Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Unbearable Lightness of Feminism

In Nigeria and Iraq, Muslim armies are selling women as slaves. Iran hanged a woman for fighting off a rapist. ISIS was more direct about it and beheaded a woman who resisted one of its fighters.

But we don’t have to travel to the Middle East to see real horrors. The sex grooming scandal in the UK involved the rape of thousands of girls. The rapists were Muslim men so instead of talking about it, the UK’s feminists bought $75 shirts reading, “This is what a feminist looks like” which were actually being made by Third World women living sixteen to a room. This was what a feminist looked like and it wasn’t a pretty picture.

The same willful unseriousness saw Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a survivor of genital mutilation and an informed critic of Muslim misogyny, booted from Brandeis by self-proclaimed feminists. Meanwhile the major feminist cause at the moment is Gamergate, a controversy over video games which can be traced back to a female game developer who slept with a video game reviewer. Professional feminists have spent more time and energy denouncing video games than the sale and rape of girls in Nigeria and Iraq.

That is what feminism looks like and there is something seriously wrong with that.

Women Against Feminism touched a nerve because professional feminists know that few women want to identify as feminists. Polls have found that the majority of women view feminism negatively. Even among young women, the feminist label doesn’t come close to breaking the halfway mark.

Professional feminists respond to the negative feedback by claiming that feminism is simply equality. But if feminism were equality, women, and for that matter men, wouldn’t dislike it so much.

A feminist looks like a professional activist wearing a $75 t-shirt made by slave labor while proclaiming that she is a feminist. It isn’t fighting for the rights of women that makes her a feminist. It’s the pricey fashion statement of someone who toots their own horn while exploiting less fortunate women.

The professional feminist is not there to help women, but to promote the agenda of the institutional left. She will turn campus rape into a political cause while criticizing every rape prevention measure, from a rape drug detecting nail polish to self-defense for women, for not dealing with rape culture. Stopping rape doesn’t interest her. Exploiting the abuse of women to fight a culture war does.

Her concerns are limited to causes affecting upper class young women and the overall political organizational needs of the left. That’s why she will veer erratically from inflating college rape statistics to arguing for illegal alien amnesty despite the high number of rapes committed by migrants.

But the women being raped generally won’t be found on an Ivy League campus.

And that’s also what a feminist looks like.

The institutional left can’t call out Islam for sexism, homophobia and racism because it has already inducted it into its political coalition. And that’s why feminists can’t talk about the mass rape of young girls in the UK without stepping on a political landmine. Those courageous women who do talk about it, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Pamela Geller, represent the principles that feminists only claim to stand for.

It’s easy to take shots at gamers, but discussing the rise of honor killings, genital mutilation and domestic abuse among Muslims migrating to the West is dangerous territory. That is why Ayaan Hirsi Ali had to be silenced so that she wouldn’t show up the professional feminists trying to pretend that their mass distractions of video games, subsidized birth control or celebrating “sex workers” are real feminism.

Modern feminism is defined by talking non-stop about the things that don’t matter to avoid talking about the things that do. It long ago stopped being a movement and became a series of distractions. When feminists actually hit on a relevant issue they quickly scramble to avoid talking about it. That’s what happened with the viral Hollaback video of a woman walking around New York City and being harassed by minority men. The video quickly went from a hit to an embarrassment as feminists realized that they had unintentionally documented something that they could not talk about.

Feminism is filled with things that it can’t talk about. That’s why it long ago hit a dead end. It is too afraid of being politically incorrect to be relevant. It can’t advocate for women and so it frantically stirs up micro-controversies that are irrelevant to 99.99% of women. Its obsession with Gamergate as the biggest threat to women since the time that Miss USA suggested that women should take self-defense classes is another reminder of its inability to meaningfully address the problems facing women today.

Professional feminists don’t want to fight rape; they want to fight an intangible “rape culture”. They don’t want to help women. Instead they want to exploit the problems facing women to advance their own agendas and careers. They are part of a movement cut off from ordinary people and rooted in academia. Few women want to identify as feminists, because feminism doesn’t identify with them.

Feminism can’t talk about the problems facing women because it is a prisoner of the left. It’s a fundraising gimmick, an election turnout gimmick and a way to sell pricey shirts.

The War on Women meme has jumped the shark. Senator Mark Udall was mocked, ridiculed and written off by his own Democrats for his cynical abuse of the meme. An attempt by a congressional candidate to invoke it during a debate in New York was met with uproarious laughter.

The last election cycle had reduced feminism to subsidized birth control. This cycle wiped it off the map entirely. The next election cycle will bring us Hillary Clinton as the ultimate feminist candidate. Hillary built her career and won elections on the strength of her husband’s name. Polls show that she appeals to voters because they think her husband is part of the package deal.

If Hillary wins, the first female president will be a woman who got the job only because she refused to divorce her husband after he cheated on her because she hoped to exploit his political connections.

That too is what a feminist looks like.

Hillary Clinton laughing at her client’s rape of a 12-year-old girl from a working class family or Carol Costello chuckling over the assault on Bristol Palin reminds ordinary women what feminists really think of them.

Feminism no longer speaks to women. It has become a privileged sorority for actresses, politicians, media types and academics who don’t actually like women. Especially working class women.

The public face of feminism should be Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but instead it’s the neurotic privileged pettiness of Lena Dunham.

Feminism has become a lightweight movement heavy on pop culture and phony outrage and unbelievably light on content. It speaks all the time, but it no longer has anything to say.


Anonymous said...

For 20 minutes feminism was going to be international. It was going to fight for advancement of women in Iran. Then they shut up. Then they embraced the burkha. Maybe somebody got paid off. Maybe someone learned what mouthing off in Iran really meant.

Fanfare said...


Chana said...

"Maybe someone learned what mouthing off in Iran really meant."

Never hit a target that hits back, eh, girls?

Anonymous said...

Feminism actually created our culture which encourages women to be unpaid prostitutes while contracting any number of sexually transmitted diseases. They gave men the green light to objectify women because women objectified themselves. They are also directly responsible for the social and economic costs of the destruction of the normal family unit by convincing women that marriage and motherhood are patriarchical/social constructs designed to enslave women. They are also responsible for the increase in heart attacks and other health problems due to stress and competition in the work place that women did not experience before they were told their life had no meaning unless they worked outside the home. They are also responsible for the destruction of untold numbers of people who think they are homosexuals. Like feminism was in its heyday, being a homosexual is "cool". Like feminism, it is an ideology used to convince people that destroying their humanity they are actually saving it.

Feminism along with liberalism/progressivism are the destroyers of civilization.


Empress Trudy said...

Feminism was subsumed by all the other leftist ideological issues until it became feminist to root for all the people who hate America even if that meant supporting the Taliban.

meema said...

Rabid Feminism, and that's what this is about, is the true war on women. It's smoke and mirror hypocrisy at it's finest. The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan was ground zero, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazingly perceptive essay. Every young woman should read this. Correction: every woman should read this.

Leah said...

Feminism is the end of life stage for the family...

Anonymous said...

Real feminists would stand up against crime on our streets, nameless baby daddies, our vulgar and degraded culture, and the financial insecurity of all working people..and that's just a start.


vincent said...

Elaine, You made my day. And the other comments aren't so bad either.
I think it even goes back to Lilith. So the dark forces. For example: Madam Blavatsky wrote her secret doctrine in 1888 and that's where Hitler got it from. So much for 'every women is good, and every man is bad' and ' marriage is the biggest concentrationcamp in the world' Yeah they said it in the 70-ties in my dike country. So who really invented statements like that? Must be the case that to ask the question is to answer it. i.e. the dark forces. Get the picture ?

Proof said...

Well said! Linked in this coming Saturday's Best of the Web*

Doug Mayfield said...

Thanks for the article. Feminism has never truly been about helping women. As with all Left wing movements, it's purpose is to attack America, freedom and individual rights. So feminists thrive on finding, or inventing, mistreatment of women in America while ignoring primitive tribalist savagery toward women driven by Islam.

vincent said...

Hi, thanx everybody. What I forgot to say is that when they brainwash the people that in the old days women weren't allowed anything (by men). Hence: 'Your grandfather oppressed your grandmother'. It might loose something in translation but that was a phrase in da Netherlands back then. My example of a woman writing a magic book in 1888 sort of disaproves that claim. She apparently was a free woman, she wasn't oppressed. Maybe she abused it, but anyway. But a farmer and his wife? Did they have a choice? They just had to work both of them. Surely in most cases the man did more the hard work in the field while the wife did most of the cooking. Nothing much wrong with that. And even if there was, was it my fault?

Dennis Latham said...

I've noticed, and probably everyone notices, that liberals, feminists, and gay combinations of all of them carefully avoid attacking the Muslim culture of rape and torture and murder. I ask a gay person one time why they ignore and received the stock answer, "It's not in this country." I said, "If it gets here and takes over, you know all of you are dead along with all non-Muslim believers." They have no answer. They don't believe anything will happen in America. They feel protected by the media and their agendas that uses phony racism and hate. I think they should take all hardcore Western feminists and put them in a grunt outfit (run by feminists for feminists) on the front lines and see how fast they want to be women again.

Anonymous said...

“In Hillary Clinton’s America, child rapists are entitled to a vigorous defense and straight white men in college are subject to guilty without a trial.”

Anonymous said...

Look no further than Lena Dunham. If her admitted behavior is not enough to end her HBO affiliation, sexual misconduct is permitted HERE.

Anonymous said...

Or, more concisely, Feminism is just Marxism's bitch.

Steve Skubinna said...

I am still hung up on the bizarre feminist fetish of the vagina. Any man who obsessed about his penis, who introduced it into every conversation, who actually dressed up as one to make a political point would be shunned. And yet gather some feminists together and the air will be filled with celebrations of genitalia, papier mache puppets of them, and costumes that look like Georgia O'Keefe's idea of a Halloween costume after a bad acid trip..

This is how you battle "objectification?" By reducing yourself and every idea you ever had and all your goals to "lady parts?"

That has to be a large reason most women refuse to take feminism seriously. They know they can't take themselves seriously if they're acting like deranged obsessive clowns.

Anonymous said...

There are no bigger cowards than leftists

Unknown said...

Damn your good, I aspire to this level of reasoned discourse on paper. Rapier point and Wilkinson sharp.

TBlakely said...

Your assuming that feminism gives a rat's ass about the welfare of women at large. Feminism is just a vehicle for progressive/anti-western policies. That should be obvious by now.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

That's the obvious theme of the article

vincent said...

Daniel: The proof of the induction is in the feminist pudding. (links below)
But B.T.W. For what I learned: the woman is the crown of creation, and also the crown of the man. In Messianic times she will surpass her husband. And it is precisly because of this, that the dark forces go before it's time to capture these holy sparks within women's lib for the dark forces. To kidnap and make good with against the bigger truth. But anyway; ask your rabbi or i can give a lengthy link for that, if needed.

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Plump Pleasant Plumber said...

Feminism is marxism in a sweatshop dress. No concern at all for the oppressed workers. If you're not rich and white, too bad. Relentless mockery is a good beginning. Feminism and hypocrisy, hand and glove.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the pictures of the T-shirts, my first and only thought was "What? Flat chested?"

Humble wife said...

I love being a woman. That is troubling to feminist because I do not resent my gender and embrace the fact that I was able to have children. I most likely trouble feminist the most because I opted to be a stay home wife and mother, so far for 26 years. I must say that I am the woman I am because of that.
Wife of Sheriff's Department Chaplain
Mom of deputy sheriff, fireman, ER Tech, DA office assistant,
Mother-in-law to two amazing young women,
and next spring I will launch to the next amazing part of being a woman~Grandmother!

Anonymous said...

"The video quickly went from a hit to an embarrassment as feminists realized that they had unintentionally documented something that they could not talk about."

Exactly, had to chuckle over this one. There is a totem pole hierarchy of aggrieved groups in liberal land: Muslims at the top, and apparently minorities next, followed by women.

Anonymous said...

It's tough to quantify, but many feminists are surely just focused on a far leftist agenda, but a great deal of them speak of equality when they really just want an oppressive matriarchy. Which I guess is just an iteration of leftist thought in that it's just a grab for power under the guise of Justice!™

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

It's human nature. People want power.

When a leftist says "justice" it means "power"

That is the most important thing to remember about them

پسری در ناکجااباد said...

" Iran hanged a woman for fighting off a rapist " as an Iranian let me tell you this is false she was a murderer and she killed the guy while he was praying and she confessed but after couple of years she changed her story in hope to get away with murder.

van Lunteren said...

The ONLY enemy of the white feminist is and always will be the white man. It's a personal thing.
This explains a lot of what seems to be unexplainable.

Alphamail said...

As usual another poignant and perceptive much-needed article.

A side point: It was nice of you to mention Pamela Geller, the antithesis of feminism. She is a sheer monster of dedication in the cause for real women's rights (which many people overlook), and at least in my opinion, is one of the top three voices exposing everything vile about Sharia and Jihadi.

Well-reasoned, intelligent, impassioned for the truth - the antonym to feminism..

Jewel said...

The anti-feminists in France are called The Antigones:
They are all about being truly feminine, life affirming women.

Feminism is ugly. The feminine is beauty.

Anonymous said...

Another fine post that I shared with some family and friends.

It is so obvious to me that the uniting factor among so many of the Left's current "causes" is anti-Americanism, and it trumps everything - often even trumping the stated purpose of the "cause". How else can a RadFem cozy up to Islamists? This is particularly true among the Left causes that have roots at universities. See also - Climate Change (America's fault).

Ms. Hirsi Ali's message contained nothing anti-American (although plenty that could help women who are truly victimized) > Ergo > Disinvited by Brandeis.

RGallegos said...

Feminists like those who see racism everywhere are just plain lazy. Why fight a religion that will kill you for not agreeing with them when you can attack one that will fight you with words.

Jill said...

Well, I'm a feminist and I have no problem calling out rape culture while being in favour of women arming themselves to stop a rapist.

In addition, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the women I most admire.
(I won't delineate all the rest because it's too late to write a long essay.)

But then I'm not a Marxist, nor a terror groupie.

Jill said...

Interesting point about Hilary Clinton and her rapist client - reminded me of a case in Australia of a 12 year old girl raped and impregnated by her stepfather. She wrote that her stepfather's MALE lawyer said to her in court: "You f****** loved it didn't you? You're a f****** slut aren't you?"

As far as feminists ruining society goes, that's just nonsense. I certainly don't recall women whose husbands abandoned them and their kids suddenly being offered free rent and electricity - they had to work.

Women have always worked when married, to pay the bills with or without the husband working.
Feminists set up refuges for victims of domestic violence. There is need still for refuges for these women, especially these days when (in USA) some are being jailed for decades for not protecting their kids enough from their thuggish partners who assault the women and kids. But it's easier to blame the women, even if they've been scared for their lives, beaten stupid and broke.

Men and some women blaming the veils of society on feminism is one of those simplistic sets of nonsense that simple-minded fools love to be able to do without examining their own mores and societal conditions, not to mention male conduct, especially that of enabling the financing and empowerment of Muslim immigration and throwing money at them.
Examine the behaviour of feminists and the various strands of it, including the hypocrites, by all means. But don't pretend male violence, male pedophiles, the porno industry don't exist, let alone double standards for male vs female behaviour, just because you want to feel virtuous.

Hakam Adam said...

It's perfectly valid to get theological on this. I'm a Christian (perhaps I should specify Reformed--theologically Biblical), and whereas it's my hope everyone of the political pundits I like get saved, because it would be a shame not to get to hang out with you for eternity, I nevertheless rejoice in the fact that we're actually able to communicate, unlike with some feminists and other postmoderns, because we share a foundation of belief that facilitates agreement.

So, this analysis should not be lost on anyone who regards the old testament of the Bible in high esteem.

I'd like to postulate that what drives the 'academic' "feminism" of modern day, on an individual level, is the sin nature. We can't neglect the spiritual influences in culture and politics. I think what explains why American feminism doesn't help women, or seem concerned with real women's issues abroad, is because it's inherently selfish. Sin provokes a person to seek personal freedom and pleasure above other concerns. The word "empowerment" is very poignant, because power, as you mentioned in the comments above, Daniel, is what it's all about.

The sinner wants to wrest power over their fate from God. A lot of modern feminism is about trying to control outcomes and being unwilling to accept the consequences of actions.

What is birth control - in the main - but the sinful desire for sexual pleasure apart from God-ordained union of marriage?
What is abortion but the desire to evade the consequences of your prior sinful choices to have sex when you weren't prepared for children?
Why does the academic care more about "rape culture" and making universities safe, but not inner cities? Because they are academics, and they are selfish, and want to feel safe and free to pursue their sexual goals on campus without getting hurt in the process.

It's all self-ward directed. It's very individual. It's about being free from punishment, free from consequence, free from constraint, free from obligations, free from condescension, free from judgment, free from conflict--of those who disagree with you--, free from all these things because they remind their pained conscience that they're doing something wrong,

and those pangs of conscience imply that their soul is not right with God.

Feminism is nothing more than one example, among many others, of people *individually* shaking their fists at God and trying to live their own life for their own sake, and this resulting in larger *collective* movements. It's the ultimate grass-roots organization. Nothing has more of a root in the natural human heart than sin.

And the obvious answer to this spiritual problem is a spiritual solution. Apart from salvation and God reforming the person inside, they won't change their outward behavior. And apart from hearing the message of how to be saved, can they respond to it.

So for everyone who believes they know God and know the way of salvation, every such person should be motivated to preach that message as often as possible, knowing that it's only by His power that lasting change can occur.

That's my "big-picture" idea and I hope it finds some purchase in the minds of whoever reads the comments. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Mr Greenfield, you are a great writer, very analytical, very aware of the present social and political situation, and as a result this is a great piece about the hypocrisy of feminism, and thank you. This is only our second time on your site, but I have decided to contribute small amounts to see if that is enough to keep you going--we do not want to see you limited.

Flying Tiger said...

And then there's the odious Lena Dunham and her busy fingers.

Peak evil has been reached in the narcissism of faux feminism.

Buddhist Logic said...

"that’s why feminists can’t talk about the mass rape of young girls in the UK without stepping on a political landmine."

Between 2004 and 2010 the ONLY journalist to publish any article on the muslim grooming gangs in the UK was the lesbian feminist Julie Bindel.

See Section 4.12 of McLoughlin's chronicle of the scandal.

But who got the credit for exposing the gangs? Male journalist Andrew Norfolk.
Who got the awards? Not Bindel but Norfolk.
Who got praised by Parliament. Not Bindel, but Norfolk.

Bindel showed true bravery and commitment. The vast majority of feminists and non-feminists looked the other way.

John the Econ said...

Feminism as a broad political force in America officially became irrelevant when it decided to defend Bill Clinton in the wake of the Lewinsky affair. After that embarrassment, few outside the core took them seriously, and feminism retreated to the safe confines of academia, where it only occasionally pops its head out to advocate for free birth control for middle-aged co-eds and comment on it's mostly-imaginary "rape culture". Meanwhile, the struggles of real women in the world are trivialized.

Anonymous said...

for the that muslim rape thing in rothdale(it i got the name correct), is sad that the so called social workers and law enforcement didnt do anything about it because it was racist. Which to me is bs. Cops and social workers are a lazy bunch like teachers in school dealing with bullying. They do it only when they have to to get their pay cheque. Hell they only work hard when its time for a strike. Its never stopped cops arresting blacks and muslims on the streets whom overrep in prision 7 and 3x over respectively. same can be said about those social workers saying " oh we didnt have the resources to handle it", im like wtf 911 isnt a resource for you. YOu write a report and get those poor kids to a foster home. They know the kids they deal with come from poor neglected backgrounds. I say they are hiding behind "fear of racism" to not look incompetant. They too like the cops should be punished like those pedos for their delbirate neglect.

I dunno about Alis fgm, all i know is cut 3 and 4 i belive is where they totally mutuliate like a penile subinisiion while female circumsision is cut 1 and 2.
But its not a muslim habit. Its been practiced before christianity in africa and egypts phaoroah days. ONly 2 regions to do this practice. islam apperntly doesnt promote it but its silent on it like the others. LIke its not an issue like pakistan or iran.

honour killing is just ego killing like crime of passion, basically anything that offends you, your group and your pride your honor and rep is on the line when those lines have been disturbed.
But I think that same left are the ones that defined it as a womens thing even though in pakistan 38% of victims were men, while non honour violence men die 2-3x over. This honour culture just feels like this rape culture thing here honestly.
Iran Id like to get the rt aljeezra story on that since cnn blows it out like that one woman getting stoned for adultry but turns out she killed her man too. Think they white wash the media on that story like people did with Micheal Brown and Ray Rice to paint innocence and guilt respectivley.
Because the iranians dont seem crazy like Amdinijad seem totally rational when he was speaking with larry king, but hey Ted Turner is jewish.

But Id have to disagree though there are feminists that do try hard and influece women in middle east like letting women compete for saudi in the olym[ics back in 08 I think

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