The following is one possible definition of feminism:
A special advocacy movement for women which incorporates hatred of the male sex as an occult driving force.
Such characterization begs justification—a task (one of several) which I have set for myself. I am aware that certain self-described feminists see themselves as people of good will and would feel aggrieved by my clear description of feminism as a hate movement. I understand their position and get no fun from trampling on their susceptibilities, but a higher imperative operates here: the truth must be told even if it stings.
The present description of feminism, as I hope to show, comports very well with the pragmatic truth of our world. Feminism talks a noble game, but only as a window dressing or rhetorical skin. To peel back this skin and probe the workings of the underlying social organism shall be our present endeavor.
To begin: feminist ideology is incoherent. It has meant so many things in the mouths of so many women’s advocates that it appears to mean everything and therefore nothing. But not quite nothing; women’s advocacy is a constant, even if a colloidal suspension of mutually exclusive things are advocated. Feminists themselves have admitted that there are “many different feminisms” and I shall not dispute them. I believe they speak accurately.
From feminists themselves I have only heard one declaration that comes near to a coherent description of their movement, namely that it seeks “equality” between men and women. This desired outcome of sexual equality appears to be the sole wire connecting the many beads of women’s advocacy. Otherwise the women’s movement appears to be a free-for-all, a scattered constellation of clutter with no particular center and no especial perimeter. I say appears, and my choice of words is considered.
The principle that feminism seeks sexual equality should theoretically instill coherence into the movement. Yet given that equality is an essentially contested concept, lacking coherence outside the realm of mathematics, it offers nothing better than mud beneath the mud. “Equality” emerges as a fuzzy, shifting object—one that can never be entirely nailed down because men and women can never be fully “equal” in every possible situation or every conceivable nuance of meaning which the word might be understood to convey. Consequently, the feminist ideologues can go on churning out new demands for “equality” until hell freezes over—a bottomless bag of tricks!
So much for coherence. Our examination leaves only the aforementioned rhetorical skin, a mere surface coherence that proves disingenuous on closer inspection. We end with a nagging suspicion that feminism preaches “equality” only for public relations’ sake while covertly meaning something altogether different.
This altogether different “something” is what presently holds our interest. I shall contend that, despite appearances, feminism does in very deed embody a deep organic consistency. However, the plan of this consistency cannot be clearly exhibited until we brush aside (rather brusquely) what feminists say about themselves and see the facts flat-on, with vision unencumbered by doctrinaire models of political discourse. From such scrutiny a picture emerges. Not a pretty picture to be sure, but one that explains the world in a way that is usefully frank, and frankly useful.
Feminism hides (occults) its nature by what we shall term cognitive fragmentation.
Cognitive fragmentation means that feminism pretends to be many different things so that the controlling core of the movement appears to be just “one kind” of feminism among many. This follows from our earlier statement that feminism lacks coherence.
Feminism embraces many jostling particles which by logic ought to exclude each other. Yet certain binding forces prevent the mass from flying altogether apart. These binding forces keep feminism compact enough to operate as a political entity on the field of power.
By means of cognitive fragmentation, feminism turns what might seem a drawback into a distinct advantage. Cognitive fragmentation means that feminism appears to be this and this, and that and that, and that other thing over there too! No end in sight! Consequently the movement can work on a hundred different projects from a hundred different directions, with each module enjoying immunity from most of the others. Thereby the movement as a whole gains deniability. The right hand “knoweth not what the left hand doeth” or else pretendeth not to know.
Yes, feminism harbors many schools of thought and shades of opinion, many sects and coteries. Often these appear harmless; when their adherents are challenged regarding the occult nature of feminism as a whole they can easily pass the buck by declaring, “oh no, I’m not that kind of feminist!”—a perpetual round-robin of “they went thataways!” The radical feminist “bad guys”, so it appears, are always just over the hill. Then they’re over the next hill, and the next . . .
Yes, the world contains many kinds of feminism—some better, some worse. And it contains many kinds of feminists: we could measure the feminist population purely as a cross-section of human nature without even taking ideologies into account. And a reasonable thinker might well expect to find, somewhere in that woodpile, a veritably “bad” feminism along with a number of correspondingly bad feminists engaged in its practice. This does not broach the borders of the fantastical. To suppose that such bad feminists veritably do exist, neither violates the strictures of probability nor warps them by a single iota.
It is critical to understand that feminism did not float down from heaven on a gold plate. Feminism is by every measure a product of the human condition on planet earth, complete with the trimmings you might expect. The dirt, the deceit, the sham, the shadows, the smoke, the mirrors . . . and all the rest.
The phrase “not that kind of feminist” has revelatory importance because the speaker confirms the existence of “that kind of feminist” in the first place. Even feminists themselves acknowledge “that kind of feminist” as a real part of the world.
Feminism occults its operative core by making that core appear as only one “kind” of feminism among many. You are encouraged to ignore it, to overlook it, to lose track of it, to think positive thoughts—while scanning the entire smorgasbord of feminisms in a distracted manner . . . .
Cognitive fragmentation literally fragments the knowledge of the observer, placing the observer in a state of false consciousness as concerns feminism—unable to cognize its occult unity. Think of this as a variation on “divide and rule”—feminism divides itself in order to rule the target’s mind by dividing his awareness.
Cognitive fragmentation operates also within the mind of the individual feminist, as a prophylaxis against cognitive dissonance.
Here is the modus operandi, as trenchantly as can be stated: any critique of feminism will be met with either screaming histrionics, or a cool assurance that the critique is invalid because the thing it criticizes isn’t really feminism. Feminism is adept at sliding out of its skin like a snake and slithering away intact.
Granted that many feminisms exist, it is remarkable how they all appear to converge toward a realization of female supremacy, as if this were a one-point perspective goal on the time horizon. One might suppose the feminists to have agreed upon a division of labor. Whether this happened on purpose or whether it “just happened” seems a point of secondary interest. Either way it happened and keeps happening.
Anything that seeks “more for women” can be harnessed to the wagon of female supremacism. Even if the “more” in question seems innocuous and not the least man-hating, it can theoretically put women in a stronger position—which marks a step closer to the goal! Man-haters are fine with that sort of thing.
It requires no particular audacity to see a conspiracy in all of this. Etymologically, to con-spire means to breathe together—although a metaphorical kind of breathing is meant, suggesting a group of people mutually attuned to the point of synchronous aspiration. If conspiracy seems too strong a word maybe “connivance”, “collusion” or “complicity” would be more to your liking. Whatever your preference, you will find it illuminating to understand feminism as an affair of kindred minds working in concert across a range of vocations. To understand it otherwise would favor an imbalance of probability.
This range of vocations gives the feminist machine its orchestrated character, its pervading sense of holographic globality—which to the average male feels like something condensing from the air and percolating from the cracks in the earth. And it happened all at once. Plenty of ordinary men during the 1990s felt backstabbed or violently ambushed for no good reason. One day the average fellow woke up in the middle of a Kafka novel. Everyman as Joseph K.
At an extreme, feminism’s mission will be accomplished when any woman has the power to lead any man around by the nose—anywhere, at any time, for any reason. Which is to say that any third-rate female could lord it over the finest man who ever lived. That is what they really want, and all of their activisms, all of their insistences, all of their campaigns both large and small, point incrementally toward the fulfillment of this goal, however far in the future such fulfillment may lie. That this goal will never in all likelihood be realized, matters not; they can still dream of it and plunder aplenty along the way.
Yes, the world contains many different feminisms and they all belong to the same elephant. A blind man would overlook this.