Contemporary feminism is mostly based on bullshit and lies
Bullshit and lies that feed identity politics and turning away from the politics of bargaining to the politics of domination.
Bullshit: statements made for rhetorical effect without regard for the truth.
Let’s start with the claim that the various changes in favour of broadening women’s participation in society is an “achievement of women”.
No, it is not. Name one crucial invention that have enabled women to participate much more broadly in society that was invented by a woman. Name one legislative (or judicial) change that was not voted by men.
The expansion of the capacity of women to participate in society has been an achievement of people. From the struggle for the right to vote onwards, there have been men and women on both sides of every such debate. The claim that this was “done by women” is a lie (or, at best, bullshit).
Worse, it is a toxic lie.
It is a toxic lie at at least two levels. First, because it denies the crucial role of bargaining and persuasion in social change, particularly social change that requires legal and other policy changes. Second, because it sets folk up into two, morally categorised, identity categories: “women”, who achieved change, and “men” who blocked it.
Dividing people by moralised identity categories is toxic in itself. It is remarkable that folk who are forever invoking the horrible example of the Holocaust are so ready to commit its root sin. Which is precisely to divide people into identity categories and then moralise the divide, putting one group profoundly above the other.
But denying the crucial role of bargaining and persuasion is also toxic. First, because it creates a completely false view of how to do successful politics in parliamentary and democratic states. Second, because it commits one to politics that actively seek to replace bargaining politics, and to replace it with domination politics.
The history of Western civilisation is a long struggle between bargaining politics (epitomised, but not restricted to, democracy) and domination politics (epitomised, but not restricted to, despotism). Broadly speaking, technology (and the advantages of being technologically innovative) has, for centuries, generally favoured bargaining politics over domination politics.
We live in an age when it is less and less clear that that is still the case.
If you regard all those who disagree with you on key issues as ignorant, stupid, malignant, and bigoted; as folk who, at best, suffer from “false consciousness” (so, in a crucial sense, do not have their own minds), then you are not committed to bargaining politics. For “clearly” it is not possible to seriously bargain with such folk. Hence, whatever fables you may tell yourself, you are thereby committed to domination politics.
If not bargaining, then …
Of course, if your cause is sufficiently toxic, mad and stupid, then domination politics are your only option. As we can see from Transactivism pushing gender identity ideology. It systematically attempts to shut down debate, because open debate means revealing the toxic nonsense of its claims, which start with lies and build from there.
Female is not a feeling. Someone with a penis is not a woman. People born with penises (still less those who still have them) do not, in any non-delusional politics, get to define themselves into the category of being a woman.
Trans is a thing. Lots of human societies have some form of trans identity. But it is a trans identity, an across identity. If it was not trans, all that hormonal treatment and surgery would not be required.
One is not a woman because you feel yourself to be a woman. For what, then, does it mean to be a woman? That one feels oneself to be a woman, where being a woman has no other meaning beyond the feeling that you are one. Disconnecting being a woman, being female, from biology turns being a woman, because you feel yourself to a woman, into a circular nonsense.
Which is why what it is to be a woman becomes defined by a series of gender stereotypes. For, if there is no biology in being a woman, what else can define being a woman other than stereotypes? Despite the fact that those gender stereotypes come from cultural expression of, and reaction to, biology.
(Sex is biology, sex roles are the behavioural expression of said biology, gender is the cultural expression of said biology.) Freeing women from such gender stereotypes is supposed to be what feminism is about.
Transexclusionary just means lying about biology and calling anyone who does not buy into the lie a bigot. It is the epitome of not-bargaining politics. It can only work via domination politics. Hence the endless attempts to shut down debate by viciously punishing dissenters. Especially dissenting women. Especially dissenting women on the left.
For the first step in domination politics is to establish dominion over “your” side and in your social milieus.
Domestic violence lies
But “women did this” is far from the only lie of contemporary feminism. Let us consider “domestic violence”.
Domestic violence comes in two forms: intimate partner violence and violence against children. Feminists constantly conflate intimate partner violence into domestic violence. Which thereby writes violence against children out of the category of domestic violence.
Why do that? Because women are at least equally as likely to perpetuate violence against children as men. Which destroys the whole “violence is male” approach.
When women are dealing with humans smaller and weaker than themselves, they display the same propensity to violence as men. Which gets in the way of the “evil men/virtuous women” identity politics moralising.
The way contemporary feminism has bought into the Victorian Cult of Womanhood is striking. Into the notion of men as brutes with women as the noble creatures who civilise them.
The children problem
The other difficulty of violence against children is that it involves children. Something a great deal of contemporary feminism cannot deal with intelligently because of feminist hang-ups about motherhood.
The hang-ups come in two levels. First, because a great deal of contemporary feminism is based on a blank slate view of humans, which is false. Second, because feminism has always been dominated by highly educated, career-oriented women. For them, motherhood is not remotely an identity. On the contrary, it pulls them away from, and against, the public career they do see their identity as wrapped up in.
But that is not, however, even close to a universal view among women. Which is why a lot of women (when asked in honest surveys) do not identify as feminists.
Which leads into another lie of contemporary feminism. That women fail to identify as feminist because they suffer some form of delusion, stupidity or ingratitude.
No, they fail to identify as feminist because feminists go on and on about things they don’t care about, or don’t care about much, and fail to pay much, or at times any, attention to things they do care about.
In 2015, the Fawcett Society of the UK, which a (female) friend describes as the walking definition of:
utterly useless, innumerate feminist organisation for whiny posh girls who’ve never had a difficult day in their lives
commissioned a large opinion survey which found that only 9% of British women identified as feminist.
This in a Britain where almost half of women identify mother, wife or partner as their most important identity, not an occupational identity or other public role. A society where almost every time a feminist talking-head opens their mouths, their posh accent spills out, likely as they go about something many women don’t care much (or at all) about. A society where feminists have been overwhelmingly conspicuous in their silence over systematic sexual predation against under-age girls by (overwhelmingly) Muslim gangs. A society where many feminists have been silent over the lies of transactivism and the invasion of people born with (and who often still have) penises into women’s spaces and women’s sport. Or have actively participated in the pillorying of those feminists who have spoken out.
That’s four strikes and you’re out.
About 90% of British women appear to find it beneath their moral dignity to identify as feminist. Good on them.
Oh, and by the way, in that poll, 81% of women stated that they wanted men and women to have equal opportunities. 86% of men did so.
Roy F. Baumeister, Is There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish By Exploiting Men, Oxford University Press, 2010.
Joyce. F. Benenson with Henry Markovits, Warriors and Worriers: The Survival of the Sexes, Oxford University Press, 2014.
Harry G. Frankfurt, ‘On Bullshit’, Raritan Quarterly Review, 6 (2): 81–100. Fall 1986.
David Goodhart, The Road to Somewhere: The New Tribes Shaping British Politics, Penguin, 2017.
Helen Joyce, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, Oneworld, 2021.
Tim Kaiser, Marco Del Giudice, Tom Booth, ‘Global sex differences in personality: Replication with an open online dataset’, Journal of Personality, 2020; 88: 415–429.
Peter McLoughlin, Easy Meat: Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal, New English Review Press, 2016.
Survation, Gender Issues Poll, prepared on behalf of the Fawcett Society, 7/1/2016, survey conducted 30 Nov. — 3 Dec. 2015.