Sunday, January 21, 2018

Feminist Misandry

Nearly forty years ago anthropologist Donald Symons laid out the Darwinian theory of human sexuality in his book The Evolution of Human Sexuality. Arguing against the absurdist theory that human sexual behaviors were socially constructed Symons showed, scientifically, that male and female human behavior had a great deal to do with nature.

In so arguing Symons made good use of research studies into the behaviors of male and female homosexuals. After all, he and others reasoned, we could see a pure culture of male sexuality if we looked at the way male homosexuals interacted with other male homosexuals. Idem for female homosexuals.

Rather than bore you with data and statistics, I will summarize Symons’ conclusion with a quip. In his latest New York Magazine column, Andrew Sullivan explains:

The old joke applies: What does a lesbian bring on a second date? A U-Haul. What does a gay man bring on a second date? What second date?

Anyway, Sullivan argues in his column that differences between the sexes derive from nature, as much as or more than from culture. True enough, social customs play a role, but it is pure folly to follow the feminist ideologically driven argument, namely that it’s all a social construction. The problem lies in the “all.” To make all differences a social construction, to assume that, beneath the culture men and women are fundamentally the same, is to descend into anti-scientific idiocy. Those who adhere to this belief do themselves no favor when they pretend to be great lovers of facts. As happens with all ideologies, they will never allow a fact to disprove their belief. Thus, they have no use for facts.

Summarizing the current ideologically correct theory, Sullivan explains:

 All differences between the sexes, we are now informed, are a function of the age-old oppression of women by men, of the “patriarchy” that enforces this subjugation, and of the power structures that mandate misogyny. All differences between the genders, we are told, are a function not of nature but of sexism. In fact, we are now informed by the latest generation of feminists, following the theories of Michel Foucault, that nature itself is a “social construction” designed by men to oppress women. It doesn’t actually exist. It’s merely another tool of male power and must be resisted.

Scientists have researched the topic, nearly to death. Sullivan would have done better to refer to some of the research, but he prefers a television show called Planet Earth.

To each his own. He writes:

… the Planet Earth series … reveals that in almost every species, males and females behave differently — very differently — and there appears to be no “patriarchy” in place to bring this about at all. They know enough not to push their argument into places where it will seem to be, quite obviously, ridiculous. But it is strikingly obvious that for today’s progressives, humans are the sole species on this planet where gender differentiation has no clear basis in nature, science, evolution, or biology. This is where they are as hostile to Darwin as any creationist.

True and truer. Today’s progressives, people who take themselves to be of surpassing intellection, are fundamentally hostile to Darwinian science. I have, as readers of this blog know, made this point repeatedly. I am certainly not alone.

Sullivan suggests that the difference between the sexes is more about nature than about culture. His experience within the gay male culture has enlightened him:

My suspicion is that it’s more about nature than about society, and one reason I believe this (apart from all the data) is I because I’m gay. I live in a sexual and romantic world without women, where no patriarchy could definitionally exist, a subculture with hookups and relationships and marriages and every conceivable form of sexual desire that straight men and women experience as well. And you know what you find? That men behave no differently in sexual matters when there are no women involved at all. In fact, remove women, and you see male sexuality unleashed more fully, as men would naturally express it, if they could get away with it. It’s full of handsiness and groping and objectification and lust and aggression and passion and the ruthless pursuit of yet another conquest. And yes, I mean conquest. That’s what testosterone does. It’s also full of love, tenderness, compassion, jealousy, respect, dignity, and a need for security and a home. It’s men’s revenge on men.

Behaviors that women find to be offensive, appalling and traumatizing are normal within the gay male culture. The cause is testosterone. Who knew? This does not mean, Sullivan adds, that such behaviors should not be tempered, but they do not make men into subhuman and toxic monsters. Sullivan does not mention the power of oxytocin on women’s sexual response and behavior… but we can forgive him for the oversight.

He continues that the feminist war on men, the ongoing feminist denigration and demeaning of men, the raw, undisguised hatred of all things male, is politically self-defeating. Among the many reasons that Hillary Clinton lost the last presidential election, he suggests, was that she represented the man-hating side of the Democratic Party. And that men were not buying it. Worse yet, for Democrats, women were not buying it either.

…but nature will not be eradicated. And when left-feminism denies nature’s power, ignores testosterone, and sees all this behavior as a function entirely of structural patriarchal oppression, it is going to overreach. It is going to misunderstand. And it is going to alienate a lot of people. If most men are told that what they are deep down is, in fact, “problematic” if not “toxic,” they are going to get defensive, and with good reason. And they are going to react. So, by the way, are the countless women who do not see this kind of masculinity as toxic, who want men to be different, who are, in fact, deeply attracted to the core aggression of the human male, and contemptuous of the latest orthodoxy from Brooklyn.

For the record, “Brooklyn” refers to the headquarters of the doomed Hillary campaign. One implication of this is that doubling down on misandry, on disparaging males, is a bad electoral strategy. Time will tell whether the current wave of anti-male feminism will help the Democrats win elections.

Interestingly, within the gay male world, Sullivan finds many Trump supporters. They are siding with Trump and against the leftist feminists because these latter are at war with maleness, with who they are:

When I stumble across young male Trump supporters — and there are plenty of gay men among them — this is what they point to. They are defending their core being from left-feminist assault. Insofar as they are pushing back against the latest wave of feminist misandry, I’m not without some sympathy.


Unknown said...
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Ares Olympus said...

No one should discount the effects of testosterone, although its also good to remember that while women's levels are much lower, their bodies have a higher sensitivity to testosterone. Aggressive and dominance stances are perfectly natural for women, and testostone rises when women act with power, like this article shows.

And while we would like to claim empathy is more a feminine behavior, I think its fairer to say there are more masculine and more feminine ways of expressing empathy, or you could say paternal and maternal expressions, but still there's surely a huge overlap, and learned skills and practice can matter more than undependable instinctual feelings.

Sam L. said...

"Scientists have researched the topic, nearly to death. Sullivan would have done better to refer to some of the research, but ****her***** prefers a television show called Planet Earth." You're in trouble now, Stuart! First degree usage of an INCORRECT adjective!!

I'm glad to see that Sullivan seems to be over his fascination with Sarah Palin's uterus.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

The correct term is: typo.Now corrected... thanks for the heads up.