Saturday, October 09, 2010

Death of a Femi-Nazi

So let's all say goodbye and good riddance to Jill Johnston (1929-2010), 'whose book 'Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution' (1973), has been described as a "founding document" of lesbian feminist separatism'.

'In her book, Jill Johnston declared that it would take a radical "lesbian nation" to undermine the "Patriarchy" – the male-dominated system that oppressed all women. All women are born lesbians, she maintained, and those who slept with men were collaborating with the enemy'.


Why do I say 'femi-nazi'? Two reasons:

Firstly, the notion of separateness. A large proportion of human beings in the world are not considered good enough to live amongst, and need to be removed by one means or another. Instead of ethnic cleansing, this is sexual cleansing, or what Mary Daly calls 'gendercide'.

Secondly, her authoritarian approach even within her own chosen community; Jill Johnston believed that she had the right to tell other women what to do. It's not enough just for her to claim that she has the right to be gay herself. She has to try to compel everyone else to do it as well: 'all women are lesbians except those that don't know it yet'. Really? The message still doesn't seem to be getting out after 40 years. Heterosexuality seems still to be alive and well, despite the best efforts of people like Johnston.

It's a bizarre, irrational view of human nature and history. The back-story seems to be that human society is divided into two groups, the Good People and the Bad People. The Good People are superior, but they are living under the oppressive rule of the inferior Bad People. Strangely reminiscent of the Morlock and the Eloi from H G Wells' novel 'The Time Machine'. We can immediately ask how it is that the inferior came to dominate the superior, and given that we, the 'Good People', are living in an inferior position, what does it really mean to say that we are superior anyway? However, I suspect that stories of this type go back to ancient times.

The modernist twist on Johnston's version is the Freudian notion of the sub-conscious. This is the idea that one may have motivations that one is unaware of, such as in this case, the desire to be a lesbian. The notion that all women are 'essentially' lesbians does not sit well with social constructionism, aka 'the standard social science model', the view that everything in one's character is determined by one's social environment, not by anything genetic, or otherwise internal. Ever since the 1960s this view has been absolute dogmatic orthodoxy on the political Left, even though it has been comprehensively debunked. Evolutionary psychology is where it is at now. However, statements like Johnston's 'all women are lesbians except those that don't know it yet' demonstrate that the Left's committment to social constructionism was never more than opportunistic anyway, and this is doubly true of feminists. They will just say whatever happens to suit them from one minute to the next.

We can also ask how human society emerged in the first place. If all women are naturally lesbians, how did this situation come about? Why are they? What evolutionary advantage does it confer? How did human ancestors reproduce? At what point did the Evil Men rise up and hold women in sexual slavery? The whole story is nonsense from start to finish. As Richard Dawkins commented, 'Philosophy and Social Sciences are still taught as if Darwin had never lived'.

'Jill Johnston was briefly married and had a son and a daughter, but subsequently suffered mental breakdowns which she attributed to her struggles over her identity'.

It's interesting that so many seminal feminist thinkers had mental health problems, and that so many of them harboured genocidal fantasies. We can also consider Valerie Solanas, another delightful flower child from the summer of love, famous for founding the Society for Cutting Up Men, and attempting to murder Andy Warhol, leaving him with a gun-shot wound which Lou Reed still maintains led to Warhol's premature death.

The fact that this generation of psychotic middle-class revolutionaries is starting to die off now can only be a good thing. Maybe when the acid-scarred hippie-generation are finally in their graves, we will get some peace from their endless self-indulgence and their malign, socially-destabilizing influence.