Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What Is It With Male Feminists?

What is it with these male feminists? Jill Filipovic asks the question in a New York Times op-ed this morning. She bemoans the fact that so many male feminists, men who have completely signed on to the feminist cause have been exposed as serial sexual abusers of women. She does not mention Bill Clinton, the alpha predator, or Bill Cosby or Roman Polanski, but she does mention Harvey Weinstein. Louis CK and Eric Schneiderman (no relation to your humble blogger.)

One notes, as a gloss, that Hollywood liberals, holier than thou, stood up and cheered Roman Polanski when he won two Oscars in 2003. At the time they knew that Polanski had drugged, raped and sodomized a thirteen year old. All of these high and mighty feminists cheered a rapist. In some of the cases, they might not have known, but in the Polanski case, they most assuredly did know. And they did not care. Got that… they did not care.

Better yet, feminists, including Gloria Steinem herself, rushed to the ramparts to defend Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse of numerous women. Two decades later they happily militated for a presidential candidate who had enabled him. They all voted for a woman who had tried to help Bubba get away with rape, among other crimes against women.

What message did that send to the serial sexual predators, especially the male feminists out there? Did it tell them that signing on to the feminist cause would reward them with a get-out-of-jail free card? And what did it say about feminism? Should it get a pass for turning a blind eye on sexual assaults committed by men who support the cause. Are feminists fighting for women or are they fighting for feminism? The two are not the same thing.

Of course, as mentioned in a prior post this morning about Sally Kohn, one errs in thinking that adhering to a political ideology has anything in particular to do with how you treat people in your everyday life.

But, we can ask ourselves how much feminism has contributed to this pattern of systematic sexual abuse. Perhaps it’s time for Feminism, Inc. to do a little soul searching.

We all believe that men should respect women. In the world of relations between the sexes that has traditionally meant that men should court women, should date women, should demonstrate a commitment to women. It was a bit of a dance. It feels very Jane Austen today. Still, a man who asked a woman out on a date, who treated her to dinner and a show, who repeated the same procedure over and over again without any expectation that she was going to put out for him… that man was respecting a woman.If he took her out and assumed that she was going to put out, he was not behaving like a gentleman. 

As you know, second-wave feminism rejected dating and courtship, as demeaning and degrading to women. Thus, good-bye dating. Hello, hookup culture. I am fully confident that the women who hook up with random, anonymous men feel liberated. In truth, their consent notwithstanding, they are being used and abused. They might not think so, but they are so.

Such repeated traumas diminish a woman’s self-respect and might even make her think that she is so worthless that she deserves whatever a predator like Eric Schneiderman doles out.

Without strict courtship rules, sexual encounters between men and women became less like a formal dance and more like a free-for-all. Go for it, do what you want to do, express your true feelings. Be GGG, good, giving and game… for whatever decadent pursuits are on offer.

Moreover, as Heather Mac Donald once averred, with feminism and sexual liberation, the default position for women became Yes, not No. Presumably, according to feminists, women wanted it as much as men did, and perhaps even in the same way. Why bother with explicit consent?

Doing away with courtship has not been a boon for women. If men were no longer allowed to court women, how were they supposed to show respect for women? Simple… they would sign on to the feminist cause and militate for feminism. The male feminist was the ideal lover. Surely, he was better than a staid conservative who treated her with courtesy and respect.

Of course, feminists wanted women to be equals. And, being equals meant repudiating any task or chore or household duty that signified, in their minds, subjugation. The result, marriages broke up, women had more difficulty finding mates and more women find themselves alone. The older they are, the more financially independent they are, the more they discover that feminism lied to them. The older they are the more difficult it is to find a suitable spouse… which makes them more likely to tolerate abuse from any eligible bachelor.

Filipovic explains this aspect of the feminist fairy tale:

Feminists push for reproductive freedoms so that women can have basic bodily autonomy and economic stability, but also so that we can be free to enjoy sex for pleasure’s sake. Mr. Schneiderman promoted the rights of women to choose what we do with our own bodies, and then is accused of personally turning sexual interactions into violent, degrading acts done to his female partners.

One does not like to raise the issue, but, in truth, feminism has made abortion its signature issue. It couches the issue in terms of freedom to choose what to do with their bodies, but abortion is not something that a woman does to her own body. Abortion is something that is done to her own body. It represents an act of violence committed on female reproductive anatomy. You can be for it or against it, but still it is a violent action. If it were not also degrading, feminists would not be couching it in terms like: freedom to choose.

Making abortion a signature feminist issue tells us that motherhood is the new “curse.” It conflates sex with violence and confuses what a woman does to her own body with what is done to her body.

At the heart of modern feminism lies a slumbering misogyny. At times it awakens and rears its head. At times, it is enacted by depraved men. But, to imagine that it has nothing whatever to do with contemporary feminism is to miss the point entirely.


sestamibi said...

"We all believe that men should respect women."

But it would be nice if that respect were sometimes reciprocated.

Ares Olympus said...

One of Jordan Peterson's big points between the sexes, mainly about the work place, is to say we no longer know the rules of the game, as gender roles expand. And he also says that rules expand possibilities of action, and every single little action doesn't have to be confirmed, like trying to drive down the road without traffic rules, chaos guarantees misunderstandings and bad decisions.

When I was young, I wondered if it might not be best for some young women to be initiated by experienced and respected older men who could teach and challenge them how to be assertive and experiment in asking for what they want and what they don't want, and then it would be the women's job to teach the rules to the young men once they knew. At least the thought experiment was enough to remind me a personal and impersonal aspect to desire and sexuality. I saw the personal causes the problems, not just for women, but our self-consciousness of something not under our full control, and the primary tool we have to face that is alcohol, which leads to bad decisions on all sides.

Sam L. said...

Feminism: As Admiral Ackbar said, in different circumstances, "It's a TRAP". It's a trap for women. Feminists, it seems to me, hate women. Other women. Male "feminists" also hate women. Comes with the territory.

Derek Ramsey said...

"We all believe that men should respect women."

Do we? Why should men respect women if it isn't reciprocated? Feminism necessitates that women don't respect men because it denigrates essential attributes of manhood. The ideal that men should respect women is based on a social contract that is invalidated by pure feminism.

"they are being used and abused...Such repeated traumas diminish a woman’s self-respect"

Sexual liberation is disrespect of both self and partner. The sexually liberated cannot be respected without respecting the disrepectful. Coherent feminist women must attract the disrepectful. Both male feminists and sexual predators have disrespect of women in common to varying degrees. Feminists have earned disrespect, so it is unsurprising when they don't get respect.

Ralph C said...

Any statement that begins with "We all Believe" or "I Think we can all agree" is patently false. Respect is something that is earned and should not be given lightly. There are many men and women that are not deserving of respect. It seems to me that many women and feminists, in particular, don't even have self-respect.

There is a difference between recognizing that people should not be abused and respecting them.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

It might be patently ironic...

Eric D. said...

Neither Male Feminists nor Climate Alarmists walk the walk because they believe it enough to talk the talk.

It isn't complicated. It's hypocrisy.