Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Feminist Look at Men

On the off chance that you would like to read about something other than Ferguson….

Apparently, Laura Kipnis has written a new book about the state of men. Not just men per se, but men in America living under feminism.

Kipnis makes much of her boundless empathy for these pathetic creatures—and yes, at one point she calls them pathetic—but she cannot restrain herself from showering them with boundless contempt.

Obviously, Kipnis wants us to think that she is describing today’s man. In truth, she seems to be describing men who are trying to become the men that feminism wants them to become. Trying and failing, we can say.

One might imagine that any man who tries to reconfigure his being in order to appease or placate feminists deserves a woman’s contempt. Perhaps that is the hidden message in Kipnis’s book.

Taking a page from Freud—always a bad idea—Kipnis suggests that men humiliate themselves by their public behavior—think Anthony Weiner and John Edwards, good Democrats both—because they are moral masochists and really, really want to be humiliated.

From a feminist perspective this might mean that they have bought into the notion that men bear guilt for all the ills of humanity and deserve to be taken down a peg or two or three.

Kipnis tells Hanna Rosin:

... a lot of men in power seem to be acting in such incoherent ways in public. It’s almost as if something was afflicting them and they had some need to be shamed in public, to be disgraced and act out these private psychodramas in public, and I was just fascinated by that.

Kipnis is describing a certain kind of man, mostly the man who wants to atone for the sins of the patriarchy and to align himself more closely with feminist expectations.

Unfortunately, some men are reacting against the new regime. Ironically, they are doing so by fulfilling the darkest of feminist expectations… by becoming bullies, louts and abusers.

Having learned that they are patriarchal oppressors and sexual predators—scumbags, con men and lotharios, as Kipnis calls them—they embrace what feminism has declared to be the truth of their being.

But, these men might be tired of receiving so much contempt. They might not want to be humiliated, so they might be responding to the provocations they are receiving from their new feminist masters.

For her part, Kipnis empathizes with these pathetic male creatures:

I think I became more empathetic about whatever causes I was speculating about. There’s a kind of precariousness for men now about their position—you’ve written about this. There are changes in the role in the aftermath of feminism as a result of massive economic restructuring, and this is affecting them on an interpersonal level. They don’t know exactly what’s going on in the context of heterosexual male-female relationships, what’s expected of them.

How badly have men been affected by feminism? Kipnis declares that:

You are constantly hearing men indict other men for their misogyny. 

Since she is an academic, a professor at Northwestern, she is probably talking about men in the world she knows best. One hesitates to call such creatures men.

Hanna Rosin asks Kipnis a salient question:

You write that men these days seek humiliation. What do you mean by that?

To which Kipnis replies with Freudian claptrap:

I guess when I look at these figures—Edwards, Weiner—there seems to be something not quite random about how they are all flogging themselves in public. I’m still very interested in Freud, and he writes about masochism and aligns it with femininity. But we are now seeing another version of male masochism. I think there’s something about childhood humiliations getting imprinted on you, and I think that was the case with Weiner. I actually talked to someone who dated him, and she said that was the case with him. There’s some form of self-destruction that’s just woven into our constitution.

She adds:

I want to focus a bit more on male vulnerability, to point out that these men are wounded and needy and pathetic.

Is this what feminism has wrought? Do feminists feel so confident in their absolute power that they imagine that men will not react, at times not kindly to this level of contempt?

If the only choice is between being a wimp and being a prick, a certain number of men will choose the latter. It's in the DNA.


Ares Olympus said...

re: One might imagine that any man who tries to reconfigure his being in order to appease or placate feminists deserves a woman’s contempt. Perhaps that is the hidden message in Kipnis’s book.

There's definitely some sort of projection going on, judge men by women's standards, and then judge the men who try to cooperate as incompetent women. But of course men can do the same thing, so it's all fair.

I remember from the movie Mary Poppins the Women's liberation movement and song with the phrase "Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they're rather stupid."

I always though that was a sly position, but I'm not sure if it works, that is to say, if you feel contempt for ALL MEN, can you really isolate men as individuals uncolored by their unfortunate gender status?

But at least the suffragettes had a single political purpose, to be enabled to vote, so she could nullify her husband's vote.

Speaking of feelings, someone introduced me to Dennis Prager recently, and curious, found this writing:
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-2_22_05_DP.html Liberal Feelings vs. Judeo-Christian Values

A good read, but also I'd say it comes down to the desire that a woman should think more like a man, which is the same problem as the feminists in reverse.

Dennis said...

I suspect that most men would have to respect a feminist's opinion for it to have value and most of us outside the "blue state" area have little value for a feminism that is actually dying a death of a thousand cuts administered by their own hand.
I suspect the Vagina Monologue is still only listening to itself. That is why they did not call it the Vagina Dialogue. I am really to take seriously a smallish body of misandrists who act like sluts, wear tampons for earrings, talk through their vaginas and are constantly whining about every thing.
There are far more women who do not identify with feminists by a large margin than those who do and even there those that do equivocate. The vast majority of us both male and female live our lives, love each other, have children and enjoy each other. We have little use for "miserable people" who desire to make others as miserable as they are as human beings.
The mere fact that feminists have to spend so much time trying to convince themselves is an indication of how much they are losing and how much men are in their heads. Hate is an emotion that in the long run controls the hater. And only in academia can truly bad ideas survive. One of the reasons feminists write to each other is that the vast majority of people have discounted them.
Just ask yourself who are the women who succeeded in politics this time around? Did Sandra Fluke win agains't, aghast, a male? The loudest noise comes when the storm is about to lose its power.

Lastango said...

Well, all the men Kipnis knows or meets ARE flogging themselves, and "indicting other men for their misogyny". In her world, "A lot of men take that opportunity to declare their alliances with women".

And it's good to know feminists like Kipnis are reassuring men that feminists are standing by to help today's confused, conflicted man re-imagine his masculinity into his feminist-approved role as a New Man. He ought not to worry he will thereby achieve the stability of a hive-minded slave within the Marxist/feminist collective.

Anonymous said...

In reality the current state of male-female relationships does not so much resemble "an equal partnership" as it does Animal Husbandry. Males in relationships provide security, shelter, food, entertainment and other resources and the females gaze back with the same look a well looked after heifer might.
MOFITS= My only function is to serve.

tex said...

Or, she is just totally full of it. Our problem with her type is the unjust laws against men. Other than that, unfortunately a VERY BIG THAT, they can & should be ignored.