what it means when somebody wishes that you would possibly not exist, since the Jews were exposed to that possibility themselves. One sees the irony in Robin Morgan's words.
Robin Morgan and Andrea Dworkin are but two of many Jewish women who have lined up with feminism, and feminism at large promotes a doctrine in which "men" play a role markedly similar to that played by the Jews in Nazi propaganda. Yes, I am aware of superficial differences. Feminists are aware of these differences too, and they never tire of regaling us with fourteen fussy reasons why feminists are not the same as Nazis, as if by so doing they would decoy the world's attention away from the starkly apparent ways that feminists are very much the same indeed as Nazis.
Truly, they insult our intelligence, and I can't help wondering who they think they are fooling. It's like a bottle with an ingredient label - you don't care what's on the damn label, you want to know what's actually in the bottle! Trusting the label is an act of faith. If the label says chocolate syrup, crème de menthe, grenadine, that's all very well for the label. But if you pull the cork and it smells like a slaughterhouse which has "ripened" for several days and suffered a sewer backup through the floor drains, then you might be forgiven a touch of skepticism as per the ingredient list, yes?
No, I don't feel so bad about calling the Jewish feminist Robin Morgan a feminazi. I invite Jewish men everywhere to join me in calling her that, and if Robin doesn't like it she can suck it up, or she can cry me a river! And that goes double for Dworkin's ghost.
Plenty of leading feminists have pissed a continual stream of corrosive anti-male diatribe for many years, similar to what you have seen above. I would like to know what the hell they've got to say for themselves. At the end of the day, they'd better have an explanation for those astounding words. Either they mean it, or they don't, and either way it's high time they accounted for it. No dithering and no blathering. No involutional prevarications or fancy-pants subjectivisms. They mightn't see the harm in such exercises, but I confess that I am rather simple-minded regarding allegations that I'm an animal or a walking dildo, that I love murder or the rancid smell of death, that I should get beaten to a bloody pulp, that I'm a rapist, that my kind should be slated for near-extinction - particularly if the cognitive effluvium of such reiterated statements might permeate the cultural atmosphere, operating as a cumulative moral incitement for others to regard my life as having lesser value.
Don't you dare tell me that I shouldn't take it personally! I do take it personally, and I construct my politics upon this. The personal is the political!
And don't you dare tell me that I shouldn't take it "literally"! I don't NEED to take it literally - it's bad enough even when I take it un-literally, and either way, literally or un-literally, it WILL have real life consequences, and do you suppose for even a moment that those consequences will be pretty? Do you??
Robin Morgan and her radical sisters have got quite the nerve if they object to such a word as feminazi. To hell with them; they brought it on themselves! Oh the colossal gall, if they think that I should spare their sensitivities, or even their Jewish sensitivities - that's the biggest smokescreen of all! Having said thus much, I should add that I seldom use the word myself. But that is purely for stylistic reasons, since feminazi has become a cliché, and I prefer to avoid stale forms of expression. Others are free to say feminazi when and howsoever their fancy leads them to do so, with no objection of any political nature from myself.
In conclusion, the word feminazi has every right be accepted in the politest circles of genteel society, and to mingle freely among the best and most distinguished company at all times and upon all occasions! It is not the word that ought to give offense, but rather the underlying thing, or underlying order of things which the word signifies.
Yet I cannot forebear observing, with a wry chuckle, the actual ways of the world in such matters: At a well-bred tea party it would not be the "done" thing to pronounce the word SHIT in general company. Nor would it be well recieved if some actual shit appeared, as if by magic, on the parlour floor. Neither circumstance would be considered proper etiquette. Similarly, unless I miss my guess, the word FEMINAZI would be accosted with a certain, um..... froideur. And yet, unlike the previous example, I fancy that the veriest actual feminazi, if properly tenured, would have free and unremarked run of the place. Oh the paradoxes! Oh the inconsistencies! Go figure.