Sunday, May 11, 2014

Who Is Hanna Kern?

When I first posted about Elizabeth Raine’s efforts to auction off her virginity, I said that if the story is true we will eventually discover her real name.

Well, now we know. Elizabeth Raine is a pseudonym for Hanna Kern, a shy and studious graduate student in bioengineering at the University of Washington.

Hanna Kern

Hanna Kern

In my most recent post I reported that after the bidding reached $801,000 Kern decided to cancel the auction. Even though she still believes strongly in the feminist principles that propelled her on her mission, she decided that her studies had to come first.

Apparently, she chose not to martyr herself for feminism.

Now, the Daily Mail—what would we do without the Daily Mail?—reports the background details about Kern’s ill-conceived venture into hymenomics.

First, it appears that most of the bids were not for real. When asked to provide background information about himself, the winning bidder disappeared. Sadly, a source close to Kern reports, her virginity was not worth as much as she had thought.

One prefers to think that she came to her senses, but one must, in all fairness, consider this more market-driven explanation for her enlightenment.

Second, her university was none too pleased about the notoriety:

Mail Online can also reveal furious professors at her college, the University of Washington, found out about the auction and hauled her in to explain herself.

They have agreed to allow her to take crucial qualifying exams next Friday, but she will have to go in for talks next month.

At that point they will let her know what disciplinary action she will face for sullying the name of the prestigious university.

They have already told her that her ‘immoral’ behavior has put her future career in the medical profession in serious jeopardy.

As the old saying goes, the face you lose is not just your own.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but contemporary feminism suffers from an internal contradiction. A movement that has sought to advance women’s careers, has been encouraging behaviors that are guaranteed to undermine any woman’s career, to say nothing of her self-respect.

Do I need to point out that any man who chose to auction off his virginity on a website would find his professional reputation seriously compromised? You do not have to be very bright to figure this out.

Exposing your sexuality, to say nothing of monetizing it, will cause people to lose respect for you as a professional.

How would you feel about consulting with a physician who had posted erotic pictures of herself in her underwear? How would you feel about paying for her services when you knew that she had seemingly been willing to sell her body? Doesn’t it compromise her professional standing?

Feminists believe that by exposing their sexuality in public they are freeing themselves from patriarchal oppression. Thus, feminist websites, when they are not denouncing human nature as sexist offer open and honest discussions of every intimate detail of female anatomy, mixed with revealing pictures of the female body in various states of undress. True enough, it isn't porn, but it is certainly degrading.

Feminists do not seem to understand that they are sexualizing women and robbing women of their self-respect, to say nothing of their privacy.

Third, Kern didn’t really seem to need the money. She did not come from a poor family. The Daily Mail reports:

Her father Allan Kern is a successful business man, who lives in Long Beach, California and works as the Principal Consultant for the oil and gas firm he founded,

As for Kern’s claim that her family was fully onboard with her decision to brand herself the “virgin whore,” when a reporter called her father and mentioned her name, he immediately hung up the phone.

Kern’s unfortunate adventure poses this question: how did a movement that wanted women to participate more fully in the marketplace, on the same terms as men, come to encourage the open display of feminine sexuality?

In many ways, it is not that great a mystery. Feminist or not, most women want to attract men. If a woman has lived the feminist dream and has  adopted ideological positions that are decidedly unfriendly to men, how can she convince men to see her as an attractive woman? How can a feminist compete against women who have not renounced their feminine mystique?

The problem dates to the advent of second-wave feminism four decades ago. Yet, today's feminists are effectively following the same plan that the first generation of second-wave feminists found.

They have been  handing out sexual favors more freely. Very few men will refuse offers of free love, even if it means that they have to listen to a harangue about the oppressive patriarchy.

Effectively, Hanna Kern’s is a sad story. A shy and studious student had reached the age of 28 without attracting any real male interest or attention. Her excellent grades and her brilliant papers had not incited the male gaze. Combine her shyness and studiousness with her feminism, and she had, as a woman, been passing unnoticed.

If the male gaze is like radar, feminism is stealth technology.

Most sensible women solve the problem by enhancing their femininity. For them, femininity is the mean between the extremes of virginity and prostitution. Being a feminist, however, Kern could not embrace her femininity.

She could do no better than to dramatize the mindlessness of contemporary feminism by changing from the woman whose sexuality no one noticed into the woman whose sexuality was on display and for sale to anyone.

As I said, it’s a sad story.


Lastango said...

Feminists exhibit an attribute we might call "In-Your-Face-Feminism".

It is valued for itself, apart from content and intent. They high-five when one of their tribe gets loud and proud, puts on a display of being confrontational, or calls someone out for what they perceive as un-progressivist thinking or behavior.

They do this in the classroom, anywhere on campus, on the web, and when in groups. In their relationships they are are usually somewhat more sly about how they "help" his raise his awareness of feminist issues, but are equally intolerant of any resistance. An audience isn't always necessary, because the feminist will receive cheering and support from her community when she inevitably returns to tell the tale of her triumph. Indeed, being able to tell the story later was a key point in fabricating her outburst. She will tweet, post, and talk about it, perhaps for years or decades.

So, we end up with a mainstreamed culture of moral and political exhibitionism. The end justifies the means. The bigger the splash, the greater the heroine. Best of all, there is no shame: she wasn't disrespecting another person, she was being true to herself and her ideology. Wit that as her frame, she can -- and will -- do whatever she wants, to anyone she wants.

Dennis said...

Looks like a nice kid who has been infected with the disease of radical feminism. It is a contagion that populates most institutions of higher learning. It is a sickness of the mind and soul.
The fact that so much of this is falling apart gives me hope that she will mature and recognize how unthinking adherence to feminism can do real damage. I wish her a good life and a great marriage. There is a reason why feminists hate marriage. Women's attitude change and mature.
It is amazing what we will do to be part of something that seems to be the "in" thing. Another victim of radical feminism. The more things change the more they stay the same. Only technology changes. One has to be reminded every so often that today's In" is tomorrow's "What was I thinking" with the hope one's immaturity does not do great harm. I am inclined to think that I have made my share of stupid mistakes and not be too hard on her.

n.n said...

Progress is unqualified, monotonic change. Normalized prostitution is what's next. Kern is a pseudo-trailblazer -- not the first -- for not only women, but men who want to receive direct payment for the use of their parts. The "traditional" value of relationships, and moral temperance generally, is archaic. Just do what feels good.

I will not say that this started with the normalization of abortion/murder and diversity advocacy, but devaluing human life and denigrating individual dignity has self-evident consequences.

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