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.
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.