February 8, 2017

Sentence of the day.

"Reading that second line, I immediately thought of an irksome scene in Megyn Kelly’s memoir, in which Kelly tells Sheryl Sandberg that she’s not a feminist, and Sandberg—whose entire feminist initiative is based on making the movement palatable to people like Kelly, and whose awkward accommodation of the Trump Administration should surprise no one—'passed no judgment' on Kelly’s distaste for the term."

Let me rewrite that with a bracketed phrase for "that second line":
"Reading [that the 'majority of women benefited from the work of these few {radical, heavily invested women}, while often quickly trying to disassociate themselves from them'], I immediately thought of an irksome scene in Megyn Kelly’s memoir, in which Kelly tells Sheryl Sandberg that she’s not a feminist, and Sandberg—whose entire feminist initiative is based on making the movement palatable to people like Kelly, and whose awkward accommodation of the Trump Administration should surprise no one—'passed no judgment' on Kelly’s distaste for the term."
The sentence is from "The Case Against Feminism," by Jia Tolentino (in The New Yorker), reviewing "Why I Am Not a Feminist," by Jessa Crispin. It's all very labyrinthine and tied up in knots, but the simple idea is that there's radical feminism and mainstream feminism.

41 comments:

traditionalguy said...

So do they both get their own public restrooms? And if not, why not.

rhhardin said...

Men have obligations, women have needs.

Militant feminism is the stating of party-line needs.

Those needs may not be yours.

Nonapod said...

Sometimes I wish that brackets, braces, and parenthesis were used more in writing. Proper delimitation reduces ambiguity.

Gusty Winds said...

Is wearing a pink knitted vagina hat mainstream or radical?

I thought only guys thought with their genitals.

madAsHell said...

We used to live within a Judeo-Christian belief system. Now, it seems that folks have rejected this, and they seek other belief systems. I think this explains global warming, feminism, and special snowflakes.

Let me put it this way.....I've seen a lot of fish riding bicycles.

Scott McGlasson said...

the simple idea is that there's radical feminism and mainstream feminism

One need only swing by Jezebel to know that, especially right after the Rolling Stone rape set sail and then again when it crashed against the rocks.

Another eye-opening romp betwixt radfems and mainstream feminists will find you reading articles that claim all PIV (penis in vagina, ie, heterosexual) sex is, in fact, rape.

n.n said...

Reconciliation is not forthcoming, and, in fact, is incompatible with the "secular" quasi-religion.

Bill Peschel said...

"the simple idea is that there's radical feminism and mainstream feminism. "

Absolutely, and the media gives radical fems a pass, as in the recent march.

If many feminists knew who they were lumping themselves with, they would no longer want to call themselves feminists.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Is Kelly or Sandburg awkwardly accommodating the Trump administration?

YoungHegelian said...

Crispin notes, accurately, that feminism’s history has been marked by a “small number of radical, heavily invested women who did the hard work of dragging women’s position forward, usually through shocking acts and words,” and that the “majority of women benefited from the work of these few, while often quickly trying to disassociate themselves from them.”

Hiding in that half-paragraph is an entire philosophy of history, a belief that the daily existence of 1st world women was decisively shaped by the Vanguard of the Pussyteriat. It's a very Bolshevik world view, that.

It's also probably wrong. Women are half of the population. A shift, even a small shift, within the culture of half of the population is going to have huge social effects. Was the entry of women into the workforce caused by a change in feminist consciousness? Or, was it caused by other social forces such as the taste of financial freedom that WWII gave American women as they filled in for American men in industry, birth control that worked, & the spread of advanced education through the US after the war?

Every radical movement wants to be seen as prophets. It's not clear that many are.

J. Farmer said...

Christina Hoff Sommers has been writing about this dichotomy for almost 26 years. Her 1994 book Who Stole Feminism remains a good introduction to the topic.

n.n said...

madAsHell:

[class] diversity (i.e. judged by the "color of their skin"), selective exclusion ("="), waging social justice, elective regime changes, immigration reform (e.g. refugee crises), conflation of logical domains, liberal departures from the scientific domain, prophecies of past and present, spontaneous human conception, and selective-child. Our "secular" society has been formed and maintained by men and women with a god-complex in pursuit of wealth, pleasure, leisure, and narcissistic indulgence.

As for men and women, equal and complementary, for anyone who strives to reconcile moral, natural, and personal imperatives.

Lyssa said...

"Feminism" is a word that I try not to use. I really don't think that it has any meaning that can be understood by a listener. It means virtually anything that the speaker wants it to mean.

Unknown said...

There is a presumption that radical feminists CAUSED the progress of women over the past 50 years. On the contrary, one can posit the following facts: the automobile, household appliances, smaller families, and wealth freed up many women from so much household labor. With this freedom, they sought jobs. Education typically leads to more equal treatment of women, and more and more people got a good education after 1950. Thus I would argue that radical feminists were TRAILING the social trends, and in an obnoxious way that was probably net negative for women's rights. They probably did influence some aspects of unfair current treatment of men, such as lack of parental rights and financial ruin after divorce, if you call that progress.

Sebastian said...

From the article: "Exhortations to “transform culture, not just respond to it” are what many of us want to hear." As if they haven't degraded the culture enough.

"radical feminists were TRAILING the social trends, and in an obnoxious way that was probably net negative for women's rights" But women's rights, like any other "rights," or any other ideas generally, are just tools for the left to "transform the culture," and the economy, by seizing power. As long as the "radical feminists" don't have the power that they think they deserve, they'll keep bitching. Anyone who thinks women have plenty of rights is, of course, the enemy, whose thoughts would have to be transformed if radical feminists had anything to say about it.

Laslo Spatula said...

Loretta, the Anti-Feminist Transsexual…

I hate to see my Fellow Sisters scratch and claw at each other over Feminism. Look: I did not have my penis surgically removed so that I could be equal with men, I had it removed to be all WOMAN…

I LIKE frilly dresses and panties and men opening doors for me. After all, if I wanted what all the Feminists want, I might just as well have stayed a Man, right? As a Woman who was formerly a Man, I feel no need to Prove Myself: as I like to say, you get rid of the cock, you get rid of the pissing contests…

Sometimes I think being born a man really helps in becoming a Better Woman. I don't have to pretend that I have balls: I have had them, and then got rid of them like two small walnuts of biological medical waste. Now if only I had hands as small and delicate as yours -- small, delicate, feminine hands that can invoke Secrets you seem to take for granted…

I know this is hard for Women who weren't Born as Men to understand: as a New Woman every day is a Fresh New Feminine Day, and I WILL smell the flowers and giggle girlishly, and I WILL gaily skip when I walk down the street in my polka-dot dress, thank you very much…!

I am Laslo.

buwaya said...

If one takes R.S.McCain seriously, and he seems to make an excellent case, there is no "mainstream feminism" at all in an intellectual sense because the entire academic world that has anything to do with the subject is "radical", extremely radical, or perhaps actually a sort of cult.

It would be as if there was physics of the kitchen variety in the real world, people using useful equations for modeling strengths of materials, and then back in the university the only thing that passed for "physics" would involve ritual sacrifices to pagan gods of inertia.

Susan said...

Tucker Carlson had a radical feminist on his show the other day. Her group has formed common cause with Evangelical Christians to oppose the so-called bathroom ban.

He asked her why her group would be opposed to such a thing. Her argument boiled down to, If anyone can pick a gender just by how they feel, then the terms women and girls no longer mean anything. So if you, as she does, feel that women and girls are a group who are worthy of protection then you need to oppose those things that open up, say, Title IX protections to anyone who says they "identify" as a woman or a girl for whatever reason they want. If anyone can be a woman then no one is.

This is now a RADICAL FEMINIST CONCEPT.

rhhardin said...

The women's march was an expression of the general neediness of women, presented as a demand.

Nothing specific, just neediness.

The women's movement haa always marched in place, right from the beginning.

rhhardin said...

I want to bike to the store and this huge area of rain on the radar is just, just to the north and has been for several hours. I'd have had time to go and return by now.

It's moving but always fading away a mile north of the house.

Descending air stuck there, probably.

Rick said...

It's all very labyrinthine and tied up in knots, but the simple idea is that there's radical feminism and mainstream feminism.

The distinction seems more that Crispin rejects feminism because it isn't inherently or sufficiently opposed to her real enemy: economic freedom.

Socialism and anti-capitalism, as foils to Donald Trump’s me-first ideology, have taken an accelerated path into the mainstream. “Why I Am Not a Feminist” comes at a time when some portion of liberal women in America might be ready for a major shift—inclined, suddenly, toward a belief system that does not hallow the “markers of success in patriarchal capitalism . . . money and power,” as Crispin puts it.

rhhardin said...

I got tired of Rush at 14:50 and so switched on the little transciever by the mouse. There's a contest on until 15:00

In 10 minutes worked VA, SC, MI, WI (Madison), TN, TX, Ontario, and NY.

It leaves some clicky periods on my recording of Rush, owing to the proximity of one ground plane radial to the active antenna I receive Rush on.

This improves the saved show, as a personal record.

Feminism has no such pleasures.

Achilles said...

It's all very labyrinthine and tied up in knots, but the simple idea is that there's radical feminism and mainstream feminism.

The only goal here is to make the radicals, which they all generally are, mainstream.

And if you think that there are any "mainstream" feminists look at how Kellyanne Conway is being treated now by the "mainstream" feminists.

tim in vermont said...

"The future is female." Nothing controversial about that.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The future is male, actually. Remember, tomorrow can only come once!

YoungHegelian said...

@PZ,

Remember, tomorrow can only come once!

You know you're going to burn in Hell for that one, don't you?

tim maguire said...

The case against feminism is easy to make. Over the past two generations, feminism, having achieved every goal worth working towards, has been suffering the fate of every group that achieves its goals slowly instead of all at once in a huge markable victory--it has gradually declined into pettiness and squabbles, choosing absurdity and, finally, the sweet relief of irrelevance over simply declaring victory and going home.

n.n said...

Selective-child is representative of a kinder, gentler feminism.

tcrosse said...

It seems like a big part of feminism is being pissed off about their biology: all the icky inconvenient bits of their sexual hardware and hormones. It's mens fault that we don't menstruate, for example. If we were't such pigs, we would.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Pretty standard far-left entryism from Crispin. Your movement isn't allowed to be about just one thing: if it doesn't transform itself into Anti-Nuclear Lesbian Socialist Whales Against Climate Change, it's meaningless.

Sigivald said...

"Feminism" has as many meanings as people using the term.

And of course - because equality - male people are not allowed to argue/disagree with them.

So I just say screw the whole lot, and stick with treating women as human beings and equals and not calling it feminism.

(I think a lot of people nearly fetishize the term, and "feminist" as an identity, in a way that undercuts the (generally accepted, mainstream) cause.)

Gahrie said...

Feminism is the belief that women have rights and no responsibilities, and that men have responsibilities and no rights.

n.n said...

Feminism has progressed as a chauvinistic crutch to exploit leverage over competing interests (women included) under the Left's [class] diversity doctrine of their Pro-Choice quasi-religious/moral philosophy and twilight faith. It is the militant wing of an establishment (deja vu) and it will fight vigorously to retain the special status and privileges claimed on the back of aborted, cannibalized, and decaying human lives.

Strange, the optics and logic do not favor their cause. Unfortunately, the conflicts of interests arising from overlapping and convergent interests have reduced the viability of competing interests to prevent them from running amuck. That is until now. Maybe.

Meanwhile, a reconciliation of moral, natural, and personal imperatives leads us to conclude men and women are equal and complementary. A consensus held by the majority of People and Posterity.

Seeing Red said...

We are doomed!

David said...

Jia was a Jefferson Scholar at UVA. It's a strange program. The limited number of recipients are anointed during the admissions process. They then get a very generous scholarship and various perks of international travel and subsidy, special programs at UVA and the like, all of which are calculated to make them think they are very special, and none of which have to be earned (or re-earned) from performance in college.

David said...

Feminism is . . . .

Lots of opinions above.

Feminism is what the female makes of it. If she wants it to be a cudgel and an excuse, it will be. If she wants it to be an inspiration to excellence, it an be that too. Calling oneself a feminist is easy. Making feminism a path to a productive and useful life is not guaranteed and definitely not easy.

Francisco D said...

My old fashioned view of feminism is that it was about equality of the sexes. I supported that feminism. Hence, I was surprised that my first wife, a feminist in the 1970's, took my last name when we married. My second wife (married 29 years) was also a feminist and a Republican. She kept her original name.

The new, radical feminism is more about blaming the patriarchy for women's problems. Its the victim game, but the real victims are young White men who are blamed for all that is "wrong" with the world. This is just another iteration of Marxism and Saul Alinsky in action.

Michael K said...

Feminism is the belief that women have rights and no responsibilities, and that men have responsibilities and no rights.

Pretty close. I think feminism and all the associated pathology began with the birth control pill.

With the pill, women were free of the responsibility of child rearing and were now "equal to men."

I watched it break up the marriage of a couple who were our friends in medical school.

You can kind of follow the two streams; one was lesbian, the other went to casual sex and all the psychological harm that caused young women. There is biology involved. Semen may have psychological effects on women.

It's not just the "sexual revolution" but the whole leftist thing is related. I was followed around facebook by some idiot who went apeshit on the subject of whether race is real or a "construct."

The state of Hawaii is suing a drug company because Plavix has different effects on some racial groups.

The racial IQ thing is just the most obvious trigger point for leftist rage.

Black people have higher incidence of hypertension, black women have smaller babies and black men have more prostate cancer,

Lincoln once asked a friend how many legs a cow had if you called a tail a leg.

The answer is four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one.

Calling a man a women doesn't make it so.

The radical feminists are about to get a lesson in logic.

The women 's division of a bicycle race in Tucson was won by a male calling himself a female.

Watch women's sports collapse.

It;s only fair as they destroyed all minor men's sports with Title IX,

YoungHegelian said...

@Rick,

Socialism and anti-capitalism, as foils to Donald Trump’s me-first ideology, have taken an accelerated path into the mainstream. “Why I Am Not a Feminist” comes at a time when some portion of liberal women in America might be ready for a major shift—inclined, suddenly, toward a belief system that does not hallow the “markers of success in patriarchal capitalism . . . money and power,” as Crispin puts it.

The problem with intersectional leftism is that it doesn't work. It's simply too morally complicated to adjudicate the competing claims of rights. Group X may win this time, but group Y will still feel aggrieved & thus the groundwork for division is sown.

The old line Marxists knew all about this stuff. They knew that if you had 5 lefties in a room you had seven opinions. That's why everything was subordinated to class struggle.

If you'd like to read an autopsy by an Oakland hard-lefty group that got destroyed by trying to mix Marxism with intersectionality, in this case feminism ("sisters to the center") take a gander at this (it's long..).

Fabi said...

@YoungHegelian -- I scanned your link and was mesmerized by its obtuseness. I don't fear their revolution.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Mike K,

I was followed around facebook by some idiot who went apeshit on the subject of whether race is real or a "construct."

The state of Hawaii is suing a drug company because Plavix has different effects on some racial groups.



Television of course is our friend. People of a certain age, sigh, will know the TV hit M*A*S*H:


Season 9, Episode 210: The Red/White Blues
Original Air Date: 3/9/81
Written by: Elias Davis & David Pollock
Directed by: Gabrielle Beaumont

Col. Potter ... runs the risk of being pulled from command and stuck behind a desk.

...

...

Back in his office, Potter flies off the handle when he thinks Klinger ordered the wrong medicine needed to preemptively deal with the Malaria problem--they're stuck with Chloroquine instead of Primaquine. After blowing his stack, Hawkeye finds a letter enclosed that HQ was out of Primaquine, so they sent the other, less effective drug, instead.

Chloroquine is just a supressant, not the cure that Primaquine is...plus, it also has negative side effects for negroes. But it will have to do. Potter, chastened, apologizes to Klinger.

Later, Hawkeye is back in Klinger's office, and he's shocked to see the mountain of paperwork that covers the office. He can't understand why Klinger isn't getting the work done, but Klinger insists its not out of laziness, its because he feels so worn out and tired. Hawkeye isn't hearing any of it, and issues a direct order to Klinger to get all the work done before Potter comes back and sees the mess.

... Margaret checks up on Klinger. The office is in even worse shape, and Klinger complains about feeling awful. Margaret is furious, and when choppers arrive, she orders him to get up and help out, and stop goldbricking.

While in Pre-Op, Margaret sees that Pvt. Goldman (Roy Goldman) is resting on a bench. He complains of feeling tired with a bad back, and Margaret promises to have one of the doctors check him out.

Klinger, seeing this, gets mad, accusing Margaret of believing Goldman but not him, even though they have the same symptoms. Margaret apologizes and tells him to rest, too.

After OR, Hawkeye and B.J. run blood tests, and whatever's dogging Klinger and Goldman, they know its the same thing--they just don't know what it is.

While finishing up Klinger's paperwork, they come up with a plan to take Klinger and Goldman off the pills entirely. ...


This episode ends with a text coda, the only time the show would do this, explaining that later research revealed that Chloroquine had negative side effects not only with blacks, but also Caucasians of Mediterranean descent.


Favorite Line: Hawkeye and Potter discuss the Chloroquine pills, and they're relative effectiveness. Potter asks: "And what about the negroes?"

Klinger, utterly confused: "What did I do to them?!"



So this has been going on for a long time. Magic is full of Witchcraft. Why the hell do some medicines react badly with grapefruit but not oranges or lemons? We swim in ignorance. I don't know who would go to the trouble of intentionally creating a medicine that would affect two different groups differently.

Life is hard enough as it is. Some people seem to Delight in making it harder.