To remove man-hating from feminism would be to extract the DNA nucleus from a living cell, the fuel rod from a reactor, the teeth from a rottweiler. I would assert that man-hating is feminism’s moral center of gravity, and that without man-hating or at least some degree of disaffection toward males, feminism could not logically continue to exist—it would flounder without purpose, and disintegrate.
If you give the matter a little thought (and I have given it a LOT), you will see that no other theory so elegantly accounts for the observable facts of the case.
Let’s start with some basics. Would anybody dispute that feminism is a socio-political movement on behalf of women? Would anybody dispute that feminism proffers a particular analysis of man-woman relations? Would anybody dispute that feminist analysis holds women to be globally disadvantaged, by some objective and quantifiable standard of measurement, in comparison with men? Finally, would anybody dispute that feminist analysis concludes an element of male authorship in the comparative disadvantagement of women?
Yes, feminism is a women’s advocacy movement which identifies men as the wellspring of certain difficulties said to afflict women. This would both summarize and make reply to the verbose paragraph above.
And given that men are said to be the wellspring of women’s difficulties, are we to believe that no opinion about men as men ever infiltrates feminist thinking on any level? Does any self-admitted feminist, having once identified “men” as the source of women’s troubles, go serenely about her business harboring no strictly personal opinion about “men”? I’d call it a considerable stretch, to believe any such thing.
Admittedly, I fashion my argument upon probabilities. But they are compelling probabilities. I seriously doubt that any better can be offered.
I’ll have no truck with the “I blame patriarchy” cop-out. This is simply a way of postponing the issue by obfuscating it, since the phrase is so fuzzy it is useless for normal purposes – although useful indeed for underhanded purposes! But patriarchy is plainly understood as a uniquely male institution; men created it and men keep it rolling, or so the story goes. So it is mighty difficult to understand how a person could “blame” patriarchy without “blaming” men in the very same swoop.
Let us enquire further into probabilities. Feminism identifies “men” as the source of women’s difficulties. So ask yourself, what class of women might be drawn to such a social movement in disproportionate numbers? Would such a movement attract women who get along well with men and enjoy their company? All right, possibly a few. Just possibly. But would such women compose the bulk of the membership? Where do you suppose the probability lies in such a case? Would such a movement attract women who do not personally see “men” as a source of difficulty in their lives? Is this probable? Is this plausible? Is this credible? Does this FIT?
Hate is a very strong word, and it signifies a very strong thing. It is hard to imagine just how powerful hate can be. Do you think you can imagine it? Well, the chances are that you are nowhere near, and have no idea. It can get even worse, far worse, than you can imagine!
Yes, it is all on a spectrum. It is all on a continuum. “Hate” can be bad, and it can always get badder! Even to the point where the hater implodes into a black hole, and pops clean out of the moral universe, and sucks as much as possible along for the ride.
All right, maybe the word hate is not the wine for all occasions. I like the word disaffection. It is more inclusive than hate because it embraces all shades of disliking without privileging the extreme. Now, a social movement such as feminism needn’t hope to exclude the element of disaffection. I have explained the reason for this already, but now we must proceed to the next stage of examination.
If the disaffection spectrum begins with mild disenchantment and progresses by shades clear up to unmitigated loathing, and if feminism incorporates at least SOME of this spectrum, then we should pause to wonder exactly how much of the spectrum is thus incorporated, and precisely how far it reaches in the direction of uncompounded malevolence. How high on the hate scale does feminism’s emotional aura actually extend? Where does it stop?
Again, consider the likelihoods. If the feminist disaffection spectrum reached no higher than a mild and possibly sporadic disenchantment—an occasional mood, as it were—then feminism would very plainly lack the sustaining force to be a viable women’s advocacy movement. There is simply no way it could gather the necessary motivation and momentum. There would be neither snow for a snowball, nor any appreciable hill to roll it down for the accretion of mass and accumulation of velocity. In a word, feminism would be a non-starter.
A thing like feminism requires a mighty fund of passion both to launch itself and to keep itself running. Tepid feeling will not suffice—it needs to be robust and vehement, and it needs to gain validation through a political analysis that will both justify the original feeling, and contribute to the growth of that feeling by the use of a self-fulfilling feedback loop.
The world has always contained a certain number of people—sociopathic or what-have-you—who for various reasons don’t like the opposite sex. When a thing like feminism appears, proffering a political analysis of sexual relations casting men in the role of miscreants, it is easy to foretell the response man-hating women will make to this. Clearly there will be some exceptions, but I feel confident most such women will be on it like bees on a honeycomb, or flies upon feces if you will. There’s nothing quite like finding an analysis to uphold your attitude. And the documentary record indeed bears out that early second-wave feminists in the radical 1960s were a vehement, passionate lot. They were not wishy-washy. They were not tepid. They were not mildly disenchanted with men.
They were by no stretch of the imagination living on the low end of the disaffection spectrum. More significantly, they were not merely attracted to something which somebody else had created. No, they were present at the very inception; they themselves were the creators and early architects of the movement. Without them, or people like them, the “movement” would never have started moving in the first place!
Nor would the movement be moving still today, if people like them were not down in the engine room stoking the boiler, or up in the pilot house turning the wheel and watching the binnacle. They are the dynamo, and if we should replace them with a crew that was just a shade less disaffected, the new dynamo would be a shade less dynamic, as would the entire movement. It would be just a shade less inclined to bulldoze over obstacles, a shade more inclined to call it a day earlier in the day, and a shade more inclined to lower the bar of compromise overall.
Dial this down shade by shade and watch the movement grow more and more anemic. Eventually, “feminism” would be wavering in its convictions, sleeping late, and frittering away its dwindling energy on matters increasingly peripheral and unfocussed. In other words, feminism would become a non-entity and a non-movement.
So, we have shown that feminism offers an ideological interpretation of female disadvantages in life. We have alluded to the feminist belief that female disadvantage originates from a male-driven power conspiracy, and asserted that such a belief is not feasible to uphold absent a pejorative evaluation of men both individually and as a group. From this we have concluded that some varying degree of personal disaffection toward men cannot be absent from the minds of most feminists, and therefore cannot be absent from the movement as a whole. Finally, we have made the case that feminism’s viability as an advocacy movement is directly indexed to the degree of disaffection toward men found among the movement’s membership, with greater viability correlated to greater disaffection.
Or as stated early in this article: man-hating is feminism’s moral center of gravity; without man-hating or at least some degree of disaffection with males, feminism could not logically continue to exist.
Milder forms of feminism do indeed exist. And so do milder feminists. But they are not the vanguard. They are not the cutting edge. They are not the powerhouse. However, they work diligently to secure advantages for women like scavengers in the aftermath of the main assault, once the enemy has been routed. They are the petty clerks, the bureaucrats, the carpetbaggers, who move into the occupied territory and secure the administration of it. It is part of their job to seem unthreatening, which is easy when somebody else does the dirty work. Their distinguishing feature is that of taking for granted what has been ideologically instilled into the general culture, and taking their ease against the moral support cushion this affords them. Left entirely to themselves, they would have neither the ambition to initiate a political movement, nor the drive to keep it operating in a political capacity. Yet they have a moral investiture in feminism’s world-view, which proposes male guilt as an explanatory model, and by this investiture they plant themselves within feminism’s web of misandric operations.
It is easy to see that if man-hating disappeared from the world, feminism would neither serve any purpose nor have any means to continue operating. But feminism is still operating, and if you are male you are not amiss to suspect that feminism means to harm you. So under the circumstances, you don’t owe feminism any favors. Nor do you owe women any favors under the moral banner of feminism!
Yes, I call feminism a hate movement. Whosoever desires, may undertake to convince me that feminism is a love movement.
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- Toward a Deeper Understanding of What Feminism Is - December 17, 2015
- Radical Feminism is not the “Fringe” of Feminism! - September 28, 2015