Friday, July 1, 2011

Feminist Amorality

Her article is so long it becomes agonizing. I am happy to link Zoe Williams’ screed about feminism in the Guardian, but I will spare you the details.

I prefer to examine two basic principles that Williams presents as self-evident, and unarguable, truths.

In her second paragraph Williams offers a definition of feminism: “Feminism is just equality. Would a man be allowed to do it? Then so should you. Would a man feel bad about it? No? Then nor should you.”

Evidently, Williams does not know the difference between equal and same. Nor does she seem to understand that if women are being told to model themselves on men, they are being induced to become ersatz men.

Doesn’t this make male behavior and male emotion the gold standard? Does anyone really believe that a woman should be doing anything a man does and should be feeling whatever a man feels?

In a strange way this makes men the superior sex, the ultimate role model for all womanly behavior.

Am I the only one who finds that to be profoundly misogynistic?

But, that isn’t all. Williams also offers us a sample of her moral thinking. On its face her principle is so ignorant and appalling that one must needs counter it.

She says: “It ought to be obvious, beyond remarking, that a woman should be able to sleep with whom she wants, when she wants, as often as she wants, without danger and without shame.”

Beyond remarking? One does well to remark and question this principle. When one does, one discovers that it is very bad advice, indeed.

In conjunction with Williams’ definition of feminism, it assumes that men do what they want when they want, that they are never in danger and never feel responsible for their actions.

One wonders how a feminist would react if her man decided that he had the right to have as much sex as he wanted when he wanted with whom he wanted... commitments and consequences be damned?

I will grant that Williams probably does not know what she is saying, but still, she is saying that both women and men should do whatever they want regardless of their duties, responsibilities, commitments, and relationships.

It’s as though she has defined human beings as pleasure-seeking organisms, as creatures that fulfill themselves by the reckless pursuit of pleasure. If that were true, humans would not be social beings and would not have responsibilities toward other people.

If a woman is married or committed to a relationship, should she will follow her desires wherever they lead her? Should she be having sex with children or dogs? And should her behavior in that or other cases be “beyond remarking?”

According to this principle, neither a man nor a woman should ever feel any sense of personal responsibility. And neither of them should ever concern him or herself with the consequences of his or her behavior.

As moral principles go, this is pure nihilism, and profoundly misguided. For those who believe that Williams did not mean what she said, I would reply that she should have followed the ancient moral principle and said what she meant.


The Ghost said...

"a woman should be able to sleep with whom she wants, when she wants, as often as she wants, without danger and without shame"

wow, I assume she teaches her son these same values ...

maybe she doesn't get it but there is a huge number of men (90+ % would be my guess) who would never ascribe to that nor would they teach it to their sons (or daughters) ... and the other 10% ascribe to it on the hope that woman they are trying to woo will consider him acceptable as someone who she will sleep with ... preferably that night ...

Bizzy Brain said...

A key that can unlock many locks is a valuable key, but a lock that can be opened by many keys is a worthless lock.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Terrific line... very high concept... is it original or is it an old adage?

Bizzy Brain said...

Don't know how old it is, but it is an adage that pops up on the internet here and there. I may have come across it at a "game" site like Roissy.
Supposedly a guy and his girlfriend are getting into an argument because she says it's not fair that when a girl sleeps around she is considered a slut, but a guy who sleeps around is considered "the man." After she makes her point, the guys says, "A key that can open many locks is a very good key, but a lock that can be opened by many keys is a bad lock."
If you enter "key that opens many locks," or some variation thereof, at or google, you will come up with many references.

Dennis said...

That is one I will have to remember. There in not much to be prized by a lock that can be open by many keys for it can not be trusted to work when it is needed.
They say that a couple who have been married for a long time begin to look, act and have a sense of communicating without words. I have always wondered if that had to do with the constant exchanging of body fluids between them through the act of sex. We are unique human beings so it stands to reason that we exchange/share a bit of ourselves with each encounter.
I wonder how that affects a "lock" that can be opened by many keys, so to speak?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks to Bizzy Brain, for the reference. It's a great way to express a fundamental concept.