Warning: Profanity in image below.
“Patriarchy’s chief institution is the family. . . . [T]he family effects control and conformity where political and other authorities are insufficient. As the fundamental instrument and the foundation unit of patriarchal society the family and its roles are prototypical. . . .
“The concept of romantic love affords a means of emotional manipulation which the male is free to exploit, since love is the only circumstance in which the female is (ideologically) pardoned for sexual activity. . . .
“We are not accustomed to associate patriarchy with force. So perfect is its system of socialization, so complete the general assent to its values, so long and so universally has it prevailed in human society, that it scarcely seems to require violent implementation. . . .
“Historically, most patriarchies have institutionalized force through their legal systems. . . .
“Significantly, force itself is restricted to the male who alone is psychologically and technically equipped to perpetrate physical force. . . .
“Patriarchal force also relies on a form of violence particularly sexual in character and realized most completely in the act of rape. The figures of rapes reported represent only a faction of those which occur. . . .”
– Kate Millett, Sexual Politics (1970)
“When we consider the family, we have to talk about child sexual abuse, incest, and the area of family violence that I’ve focused on: wife abuse, marital rape, and battering — often culminating, in the cases I’ve looked into, in homicide. . . . Exploring our sexuality requires freedom, and for women the family structure is still a prison. . . .
“Family ‘stability’ in a patriarchal system depends upon sexual repression of women. …
“We know that men beat women because they can. No one stops them because to do so would be to interfere with the family. . . .
“Violence has always been an important tool for maintaining the family to serve the purposes of patriarchy. . . .
“Susan Brownmiller’s  book, Against Our Will, is a milestone in the women’s movement because it demythologized — desexualized — rape. We learned . . . that sexual and physical violence against women is not ‘sexual’ at all but simply violent. Men use it to dominate women. . . .
“Susan Brownmiller showed us that the rapists serve all men by enforcing male supremacy. . . . [W]e should be clear that our quarrel is not only with certain abusive men but with male supremacy. Our goal should be not merely to redefine our sexuality but to redefine the world and our place in it.”
– Ann Jones, “Family Matters,” in The Sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism, edited by Dorchen Leidholdt and Janice G. Raymond (1990)
“The professionals who diagnose women’s sexual maladjustments never question the politics of these ‘problems.’ They rarely address fundamental issues such as: Why should women get married? Why should we enjoy ‘feminine’ clothing? What is wrong with ‘homosexual tendencies’? . . . Indeed, why should women want sex with men at all? . . .
“Radical feminist practice is concerned about recognizing our fear, and anger, and refusing to dismiss those reactions as simply ‘dysfunctional.’ It is about organizing collectively to challenge the institutions that deny women’s rage and pain. It is about questioning ‘common-sense’ understandings of the world. Radical feminists have examined the institution of heterosexuality, the social construction of desire and the links between rape and ‘consensual’ sex. These analyses question the existence of ‘truly chosen’ and ‘egalitarian’ heterosexual relations by focusing on the compulsory enforcement of heterosexuality; they are suspicious of appeals to some ‘authentic female sexuality,’ hidden deep within ourselves and uncontaminated by the rule of heteropatriarchy.”
– Jenny Kitzinger, “Sexual Violence and Compulsory Heterosexuality,” in Heterosexuality: A Feminism & Psychology Reader, edited by Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger (1993)
Men are to feminism what Jews were to Nazism. As a species of hate propaganda, feminist literature is remarkably resourceful in the ways that these ideologues demonize — and otherize, as post-modernists might say — all males as the universal scapegoats on whom all evil is blamed.
Rush Limbaugh’s famous term “feminazis” is usually seen as crude sarcasm. On page 13 of Susan Faludi’s 1991 book Backlash, she credits Limbaugh’s “broadsides” against feminism for making “his syndicated program the most popular radio talk show in the nation.” Nearly a quarter-century later, we might update Faludi’s phrase to say more accurately that Rush Limbaugh is the most successful broadcaster in radio history, period. And we ought not be so quick to dismiss Limbaugh’s coinage of the word “feminazi” as merely a joke.
Having spent the past several months immersed in the study of radical feminist literature as research for my “Sex Trouble” series, I know that Rush Limbaugh was speaking the literal truth.
It is not merely that feminists are devoted to an ideology of hate that is analogous in many ways to Hitler’s anti-Semitic worldview, but also that feminism is clearly totalitarian in its methods. Never is this more evident than when feminists are talking about rape. You would think, to hear the rhetoric that emanates from our nation’s colleges and universities, that sexual assault is now at an all-time high on campus. Yet all actual evidence indicates that quite nearly the opposite is true.
According to the Justice Department, the rate of sexual violence against females declined 64% between 1995 and 2005: “In 2010, females nationwide experienced about 270,000 rape or sexual assault victimizations, compared to about 556,000 in 1995.” Do feminists want us to believe there has been a recent uptick of rape under the Obama Administration? I’m dubious. As far as rape on college campuses is concerned, however, every attempt to verify the widespread claim that 20% of college females are victims of sexual assault has failed, because the actual numbers don’t add up. But if Women’s Studies majors were good at math, they wouldn’t be majoring in Women’s Studies.
Once you understand that there is nothing like an “epidemic” of rape on college campuses, and that feminists are engaged in statistical dishonesty about the frequency of such crimes, a skeptic is immediately prompted to wonder, “What’s this really about?” In a word, power.
This is the classic totalitarian method: Whip up an irrational frenzy about an Issue, and convince people The Enemy is to blame. Your followers, a motley collection of dupes and crackpots who are predisposed to believe whatever you say, are willing to blame The Enemy not only for the Issue, but also for all problems experienced by The Movement, which you lead and in which they are fanatical followers. Your leadership is dependent on their followership, and vice-versa.
In the symbiotic relationship of totalitarian movements, your status as leader requires you to keep your followers convinced that any failure of the Movement is to be blamed either on (a) The Enemy, (b) the enormous challenges inherent to the Issue, or (c) the deficiencies, faint-heartedness and/or possible disloyalty of the followers. You must constantly reinforce these beliefs in the minds of your followers or else, given a quiet moment to reflect on the situation, they might wise up and begin to suspect that failure is due to (d) the incompetence of their leaders who have (e) deliberately misrepresented the Issue and misled the Movement. If ever those doubts begin to occur in the minds of your followers, they might even start to wonder if The Enemy isn’t really an enemy at all.
What I have just recounted are the psychodynamics of every radical movement since the French Revolution, a predictable phenomenon best illustrated by the career of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. A sociopathic thug who managed to shove aside every other rival to succeed Lenin as leader of the Bolshevik regime, Stalin turned his nearest rival, Leon Trotsky, into a scapegoated figure whose alleged conspiratorial perfidy was a permanent source of the paranoid suspicion necessary to the rationale of a police state. Within a decade of assuming power, Stalin began to turn this suspicion against those original Bolshevik leaders who had loyally served the regime since before the October Revolution and who, as such, were in a position to recognize the bloody failures of Stalin’s leadership. During the infamous Moscow Show Trials, one after another of the Old Bolsheviks were accused of wildly improbable crimes — treason! sabotage! Trotskyism! — to which they were forced to confess and then, in most cases, were summarily executed.
As it was with the Bolsheviks, so it is with the feminists. Patriarchy serves in the feminist ideology that purpose which capitalism served for the Soviet revolutionaries. Anyone who questions the ideology of the movement becomes an ally of the Enemy. The duty of every True Believer is to echo the slogans of the movement leadership, as if the movement could be carried to victory merely by the fervor of its followers. The repetition of falsehoods, the faith in erroneous ideology — all the wrongs and failures of a totalitarian movement devoted to The Big Lie, which must ultimately be doomed to the ash heap of history — these are familiar tactics, and once you realize they are merely tactics, they lose their power to intimidate and terrorize you into silence.
For this is exactly the power that feminists seek with their deliberate lies about men, about patriarchy, about “rape culture”:
To distill their rhetoric to its totalitarian essence: “Shut up, because rape.”
The SlutWalk movement is about rape in pretty much the same sense Nazism was about the Versailles Treaty — it’s the legitimate grievance that empowers a movement of irrational hatred.
So I said last year after finding myself amid that rabble. I’d call them “brownshirts,” but they weren’t wearing shirts. Or pants, either.
It’s probably kind of hard to goosestep while wearing 3-inch heels and fishnet stockings, but the fascist vibe was so overwhelming I could almost hear the sound of hobnailed boots marching over broken glass. My memories of the rally at the end of the march have faded, and I can’t find my notes of the speeches the SlutWalk leaders made, but then again, why bother translating them into English? Their speeches were much better in the original German. They made a documentary about SlutWalk. It was directed by Leni Riefenstahl.
Ah, I could keep riffing like this all night, you see. But why should I making jokes when it’s so much funnier just to quote feminists?
“This account of the politics of lesbianism locates it firmly within the framework of radical feminist ideology. The role of heterosexuality as an institution of patriarchal control, and the potential of lesbianism for subverting male domination are made explicit. . . .
“It is argued that a relationship between any individual woman and man cannot be understood without reference to the political structure of male supremacy and male domination, which invests each man with power over each woman. . .
“Thus the ‘personal’ (including romance, falling in love, sexual attraction, fantasy, and personal relationships generally) is ‘political’ in at least two senses: firstly that it is the personal experience of women that generates and informs feminist theory, and secondly in that feminist theory offers a structure within which individual experience can be interpreted and understood. . . . .
“In this account, men (rather than merely ‘society,’ ‘institutions’ or ‘conditioning’) are seen as the enemy. . . .
“In this account, the blame is put squarely on men, and separatism is represented as a legitimate strategy. . . .
“These are the views which underlie the theory of political lesbianism — the theory that women can and should choose lesbianism as part of the political strategy of feminism — and this account endorses constructionist theories of sexuality. . . .
“This factor, then, involves a constructionist version of sexuality in which heterosexuality is seen as imposed by men on to women, and in which lesbianism represents a challenge to male supremacy.”
– Celia Kitzinger, The Social Construction of Lesbianism (1987)
OK, that’s not funny so much as it is deranged and frightening, but perhaps you see my point. Radical feminists have a clear ideology — a theoretical framework — which informs their rhetoric, and they have spent decades erecting this edifice of error, so that it is now deeply embedded in the belief system of elite academia. This one 1987 book by Professor Kitzinger, for example, has been cited nearly 900 times in scholarly literature. If Professor Kitzinger is wrong, her errors are widely popular among her academic peers.
Professor Kitzinger is not describing a “born-that-way” theory of lesbianism, and she explicitly rejects (as do radical feminists, in general) the claim that heterosexuality is natural. You can trace a direct narrative arc from Kate Millett’s claims in 1970 — where the patriarchal family “effects control and conformity,” where romantic love is simply “a means of emotional manipulation,” where rape is a political weapon of patriarchy — to the claims of Professor Kitzinger in 1987. And we see this direct line of thought continued forward to the present, expressed in feminist slogans which now emerge spontaneously from the Twitter account of Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine:
"Real men" reinforces heteronormative patriarchy. How about "people don't hit other people"? @tanehisicoates @chrislhayes
— (((sfpelosi))) (@sfpelosi) September 20, 2014
You can see the New York Times account of Christine Pelosi’s marriage to Peter Kaufman and conclude that heteronormative patriarchy has been very good to her. Why, therefore, does she feel the need to speak as if “reinforcing heteronormative patriarchy” were a hate crime? Because these are the ideas that prevail within the culture of the elite, to which Christine Pelosi so clearly belongs. If this were 1962, she’d be talking about modern art and civil rights, but it’s 2014, so she’s talking about heteronormative patriarchy.
Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out how “rapists serve all men by enforcing male supremacy,” as was explained by the eminent Ann Jones. She’s got all kinds of honors: “Her work has received generous support from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, where she held the Mildred Londa Weisman Fellowship in 2010-11, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2011-12), and the Fulbright Foundation (2012).” Obviously, she’s so much smarter than the rest of us (especially me) that she understands how I am “served” by the crimes of rapists. Some creep I never heard of rapes a woman I never met in a distant place I’ve never been and don’t plan ever to visit — Boulder, Colorado, for example — and I am thereby “served,” you see, because this criminal is “enforcing male supremacy.”
While you’re trying to figure that one out, let me ask you to ponder another question: “Who benefits from feminism?”
Who profits, who is empowered, whose social prestige is enhanced by the promulgation of this anti-male/anti-heterosexual propaganda?
“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.”
– Rush Limbaugh
You got that one right, Rush. You damned sure got that right.
First published at TheOtherMcCain.com
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.