Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Impotent Feminist Rage

Rebecca Traister is a boring neo-Marxist, consumed with rage. How angry is she? She is filled with white-hot incandescent, vitriolic outrage. She directs it against the usual suspects: white males, patriarchs, capitalists… what have you.

What she really, really wants is for all women to feel their rage, that is, to feel their real feelings, and to make anger a revolutionary force, one that will overthrow the patriarchy and bring about the Workers’ Paradise. OK, she does not quite use those terms, or at least I do not think she does. I have not read her book and have no intention to do so. I merely read Laura Kipnis’s review in The Atlantic. It sufficed.

Kipnis sums up Traister’s non-argument thusly:

I recalled this joke while reading Rebecca Traister’s Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, which shares what might be called a divorce-court view of the gender situation in America. Men and women are on opposing sides, and women will succeed only by quashing men and seizing the spoils: the big jobs, the political offices, and the moral high ground. Walking us through recent events and still-fresh wounds—Black Lives Matter, the election of Donald Trump, the “Harvey-sized hole” blown in the news cycle (otherwise known as #MeToo)—Traister, who writes for New York magazine, is on a mission. Women’s anger about all of this, she argues, can propel us from the “potentially revolutionary moment” we’re in to one that actually alters the distribution of power. The main impediment to this taking place, in her view, is women’s habit of hiding our rage.

“Women’s anger spurs creativity and drives innovation in politics and social change, and it always has,” she writes. Stop crying when you’re angry (tears can be tactical, but they also telegraph feminine weakness), and stop trying to make your bitchy self palatable—as Traister confesses to sometimes doing, about which she can be quite droll. (“So I was funny! And playful, cheeky, ironic, knowing!”) The small problem: “Many of us who may have covered our fury in humor have occasionally found ourselves exploding.”

It is truly astonishing, at this moment in history, after what we have seen about Marxist revolutions, that anyone with half an IQ point would propose that we need a revolution, one that will overthrow the capitalist patriarchal order. Does Traister know nothing of history? Is she so consumed with a will to destroy that she has not given the matter any serious thought? Apparently, such is the case.

Back in the day, we non-women were implored to respect women for their minds and not their sexuality. It was perfectly reasonable. Now, if only we could persuade certain women, like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, to stop talking about women’s sexuality… the task would be much easier.

Traister proposes that women need not think. They need not analyze. They need not collect evidence and draw rational conclusions. No, they should rage, like histrionic maniacs, because it will make them feel powerful. And, because their rage will work like Crazy Glue, connecting them all from here to eternity.

None of us would dare to say that women are too emotional. It’s a sexist trope that we have long since abandoned. And yet, what is Traister, rabid feminist that she is, proposing: if not that women need to be more emotional, less rational, less thoughtful. They need to let loose, let fly, attack men… because men are the problem. Female outrage would then be the solution to everything that ails everyone.

The problem is, too much outrage, poorly applied, makes people sound stupid. It makes them sound stupid because it makes them stupid. Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee joined with the feminist power elite to spew vitriol at Judge Bret Kavanaugh. They have tried to destroy him, no matter the cost for… women. After all, if they succeed in destroying Kavanaugh, they will also destroy his wife and daughters. About that the merchants of outrage have absolutely nothing to say. They cackle like Hillary Clinton, their heroine, a woman who bears more responsibility than anyone for the surge in workplace sexual harassment, especially the assaults committed by her friends and supporters in the media and entertainment businesses.

Anyway, all of this righteous anger is just a lot of feminist bluster. If Traister thinks its the solution to whatever is ailing her and her sisters, the truth must be that it’s the problem. Feminism has long since turned men and women into antagonists. In that it was following the instructions laid down by none other than Friedrich Engels… but don’t tell anyone. Given the hostile cultural environment that feminism has stoked, no one should be too surprised that men and women are at daggers drawn. Or that the weaker sex is losing the battle.

Anyone with a semi-functioning intelligence would have recognized that if you direct your rage against men, if you try to destroy them, no matter the consequences, you are going to get it back. It’s a boomerang effect. If you attack people with uncommon feminist fury you are going to receive the same in return.

Why do you think that there is so much sexual harassment in the workplace and even out of the workplace? Consider the possibility that it has something to do with the fact that feminists declared men to be the enemy and have wanted above all to dethrone them, to destroy them, to make their lives miserable. Did you think that men were simply going to roll over and to take it?

Apparently, Traister has mistaken anger for strength. She must imagine that an angry woman will feel strong and empowered, even if her outrage feels more like a histrionic display, ineffective and ineffectual. At a time when #MeToo has made women appear to be weak and vulnerable, prey to male harassment, Traister and those who prefer emotion to thought seem to believe that they can make themselves feel stronger by being more angry.

Of course, the problem with outsized and out-of-control anger is that it becomes impotent. It serves no real purpose but to show that the individual expressing it is not weak. And yet, if you  need to make that much of a display of your pseudo-strength, you are not strong. You are fooling yourself and others. Sad to say, someone will call your bluff.

Kipnis exposes the flaw in the argument:

Anger has a way of making people righteous while clouding analysis—and undercutting actual clout.


Anonymous said...

just replace kavanaugh with a real conservative, also if you're a real conservative then please check out my blog

Dr. Irredeemable Dreg said...

The WSJ Online (paywall) has a delightful article on a feminist hoax carried out on "refereed" academic grievance journals (e.g., Hypatia, Journal of Poetry Therapy...) by a trio of academics.

"Affilia, a peer-reviewed journal of women and social work, formally accepted the trio’s hoax paper, 'Our Struggle Is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism.' The second portion of the paper is a rewrite of a chapter from 'Mein Kampf.' Affilia’s editors declined to comment.

The title of the WSJ article is "Fake News Comes to Academia".

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is time for all the sophisticated businessmen of DC & NYC to organize having women lobotomized via vaccinations and only keep enough women around so each sophisticate can have a harem of sexual servants... Or Trump can take a page from the Saudi playbook and have all women kept in burqa and behead anyone that insults Trumpislam. This could potentially eliminate all feminism for good.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the feminist scourge has gone on far too long, the virus is clearly a threat and an annoyance to masculinity.

Titan Uranus - Astronomer said...

What hath Genesis 3:16 wrought? Then he said to the woman, "…And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you."

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, besides my husband, most of the people I know are infected with this POV. I have to figure out how to get out of this artsy, progressive, feminist blue bubble I live in, because it’s too scary and boring. Expressing the wrong opinion, especially at first about Israel, now about everything, causes people to explode at me with rage. Or, they talk with increasing zeal about wanting a violent revolution to get rid of Israel and/or the US Constitution, scotus, etc to protect the entire world and/or our civil rights from Hitler. Now the meme du jour is the hegemony of white European patriarchal oppressors.

So, I’m withdrawing socially, which is probably unhealthy. (Off topic, but spellcheck suggested BDS as auto fill when I typed Israel. What? It’s like I’m in the twilight zone.) Where the heck do these European oppressors hang out, because I need some new friends.


Anonymous said...

It would be so much simpler if women weren't counted as human. They would have no 1st Amendment right to freely speak. If women were stripped of all ability to communicate and were treated properly as baby incubators.

Sam L. said...

Kipnis: "I recall this joke..." Me: I don't see her saying what it was, or recognize the/any joke in the text that follows.

Anger seems to be what gives meaning to life in some women. The meaning this gives to men is "AaOOga. AaOOga. DANGER! WOMAN AHEAD. Change course immediately!"

whitney said...

Anonymous said...

My favorite summary line is from humorist P. J. O'Rourke and it goes something like " If men were to step back and down tools, civilization would last until the next oil change"

sestamibi said...

Picking up where Susan Faludi left off. . .