Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dear Katherine

I received this comment on my post Never date Western Women

hello heretic,
i am an (sic) 19 year old feminist attending a prestigious university in california. as to your opinion that femininsts (sic) are lesbians gathering in secret blah blah crap, think about this:
the actually (sic) definition for feminism is believing that women should have equal rights to men. if you or your girlfriend dont believe that, welcome to the 21st century. times are changing, and your typical view of radical feminism and close (sic) minded conservativeness is falling further and further behind. not all feminists are bra burning lesbians (i'm certainly not). sexism is still prevalent today, which is why feminism is too. Feminists have an actual cause--were not just crazy women ranting about the unfairness that men like YOU caused. The ERA hasn't been passed--can you explain that? The government is full of conservative, close-minded, sexist men who still feel for some reason that men are superior to women. Anyways, I have ALOT more i could say, but i have to get back to writing my paper on how sexism is still present in the United States today. I actually found your site by typing in "sexist laws in the united states". Interesting, huh?
Oh well, I guess youre happy with your prejudiced, generalized view of feminists. As they say, "ignorance is bliss"


Dear Katherine,
Thank you for your comment. Not majoring in English then? I was a lot like you when I was 19. I thought I knew everything. I was full of reforming zeal to try to free the world from suffering. I was tempted to throw in my lot with fashionable causes which would give me access to a trendy, interesting bunch of cool new friends. It’s called adolescence. I’m sorry if that sounds patronizing, I really don’t mean it to, but it is true.

Back then, older people told me I was na├»ve for campaigning to have nuclear weapons abolished. To me, it seemed like a simple truth, and I was mildly insulted by their comments. Now, of course, I realize they were right. This is not a counsel of despair though. What you are going through now is a necessary stage in your personal intellectual and social development. The trick is not to give up trying once you’ve read a couple of books, assuming that you have all the answers. As you get older, you learn that the world is a good deal more complex than you thought, and that human civilization cannot just be arbitrarily re-made at whim. If it was that easy to create a paradise on earth, don’t you think someone would have done it by now? People a lot smarter and more powerful than you and I have tried and failed, usually with disastrous consequences. As Karl Popper said “Those who promise us heaven on Earth have only ever delivered Hell”.

“the actually (sic) definition for feminism is believing that women should have equal rights to men.

Well that might be your definition, but it is certainly not the view of everyone in the feminist movement, and it is not borne out by what the feminist movement does in practice. See for example my article Why Did Feminists Attack the Family?

The basic assumption of feminism is that women have fewer rights than men. My dissent starts right there. Women do not have fewer rights than men. There is clear evidence to suggest that they have more. It is also wrong-headed to talk of ‘rights’, as if that’s all there is. Rights and responsibilities are inseparable. In the past, men had more rights in some fields, but they also had many more responsibilities. Feminists demand rights without responsibility, which is a recipe for tyranny, and we are seeing the effects of this already.

Let me ask you this: What exactly is it that you feel you are being deprived of? As a middle-class American female, you are a member of one of the most privileged social groups, living in the richest and most powerful country on earth, and yet you regard yourself as a victim of organized political oppression. You need to start looking into your real motivations. Calling yourself a feminist improves your social position.

if you or your girlfriend dont believe that, welcome to the 21st century. times are changing, and your typical view of radical feminism and close minded conservativeness is falling further and further behind

The times they were a-changin’ back in the Vietnam era (Is it true that most Americans can’t even point to Vietnam on a map?), but today although the climate may be a-changin, politically the world has taken a major shift to the Right. This arguably started around 1979, with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Iranian revolution, the Thatcher-Reagan axis, the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union, the subsequent aggressive Anglo-American wars of conquest in the Middle East, and the present resurgence of aggressive Russian nationalism. The summer of love was over before you were born, and it doesn’t look like coming back any time soon.

I am very far from being a closed-minded conservative. I suggest that, if anything, it is you who is a closed minded conservative. In any case, the crux of your argument is simply a threat: I must either agree with you or face complete social exclusion. I am prepared to take my chances.

Feminism sets itself up as the arbiter and the authority on all issues related to sexual politics. What do we want from such an authority? Surely, the primary duty of any such body should be to promote mutual understanding between all parties, so as to lessen conflict and produce better outcomes for all. Is this what the feminist movement actually does? Not at all. It goes out of its way to stir up sexual hatred wherever possible.

Feminism is simply not fit for purpose. It just doesn’t do what it says on the can. The very assumption that women are the victims of men, the very fact that it calls itself feminism, means that it cannot do the job it claims to do. It is gender-exclusive, to the very core. Imagine a movement set up to resolve the Middle-East problem calling itself Islamism. I think other parties to the conflict might have good reason to be suspicious, don’t you? I’m not suggesting Muslims don’t have a case, of course they do, but so does everyone else, and they couldn’t reasonably expect to get a fair hearing. The feminist movement insists that no-one has a case to be heard apart from them, and at the same time, they insist that they are acting selflessly, as honest brokers. If the UN went around causing wars whenever it could, we would be right to complain about its professionalism and to question its agenda. Yet this is what the feminist movement is like. Feminists are not the honest police officers they claim to be; they are vigilantes, organizing lynch-mobs at every opportunity.

Although useful, this is in some ways a false analogy anyway, because men and women are not in a state of war. The idea that we are is perhaps the greatest travesty of feminism, the most poisonous misrepresentation of them all. According to basic feminist theory, the most important - the defining - political relation in society is the relationship between men and women, and that relationship is characterized as being essentially antagonistic in nature. This whole premise is absurd, destructive and divisive.

Men and women’s interests are almost identical, and where they do differ, they are entirely complementary. Men and women want to have positive relationships with each other, and the feminist movement does everything in its power to ensure that this does not happen. That is, more than anything else, the source of my displeasure.

not all feminists are bra burning lesbians (i'm certainly not).

You’re putting words into my mouth. Bra-burning? The irony is that zealots like yourself are so busy accusing everyone else around them of being bigots, that they fail to see that it is they themselves who are the bigots.

sexism is still prevalent today,

Yeah, that quiet guy in your class is a real nerd, isn’t he? That male professor is probably a pervert. He’s probably a kiddie-fiddler. So what if 9.7 million men died in World War 1? Fuck ‘em. It’s their own fault.

which is why feminism is too.

Firstly, the idea that sexism only affects women is itself sexist. Secondly, I do not see any evidence that the feminist movement is either able or willing to improve matters. It is a self-serving cult.

Feminists have an actual cause--were not just crazy women ranting about the unfairness that men like YOU caused.

Men like me? You don’t know anything about me, and you are accusing me of ‘causing unfairness’, simply because I am male. This is sexist and prejudiced, the very things that you accuse me of.

The ERA hasn't been passed--can you explain that?

Yes, it’s a misogynist conspiracy by the Evil Patriarchy (TM).

I’m not an expert on the history of US constitutional law, but a very quick internet search reveals this article:

The House passed ERA on October 12, 1971, after rejecting the Wiggins Amendment which would have exempted women from "compulsory military service" and which also would have preserved other laws "which reasonably promote the health and safety of the people." Only 23 Congressmen voted no, of whom one was the senior female member, Representative Leonor Sullivan (D-MO), who made a strong speech opposing ERA because it would harm the family.

In the Senate, Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr., (D-NC) proposed nine separate amendments to ERA to protect the traditional rights of women.

The Ervin amendments would have exempted women from compulsory military service and from combat duty; they would have protected the traditional rights of wives, mothers and widows, and preserved the responsibility of fathers to support their children; they would have preserved laws that secure privacy to males and females; they would have continued the laws that make sexual offenses punishable as crimes. All these modifying clauses were defeated. When ERA was passed in strict, absolute language, only nine Senators voted "no."

Congress sent ERA out to the states on March 22, 1972. Within twelve months, 30 states had ratified ERA.

A small group of women in 1972, under the name "Stop ERA," took on what seemed to be an impossible task. In 1975, they founded "Eagle Forum" - the genesis of the pro-family movement, a coming together of believers of all faiths who, for the first time, worked together toward a shared political goal. Eagle Forum volunteers persevered through the years and led the movement to final victory over ERA.

The last state to ratify ERA was Indiana in January 1977. There have been perhaps 25 different votes on ERA since that time (in legislatures, committees, referenda, and Congress), but Indiana was ERA's last success.


As a student of feminism, you haven’t done your homework very well. You seem to think that ERA was supported by all women, but opposed by ‘sexist’, ‘conservative’ men. This is not true. You say it was never passed. This also appears not to be entirely true. You have no doubt been told this by your Women’s Studies ‘professors’, who wish to paint a picture of the world as being sexually polarized when it is not.

The government is full of conservative, close-minded, sexist men who still feel for some reason that men are superior to women.

I think this statement is probably just not true. I certainly don’t think there is much evidence for it. In fact, it is a generalization, a statement of prejudice and bigotry, the very thing that you accuse me of.

but i have to get back to writing my paper on how sexism is still present in the United States today.

I’m tempted to feel pity for you. What you are receiving is not a college education at all, but political indoctrination into a quasi-Marxist religious cult. They are teaching you to repeat the party line like a mantra, and not to ask questions. Here are some books that they won’t be mentioning in Women’s Studies.

They don’t want you to read this heresy, because you might start thinking for yourself.

I actually found your site by typing in "sexist laws in the united states". Interesting, huh?

Excellent! I’m glad my site is becoming more prominent in the rankings. I’m sure it didn’t show up very highly though. I’ve never written about American law.

Oh well, I guess youre happy with your prejudiced, generalized view of feminists. As they say, "ignorance is bliss"

My personal experience of feminism has been far from blissful, let me assure you. And that was back in the days when I actively supported them! Since I began opposing them, which they gave me absolutely no choice over, my life has been a lot happier, thank you.

Again, don’t be so quick to call other people ignorant. There is much that you don’t know. Since you are a college student, you may like to look into Title IX, and the effect it has had on campus life. You may like to look into the campus date-rape campaigns of the 1990s, which aimed to stir up anti-heterosexual and anti-male hysteria on campuses on which no rapes had ever taken place. You should be asking yourself: Who benefits from this? Obviously, someone does, but it almost certainly isn’t you. Good luck to you, and remember: always ask awkward questions. That's what college is for.