Whose Agenda Is the Feminist Agenda?

http://theothermccain.com/2014/09/03/whose-agenda-is-the-feminist-agenda/

“Every woman who remains in sexual relation to man is defeated every time she does it with the man because each single experience for every woman is a reenactment of the primal one in which she was invaded and separated and fashioned into a receptacle for the passage of the invader. . . . The female in relation to the man is only half a woman and a disadvantaged one at that. . . . You are who you sleep with. Thus the lesbian rightfully says she is the woman par excellence. . . .
“Gay revolution addresses itself to the total elimination of the sexual caste system around which our oppressive society is organized. . . . It is now recognized that any Marxist-Socialist analysis must acknowledge the sexist underpinnings of every political economic power base. Gay liberation cannot be considered apart from women’s liberation. . . . The mere feminist is an incipient revolutionary. She is a woman in revolt against her prescribed and confined feminine role but she has not yet envisioned the solution to her dilemma . . . The lesbian is the key figure in the social revolution to end the sexual caste system, or heterosexual institution . . . The issue keeps turning back over and over to the oppression of women. . . . The lesbian as practicing woman is now reversing the cultural appraisal of womanhood.”
— Jill JohnstonLesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution(1973)

“The word ‘homophobia’ defines fear of lesbians as irrational. . . . This is completely at odds with radical lesbian politics. We cannot think of lesbianism as a challenge to heteropatriarchal structures and values and simultaneously claim that there are no reasonable grounds for men (or heterosexually identified women) to fear us. . . If lesbianism is a blow against the patriarchy, the bonding of women against male supremacy, then it is entirely rationalfor men to fear it. Contemporary psychology evades these political implications of lesbianism and presents us as essentially harmless.”
— Celia Kitzinger and Rachel PerkinsChanging Our Minds: Lesbian Feminism and Psychology (1993)

With several thousand words in draft awaiting completion of new installments of the “Sex Trouble” series, I felt an obligation to give readers a small taste of what I’m reading in radical feminist books. After all, you paid for these books — “Hit the freaking tip jar!” — that I ordered via Amazon, and it’s important that readers supporting this project know that they’re getting what they’ve paid for.

Johnston’s reference to a “Marxist-Socialist analysis” as a basis of her own lesbian-feminist agenda in 1973 is important to understanding what the feminist movement’s actual goals were at the outset. Johnston makes clear that “women’s liberation” is part of “the social revolution to end the sexual caste system” (i.e., heterosexuality), which she describes as “the sexist underpinnings of every political economic power base.” She wrote this more than 40 years ago, in a book praised by such feminist leaders as Gloria Steinem and Alix Kates Shulman. Considering what Kate Millett’s sister Mallory has recently written about the Marxist influence on the Women’s Liberation movement, doesn’t this seem rather significant?

When feminists talk about “patriarchy,” they mean that our society is one in which all women (collectively) are oppressed by all men (collectively); therefore heterosexuality is inherently oppressive to women, hence the reference by Kitzinger and Perkins to “heteropatriarchal structures and values,” i.e., what most people consider simply normal life. It does not matter, ultimately, whether any particular feminist is herself a Marxist or a lesbian; the movement of which she is a part is ideologically committedto these understandings of women’s oppression and demands a “social revolution” to overthrow the “system” of “our oppressive society.”

More than four decades after the rise of the Women’s Liberation movement (so-called “Second Wave” feminism), the question is whether what Johnston called “the oppression of women” (in 1973) by what Kitzinger and Perkins called “male supremacy” (in 1993) has been significantly ameliorated by feminism. The more any feminist in 2014 considers herself “radical,” the more likely she sees the glass half-empty, believing that women’s oppression has scarcely been eroded at all. Yet no feminist of 2014 can repudiate the original radicalism of Women’s Liberation while simultaneously claiming to be part of the same movement, nor can a contemporary woman call herself “feminist” without accepting the movement’s radicalism as now institutionalized within Women Studies programs and other feminist organizations. Otherwise, the label “feminist” has no useful meaning.

There is no such contradiction, however, if feminism is actually a political movement with a coherent understanding of its own purposes and goals. Insofar as feminism is indeed such a movement, then its purposes and its goals cannot be an ad hoc improvisation, continually revised, so that what feminism means on Wednesday becomes something different on Thursday. Nor can there be multiple and diverse “feminisms,” if such a movement is to claim to speak for the interests of all women. Otherwise, any woman could claim to speak on behalf of the movement, arguing for anything that happened to cross her mind.

Feminism must be one thing or another. It cannot be everything. And if radical feminists don’t speak for feminism, perhaps someone should explain that to the radicals. Good luck with that.

Kate Millett’s Tedious Madness

 

http://theothermccain.com/2014/09/01/kate-milletts-tedious-madness/

 

“[A] disinterested examination of our system of sexual relationship must point out that the situation between the sexes now, and throughout history, is . . . a relationship of dominance and subordinance. What goes largely unexamined, often even unacknowledged (yet is institutionalized nonetheless) in our social order, is the birthright priority whereby males rule females. . . .
“This is so because our society, like all other historical civilizations, is a patriarchy.”effe
— Kate MillettSexual Politics (1970)

Kate Millett is a good prose stylist and also a sadistic perverted psychopath. On the latter subject, I will accept the testimony of Millett’s younger sister, Mallory Millett:

In the 1970’s I was alarmed to hear that my big sister, Kate Millett, who had serious mental health issues which had agonized my family and her friends for many years, was organizing a group called The Mental Patients’ Project in order to claim that the psychiatric community and society were “oppressing” people and “stigmatizing them with labels such as psychotic, bi-polar, schizophrenic, borderline personalities,” etc and unconstitutionally imprisoning them in hospitals thereby violating their civil rights. We, as a family, had struggled for years with Kate’s issues, many times attempting to hospitalize her so she could obtain the serious help she so obviously obviously needed. She was a brutal sadist, a violent bully at whose hands everyone about her suffered. Throughout my childhood I was menaced and immeasurably traumatized . . .
At one point, in 1973, I found myself alone with her in an apartment in Berkeley, California where she did not allow me to sleep for five days as she raged at the world and menaced me physically. . . .
And, speaking of the affected innocent victims: later, she wrote a book about her lesbian lover at that time. Sita was the title. This woman committed suicide in response to Kate’s “homage.” . . .

You really should read the whole thing. I had known that Kate Millett was a bisexual weirdo, but until somebody called my attention to this firsthand account by her sister, I hadn’t previously realized what a certified raving lunatic she was.

Psychosis and feminism are, often enough, two words that describe the same phenomenon. Shulamith Firestone was a paranoid schizophrenic, Women’s Studies professor Lisa Johnson is afflicted with borderline personality disorder, and if I had a nickel for every feminist who had ever lamented her “struggle” with chronic depression, I’d certainly have more than the price of a carton of cigarettes.

The difference between mental illness and feminist theory is . . . nuanced. Was anyone surprised when the eminent “male feminist,” Professor Hugo Schwarz, was revealed to be dangerous psychotic? It is difficult to avoid the suspicion that Women’s Studies majors are all demented freaks who, if they couldn’t afford to go to college, would be in psychiatric hospitals, where their deranged babbling about “gender roles,” “patriarchy” and “heteronormativity” would earn them a daily dose of Thorazine, rather than a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Despite her mental illness, however, Kate Millett writes good prose, and I think this is a factor that should not be overlooked. Like many another high-functioning psychotic, Millett is intelligent. She once taught English at the college level, and Sexual Politics was an adaptation of her Ph.D. dissertation at Columbia University. Smart and well-educated, Millett published Sexual Politics when she was 36. Her prose has a mature quality that is absent in Firestone’s zany The Dialectic of Sex, published when Firestone was 22.

Millett begins her book with a clever trick: She excerpts and subjects to literary criticism sex scenes from three novels — Henry Miller’s Sexus(1965), Norman Mailer’s An American Dream (1964) and Jean Genet’sThe Thief’s Journal (1964) — by authors who were then fashionable.Henry Miller‘s writing was so pornographic that his books were often banned in the U.S. prior to the 1960s; Sexus was published in Paris in 1949 and not published in the U.S. until 16 years later. Norman Mailer, of course, soared to fame when his first novel, The Naked and the Dead, became a bestseller in 1948, when he was just 25. He never quite replicated that success in fiction; although his subsequent novels sold well, they were less critically acclaimed, and Mailer’s reputation as a writer was mostly based on his works of journalism and non-fiction. He won the Pulitzer Prize for The Armies of the Night, his non-fiction account of a 1967 anti-war march, and his 1980 Pulitzer winner The Executioner’s Song, was about the life of murderer Gary Gilmore. As forJean Genet, he was a notorious French degenerate who gained fame after Jean-Paul Sartre made him the subject of a 1952 book, Saint Genet.

The scene Millett quotes from Miller’s Sexus involves the protagonist sexually assaulting the wife of his friend. The scene she quotes from Mailer involves a murderer sodomizing his German maid. The scene she quotes from Genet involves a transvestite prostitute and his/her pimp.

In each case, Millett highlights through her criticism the aspect of power— male supremacy — in the sexual context. These “notions of power and ascendancy,” Millett says, demonstrate that sex does not “take place in a vacuum,” but rather is “a charged microcosm of the variety of attitudes and values to which culture subscribes.” This is both true and highly problematic. Obviously, it is true that our attitudes and behaviors about sex are influenced by culture. But where Millett is headed with this argument — the purpose of her nearly 400-page book — is toward the claim that there are no meaningful natural differences between men and women, that the associations male/masculine and female/feminine areartificial, and that anything which can be labeled “male supremacy” is therefore inherently political in nature.

Let it not be said that Millett was unable to marshal any evidence on behalf of her argument. Anyone may order Sexual Politics from Amazonand examine her argument and her evidence. The problems with Millett’s book arise mainly from three causes:

  1. Her fundamentally anti-social attitude. Millett’s purposes are admittedly revolutionary. She aims to destroy the existing society, and all its patriarchal “values and attitudes,” without any regard for the personal happiness of anyone who is content with life in this society, having successfully adapted to “our system of sexual relationship.” This contempt for the lives of other people is characteristic of a sociopathic personality. Her sister’s revelation of Kate Millett’s domineering and sadistic behaviors are quite relevant to our understanding of Millett’s motivations.
  2. Her tendentious selectivity of evidence. Of course, every radical argument suffers from this flaw. If your aim is to overthrow The System in a democratic polity where electoral governance and the Rule of Law have the effect of continually ratifying The System, your argument for revolution must necessarily be based on unusual evidence. You must ignore, or subject to scorn and ridicule as “reactionary,” every argument made by defenders of The System. Despite her early acknowledgement (page 25) that a patriarchal social order was characteristic not just of America in 1970, but of “all other historical civilizations,” Millett deliberately rejects all evidence that such a social order is natural or inevitable.
  3. Her substitution of rhetorical gestures for actual logic.  As I say, Millett’s prose is quite good and, like many intellectuals, she seems to believe that her ability to express an argument in stylish prose is proof that her argument must be true. The fact that other intellectuals, equally articulate, hold opposing views, is a problem Millett evades by accusing her antagonists of prejudice. Her fluency in exposition is, for Millett, a camouflage used to conceal extraordinary leaps of logic. She asserts a startling premise, based on evidence that is negligible or controversial or at least unusual, and then continues her argument as if the premise were a proven fact. One finds, for example, that Millett spends 19 pages (108-127) discussing Friedrich Engels’ The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State (1884), and finds nothing amiss with treating the co-author of The Communist Manifesto as an objective analyst. When Engels’ name recurs on page 169, it is in the context of Millett’s analysis of the failure of the Bolsheviks’ attempt to abolish the family in the Soviet Union. Millett cites the criticism of Leon Trotsky as an authority on “the Stalinist regression” in this matter, without bothering to explain why Trotsky might have blamed this failure on Stalin personally, rather than on the hopeless impracticality of the Bolshevik ideal.

Also, generally, Sexual Politics is boring. Her hammering of the same points becomes repetitive to the point of tedium.

more at

http://theothermccain.com/2014/09/01/kate-milletts-tedious-madness/

 

 

 

Thank You, Professor Kitzinger!

http://theothermccain.com/2014/08/30/thank-you-professor-kitzinger/

 

“[R]adical feminism offers a theory central to which is an analysis of lesbianism and heterosexuality as political institutions and a rejection of personalized interpretations. . . .
“Central to radical feminism is the belief that the patriarchy (not capitalism or sex roles or socialization or individual sexist men) is the root of all forms of oppression; that all men benefit from and maintain it and are, therefore, our political enemies. Within this framework, heterosexuality, far from existing as a ‘natural state,’ ‘personal choice’ or ‘sexual orientation,’ is described as a socially constructed and institutionalized structure which is instrumental in the perpetuation of male supremacy. . . .
“Radical feminism thus contradicts each of the tenets of liberal humanistic theorizing about lesbianism. . . .
“The major impact of the radical feminist approach to lesbianism is in reasserting the political implications of lesbianism and replacing the so-called ‘personal’ back into the realm of the public and political.”
— Celia KitzingerThe Social Construction of Lesbianism(1987)

Here we have a bold and clear statement as to the meaning of the term “radical feminism,” which sets the term in distinction to “liberal humanistic theorizing,” and I am profoundly grateful for Professor Kitzinger’s candor. Ever since I began analyzing radical feminist theory in January, I’ve had to deal with the usual aspersions that feminists hurl toward any critic (especially any male critic) who points out the ultimate significance of the famed feminist phrase, “The personal is political.”

A male critic of feminism who notes the movement’s implacable hostility to men is accused of being ignorant of real feminism and, if he comments on the association between feminism and lesbianism, he is condemned as a homophobe, allegedly expressing irrational fear and insecurity. Yet I am neither ignorant, fearful nor insecure, and am merely stating the fact that feminism means exactly what Professor Kitzinger says it means. If all feminists were as intellectually consistent as Professor Kitzinger, at least critics like myself wouldn’t have to deal with the pervasive dishonesty and self-contradicting claims of soi-disant “feminists” who think their philosophy is compatible with heterosexuality.

Feminism is fixated on equality between the sexes, and views systematic domination by males as a group (i.e., patriarchy) as the source of an inequality that is oppressive to women as a group. That is to say, the difficulties experienced by individual women are not really personal, nor can blame for such difficulties be limited to any individual man. Rather, each woman’s difficulties result from her membership in the collective group “women,” which exposes her to oppression by the collective group “men.” If a woman is raped, therefore, it is not sufficient from a feminist perspective that the criminal perpetrator be apprehended and punished; rather, this crime is viewed by feminists as essentially political, intrinsic to the male-dominated patriarchal system, from which all men benefit and for which all men are responsible.

“The radical feminist argument is that men have forced women into heterosexuality in order to exploit them, and that lesbians, in rejecting male definitions of sexuality, are undermining the patriarchy. . . .
“Lesbianism is . . . fundamentally a challenge to patriarchal definitions of women.”
— Celia KitzingerThe Social Construction of Lesbianism(1987)

This collectivist, systematic concept (female oppression under patriarchy) is what “feminism” means as a political philosophy. This is what is expressed in talk of “rape culture.” This is what the slogan “Yes All Women” is about. This is why lesbian feminists who have never had sex with men (and with whom it is unlikely any man would ever want to have sex) nevertheless adamantly support abortion and contraception as fundamental “women’s rights.” If the personal is political, if women are viewed as a collective group, and if all males are part of the oppressive patriarchy, then lesbians have a political voice in how heterosexual women live their lives. Indeed, feminist theory implies, lesbians have a greater stake in a heterosexual woman’s life than does her own husband.

Such is the implicit logic of feminism, at any rate, yet most people (male or female) who accept the “feminist” label have not followed the premises of this collectivist/egalitarian worldview to their logical conclusion. Most people who accept the feminist label think it’s just about “fairness,” a feminism defined mainly by women’s advancement in education and professional careers. However, this “liberal humanistic” perspective is ultimately illogical, if the fundamental premises of feminist ideology are actually true.

Nor is “liberal humanistic” feminism what is generally taught today in university Women’s Studies programs. In the past 20 years, radicals have increasingly come to dominate Women’s Studies, so that when Carmen Rios describes how she became a “raging lesbian feminist” in the Women Studies program at American University, nobody really thinks of this as unusual. Nor is anyone really surprised to learn that Feminist Frontiers, the most commonly assigned anthology of feminist literature, a basic textbook for introductory Women’s Studies classes, is edited by three radical lesbians. This is simply what “feminism” signifies within academia in the 21st century, and this feminism — so clearly described by Celia Kitzinger in 1987 — does not seek toleration and compromise. When radical feminists say they want to “smash patriarchy,” what do you think they mean? And what do you think that means for the future?

“Men are the enemy. Heterosexual women are collaborators with the enemy. . . . Every women who lives with or f–ks a man helps to maintain the oppression of her sisters and hinders our struggle.”
— Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group, “Political Lesbianism: The Case Against Heterosexuality,” 1981

You tell ’em, sisters! This is not something I agree with, of course. I do not think of myself as an enemy of women, nor do I think my wife is helping “maintain the oppression of her sisters.” But if feminism’s basic ideology is true — if all women (collectively) are oppressed by all men (collectively) — then the radical lesbians are right, and at least one can respect their honesty in stating it clearly. If  feminism is true, then the woman who denounces heterosexuality as an “institutionalized structure which is instrumental in the perpetuation of male supremacy” deserves credit for having the courage to challenge “male supremacy” directly.

Ah, but feminism is not true — these women are hopelessly deranged, and the patriarchy that Professor Kitzinger describes as “the root of all forms of oppression” is a sort of paranoid delusion. Not only do heterosexual women laugh at this madness, but even most lesbians don’t buy into this political “struggle” against “male supremacy.” When its principles are stated explicitly, feminism is recognized as a joke, which is exactly why most feminists are so tangled up in contradictions, unable to state their feminist politics as meaning much more than (a) legal abortion and (b) vote Democrat!

That kind of dumbed-down “feminism” might be helpful in electing Democrats, but it’s never really going to change women’s lives, certainly not for the better. (If you want to know what kind of change you get by voting Democrat, take a look at Detroit.) This kind of “feminism” — Jessica Valenti’s kind of feminism — is little more than a vehicle for the careers of female journalists who want to get paid to complain about men. Women who buy into this peevish petulance and call it “feminism” are too dumb to see through the scam.

What’s weird is that radical feminists, despite their delusions, occasionally find some actual truth. Say what you will about Cathy Brennan, at least she knows that someone with XY chromosomes and a penis can’t become a “woman” by putting on a dress and a wig. And say anything you want about Julie Bindel, but she had the guts to tell the truth about the Pakistani rape gangs in England.

Not for a minute do I accede to the claims of such radical lesbians that my four sons and I, as men, are the “political enemies” of my wife and two daughters, as women. Are we the patriarchy? Is my daughter beingoppressed by my son-in-law? Sane normal people don’t think in such terms, but feminists are neither sane nor normal.

We must therefore be grateful when insane abnormal women like Professor Celia Kitzinger state their beliefs honestly. It’s the truthless hired liars like Jessica Valenti who do real harm, telling foolish women that feminism is compatible with heterosexuality.

Sex Trouble: Feminism, Mental Illness and the Pathetic Daughters of Misfortune

“The idea that acts of violence can be excused due to a victim’s dress, state of intoxication, location and sexual history is absolutely ridiculous and feeds into a cultural view of sexual assault as not a real crime.”

— Liz Sheridan, SlutWalk Chicago organizer, 2014

“Yesterday’s mental illness is today’s social policy.”
— Kathy Shaidle, “Feminism’s Rotting Corpse,” 2012

 

http://theothermccain.com/2014/08/25/sex-trouble-feminism-mental-illness-and-the-pathetic-daughters-of-misfortune/

If you want to understand feminism, begin by studying abnormal psychology. Perhaps no fact about the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1960s and ’70s is more significant than this: Shulamith Firestone, a pioneering leader of so called “Second Wave” feminism who co-founded the radical feminist group Redstockings, was a paranoid schizophrenic who died alone at age 67, having spent decades on public assistance because of her mental illness.

Feminists can blame Firestone’s pathetic fate on the oppressive patriarchy if they wish, but sane people must suspect that the cause-and-effect are quite opposite. That is to say, while feminists believe that the patriarchy makes women crazy, the rest of us suspect that crazy women made the patriarchy — inventing this imaginary conspiracy of “male supremacy” as the phantom menace of their paranoid minds, a fantasy bogeyman, a rationalization of their own unhappiness and misfortunes.

Here is where the meaning of the famous feminist dictum “the personal is political” exposes the real truth of their ideology. Rather than looking at feminism as a political movement to redress legitimate grievances shared generally by all women, we must understand feminism as a personal movement, concerned with the specific grievances of a distinct minority of women. To oppose feminism is not to say that the personal suffering of these women — the aggrieved minority — is not real, but rather to say that their unfortunate experiences cannot be generalized to justify a revolutionary political agenda that aims to transform society. If we change society for the benefit of the angry few, we risk destroying a society whose benefits provide happiness to the many. Feminists see no problem there; when they talk about “equality,” they mean to equalize misery, too. And most feminists are profoundly miserable.

Women who are sane, normal and happy do not become feminists, because such women do not need feminism. Once you understand feminism as an expression of unhappy women’s psychological needs, the general insanity of feminist doctrine makes perfect sense. This phenomenon was evident in March 2014, when a controversy arose at the University of South Carolina Upstate (USCU) because the university’s Center for Women’s & Gender Studies hosted Leigh Hendrix’s one-woman show, “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less.”

 

Question: Do college girls actually need to be told how to be lesbians? If they are so inclined, do students at USCU (or anywhere else) lack the requisite knowledge to accomplish homosexual activity? Are they smart enough to go to college, yet too stupid to Google this stuff?

Whatever didactic purpose was served by Ms. Hendrix’s performance as part of a USCU symposium called “Bodies of Knowledge,” controversy flared after the event made national headlines:

The show is a one-hour performance that follows Butchy McDyke, a motivational speaker and expert lesbian, as she “deftly guides her captive audience in an exploration of self-discovery and first love, coming out, lesbian sex, queer politics, and a really important Reba McEntire song.”
Hendrix encourages her audience to shout “I’m a big ol’ dyke!” in a show that is “one part instructional seminar, one part personal story, and one part wacky performance art.”

The First Amendment protects Ms. Hendrix’s right to perform her show, but compelling the taxpayers of South Carolina to fund it? That is another matter altogether. South Carolina is one of the most conservative states in the country, and UCSU is in Spartanburg, in the most conservative part of the state. Your right to shout “I’m a big ol’ dyke!” does not include the right to get paid by taxpayers to shout it in a crowded theater full of college kids in Spartanburg, S.C.

Whose crazy idea was this event, anyway? The news reports about the symposium quoted Professor Lisa Johnson, the Director of the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies at USCU, and so I started researching Professor Johnson. I quickly discovered that she is — brace yourself, because I’m afraid this may shock you — a crazy lesbian.

Sex and the Borderline Professor

In 2010, Professor Johnson published a book about her struggles with borderline personality disorder — “a serious mental illness,” according to the National Institutes for Mental Health. In her book, Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality, Professor Johnson describes herself as a “psycho girlfriend” with a history of dysfunctional relationships with both men and women. Her book describes “what amounts to a nervous breakdown as the result of an affair with a married lesbian colleague.” Professor Johnson in 2010 described herself as a “newlywed lesbian” whose partner was apparently her former student:

Stacey Haney was one of Professor Johnson’s most honored students at USCU, receiving one of four Campus Consciousness-Raising Awards for the 2006-2007 school year and also winning an Award for Scholarly Achievement in Women’s and Gender Studies for the 2007-08 school year. Professor Johnson selected the annual CWGS [Center for Women and Gender Studies] award winners in her role as the center’s director. Haney served as president of the student group Upstate Feminists, and in 2008 presented a paper at the Wofford College Conference on Gender entitled, “Butch is Back: The Marginalization of Butch Feminists Across the Feminist and Queer Communities.” Haney, who graduated from USCU in December 2008, subsequently served as a teaching assistant at CWGS . . .

 

Is there a law against mentally ill university professors marrying their former students? Not that I know of, not even in Spartanburg, S.C. But shouldn’t the taxpayers of South Carolina have some input on who is employed to teach their daughters? And if it appears that lesbian lunatics are running the Women’s Studies asylum, don’t lawmakers have a fiduciary responsibility to intervene? Evidently, South Carolina legislators thought so, and eliminated the budget for USCU’s Center for Women and Gender Studies in May 2014.

Gay activists may condemn South Carolina as a bastion of homophobia, but the controversy at USCU highlighted the correlation between feminism and mental illness just as much as it did the correlation between Women’s Studies programs and lesbianism. Are there sane heterosexual women teaching “gender theory” at our universities? It’s possible,but when you start checking the curricula vitae of Women’s Studies professors and reading the syllabi for their classes, you gather the impression that lesbianism is both the personal and political agenda of feminism as taught and practiced on campus in the 21st century.

We may avoid speculation about the connection between homosexuality and mental illness, except to note that homosexuality was considered a mental illness per se until 1973, when it was eliminated from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual in a vote of the American Psychiatric Association that was controversial at the time. There are sane lesbians, according to the APA, but just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you aren’t also crazy, and if you spend some time examining Women’s Studies textbooks, it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that all the really crazy lesbians now have Ph.D.s.

Professor Sue Wilkinson and Professor Celia Kitzinger are so inseparable they share a Wikipedia entry. The British Guardian newspaper reported on this lesbian academic duo in March 2014:

 

Eleven years after they married, two university academics celebrated becoming legally wed on Thursday, as the law in England and Wales changed to recognise same-sex marriages performed overseas.
Celia Kitzinger, 57, and Sue Wilkinson, 60, who married in Canada in 2003, cracked open champagne and put on the wedding rings they had not worn in England since losing a high court battle for recognition eight years ago.
As the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force at 12.01am, other couples were for the first time able to register their intention to marry under the act, by giving statutory notice; the first ceremonies will take place on 29 March.
Both Kitzinger, professor of conversation analysis, gender and sexuality at York University, and Wilkinson, professor of feminist and health studies at Loughborough University, said they had never believed legal recognition of their marriage would occur in in their lifetimes.
“At midnight we were just by ourselves at a secret romantic hideaway deep in the country, and we actually opened the window of our room and we heard the bells of the local church ringing midnight,” said Wilkinson. “And when the church clock went ‘bong’ we put on our rings and opened a bottle of champagne. It was just magical, special, lovely.”

Professor Kitzinger has been “out” as a lesbian since she was a teenager, and is an editor of the journal Feminism & Psychology. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that Kitzinger and Wilkinson have spent the past two decades attempting to reverse the previous psychological orthodoxy so that, among feminist scholars, it is now heterosexuality which is considered abnormal for women. This was the avowed purpose ofKitzinger and Wilkinson’s 1993 book, Heterosexuality: A Feminism & Psychology Reader:

The set of questions we asked [in seeking contributions to the book from feminist writers] was a deliberate reversal of those which psychology has traditionally addressed to the topic of lesbianism: “What is heterosexuality and why is it so common? Why is it so hard for heterosexuals to change their ‘sexual orientation’? What is the nature of heterosexual sex? How does heterosexual activity affect the whole of a woman’s life, her sense of herself, her relationships with other women, and her political engagements?”

 

Citing lesbian feminist Adrienne Rich, Kitzinger and Wilkinson complain that, in much early feminist literature, “heterosexuality is simply assumed as the natural, taken-for-granted way to be for most women, obscuring the overt and covert violence with which ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ is forced upon us, through . . . the socialization of women to feel that male sexual ‘drive’ amounts to a right, the idealization of heterosexual romance, rape, pornography, seizure of children from lesbian mothers in the courts, sexual harassment, enforced economic dependence of wives and the erasure of lesbian existence from history and culture.” This is quite a laundry list of grievances, and if some random woman on a street corner were to start jabbering this radical stuff in public, she’d probably be put on a 72-hour psychiatric hold. However, when these words are published in a book by a pair of tenured feminist professors, no one dare criticize their academic gibberish for fear of being condemned as a homophobe and a sexist, to boot.

Heterosexual Feminist? How Dare You!

In the introduction to their book, Kitzinger and Wilkinson describe their “entirely different experiences of heterosexuality”:

[Kitzinger] has always been lesbian, came out aged 16, has never had, or wanted to have, sex with men, and developed a feminist awareness through the experience of living as a lesbian under heteropatriarchy. [Wilkinson] was happily and exuberantly heterosexual, married for 15 years, becoming lesbian only relatively recently through the impact of feminism on her emotional and sexual experience.

Does feminism cause lesbianism, or vice-versa? The answer from Kitzinger and Wilkinson seems to be, “Both.” Their 1993 book may be seen in retrospect as the moment when the “Lavender Menace” — as Betty Friedan called her fear that radical lesbians would take over and discredit the feminist movement — ceased to apologize for its agenda. The lesbian takeover of feminism, especially within the academic enclaves of Women’s Studies, has now progressed so far that it probably never occurred to Professor Lisa Johnson that anyone would think it weird for her to marry one of her lesbian students. Nor, perhaps, did Professor Johnson think it was unusual to stage a university symposium featuring “Butchy McDyke, a motivational speaker and expert lesbian” inciting her audience to shout “I’m a big ol’ dyke!” This kind of craziness has become so commonplace within the feminist echo chamber that they don’t even recognize it’s crazy anymore, not even if the Republican-controlled legislature cuts off their funding.

This craziness is not recent, however, and has existed within feminism for decades. In 1993, when the lesbian academics Kitzinger and Wilkinson sent out letters seeking contributors to their book on heterosexuality,some of the responses were amusing:

Only when we started to compile a list of heterosexual feminists as potential recipients of our letter did we realize how rare such a public identification is. It would have been much easier to compile a list of self-identified lesbian feminists. “Heterosexual” is not a popular label, and many feminists express their concern about it. . . . A couple of women we had known for years in professional contexts, who had never given us any reason to suspect that they were anything other than heterosexual . . . wrote angrily in response to our letter, “How dare you assume I’m heterosexual?” and “Don’t you think you are making one hell of an assumption?”

 

If “heterosexual feminist” was already a rare identification in academia in the early 1990s, what does this tell us about the field of Women’s Studies today? If it’s practically an insult to assume a feminist is heterosexual —“How dare you?” — is it wrong to suspect that Women’s Studies is not so much a scholarly discipline as it is a means of maximizing academic employment opportunities for lesbians?

No one is surprised to learn that the woman who organized SlutWalk Chicago is a Gender Studies graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago. Parading around in your panties to protest against “rape culture” may seem crazy to normal people, but normal people don’t major in Gender Studies. Normal people don’t want to “Smash Patriarchy” or “F–k the System,” either.

 

Straight, Pretty, and Abnormal

 

Perhaps no feminist is more famous than Gloria Steinem, the longtime editor of Ms. magazine. From the time she emerged as the telegenic face of the Women’s Liberation movement in the early 1970s, Steinem’s good looks made her the living refutation of the oft-heard claim that all feminists were fat, ugly, resentful man-haters.  Steinem was not only ostentatiously attractive, she was also heterosexual, which served to refute accusations that the feminist movement was dominated by lesbians. (Although, of course, it actually was.) Nevertheless, just because she was pretty and straight, it is a mistake to assume that Gloria Steinem was in any way a typical woman.

This point was made recently in a video rant by a British commentator whose online pseudonym is “Sargon of Akkad.” In the video, Sargon intersperses his own (frequently NSFW) comments with a television interview with Steinem. Sargon begins his YouTube rant by reading from the Wikipedia biography of Steinem:

Steinem was born in Toledo, Ohio, on March 25, 1934. Her mother, Ruth . . . was a Presbyterian of Scottish and German descent, and her father, Leo Steinem, was the son of Jewish immigrants from Germany and Poland. The Steinems lived and traveled about in the trailer from which Leo carried out his trade as a traveling antiques dealer.
When Steinem was three years old, her mother Ruth, then aged 34, had a “nervous breakdown” that left her an invalid, trapped in delusional fantasies that occasionally turned violent. She changed “from an energetic, fun-loving, book-loving” woman into “someone who was afraid to be alone, who could not hang on to reality long enough to hold a job, and who could rarely concentrate enough to read a book.” Ruth spent long periods in and out of sanatoriums for the mentally disabled. Steinem was ten years old when her parents finally separated in 1944. Her father went to California to find work, while she and her mother continued to live together in Toledo.
While her parents divorced as a result of her mother’s illness, it was not a result of chauvinism on the father’s part, and Steinem claims to have “understood and never blamed him for the breakup.” Nevertheless, the impact of these events had a formative effect on her personality: while her father, a traveling salesman, had never provided much financial stability to the family, his exit aggravated their situation. Steinem interpreted her mother’s inability to hold on to a job as evidence of general hostility towards working women. She also interpreted the general apathy of doctors towards her mother as emerging from a similar anti-woman animus. Years later, Steinem described her mother’s experiences as having been pivotal to her understanding of social injustices. These perspectives convinced Steinem that women lacked social and political equality.

This was hardly what anyone would call a “normal” childhood, then or now, nor was Steinem typical in any other way. Steinem graduated from elite Smith College (where undergraduate tuition for the 2014-15 school year is $44,450), never had children and didn’t marry until she was 66 years old. Sargon comments:

“This is where the confusion has come in, because Gloria is not your average woman. She was raised by an insane single mother. How could she possibly ever know what the average woman is thinking? She is clearly against the idea of the nuclear family. . . . This is exactly the problem with feminism: It goes against what women seem to actually want, and this is led by complete f–king head cases, who presume to speak for all women. She uses the term ‘women this,’ ‘women that,’ ‘women the other,’ as if she has spoken to all women and they had a vote — a unanimous vote for Gloria Steinem to speak for them.”

Progressive Parents, Lesbian Daughters

Growing up in seriously dysfunctional families seems to be a common denominator with radical feminists. It seems that if they don’t have “daddy issues,” they’ve got “mommy issues,” and the predictable attempt to blame all their “issues” on male oppression is often at odds with the available evidence. In the case of Professor Celia Kitzinger, for example, one can hardly claim that her radicalism is a reaction against her upbringing — her parents are both prominent (and predictably leftist) British intellectuals. Her father, Uwe Kitzinger, came to England as a child, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany, and became an economics professor, eventually head of one of the colleges at Oxford University. Her mother, Sheila Kitzinger, whose own mother was a suffragette, has been called “the high-priestess of natural childbirth,” authoring a number of books on the subject, including the bestseller The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth. Two more progressive parents no child could ever have wished for and, in the book Heterosexuality she co-edited with her lesbian partner Wilkinson, Celia Kitzinger actually includes a chapter by her mother. Sheila Kitzinger writes:

I never planned to be heterosexual, of course. If I had known my three radical lesbian feminist daughters back then, I would probably never have made that decision. I was just. A child of patriarchy, I was shaped by it. I expected to love a man, and did. I married, made a home, had a family, established deep loyalties.
My husband Uwe and I have always shared fundamental values — values which may, just possibly, have had something to do with the fact that three of our five daughters are lesbian feminists, and that we both admire their strength and idealism. . . . [Sheila met her husband] at a meeting exploring the problems and challenges of building a better society. We were anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-discrimination of any kind. . . . We called for world government, full employment, international understanding, world peace.

Uwe and Sheila Kitzinger sound like a perfect parody of the type of progressives who are so open-minded they believe in everything simultaneously. That three of their daughters turned out to be radical lesbian feminists doesn’t seem particularly surprising. As a teenager in the 1970s, their daughter Celia was expelled from a prestigious girls’ school where one of her teachers became her lesbian lover. Celia told her own story in another book, Changing Our Minds: Lesbian Feminism and Psychology:

I grew up in a house full of political argument and discussion: questions of right and wrong, both in personal morality and in international politics, were fervently discussed. As children we were all encouraged to be independent and critical thinkers, to challenge taken-for-granted understandings, to question and to take stands where we believed we were in the right, “to speak truth to power.” Although our sex education began at an early age and included all the details about menstruation, intercourse, conception, pregnancy, and birth, I knew nothing about lesbianism. “It just didn’t occur to me that any of you would be lesbian,” Sheila told me years later.
So when, at the age of seventeen, I began my first sexual relationship with a woman, I was, despite my liberal upbringing, desperately confused and unhappy. . . .

This was circa 1974. Celia was plagued by “feelings of extreme isolation [that] led to a suicide attempt and subsequent hospitalization”:

Three months in a mental hospital, where I was diagnosed as ‘immature’ and ‘jealous of adult sexuality,’ contributed to my developing sense of psychology and psychiatry as dangerous and oppressive to lesbians.

So, naturally, she became a professor of psychology. Celia Kitzinger considers therapy harmful for women because women’s problems are not personal, in her view, but rather political.

Everything must ultimately be blamed on the patriarchy, of course. It is impossible for any feminist to to say otherwise. They have spent so many decades blaming every misfortune on the all-purpose scapegoat of male supremacy that one imagines the radical feminist who stubs her toe screaming in pain: “Damn the patriarchy!”

Feminism is not a political philosophy; it’s an ideé fixe, the obsession of deranged minds. Male supremacy is to feminists what windmills were to Don Quixote or what Jews were to Hitler. This has been true since the Women’s Liberation movement began, even before anyone realized that Shulamith Firestone was clinically insane. In her 1970 book The Dialectic of Sex, Firestone wrote this:

So that just as to assure elimination of economic classes requires the revolt of the underclass (the proletariat) and, in a temporary dictatorship, their seizure of the means of production, so to assure the elimination of sexual classes requires the revolt of the underclass (women) and the seizure of control of reproduction: not only the full restoration to women of ownership of their own bodies, but also their (temporary) seizure of control of human fertility — the new population biology as well as all the social institutions of child-bearing and child-rearing. And just as the end goal of socialist revolution was not only the elimination of the economic class privilege but of the economic class distinction itself, so the end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sexdistinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. (A reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality — Freud’s ‘polymorphous perversity’ — would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.) The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would born to both sexes equally, or independently of. either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally. The division of labour would be ended by the elimination of labour altogether (through cybernetics). The tyranny of the biological family would be broken.

What would you call that 275-word paragraph? I call it lunatic gibberish. If you call it “political analysis,” you’re either a radical feminist or mentally ill — two ways of describing the same thing.