Philosophical Rohypnol

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Heather Wilhelm explains why she left feminism at the Federalist. Wilhelm does not attempt an analysis, but I think the article is a fine snapshot of what this movement means for women in practice. Here's an example:

In a recent Slate article, writer Emily Yoffe tried to gently suggest that college girls drinking to the point of incapacitation might not be the best idea, safety-wise. Feminists, of course, blew a gasket. "Real equality is when women have the right to be as drunk and stupid as men," Jessica Valenti wrote at The Guardian, in a column that is not satire. "This false idea, that women's behavior is the real reason they are victimized," wrote Katie McDonough at Salon, "is regularly used to blame sexual violence on the 'problem' of young women today."

Well, no. We all know where the blame lies: with the perpetrator. The goal is to encourage women to protect themselves, with reality being what it is. It almost leads one to wonder: Do feminists really care about women's safety at all? Or do they care more about their dream world, where there's an abortion clinic on every corner and a Vagina Monologues in every theater? [links in original, minor format edits]
I have, over the years, observed a couple of things about feminists: (1) A flattery-by-imitation of some of the worst male behaviors (and stereotypes thereof), and (2) a willful blindness to actual differences between the sexes (e.g., upper body strength) and their consequences. In that light, the admonition that liberation somehow entails drinking oneself into a stupor is hardly surprising.

Regarding explanations for why this is so, I refer the reader to the writings of feminists, such as Andrea Dworkin, and to Ayn Rand's comments on feminism in her 1971 essay, "The Age of Envy" (republished in The Return of the Primitive). Among them:
(I regard myself as surpassed by Women's Lib in one respect: I did not know that it was possible to blow up the character of Comrade Sonia to such gigantic proportions.)


Every other pressure group has some semi-plausible complaint or pretense at a complaint, as an excuse for existing. Women's Lib has none. But it has a common denominator with the others, the indispensable element of a modern pressure group: a claim based on weakness. It is because men are metaphysically the dominant sex and are regarded (though for the wrong reasons) as the stronger that a thing such as Women's Lib could gain plausibility and sympathy among today's intellectuals. It represents a rebellion against masculine strength, against strength as such, by those who neither attempt nor intend to develop it -- and thus it is the clearest giveaway of what all the other rebellions are after. [link added]
Fascinatingly, nothing in Wilhelm's article would have been a surprise to Rand, as her other comments on "Women's Lib" indicate. I also have to confess amusement here, given a third thing I have observed over the years: professed feminists mouthing admiration for Ayn Rand. In that vein, I would recommend that any "feminist" who is actually simply interested in being respected as an individual, become more familiar with Ayn Rand. Although the feminist movement may want to co-opt her, she is actually worthy of admiration for the right reasons, and provides an antidote to both subservience and self-righteous stupidity: individualism.

-- CAV

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