What Feminism Hath Wrought
Just in time for the holidays, feminism is the gift that keeps on giving, and another academic sadist tells us what’s wrong with men:
Laura Kipnis begins her preface to Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation . . . with an interesting idea: Writing about someone marks a special kind of intimacy. And just as any relationship that’s full of projection, there’s a lot of projection when you’re writing about someone, especially someone who’s been your lover.
“When writing about a relationship, you’re writing about the collusion of two psyches,” she tells me. Explaining further, Kipnis continues, “You project your fantasies on to the person. That’s the most interesting part about writing about someone. You find out things about yourself.” . . .
Women invent notions of men all the time, even if we’re not writing books about them. But why do we do this? And, more to the point, when we invent notions of men, is this empowering, or does it have the opposite effect on us?
Kipnis weighs in.
“I would think it is a powerful position to be in, inventing notions of men. You get to tell the story and in the same way you’re inventing the man, you’re constructing yourself, your persona at the same time.” . . .
“Masculinity seems more of a question mark than a given at the moment,” concludes Kipnis. . . .
You may read the rest of that without gaining any actual insight into who or what Professor Kipnis is. What she is, actually, is another careerist cog in the wheel of the Feminist-Industrial Complex, a combination of academia, media, political power and money that provides feminism absolute hegemony in elite culture. Her official bio:
Laura Kipnis is a cultural critic and former video artist whose work focuses on sexual politics, aesthetics, emotion, acting out, bad behavior, and various other crevices of the American psyche. Her five book have been translated into fifteen languages. The most recent is How to Become A Scandal; previous books include Against Love: A Polemic and The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability. She is a professor in the Department of Radio/TV/Film at Northwestern University where she teaches filmmaking; she has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Michigan Society of Fellows, the NEA and Yaddo; and has contributed essays and reviews to Slate, Harper’s, Playboy, New York Times Magazine, New York Times Book Review, and Bookforum. She has a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, an MFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and also attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Studio Program. She lives in New York and Chicago.
Do you notice anything about this brief curriculum vitae? She is a tenured professor at an elite university (Northwestern tuition 2014-2015, $47,251) despite the fact that she lacks a doctoral degree. (If you can name any male professors who hold such lofty sinecures with only an MFA, please do so.) The average salary of an assistant professor at Northwestern University is $110,815 and we see that, not content to scrape by on her six-figure academic salary, Professor Kipnis has been busy hoovering up cash from “philanthropic” foundations like Guggenheim and Rockefeller, to say nothing of her (undoubtedly large) fees from major New York publishing firms.
However, the barren middle-aged spinster — never married, never a mother — wants readers to know that men actually like her:
“Men: Notes From an Ongoing Investigation” . . . started out as a fight that writer Laura Kipnis had with her longtime boyfriend over whether she talked too much about her exes. (She doesn’t, she insists.) But the conversation made her realize that regardless of how much she talks about former lovers in private, she’s spent most of the last 15 years writing about men, over and over. . . .
“Men have fascinated me,” her book begins, “maybe too much.” Although her essays catalog a lot of bad male behavior — divided into categories of operators, neurotics, sex fiends and haters — Kipnis is far more intrigued than offended by the “jagged edges” of modern masculinity, and the anxiety over shifting power dynamics she sees poking out from those misdeeds like loose wires. . . .
Pause, dear reader, to imagine a publisher commissioning a book by a male academic who proposed a similar examination of women in the 21st century. Imagine this author (for we can only imagine such a person, as he is non-existent) beginning his book by describing a fight with his girlfriend about his numerous ex-girlfriends.
Now try to imagine a critic for a major newspaper gushing uncritically about that book and that author, as Laura Hudson does in her Los Angeles Times puff-piece interview with Kipnis:
Your book often resists making declarative statements, but what do you see as the status quo for masculinity today?
Power relations have shifted considerably and the economic hit that men took in the last recession was a huge aspect of it. Everything that’s been going on in the last 40 years has really changed the power dynamic in a macro sense, from women’s entry into the workforce and the reshaping of the family structure to the economic hit that men took in the last recession. I think there’s a lot of underlying male anxiety about that. I was interested in the subterranean ways that anxiety manifests itself.
There are several moments where you say you should be offended by male bombast but instead find yourself compelled by its vulnerability. Is this just contrarianism, or is there more to it?
I’m always surprised when women are offended at men like [Norman] Mailer, because he’s kind of hilarious and also self-parodying…. The problem with taking all these things seriously is that it puts you in a reactive position that just reinforces the power of the thing you’re reacting against. I’m a believer in irony, because it gives you two positions; it gives you more latitude to think different thoughts.
The problem with being pissed off at men all the time is that you’re in the same position. You’re just spinning your wheels. . . .
Perhaps you get the general idea here. Professor Kipnis ignorantly speaks of “women’s entry into the workforce” as though it were something that only happened “in the last 40 years,” which is to say that prior to 1974, no woman ever earned a paycheck.
My mother, my grandmother, my aunts — they were all just attending Garden Club meetings and baking cookies until feminism came along and then, in 1974, all women entered the workforce. Never mind the decades my grandmother worked at a textile mill in LaGrange, Georgia. Never mind my mother’s job as a bookkeeper at Mergenthaler Linotype and later RCA Records. Above all, never mind the women school teachers who were wielding absolute authority over children long before anyone heard of Women’s Liberation.
The past must be re-written so that deracinated young people, alienated from their familial communities and thus having no direct knowledge of their ancestors, are taught to believe whatever the intelligentsia finds it politically convenient for youth to believe.
Our mothers’ careers have disappeared behind the fog of feminist rhetoric, and our daughters are taught to believe that their grandmothers and great-grandmothers were helpless victims of a hateful and all-powerful system of slavery, The Patriarchy.
Feminism’s deliberate derogation of the past, its insistence that women groaned under the yoke of male oppression prior to the rise of modern feminism, is necessary to prevent young women from asking questions about feminism itself. Is this ideology really about “empowering” all women generally? Or is it the case that feminism is actually about empowering a certain class of women, namely the academics, activists and authors who are well-paid for their services on behalf of this movement of which they are the elite vanguard?
“Follow the money,” and you learn that the Feminist-Industrial Complex provides lucrative opportunities for those women with the necessary skills (and necessary lack of conscience) to succeed as propagandists for this anti-male/anti-heterosexual ideology.
Of course, Professor Kipnis and other feminist intellectuals hasten to deny that they are man-haters or lesbians. Professor Kipnis begins with a humble-brag anecdote, the fight with her long-term boyfriend about her (too-numerous-to-count) ex-boyfriends and, alas, these men have “fascinated” her, “maybe too much.” See? Professor Kipnis really likes men, she dishonestly seeks to convince her naïve readers, before proceeding to write about males as if they were a disease, their behavior symptomatic of their “vulnerability.” Professor Kipnis isolates the masculinity virus and examines it, inviting readers to share her contemptuous pity for the pathetic male.
Feminists are unloved because they are unloving, too selfish to care for others. When this yields predictable results (loneliness, marital failure, childlessness) the feminist blames men for her problems. Feminism means no woman is ever to blame for anything, because everything bad that happens to a woman or anything a woman does wrong must ultimately be blamed on The Patriarchy.
Feminist theory is nothing but a vast rationalization, a psychological defense mechanism, an all-purpose excuse and justification.
It’s not about equality, it’s about revenge.
Look at what happened to Larry Summers at Harvard University. An economist with impeccable liberal credentials, Summers merely suggested the possibility that “innate differences” between men and women could help explain the relative shortage of women working as top research scientists. For this, he was denounced as a misogynist and ultimately forced to resign as Harvard’s president.
When I describe feminists as totalitarians and sadists, this is what I mean: Any suffering they can inflict on any male is always justified by their ideology. Mere disagreement with feminist theory is taken as proof that a man hates women, and any professor calling herself a feminist may therefore be sure that no man will dare ever contradict her. Because this ideology and its adherents exercise unlimited authority in elite culture (of which Harvard is an eminent bastion), the feminist intellectual is a latter-day Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi bureaucrat who inspired Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase “the banality of evil.”
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the cruel business of destroying humanity cannot be entrusted to morally sensitive people. Those with humane dispositions do not seek employment as pimps, abortionists or concentration camp commandants.
Feminists crave power, and the reason they crave power is because their resentments of men fuel their fantasies of sadistic revenge. They begin their careers grasping for the whip and, once having obtained it, they wield its punitive power with hideous glee.
And speaking of Amanda Marcotte . . .
Prior to Monday afternoon, the name “Laura Kipnis” meant nothing to me, until somebody on Twitter called my attention to Amanda Marcotte’s Slate.com review of Professor Kipnis’s book:
Kipnis doesn’t produce a grand theory of men, which is as it should be, since there’s little you can say definitively about a diverse group of more than 3.5 billion individuals.
But while it’s hard to come to a meaningful conclusion about men, the collective, there is a lot to be said about the idea of masculinity, a tyrannical concept that the whole group must grapple with, whether they like it or not. . . .
(How is “masculinity . . . tyrannical”? Never mind. She’s on a roll.)
[A] theme emerges: men trying to define themselves against the nebulous dictates of their gender, and all the expectations and privileges it implies.
Kipnis, with her keen eye for human failings, delights in the way this lifelong struggle adds an air of ridiculousness to the whole enterprise of manhood. Masculinity is an idealized state, so of course men are in a permanent state of failing at it, and yet they seem unable to quit. “Something about the poetics of masculine panic, old school and new, just draws me in,” Kipnis writes. . . .
You can read the whole thing, but again the point is obvious enough from a brief excerpt. Feminists being rejects and/or failures — no man will marry them, nor would any man trust one of these hateful creatures to care for his child — Marcotte and Kipnis are spiritual duplicates. They have “boyfriends” rather than husbands, pets rather than children, living lives of immature selfishness while pretending to be socratic archons, arbiters of our sexual morals and manners.
Even if their spitefully vindictive anti-human attitudes did not render them permanently unlovable, however, feminists have fostered such widespread discrimination against males that genuinely marriageable males — i.e., civilized heterosexual men with the economic wherewithal to support a family — are an increasingly rare commodity:
American women . . . are 33 percent more likely to have earned a college degree by the time they reach 27 years of age than their male contemporaries, according to the results of a longitudinal study published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
At most colleges and universities nowadays, one finds that females comprise more than 60 percent of the enrollment, so that if higher education is a place where women expect to meet their future husbands, about one-third of female undergraduates are guaranteed to end up like unmatched socks in the laundry hamper. There simply are no college-educated males available for these women.
Dr. Helen Smith wrote an entire book (Men on Strike) about the multiple consequences of this problem. The fundamental cause is that our educational system during the past three decades has become so oriented toward promoting “equality” (i.e., favoritism toward females rhetorically justified as “empowerment”) that our nation’s K-12 schools now actively discourage male achievement. Christina Hoff Sommers’ book, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men, is an excellent primer on this phenomenon.
Harming men has always been the basic goal of feminism; the harm feminism does to females is just collateral damage. Young males are being mentally crippled and economically punished because of a feminist agenda that deliberately deprives males of education and employment opportunities, diverting social resources (including federal, state and local tax dollars) toward females. Nothing so emphatically demonstrates the objectives of this feminist project as the proliferation of Women’s Studies programs at colleges and universities, employing ideologues who are devoted to teaching female students to hate their male peers.
The most widely assigned Women’s Studies anthology, Feminist Frontiers, is edited by three lesbian professors, and the pedagogical goal of teaching these anti-male/anti-heterosexual theories is scarcely a secret, as “raging lesbian feminist” Carmen Rios made clear.
If you think masculinity is a problem, feminism is the solution. If you think heterosexuality is problem, feminism can solve that, too.
What will result from feminism’s success, however, is not equality, but rather confusion, unhappiness and destruction. Feminism will eventually destroy our entire civilization. Why? Because there are more than 7 billion people on this planet. Our culture is being weakened by feminism’s orchestrated social sabotage, while the foreign enemies of Western civilization — particularly in the Islamic world — are becoming more numerous, more powerful and more militant.
Three or four decades from now, when America’s daughters are enslaved as the concubines of jihadist conquerors, our elites will be able to congratulate themselves on feminism’s success: “Equality!”
First published at TheOtherMcCain.com.
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