Monday, May 26, 2008

Camille Paglia Sounds Off About Hillary

Camille's quite the entertainer! She always says something provocative, so she's worth reading. Yeah, she's a maverick all right!

Maverick did I say? Well all right, let's just say that Camille Paglia is a maverick upon a certain range -- undoubtedly a broad range, but the prairie does stretch a mite further! For to be honest, Camille Paglia is doggedly addicted to the word feminist even in the teeth of all those "real feminists" would dearly love to drop-kick her clear the hell out of the game altogether.

Ah, the F-word! The mark of the beast. The blighted bar code. The sign which you are unwise to hang upon your back no matter what you think it means! For if do so, you are only inviting trouble when the hurly-burly gets underway! Yet I should note that Camille Paglia is far from alone in her addiction. Heavens, aren't there any 12-step programs for such people? Will they never break loose from their moral dependency upon the word feminist?

Paglia has recently published an opinion piece in the U.K. Telegraph, where she does an astute job of taking apart Hillary Clinton and rubbishing her credibility as presidential material:

The article is titled 'Hillary Clinton's Candidacy has done Feminism no Favours', and I can certainly drink to that, although I'm not so sure if feminism really deserves any favors. But then, I would say that, wouldn't I? Camille may call feminism a 'noble movement' if she feels so inclined, and one may certainly agree to disagree!

So much for the title. Paglia's article begins with the following:
"When the dust settles over the 2008 election, will Hillary Clinton have helped or hindered women's advance toward the US presidency?"
That is Paglia's rhetorical question setting the stage for what follows, but to me it sets the stage for one or two thoughts on my own tangent. What about this business of having a female president, eh? Should anybody -- other than a feminist, I mean -- honestly give a mound of warm, steaming horse-puckey whether a woman gets into the offal office? Should they? Are we as citizens (male or otherwise) bound by any moral duty to feel any special pang of urgency upon that subject? Are we?

Well. I do frankly confess that my heart is unoccupied upon that subject. To me, it is far from axiomatic that having a woman in the White House should be a priority. Throughout most of American history it has not been a priority even among women themselves, for although women have always been free to run for the presidency, they simply have not done so. I suspect this is because the thought has seldom occurred to anybody -- male OR female. Cultural ideas about "a woman's place" were common currency clear across the board, and nearly everybody shared in such ideas. It was only in the course of time, gradually, that certain "radicals" (read drama queens) started framing this normative, accepted state of affairs as "oppression", and spreading their meme. And their campaigns amounted to something like forcing a door open against its natural swing -- which they quixotically interpreted as "overcoming oppression." That so-called oppression would have been more aptly characterized as "cultural inertia".

The radical drama queens are still present today, and still framing things as "oppression". And they are still feeding upon the pyramidally accumulated historical legacy of such framings, along with a related heritage of self-fulfilling prophecies and self-validations. But I say again that the question of electing a female president seems to me a trifling thing, a point of indifferent urgency. To me it is far more important that we choose the right person for the job -- although I realize that the political selection process makes it unlikely that a worthy candidate would ever gain candidature.

So, although I harbor no personal animus against the prospect of a female president, I will not bestir myself to quicken the arrival of that inaugural day. Why should I? And if you try to converse with me upon the subject, you will see my eyes glaze over. You will hear me whicker my lips like a horse. Insofar as I give a toot, that glorious day can postpone itself until some abstract, unspecified time beyond the blue horizon. I wash my hands of it. I shrug my shoulders at the mere thought of it. I have other fish to fry.

However: my laissez-faire and my insouciance quickly take a different road when I consider the motivations of my enemies. For you see, the feminists don't just want a female in the White House, they want a feminist female in the White House! And that fact, well and truly, poses a critical distinction.

For present purposes, a feminist female means one who has, on some level, bought into the two-party model of sexual politics. That is to say, a feminist female is one who has bought into the feminist world-view, whether she calls herself a feminist or not. And whichever way you slice it, that is the kind of woman the feminists want to see in the presidential chair. Their candidate would need to be a "feminist" in an operatively meaningful fashion or, barring that, a pliant clay that would yield to their lobbyings and their legislatings.

Any woman who got into the White House would be either a feminist, or under inhuman feminist pressure to act like a feminist. Whether she was 'right' or 'left' on the political spectrum would make a stylistic rather than a substantive difference. In other words, it would scarcely matter. And that is why the prospect of a woman President, although a matter of personal inconsequence, is for me a point of tremendous political consequence. My poor little patriarchal ego doesn't give two cold spits in a tornado if the president is a woman, but my pragmatic political mind is seriously concerned about the possible ramifications for people like myself. This is all about power: we know it and they know it, so let's not be cute about it! That is a harsh assessment, but I choose to live in the real world because I have weighed the consequences of doing otherwise.

Given the anti-male, female-supremacist trajectory which the greater feminist enterprise has clearly manifested throughout the course of its development, we would be childish to suppose that a woman in the White House would do aught other than turbo-charge such tendencies and boost their evolution to a whole new level. Furthermore, if a woman became president she would do so upon a tide of feminist energy, and what are the chances that she would betray or reverse that energy once she got into office?

But to view this in the least prejudicial light, what could a woman president offer that an equally qualified (and ideologically similar) male couldn't offer? I would say, nothing at all -- and your only conceivable ground for disagreement would be either A.) some manner of "sexist" essentialism concerning the inherent nature of womanhood, or B.) some ideologically loaded "constructivist" universalization about female experience.

In short, given two equally qualified and ideologically similar candidates -- one male and the other female -- there would be no "good" reason to favor the woman over the man, but only a "sexist" reason, an agenda-driven reason. Oh very well, a feminist reason!

Hence, the bare idea of getting a woman into the White House has, purely of itself, nothing to command our interest one way or the other. Women in the abstract, do not "deserve" the presidency -- it is a complete non-issue! This realm of discussion becomes interesting if, and only if, you load it with additional baggage. And that additional baggage is, and can only be, feminist baggage.

So turning once again to Camille Paglia's rhetorical query, my first impulse is to say: "I frankly don't even care if Hillary's campaign embarassments have helped or hindered women's advance toward the presidency. I am indifferent to all of that. It means nothing to me, because it means nothing to me if a woman EVER gains the presidency. "

In an ideal world, a world not loaded with the feminist baggage of sexual politics, that would be the end of it. In fact, neither that statement nor the question which prompted it would even arise whatsoever in such a world!

And that is exactly my point. We do NOT live in such a world, and therefore such questions will arise. And when they do, I as a male citizen cannot afford to respond in such a blissfully transcendental way. A Himalayan Zen master in his cave high above the clouds could possibly afford to respond in such a way, but I am not so favorably situated!

Accordingly, I as a male citizen have not merely no personal reason to care if a woman gets into the White House, I have additionally the negative incentive (in terms of averages) to wish that a woman would NOT get into the White House, because such an event would be a bad gamble from my political point of view. In fine, there is no compelling reason -- from any strictly male angle of consideration-- to put a woman in the White House, and all else being equal, I would just as soon pick the best candidate from a pool of male contenders.

And to the hip, progressive, pro-feminist male "booster" who might sing his cornball cheerleading ditties about a woman in the oval office, listen up: you are a collaborationist, or at best a silly jackass with no idea what you are braying about!

Further along in the article, Camille Paglia (sounding very much like an MRA!) says this:
Well, which is it? Are men convenient sugar daddies or condescending oppressors?
And my own MRA response to women in general would be, that a certain percentage of men can always be counted on to be convenient sugar daddies if you twirl your hair and bat your eyes. And that a certain other percentage can always be counted on to be condescending oppressors (as I am doing here) if you behave like an idiot or wear a feminist chip on your shoulder. So, exploit the former if you seek material support, and exploit the latter if you wish to validate your victim card. Extra points if you can get those two groups to duke it out with each other -- that's an ancient trick!

And then Camille says this:
From that rag-tag crew, she will build her army. Let the red flags fly! Hillary is positioning herself as the Crucified One, betrayed, mocked, flogged, and shunted aside for the cause of Ultimate Womanhood. But doesn't this saccharine melodrama undermine the central goals of feminism?
In a way, yes. It undermines those goals by unveiling them with a too-painful clarity, because "saccharine melodrama" is so very central, and hence vital, to feminism altogether. Feminism wouldn't last two weeks without it. Camille Paglia's analysis of what is "central" to feminism differs sharply from my own. She sees feminism as a noble cause; I see it as, well . . . saccharine melodrama! And Hillary Clinton epitomizes the spiritual core of feminism whereas Camille Paglia does not.

All right, so here is the link to the article once again:

Half the fun of these things is reading the comments which follow, and this piece by Paglia has garnered a pretty fair number. Among that number, Warren Farrell makes a brief appearance! And here is something interesting: I was made aware of this Paglia column because somebody sent me a link by e-mail. And in that very same e-mail, I noticed Farrell's name in the 'CC' list! In other words, Warren Farrell got this information from the exact same person that I did, and as a result ended up writing the reader comment on the Paglia article which I duly noted. It's a small world, isn't it??

Well, I shall climb back up to my Himalayan cave for a while, far above the clouds. See ya later!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Feminism With Its Overcoat Wide Open...

. . . and the sight of it is appalling enough to make you gag. . . but I assure you this is no "gag"! Decency might instruct us to avert our gaze, and yet, gaze we must!

When you study this PDF file which I am about to share with you, you might feel as though you've gotten hold of a classified document that was smuggled out of the Sisterhood Kremlin! If you have ever had the least doubt that feminism is a totalitarian ideology that could make the world into a nightmare police state, this ought to scotch your uncertainties -- and if you don't feel simultaneously numbed, fatigued in your brain, chilled in your veins and overpowered by despair upon reading this stuff, then I fear you are beyond all help, my friend!

What you will find is 149 pages of citations from hardcore, radical academic feminist writers -- including Catherine MacKinnon! Here's a little teaser for you:
". . .But when women are segregated in private, one at a time, a law of privacy will tend to protect the right of men "to be let alone" to oppress us one at a time. A law of the private, in a state that mirrors such a society, will translate the traditional values of the private sphere into individual women's rights to privacy, subordinating women's collective needs to the imperatives of male supremacy. . ."
Well. There is absolutely no way you can reason with a self-validating mindset like that, and it is fruitless to even undertake such. That is why I say: don't bother arguing with feminists! It makes more sense to simply trade with them in their own coin, which roughly means that whatever they do to us (morally and intellectually speaking) we are entitled to throw right back at them!

But ask yourself very, very seriously if you wish to live in the kind of world that you know feminism would ultimately create. And then, tell me if you think it is feasible to "persuade" feminism to NOT create that kind of world? No? Then what else might be the options. . .?

Anyway. . . in this same document, you will find many samples of feminist handwriting appearing as comments in the margins -- which might be of interest to all you graphology experts out there! (I've already tried "tracing" some of these cursives with a pencil in order to pick up an intuitive feel for the various personalities! ;) One interesting thing I noticed was that the handwritten word "women" had in several places been corrected by a later scribe to read as "womyn" -- by overwriting the letter 'e'!

Fair warning: This is a 7-megabyte file.

Very well, you have been warned. So here it is:

I'm tempted to say "enjoy", but I'm not sure that's appropriate. . .

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Sector is a Gamut

Everybody knows that so-called men's "rights" advocates are just a bunch of uneducated, pot-bellied, right-wing traditional males! Right?. . . RIGHT??

Oh the saving power of clichés! Where would we be without it?

Prepare to get your stereotypes blown clean out of the water, for I am about to pound another nail in the coffin of the "hillbilly MRA". Today, I would like you to meet an MRA who is "way out there"-- why he's from south-central Asia of all the crazy places, and man, that's way out there all right!

Bhanu Prasad is a 26-year-old software engineer from Andhra Pradesh, India, and dig this: he describes his political leaning as "extreme left"! Now that might prove a trifle inconvenient for all of you thick-edge-of-the-knifeblade folk who favor a "stuck in the sixties" brand of pseudo-debate and faux-categorization -- but damn it all, I'm afraid there is just no help for this! There is no inherent reason why feminism and leftism must go together. (Sorry about that, Ampersand!)

Yes, Bhanu Prasad is an MRA. I can apply that label with scant hesitation and considerable assurance, because it factually and straightforwardly FITS. He actively advocates and agitates for men's rights! Ergo, he is a men's rights activist, advocate and agitator. Or some combination thereof, at any rate -- you know what I mean.

India is a land in which the feminist lamprey has only more recently fastened itself, and it is good to note signs of an incipient resistance movement. (Several Indian MRA websites can be found in the link roll at right.)

Bhanu Prasad has been good enough to include The Counter-Feminist on his list of "blogs I read", and when such linkage occurs I am most often pleased to reciprocate. I note as well that this non-Western MRA dislikes the same parts of Western culture which I myself find displeasing -- namely the crass, materialistic parts -- and yet enjoys the good parts. Such a "throw out the bathwater but keep the baby" approach is one that I can richly appreciate, particularly when it comes from a potential ally in a global struggle!

Mr. Prasad has posted a worthy string of articles which take feminism apart in a most incisive, sytematic, and curry-flavoured way. Below, I link you to one of these articles -- which takes "old-school feminism" quite handily to the cleaners. The title of the article is a gem -- and upon my word, rather Hindu-sounding!

Feminist Myth #2: Body, and body alone, seperates men from women.

And in case the link formatting gets "lost in syndication", here's a version you can cut-and-paste.

Go now and enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Action Needed

The following arrived by e-mail today, from Rob Pedersen of the EPBT. Rob sent this message to Richar' Farr, the celebrated and nationally syndicated FRA radio broadcaster (think Krights Radio), and cc'd it to a list of other people, including yours truly! Granted, the message is a mite lacking in "intro", but I think you'll cop the grist of it. Here it is, verbatim:

Michigan N.O.W. got ahold of the survey and they are voting against it in a strong way. This is my hunch based on an email I received. I know for a fact that the Michigan FOC and DHS are circulating this article. The “no” number on the survey has climbed significantly since I last check. We need to have people vote ASAP to raise our numbers…similar to how we did with your Current video. I was told by Detroit News that the total responses on the survey AND comments help determine future articles based on the demand of the issue. Folks should comment in favor of shared parenting and in Detroit News covering this topic on the articles main page. The article and survey can also be accessed via the main page at Detroit News

which they just recently bumped us up to. It should stay on the front page, as long as it stays hot, for the rest of the day. Thank you Richar for all of your help and your continued help this week! It was a pleasure speaking with you and to hear your strong support and leadership on this. Thanks for helping out Michigan.

Robert Pedersen

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Interesting Stuff About Larry Summers

Another CF reader comment promoted to 'post' status:

"'Pity that those professors had no fortitude to undertake similar discussions again. Call it the Larry Summers Syndrome! So how does it bode for us all, when the high priests of higher education do so cravenly cast away their torch and flee the sanctuary of their temple? Clearly, the mantle of their priesthood now devolves upon us library lizards, us cultured barbarians, us rough-and-tumble, self-educated street intellectuals -- we of the intellectual proletariat, we of the "Abraham Lincoln brigade", we who have no station, no standing, or in a word, no tenure. And therefore nothing to lose'!

"How true. Sometimes it's hard to imagine how an intellect can survive at all once it's become institutionalized.

"For those scantly aware of the Larry Summers scandal, in January 2005, Summers suggested, at a Conference on Diversifying the Science & Engineering Workforce sponsored by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the possibility that many factors outside of socialization could explain why there were more men than women in high-end science and engineering positions. He suggested one such possible reason could be men's higher variance in relevant innate abilities or innate preference. An attendee made Summers' remarks public, and an intense response followed in the national news media and on Harvard's campus.

"The full story is here:

"Nonetheless, the esteemed Steven Pinker
was among the minority of intellects who did come to Larry Summers defense.

"PSYCHOANALYSIS Q-and-A: Steven Pinker
Published On Wednesday, January 19, 2005 12:00 AM

"In an e-mail exchange with The Crimson yesterday, Johnstone Professor of Psychology Steven Pinker, who teaches the popular spring core class “The Human Mind,” opined on the latest flap over President Summers’ comments on women in science.

"CRIMSON: From what psychologists know, is there ample evidence to support the hypothesis that a difference in “innate ability” accounts for the under-representation of women on science faculties?

"PINKER: First, let’s be clear what the hypothesis is—every one of Summers’ critics has misunderstood it. The hypothesis is, first, that the statistical distributions of men’s and women’s quantitative and spatial abilities are not identical—that the average for men may be a bit higher than the average for women, and that the variance for men might be a bit higher than the variance for women (both implying that there would be a slightly higher proportion of men at the high end of the scale). It does not mean that all men are better at quantitative abilities than all women! That’s why it would be immoral and illogical to discriminate against individual women even if it were shown that some of the statistical differences were innate.

"Second, the hypothesis is that differences in abilities might be one out of several factors that explain differences in the statistical representation of men and women in various professions. It does not mean that it is the only factor. Still, if it is one factor, we cannot reflexively assume that different statistical representation of men and women in science and engineering is itself proof of discrimination. Incidentally, another sign that we are dealing with a taboo is that when it comes to this issue, ordinarily intelligent scientists suddenly lose their ability to think quantitatively and warp statistical hypotheses into crude dichotomies.

"As far as the evidence is concerned, I’m not sure what “ample” means, but there is certainly enough evidence for the hypothesis to be taken seriously.

"For example, quantitative and spatial skills vary within a gender according to levels of sex hormones. And in samples of gifted students who are given every conceivable encouragement to excel in science and math, far more men than women expressed an interest in pursuing science and math.

"CRIMSON: Were President Summers’ remarks within the pale of legitimate academic discourse?

"PINKER: Good grief, shouldn’t everything be within the pale of legitimate academic discourse, as long as it is presented with some degree of rigor? That’s the difference between a university and a madrassa.

"CRIMSON: Would it be normal to hear a similar set of hypotheses presented and considered at a conference of psychologists?

"PINKER: Some psychologists are still offended by such hypotheses, but yes, they could certainly be considered at most major conferences in scientific psychology.

"CRIMSON: Finally, did you personally find President Summers’ remarks (or what you’ve heard/read of them) to be offensive?

"PINKER: Look, the truth cannot be offensive. Perhaps the hypothesis is wrong, but how would we ever find out whether it is wrong if it is “offensive” even to consider it? People who storm out of a meeting at the mention of a hypothesis, or declare it taboo or offensive without providing arguments or evidence, don’t get the concept of a university or free inquiry."

Hmmm.....yes! Steven Pinker, by all accounts, is a man to be reckoned with! And yet, I have seen him bend over backwards with elaborate rhetorical concessions meant to assure his readers or listeners that he thinks oh-so-highly of feminism! For despite having so much to say which is inherently "dangerous" to feminism, he tap-dances very carefully around the entire subject.

Another esteemed thinker of magisterial rank who is dangerous to feminism yet coy about it, is the philosopher Ken Wilber. If you are unfamiliar with his work, I would recommend A Brief History of Everything as a first read.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Plus ça Change, Plus c'est la Même Chose!

Hey, I just love it when somebody else writes the blog FOR me, and I have only to kick back in my swivel chair smoking Havana cigars sent to me by my good buddy, the other Fidel, and drink myself into a stupor with cognac. . . or absinthe. . . or something like that! ;)

Yes, the following arrived by e-mail recently, and to me it verily seemeth good! It was written in response to the recent CF article entitled Notes: Toward an Efficient Political World-View:

"A rather long diatribe Fidelbogen. You've tested my patience with this one. :)

"Suffice it to say that feminism is analogous to a religion, with it own origin stories and epistemic system. And yes, we need not be its worldly or philosophical adherents.

"For my own part, I am a non-feminist but not in the sense that I am entirely antithetical to feminsim. Rather, my main beef is that I find it disconcerting that feminist theory is not subject to the same standards of academic criticism as are other social theories. That it is allowed to slide so to speak. Also, I am at odds with what I see as little more than ideological misandry in the movement.

"As Paul Nathanson and Katherine K. Young point out in Spreading Misandry [1] [2] [3] [4] , feminism's sexual politics are entrenched in popular culture. That women's inequality has been the fault of men's not permitting women to do this, or not allowing them to do that, is common knowledge to most people. Of course, the implied corollary of this common knowledge is that women's equality is reliant upon men's allowing women to be equals. Naturally, most self-respecting feminists will not have this leaving only one other conclusion. Namely, that women are principally responsible for their own equality and always have been. Ouch!

"The presumption that men had the power to allow or disallow women to do what they wanted is essential to feminist theory. It is also a presumption predicated on an entirely Kantian view of women as passive agents. Just the sort of view feminists would deny and yet at the same time exploit in order to build their case against men as their oppressors. Everywhere in their ideology is poor, poor, helpless little womankind against the big, bad male beast. How Victorian!

"For me the victimology that is feminism has worn thin, as has the notion that women are an oppressed class. After all, if women are an oppressed class, they are the only oppressed class that can proudly say they bear and raise their own oppressors. In which case, I've little sympathy for them.

"IMHO, the view of women as victims is not unique to feminism. Neither was this view necessarily invented by feminists so much as borrowed from a Victorian heritage in which women were counted innocent. A cursory reading of that era's authorized moral vocabulary will show that it invariably blamed marital failure on the husband and premarital sex on the initiative of the male. In that era and up until the 1960's, moral belief was that women were in need of protection from aggressive male sexuality which was deemed by nature predatory, selfish, exploitive, and opportunistic. Then came the sexual revolution and feminism got a new shot in the arm.

"For men, feminism was a double edged sword. Surely, the sexual liberation of women was at hand. However, feminists judged this a liberation from male domination rather than the hypocrisy of their own sex. Where women once thought men beasts, now they were pigs! What a welcome transformation of female attitude!

"Feminists have sustained their view of a world in which men are the enemy by sermonizing on the sins of patriarchy. After all, this way of speaking absolves women of any responsible agency for history's prejudices. Imagine that! How liberated a feeling such an ideology would bestow upon its congregation! Not only are you, as a woman, empowered, you're absolved of any fault for the past despite the fact that the previous era of sexual hypocrisy is named after an English queen!

"In short, that feminism relieved us of our Victorian predilections regarding sex is a ruse. Not only has feminism predicated its movement on a view of women as victims and denied women's complicity in the traditional moral order, it has done so by faithful adherence to antiquated notions of feminine moral superiority and innocence. The song remains the same."

This same correspondent, in a later e-mail, shared the following highly revelatory anecdote. Revelatory of the occult truth about feminism, I mean:
". . .when I was in college, a couple of my anthropology professors held a symposium entitled Feminism: A Cultural Perspective. It did not go over well with the feminists on campus. The suggestion that their movement could be explained as "just another phenomenon within western culture" was untenable to them. They preferred to see themselves as external to culture, looking from the outside in with their meta-analysis of patriarchy and so on. They were argumentative to the point of rancor on this point. The professors said afterward they would never attempt a similar discussion again. "
Pity that those professors had no fortitude to undertake similar discussions again. Call it the Larry Summers Syndrome! So how does it bode for us all, when the high priests of higher education do so cravenly cast away their torch and flee the sanctuary of their temple? Clearly, the mantle of their priesthood now devolves upon us library lizards, us cultured barbarians, us rough-and-tumble, self-educated street intellectuals -- we of the intellectual proletariat, we of the "Abraham Lincoln brigade", we who have no station, no standing, or in a word, no tenure. And therefore nothing to lose!

But how true it is, that feminism has given us nothing new. It has merely gotten hold of certain things that have always been part of this world, and inventoried them, and amplified them, and reinterpreted them, and mixed and remixed them, and tinkered with them, and soldered them onto a new circuit board, and in the end politicized them. Yet prior to all else feminism is a religion, with its own origin stories and and its own epistemic system. Somehow, those words have a familiar ring.

So, men formerly were 'beasts', and now they are 'pigs'? I have also heard it said that 'men may be dogs (but we love them anyway)', or 'men are animals, don't you think?'. So what are we to make of all this? Esteemed reader, which would YOU prefer to be -- a pig, a dog, an animal, or. . . a "beast"? Personally, I'd as soon be none of the above. I'd much rather be what I personally and uniquely am -- for which there is no exact word in any language. However, if it's back to the wall with no alternative to that zoological catalogue save bootlicking, politically-indoctrinated servility and self-betrayal, then beast I shall be! Beast, at any rate, has a certain freedom and dignity about it. A certain grandeur. A certain. . . poetry.

But really, I'd rather not be a 'beast' either. Nor would many others who share my view of the matter. And if certain people will finally awaken and hearken to the wise words of warning wafting from certain sectors, it need not come to that -- and beastliness may be avoided all around. So shake the lead out of your britches and do the right thing, folks! You know who you are. . .

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hugo Schwyzer, What Did You Do..?

On your blog discussion thread, I mean:

If you follow the link provided above, you will go to an old CF post from March, 2007. On that post, I pasted a lengthy (and very informative) comment which the super-MRA Marc Angelucci had made on Hugo's blog. Quoting myself from the CF post in question:
". . . the following was posted by the MRA lawyer Marc Angelucci on a discussion thread at Hugo's blog, waaaay back in August, 2005. In fact, it was the very last item on that thread! I repeat, was.

"And for an extra goody, there is a comment from yours truly about halfway up the thread!

"Anyway, the comment from Marc A. was so exceptionally fine I wanted to share it:"
And after that comes the long Angelucci quote. Now as I stated, this quote was initially the very last item on Hugo's blog thread. However, when I arrived at Hugo's to copy this item for pasting on CF, I left a very brief comment of my own -- praising Angelucci's words, as I recall! So at that point, MY item officially became the last item on the thread. Do you follow?

(Please note, I'm not referring to my earlier comment halfway up the thread!)

Anyway, if you visit Hugo's blog post and scroll to the very end of the thread, you will notice that BOTH Angelucci's comment AND my final brief remark are GONE WITHOUT A TRACE!

Once upon a time those items were present, and now they are gone. I repeat, they WERE IN FACT present; I will vouch for that in the name of all the Gods and all the Unseen Powers of the universe, yes indeed!

The items were present, but now they are gone, and there is only one plausible way that could have happened: Hugo Schwyzer removed those items!

Wassup with that, Hugo?

I know that Hugo is one of my readers, and . . . I know that he removed the items from his blog thread. Oh, it's no big deal, but I couldn't help noticing. And it tickles my curiosity. I mean, how could it not tickle my curiosity? Clearly, Hugo did what he did for a reason!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Boycott Florida and California!

The following arrived by e-mail a few days ago, from a fathers' rights organization in Florida. Boldfacings, as usual, are my own:
"One of the most underused but powerful weapons the individual has to effect political and social change in this money driven world of ours is their purchasing power. It’s underused because in America’s consumer obsessed society the relationship between "shopping" and “political action” is not an immediate connection to most people. This action also requires organizational and communications resources to implement. An article in the Financial Times (London) entitled "How should Companies Respond to Boycotts" (November 16, 1998, Monday) tells us:

The use of boycotts as a coercive marketplace tactic has increased in recent years and is expected to rise further. One reason for this is that consumer protests are proving more successful than in the past, both because those who organize boycotts are adopting more sophisticated tactics and because more consumers are supporting and joining organizations with explicit social and political agendas.
The prudent marketing manager no longer worries just about product and service quality. Monitoring deeper feelings towards the business and its home country may be critical in preserving customer relationships.

The single most important factor for the increasing success of consumer boycotts is the development of global communications; fax, email, satellites the proliferation of cell phones and the explosion of the internet. The internet alone has dramatically improved the opportunities for boycotts by providing individuals access to every kind of information imaginable and permitting individuals to disseminate their views world-wide through web-sites or discussion groups.

Even in the old days economic boycotts were conducted and often succeeded. Gandhi's Swadeshi campaign to boycott English textiles was the first effective demonstration of the shakiness of British rule in India. Gandhi's campaign caused a lot of suffering in Britain. Thousands were jobless and a large number of textile mills in Lancashire were closed.

The most recent demonstration of the power of economic boycotts was demonstrated in South Africa with the fall of apartheid. The boycott and international sanctions hurt the black community, nevertheless the resolve of South African blacks and their leaders never wavered. In the US, alumni and students insisted that their Universities divest their trust funds of large blocks of stock in companies doing business in South Africa. Even after Nelson Mandela was released and a number of important reforms put into place, the ANC called for the continuation of international sanctions until apartheid was completely dismantled and a transitional government was in place.

"Most of the activism for Fathers Rights has been on the symbolic level: Father’s Day Marches, parades, demonstrations, law suits, Press Grabbing Civil Disobedience, etc… All these activities are important. They are powerful on a symbolic level and serve to renew the commitment to the cause. They also attract sympathy and publicity for the cause of Fathers Rights and create a greater awareness of Fathers in the world. Yet after the event members and supporters go home, put up their signs and wait for the next event to happen.

"Another form of activism has been the petitioning of governments, leaders and world bodies to intercede on our behalf. All the letter writing campaigns to presidents, prime-ministers, senators, congressmen, governors, parliamentarians, are in effect forms of petitioning. Even our so called meetings with government heads, can be put in this category, as we bring no form of pressure or threats to bear in these talks. We as a group have to appeal to the other sides generosity, compassion or whatever for help. However important these efforts appear they are still passive and a form of supplication.

Its time we take a course of action that is not just symbolic or an act of supplication but a direct blow to Family Court tyranny. We must do something that causes a tangible injury, loss or disadvantage to the individual states. We must also think in terms of what causes pain to the individual states and not necessarily what gives us activists and participants satisfaction. Boycotts will empower our membership, their families and friends with an ability to strike back from their own homes. A direct action for Fathers rights and Equal Parenting. Right at this moment the States of Florida and California are incredibly sensitive to economic loss. Any type of economic injury would hurt both California and Florida. One person not buying agricultural products grown and processed in Florida or California and bypassing their Theme Parks would cause, let us say, a loss of $1000 annually to the Florida and California economy, which may not seem much. But the fact remains that it is a loss to both California and Florida. No matter how small it is at least real, tangible and quantifiable; and therefore far more valuable and effective than all the promises and assurances Fathers have received from National and State leaders, politicians and ‘experts’.

It is a solid starting point. If five thousand Fathers in the US refused to buy Florida or California goods we could be causing $5,000,000 loss to both of them every year, which may not seem like much, but if each of these 5000 people recruited ten friends each…? And so on?

On Fatherless Day we can move past the symbolic and begin a direct action that will empower our movement and lift us from the passive supplicate holding the beggars cup for our god given rights to be parents.

Take the next step and support the Boycott now!!

Well, I must say that I hugely enjoy the pull-no-punches way of framing the issues in this message! I find it refreshing -- we need more such "refreshments", all around! But anyway, in case you haven't noticed, fathers' rights orgs are springing up thick and fast like mushrooms all across the USA. At an accelerating rate, I mean. And they're building their lines of communication, too. Yes, we're looking at something REAL, folks!

The e-mail quoted above was sent to me by William Lake, who appears to be the main guy in a group called 'Fighting Fathers of District One' -- district one being the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. They have a website here:

I would recommend that you spend some quality time upon that website -- really study it! You will be impressed, as was I. Here we have a group with a serious plan -- well researched and well thought-out -- and with serious motivation to put it over the top! Be sure you don't miss the following page. . .

. . . where the boycott blueprint is laid out in detail, together with an expansive list of corporate targets and all sorts of contact addresses. If you look closely, you will discover that this action has even been projected on an international scale, for some of the addresses are UK and European ones! You can wager your last euro, yen or shekel that I'll plunk down nary a thin dime for any California wine or Florida citrus. And I'll naturally steer wide of those Disney places -- they're so mickey mouse anyway, what the hell!

And to get an overview of the political machinery which is now a-building, visit THIS page:

Finally, let's not forget about the biggest overview of all. The struggle for fathers' rights is part of a much larger struggle, but any victory on this critically important battlefront shall be as a centrally targeted hammer-blow against the socio-political empire of FEMINISM itself!

Hey, I'm the counter-feminist, and that is MY agenda! ;-)


UPDATE: The following was left as a comment by Paul Parmenter, and it is so much in the spirit of the occasion that I feel like posting it topside:

"This is an important step forward: from complaint to direct action. And we can all play our part. I certainly will: no more Floridian or Californian products in my house! To go along with the total absence of other products from manufacturers who indulge in male-bashing adverts!

"It is interesting to note that those American states will contribute to their own downfall, by creating more recruits to the cause. Every new divorced dad who gets screwed by the system now has an organisation to join and a battle to fight, with a coherent strategy. Where else do you encounter an enemy that insists on generating new recruits every day for its opponents? This corrupt and rotten system must fall because it is planting the seeds of its own destruction.

"Push hard guys, and keep pushing."

Verily! So we have the Equal Parenting Bike Trek (which looks set to grow year by year, gathering media attention like a snowball!), and now we have THE BOYCOTT too! Now that's a one-two punch all right! And I am honored to have the opportunity to promote both of these actions here on the 'Counter-Feminist'!