Feminism’s Campaign of Sexual Terror
WARNING: The following passage contains information of a sexual nature. Reader discretion is advised:
Sexuality is to feminism what work is to Marxism: that which is most one’s own, yet most taken away. . . .
Implicit in feminist theory is a parallel argument: the molding, direction, and expression of sexuality organizes society into two sexes — women and men — which division underlies the totality of social relations. Sexuality is that social process which creates, organizes, expresses, and directs desire, creating the social beings we know as women and men, as their relations create society. . . . The organized expropriation of the sexuality of some for the use of others defines the sex, woman. Heterosexuality is its structure, gender and family its congealed forms, sex roles its qualities generalized to social persona, reproduction a consequence, and control its issue.
Marxism and feminism are theories of power and its distribution: inequality. They provide accounts of how social arrangements of patterned disparity can be internally rational yet unjust. . . .
Socially, femaleness means femininity, which means attractiveness to men, which means sexual attractiveness, which means sexual availability on male terms. What defines woman as such is what turns men on. Good girls are ‘attractive,’ bad girls ‘provocative.’ Gender socialization is the process through which women come to identify themselves as sexual beings, as beings that exist for men. It is that process through which women internalize (make their own) a male image of their sexuality as their identity as women. . . .
Feminist inquiry into women’s own experience of sexuality revises prior comprehensions of sexual issues and transforms the concept of sexuality itself — its determinants and its role in society and politics. . . . Sex as gender and sex as sexuality are thus defined in terms of each other, but it is sexuality that determines gender, not the other way around.
— Catharine MacKinnon, “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory” (1982)
Please call the excerpted passage to the attention of Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte, or any other prominent 21st-century feminist spokeswoman in politics, journalism or academia.
Ask them: Was Professor MacKinnon wrong, and if so, how?
It’s very simple, you see. Anyone with a college education can read Professor MacKinnon’s words and see what she means. You can read the entire article and judge whether these excerpts are in any way “taken out of context.” You can read Professor MacKinnon’s online biography and see if anyone can dismiss her as a “fringe” figure, obscure and irrelevant to so-called “mainstream” feminism.
The rhetorical habits of feminists are familiar to anyone who has ever attempted to oppose them. You ask them a simple question, a matter of plain fact that can be answered “yes” or “no,” and they will not answer. They will deny your authority to ask them questions, implying that to disagree with them is proof of your bad faith (mala fides), so that their critics are always either accused of defending some heinous abuse (e.g., rape) or else characterized as a misogynist, a deliberate insult for which no evidence is required beyond a skeptical stance vis-à-vis feminism.
Misogynist is a word that has a definition. The etymology of misogynist gives it a literal definition as “woman-hater,” but in America nowadays, it means: Republican, especially a male Republican.
It is would difficult to find evidence that Mitt Romney hates women, but he is a Republican and therefore, all feminists agreed in 2012, he was responsible for a “War on Women.”
Feminists began by blaming the “War on Women” on Rush Limbaugh, who said mean things about Sandra Fluke. The word for someone who says mean things about a feminist is “misogynist.” The word for someone who says mean things about a Republican woman is . . . Democrat.
The terms of the dominant discourse are controlled by the media and academia, both institutions overwhelmingly staffed by Democrats, and so it is nearly impossible to get anyone to notice (much less to admit) the extent to which feminism is simply a partisan propaganda operation through which Democrats exploit the partisan “gender gap” by convincing women that the Republican Party hates women.
Well, what about Catharine McKinnon?
Is she a feminist? Do other feminists agree with her analysis of sexuality? If officials of the Republican Party are expected to answer for everything Rush Limbaugh says — as was the case in the Sandra Fluke imbroglio — why can’t Democrats be asked about the views of eminent feminist ideologues? Of course, I doubt any TV interviewer would ever dream of asking Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren whether they agree with Catharine MacKinnon, couldn’t we at least ask such a question of Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte and other such persons whose status as Official Feminist Spokeswomen is their journalistic raison d’etre?
Heterosexuality is the “structure,” according to Professor MacKinnon, by which males engage in the “organized expropriation” of women’s sexuality. That is to say, all males are sexual predators — parasites who wrongfully exploit females as their sexual victims and thereby produce an “inequality” that is “unjust.” Heterosexuality is a social injustice, a means of oppression that males impose on females.
Perhaps there are feminists who wish to say that I have mischaracterized or oversimplified Professor MacKinnon’s argument.
Then, please, Ms. Valenti and Ms. Marcotte, feel free to explain how I am too stupid to comprehend Professor MacKinnon’s meaning. Let any other feminist — professional or amateur — explain either (a) how I have misinterpreted Professor MacKinnon’s argument, or (b) how Professor MacKinnon’s argument is wrong.
“Well,” the feminist huffs, “this is irrelevant. It’s 2015. What’s the point of bringing up this article from 1982?” More from MacKinnon:
The issue in rape has been whether the intercourse was provoked/mutually desired, or whether it was forced: was it sex or violence? . . .[W]omen notice that sexual harassment looks a great deal like ordinary heterosexual initiation under conditions of gender inequality. Few women are in a position to refuse unwanted sexual initiatives. That consent rather than nonmutuality is the line between rape and intercourse further exposes the inequality in normal social expectations. So does the substantial amount of male force allowed in the focus on the woman’s resistance, which tends to be disabled by socialization to passivity. If sex is ordinarily accepted as something men do to women, the better question would be whether consent is a meaningful concept.
Penetration (often by a penis) is also substantially more central to both the legal definition of rape and the male definition of sexual intercourse than it is to women’s sexual violation or sexual pleasure. . . . Although most women are raped by men they know, the closer the relation, the less women are allowed to claim it was rape. . . .
Sexuality, then, is a form of power. Gender, as socially constructed, embodies it, not the reverse. Women and men are divided by gender, made into the sexes as we know them, by the social requirements of heterosexuality, which institutionalizes male sexual dominance and female sexual submission.
— Catharine MacKinnon, “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory” (1982)
Honest readers see the immediate relevance of this. Professor MacKinnon was both prominent and influential in developing the theories of sexuality upon which much of current feminist discourse about “rape culture” is based. And the reader who is intelligent perceives that feminist theory interprets rape not as something separate and distinct from normal sexual interactions between men and women, but rather as something quite difficult to distinguish from normal interactions between men and women under “the social requirements of heterosexuality” within the system of “male sexual dominance and female sexual submission” by which women are oppressed.
If we recognize how feminist theory applies to the current “rape culture” discourse focused on college and university campuses, we also recognize this: Feminists are attempting to criminalize male sexuality, so that every sexual interaction between men and women occurs under the threat of prosecution if at any point, for any reason, the woman becomes unhappy with the interaction. Feminists now vehemently insist that males must be presumed guilty of rape if any woman ever accuses them of rape. No evidence is necessary beyond the accusation, and anyone who does not accept this no-evidence-needed standard is angrily condemned by feminists as a “rape apologist.”
This is anti-male terrorism, creating on university campuses a climate of fear in which “ordinary heterosexual initiation,” to borrow Professor MacKinnon’s phrase, becomes extraordinarily difficult due to the pervasive danger to males that their female partners might accuse them of a felony sex offense, the mere accusation being a de facto conviction.
Feminists are attempting to outlaw heterosexuality on college campuses. And when heterosexuality is outlawed, only outlaws will be heterosexual. Therefore, bad boys win, and nice guys . . .
Well, they say “nice guys finish last,” but nice guys will never finish at all. Certainly there will be no happy endings for the shy, scrupulously law-abiding nerd. Under the feminist regime of anti-male terror, a college boy would need a sense of reckless daring just to smile at a girl, much less speak to her. To attempt a kiss — are you crazy? Attempted kissing is sexual assault. No male who is smart enough to get into Harvard or Yale would dare risk the consequences of trying to kiss a girl.
Perhaps feminists can explain that I’ve misunderstood all this.
Perhaps there are Women’s Studies majors at elite universities who are eagerly willing to consent to sex with the kind of males who are interested in dating Women’s Studies majors at elite universities.
The existence of such males, however, is strictly hypothetical.
First published at TheOtherMcCain.com
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