The Phony Sex War
What if feminism was never what it seemed, but a subterfuge based mainly on lies, with a far more sinister agenda? In the first of a two-part series, this is my eyewitness account from the front line.
I don’t think I really ever bought into the feminist version of reality, although for a while, I have to admit, I may have given the impression that I was on board. The idea of male oppression of women — in Ireland, where I had lived all my life — was so far removed from the reality of my experience and observations that it was never really possible for me to see all this feminist agitation and complaining as anything other than a faintly amusing game.
I had grown up surrounded by women, my mother, aunts, three sisters, neighbours, teachers, nuns, nurses — all of them fully formed individuals with their own outlooks on society. Any of them would have been contemptuous of the idea that they were somehow under the heel of men. Sure, many of them had tough lives, rearing their families and struggling to get by in hard times. But their fathers and husbands had tough lives also, and these women knew it better than anyone.
In no sense whatever did my father or any other man I ever came across as a child look down upon women or treat them as in any respect inferior. They regarded them differently to the way they regarded other men — which is to say that they treated them with even more respect than they treated one another. I sat many times in my father’s mailcar listening to him talking to women passengers and men passengers, and never once had any sense of him addressing anyone or treating anyone less respectfully than anyone else.
Many of the women I knew were more extraordinary than almost any man I was aware of. More than 40 years ago, in my home town, Castlerea, in the West of Ireland, the public health nurse was a woman called Sissy Doyle, who, having spent half her lifetime in New York City, had returned home to devote herself to caring for her native community. Sissy was a sort of unofficial district nurse — she appeared to operate in a purely private capacity, as she was not, as far as I know, employed or subsidised by any state agency. Most of the children on Main Street had been admitted into the world by Sissy. She was the first port of call in the event of sickness, and doctors were called only on her say-so. She would arrive with her bagful of thermometers, bottles, ointments and pills, and sit on the end of your bed, sipping a glass of Harvey’s Bristol Cream left over from Christmas, giving forth an endless stream of news about the activities of the Hawthorns, the Cookes, the Faheys and her own nephews, Josie, John and Michael. She turned every other family’s sagas into epic soap opera, rigorously testing the proposal that laughter is the best medicine. Sissy had reared all her nephews, whose parents had gone to, and remained in, America, and loved them all dearly. And she loved just as much telling of their adventures, escapades and near-death experiences as part of the Hollow Gang, a disreputable group of young boys who made William and the Outlaws look like a bunch of timid altar boys.
No matter what the ailment or trouble, once Sissy was in the building, everyone relaxed, knowing that everything possible would be done. If Sissy didn't have the answers, she called the doctor, and if the doctor didn't have the answers he called an ambulance, and Sissy would remain in control until it went out of sight over the Post Office hill.
Sissy Doyle was both a lifesaver and a totally liberated woman at a time when we are now led to believe such a phenomenon did not exist.
Another among the many remarkable women I came across in my childhood was ‘Mary O’, the headmistress of the secondary school I attended for five years stretching into the early 1970s. Mary O was the niece of the IRA priest, Father Michael O’Flanagan, the so-called ‘Pope of the Revolution’, who led the prayers in the first Dáil (parliament) in the wake of Irish independence. Born a few miles out of town, she had, on observing that there was no secondary school for boys in Castlerea, started one up with her sister Bea in a single room over Hunt’s bicycle shop on Patrick Street. She was, for us boys growing up, a terrifying woman: direct, self-confident, truthful, ferociously no-nonsense, demanding, strict, highly principled and imbued with the same sense of patriotism as her late uncle. In the mornings, we would meet her stalking across town on her constitutional and she would smile at us with the authority of one who cared about our ultimate welfare to the extent that she would terrify us into goodness.
My father had apparently taught Mary O to drive, and this was an endless source of fascination to me: how he had managed to establish the necessary authority to instruct this woman in anything. My father was a strong and self-aware man, but even so, being mild-mannered, would not have been a match for her self-confidence and general air of impatience with small talk. Indeed, so fearsome a figure was she as she stomped around town, that my friends and I arrived at the rather complacent certainty that our parents would never be so cruel as to send us to her school, but would instead dispatch us to the Christian Brothers in Roscommon town, or at worst the Tech, across the road from Mary O’s. Alas, one September day, all this expectation came unstuck, as we lined up in the quad of Mean Scoil Iosef Naofa (Saint Joseph’s Secondary School) to begin a five-year sentence.
In attempting rather inadequately to convey the nature of Mary O’s personality and disposition, I sometimes offer this scenario: Imagine Margaret Thatcher and this other woman — Mary O — conversing in a room at perhaps some kind of party or reception; within a short time, Mrs Thatcher would have been the one cowering in the corner.
Given such a background experience, I could not possibly take seriously the imported analysis of Irish society as a patriarchy founded on the subjugation of women. It did not fit, and was therefore self-evidently an attempt to shove the square peg of ideology into the round hole of history. There had been no subjugation of women by men, merely a division-of-labour based on the unavoidable facts of biology. Men and woman were different from each other, in obvious ways and not so obvious ways, but their respective functions in society, work and the home were decided not on the basis of a hierarchy of rights or entitlements but on sensible arrangements grounded in biology and other ineluctable facts.
I had been writing on a part-time freelance basis for the Dublin-based music paper Hot Press for three years — remotely, from my home in the West —before in 1984 being offered a full-time job. I remember the first article I did, shortly after coming to Dublin: a survey of politicians about their attitudes to cannabis. It was neither my idea nor of any great interest to me, but the Editor had an obsession with cannabis and he was calling the shots. The article I wrote — a series of short interviews with public figures about their attitudes to the legalisation of cannabis — was quite interesting for its time, and attracted a bit of attention from the mainstream press.
But my heart wasn’t really in it. I’d never smoked and had no interest in any drug apart from alcohol — which, as I've written many times, I was to develop a rather unhealthy interest in. My main role in Hot Press was interviewing interesting public figures and trying to get under the skin of their public personas, a vein of material I had pursued for a few years before that, from down West. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. The biggest hit was the interview I did in 1984 with the then Leader of the Opposition, Charles Haughey, which kept the mainstream hackerie busily fulminating for several weeks on account of my printing all of Haughey’s ‘four-letter words.’
The Editor, Niall Stokes, tended to interfere in the interview — before and after — as much as you were prepared to let him away with, and would sometimes propose lines of inquiry into the sex lives of the subjects, which I had not the slightest interest in and, in fact, loathed. I thought such prurience somehow at odds with the almost puritanical feminism that was the chief ideological imperative of the Hot Press organisation in all other respects. Hot Press was a totally PC environment, institutionally speaking, but for a long time the pages of the paper were spared from the worst aspects of all this by virtue of being preoccupied with a music that, of its nature, was utterly inimical to such rigidity.
On one occasion, interviewing a very staid politician in a Dublin hotel (one of the less successful interviews) I was paged on the intercom and, on reporting to Reception, was handed a telephone on which I was treated to some advice from my Editor about how to lure my subject into some ruminations on ‘all those women he’s screwing over there in Strasbourg.’
When I started to write for Hot Press, I gradually became aware of something that hitherto I had assumed to be the consequence of some kind of cultural cross-wiring: that people of a certain kind in the capital city took all this feminism stuff very seriously indeed. People — male and female — would talk at you as though it were self-evident that middle-class Irish women were oppressed. All the magazines I worked for initially took these notions as a form of gospel. In Dublin, the capital’s only What’s On listings guide and cultural/political magazine — which I edited for two years from late 1985 — had a scatter of radical feminist writers as well as lots of gay stuff and a generally left-liberal outlook, but again its main focus was decent writing about political and cultural matters. Magill, a monthly current affairs magazine, had somewhere about its precincts a kind of charter concerning the urgency of ‘women’s equality’, though nobody took much notice of it in practice. Its principles included demands for a programme of positive discrimination in filling public appointments; easier access to contraception; the introduction of divorce (still a decade away at the time of Magill’s heyday in the late 1970s) and so forth. The ‘charter’ also called for ‘sexist language to be discouraged through the elimination of sexism from all school textbooks and through a programme of general cultural conditioning designed to counter the very violent sexist strain in Irish life.’ Such nonsense was de rigueur for liberals of the time — virtue signalling before its time (the term was still decades from being invented). I went along with it all, chiefly for a quiet life, but also imagining it to be fairly harmless tomfoolery which kept the pseudo-liberals happy.
In late 1985, when I was appointed Editor, In Dublin was the leading cultural review for young people in the capital, and also carried in-depth coverage of politics and current affairs.
Not long after arriving in the job, I had a baptism of fire at the hands — or rather heels — of radical feminism when a bunch of shaven-headed, hobnailed harpies invaded the offices one lunchtime and stomped about the wooden floor for an hour or so in protest about an article I had published about the sex trade on the streets of Dublin. The cover image was of two lipsticks, one spick-span new and rampant, the other the worse for wear and pointing downwards, with the headline ‘Kiss and Sell: Two Sides of Sex in Dublin’. There were two separate articles, one a fun round-up of the mating habits of Dubliners and the most favoured ‘courting’ venues — ‘car’, ‘cinema’, ‘home (family absent)’, ‘home (family present)’, et cetera. In an unscientific survey of 100 Dubliners, ‘home (family absent)’ came out as top courting location at 76 per cent with ‘home (family present)’ a close second at 62 per cent.
The other article, headlined ‘At the Dark End of the Street’, was based on an interview with a prostitute and bore the sub-headline: ‘Stella is twenty-six. She has been a prostitute since she was thirteen. She is also a lesbian — she ‘never enjoyed the company of any man sexually.’
Both articles were actually pretty good, especially the one about prostitution, written by a guy with the unlikely moniker ‘Max Arthur’ (actually his real name!) about the life of a prostitute working the streets of the capital. I’m not sure I ever actually grasped the nature of the grievance the intruding feminist harpies had about the whole thing, but in any event what would nowadays have resulted in my departure as Editor fizzled out in a couple of hours. As soon as they arrived, I put on my hat and coat and made myself scarce. Everyone in the place thought it a great laugh, aside from the publisher, John S. Doyle, a pronounced liberal and arch-feminist, who remained at his desk in the open-plan office throughout, probably wondering where it had all gone wrong. It was the first of a series of articles I was to publish in contravention of feminist diktats, although to be honest I was at that stage still an agnostic on that topic and had no particular axe to grind.
I had no idea, contemplating the hobnailed harridans stomping around my desk, that I was experiencing a premonition of the Ireland of the second decade of the third millennium — half a century later — when purple-haired LGBT and feminist nasties, spouting venom and fury, would lay siege to anyone and anything that displeased them. I did at the time wonder — aside from what they were actually protesting about — how they came to be motivated to conduct such an ultimately inconsequential protest at lunchtime of a weekday. It strikes me now that it may have been some kind of drill. Years later, a friend and ally in the battle to obtain legal justice for fathers in fractured relationships made a very telling observation: ‘Have you noticed that there are no amateur feminists?’ It was, and is, true: Feminist demos and other events have always been highly professional and clearly well-funded, for the very simple reason that all of this activism is subsidised by either state agencies, corporations or private ‘philanthropists’ —and often from all three sources. Meanwhile, an urgent issue of equality, like the systematic exclusion of fathers from the lives of their children — tantamount to state abduction — has been starved of support and debate, and in reality treated as a quasi-criminal activity.
In 1993 —nearly three decades ago — I wrote a play, Long Black Coat, which began as a meditation on my relationship with my father and finished up as an exploration of the apocalypse of fatherlessness. At the time, I was myself childless, but over the early years of the 1990s had been encountering or picking up fragmentary signals concerning a syndrome that nobody was publicly talking about: the abuse of fathers in family law courts by judges implementing either an outmoded concept of childrearing, or feminist prejudice, or both. I worked on my script with a celebrated Irish director, David Byrne, who had himself gone through a painful divorce and was subsequently forced to conduct relationships with his growing children in circumstances unnecessarily straitened through no fault of his.
The core of the play was symbolically apocalyptic: I based the central metaphor on a childhood memory of a booklet that had been issued to every Irish household and which every householder was supposed to have read and studied — a Civil Defence booklet describing the correct response to a nuclear attack. To minimise the risk of damage from nuclear fall-out, householders were to fill their wardrobes with earth from the garden and place them in the windows. They were also to stack all their books on top of the kitchen table, and take their families into the igloo thus constructed. My play unfolded in such a situation, wherein two men — a young man and a much older one, his father — engaged in a running argument as they constructed their bunker. Their argument was about the reasons why the young man’s son was not with them at this possibly terminal moment. The young man blamed his father’s generation of males for having soured the groundwater with patriarchal misbehaviour; the old man blamed his son for being weak. Nuclear war appeared to loom over a space dominated by a ‘futuristic’ virtual reality headset, a kind of skeletal dinosaur head through which the viewer could enter the ‘news’ as though himself a participant.
The play was a great success, attracting sell-out attendances in both Kilkenny, where it premiered in the summer of 1994, and Dublin, where it ran for two weeks at the Project Arts Centre. It also won the Stewart Parker Award for a first play by a new author that year.
Little more than a year later, I found myself at the centre of a drama that resembled my own play in virtually every respect — aside from the headset, the nuclear scenario (although . . . ) and the fact that the child at the centre of the drama was in my own case a girl, my daughter Róisín, who had been born in 1996. Like many men who have come through such situations, I am circumscribed in what I can write about these experiences because our case came before family courts in two jurisdictions: Ireland and ‘England and Wales.’ Becoming a father in strained circumstances, and discovering that, whereas I was incredulous to find that a single father had virtually no legal rights to a relationship with his child, none of the social-justice warrior types with whom I’d been consorting over the previous decade or so could see anything objectionable or strange about this. Far from joining my posse, they closed me down every time I mentioned the matter.
From late 1996, I began to address the issue from time to time in the column I had been writing in the Irish Times since 1991, gradually branching out into related areas like the preponderance of males among suicide victims, the ignoring of men’s health issues, the sinister propaganda that concealed the fact that what was called ‘domestic violence’ was ‘in the literature’ revealed as a 50/50 two-way street. My overwhelming feelings in those years were of shock and disbelief that the fundamental principles that I had always taken for granted were no longer available, had become invisible, deniable or had been turned inside out, and none of those who had claimed commitment to social justice were in the slightest bit interested. Strangely, those feelings were essentially to be replicated in a different context 20 years later, when a trumped-up pandemic was used to justify foreclosing on the fundamental rights and freedoms of the bulk of the world’s population.
Suffice to say that these experiences dispensed with any residual doubts I might have had about the lies that feminists told about men and women. Part of what I was trying to do in writing about this was figure out for myself how it was possible for so many men to be fooled about the most fundamental facts of the realities governing their most intimate lives, and why many men continued to collaborate with their ideological gravediggers. Why did the most splenetic attacks on men — and, in due course, on me for writing about these things — come from men calling themselves feminists?
I started reading what books I could find on the subject, and was most enlightened by Neil Lyndon’s No More Sex War; David Thomas’s Not Guilty, In Defence of the Modern Man: Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power; Rich Zubaty’s What Men Know that Women Don’t; and also significant contributions in the form of essays, like Camille Paglia’s Sex and Violence or Nature and Art? and Robert Bly’s Foreword to the 1993 edition of Alexander Mitscherlich’s classic 1963 work, Society Without the Father, titled Mitscherlich and His Uncomfortable Thoughts.
Reading and thinking, thinking and reading, it began to become clear: the ‘success’ of feminism had to do with the systematic promulgation of a series of colossal lies — the biggest of which was that men had been running the world; the second that men had been running the world in the interests of themselves, i.e. of men as a political entity, ‘gender’ or class.
My area of concern was not so much the plausibility of the overall argument, but the mystery at the heart of it all: By what mechanism is the common sense of men sidelined and silenced? This is what interested me most of all, because, until it became a matter of life-and-death in the form of both a threat to my child’s fundamental welfare and to my own identity as a man, I went along with it all to an extent that I now regard as shameful. I sometimes wonder: If I had not experienced my own personal Damascene moment with family law, might I too have gone along with this farrago of lies and nonsense, possibly for the rest of my life?
Take the lies about voting rights. The conventional feminist narrative, which virtually everyone accepts at face value, is that women were deprived of the right to vote right into the twentieth century by a conspiracy of men. This is at best a misreading of the facts, but more plausibly a deliberate misrepresentation. In relation to Great Britain, for example (of which Ireland, was at the time a reluctant part), the idea that men had been voting for centuries while women slaved over the sink is an utter travesty of the actual situation. All British women over 21 became entitled to vote in 1928. All men over 21 had become entitled to vote in 1918, along with all women over 30. There was, then, a single decade between the extension of universal suffrage to men and its extension to women. The allegedly unjust denial of voting rights therefore, taken at its highest, was suffered only by women aged between 21 and 30, for a grand total of ten years, in the immediate aftermath of a war that had wiped out a substantial portion of the male population who stepped out to defend the honour of Britain and the safety of her women and children. When you reflect on the fact that the logic of voting at that time was nothing like it is now — that it had been rooted (for comprehensible reasons) in property ownership and public responsibility, it becomes clearer that the meaning of these circumstances is nothing like the meaning such a denial of voting rights would have in the present time. One could argue that a property-centred view of the right to a democratic voice was dubious, unjust or inequitable, but that would be entirely different to portraying it as a conspiracy of men against women. Some British women had had the right to vote from the 1860s, even though the generality of men did not become entitled to vote until six decades later.
Some of the lies were effected by sleights-of-hand that would have boggled the mind of the Godfather of ‘Lying Big,’ Joseph Goebbels. Even the idea of ‘men’ as a separate social and political entity is actually a feminist invention, as indeed is the idea of a separate sub-species called ‘women.’ Before feminism, men and women were simply part of the human race, without any particular political or ideological connotations accruing to either sex. In fact, my own failure over the years to reach or mobilise men on the issues most likely dramatically to damage them or their sons at the most profound psychic level has had, in my experience, to do with the absence of any sense of ‘gender’ separateness on the part of males. Men simply are, and most of them have long regarded women as at least their equals.
Feminism set women in opposition to men, which they never had been before. Far from behaving in the interests of their own ‘gender,’ men, or at least a majority of them, might be deemed to have thought and acted consistently counter to the interests of men in general — to begin with in the traditional sense of placing the interests of their wives and families before their own, and latterly by selling out their own sex whenever men in general come under fire from the feminasties.
The question I came to find most interesting here was: Why are men so driven in one direction, or by some/whatever desires or objectives, that they become, in certain circumstances and cases, blind even to their own individual interests, perhaps even their own survival, and certainly to the survival of other men, perhaps including their own sons? What is the prize that dazzles them? Is it simply, in the end, sex? Is it female praise/approval? Or is it that the call to duty is so deeply hardwired in the male that its message is so insistent as to override self-interested motivation in matters where their broader responsibilities are in the mix?
I can understand that a minority of men might have seen in feminism an opportunity to ride the slipstream of this new ideology to power, but — if this is a factor — why was this move not spotted and blocked by the rest of men? Why didn't ‘ordinary’ men question any of the lies that were being peddled? As we know, media and academia are key instruments of the modern oligarchy that feminism, in cooperation with other pseudo-victimologies, has created, and there is no disputing the influence these institutions have had in our time in protecting the insurgents from attack by common sense. The interesting question is: Why has there been such an almost total acquiescence by the generality of men, who could, if they acted with a single mind based on their actual experience, have turned the whole thing around at the very start?
The answer lies in part in the exposure of one of the most malignant of feminist lies: that men collude and combine in the interest of men as a collective or identity. In the entire history of the world, any such attempt has never gotten beyond the first furlong. The objective of most mature men, on a day-to-day basis, is to take care of their families, do a day’s work and keep themselves from going mad. The aim of younger men is, in the main, to ingratiate themselves with women, for the purposes of satisfying one of their most basic instincts. Only on attaining middle age and seeing the cost of this ‘thinking’ relative to the — in general — dwindling returns, do men seek to look at their own behaviour in this regard. Only by overcoming their instincts, either through spiritual growth or — less virtuously — lack of opportunity, do human beings have an interest in seeing where such primal motivators have led them. In modern Western societies, abundant with gyms, big-mickey cars, Viagra etc, there is less opportunity for such an epiphany, which is perhaps why it has been left chiefly to older men, who have reached the point of no longer caring enough about what women think of them as to be capable of apprehending the full truth of their and their sons’ and grandsons’ situation.
One of the first things such a man tumbles to is the idea that men's prior ‘domination’ of the world was, to say the very least, far more ambiguous than is averred in the feminist narrative. Men had, to an extent, ‘dominion’ of the public sphere; but this was overwhelmingly because, at the time these arrangements were put in place, there was a very good reason for it: work in the public realm demanded, above all, muscular strength, physical courage and flexible working hours. Moreover, men’s power in the domestic space was radically circumscribed by biological, sexual and constructed cultural circumstances. Most public men were married and answerable to their wives at the dinner table, the pillow and the garden gate. Men had a dualistic existence incorporating twin benefits that were in opposition to each other: the freedom of the world and the refuge of the home. Their ideal was to jockey both into approximate harmony, to depart the home of a morning in a relatively peaceful mindset so as to enjoy the freedom the world offered; but it was to a high degree imperative that they do nothing in the public sphere to damage the tranquillity of the home. In particular, the manner in which a man exercised his power in the world outside had enormous impact on the condition of peace in his home. If the departure from the home was marred by conflict, the ‘freedom’ of the public sphere was marred and would begin to curdle. The male had to file regular and detailed reports of his worldly conduct to his parental partner in the rearing of his children, and the continuation of his domestic tranquility depended on these reports being met with approval by his spouse. Thus, men in the greater world — in the feminist narrative acting as dominators of women — were individually and in a sense collectively, acting as ‘delegates’ on behalf of their womenfolk, in every deed and word of theirs in the external world. This generated a subtle circularity of power relations: men being better able to function in the world if they remained in harmony with their wives, and that harmony in turn depending on the correctness of their behaviour in the public domain. There was, of course, sometimes a degree of subversion in respect of this general contract, but the overall pattern held substantively together.
Of course, it goes without saying that the ‘freedom’ of the man/father was to a high degree characterised by the burden of responsibility. Men did not skip gaily down the garden path on their way to the coalmine or the front line. They worked in order to provide for their dependents, i.e. their spouses and offspring. Most men in the history of the world have done work they found onerous and unpalatable, because doing so was the best way of discharging their responsibilities and maximising their earning power.
The so-called liberation of women was — as is entirely obvious — brought about not by feminists but by men. Most of the major changes that are claimed as enabling the so-called ‘emancipation’ of women from the home — including some of the most amoral and destructive ones — were the result of men's ingenuity: technology in general, for example, which revolutionised the work of the public realm to make it accessible to the relatively unmuscular, as well as the Pill and abortion, and social initiatives such as universal free education. The conventional wisdom had it that the absorption of women into the public workplace had to do with feminism, but it had much more to do with the dissemination of manmade technologies, which opened the world up to the physically delicate. Factory work, in which formerly human skills had been deconstructed, coded, tabulated and redistributed as a set of mechanistic functions, could be carried out by machines operated by relatively unskilled personnel. Male-created technologies liberated women into the workplace and feminists responded by declaring a hundred-year war on men, which we are now roughly two-thirds of the way through. The main ‘achievement’ of feminism was to appropriate these developments to create a sense that it was the ‘women’s revolution’ that had delivered for women and feminists were therefore entitled to take charge of the political agenda that flowed from such ‘progress.’
Far from blocking women’s entry into the public realm, men actually encouraged and enabled this. Men wanted women in the public domain for a number of reasons:
(1) A culturally inculcated sense of justice rooted in an almost entirely male-generated philosophical tradition, which has grown in many men to become a reflex all but indistinguishable from a genetic characteristic;
(2) The related phenomenon of chivalry;
(3) The fact that men had always needed to cooperate with others — with their spouses in protecting and caring for their children and with other men to meet their responsibilities as safekeepers of their families — and so in general saw no reason to evade the logic being opened up by technological possibility;
(4) Men are fundamentally interested in making things work efficiently, and, in a certain sense, given that housework was ignored or discounted by the logic of the public sphere, it seemed rational to deploy the ‘idle’ other half of the human race in the public domain, now that technology had made this an option;
(5) Men like women around them;
(6) Men rapidly understood that there was enormous potential in the promotion of women and women's interests, which allowed them to achieve a competitive edge over other men;
(7) Powerful men who fear other powerful men discovered that, by surrounding themselves with women in a climate where the promotion of women was declared A Good Thing, they could protect themselves from competitive attack from other powerful men.
Undoubtedly, then, men had mixed motives in supporting and facilitating the ‘emancipation’ of women. In the revolution that occurred in the workplace during — especially — the late-twentieth century, a generation of men created their power bases on the promotion — translating into femi-speak as the ‘liberation’ and/or ‘empowerment’ — of women. Men thus led and enabled the processes of female advancement, creating a climate in which the promotion of women became an unambiguously virtuous thing, beyond question by ‘right-thinking’ people, a category that embraced equal numbers of males and females and amounted to the overwhelming majority of every Western society.
Of course, because of the innate tendency of men to seek victory over other men, it was inevitable that this revolution would be weaponised by some men against their fellows. Hence, the early post-Sixties generations of men were able to have it both ways: A well-off man could prosper in the new culture as a ‘progressive’ and yet return home to his own ‘little woman’ after dark, have his dinner put under his nose and file his verbal report of how he had promoted the worthy sisters and done down the lesser-spotted males. Thus, in a sense, even the ‘little woman’ at home acquired a paradoxical control-by-proxy of the workplace, bestowing her favours in response to her man’s ‘progressive’ behaviour.
These tendencies were ably exploited by feminists seeking not merely ‘equality’ but actual female supremacy. Men, in a sense, continued to have de facto ownership of the culture of the exterior world, so the cooperation of elite men was vital to the completion of the feminist appropriation of the workplace revolution. To begin with, men did not see feminism for what it was — indeed the majority have yet to do so. Elite men, by virtue of their residual power, were to become protected from the worst aspects of feminist malevolence and dishonesty, once they agreed to cooperate by persuading the men lower down the chain to accept the terms of the emerging dispensation.
The gradual de-skilling of the majority of men was an additional factor that contributed to the overwhelming success of feminism in appropriating the technological revolution. Up to my father’s generation, men mainly did manual work — digging, nailing, sawing, tuning, lifting, driving, planting, harvesting, et cetera. As a result of the technological revolution wrought by men, many of the skills that men had honed through the centuries were in effect commandeered by industry and uploaded to machines — in effect plundered from the craftsmen who had perfected them and placed in the ownership of the industrialists, who saw the advantages in luring women from the domestic sphere. Thus, arising from this revolution, not only were women able to leave the domestic arena and claim their place in the exterior world, but men, in effect, because indistinguishable from women in the nature of the work they carried out, lost most of the benefits of their prior muscular advantage. By effecting that revolution, men in general had not merely ‘liberated’ women but also inflicted on themselves — or at least on a majority of other men — both a de-skilled existence into the future and a form of what might be called ‘negative equality’: men became emasculated by becoming, in the exterior world, in effect indistinguishable from women. This made women, in effect, the dominant sex, because they retained total power in the procreative and domestic arenas while increasingly coming to ‘share’ power in the exterior world.
In the feminist era, the ‘warlike’ conditions pertaining to the interactions of men and women in the personal, intimate domain — in the matter of courtship, for example _ have been subject to a kind of metaphorical dramatisation in the public domain. Thus, many men seek to say and do things in public that they imagine will gain them political favour with women, without necessarily wanting to follow through in the sexual sense. As a result, many men have become ideological eunuchs, even cuckolds. It is as though, by behaving ‘correctly’ (in accordance with the ideological prescriptions) men’s conditioning from childhood leads them to believe — unthinkingly — that their reward will come at a later point, when the enemy (i.e. all those bad males who refuse to change) has been routed. It is as though the politics of feminism has supplanted the realpolitik of desire, though chiefly only in the visible public realm, in a manner that moderates male behaviour in ways that also cause them to drop their guards when it comes to defending their own interests, and defer to practices that discriminate wrongfully against them (in favour of women) while seeing this as some kind of historical rebalancing process for alleged wrongs which they had no hand or part in. Meanwhile, even the most strident of the sisters are out there looking slyly around for an unreconstructed caveman.
There is an interesting analogy to be drawn between the religious notion of an afterlife and the role of sex in the psychology of males. It seems to be in men's nature to look into the distance, to see the long-term consequences of things, to plan for the distant future and to supervise — in himself and his sons — the postponement of gratification in the interests of the broader welfare of those for whom he has responsibility. This ability is also central to the mechanism of religious injunction: the forgoing of rewards in the present in favour of rewards in the hereafter. In the same way, men, who are hardwired to be sexually promiscuous, are able to postpone sexual gratification without damage to their egos, so long as they believe that they are loved/admired by a particular woman/women in general. Moreover, this is, if anything, a preferable solution for many men, who may fear the risk of failure in the highly competitive sexual arena and therefore discount the pursuit of promiscuous sexual release in favour of the aura of sexual attractiveness combined with masculine solidity. This tendency was deftly weaponised by feminism in the furtherance of their aim of female supremacy. Elite men could be recruited against the interests of other men by the promise of female approval. By promoting the political, economic and social interests of their ‘sisters,’ men could acquire a sense of themselves as sexually attractive by virtue of their virtue, and this without having to compete with other men, thereby risking defeat. This represented an enormous opportunity for the lesser-spotted male, who could now ‘discount’ the more immediate sexual successes of other men on the basis that mere physical attractiveness to women was of a primitive, atavistic kind, which would disappear when the revolution was completed. Hence, the manner in which many men have fallen in with feminism can be seen as a kind of metaphorical postponement of sexual reward until the unreconstructed men and their influence have been cleared away.
These tendencies have given rise to the oddest public dances between men and women and, men and other men. One such is the mutation of the primal male competitive instinct into a tabulated directory of rules in the form of what has come to be called ‘political correctness.’ When a man says or writes something truthful about the true nature of the revolution (as in this article), it is immediately deemed by certain other men to be ‘offensive to women.’ The self-appointed censor jumps in to defend the ideological honour of women-in-general (though this is invariably couched in the most personalised terms, implying that the ‘insult,’ too, was personal, even though he has no immediately apparent personal motive for doing so. In this form of ritual, the sexual reward is renounced or postponed, and yet remains somewhere at the back of these events as a token, symbolic motivator. When he has accomplished his task of putting the wrongthinker in his box, the Defender of Women and the Feminist Revolution gets a pat on the head from the more frigid sisters, while the malefactor is daubed with another coat of misogynist gloss. But the only reward the eunuch receives from the generality of females is a kind of thin-lipped, ritualistic applause. This is because most women merely go through the motions of saluting to feminist mantras, behaving in ‘real life’ towards men as women have always done.
Of course, money allows men to remain attractive to women long after their physical attributes have receded in charm, and this has also served to restrain overall male resistance to feminist assaults and calumnies, as well as serving to landmine any generalised male attempt to bear truthful witness in response to feminism’s industrialised lies. This means inter alia that instruments controlled by monied men — including most mainstream media platforms — have tended to maintain a paradoxical hostility towards men. In media terms, it is only with the initial growth-spurt of YouTube — largely smalltime operators saying exactly what they thought and believed — that the truth about men and women has begun to be openly discussed in the public square, courtesy of people like Jordan Peterson, Stefan Molyneux and Camille Paglia.
In the resulting conversation, we have been able to see in much sharper relief that, ideologically speaking, radical feminists have always seen their mission as beginning and ending with the concerns not of equality, nor even of women as human beings, but of radical female supremacy, which seeks to use the incremental gains of a bogus revolution to punish men for the kinds of asserted wrongdoing that Marx, in the economic context, called the ‘notorious crimes’ of the past. Among the problems with this approach is that it always ends up punishing not those who were guilty of such past crimes, but the innocents of the present — in this case young men and boys who just happen to share the sex of the phantom patriarchs who continue to monopolise the imaginations of our cultures.
Almost all the ostensible ‘demands’ of feminism have been regarded by most men as unexceptionable, and were therefore attainable without the kind of toxic circus that feminism became. In truth, there was virtually no male pushback against the cardinal demand: workplace equality. Rightly or wrongly, as we have noted, the technological means to make this equality practically functional, had already been delivered. There was no call for the stridency, militancy and ugliness that followed.
Feminism of itself, taken at its own characterisation, amounted to a limited kind of revolution, one in which prevailing anthropological realities were left more or less intact. And yet, even when the primary stated objective had been attained, feminism not merely continued to exist but actually grew in vehemence and venom.
It is obvious in retrospect, then, that something else was afoot from the beginning — some other kind of revolution, perhaps — one that was likely to be less easy to achieve if presented from the beginning in the totality of its ambitions and destination.
The stated ambitions of feminism were in fact a subterfuge, perhaps from the very beginning, but certainly by the time the later stages of feminism began to rear their ugly heads. What rendered the initial demands convenient to the broader agenda was their capacity to incrementally lure virtually the entire human race into a public deliberation about the central and most fundamental meanings of public and private existence, but in a manner that allowed for a hidden parallel set of objectives to be pursued under camouflage. These hidden objectives included: the obliteration of fatherhood as the cornerstone of familial and public authority; the simultaneous, symbiotic undermining of both femininity and masculinity (or perhaps, more precisely, the masculinsation of women and the feminisation of men); the reduction of relations between the sexes to contractual arrangements, soluble at the whim of either party; the driving of a wedge between the sexes so that this process of solubility could be escalated in conditions of rancour, rendering marriage an entirely disposable quantity; the consequent unleashing of familial disruption, so that children would grow more and more in an atmosphere of chaos, leading eventually to the dissolution of the normative, nuclear family, based on (heterosexual) marriage, and the emotional and psychological destruction of generations of children; the gradual shifting of parental authority from parents to state; the politicisation of the most intimate realms of human existence; the criminalisation of ideological dissidence and dissent; and the obliteration of romance, sexual complementarity as a criterion for parenthood, and — ultimately — love itself.
In retrospect, then, it emerges with increasing clarity, that feminism was never what it seemed. It was merely in the least degree concerned with the welfare of women, and this for tactical reasons only. It was, more fundamentally, directed at far more elaborate objectives, and intended to be far more lethal to human society. Feminism was, in truth, the thin end of a very malevolent wedge, the first wave of what is called Cultural Marxism, an ideological form of warfare that has placed the long-standing value-system of Western society under constant assault for the past six decades. And now we approach the most critical moment.
In the coming days, in the second part of this series, we go deeper into the logic and mechanics of feminism, the phony war that provided the vanguard of the Cultural Marxist onslaught on human reality, with the aim of razing Western civilisation to the ground.
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