Monday, December 29, 2008

Wanted: Men to Report on
Women's Violence

A study on domestic violence against MEN is now being conducted at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., USA:
"The Men's Experiences with Partner Aggression Project is a research study at Clark University and is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

"Denise A. Hines, Ph.D., Clark University Department of Psychology, is the lead researcher on this project. She is conducting this project in conjunction with Emily M. Douglas, Ph.D., Bridgewater State College Department of Social Work, and the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women.

"Our goal is to better understand the experiences of men who are in relationships with women who use violence. Extensive research has shown that men are at risk for sustaining partner violence in their relationships, yet few studies have investigated their experiences, and there are few resources available to such men. This is an under-recognized problem in the United States, and by conducting this research project, we hope to provide much needed information on these men, their relationships, and their needs.

"We are seeking men between the ages of 18 and 59 who have been involved in a heterosexual romantic relationship in which their female partners have used physical aggression against them (e.g., slapping, hitting, grabbing, pushing, punching, beating up, using a knife or gun, etc.) within the previous year. If this describes you and you are interested in participating, please click on the Click Here to Participate link in the left-hand column to access the online survey."

Go here to take the survey online, if you think you meet the qualifications to be doing so: http://www.clarku.edu/faculty/dhines/

Well! All I've got to say is . . . "It's about time!!"

And yet this is nothing new; for years we've had heaps and tons of evidence strongly suggesting that women commit at least as much domestic violence as men—and NOT in self-defense either, as the feminists want the world to believe! And this mountain of evidence keeps growing and growing!

But the feminists will STILL tell you that "most domestic violence is committed by men", and they will say this over and over like robots, as if it were a fact. (Ampersand the collaborationist blogger made such a statement rather recently!) However, it is not a "fact", but rather a highly contested assertion and nothing more. And the people who insist on repeating this so-called "fact" have a responsibility to advise their listeners, by means of a qualifying phrase, that a shade of controversy clouds the picture. For example, "various studies suggest that most DV. . .etc." But no, they never do that! These people just baldly declare that "most DV is committed by men," and leave it at that—as if they would intentionally mislead their listeners. I don't know about you, but I think it is safe to call such behavior LYING, and to call the people (such as Ampersand) who behave this way LIARS.

But I am happy to see that the world contains at least a few people who seek the truth truthfully. For truly, we need all the reality we can get—even if it radiates from a politically forbidden sector. Reality is funny that way; it makes a hash of politics. Und so schlimmer für die Politik!

So go, and have a look at the survey webpage, even if you aren't filling out the survey.

And if you have a spare minute, go take a fresh look at an old favorite, Martin Fiebert's bibliography. Prof. Fiebert is continually updating that list, and you might not be aware of the most recent addenda made about 3 months ago (Sept. 2008). The list now contains a total of 246 items: http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas to all who mark that occasion!

On this day one year ago, we had a light snowfall hereabouts. It amounted to very little, and it melted off in a few hours. But I went out and did some photography with my digital camera, and posted a sample of the takings here: http://counterfem.blogspot.com/2007/12/just-for-today.html

This year. . . we had snow. Oh yes. . . we had snow! I had to clean the build-up off my car no less than three times. Nor were driving conditions safe. But after about a week it is finally turning into mushy slop and huge puddles along the roadways. As I write, a light drizzle is falling, and everywhere the universal blanket of cold white death is visibly retreating, shrivelling, collapsing, contracting in upon itself. Footprints are filling up with water. . .

Only a few short days ago, maybe 40 miles from where I live, they were enduring blizzard conditions with 90 MPH winds. I'm in a different microclimate, so I was spared that. . .
.........................................................

On another note, I have made some editing changes to the immediately foregoing post—the long one! I wasn't quite happy with it. Something about it was bugging me. So I did some surgery on a few paragraphs, and made some minor touch-ups here and there. And I do believe it is now a better, stronger piece of writing—although no less long. In fact, long it shall remain . . . .

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Is Feminism a Good Thing?
~It is an Object for the World!

Where is feminism's Achilles heel? If we could smite our enemy in just one place and drill that place unmercifully open, wider and deeper, until our enemy keeled over dead, where do you suppose we ought to strike? Have you got any ideas about that? Well I have a few. In fact, I believe feminism has any number of such Achilles heels. I've thought of several, and today, I'd like to examine just one.

But I would first remind you that by the rules of the present age you cannot attack feminism—it is culturally prohibited to do so. You might as well urinate on the Mona Lisa, for such would be the magnitude of the sacrilege. Yet there is no escape-hatch, for to capitulate in despair is not an option, to plead futility is not an option, to turn the other cheek is not an option. Attack you must, or you will be attacked—and they will slowly grind you into sawdust. But you already knew that, didn't you?

The only way out is forward. We are saddled with the burden of investigation, and the task is twofold. First: we must enquire to know how the world maintains feminism on its altar of untouchable sanctitude. Second: we must enquire to know how we might deactivate the mechanism described in the first part.

The investigation gets underway with a simple observation: that the word feminism is a shibboleth. And what is a shibboleth? It is a widely held belief that interferes with the ability to speak or think about things without preconception.

Feminism is more than just a word. It is a hot potato—a word with connotations, a word with baggage, a word with a muddled and controversial belief system standing behind it. And owing to the muddle and controversy, hardly anybody remains entirely rational when the shibboleth is spoken: far too much is at stake for most people to speak or think without preconception! When this word vibrates in the air, you can feel an iron cage sliding into place around their heads—the clang is nearly audible! In fact, the word is rarely spoken in common settings. But when it is, it generates a discomfort zone, at which people will silently agree to "not go there", and quickly change the subject.

A shibboleth is meant to separate one demographic sector from another by means of a test. In the celebrated Old Testament story, wrong pronunciation of this word would betray you as a foreigner. Nowadays, the word feminism serves analogously—although pronunciation is no longer under scrutiny, but rather a psychic undertone that signals membership or non-membership in a certain cultural paradigm. This word (and the emotion it triggers) divides the world into two distinctly polarized sociopolitical groupings—meaning that the ensemble of varied opinions within each group will cluster around the word feminism with a signature unique to that group and markedly unlike the opposing group. The shibboleth separates the oil from the water, due to the feelings and associations it conjures.

In keeping with the system laid down elsewhere, I will call these sociopolitical groupings the feminist sector and the non-feminist sector. The terms establish a polarity, but note that a middle zone lies between the extremities—a non-activated region composed of people who have either no opinion about feminism, or an opinion that leans only weakly in either direction but remains unmarked by appreciable passion. Yet in the fullness of time, owing to certain developments, we may expect this middle zone to grow more activated (galvanized) so that a pronounced demarcation will emerge between the feminist and non-feminist sectors.

I, the present writer, formerly inhabited that middle zone of lukewarm opinion described above. I am a living case of the transformation that can occur.

The feminist sector morally dominates and intimidates the non-feminist sector by reason of its organization, infiltration of the media, penetration of state apparatus, group consciousness, group solidarity and so on. Therefore the feminist sector enjoys a power advantage. The non-feminist sector submits meekly to a feminist hegemony because, stated simply, it has no collective self-awareness and does not understand the nature of the opposing power. Moreover, it is prey to a certain emotion I will call superstition.

All these factors (and others) help to explain why it is socially taboo to attack or even mildly criticize feminism—because there is a comparative power vacuum on the non-feminist side, whose only resource is "passive numbers". So the non-feminist sector in its political inertia cannot muster any will-to-assert-the-contrary, and therefore the feminist sector (being the only assertive party) wins by default.

To sum up: feminism is, for the feminist sector, a sacred ox. And heaven help us, but thou shalt not gore the sacred ox! And the followers of this ox have turned their worship into a virtual state religion, a cult whose power, mystery, mana, gravitas, hierophantic mumbo-jumbo and so on have inspired, in the minds of a good many people, the emotion called superstition. All of which is a complicated way of saying that they have arrogated the moral high ground on a dubious warrant, and gulled a lot of people into playing their game.

Understand, that it makes no part of the present talk to enquire into the history behind this. We don't care to know how it came to be this way, but rather how it remains this way. How, we would like to know, does the device sustain and renew itself, day in and day out? The answer is, that feminism occupies the moral high ground by a semantic trick that is simple to comprehend.

Consider once again, that feminism is a sacred ox. In common with cultists everywhere, the followers of this ox-cult have entrusted their lives to the power of a fixed idea—or more accurately many such ideas, but only one of these will concern us now because it is pivotal and uniquely consequential.

Briefly, the worshippers of the feminist ox embrace the fixed idea that "feminism is a Good Thing." The fixed idea makes the sacred ox sacred: it must be a good thing, or why would anybody worship it? This idea is anchored to the bedrock with steel bolts; the thought that feminism could be other than a Good Thing cannot meaningfully exist for them at all! Any such possibility is ruled out of consideration and therefore unavailable for discussion.

Such is the semantic trick. The rest is details, and I will look into some of these.
For many years, the feminists have drilled and instilled the idea that feminism is "pro-woman". That is another way of saying that feminism is a good thing, because pro-woman certainly means good for women. And they so far contrive to sell this idea, that they presume to call themselves the women's movement. In this way, they have stuck a label on a bottle to distract attention from what the bottle actually contains. For if feminism is "pro-woman" (as the label seems to imply), then by clear insinuation it follows that whosoever speaks against feminism is anti-woman.
On the identical principle, I could start a movement called "the good guys". Then I and my "good guys" could be any kind of bastards we wanted to be, and since we were the good guys nobody would dare to speak against us—for that would make them the bad guys, right?

Less hypothetical would be the term "progressive", which is a name that an actual political tribe has bestowed on itself. Clearly, if you aren't one of this tribe, you are regressive, correct? Precious little choice they give you: be one of us, or be damned!

To commandeer the moral high ground by semantical handy-dandy is nothing new. Human beings have been practicing that little dodge for as long as they've been practicing politics, which is a long time. In the case of feminism, the trick is more subtle because unlike (say) "good guys" the term "feminism" carries no self-evidential, or prima facie, recommendation. The idea that feminism is a good thing is a sociological myth that was cemented in place by a lot of work over the years. They had to "make it stick", but they have succeeded, for it is now stuck very well indeed!

So in order to break free from this deceitfully constructed mental log-jam, we need to pose certain questions. For example:

"You say that feminism is pro-woman. But what ELSE is it?"

What's wanted here, is a full disclosure of ingredients: what else is in the bottle? If the feminists are not forthcoming upon this point, then I must make my own examination. And if, having done so, I conclude that feminism ought to be rejected out of hand owing to some other things which it contains, this will shift the burden onto the feminists to rationalize the presence of those other things. At this stage, feminism would need to undergo a self-criticism, an identity crisis, a self-redefinition—or else incur the risk of a wholesale and warrantable repudiation by the non-feminist sector.

To ask "is feminism a good thing?" is very little different than to ask "is X a good thing?" One must enquire to know the value of X—and by that value I mean everything which feminism might plausibly be shown to contain. X means the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about feminism. The quest for the value of X, and the contest to assign this value, we call the Battle for Feminism's Soul.
In the feminist mind, there is a cognitive disconnection between what feminism means to them, and what feminism is in fact. The shibboleth enforces a deeply-cloven and profoundly consequential split, in feminist cognition, between the subjective and objective dimensions of knowledge. If it often appears that feminists are living in their own world, it is because they are in fact doing so.

The feminists refuse to heed signals from the non-feminist sector, and it does not occur to them that such feedback could be objectively explanatory of the nature of feminism itself. This betrays a one-sidedness, an arrogance, a hubris, a perverse subjectivity. To the feminist mindset, the fixed idea that feminism is a good thing invalidates all contrary data, and by the same stroke it invalidates all human expounders of such data.

Plainly stated, you are worth hearing only insofar as you rubberstamp the feminist worldview. And when push comes to shove, one easily foretells that feminism will try to run non-feminism straight into the ground— for, being feminism, it can scarcely behave otherwise! It is not difficult to discern the shape of feminist meta-ethics, and to fast-forward its probabilities into the future for an extrapolated view of the eventual consequences.

All of this from an ideology which arrogates a universal power of moral explanation. But however far feminism might aspire to become the world, or pretend to be the world, it is in fact not the world. It is only a mental filter, a set of tinted goggles that certain people insist on wearing for personal reasons that would be of scant interest were it not for the political power the illusion has garnered.
So how does this illusion function in practice? By what steps does the believer assemble the illusion in her (or his) mind and then launch it into operation?

Here is the recipe. Begin with the fixed idea that "feminism is a good thing". Once you have that part nailed down, you can directly derail any suggestion to the contrary, because the axiom that "feminism is a good thing" immediately proves those people wrong! Moreover, since they are attacking a good thing, it demonstrates not only that their ideas are wrong, but that they themselves are personally "not right", and therefore cannot possibly have right ideas—because how can "wrong" people have right ideas? Right?

Sounds moronically simple. But since these people are apt to be subtle morons, we must look into some further wrinkles. For example, if some challenger rattles off three or four reasons why feminism is not a good thing, assure the person that the items in question are either a.) not really feminism, or b.) some other kind of feminism (but not your kind!). Then dismiss the subject as quickly as possible, and proceed to "accentuate the positive" by lauding the merits of your feminism, while paying no further mind to your challenger's objections, and indeed washing your hands of those objections altogether.

Finally, bask in the warm afterglow of knowing that feminism is a good thing after all, and that while those who challenge it aren't necessarily "bad" people, they are most certainly deluded people, and that if they pig-headedly insist on being deluded even after you have kindly set them straight, then yes, they really are bad people. But either way, bad or merely deluded, they are not to be taken seriously and must eventually be "corrected" in one way or another.

Such is the power of the shibboleth; such is the power of the fixed idea. So it becomes a serious question whether such people as feminists should enjoy an unlimited license of self-definition or self-interpretation. Why should this thing called feminism be only what these people called feminists would have us believe it is? Are these people called feminists the only people with eyes to see, and brains to think? Are they? And are these people called feminists really thick enough to think that the rest of us are so thick that we can draw no intelligent conclusion about what feminism is? They must think we're jolly thick, all right!
When hard-pressed, many a standard feminist will fall back upon the dictionary definition of feminism:
feminism n. Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

As you'll have noted, there is a glaring cognitive disconnection between the term and the definition which follows. But that aside, the definition itself is not particularly enlightening. Admittedly, it sounds like a good thing. But otherwise it sounds fuzzy, open-ended and evasive. It is a writhing octopus of multivalencies, and so full of holes that you could drive a fleet of trucks through and steal the furniture along the way. But here, let's try a second definition, albeit one that you won't find in any dictionary:

feminism n. Anything that strengthens women at the expense of men.

There is, on the surface of the case, no special reason to favor the first definition over the second. And the second, unlike the first, is "tight as a drum", with a somewhat operational, even algorithmic character that might be expected to generate a more convergent body of solutions. If you are a feminist, you might not like the second definition (because it sounds shameful), but mere subjective distaste would not be adequate to rule out the veracity or utility of it.

But the first definition more usefully captures the spirit of understanding common to feminist-inclined people, male and female alike. When you probe such people as to the meaning of feminism, you will find that feminism is little more to them than a golden word with a halo of emotions and talking-points clustered around it. Yet despite their manifest want of cogent knowledge, these people are unanimous upon the fixed idea that feminism is a good thing.

Now turn your gaze from the common roads of life to the recondite world of feminist academia. What do you find? The identical fixed idea that feminism is a good thing, but with this difference, that the fixed idea is elaborately camouflaged beneath a gloss of educated terminology. Yet more concerningly, (and quite unlike the discourses of common life) you will find in feminist academia both a keen understanding of what the second definition implies, and a stubborn determination to suppress the damaging consequences for feminism which arise from such implications. The academic feminists know perfectly well what is going on, and they work to spackle this over by a game of theory-building that never ends. Plainly stated, the job of feminist academia is to bamboozle us with smokescreens and give us the runaround ad infinitum, so that the truth will not emerge.

Among both commoners and academics, the fixed practice is to disallow any critique of feminism on the ground that such criticism attacks a good thing. The academics, however, take it a step further when they aggressively devise sophisticated intellectual strategies to counteract and eventually "correct" the non-feminist elements who voice such criticisms. But in either case, the feminists operate from a standpoint of FEMINIST TRIUMPHALISM—which means the dogmatic conviction that feminism has achieved an objective moral triumph absolved from all further discussion. Such is their fixed idea; such is the pivot-point on which their world turns.

Here again we contemplate the Battle for Feminism's Soul. This is high drama. The adherents of feminism believe that they have triumphed, that the world rightfully belongs to them, that they may rightfully extend feminist custodialism and feminist tutelage into every possible corner of life by means of perpetual revolution, until nothing in the world lives independently of feminism—at which point feminism (at least in theory) will become the world. Yet the grubby truth is, that feminism is only a balloon waiting to die of overinflation. And in the aftermath of that messy explosion, the timeless world that we have always known—albeit in a damaged condition—will go on as we have always known it. Brief indeed, shall be feminism's eternity.

The battle for feminism's soul means the power to speak the final word, or the controlling word, on what feminism objectively IS. . . or isn't. Consider: if somebody had the power to describe and evaluate you in whatever terms they saw fit, and upon so doing their word about you became THE truth about you, then in a very practical sense you might say that your soul was no longer in your own keeping.

The NF sector now has the controlling word on what feminism objectively is or isn't. The feminists may natter at will, about us and about our world; they may pontificate and palaver; they may undertake to bind us in elaborate skeins of academic theory and recursive doubletalk. But this is all in vain because we now have the power to rip their cobwebs asunder. It is as simple as making up our minds to do so, and then doing so. And what is holding us back? Cobwebs!

The feminists insist that feminism is objectively a good thing and yet invariably something is wrong, because they can never tell you the whole truth about feminism. They themselves—or most of them at any rate—demonstrably have no clear idea what feminism is at all. And yet they have the crust to say, or to imply, or to assume, that feminism is a good thing. But how can they possibly know this? They have no better warrant for such knowledge than their fixed determination to believe at all costs, and in the face of all contrary argument.

There is one group of feminists (the majority) who cannot cogently explain what feminism IS. There is another group who can indeed do so, yet cannot cogently rationalize the adverse consequences which their explanation might generate. And there is a final group which rationalizes those adverse consequences only by militantly shifting the blame onto men and absolving women of virtually all moral accountability. (This third group is female supremacist by a de facto process of elimination, because no other endpoint logically coheres with their moral standpoint. )

All of feminism is situated on a slippery slope leading toward female supremacism as a moral endpoint. Note the progression: from those who possess no cogent understanding of what feminism is, to those who do possess such understanding but maneuver to avoid the implications, to those who militantly embrace the implications and damn the torpedoes! These three layers of feminist cognition operate as an integrated cultural organism, with a distribution of functions across many sectors.

That the majority of self-proclaimed feminists would not appreciate hearing such things, will not deter the present writer's assessment. And it is upon precisely the foundation here suggested, that the NF sector may claim to speak the controlling word about feminism. Feminism as a whole has no unified conscious knowledge of itself as a whole—meaning that feminist self-knowledge is not uniformly transmitted from one end of the femplex to the other. The different parts operate in oblivion to each other, or semi-oblivion to each other, or varying degrees of moral disassociation from each other.

And so, feminism in the sum total of its ideations, actions and consequences, exists as a public object—an object for the world. This means that although the feminists are free to interpret themselves and explain themselves and rationalize themselves and change their disguise as often as they wish, the non-feminist sector may likewise claim as much expertise about feminism as any feminist might claim. Feminism is by default an object for the world because it is not and cannot be—consistently, rationally or honestly—an object for itself. We, of the NF sector, are free to be scientists who analyze feminism and experiment with it, free to be artists who sketch and paint pictures of it, free to be preachers who preach about it, free to be guitar players who write songs about it, free to be MRAs who philosophize about it, free to be comedians who make jokes about it, and so on.

And above all else we are free, upon the strength of independent criteria, to draw conclusions as we see fit regarding the inherent goodness or badness of it. Feminism is an object for the world, but feminism is not the world. It is rather, a portion of the world—but the remaining portion is larger, and entitled to exist, and entitled to a voice upon all matters which vitally pertain to it.

Some people believe that feminism is a good thing. Others believe the contrary, and it is even conceivable that some people would regard feminism as a merely indifferent thing—as I myself once did. Truly there are many shades of belief in this realm of speculation. At all events, the time has come to kick over the traces and open the field to a universal free-for-all. The power of the shibboleth can and must be broken, so let the word feminism be opened to discussion, and let the thing which the word signifies be correspondingly opened to whatever dissection the discussion might entail.

It is clear to the present writer, that feminism on its collective mind level does not genuinely know itself, that it cannot or will not acknowledge the moral variety of its own composition—from whence it follows that feminism cannot accurately assess its own consequentiality in terms of the social ecology. Thus, a critical dimension of understanding has been omitted, and given the nature of the case the task falls upon others to make good this omission. And by "others", I mean people other than feminists; I mean people whose non-inclusion in the feminist enterprise is keenly delineated.

For the truth about feminism can never be known to those who occupy the standpoint of feminist triumphalism; such a standpoint can by its nature never admit the possibility that feminism is other than a good thing. And being incapable of such admission, it follows that the standpoint can never process counter-indicative data in a manner that is intellectually honest. So the standpoint is equipped from the outset with an intellectually dishonest mental filter that colors its entire outlook on the world. We call this mental filter FEMINIST SUBJECTIVISM, and it is a direct consequence of feminist triumphalism.

But in the end, this is very simple. If the bottle contains a few harmless things, and also a few things that might kill you, then answer fast: is the stuff in the bottle good . . . or not good? You should demand, up front, an honest list of ALL the ingredients . . . shouldn't you? And so it is in the battle for feminism's soul. It is the battle of the bottle: the battle to know what is in the bottle and to name what is in the bottle. What, really, is the value of X?

So. . . is feminism a good thing? One must enquire to know what is really in the bottle, for that is the only way one can ever hope to learn. But where to begin?

Begin by floating this query into the world, in whatever manner your ingenuity might suggest, as one of a number of distributed questions that will eventually be so circulated.

Yes, questions are worth as much as answers, for asking the right question is like shaking the answer tree and watching the fruit fall. So propose a question for general consideration. Circulate that question, and by so doing activate the collective mind along the chosen path of enquiry, lighting the way into a targeted zone of discourse. The question becomes a distributed project, with a battery of mental firepower brought to bear upon the task from all directions.

Distributed questions
ought to be carefully formulated so as to address structural weak points, and the question whether feminism is a "good thing" answers very much to this purpose.

Is feminism a good thing?
The opposing sector will NOT be happy to hear this. It is blasphemy to even intone such a proposal at all, and it will make them madder than a one-legged kangaroo on a skateboard—particularly if the question will not go away! Particularly if the question pops up everywhere, again and again, more and more as time goes by, and always in a voice that is unfailingly nonchalant and blander than butterscotch pudding.

Eventually, the question will settle into the landscape, take root, and grow. Then the culture will not be rid of it, particularly when a popular discourse springs to life around it, and people grow addicted to the liberative enjoyment such discourse introduces into their lives.

Such is the Achilles heel of feminism. To merely pose the question whether feminism is or is not "a good thing" insinuates that it is perfectly acceptable to harbor an unorthodox opinion upon that point—which in turn undermines and problematizes orthodoxy itself. It further insinuates that the realm of non-orthodox sentiment makes a proper field for extended discussion—and who knows, maybe even academic discussion!

One thing, as you see, leads to another. And big things have small beginnings. At any rate it, is certain that you've got to begin somewhere. Not necessarily a single somewhere; it could be a lot of different somewheres in a lot of different places by a lot of different people. But still, the only you that you have. . . is YOU, and you can't spread yourself too thin, so you need to begin at some somewhere . . . and here I have suggested one such somewhere. What counts here is the principle that lies behind this, and the potential utility that lies behind the principle—and I hope that somebody, somewhere, has found inspiration or food for thought in all of this.
I leave you with this parting thought: if the opposing sector is entitled to its fixed idea—that feminism is a good thing—then we of the NF sector are equally but oppositely entitled to our own fixed idea—that feminism is a bad thing, or at least an indifferent thing. And there we sit, like the gingham dog and the calico cat, staring mournfully at one another across the fault-line in our fixities.

But the ball is in their court. The burden is upon them, and they have a choice—not a choice that our side extends as an ultimatum, but rather a choice embedded in the nature of things, a choice that is bigger than all of us.

And that choice is: to Co-Exist, or to Not Exist.

The burden, as I say, is upon them. And if they decline the first option, that is where the hurly-burly begins. ;)

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Feminist Boosterism

Last night I recieved an e-mail from somebody I had no reason to expect any e-mail from—or at any rate I'm not sure how or why I, of all people, got onto their mailing list. This message was dispatched to me by "A Single WomanMovie News", and rather than explain it myself I will send you to their official home page, here: http://tinyurl.com/6w3gqd

As you will quickly see, former United States Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin is a HUGE feminist icon. Do a bit of googling to learn more about her.

From yesterday's e-mail, this:
"* The National Arts Club has invited "A Single Woman" to screen at their historic national landmark headquarters, the Tilden Mansion, 15 Gramercy Park South, on Tuesday January 6th [2009] at 8pm for their members as well as invited guests.

"Charles De Kay, literary and art critic for the New York Times formed this world-renowned club, whose mission is to stimulate, foster and promote public interest in the arts and educate the American people in the fine arts, in 1898. The Club's Membership has included three presidents, and some of the most important artists and arts patrons in America. It also admitted women on a full and equal basis from its inception."
The Gramercy Park district in Manhattan is an elite location as locations go. I walked through that area once, years ago, and the dim 19th-century image lingers in my memory: the leafy park; the wrought-iron fence; the ornate buildings.

And this movie about Jeanette Rankin is getting a ton of support from high places. They are hyping it, big time; they are talking it up! They are screening it at the elite Arts Club, as you have seen. They are also screening it at the Smithsonian Institution, and in front of the United States Congress. Alas. . . poor feminism, friendless and forlorn!

This movie, A Single Woman, is clearly a major project in which a lot of time, money, energy and planning have been invested. It is a "rich kid" which has been pampered every step of the way. But here is more from yesterday's e-mail:
"*The Office of Los Angles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his Partnership for L.A. Schools (a program the Mayor designed to improve the ten most troubled schools in the Los Angles Unified School District) worked with us to bring a full school bus of high school students from Santee High School in South Central Los Angeles to the Pacific Design Center to see the film.

"Students, teachers, social workers and volunteers from CAMS (the Coalition Against Militarism in the Schools) joined several of the film's team in discussing "A Single Woman" for over half an hour after the film ended. The students were engaged and inspired by what they learned and Principal Richard Chavez wrote to tell me how much they had enjoyed the experience."
(So as you can see, they are spreading their message to the lumpenproletariat urban masses. Verrry clever!)

Mind you, I have not seen this flick. I may, or I may not, eventually do so. But let's keep in mind that cinema is a magical thing, and as such promotes magical thinking—superstition, in other words. Which is not the sort of thinking that I recommend.

For truly, this Jeanette Rankin is an impressive, nay, a formidable person! And she makes one hell of an icon, so it is no mystery to me why certain people might wish to shove her into the faces of certain other people, as if to say "who do you think YOU are, sirrah??" And the timing for such a gesture seems about right, too. After all, we are well aware of the grassroots groundswell of bad feeling, concerning feminism, that is presently in progress. . .

Yes, feminism is looking rather tarnished, and it needs a hero to refurbish the shine! A righteous champion holding aloft a golden sceptre. . . .

Yet need I remind you, that feminism is our enemy?

Feminism, to be sure, benefits a certain number of people. For example: mercenary women, gold-digging women, criminally-minded women, man-hating women, flakey women, irresponsible women, bureaucratical parasite women; intellectual viper women in academia. But above all, feminism benefits men of the ruling class, and it benefits men who long to join the ruling class—for it gives such men a surefire way to plant their bootheels (directly or indirectly) on the necks of underclass "chumps" who refuse to "get with the program".

Feminism empowers women against men, AND. . . it empowers MEN against men. The second clause is critical, for feminism would crumble within two weeks if ALL MEN made a collective decision to stop supporting it. But the reason this doesn't happen is because some men are profiting greatly, at the expense of other men, from feminism's existence.

Jeanette Rankin, so it appears, was a champion in many different fields, not just feminism alone. And from the looks of it, she is now getting boostedon the "Statue of Liberty" principle—as an emblem. An embodiment. A personification of feminism itself . But that doesn't make a jot of difference: feminism is STILL your enemy, and don't you forget it!

It is merely boilerplate rhetoric for a feminist to declare that "feminism works to achieve justice for everybody". And I don't doubt that some feminists mean that very sincerely in their own minds, and I don't doubt that some of them sincerely walk their talk in that regard. But that is NOT the pragmatic truth about feminism as a whole; in fact it is a hypocritical charade and nothing more.

They say it because it sounds like a good thing, because it places them in a rhetorical posture that is burdensome to argue with, and because it puts their adversaries (who typically have a more narrow political focus) on the defensive—for you will look like an enemy of peace and justice clear across the board if you merely attack feminism.

But it's all a pack of lies, and it's all rhetorical posturing. Feminism wraps itself in the flag of "progressive politics" in order to use that very same politics as a living shield. The truth is, that by far the majority of women who parade through life under color of feminism are nasty, selfish, vindictive creatures—and their impact upon the social ecology reflects this.

This Jeanette Rankin, for all I know, was an admirable person. I haven't got much to say about her, because quite honestly she doesn't much interest me. My voice is neither for nor against her. Why should Jeanette Rankin interest me? Why in heaven's name should I worship the idols of my enemies, or even trouble my head about those idols one way or the other?

Jeanette Rankin might have been quite a gal, and she might have made quite a splash. But I don't give a fig about any of that, because I wash my hands of her and all that concerns her. Jeanette Rankin is nothing to me. . .

Jeanette Rankin? Whatever!

Jeanette WHO..??

---------------------------
Note: The people who sent me that e-mail might have just been curious to see my reaction. I expect this will satisfy their curiosity.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Values and the Numbers

The following e-mail (titled "more for the grist") arrived yesterday:
Dear Fidelbogen: As I've not offered your blog anything of import in a while.....

You may entitle as you see fit.

HBO produced The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo released April 2008. Many other articles entitled "Breaking The Silence," "Silence = Rape," etc.. have been produced out of due concern for the atrocities women now suffer in Darfur and the Congo. While I view these contributions to our awareness as invaluable, it has also occurred to me that despite the "silence" no crime gets more press than rape. Nevertheless, there are atrocities more confined to silence; apparently too taboo to mention in the general media -- except rarely:
..................................

From: Brian Steidle of the Washington Post; March 20, 2005.

"Mihad now represents to me the countless victims of this vicious war, a war that we documented but given our restricted mandate were unable to stop. Every day we surveyed evidence of killings: men castrated and left to bleed to death, huts set on fire with people locked inside, children with their faces smashed in, men with their ears cut off and eyes plucked out, and the corpses of people who had been executed with gunshots to the head. Every day, women are sent outside the IDP camps to seek firewood and water, despite the constant risk of rape at the hands of the Janjaweed. Should men be available to venture out of the camps, they risk castration and murder. So families decide that rape is the lesser evil. It is a crime that families even have to make such a choice."

From: Afrique en ligne

"Kampala, Uganda - Uganda has accused rebels of renegade General Laurel Nkunda who is fighting the Kinshasa government of committing crimes against humanity by castrating men and using civilians as human shields. Stung by the revelations from refugees in western Ugandan district of Kisoro, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Minister, Prof. Tarsis Kabwegyere, has called on the international community, especially the African Union, to move fast to resolve the crisis in the neighbouring Congo Democratic Republic. Rebels are (committing) all sorts of atrocities against civilians. They are castrating men, using civilians as shields against attacks from government forces and wanton killings."

From: The Inner City Press:

"UNITED NATIONS, November 11 -- To explain his government's refusal to speak with renegade general Laurent Nkunda, the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Ambassador to the UN Atoki Ileka told the Press on Tuesday that Nkunda's forces "rape women and castrate the men." These words were spoken, in French, at the microphone in front of the UN Security Council, inside which the Department of Peacekeeping was asking for 3000 more peacekeepers. "


From Bayview: U.S. and Rwanda to blame for Congo’s human catastrophe

"U.S. military and national security interests are determined to control Eastern Congo, because its unparalleled mineral riches are even more geostrategically significant than petroleum. They are essential to the manufacture of defense products such as jet engines, missile components, electronic components, iron and steel."

"Tantalum and cassiterite, a.k.a. tin, so abundant in Eastern Congo, are also “strategically significant” in that they are essential to the consumer electronics industry that now plays such a major role in the U.S. economy."

"To control these resources, Gen. Laurent Nkunda and his militia terrorize the Congolese people of North Kivu Province, which borders Rwanda in Eastern Congo. They shatter and uproot communities and families, with systematic rape, castration, torture, looting and murder."

......................................................

Please dear reader, ask yourself, how much of the above have you read in your corporately owned local newpapers? Nada? No doubt.. When venturing out of the camps, women are vulnerable to attack and rape. We are rightly informed of this. Castration and male genital torture are also used, like rape, as a means of terror in the Congo and Darfur but we are seldom informed of the casualties. For instance, there is no mention by Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch of the use of castration as a "weapon of war" or "means of terror" in either Darfur or the Congo. It would seem that sexual violence against the male gender is missing from their political focus. Or perhaps, as I suspect, male casualties of war have been traditionally acceptable, regardless of the humiliation they suffer, both in the Congo and America ... and they remain so (even to feminists).

Sadly and Sincerely yours,
_______________

(Fidelbogen's commentary follows:)

From my scrutiny of the foregoing, and from my years of reading news stories and studying the world at large, a pattern emerges—one that will be instantly familiar to CF readers of pro-male political leaning:
  • If women do bad things, play it down
  • If bad things happen to women play it up
  • If women have the advantage, play it down
  • If women have the disadvantage, play it up
  • -------------------------------------
  • If men do bad things, play it up
  • If bad things happen to men, play it down
  • If men have the advantage, play it up
  • If men have the disadvantage, play it down
Now, it would be far too facile to note the disparities here, and to speak of a 'double standard'. But I would hasten to assure you that no so-called double standard is actually occurring, for any feminist would be quick to inform us that the pattern displayed in the list above is actually a case of redistribution. You see, far too many men have the mistaken idea that "equality" between men and women means formal equality. However, what feminism works for is not formal equality, but rather gender sensitive equality.

The feminist aim, as any feminist will tell you, is to correct the historical imbalance of justice arising from the oppression of women in the past; that is, to be sensitive to women's oppression—hence the phrase "gender sensitive". Skeptics might pretend to see a formal inequality here, but the feminist aim is to create true equality through a sensitive redistribution of "fairness". That is to say: "fairness" must be distributed away from men and toward women in order to spread fairness evenly—although not in a "formal" way, mind you, but in a gender sensitive way. Are you with me so far? Good!

So, it is mistaken to see a so-called double standard in all of this. Rather, you must learn to see a gender-sensitized differential standard. Do you follow me? Do you see how this works? Good!

In a related vein, let us consider the gender inequality of human misery reportage, to which the news stories lately shared are a notable exception. Readers of this blog, being a keen and savvy crew, are doubtless aware that such orgs as Amnesty International have a long record of reporting wartime atrocities against women while having little to say about the fate of men.

The keen and savvy readers of this blog are doubtless also aware of what the feminists have been keen to inform us many times over the years: that "women are the primary victims of war", or "women suffer most from war". . . or the like.

Again, it would be easy to complain of 'double standards', for we know (thanks to such stories as those given) that men suffer from war at least as much as women do, and even more in terms of sheer numbers. And such being so, men should enjoy the same spotlight in the misery olympics as women do! Or so you might assume. But, would this be a proper assessment of things. . .?

What do the feminists really mean when they say that women suffer most from war, that women are the primary victims? I must assume that they aren't talking about mere numbers, since I have never heard a feminist say that "greater numbers of women are senselessly slaughtered or hideously injured in war". No, according to them, "women suffer most" or "women are the greatest victims"—and various reasons are given for this purportedly higher misery index, although none of them are demonstrably more poignant than getting your viscera pulped and scattered in all directions by machine-gun fire, or getting your arms and legs blown off by a hand grenade, or getting castrated by terrorists.

Therefore, we know that the feminists don't equate war victimization with mere numbers, and we may fairly conclude, in addition, that they don't equate it with any palpable indicia of suffering. So I feel good that we have eliminated those possibilities, because I am sure the feminists must have something altogether different in mind, when they tell us that women are the greatest victims of war or suffer the most from it.

So what DO the feminists mean, when they say that women are the greatest victims of war or suffer the most from it? I see two possibilities remaining: 1.) that men inherently suffer less from war because they are inherently less capable of suffering, and 2.) that the degree of victimization or suffering is indexed to the objective human value of the victim or sufferer.

Let us consider Item Number One. From a feminist viewpoint the logic is easy to follow, since any feminist will surely inform you that most violence is committed by men, that wars are started by men, that military technologies are invented by men, and so on. So clearly men must lack sensitivity in the first place, correct? And lacking sensitivity, their capacity for suffering surely cannot be anywhere near to that of women. So it is not the least bit difficult to understand why women suffer the most from war, and are its greatest victims. And as the former United States Congresswoman Barbara Jordan so unforgettably expressed it:

"I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it. He's just incapable of it."


Item Number Two might be said to unfold naturally from Item Number One—for what can you say about the human value of creatures who are responsible for the inhumanities of war? It should therefore manifestly stand to reason that a creature of lower objective human value rates lower upon any possible scale of victimization or suffering. But make note of a subtle distinction: we do not mean that such a creature necessarily undergoes less suffering in an absolute sense (when the individual case is correctly assayed for the sum total of applied misery), but only that his suffering is of less import—and therefore less to get fussed aboutbecause he is himself "less" on the objective scale of human value. Likewise, his "victimhood" is of less import than the victimhood of one whose inherent human value is objectively greater. He is therefore a secondary victim rather than a primary victim. Do you follow me? Do you see how this works? Good!

Bearing all of this in mind, it is easy to see why Amnesty International does not talk much about wartime atrocities against men: because AI is a progressive, humanitarian organization, and quite current with the requirements of gender sensitivity and redistribution.

So now at last we are in a position to know just what the feminists really mean when they tell us that women are the primary victims of war, or suffer the most from it—and as I hope you can see, it makes perfect sense when you understand the feminist frame of reference! I hope that I have supplied some insight here that will clear away the misconceptions and help us all to feel better about things! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Here: Go Read Some Other Blog!

Thank heavens for other bloggers! If it wasn't for them, I'd have to do all the work myself. But instead, I get to be lazy. ;)

The blog to which I am sending you is the work of Factory, who is an occasional commenter at CF. Factory has been in production for quite a while now, but I have only recently become aware of his authorial existence in cyberspace. His blog is the interestingly titled Hunting for Archetypes. He shares my enthusiasm for the Uomini3000 platform, and you will observe that he has posted the entire document directly online:

http://huntingforarchetypes.blogspot.com

I think you will enjoy Factory's thoughtful and enlightening posts, along with the candid, nonchalant, "tell it like it is" tone of voice in which he delivers his message.

I'd like to direct your attention to a couple of individual posts. From the first of these, MRAs and feminists alike could learn a thing or four. Take your time and digest it very, very thoroughly, folks: http://tinyurl.com/6d4pfg

And I will climb onto my own soapbox for a minute or two. Make no mistake about this, but given the objective historical condition of the world today, and in view of all those ugly trends which are barreling along the pike with nary a hint of deceleration, the growth of misogyny is inevitable. INEVITABLE! If things keep rolling the way they're rolling, then the misogynistic shift is harshly and unmercifully not avoidable. More and more men everywhere will learn to despise women, to look upon them with the utmost cynicism and disdain, to feel absolutely nothing but stone-cold contempt for them, and will want nothing at all to do with them—and I mean nothing as in no dealings of any kind whatsoever. Nothing!

And let me say it one more time: THIS IS INEVITABLE—as water running down a hillside is inevitable—UNLESS certain things change in a very, very serious and fundamental way! How, you ask? What things? Well here's a clue: more feminism is not the answer! In fact, that would be exactly like treating cancer with more cancer—which doesn't sound very promising, does it?

So clearly, less feminism is the answer! And that is all we need to know. That thought alone will set our feet upon the one and only pathway that can ever possibly lead us up and out of bog, and away from the quagmire.

All right: the second Hunting for Archetypes post is here: http://tinyurl.com/68haqc

. . . and in its own way it draws the same conclusion I have drawn: that feminists are hiding from the world. Most of them by far—and by far most of the time—are only bouncing echoes off one another in a self-referential argot consisting of PoMo and other academic jargon along with a mish-mash of Freudian mindbuggery and assorted psychobabble. What they dread above all other things is real conversation with real people in the real world. They sound like, what shall I say?. . . snotty college kids regurgitating "what my professor said." Which a lot of them in fact are, or recently were, or were some years ago. They differ from the MRAs in that they are fueled by hate yet paradoxically "out of gas", so it's a mercy for them that they can discourse words of civil venom from a cloven tongue while veiling their moral bankruptcy in the gauzy sophistries of intellectual predation.

But hang them, or send them all to the devil, and give me a pack of ranting, cursing MRAs any day!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Parole dall'Italia

"U3 in USA, Su un blog americano antifemminista parlano di noi"

An MRA website in Italy—Forum sulla Questione Maschile—has recently posted the following:

http://questionemaschile.forumfree.net/?t=34918615

Now this is solidarity, trans-Atlantic style! It's time to create links, both large and small.

As of right now, the thread contains two comments. The first translates as "ah. . . such compliments! I feel proud of our work!"

And the second, more lengthy item translates in condensed version as "we need an Italian translation along with the English. I understand English, but not everybody else around here does. And the message should reach everybody, not just a few."

Anyway, that was a nice little "feel-good" moment, but now I must get back to work on something more ponderous. ;-)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Uomini3000

In a recent CF post, I spoke of the Italian MRA organization Uomini3000, whose website a commenter had brought to my attention. As noted, I was particularly pleased and impressed by the official party platform which U3000 has published in the Italian language, here: http://www.uomini3000.it/188.htm

Since writing the CF post in question, I have secured an English translation of the U3000 platform (titled PRINCIPI E FINALITA'), and with the kind permission of U3000 I am making this available, in PDF format, to readers of the Counter-Feminist:

http://tinyurl.com/6ckt3h

For the record, I can discover nothing in this document that any reasonable person ought to find morally compromising or controversial in any way. The points are clearly thought-out, clearly laid out, and are such that whoever might wish to formulate a case against them would be arguing on difficult terrain. The authors of the U3000 platform have fashioned their statement in a way that offers no easy targets: only the scoffers, reactionaries and flingers of mud could hope to practice their craft here, but we know that such people will launch their missiles anywhere, any time, at anything at all which merely unsettles their emotions—that is par for the course!

In short, the U3000 platform has what I call a non-exceptionable surface or, as some might say, a teflon-coated surface: it is righteous and reasonable; it is limited to essentials; it is purged of the extraneous and superfluous. It offers, I submit, a robust, coherent and highly stable organizing principle for a movement—one that allows for future adaptations while at the same time putting such a clear ideological face upon the movement that no adversary can dishonestly "supply" that face by methods of willful misinterpretation or imputation.

I share Uomini3000's PRINCIPI E FINALITA' with my readers as a model for study and emulation, as a working demonstration of how politics ought to be done—even if such "politics" (thus far) extends to nothing greater than the rhetorical buzzosphere of the worldwide web. You've got to begin somewhere, and it is never too early to master your trade.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Importance of Feminism

"I don't need to convince men that feminism is important, that just isn't a goal of mine. I can't even have that conversation, of whether or not it's important, because if someone asks me that they're my mortal enemy and I don't want to have a conversation with them until they grow-up."

— Kathleen Hanna: the original Riot Grrl; founder of the band Bikini Kill
You may wish to add this snippet to the classic list of feminist quotations that we are all so familiar with—the one that has been circulating for years.

For my own part, I could never entertain the least shred of doubt as to the importance of feminism. To give voice to such doubt, to propagate such doubt through the world at large, just isn't a goal of mine. I am indeed profoundly convinced that feminism is very, very important—and to undertake any additional persuasive exercise for my benefit would be an effort entirely misspent. Therefore, Kathleen Hanna may rest easy—secure in the knowledge that here is one man who needn't be convinced and accordingly needn't grow up. Moreover, it warms my heart and gives me the fuzzy-wonderfuls to know that Kathleen Hanna and myself are the best of friends—since, given that it would never cross my mind to "ask her that", it clearly follows that we aren't mortal enemies. And you'll never know what a blessed relief and a Balm of Gilead it is to me, and what a grievous burden of affliction it doth lift from my soul, to be able to say this!

Feminism is "important" because it is a matter of import—which is to say, a matter of consequence or significance. Knowing what I know of feminism, and the magnitude of shadow it throws upon the world, how could I ever possibly suggest the contrary? My good friend Kathleen Hanna and I would never, ever have occasion for "that conversation" in any form, since we are most assuredly of one mind upon the key article that feminism is a matter of import. That thesis is rock-solid, and not the least subject to disputation. So it is settled once for all, between Kathleen Hanna and myself, that feminism does not lack importance!

A few years ago, I was acquainted with a certain young man—a good-natured chap and, let me say it, rather simple—who didn't know what feminism was! I spoke the word during a conversation, and he looked at me blankly and said "what's that?" (To add some human context here, this young man was living with his girlfriend at the time. She was an art student, and just then in the process of discovering Susan Sontag's writings. She was later sexually unfaithful to him and, on her own initiative, broke up with him.)

Now it might seem harsh to the young man, to say of him that he needed to "grow up". A perhaps uncharitable imputation, considering that he didn't even know what feminism was in the first place and so could offer no meaningful assessment of its importance. Yet the sad fact remains, that my good friend Kathleen Hanna would have needed to convince him, and to have had "that conversation" with him. And this, understandably, just wouldn't be a goal of hers, since if he were to say to her "what's that?", he would clearly be requesting—by implication— a validation of feminism's importance, meaning that the implied burden of providing such validation would fall upon her.

And we couldn't have that now, could we? Or couldn't we? Clearly, somebody around here needs to grow up . . . wouldn't you say?

At any rate, I would carry all of this a bold step further. I would proclaim that feminism collectively, as a whole, is likewise exempted from any duty to convince us of its "importance"—and somehow, I feel certain that my excellent good friend Kathleen Hanna would enthusiastically second my initiative, for if she would personally claim the right to such a thing, how could she not make it freely available to the entire Sisterhood as well, eh?

Therefore it seems that neither Kathleen, nor the feminist movement collectively, has any duty to convince us that feminism is important. In the same vein, they have no duty to explain WHY feminism is important, since they would need to explain this as a part of explaining the first thing. Are you with me?

Mind you, I'm talking about men specifically as targets of the exemption. So I'm guessing that women are free to interrogate at will, and that we men can provide our designated female proxies with long lists of questions to take to such sessions?

But wait! Can it be that women too are on my good friend Kathleen Hanna's mortal enemies list, when they attempt to have "that conversation"? My good friend isn't quite so clear upon this point, but I wouldn't hold that against her, since she IS my good friend after all!!

All right, let's make this simple—at least until my very good friend gets back here with some damn straight answers! Since Kathleen Hanna and every feminist on earth presumably has no duty to convince the rest of the world (including women) that feminism is important, or why it is important, and since I am myself quite fully convinced that feminism is enormously important indeed—meaning consequential and significant in the grand scheme of things—then it shall please me enormously to make the truth about feminism acidly known to the world at large.

My most exemplary and highly esteemed friend Kathleen Hanna, and her eminently worthy feminist sisters, may depend on it that I will step happily up to the plate in their stead and work like the devil to convince both men and women, the wide world over, of the importance of feminism. And you know what? I won't even wait for those people to "grow up" either. Heavens no, I'll get straight to work, toot-sweet, on that oh-so-vitally important conversation, ah . . .yes indeeeeed. . . . . !

Consider: I have been publishing, for just over two years, a web log called The Counter-Feminist. And for all of that time it has been my unflagging endeavor to convince people that feminism is a matter of profoundly great importance. Seriously: would I call myself The Counter-Feminist if I didn't believe that feminism was important? Feminism, I can assure you, is in the best possible hands. . . . . ;-)

Monday, December 01, 2008

It Belongs to You—Take It!!

Some time ago, during my spell of idleness, I posted a comment on a dusty little "Bubba's Tavern" of a website known as Feminist Critics. Now, the folks over yonder do a pretty fair job of reaming feminism's guts in clever, unexpected ways with fiendish instruments—but mister, don't you ever, ever, EVER call Feminist Critics an MRA website! Don't you dare!

You know what? Those FC folk are sitting on the fence—how else can I say it? However: when the big barbecue gets underway and that fence grows sizzling hot, I'm pretty sure they'll hop down right quick, on one side or the other. That is of course, unless they prefer to take their buns toasted. I mean, you never know: chacun à son goût, as they say in France! ;-)

At any rate, my comment on FC was rather long—and rather good, I thought. Long enough and good enough (with small modifications) to qualify for CF post duty. So I will share it with my blog readers now. But for the sake of context, here is the native habitat on FC where it first appeared:

http://tinyurl.com/5cc3gn

And the FC comment follows:
Comment by fidelbogen | September 22, 2008 at 5:02 pm

These people
—Schwyzer, Kimmel, Faith and all their tribe—have only as much power as the rest of the world gives them.

And since these people speak from within the feminist paradigm, it is much the same as saying that the feminist paradigm itself has only as much power as the rest of the world gives it.

To argue with feminists from within the feminist paradigm, is either self-defeating, or too much work to be worthwhile—especially when other methods (of a more efficient, pragmatic nature) might be devised.

It especially irks me to see elitist academic male feminists like Schwyzer and Kimmel behaving as if they “own the issues”—as if they run a closed shop upon all legitimate discourse pertaining to the subject. I must object strenuously to these people monopolizing the conversation about manhood and such, in their triumphalist tone of self-appointed authority—ex cathedra as it were.

It is good for these people that they can isolate themselves in self-appointed intellectual ghettos and echo chambers. It is not so good for the non-feminist sector, however, that these people should broadcast their proceedings from a mountain top as the official Voice of Truth to a disorganized population which doesn’t rightly savvy what is being fed to it—or why—and therefore apt to sop it up like an uncritical sponge-mass.

Most objectionable of all, I reckon, is that their discourse about “manhood and such” grows directly from the DNA nucleus of the feminist paradigm. Which means that (according to their program) feminism has got the contract to legislate upon the meaning of manhood. Finito!

Dialogue with these people will operate smoothly only so long as you respect certain unstated conventions—which may be summarized tersely as: “Given X, certain things follow.” And X, please understand, is always a feminist fixed idea of one kind or another. So the trouble starts when you commence (either seriously OR playfully) to reassigning the value of “X”. Do that, and watch them grow tetchy!

It is possible, I would grant, to commandeer the feminist paradigm from within simply by “twiddling with their algebra”, so to say. But it’s a hell of a lot of work, and as we have seen ever-so-many times, their zone alert system is highly effective. Witness the present instance: Hugo was hoping the thread would run smoothly along the greased rails of feminist ideology to an acceptably feminist endpoint. But Hugo smelled trouble, for the rails had developed a disturbing friction, and a stutter. So he hit the brakes and threw the locomotive in reverse. (In other words, he closed the thread.)

And that is how it rolls, every time, with their rolling-stock. They “close the thread”. Standard M.O. Foreign elements are either ejected from the zone, or else the zone is shut down—to be re-convened elsewhere. Repeat procedure as necessary. Ad infinitum if necessary. And declare “victory” every time.

In order to burst the bubble of the feminist paradigm, (and therefore bring it within the ambit of a relativizing discourse) one would need to make it both impossible to eject the foreign elements, and impossible to shut down the zone. Given these conditions, the foreign elements could (given sufficient skill) realize their objective—to wit, make the necessary algebraic reassignments, and make them “stick”. (Although it would still be a labor of Hercules, and a tedious slog any way you slice it!)

However the cardinal point remains, that to allow the tenets of the feminist world-view (paradigm) as a starting point for discussion, and then discuss your way out of the marshland point-by-point and tit-for-tat, is a profoundly exhausting way to open feminism to the currents of relativizing discourse. (Although my hat is off to any who would undertake this—far be it from me to devalue their efforts!)

But naturally, one is bound to speculate upon the alternatives. It seems to me that more leverage, more torque, can be developed and put into action by INITIALLY staking a standpoint outside the feminist paradigm, and from there, engaging the feminist paradigm as socio-political unit—a sum total of parts. . .

. . . as opposed to “earning” that outside standpoint by hacking your way out of the maze from within. For that would amount to seeking permission from somebody else to merely be yourself, and such a selfhood, granted by somebody else, is no selfhood whatsoever.

An existential standpoint foreign to the feminist paradigm need only be reclaimed, as one would reclaim stolen property. It's free because it's yours!

Having accomplished that particular miracle, that particular revolution, life (from a non-feminist viewpoint anyway) gets progressively simpler and easier. And these people, being shifted away from their subjective center of gravity, must now struggle to regain that center, step by labored step, through tangles and thickets and quagmires. Surely not an easy task. . .

But a most necessary task, a task not to be omitted, if these people would genuinely EARN that so-called "right" to pontificate blithely upon the nature of “manhood and such” without seeking the input of those who are essentially different from themselves and foreign to their world.

A final word: I consider female pop celebrities, on the whole, to be a demographic cohort eminently undeserving of my attention. That is, I consider this group of people to be mindshare vampires. Nevertheless, I would like to say something about Britney Spears.

Okay, I said it! That's all! I just wanted to write that magical name on my blog. Maybe it'll work some Google magic for me. You never can tell.