Monday, June 16, 2008

Boycott Bookstart

Dear Bookstart,
I want to complain to you about your current television commercial. It is a cute cartoon in which a little boy and his father go on a day trip by bus. Due to the fact that the father has brought a book along, the little boy excitedly reads about space rockets. In the final scene however, the father delivers the boy back to his mother and says goodbye. The father is a non-resident parent.

This is a disagraceful message to send out, and it is completely irrelevant. It has nothing whatsoever to do with selling books, and is unnecessary. I wonder if you would care to explain why you chose to frame a book commercial in this way? Why do you hate men and families so much? It seems hypocritical that you are presenting yourselves as an organisation which is concerned about children's positive development, when you seem to be promoting fatherlessness, statistically the single biggest indicator of delinquency. It has been demonstrated that children who live with both parents enjoy much better educational outcomes. I can provide you with references supporting these claims should you be interested.

I cannot help but conclude that you have been ideologically motivated in this. I will be advocating through my various websites that your organisation is boycotted, unless you can come up with a convincing explanation.



Please write to Bookstart and complain.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Poverty of Feminism

I have three main objections to feminism.

1 The political territory which feminism claims to occupy is already covered by classical liberalism. We already have perfectly good theories about human rights and civil rights and political equality, and we just don't need another one. Under a liberal reading, women are no different from anybody else: there isn’t really any such thing as ‘women’s rights’, any more than ‘left-handed people’s rights’.

2 The intellectual quality of the analysis offered by feminists is desperately poor. Feminists have appropriated the domain of sexual politics for themselves. 'We are the authority on this matter', they claim, 'if you want to know about sexual politics, come to us, and we will tell you what to think. Your opinions are not welcome'. Not only is this a deeply authoritarian attitude, which should arouse our hostility in itself, but having seized power in this area, they have, from society's point of view, done a spectacularly poor job. Surely the first task of any such organisation would be to produce an analysis, a model of the task domain. Yet not only is feminism's analysis of sexual relations pathetically inadequate, it is, even worse, dangerously misleading, dogmatic, self-serving and divisive.

3 They are not fulfilling their responsibilities to society. Surely, the role of any organisation which claims to address problems in sexual politics should be, first and foremost, to act as an honest broker. Feminists should be the UN peacekeepers of the sexual landscape, the impartial police who arbitrate in disputes, who identify potential sources of conflict and pour oil on troubled waters. The primary role of any such organisation should surely be to promote harmony, good relations and communication between the sexes. Yet feminists do precisely the opposite. Far from impartial, they act only in their own narrow interests, they regard men as an enemy to be defeated, they stir up hatred and moral panic at every opportunity. They are not police but vigilantes.

Forever married to the outdated Marxist and Psychoanalytic dogmas of the late 1960s, their analysis of issues can never improve. The 1960s counter-culture produced an outlook on life which is deeply anti-social and maladjusted to say the least.

The society in which we grew up, the safest, wealthiest, healthiest and most liberal society in history, is regarded as the root of all evil in the world. The whole society in which we live, our own culture, must be completely razed to the ground. Only then can we rebuild a New Jerusalem from the ashes. To say that this is an irrational belief is putting it mildly. Revolutionary politics is misleading and pessimistic, because it teaches us that social reform is impossible. We cannot change anything unless we change everything. Yet that is the political outlook, derived from the most unsavoury role models, Marx, Lenin and Mao, that the hippies of the 1960s adopted.

Feminism is the Western world’s last surviving bastion of that totalitarian thinking. Feminists have concentrated their efforts on attacking marriage, the family, heterosexuality and men in general. The fact that they think women’s interests will be served by this indicates just how deeply deluded they are.

Coupled with this destructive and irrational hatred of one’s own culture was a peculiar narcissism. Experimentation with ‘alternative lifestyles’ was probably inevitable once a sufficiently wealthy and liberal society appeared. The data is now in, and the results are deeply unedifying. What the 1968 generation – the last surviving remnant of which is the feminist movement - gave us was widespread social collapse. Divorce, fatherlessness, family breakdown, abortion, crime, drug abuse, child neglect, sexually transmitted infections, personal heartbreak, educational failure. Single-parent households living off public funds, leading to an increase in traffic, pollution, housing shortage, taxation and the intrusive power of the State.

The feminist movement has served the short-term selfish interests of middle-class white women, but its effects on the wider society have been catastrophic. They are under the delusion that they are trying to save a misguided world from its own folly. The arrogance of this position is stunning.

There are several reasons why feminist theory is so intellectually bankrupt. One cause is an inherent left-wing distrust of the establishment. Any theorizing done by the male establishment must be rejected. Thus, science and logic cannot be pursued in any honest way. Aspects of mainstream science and philosophy will be appropriated (and then arbitrarily dropped) if they happen to suit short-term political convenience, but that is all.

The second factor is that women are very socially-focused creatures. I know from my own experience that men will discuss science, economics, history and philosophy, but women only ever talk about themselves and other people. They find men’s conversation on these subjects boring and geeky. They concern themselves with the minutiae of personal relationships, almost to the exclusion of all else. This tends to militate against any kind of large-scale theorizing, which the feminist project requires.

A second outcome from this preoccupation with social issues is a desire to fit in and be accepted. This tends to mean that women will latch onto any passing fad or trend. Most of the feminists I have known in my life are interested in every kind of mysticism from astrology to reiki to homeopathy. It’s easier and more fun than reading evolutionary psychology. With a lack of intellectual rigour and a desire to be trendy and popular, every kind of nonsense is actively embraced. This tends to make for very poor theory. Post-modernism comes to the rescue by claiming that every theory is just as good as every other, a notion as intellectually bankrupt as it is possible to get.

Thirdly, there is the dogmatic moral arrogance of feminism. Anyone who dares to ask questions is pilloried as a misogynist. This is a deliberate tactic used to suppress debate and silence criticism. Naomi Wolf recommends that dissenters should be subjected to female psycho-social violence around the middle-class dinner table. At every social gathering, the unfortunate victim will be subjected to scorn, filthy looks and verbal abuse until they cave in and stop disagreeing with feminists. This is an openly totalitarian mindset. It is the middle-class equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition. This behaviour can have real and very severe consequences, including the breakup of relationships and damage to people’s mental health. For some reason, feminists seem to think that they are immune from scrutiny or criticism. Such attitudes simply cannot be accepted in a democracy.

Lastly, feminism is a modern-day religion, and its adherents act like any other religious believers. They dare not question the Holy Writ for fear of excommunication. They hold established religious ideas in sacred reverence. Anyone who does not do so is a heretic or an infidel. They create cults of personality around significant past leaders, whose wisdom cannot be questioned. This religious mindset is anathema to free intellectual enquiry, which, again, makes for very poor theory. Once a bad idea has become established, it is very difficult to displace it.

Feminists are not fulfilling their responsibilities towards the wider society because they simply do not believe that they have any; they believe only that society has responsibilities towards them. I don’t have to do anything, I’m already perfect. It is a cult mindset which strokes the ego of insecure and dysfunctional women.

It is long past the time when this bizarre cult must be openly challenged.