Feminist Author @PennyRed Quotes Bolshevik Commissar’s Anti-Love Advice

 http://theothermccain.com/2015/01/17/feminist-author-pennyred-quotes-bolshevik-commissars-anti-love-advice/

In her most recent book, controversial British feminist Laurie Pennytreats her unsuspecting young readers to Soviet propaganda, quoting a Bolshevik commissar’s denunciation of romantic love — without bothering to identify Alexandra Kollontai as the top female official in Vladimir Lenin’s Communist revolutionary regime.

A contributing editor for The New Statesman, Penny attacks “the neoliberal notion of romantic love” in her book Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution, insisting young women must “refuse to define ourselves by romantic love . . . or lack of it.”

In support of her anti-love position, Penny writes on page 236 of her book that “today’s growing girls of every age might do well to recall the words of Alexandra Kollontai.” Penny then quotes Kollontai’s condemnation of love as “an absolutely incredible squandering of our mental energy, a diminution of our labour power.”

The source of this quote is identified in the endnotes of Penny’s book (page 254) as Kollontai’s 1926 The Autobiography of a Sexually Emancipated Communist Woman. That note lists the URL at Marxists.org where Penny evidently found it online.

Beyond this endnote, however, Kollontai is not further identified inUnspeakable Things, perhaps because Penny assumes her feminist readers are already familiar with the Soviet official who died in 1952.

So-called “Second Wave” feminists — leaders of the Women’s Liberation movement that arose from the New Left in the United States in the late 1960s — embraced Kollontai as a pioneering hero. Between 1979 and 1981, three separate English-language biographies of Kollontai were published, two by American professors (Barbara Evans Clements andBeatrice Farnsworth) and issued by university presses, and a third by British scholar Cathy Porter. In addition to those three biographies, a1977 anthology of Kollontai’s writings, translated from Russian by British editor Alix Holt, was republished in the United States in 1980 by W.W. Norton & Company.

“With the current high interest in both feminism and Marxism in the West, the rediscovery of Kollontai was predictable,” Professor Simon Karlinsky wrote in a 1981 New York Times article reviewing the Kollontai biographies by Clements, Farnsworth and Porter. Karlinsky saw these biographers as seeking “to appropriate her ideas and experience to the newly revived feminist trends in Western democracies.” Karlinsky noted how Kollontai and the Bolsheviks opposed the liberal reform efforts of “bourgeois” feminists:

The roots of all oppression, the Marxists reasoned, are economic. Proletarians, whether men or women, are exploited by the bourgeoisie, and a proletarian revolution will put an end to that. . . . Alexandra Kollontai’s contributions to the anti-feminist campaign of the Marxists were her coaching of a group of women workers to disrupt the 1908 national congress of Russian feminists by shouting slogans and the publication in 1909 of her book The Social Bases of the Woman Question, a 400-page diatribe against the leaders of the feminist movement.

 

In that “diatribe,” Kollontai declared that the Marxist party “always and everywhere adheres to the principle of women’s equality”:

The followers of historical materialism reject the existence of a special woman question separate from the general social question of our day. Specific economic factors were behind the subordination of women; natural qualities have been a secondary factor in this process. Only the complete disappearance of these factors, only the evolution of those forces which at some point in the past gave rise to the subjection of women, is able in a fundamental way to influence and change their social position. In other words, women can become truly free and equal only in a world organised along new social and productive lines.

 

Kollontai’s rejection of reforms within the capitalist system and her demand for a revolutionary destruction of that system, are echoed in Laurie Penny’s own denunciation of “the logic of business and money” that she identifies as “neoliberalism.” Penny slams liberal feminism:

 

 

As financial capitalism faltered following the near-collapse of the global stock markets in 2008, the notion that one day all women would be able to make empowering choices within a market that respected their goals and autonomy was exposed as a twenty-year-old fairy tale.
The feminism that has mattered to the media and made magazine headlines in recent years has been the feminism most useful to heterosexual, high-earning middle- and upper-middle-class white women. Public ‘career feminists’ have been more concerned with getting more women into ‘boardrooms,’ when the problem is that there are altogether too many boardrooms, and none of them are on fire.

Although she is herself of upper-middle-class background — her mother is a lawyer, as was her late father, and she attended elite schools in England — Penny’s hostility toward capitalism led her to support the so-called “Occupy” protest movements in 2011. In this, also, Penny mirrors the life of Kollontai. The Russian revolutionary Kollontai describes in her autobiography how she grew up in comfortable circumstances as the daughter of a general in the czar’s army:

 

I was the youngest, the most spoiled, and the most coddled member of the family. This, perhaps, was the root cause of the protest against everything around me that very early burgeoned within me. Too much was done for me in order to make me happy.

 

In contrast to the reformist measures advocated by 19th-century liberals, Marxist doctrine demanded the destruction of the traditional family, as Kollontai explained in her 1921 Bolshevik treatise, “Theses on Communist Morality in the Sphere of Marital Relations”:

 

The communist economy does away with the family. In the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat there is a transition to the single production plan and collective social consumption, and the family loses its significance as an economic unit. The external economic functions of the family disappear . . . In the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat the family economic unitshould be recognised as being, from the point of view of the national economy, not only useless but harmful. The family economic unit involves (a) the uneconomic expenditure of products and fuel on the part of small domestic economies, and (b) unproductive labour, especially by women, in the home — and is therefore in conflict with the interest of the workers’ republic in a single economic plan and the expedient use of the labour force (including women).
Under the dictatorship of the proletariat then, the material and economic considerations in which the family was grounded cease to exist. The economic dependence of women on men and the role of the family in the care of ‘the younger generation also disappear, as the communist elements in the workers’ republic grow stronger. With the introduction of the obligation of all citizens to work, woman has a value in the national economy which is independent of her family and marital status. The economic subjugation of women in marriage and the family is done away with, and responsibility for the care of the children and their physical and spiritual education is assumed by the social collective. . . .
Once the family has been stripped of its economic functions and its responsibilities towards the younger generation and is no longer central to the existence of the woman, it has ceased to be a family. The family unit shrinks to a union of two people based on mutual agreement.

 

Penny does not quote these other writings of Kollontai and, as previously noted, gives her readers no biographical information on the Russian Marxist who was the lone female member of the Bolshevik Central Committee at the time of the 1917 revolution. Kollontai spent six months as a commissar in Lenin’s dictatorship before resigning that post and was subsequently appointed to a series of diplomatic posts, spanning two decades as a Soviet ambassador first in Norway (1923-25), then Mexico (1926-27) and Sweden (1930-1945).

“This is no time for speech-making. Our Revolution is in serious danger. . . . We have no need for justice now. Now we have need of a battle to the death! We must act not tomorrow, but today, at once!”
— Felix Dzerzhinsky, December 1917

It is doubtful that Laurie Penny’s young readers know any more about the murderous brutality of the Soviet Union than does Penny herself. Only 28 years old, Penny’s attacks on “neoliberalism” in Unspeakable Things never examine the prosperity and freedom enjoyed under this system —i.e., limited government, representative democracy and industrial capitalism — in historic contrast to the totalitarian nightmares that covered the 20th century in the blood of innocents. A deliberate policy of terrorism was a weapon that the Bolsheviks considered absolutely necessary, as Leon Trotsky proclaimed in 1920:

 

 

We were revolutionaries in opposition, and have remained revolutionaries in power. To make the individual sacred we must destroy the social order which crucifies him. And this problem can only be solved by blood and iron. . . .
The Red Terror is a weapon utilized against a class, doomed to destruction, which does not wish to perish. . . .
The man who recognizes the revolutionary historic importance of the very fact of the existence of the Soviet system must also sanction the Red Terror.

 

DzerzhinskyGenrikh YagodaNikolai YezhovLavrenti Beria — these depraved monsters led the Cheka and the NKVD, merciless and sadistic murder gangs that imposed the “dictatorship of the proletariat” on the enslaved millions who suffered under Soviet tyranny. By the time the Evil Empire crumbled into the ash-heap of history, it is estimated that as many as 100 million people had been killed by Marxist-Leninist regimes in Russia, China, Cuba, Cambodia, Vietnam, Angola, Nicaragua and other outposts of communist imperialism.

Of this senseless slaughter — to say nothing of the millions impoverished, imprisoned or exiled by the “dictatorship of the proletariat” — Laurie Penny seems stubbornly ignorant. Instead she heaps every imaginable calumny on the West’s “neoliberal” capitalist system. It is this system, of course, which sent her to some of England’s finest schools and provides her with publishing opportunities, a system that is even now providing her with a prestigious Nieman Fellowship to Harvard University.

If she would care to research the history of the man whose name is on that fellowship — founded with a bequest from his widow — Laurie Penny would learn that the self-made millionaire Lucius Nieman earned his fortune by hard work and courage. In 1919, Nieman’s Milwaukee Journal won the Pulitzer Prize for its “strong and courageous campaign for Americanism,” resolutely supporting the U.S. war effort against Germany“in a constituency where foreign elements made such a policy hazardous from a business point of view.” Indeed, at the time of World War I, Milwaukee was home to one of the largest German emigré populations in the world, yet Nieman’s “Americanism” was unflinching.

How ironic, then, that Laura Penny, an outspoken enemy of “Americanism” and an enthusiastic devotee of the Marxist doctrines of Kollontai and other radicals, should be granted a fellowship named for the great patriot Lucius Nieman, her reward for such important “journalism” as these colorful passages from Unspeakable Things:

 

In 2011, the summer of rage and riots, I kiss a girl and she tastes of cigarettes and gin and I like it. She says she wants to be a mistress forever. We met because we were sleeping with the same boy, and he isn’t entirely comfortable with how close we’ve become. I buy her a cupcake from a posh sex shop. The cupcake has icing on it shaped like a cunt with a little clear sugar glaze tricking obscenely off the frosting folds. She laughs and eats it right there in front of me because she is hungry. . . .
Then he’s sick of us both, and so we go out like we have before, eyeliner and cigarettes and bus passes on our way to corrupt young minds. . . . We are a tag team, an unstoppable perversion: we drag strange little hipsters into strange beds, turn them on to roll-ups and feminism. . . .
I have spent more time than I care to contemplate in my nimble years in the company of polyamorists, queer non-monogamists and the sort of people who prefer labels like “love anarchists” . . .
I don’t mean to advocate casual sex, housing collectives and late nights drinking bad vodka with bisexual activists as alternatives that necessarily work for everyone, though they’ve always done so for me.

 

Anyone who cares to read Unspeakable Things (those passages are excerpted from pp. 231-234) will discover that Laurie Penny is as wholehearted an evangelist for sexual perversion as she is a wholehearted enemy of democratic capitalism. Indeed, she is an enemy of every value of Lucius Nieman’s “Americanism,” but in this she is probably no different than any of the other Nieman Fellows at Harvard. Do any of them disagree with anything in Laurie Penny’s book? Is there a single Nieman Fellow who would criticize Laurie Penny’s tribute to the deadly ideas of the Bolshevik commissar Alexandra Kollontai?

Of course not. The last person at Harvard University who dared disagree with feminists was Larry Summers, and we know what happened to him. Feminism’s totalitarian terror continues, and the revolutionaries in power have no need for justice now.

 

ADDENDUM: Why am I such an outspoken and uncompromising anti-feminist? Because it is always smarter in the long run to be an enemy of totalitarians than to be a friend of totalitarians. If you think you can negotiate or compromise with totalitarianism, you are doomed to learn a painful lesson. While researching this article I discovered an interesting historical statistic: Of the 16 original commissars in the Bolshevik regime, nine were executed during Stalin’s 1937-38 purge and another, Trotsky, was assassinated by one of Stalin’s agents in 1940.

 

Feminism and Sex: ‘Bad, Dumb, and Desperately Unfun and Unsexy’

http://theothermccain.com/2015/01/12/feminism-and-sex-bad-dumb-and-desperately-unfun-and-unsexy/

Anna Merlan’s verdict on a destined-for-infamy scene in Girls can best be understood as a verdict on Lena Dunham’s feminist ethos.

Dunham’s ethos, in turn, can best be understood as an expression of the decadent cultural values of 21st-century “progressives”:

They are the Nowhere People — rootless, without loyalty to family, community or religious tradition, and thus “free” to create for themselves imagined identities and idiosyncratic belief systems. Although they usually think of themselves as unique individuals, they are really sheep in a herd, predictable and therefore ultimately boring. Any politics, as long as it’s not conservative politics; any religion as long as it’s not Christian religion; any sexuality as long as it’s not normal sexuality.

 

So when HBO provides a dishonest pervert like Lena Dunham a platform from which to promote these values, our objections and criticisms are automatically rejected as illegitimate if expressed in terms of our own preferences — Christian, conservative, normal.

Dunham deliberately degrades the most attractive actress on the show — Allison Williams, daughter of NBC News anchor Brian Williams — by depicting her engaged in a shameful (to say nothing of unhealthy) kind of depraved sexual activity, and why? Because it is necessary, in the feminist mind, to believe that human beings are incapable of finding pleasure in sex that is healthy, wholesome and consistent with traditional morality. A husband and wife happily having normal intercourse together? This is impossible, according to feminist theory, which construes heterosexual love is inherently oppressive to women.

“Male sexual violence against women and ‘normal’ heterosexual intercourse are essential to patriarchy because they establish the dominance of the penis over the vagina, and thus the power relations between the sexes. . . . There are numerous examples of ways that heterosexual practice establishes male domination in women’s most private and personal spheres. . . . Men see women as objects for their sexual gratification.”
— Dee GrahamLoving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men’s Violence, and Women’s Lives (1994)

 

Heterosexual intercourse — note how Professor Graham placed “normal” inside scare-quotes — is a horrific experience inflicted on women through “male domination,” you see. If a male obtains “sexual gratification” from a woman through “heterosexual practice,” this means she has been victimized by his “sexual violence.”

Feminism’s implacable hostility to marriage and motherhood — especially as these institutions are understood by Christians — inevitably produces a rhetoric that is anti-male and anti-heterosexual. Male sexuality must be demonized, and women’s universal victimhood asserted, in order to justify the feminist project of destroying the basic institutions our society. The feminist rhetoric of “gender,” aimed at subverting our normal understanding of masculinity and femininity, is an integral part of this project. Normal women prefer masculine men and normal men prefer feminine women. Therefore, if feminists can teach young people to reject their normal “gender roles” by teaching them that these roles areoppressive, this androgynous “equality” will make it more difficult for young people to form normal relationships as adults.

“Social constructions of gender, like power, stem from patriarchal ideologies . . .
“Environmentally speaking, gender is independent of sex . . . and signifies the social constructedness of what maleness and femaleness mean in a given culture. The hierarchy that implicitly positions men above women due to reproductive difference, is a harmful one.”
— Amy Austin, “Patriarchy and the Problem of Being Born Female,” Aug. 9, 2014

Parents who wish their children to be successful and happy adults, and who therefore encourage boys to be masculine and girls to feminine, are seen by feminists as part of a system that oppresses unhappy weirdos and miserable failures. In order to satisfy the resentments of unattractive women, the normal admiration of beauty must be prohibited — the “male gaze” reduces females to being “sex objects.” In order to compensate unhappy women for their personal failures, male achievement must be derogated as social injustice — men’s success is presumed to be unfairly obtained through discrimination against women.

These feminist beliefs serve the function of telling unhappy women that they are never responsibile for their own unhappiness, and the propagation of this belief system provides career opportunities for women like Lena Dunham whose only claim to fame is her devotion to feminist ideology. No matter how wretched Girls may be — it’s supposed to be a “comedy” — critics feel obligated to praise it, because Dunham presents herself as a feminist and the show’s themes are therefore interpreted as feminist messages, even if this involves the celebration ofAllison Williams getting a “desperately unfun” rimjob.

The editors of Huffington Post are required to heap unmerited praise on “the incisive, witty and hilarious dialogue that Dunham and the rest of her writing team come up with every week,” and cite as examples these lines from the first episode of the HBO show’s fourth season:

Hannah on preparing to move: “I don’t usually pack. I usually leave my crap in a pile and hope it makes it to where I’m going.”
Shosh on life after college: “I finished my degree. And now I’m just in the world, trying to get ‘er done.”

How incisive! How witty! How hilarious! Between this alleged brilliance and Allison Williams getting a rimjob, we can expect Lena Dunham to collect another pile of Emmy Awards for Girls.

No one can be permitted to criticize this phenomenon as what it actually is — a deliberately perverse insult to our sense of human decency — because telling the truth about feminism is a hate crime.

 

Feminism’s Campaign of Sexual Terror

http://theothermccain.com/2015/01/06/feminisms-campaign-of-sexual-terror/

“Sexuality is to feminism what work is to Marxism: that which is most one’s own, yet most taken away. . . .
“Implicit in feminist theory is a parallel argument: the molding, direction, and expression of sexuality organizes society into two sexes — women and men — which division underlies the totality of social relations. Sexuality is that social process which creates, organizes, expresses, and directs desire, creating the social beings we know as women and men, as their relations create society. . . . The organized expropriation of the sexuality of some for the use of others defines the sex, woman. Heterosexuality is its structure, gender and family its congealed forms, sex roles its qualities generalized to social persona, reproduction a consequence, and control its issue.
“Marxism and feminism are theories of power and its distribution: inequality. They provide accounts of how social arrangements of patterned disparity can be internally rational yet unjust. . . .
“Socially, femaleness means femininity, which means attractiveness to men, which means sexual attractiveness, which means sexual availability on male terms. What defines woman as such is what turns men on. Good girls are ‘attractive,’ bad girls ‘provocative.’ Gender socialization is the process through which women come to identify themselves as sexual beings, as beings that exist for men. It is that process through which women internalize (make their own) a male image of their sexuality as their identity as women. . . . Feminist inquiry into women’s own experience of sexuality revises prior comprehensions of sexual issues and transforms the concept of sexuality itself — its determinants and its role in society and politics. . . . Sex as gender and sex as sexuality are thus defined in terms of each other, but it is sexuality that determines gender, not the other way around.”
— Catharine MacKinnon, “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory” (1982)

Please call the excerpted passage to the attention of Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte, or any other prominent 21st-century feminist spokeswoman in politics, journalism or academia.

Ask them: Was Professor MacKinnon wrong, and if so, how?

It’s very simple, you see. Anyone with a college education can read Professor MacKinnon’s words and see what she means. You can read the entire article and judge whether these excerpts are in any way “taken out of context.” You can read Professor MacKinnon’s online biography and see if anyone can dismiss her as a “fringe” figure, obscure and irrelevant to so-called “mainstream” feminism.

The rhetorical habits of feminists are familiar to anyone who has ever attempted to oppose them. You ask them a simple question, a matter of plain fact that can be answered “yes” or “no,” and they will not answer. They will deny your authority to ask them questions, implying that to disagree with them is proof of your bad faith (mala fides), so that their critics are always either accused of defending some heinous abuse (e.g., rape) or else characterized as a misogynist, a deliberate insult for which no evidence is required beyond a skeptical stance vis-à-vis feminism.

Misogynist is a word that has a definition. The etymology of misogynist gives it a literal definition as “woman-hater,” but in America nowadays, it means: Republican, especially a male Republican.

It is would difficult to find evidence that Mitt Romney hates women, but he is a Republican and therefore, all feminists agreed in 2012, he was responsible for a “War on Women.”

Feminists began by blaming the “War on Women” on Rush Limbaugh, who said mean things about Sandra Fluke. The word for someone who says mean things about a feminist is “misogynist.” The word for someone who says mean things about a Republican woman is . . . Democrat.

The terms of the dominant discourse are controlled by the media and academia, both institutions overwhelmingly staffed by Democrats, and so it is nearly impossible to get anyone to notice (much less to admit) the extent to which feminism is simply a partisan propaganda operation through which Democrats exploit the partisan “gender gap” by convincing women that the Republican Party hates women.

Well, what about Catharine McKinnon?

Is she a feminist? Do other feminists agree with her analysis of sexuality? If officials of the Republican Party are expected to answer for everything Rush Limbaugh says — as was the case in the Sandra Fluke imbroglio — why can’t Democrats be asked about the views of eminent feminist ideologues? Of course, I doubt any TV interviewer would ever dream of asking Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren whether they agree with Catharine MacKinnon, couldn’t we at least ask such a question of Jessica Valenti, Amanda Marcotte and other such persons whose status as Official Feminist Spokeswomen is their journalistic raison d’etre?

Heterosexuality is the “structure,” according to Professor MacKinnon, by which males engage in the “organized expropriation” of women’s sexuality. That is to say, all males are sexual predators — parasites who wrongfully exploit females as their sexual victims and thereby produce an “inequality” that is “unjust.” Heterosexuality is a social injustice, a means of oppression that males impose on females.

Perhaps there are feminists who wish to say that I have mischaracterized or oversimplified Professor MacKinnon’s argument.

Then, please, Ms. Valenti and Ms. Marcotte, feel free to explain how I am too stupid to comprehend Professor MacKinnon’s meaning. Let any other feminist — professional or amateur — explain either (a) how I have misinterpreted Professor MacKinnon’s argument, or (b) how Professor MacKinnon’s argument is wrong.

“Well,” the feminist huffs, “this is irrelevant. It’s 2015. What’s the point of bringing up this article from 1982?”

“The issue in rape has been whether the intercourse was provoked/mutually desired, or whether it was forced: was it sex or violence? . . .
“[W]omen notice that sexual harassment looks a great deal like ordinary heterosexual initiation under conditions of gender inequality. Few women are in a position to refuse unwanted sexual initiatives. That consent rather than nonmutuality is the line between rape and intercourse further exposes the inequality in normal social expectations. So does the substantial amount of male force allowed in the focus on the woman’s resistance, which tends to be disabled by socialization to passivity. If sex is ordinarily accepted as something men do to women, the better question would be whether consent is a meaningful concept. Penetration (often by a penis) is also substantially more central to both the legal definition of rape and the male definition of sexual intercourse than it is to women’s sexual violation or sexual pleasure. . . . Although most women are raped by men they know, the closer the relation, the less women are allowed to claim it was rape. . . .
“Sexuality, then, is a form of power. Gender, as socially constructed, embodies it, not the reverse. Women and men are divided by gender, made into the sexes as we know them, by the social requirements of heterosexuality, which institutionalizes male sexual dominance and female sexual submission.”
— Catharine MacKinnon, “Feminism, Marxism, Method, and the State: An Agenda for Theory” (1982)

Honest readers see the immediate relevance of this. Professor MacKinnon was both prominent and influential in developing the theories of sexuality upon which much of current feminist discourse about “rape culture” is based. And the reader who is intelligent perceives that feminist theory interprets rape not as something separate and distinct from normal sexual interactions between men and women, but rather as something quite difficult to distinguish from normal interactions between men and women under “the social requirements of heterosexuality” within the system of “male sexual dominance and female sexual submission” by which women are oppressed.

If we recognize how feminist theory applies to the current “rape culture” discourse focused on college and university campuses, we also recognize this: Feminists are attempting to criminalize male sexuality, so that every sexual interaction between men and women occurs under the threat of prosecution if at any point, for any reason, the woman becomes unhappy with the interaction. Feminists now vehemently insist that males must be presumed guilty of rape if any woman ever accuses them of rape. No evidence is necessary beyond the accusation, and anyone who does not accept this no-evidence-needed standard is angrily condemned by feminists as a “rape apologist.”

This is anti-male terrorism, creating on university campuses a climate of fear in which “ordinary heterosexual initiation,” to borrow Professor MacKinnon’s phrase, becomes extraordinarily difficult due to the pervasive danger to males that their female partners might accuse them of a felony sex offense, the mere accusation being a de facto conviction.

Feminists are attempting to outlaw heterosexuality on college campuses. And when heterosexuality is outlawed, only outlaws will be heterosexual. Therefore, bad boys win, and nice guys . . .

Well, they say “nice guys finish last,” but nice guys will never finish at all. Certainly there will be no happy endings for the shy, scrupulously law-abiding nerd. Under the feminist regime of anti-male terror, a college boy would need a sense of reckless daring just to smile at a girl, much less speak to her. To attempt a kiss — are you crazy? Attempted kissing is sexual assault. No male who is smart enough to get into Harvard or Yale would dare risk the consequences of trying to kiss a girl.

Perhaps feminists can explain that I’ve misunderstood all this.

Perhaps there are Women’s Studies majors at elite universities who are eagerly willing to consent to sex with the kind of males who are interested in dating Women’s Studies majors at elite universities.

The existence of such males, however, is strictly hypothetical.