Sailing the ‘Sea of Misogyny’

Brendan O’Neill at Spiked Online:

The buzzphrase of our age is ‘rape culture’. Fearmongering feminists claim women are surrounded by the threat of rape, as evidenced in everything from the Sun’s Page 3 to the continued existence of raunchy rock music, and are drowning in what one melodramatic columnist calls ‘a sea of misogyny’. Activists make videos of themselves being catcalled in the street to demonstrate that a ‘culture of rape’ is all around. Even as the statistics suggest that actual incidents of rape are declining — the US National Crime Victimization Survey records an 85 per cent decline in the per-capita victimisation rate of rape over the past 35 years — still the panic about rape is stoked up. Magazines like Rolling Stone run graphic stories about grotesque rapes, publishing houses churn out rape memoirs, and online forums are set up for women to tell, in as much detail as possible, their stories of being raped — all contributing to a feeling, however unfounded, that women are at risk from lustful men.

So it was in the Deep South, too. One of the main ways in which racists there maintained social divisions and social order was through the spectre of rape. . . .

You can read the whole thing, but what caught my eye was that phrase “sea of misogyny.” Headline on the column in question:

Trending: Wake Up Christians – Silence Is Not An Option

Women are being assaulted, abused
and murdered in a sea of misogyny

Why the passive-voice construction? Who is doing all this assault, abuse and murder? The subject of the sentence is men.

Men are assaulting women. Men are abusing women. Men are murdering women. Are feminists afraid to name their enemy?

Words mean things. “Misogyny” means hatred of women.

At some point in the past decade, “misogyny” replaced “sexism” as the favorite feminist accusation against men, without anybody really noticing the significance of the substitution. Being called a “sexist” never much bothered me, frankly, because what does it really mean?

A sexist is someone who believes that the differences between the sexes are socially significant, and I most certainly do.

To be a sexist does not mean being prejudiced against women or practicing unfair discrimination in the workplace against females. Many women — quite probably most women, including many who call themselves “feminists” — are also sexist in their belief that the differences between male and female cannot be ignored or wished away.

The differences between men and women cannot be legislated out of existence. No regime of regulation, no court decree can create “sexual equality,” because the sexes are sufficiently different that attempts to make them equal only creates failure, conflict and misery. Our schools may manage to brainwash children with false beliefs about “equality,” but all that will do is to make it more difficult for those children to be successful and happy when they grow up.

“Feminists have declared war on human nature,” I wrote in July, after beginning the “Sex Trouble” series. While nature will ultimately triumph over her foolish foes, there is no limit to the misery and failure that may result from feminist folly in the meantime.

To be a sexist is not the same as being a misogynist, and the substitution of the latter term for the former tells us something about the steady drift of feminism in recent decades. Entrenched in departments of Women’s Studies, protected by tenure, armed with regulatory authority and political prestige, the academics whose theories form the basis of feminist ideology have taught their naïve students a discourse of power (Foucault) so that when they emerge from the campus cocoon and encounter adult life, they view the world through distorted lenses. Human behavior appears to them to form a gestalt pattern they then describe using the intellectual abstractions (e.g., misogyny) with which they were equipped during their ideological indoctrination.

“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”
William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism (1959)

You don’t need a college education to be able to identify offensive human behavior as “bad manners” or “stupidity.” No abstract theory or fancy words are required to say that you shouldn’t grope people in the workplace or shout insults at strangers on the street. And rape was a felony long before we had feminists constantly lecturing us about rape.

Here’s the subhead on that column about the “sea of misogyny”:

Women are being killed in a society that
sends the message, clearly and repeatedly,
that they are sexual objects for
men’s gratification and possession

Wait! You’re telling me that this message from society is wrong?

Whatever you do, don’t tell my wife. She has been an object for my gratification and possession for 25 years, and if she ever figures out that this arrangement pleases me because I hate her — that I am a “misogynist” — she might stop supplying me with gratification.

Perhaps the reader sees the basic problem here without my having to explain it. Always best to assume that the reader is intelligent enough to draw the obvious conclusion in such a situation, but I hope no one is offended while I belabor the point a bit further.

Our feminist here engages in a rhetorical leap that makes Evel Knievel’s rocket-powered motorcycle jump across the Snake River Canyon look like child’s play. She has crammed many different phenomena into a single category, “misogyny,” so that male desire for female companionship (which in feminist theory means reducing women to “sexual objects”) is responsible for assault, abuse and murder.

Men want women because men hate women — that’s what this feminist rhetoric about “misogyny” and “sex objects” really means.

Common sense rejects this formulation when it is stated so clearly, which is why feminists usually avoid stating their beliefs clearly, except when writing books aimed at an exclusively feminist readership. People have been startled by some of the quotes by feminist authors I’ve published during the past several months (you will find six particularly frightening quotes in yesterday’s installment, “As Real as Rape: How Bad Journalism Advances Feminism’s Anti-Male Agenda“) simply because clear expressions of feminism’s core ideology seldom appear in newspaper columns or any other mass media forum.

“Intercourse occurs in a context of a power relation that is pervasive and incontrovertible. The context . . . is one in which men have social, economic, political power over women. Some men do not have all those kinds of power over all women; but all men have some kinds of power over all women; and most men have controlling power over what they call their women — the women they f**k.”
Andrea Dworkin, Intercourse (1987)

Feminism has both an esoteric doctrine (a system of beliefs shared among members of the cult) and an exoteric discourse, the language feminists use when evangelizing the general public.

What is taught in university Women’s Studies programs diffuses itself into public awareness slowly, by a sort of intellectual osmosis, so that when we encounter feminist arguments on TV news programs or in online columns, the ideological underpinnings of this rhetoric are not clearly apparent. Common sense tells us there is something strange about these arguments — the casual conflation of normal male sexual desire with murder strikes us as odd — but we don’t know where these weird claims are coming from or why anyone would say such things. We ask ourselves, “Who is this person saying all this?”

Her name is Laura Bates and she is 28 years old. She graduated from Cambridge in 2007 and moved to London to pursue an acting career. Failing at that, she worked various jobs until, in 2012, she launched a website called Everyday Sexism, collecting and publishing women’s tales of men’s abusive behavior. That project was a success, and Ms. Bates seems rather disingenuous about this:

She can’t recall a single conversation about feminism or politics while growing up in a “very, very normal” middle-class family in Taunton; she studied English literature at Cambridge university, spent all her time acting and went nowhere near student politics, let alone women’s groups. . . .

It is hard to believe Bates when she says she would scarcely have known what feminism even meant two years ago, for her command of the gender politics debate is breathtakingly sophisticated.

Yes, it is quite “hard to believe” that a Cambridge graduate, even a literature major whose career interest was in theater, didn’t know anything at all about “gender politics” until, at age 26, she created a web site called Everyday Sexism. The aroma of bovine excrement exudes from that narrative because, even if Laura Bates went “nowhere near . . . women’s groups” as a Cambridge undergrad, feminist ideology pervades the modern university campus like water pervades the sea.

As I have frequently mentioned, Women’s Studies programs are organized on an  interdisciplinary basis, so that professors of history, psychology and literature are part of these programs. If one were able to view Laura Bates’s Cambridge transcript, to see the courses she took and the professors under whom she studied, I can pretty much guarantee she had some exposure to feminist theory, and perhaps quite a large amount, even if she did not recognize it as such.

Certainly, Ms. Bates lived her life in accordance to feminist ideology, whether she studied that ideology or not. She is 28, childless and unmarried — by contrast, my wife was a mother of three by the time she was 28 — and so Ms. Bates embodies the anti-procreation fanaticism that makes “choice” (abortion) women’s most fundamental right. It does no good, in my experience, to explain to feminists that their movement’s vehement hostility to motherhood is largely derived from the population-control agenda funded by white male billionaires (David Rockefeller, Ted Turner, Bill Gates, et al.) whose interest in “women’s rights” is more Malthusian than philanthropic.

“Be fruitful and multiply” is one of the many divine commandments that all feminists must reject. There are no Christian feminists, because feminism is a sort of narcissistic idolatry, wherein women deny God and instead worship themselves as their own divinity.

That ironic feminist poster quotes a rather notorious 1992 fundraising letter sent out by Pat Robertson, and every word is true, including the part about witchcraft. Please, click here and buy yourself a copy of Enchanted Feminism: The Reclaiming Witches of San Francisco by Professor Jone Salomsen and, when you’re done reading that, I can recommend several other volumes on the same topic. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in the subject of women divorcing their husbands and becoming lesbians, you can also order From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life: Stories of Transformation (1995) and Dear John, I Love Jane: Women Write About Leaving Men for Women (2010).

Laura Bates is not a lesbian witch, so far as I am aware. A newspaper profile mentions that she “lives in north London with her fiance, an actor” who, we may presume, intends to obtain gratification from his possession of Ms. Bates as a sex object. And good luck, sir!

My own four sons, however, have been warned to avoid any woman who speaks feminist rhetoric. McCain’s Law of Feminism:

There are three kinds of feminism:

1. Feminism that is wrong;
2. Feminism that is crazy;
3. Feminism that is both wrong and crazy.

When in doubt, it’s usually Number Three.

All feminists are wrong and usually also crazy, but you never know what kind of craziness is concealed by their rhetoric. Marry one of them at your own peril. If you come home some day to find she has killed the children, withdrawn all the money from your bank account and run off to join a coven of lesbian witches, don’t say you weren’t warned.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Robert Stacy McCain
Robert Stacy McCain is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience in the news business. He is a correspondent for The American Spectator, editor-in-chief at Viral Read and blogs at

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