Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Counter-Feminist Culture Jamming

Here is something to demonstrate how feminism may be countered by feeding it back a subversively distorted echo of itself.

The following disruptor meme has fastened like a lamprey onto an item of anti-male propaganda which has been making the rounds in the realm of print media. Consequently, the item has suffered a dishonorable sea change:

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The original item was based on a time-worn feminist subtext that men are the problem. It was designed as part of a male-bashing "rape awareness" campaign targeted toward adolescent males.

The motto two lines up from the bottom originally said "Men can stop rape", an offensive, sexist phrase which postulates "men" as a global phantom able to act with unitary mind and purpose. In the revised version, the counter-designer has overwritten this with a counter-punching motto: "Women can stop lying about rape."

It is futile for the other side to whine about what has been done here; no such complaint will be respected or taken seriously by the non-feminist side. Counter-feminism asserts that when certain political imbalances must be righted, what's good for the gander is good for the goose.

It is predictable that some will be offended, nay outraged, by this artifact. Or rather, it is to be hoped that such an effect will occur, for an outrageous act has occurred. But if the disruptor meme is offensive, the original concept was emphatically no less so.

Scanned from top to bottom, the piece tells an entire story in capsule form, and this story inverts the feminist paradigm that men are potential criminals inherently prone to aggression. At the foot, the unambiguous moral of the story is tersely intoned in black and white.

And the moral predictably is, that it's unwise to demonize half the human race if you'd rather not live in a world full of demons. Tersely stated: male-bashing is not acceptable.

Viewers are encouraged to save this to their hard drives, to propagate it all over cyberspace, and to e-mail copies to every possible interested party.

Note also that the item will serve as print media. In fact, it would make some dandy little leaflets. These can be distributed in clever ways, for example, slipped between the pages of selected volumes in the feminism section of your local library. Or tucked discreetly inside the women's studies texts at a university bookstore.

Have fun.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Equality is Not the Same as Symmetry

Here's a visual aid that I created in Photoshop, to illustrate an idea which I believe that many of my fellow travellers will find useful:

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Looks like some sort of wacky domino, yes?

In fact, it is a diagram which epitomizes the distribution of abstract life qualities between the two biological halves of the human race. These abstract life qualities may be conveniently grouped under the twin headings of 'the bitter' and 'the sweet.' I have selected those words, bitter and sweet, because they cover the ground pretty thoroughly as regards the generalizations most people would make about life.

You may notice that each half  holds precisely the same number of dots, to wit 20. You could say the two halves are 'equal' in that respect. But you will also remark that the dots are not identically distributed on both sides of the center axis, that the configurations don't mirror each other. The diagram is asymmetrical; it lacks symmetry, and this gives it a lop-sided appearance.

Let's just arbitrarily say that the dark-on-light dot pattern, to the left, represents the male half of the species, while the pattern on the right signifies the female half. Understand also that the spatial coordinates on the diagram have no assigned meaning. Here, the concept is what matters.

And the concept is, that while the aggregate of either bitter or sweet may be quantitatively equal on both sides of the sexual fence, it is not symmetrically configured, and that this want of symmetrical configuration could lead the naive realist to conclude that the balance-beam is not equally loaded on both sides.

What does this mean? On the terrain of life, where the rubber meets the road, it means that each sex will often have it smooth in an place where the other sex has it rough. This accounts for the uneven distribution of dots. And the reason for the uneven distribution? Fairly simple, I think. It is because men and women play different roles and occupy different zones of responsibility in the scheme of things. Each sex gets its own package of assets and liabilities, distinct to each, and endowing each with a differentially patterned locus of vulnerability. This in turn dictates where the universal thump, when it thumps, will end up thumping.

Those who would make a case for the "oppression of women" would need to demonstrate that the male side of the diagram holds quantitatively more dots in the category of the sweet, or that the female side holds quantitatively more in the category of the bitter, however you wish to parse it. To demonstrate "inequality" on the strength of isolated, selectively chosen dot correspondence mappings, would amount to cherry-picking, or "stacking the deck." This would not be an acceptable practice.

I trust that what I've shared will prove useful as conceptual ammunition. Hey, let's call it "the wacky domino effect" - there's an arcane neologism we can add to our flow of jargon, to baffle the feminist sector. Ha!

Moreover, I think this would have value as a disruptor meme - so let's aim and launch.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Let's Talk About Rape!"

Since The Counter-Feminist is not a typical blog, I reckon it's high time to do something typically bloggish in order to join the club. Now, posting articles from other sources and then commenting on them seems like a classic blogly thing. So here goes:
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This recently in from the Isle of Albion:

Article about drug-assisted rape.

Police: Drug rape is a myth
by DANIEL BATES - Thursday, November 16, 2006

Use of date-rape drugs is far less widespread than previously feared, police say.

Tests on 120 rape victims showed that none had been given the powerful sedative Rohypnol. Just two tested positive for a similar drug, GHB, also known as liquid ecstasy, an official study showed. By comparison, all but one of the 120 were found to have been drinking alcohol "in some cases to dangerous levels " and a third had taken drugs.

However, anti-rape campaigners accused police of using the research to try to switch the blame for sex attacks on to the victims.

The study was carried out by the Association of Chief Police Officers, which said it wanted to put the incidence of Rohypnol date-rape 'into context'.

The drug is only available on prescription but has been linked to a series of well-publicised cases. Victims willingly drinking alcohol is a far higher risk factor, ACPO said. Its statistics show 22 of the 120 women were two to three times above the legal drink-drive alcohol limit when they were attacked. More than one in three admitted taking drugs as well as drink before an assault.

But Chris Green, from White Ribbon Campaign UK, said: 'The focus of this report typifies the "blame the victim ideology" which is unacceptable in dealing with rape cases.Instead of concentrating on how women behave in clubs and bars, we need a much greater emphasis on changing the behaviour of men.'

Report author Dave Gee insisted last night: 'The police will continue to take any allegations of this nature very seriously.'

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Nothing in this UK article should unduly surprise us. For at least 8 years now, we've been hearing mentally diseased horndog tales of the drug-rape genre. You know, slipping her a mickey so you can slip her the salami? Well clearly, whoever commits any such act is a moral cretin who crawled out of a septic tank. Still, the stories themselves are nothing new. This is not to say that their oldness or newness makes a grain of difference on the scale of moral evaluation. What I'm seeking is the element of novelty, and I'm not finding it there, at any rate.

What is new is the conclusion of the police report: It's high time somebody came straight out with even the mere suggestion of such a thing! Granted, this conclusion does not comport well with the politically correct template regarding female victimization, but seriously: How many rohypnol rapists does the world really contain? I mean, are these stories subtantially true? With enough statistical mass to justify the sheer volume of hyperventilated moral screeching which has been hoisted on us?

Are such things equivalent to an OCEAN, with scattered islands composing the exception? Or is it the reverse, with such things being merely scattered ponds upon the face of an otherwise solid landmass? Heaven help me, I shan't pretend to administer the last crumb of infallible evidence on this subject, although I strongly suspect
almost to a certaintythat the scattered pond model is the truth. But I am entitled to live in peace with my considerable doubts, and to voice skepticism if so inclined. How's THAT for entitlement?

The British police organization mentioned in the article has done us an excellent service
or at least those of us who wish to live in a fact-based reality. As a certain legendary cop was fond of saying, "just give me the facts." And I mean all the facts! For now, at long last, we have some "facts" from a side of the fence that is routinely ignored. So is it scattered islands, or scattered ponds? More fact-finding from the less fashionable direction would be gratefully recieved.

But again, nothing in the article ought to surprise us. It should come as no surprise if perchance drug-assisted rape is not the lurking social epidemic which the merchants of moral panic have sold to us. Speaking of facts, I will state for a fact that you can meet millions of women everywhere you go who have never, but never, gotten anywhere near to such a ghoulish experience, and never will. Fear not! Innocence is alive and doing fine, and like hope, it springs eternal!

The ACPO study gave us important information that is worth having, while the anti-rape campaigners showed themselves to be sadly unintelligent asses by their ideologically driven knee-jerk reaction to the report findings. I wish I could count how many times I have witnessed the very same response pattern by similar people. They behave as if they wish to keep something in the dark, as if the obscurantist motive trumps all considerations of balanced, fact-driven public policy. But I find nothing surprising about their behavior, which runs true to type.

I like the idea of putting the issue "into context", both for the sake of everybody's mental health, and in order to put the issue, well . . . . into context. Context can give us a clue. Frequently it's a clue that we'd jolly well better take on board!

I also like the idea of "blaming the victim". (Shocked expressions of apoplexy and outrage!) Yes, in the real world it often happens that people are the architects of their own eventual outcomes, with behaviors that are scripted, in a manner virtually guaranteed to effect the fruition of certain consequences. I'm not making this up; it happens all the time, and sometimes the connection is outrageously clear to all concerned other than the operator.

I say that I like the idea of blaming the victim, but saying that you like an idea is not the same as urging that idea in practice. In the present case, I mean that the "blame" need go no further than to candidly acknowledge, in the sanctum of our own minds, what our candid observation has made
generally clear to us. So let us bluntly aver, that in the varied imbroglios of human transaction people very often DO draw victimhood down upon themselves in a way fittingly deemed self-inculpatory, disreputable or at least unflattering. Intellectual honesty demands no less from those who wish to understand how the world really works.

I don't recommend blaming the victim in a court of law (assuming that the victim has broken no law), but I do recommend blaming the victim in the court of private opinion IF the victim is genuininely blameworthy. That is a very important stipulation. You should nod sagely to yourself, and admit that the true phenomenology of victimhood is tricky, complicated and replete with gray zones. Nothing about this ought to surprise us.

However, as an eternal pivot point, we should always blame the perpetrator. Note this well. Even if this individual cannot be identified, some portion of blame (likely the larger portion) belongs to him in all cases. Truly, he was the one who had the choice, to commit the act or not commit it. So again: always blame the perpetrator. Yes, any male citizen who drugs any female citizen into unconsciousness in order to obtain sexual favors without her consent, is the first deserving of blame—in a court of law or private opinion. This thought is my one ton anchor, and upon this point I am of one mind with every feminist on earth.

So much by way of personal disclaimer. Now let's have another look at the article. We find this:

"However, anti-rape campaigners accused police of using the research to try to switch the blame for sex attacks on to the victims."


I find this interesting—very! Significant too. Moreover, we read the following:

......Chris Green, from White Ribbon Campaign UK, said: 'The focus of this report typifies the "blame the victim ideology" which is unacceptable in dealing with rape cases. Instead of concentrating on how women behave in clubs and bars, we need a much greater emphasis on changing the behaviour of men.'

The police association wanted to put the incidence of Rohypnol date-rape 'into context'. Good on them! But here I wish to examine the context, or rather subtext, within Chris Green's mind when he made the statement cited above. What Mr. Green has given us is standard boilerplate ideology straight from the indoctrination manual. I realize that the article is brief and that more words on both sides were spoken, but the article is all I've got to go on, and go on I shall!

What troubles me about Chris Green and people of his ilk, is that they appear to lack any true concern for the complete facts that would shed a nuanced light upon the situation. One might be forgiven for concluding that their foremost concern is to uphold their dogma, rather than to process the difficulty in a fully informed manner.

The police report suggested what, exactly? At least two things. 1: That rohypnol rape is much less common than we've been led to believe, and 2: That a lot of rape victims have been drinking or drugging prior to getting raped.

The first item ought to be welcomed as good news, and a cause for celebration. Most people would see it that way, but if you wanted to use 'rohypnol rape' as a propaganda club to beat men over the head, you mightn't be so happy to lose your weapon. Which is about how Chris Green sounds—not so happy.

And Chris sounds equally unhappy about the second item. Not only has a tabloid-worthy male guilt vector apparently vanished, but to this has been added a clear suggestion that women who get raped often pave the way by their own indiscretion. There is a world of difference between the victim-administered brand of drug-assisted rape, and the perpetrator-administered kind, but they are both significant. To shine some light upon the former for the sake of a balanced investigation shouldn't be classified as "blaming the victim". It is simply a full disclosure of relevant information that could eventually help the victim
or prevent victimization in the first placeif it generates a more informed analysis of the problem in its holistic etiology.

None of which seems to matter to Chris Green, however. Chris is just plain unhappy, and he is so because the report does not focus specifically upon blaming MEN. Yet from what I can tell, the report doesn't even play the blame game at all. Rather, it tries to cast objective light upon the problem as a whole, seeking the best possible solution in the context of a more connected way of knowing . On the face of it, I see no evidence that the police report is blaming the victim, whether ideologically or otherwise. Such a conclusion can only be reached interpretively. Well Chris Green has provided the interpretation, and the interpretation reveals much about Chris himself. Much that is predictable, and unsurprising.

Chris shows where his head is really at when he says, "we need a much greater emphasis on changing the behaviour of men."All right, fair enough. But I'd like to interrogate this a little bit, by posing the very fundamental question of why. Why ought we put a greater emphasis on changing the behavior of men? Why?

Changing their behavior would most likely mean instructing them not to act a certain way. However, a difficulty immediately crops up: The proposed remedy would be wasted upon those who don't already manifest the offending behavior. It's preaching to the choir. And a related difficulty follows hard upon this: Instructing "men" not to do X is unpardonably insulting and ill-mannered toward those who don't even do X in the first place. If these men have any mettle whatsoever, they'll straightly instruct you where to get off. And quite right!

For example, you could very likely find studies proving that the majority of bank robbers are male. I don't doubt that such information can be had. And you could start a social campaign around the theme of "bank robbery is unacceptable", and establish massive government-funded programs to educate MEN and reprogram their destructive bank-robbing ways. The trouble is, that most of this money and energy would be wasted
maybe all of it. Real bank robbers will mock you as a fool. So too will the overwhelming majority of ordinary men, the ones who would never come close to robbing a bank in all of their days. Why, it's even possible that a few of these men will actually go out and rob a bank for no other reason than pure spite! Thus, your campaign will have made the problem worse.

Granted, sexual violation has a unique emotive poignancy which bank robbery hasn't got. But that's no excuse, and it makes no difference. If you discard the emotionalism, my analogy is unalterably valid and ought to enjoy prime consideration when laws, policies, and programs are being formulated. If there is a moral to be extracted from this, it would be: don't blacken the name of an entire birth group.

Nothing that I've written in the last few paragraphs is either unique, surprising, original, or profound. Most of it is only common sense, you would say. Well, sense at any rate. But I'm starting to wonder about the "common" part. Maybe the cynics are right: Common sense isn't.

Let us turn now to women, and their behavior, and how they exercise formative agency by means of it.

Despite what women's advocates tend to say, women DO sometimes contribute to rape scenarios (drug-assisted or otherwise) by means of their negligence, their indiscretion, and in many cases their personal psychopathology. Averse though we might be to blaming the victim, it would be remiss not to take these factors into account in our analysis, and to conclude that female behavior in an aggregate, global, statistical sense does indeed contribute to the genesis of such situations, and to their eventual outcome
possibly as much as does male behavior. And that if therefore we would place any weight of blame upon the behavior of men in a "global" sense, methodological consistency dictates that we should factor in the "global" behavior of women as well, and that failure to do so is, moreover, sheer moral hypocrisya brass-faced double standard! Women are part of the social ecology too, and it would be downright unecological not to credit them for their role in the myriad interplays of causation. How else could we hope to understand how the world really works?

In sum, Chris Green's statement is male-bashing straight up and simple, and Chris himself is motivated by something other than wanting to understand how the world really works. My prime objection at the moment is not to his male-bashing, but rather his omission of an equal but opposite female bashing by way of counterpoise. If you mean to do a global analysis, don't do it by halves: Be globally global! If you aren't, then shut the hell up about "men", and confine your remarks to a particular man who can be shown to have commited the offense in question, or if more than one man be at fault, provide a list of names.

EITHER treat people as individuals, OR treat them as globalized abstractions. But whatever your choice, make it apply to men and women equally, straight across the board. One standard for both. Consistency!

Chris Green's White Ribbon Campaign immediately makes me think of the White Feather campaign during the World War One years. That comparison is nothing new. But here is something possibly new: the White Ribbon Campaign also brings to mind the yellow stars which the Jews were made to wear in Nazi Germany during the 1930s. Both the white ribbons and the yellow stars served a similar purpose
to stigmatize an entire class of people. And yet, the white ribbons are worse, because the wearers have been duped into self-betrayal by wearing them. Just imagine if the Jews of the 1930s had been recruited to wear those yellow stars voluntarily in order to protest "Jewish violence against Gentiles" or something of the sort, and encouraged to feel virtuous for doing this. How many Jews do you think would have actually done this? And if some of them in fact had done this, what do you suppose their fellow Jews would have called them? Traitors? Idiots? Slimebags? Worms? Collaborationists? Do you think that such names would have been reasonable or justifiable? Do you think it would have been "hate speech"?

Personally, I'll settle for ribbbon worms. You like that one? Anyway... let's get back to the main discussion!

All things considered, it suffices to admit that if women refrain from behaviors X, Y and Z, their chances of getting raped will decline dramatically. To this, your typical feminist will in effect reply that women should be free to do ANY DAMN THING THEY PLEASE and incur no rape risk. Now, might I be forgiven for wondering out loud whether this line of thinking is entirely rational, or even entirely responsible? I wonder if I might put a notion in their heads. Do they seriously believe that the universe gives a fig about their political sentiments?

The world contains a variety of dark alleys, as I like to call them, and it contains
also a variety of people whose proclivity is to set foot in these alleys. And it is all for naught to warn them of the dangers awaiting those who venture down such alleys; they'll have none of your wise counsel; venture they will! And until better evidence arrives, I make free to assert that the world will always contain such people, and such alleys, and that all the floodlights you care to install, and all the admonitory lectures you might deliver, won't change a bit of this.

The world additionally contains time and chance, which "happeneth to them all." Or in today's vernacular, "shit happens!' Sometimes, things crash upon us unexpectedly, out of the blue, irrationally as it seems. The world does not always make sense, and life is not always fair. But this, in its own way, is all the more reason not to argue by ad miseracordium from personal experience, or to universalize from such experience
be the pathos never so compelling! Nor will such arguments sway the political stance of the present writer, which too is compelling, and embedded in a network of larger considerations that spread far afield.

One way or another, there will always be "men who rape", and there will always be ways to boost the odds of an unfortunate "date" with such a one. And women have no more "right" to neglect reasonable precautions against such a mishap, than they would have any "right" to sit on a hot stove and not get burned. Sexual predators are a wild card in the social ecology, a force of nature if you will, a given. The universe spawns them, and we can only wonder why. And "men" either individually or universally, bear no innate responsibility for their existence. Let us take this fundamental lesson to heart, and we'll all be healthier and happier for it. Understand that the world does not stop turning every time somebody gets raped, nor even when you personally get raped. All right, maybe your world stops turning for a while. But expecting the rest of the world to operate in sync to your world is merely fatuous. Please, please, please... do get over it! I don't mean to sound callous, but consider the alternative to getting over it.

And remember that blaming half the human race for what might have happened to you, or even might someday happen to you, is irrational and counterproductive. If you send a metaphorical cloud of poison to brood menacingly over every man on planet Earth, I positively guarantee that it won't solve anything. Not only that, but poison gas is famous for not staying put; the wind will shift, it will circulate through the social ecology and yes....it will choke you too!

Take these thoughts under consideration, and peace be with you.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What They Don't Want You to Know

What do the feminists really mean by the term "patriarchy"? When this word rolls off a feminist tongue, what does it specifically refer to? Is it possible to discover what they are talking about in terms of the utmost clarity, simplicity, and above all usability, and reduce it to a formula that will smack the nail bang on the head every time?

Understand, that we wish to unpack the occulted lexical thread of signification which the word patriarchy carries throughout ALL examples of feminist rhetoric. When THEY talk about patriarchy, THEY assuredly mean something particular, something consistent, something examinable, something that would manifest their devices if it were brought to light. From the highest towers of the academy to the lowest reaches of the pop-feminist gutter, they all talk about "patriarchy", and in their varied accents they are all referring to the same thing. It is to this thing specifically that we direct our enquiry, in order that we may know it and name it and decode feminist speech by the light of it.

Here is the secret: When feminists speak of patriarchy, all they are really talking about is male power. It's just that simple. All of their circumlocutions dance endlessly and evasively around this—that patriarchy is exactly synonymous with male power, neither more nor less than male power, and that in all cases the terms patriarchy and male power may be interchanged with a negligible adulteration of meaning.

Try the experiment yourself. Find a piece of feminist writing where the word patriarchy occurs; replace this word with male power; see if it makes any fundamental difference. Also, see if it throws an unexpectedly revealing light upon the matter, yielding a sense and consistency superior to the original version.

If you wish, replace the word patriarchy with the simple word "men", and it will yield similar results. I know that many feminists have denied that patriarchy equals "men", but think for a minute: is not bare existence in itself a form of power? Tell me who has more male power: a man who exists, or a man who doesn't?

No feminist understanding of "patriarchy" makes any ultimate sense if you divorce this word from the idea of male power. If you aren't talking about male power in some way then you are wasting your time talking about patriarchy in any way whatsoever. Let that thought be your femspeak decoder template.

Feminist answer experts, seeking to confuse the issue, might reply that patriarchy is male power plus something else. Maybe so. But if you subtracted the male power part, the "something else" part wouldn't stand up any better than an empty gunny-sack, whereas the "male power" part
even by itselfwould remain fully serviceable within the calculus of meaning.

Every feminist analysis that I'm aware of does no better than make "something else" to be a form of male will-to-power emanating from the allegedly "constructed" nature of maleness in the first place. But this is a completely circular explanation that will never boost the discussion beyond square one, so we might as well scrap it. Besides, the whole mess boils down to male power anyway, so that in the end all you are really saying is that patriarchy is male power plus male power.

So in the end, you can't go far wrong if you simply set "patriarchy" equal to "male power". You'll go further wrong if you select any other option.

It follows that any feminist who talks about "ending" patriarchy or reducing it in some way, is also talking about ending or reducing male power in some way.

So what does male power mean? It means: any power of any kind which any male citizen might happen to possess.

And exactly what is this thing called...power? That is a very good and very important question.

In the realm of human affairs, as near as we can make it, power is a substance compounded of two ingredients: IDENTITY, and AGENCY.

Identity means the sum of all factors, both mental and physical, which identify you as a discrete center of conscious awareness in contradistinction to other such discrete centers.

Agency means your capacity to either effect or prevent change through the exercise of your volition.

Let that sink in. Take a break for a few minutes, if you want to. Get away from the computer. Go outside , look at the clouds, listen to the birds, enjoy the fresh air.

Very well, you are back. Let's recapitulate.

Patriarchy is a feminist code word for male power. Male power means any power of any kind which any male citizen might happen to posess, and power specifically means identity plus agency. So in practice, the feminist keyword patriarchy maps to the identity and agency of any male citizen.

Gentle reader, you as a person posess identity and agency. In other words, you posess power. You mightn't think you have enough of it, but you do have some. And so long as you have some, you have freedom. Again, possibly not enough for your liking...but some. And some is always enough to get you started
enough to leaven the dough, you might say. Be glad of it, and work intelligently with it.

Let's see how feminism enters the picture. Feminism is an anti-male hate movement, and it is perfectly natural that when you hate something you will seek to deprive it of power
the more the better. We have equated power with identity and agency, and so have the feminist ideologuesalthough not necessarily in the same terms. Still, they have copped the base mechanics that we've outlined here. They know it instinctively.

In order to undermine male power, the women's movement over the years has set afoot a variety of actions, both large and small, tending to vitiate the identity and agency of men. Indeed, nearly everything which feminism has accomplished has made some contribution to this overall effect.

This "campaign" has cut a gradual, descending swath from the macrocosm to the microcosm, from the political to the personal
striving always toward a finer granularity of control, a greater concision of shades and subtleties in the realm of daily life.

Dry alterations to the fabric of law and the outward form of institutions didn't satisfy them for long
they thirsted for the essential juice of life, and in particular, the life juice of anything male which crossed their path. The last thing they wanted was a workplace or a world filled with insouciant, free-spirited, self-esteeming men and boys. Something had to be done to correct male joie de vivre and male autonomy.

Men were to be subjugated, but if they didn't know this, and if they didn't act like they knew it, then the whole thing would be pointless. It was necessary, then, for the reach of matriarchy to become omni-locational and all-pervading
like the ideological presence of a totalitarian social order.

So, it was and continues to be important to the feminist effort that every possible shred of male identity or agency be appended to the shadow of ideology in some manner. ANY speck of uncolonized male space or male autonomy constitutes a bit of turf still in the grip of patriarchal power. Or at any rate, that's how they see it.

Case in point: what is a "sensitive male"? For starters, it is a sexist expression in exactly the same way that "good negro" is a racist expression. This is a VERY exact paralell. If somebody employs the term "sensitive male", or worse, calls you one, then you ought to feel seriously offended.

Beyond that, a sensitive male is simply an emotional puppet whose strings are available for any woman to pull, whenever and wherever. In short, a man curiously lacking in power; a man of abbreviated identity and agency.

Sometimes they will rate you on whether you "know how to cry". Reason being, that if you know how to cry then it follows that you can be made to cry. That's what they are really looking for in the long run. And here's an extra thought that occurred to me: how would you like to be told that "it's okay to cry" by the very same person who made you want to cry in the first place? You'd be damned if you'd give them the satisfaction, wouldn't you?

These examples are given because in my opinion they implode the circumference of male power about as far as it can be pushed, at least in the daily realm of social interplay. Even to a point where the drive for control reaches straight into a man's inner world, breaching a barrier which civil propriety forbids should be violated.

"Something there is that doesn't love a wall." Know therefore that your coolness, aloofness, guardedness, your methodological skepticism, or even your native lack of response to certain stimuli which others might find compelling, are all vital elements of your identity. Your agency. Your autonomy. Your. . . . manhood. In other words, your male power.

Oh, very well then, call it patriarchy!

Ha! And you thought that "patriarchy" was just a one-size-fits-all guilt-o-matic gizmo designed to put men eternally on the defensive while giving women a carte blanche moral advantage in any given situation!

Well it is that indeed. But as you can see now, it goes deeper. . . .

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mending Wall

Since I am too lazy too write anything, I'll let somebody else do the work for me. Here then, some sagacious ruminations from my man Robert Frost - the New England poet. Take it away, Bob...!

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun;
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,
No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there.
I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls
We have to use a spell to make them balance:
"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"
We wear our fingers rough with handling them.
Oh, just another kind of out-door game,
One on a side. It comes to little more:
There where it is we do not need the wall:
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself. I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."

Monday, November 06, 2006

The Counter-Feminist Meme

Counter-feminist? What does this mean?

On the face of it, you might think that "counter-feminist" means against feminism or contrary to feminism. And you would be right!

You might also think that it means the same thing as "anti-feminist". And in that case, you could be right -- depending on what you think "anti-feminist" means!

So... what does anti-feminist mean? Does it mean against feminism? Or... does it mean against females? On the face of it, this is impossible to know. The hinge of meaning could swing both ways.

And that is why we have coined the term counter-feminist. It lacks the equivocation which makes "anti-feminist" so problematic and so prone to pejorative obfuscation. Indeed, you could make the case that "anti-feminist" means anti-female, since the word might seem to admit that construction. But if you tried to make the same case for "counter-feminist", you'd be pushing a heavier barrow up a considerably steeper hillside!

Understand, I make no objection to "anti-feminist". To me this word signifies merely "opposed to feminism" -- an honorable sort of opposition you would say, yes? But sadly, the feminists have gotten a great head start upon us in defining this word to mean anti-female or anti-woman. They have, and will continue to put it about, that anti-feminist has exactly this meaning.

The idea behind "counter-feminist" therefore, is to offer an alternative to "anti-feminist" which signals a subtext of principled opposition but offers no easy grist to the semantic spin-mills. Consider: If anti-feminist means "anti-female" or "anti-woman", then what on earth could counter-feminist mean?

Could it mean counter-woman? Could it mean counter-female?

No, this won't stick. It affords no traction. What the hell would "counter" female signify, anyway? It sounds vacuous. Inane. Silly. Like a set of gums with no teeth. Compare counter to anti. Notice the difference?

There is a school of thought which proposes a rescue operation for the word "anti-feminist". Such theorists hold that we must own up to this word like troopers, that we must labor to establish it in the sunlight of the world's valuation by insisting on its usage and by patiently educating the world about what it "really" means according to "us".

I honor their spirit and wish them all the best, but it sure sounds like a lot of work to me. That is why I have put on my thinking cap and devised "counter-feminist". I would urge others to adopt this term, and to circulate it both in speaking and writing.

Up to this point, I have sketched the meaning of "counter-feminist" and called attention to certain advantages that might urge a widespread adoption of this term in preference to "anti-feminist". In conclusion, I would like to touch briefly upon a more practical order of considerations.

The question becomes, not "what does counter-feminism mean?", but rather "what IS counter-feminism in itself?" By what visible applications might we distinguish counter-feminism from any other party or policy that goes "counter" to feminism?

Firstly, counter-feminism is the largest of umbrella words, large enough to overspread various smaller umbrellas presently in use. Everything now encompassed by the so-called men's movement, for example, may be classed under the heading of "counterfeminist".

Therefore, the MRAs, FRAs, or various single-issue "reformists" might be called counter-feminist insofar as their endeavor would counteract feminism's presence on earth. But counter-feminism, in principle, is bigger than all of them.

Counter-feminism, at its core, should not be understood as an advocacy movement "for men" lest it fall into the same unilateral madness feminism has fallen into -- namely, that of abstracting itself out of the social ecology which men and women BOTH inhabit and thereby damaging that ecology in a manner that has ecumenical repercussions.

That is why we feel ambivalent about the term "men's movement". Not that such a thing is unworthy, but because it runs the risk of parochiality, and thereby of lapsing into something which unhappily mirrors feminism, enabling a certain dialectic which ought to be laid to rest. The hazard is that a "men's movement", so designated, might end up entrenching feminism by generating an antithesis to it.

Always the emphasis must be, not to do things for men, but to undo what feminism has done to them in the first place, to restore certain things feminism has taken away, to demand restitution for injuries feminism has inflicted -- and that not solely upon men, but upon the entire world! The difference of emphasis here is subtle but telling, although a bit of cogitation may be needed before it "clicks".

On the whole, the best way to counter feminism is to show the world what dodgy and disreputable people feminists truly are. This can be brought about in many ways, limited only by your ingenuity. Paint their blazing crimes in blazing colors; mock their petty foibles in quieter ways. Do this, and other things will follow; other roadways will be cleared and graded and opened to travel.
..........................................

Note: Counter-feminism also signifies a quasi-scientific method of political operation, as examined in a linked series of seminal essays entitled The Theory and Practice of Counter-Feminism. The series begins HERE:
http://tinyurl.com/b2737k

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tourbillon

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Overwriting Feminist Categories

Sometimes new thinking requires new categories. To that end I would like to introduce an alternative taxonomy, a different way of parsing the data. Please understand that customary feminist taxonomies do not map to this schemaonly individual feminists do.

Disaffection toward the male sex is distributed along a continuum that we shall call the misandric axis. This axis ranges all the way from white-hot animosity at one end, to mild dissatisfaction (barely worth a mention ) at the other. Between the two lies every shade you can imagine. The misandric axis should not be visualized as a line; the term "axis" is conceptual only, meant to suggest a transitional spectrum.

Misandric axis refers strictly to disaffection toward men, of whatever degree. That and nothing else. It has no reference to any other phenomenon that might be arrayed on a continuum.

In our present system, we make concession to the naive popular understanding of "radical". When most people say "radical feminist", they are talking about a hateful, extreme person who is "way out there". We shall adopt the identical meaning in our own analysis, even though feminists themselves adhere to a different usage.

However, while sanctioning the common manner of speech, we also employ the etymological sense of "radical" as denoting root—in this case, the root of feminism itself. The exoteric meaning of "radical" just happens to coincide with the esoteric truth about feminism, and we shall make use of this happy conjunction.

Radical feminism, then, means exactly the same as thing "man-hating feminism". Man-hating is the quintessential core, or root, of feminism. A radical feminist, being "of the root", is ipso facto a man-hating feminist. And the more man-hating she is, the more radical she is.

Radical feminism should be distinguished from milder forms of the ideology. Most women are not man-haters—and even those who are, are not all equally hateful. But given that man-hating is what fuels the movement, the less man-hating a particular feminist is the more feministically marginal she is. The strength of feminism derives from man-hating; who hates men the most is a strong feminist, and the weaker is her hatred of men the weaker is her feminism. (Called "weak" because it is only weakly connected to the root.)

Radical feminism may be divided into the twin categories of academic radical and pop radical. These sectors are on a par as regards their hatred of men, but they differ in point of intellectual sophistication.

By "academic" I mean bookishly well-educated. Frequently this implies an ongoing connection to the world of colleges and universities. Note that not all academic feminists are radical; sometimes they are weak feminists.

By "pop", I mean an eclectic pastiche of ideological tag-ends, t-shirt slogans, sound bites, ipso factoids, bathroom wall graffiti and "cheap shots", all of a pronounced anti-male tone, which the individual finds useful or gratifying. (Think of the recent "boys are stupid" t-shirts marketed to adolescent girls.) Intellectual substance is neither necessary, nor desireable, nor even possible for pop feminism—if it gets too deep, it won't remain "pop".

The pops and the academics are two ends of a continuum. To speak of them as discrete categories is simply a rhetorical convenience. Bear that in mind.

Academic feminists (man-hating or otherwise) wish to distance themselves from the pop-radicals, who are like uncouth country cousins airing the dirty family "unmentionables" in front of the high-class people whom they (the academic feminists) wish to impress. They believe (or wish the rest of us to believe that they believe) that pop feminism is not the real feminism—and they wish the rest of us to believe this likewise!

Pop-radical feminism is in no important way distinct from radical feminism generally, being indeed the caricatural excresence of radical feminism. As befits caricature, it Reveals Truth by Exaggeration. What the intelligentsia have devised upon their Mt. Olympus is, after a trickle-down interval, taken up at the so-called street level by people with primal sensibilities and undisciplined impulses, who very likely wouldn't know Susan B. Anthony from Anthony Quinn. The end product is oddly transformed but fundamentally the same: with layers of academic varnish stripped away, the authentic core of radical feminism stands naked to the world's gaze."Oh, he's such a patriarchal jerk; he forgets to lower the seat, he forgets to shave, he forgot all about our anniversary, he never buys me any presents, he ignores me, he bores me! etc. . . .". Don't laugh; a few people actually are that ignorant. A slightly greater number are not quite so primitive . . . but close. And so on up the scale by incremental shadings.

The most quintessentially revealing things about feminism as a whole issue from the mouths of pop-radical feminists. These people aren't trying to fool anyone, or else they are too ignorant to realize that they aren't fooling anyone, but either way they are fools in broad daylight and for this we could even thank them, for they give the game away. Their very presence is a kind of marker dye revealing the course of deeper currents.

Yes, radical pop feminism is very much the "real" feminism. Why? Because it is radical. Radical means "of the root", and that's as real, or authentic, as it gets. When the average person says "radical feminist" it is very often with pop radical feminists in mind. However, the average person is also aware of such academic radicals as Greer, MacKinnon, Morgan, Dworkin, Firestone, and other feminosi of their sort, and knows enough to classify them too as "radical". Here, the average person displays a rough-and-ready acumen that is seaworthy. The pop radicals and the academic radicals are cut from the same cloth, but the academics have a better tailor.

Radical feminists, whether academic or pop, have colonized the feminist gestalt, imparting their flavor, their purpose and their sepsis to the whole of it. Those who insist that they are "not that kind of feminist" would be well advised to swear off the word "feminism" and start a different movement under a different name.

There is also a weak pop feminism, about which little need be said other than: it is eclectic and watered down -- distant from the root of feminism like any other kind of weak feminism.

Old-school feminism is the venerable doctrine that non-physical sexual differences are socially constructed. Classic timeworn example: little girls get Barbie to play with, little boys get G.I. Joe, and such training provides the formative template for behavior differences later in life—based on the theory that as the twig is bent, so the tree's inclined. This might also be named "nurture feminism", because it teaches that gender formation is due entirely to the way children are reared—or nurtured. Old-school feminists feel that anything which establishes a biogenetic base for behavioral sex difference might validate different roles for men and women and thereby, so to say, shove women back into the kitchen. Old-schoolers are motivated by what they conceive to be political necessity, fearing science might reveal something that would put them out of business.

The present writer's sympathies, such as they are, lean toward old-school feminism. I would like to believe that men and women are more alike than different, that what difference they do possess ought not be "celebrated" but rather permitted to operate nonchalantly below the floorboards, and that the assumption of their essential similarity ought to make the foundation for whatever lies ahead. Sexual stereotyping rubs my fur the wrong way. However, I am prepared for the extinction of my personal preferences. It may turn out that reality has different ideas—that men and women are indeed fundamentally different despite what I or any old-school feminist wants to believe. It may indeed transpire that men and women are biologically predisposed to enact different roles upon the stage of life. And if —IF!—that proves to be the case I shall step aside, let nature assert itself, and bow to the inevitability of so-called patriarchy. The truth bothers me none.

Difference feminism,
unlike old-school feminism, accommodates the possibility that men and women are psychologically different for biogenetic reasons. More importantly, difference feminism seeks to make political hay out of this possibility, by which I mean that the difference feminist seeks new ways to empower women by highlighting the idea of biogenetic difference, thereby spawning a universe of differential advocacies. In a nutshell, the difference feminist is happy to acknowledge biogenetic difference IF (big "if"!) this would seem to underwrite some manner of innate female superiority. In cases where such appears lacking, the difference feminist prefers keep it in the background in fuzzy focus. It is always a cherry-picking exercise.

Since difference feminism teaches (or at least allows the possibility) that men and women are different by nature, we could call it "nature feminism". Here, an objection might be raised: that difference feminism doesn't necessarily believe in biogenetic difference, but only that "difference" (in the sense of separation) should be accentuated or enforced. Yet whatever the merit of this objection, it ought to be understood that difference feminism is situated on a downhill slope leading toward a naturist epistemology. Difference feminists cannot long maintain their position if they don't reach a stabilizing decision upon the nature/nurture question. And if they come down on the nurturist side, the tenability of their position, in the long run, is rendered problematic. For this reason, I contend that an intellectually valid difference feminism would require a belief in biogenetic difference. Self-described "difference feminists" who believe otherwise are casting themselves adrift in cognitive space. I, unconcerned, leave them to their travels.

Difference feminism has been taken up largely by a younger generation of feminists, who are more flexibly opportunistic than their older sisters, and able to scent opportunity where the latter cannot or will not. Difference feminists are sharper and hipper; they know that biogenetic difference could endow women with a multitude of new entitlements and new ways to assert dominion over men. It could also pave the way for junk-science proofs of natural female superiority. The sky's the limit....

This is the only ultimately significant doctrinal difference in all of feminism. The nature/nurture divide constitutes the grand watershed of the entire present-day women's movement, whether the movement's partisans acknowledge this or not. No dichotomy, in a structural sense, is more fundamental. And yet, both divisions of feminist doctrine map equally well to the misandric axis. Both old-school feminism and difference feminism have a roughly equal distribution of man-haters within their ranks. In theory, this ought to unite them, but....they appear to squabble a bit. This latter seems to have very little pragmatic importance, so I leave it to others to ponder the reason for it.

Granted, feminism contains plenty of other (trivially different) sects and coteries, but from a counter-feminist standpoint these are of no greater interest than a mountain of red herrings. Study it if you wish, but don't let it monopolize your time or cloud your understanding.