“Feminism is dead. The movement is absolutely dead.” Camille Paglia
I made my peace with feminists a long time ago. I watched women during the civil rights movements, marching down streets lined with racists, bigots and hardline misogynists. It took a lot of guts to be a feminist on Washington Avenue back in those days. Calling them “girlie” made about as much sense as calling The Black Panthers “boys.”
Capital Hill wasn’t crazy about the women’s movements. Even if feminists were focused on legitimate social issues, they were also throwing pots and pans out windows and burning their bras. Governments don’t like that sort of thing. Republican senators wanted to pass a motion putting bars on the White House windows. What if the First Lady tossed a burning bra out on the lawn? Wholesale anarchy could follow like in Allende’s Chile.
During the Feminist Sex Wars of the 70s, some, like Robin Morgan, called pornography a “violation of civil rights,” while sex-positive feminists like Betty Dodson and Gayle Rubin considered porn a means of empowerment.
In her book, The Female Eunuch, Germaine Greer told women to “spread their legs and scream,” Nixon must have lost his lunch. Of all the problems in the world, the Russians, Vietnam, why couldn’t women get off their high horses and be good little housewives again?
J. Edgar Hoover had no answer for that. All he could do was tap Greer’s phone and order a psychological assessment. Greer spread her legs and screamed.
Women were making strange inroads, but not without divisions in their own philosophies. During the Feminist Sex Wars of the 70s, activists like Robin Morgan, called pornography a “violation of civil rights,” while sex-positive feminists like Betty Dodson and Gayle Rubin considered porn a means of empowerment.
Fast forward to today with feminists taking to the Internet in movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp. Unlike the 60s and 70s, social media offers up a stronger voice to women, a forum which may or may not be a good thing.
Stormy Daniels spanked Donny, admitting she could have spanked him harder.
Rather than go out and burn their bras, they focus on slights that really bug them. Trump bugs them the most. He’s groped more women than we realize, but he’s too busy dogging foreign prime ministers and presidents to care what you think. Given his schedule, he won’t be answering for his sins until he’s old, insane and blind.
“He’s a pig,” #Impissed wrote on reddit, echoing what many women think, and others know. Stormy Daniels spanked Donny, admitting she could have spanked him harder. That didn’t sit well with some women, particularly in southern states. He’s promising jobs and booting out immigrants. Who cares about his indiscretions? Who cares that he can’t spell Tuscaloosa to save his life?
In some respects, Trump has caused the greatest division in the feminist ranks. Some women are pragmatic. They believe Donny’s firm hand will return America to prosperity with opportunity for everyone.
Was a porn star the only one showing any real spine? Even Ann Coulter couldn’t respond to that.
Other feminists think Trump intensifies chauvinism. The day they found out 42% of women voted for him, it hardly seemed worth getting out of bed. Had the sisterhood put personal interests ahead of the cause? Was a porn star the only one taking Donny to court? Even Ann Coulter couldn’t respond to that.
The #MeToo movement raised alarms, putting out more and more unsettling statistics. It became a wearying display of indignant morality, leading to a backlash, often by feminists calling themselves “feminists who hate feminists.”
In an article in The New York Times, Daphne Merkin wondered how many women actually agree with #MeToo. “[But] privately, I suspect, many of us, including many longstanding feminists, will be rolling our eyes, having had it with the reflexive and unnuanced sense of outrage that has accompanied this cause from its inception, turning a bona fide moment of moral accountability into a series of ad hoc and sometimes unproven accusations.”
I’m not sure “unnuanced” is a word, but she makes a good point. Germaine Greer made a similar one, asking “How can 70% of women here at home have PTSD when only 20% of soldiers have it after fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan?” She also wondered if most rape wasn’t just bad, clumsy sex.
“I think we’re all being driven batshit crazy in this culture and we need to scapegoat someone…”
Someone wrote me after I posted my article “Sex Wars” saying, “I’m ashamed of today’s feminists. But I’m still seeing some pretty horrific sexism. Problem is…it goes both ways now. I think we’re all being driven batshit crazy in this culture and we need to scapegoat someone…”
Speaking out isn’t the safest form of expression these days. Rosanne Barr openly admitted to supporting Trump. The press let it ride until she called former Obama advisor, Valerie Jarrett, an ape. Roseanne was cancelled, despite high ratings, and the chances of the show getting an Emmy are slim.
Greer will probably face criticism until she’s old, insane and blind. Even feminists who hate feminists can’t condone calling rape “bad, clumsy sex.” Trailblazers can go up in flames if they get too controversial. Greer doesn’t seem to mind—or care. If she’s a leader of anything today, it’s feminists who hate feminists.
This isn’t a movement as much as a philosophy born out of frustration. If being contrary stops movements like #MeToo, it’s worth throwing fat on the fire. It raises tension but also brings out the zealots for a good thrashing.
Not that we don’t have a problem, but it’s a problem that doesn’t need inflated numbers. You shortchange the issue and turn supporters into critics.
Al Gore found this out with his “Inconvenient Truth.” Being a politician, his reflexes told him to exaggerate global warming. Many of his findings have since been refuted by the scientific community. Not that we don’t have a problem, but it’s a problem that doesn’t need inflated numbers. You shortchange the issue and turn supporters into critics.
Feminists in the Greer camp feel the same way. There’s enough to make a case against men like Donald Trump without fiddling with the facts. Why become liars? It serves no purpose.
Not that lying is the intent. There’s a sense of immediacy, a need formed by movements to “act now, think later.” Everyone knows women are driven by emotion; why blame them for a few screwy numbers? Men throw out screwy numbers all the time. Trump can’t even keep track of his screwy numbers.
It doesn’t lessen the effect it has on someone who’s traumatized. It’s a tough old world, though.
A woman wrote me saying that “all catcalling is wrong.” She had statistics, she had experiences dating back to when she was a 13 year old. How could I suggest that men who catcall are just “immature and insecure”?
Well, they are immature and insecure. It doesn’t lessen the effect it has on someone who’s traumatized, but it’s a tough old world. Either you realize that, or you don’t. Many don’t and throw fat on the fire instead.
Everyone seems to be throwing fat on the fire these days.
Robert Cormack is a freelance copywriter, novelist and blogger. His first novel “You Can Lead a Horse to Water (But You Can’t Make It Scuba Dive)” is available online and at most major bookstores. Check out Yucca Publishing or Skyhorse Press for more details.