Monday, December 10, 2012

The Pied Pipers of Feminism

Sometimes feminists outdo themselves. They descend to a level of stupidity that is below what even I imagine.

It is often noted that teenage girls in America are out of control. Many of them think it’s cool to dress like prostitutes. Many think that the best way to show their love is to sext a picture of their genitals. Far too many of them suffer from eating disorders and other psychological problems.

If you ask who is leading them to these self-destructive behaviors, the answer does not lie in the home. Their mothers are most often horrified by what they see. 

Young girls and women no longer pay attention to their parents. They allow themselves to be led around by the Pied Pipers of feminism.

Feminist thinkers are telling young girls that they can dress as they please, revealing any or all of their intimacy, to whomever they please, and that anyone who does not like it is a repressive patriarch.

It sounds like I am caricaturing feminist thinking, but in the hands of one Lindy West, feminist thinking has become self-parody.

Yesterday on Jezebel, West declared war on modesty. To no one’s surprise she believes that the concept of modesty was invented to subjugate women. Being modest means not having the right to own property and not having the right to an abortion.

So says Lindy West.

The term modesty dates from Roman times, but during the sixteenth century it was extended to refer to female propriety.

To West, it’s a smoking gun. As you know, feminists abhor female propriety; they detest decorum, humility, temperance and dignity too.

Since modesty involves moderation and  self-control, the feminist alternative must see moral value in immoderate rants, being out of control, and being a drama queen.

If West is any indication, feminists are selling shamelessness. The best evidence is West’s column: it’s nothing more than a mindless, intemperate rant. Unfortunately, it is likely to exercise some influence.

When it comes to reality, everyone but Lindy West knows that covering the external genitalia is universal among human beings. So is the sense of shame.

It is also true that rules about covering up are more strict for men than for women. Male sexuality has consistently been more hidden than female sexuality.

Allow West to express herself:

It just means that you get to do whatever you want with them [your breasts], regardless of any and all 400-year-old notions about "womanly propriety." Barring public nudity laws (which are also kind of silly, but whatevs), the idea that society can tell you how much of your body to reveal or hide implies that your body does not belong to you. The concept of modesty is proprietary and patriarchal and ancient. I'm pretty sure that even the most hardline anti-feminist can admit who owned women's bodies in the 1560s, when the term came plopping out of the etymological birth canal. Hint: it wasn't women.

Ignore the fact that West has confused the meaning of the term with an association that it picked up in 1560.

By her lights, women can walk around naked and no one should notice or draw any inferences. Allow me to mention that if a woman walks around naked or even half-naked and no one notices she will feel seriously offended and demoralized.

West believes that women’s bodies are theirs and theirs alone. They are, dare I say, a woman's private property.

West wants women to be able to do whatever they want with their bodies. But she also insists that no one has a right to form an opinion about the way a woman has chosen to present in public.

Note well: a woman’s body is her private property, and the minds of those who see her are also her private property. If you should witness her voluntary self-exposure, you are NOT  free to draw a conclusion.

West is correct to say that a woman’s excessively revealing attire does not give a man a right to rape her, but that is ultimately a defense attorney’s ploy.

Girls who sext photos of their private parts to boys are not getting hurt because anyone thinks they are inviting rape. They are getting hurt because everyone around them starts thinking differently of them. They get hurt by being shunned, not because anyone believes that they are asking to be raped. And they are hurt because they often do not have the emotional resources to deal with the shame.

West does not seem to understand that both women and men make statements with the way they choose to dress. By her principles, professional women can dress as prostitutes and not be penalized for disrupting the workplace.

Leave it to feminists to undermine women in the workplace.

Since West has no real notion of ethics, she confuses what a woman can do with what she should do.

If a woman does not want to have sex with a man she can of course go home with him, get naked with him, get into bed with him, and say No. If he does not respect her wishes he will be guilty of rape.

No dispute there.

But, what kind of idiot believes that just because she can, she should. An adult female ought to know better. She ought not to put herself in risky and dangerous situations. 

When you are the victim of a crime, punishing the perpetrator does not make it all go away. It's better to avoid being a crime victim than to engage in risky behaviors that make you more likely to become one.

A woman does have a constitutional right to be stupid, but I would hope that she knows the difference between an unnecessary risk and a wise course of action. If her moral sense has not been addled by feminism, she probably does. 

You can play with fire, if you wish, but it is not something you should do.

Having no sense of shame West also has no sense of responsibility for what her dreadful advice might produce.

When a teenage girl takes Lindy West’s advice to heart and sexts picture of her breasts to her boyfriend, her biggest problem is not what some defense attorney might cook up in a courtroom.

Girls who expose themselves through sexting suffer some extremely serious mental health issue.

Immodesty contributes to the emotional distress that many young women are suffering and to the self-destructive behaviors that many of them use as self-medication.

Lindy West stated her principle:  

I am a person. I'll dress the way I want and act the way I want, and if I want to show all of my boobs that is not an invitation or a justification to rape me.

For my part I am glad to know that she is a person. I was beginning to have some doubts.

If this is what West believes then she should be willing to accept responsibility for the damage that this advice will produce.

Telling girls and young women that they can go through life dressing the way you want and acting the way you want without suffering consequences is mindless and dangerous.


Anonymous said...

They encourage women to dress like true sluts, but then /RAGE fiercely when Redditors have a forum for sharing pictures of women dressed like sluts in public.

The cognitive dissonance is astounding.

SlartiBartFast said...

I just don't understand so many of these feminist writers. So much absolute nonsense and drivel comes out of them and yet they are still taken seriously. There is no depth of thought at all in Lindy Wests' piece and yet it got 196,000 Facebook 'likes' and 255 comments, undoubtedly the majority of which are affirmative. And this is just one of countless articles by feminist writers that are equally vapid and exalted. It just makes no sense to me.

Anonymous said...

Stuart - if you haven't already seen it, perhaps you might find Dalrock's take on this interesting:

DeNihilist said...

I find it interesting that a 15 year old gets it on a deeper level then the supposedly mature woman.

Saige Hatch, 15, launched the South Pasadena High School Modesty Club in September to combat the proliferation of short shorts, miniskirts and bare midriffs. Hatch blames popular culture and peer pressure for sexualizing women and girls.

"Women have fought for their rights, liberty, and honor more in the past 200 years than in all recorded history," reads a statement on the club's website, "Our bright, heroic women are being made the fool. A fool to think that to be loved they must be naked. To be noticed they must be sexualized. To be admired they must be objectified."

rbee said...

more from the