On the ever-indispensable Instapundit the other day, I found a link to the crypto-leftist website BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed had put up pictures of people at the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference who wanted to send a message to white men in publishing. One smirky little broad had a particularly vile one: “Sit down & let us abolish you.” Hitlerian a little? But all of the messages were more or less like that, entitled and self-important, as if the world owed these people some sort of regard for being female or colored.
As the feminist paradigm leads more and more women into bleak and unhappy lives, we’re seeing more of the sort of feminist bullying, hysteria and ginned-up outrage we used to see back in the seventies and eighties: the wage gap lie; the campus rape foofaraw; the twitter tirades against anyone who speaks truth to feminist power; the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign… and so on.
In case it might be of some help to anyone trying to getting past all this, I’d like to share a liberating realization I had back during that first feminist upsurge — back in, oh, let’s call it the eighties.
Back then, on TV, in movies, in newspapers — just about everywhere, it seemed — one heard the horrid harpy-like screeching of spoiled, entitled middle class females insulting men and parading their pampered little selves as victims. Not even a word of thanks to the male gender for having managed to build a world safe enough and technologically advanced enough for women to live more freely than in the past — which men did, by the way, while putting bread in the mouths of their women and roofs over their heads. So, like, you’re welcome.
I was delighted men had made a world in which women could have more choices. But feminism — which had nothing to do with that achievement — was then, as it remains today, a repulsive, offensive and hateful creed. It was easy to understand why brave male writers like, say, David Mamet responded to it by unleashing tirades against the female sex in their work.
But I took a different tack. I looked around me. I looked at the women in my life, at the women I worked with, at the women I knew — and I found that most of them were nothing like the feminists in the media. Most of them — almost all of them — were lovely people. They thought of themselves — as I thought of them — as individuals with individual goals and desires. Most of them were girlish in one way or another, some of them were not. I personally liked the girlish ones better, I admit. Girls are swell! But I respected the others. To each her own.
But when I saw this disparity between media feminists and real women, I decided to ignore feminism altogether. I ignored it in my house. I ignored it in my marriage. I ignored it in the workplace. I ignored it in my life. I never changed my behavior even a little. I was a gentleman and a patriarch and the head of a household and so I remained. As a result, my marriage has been a blissful one. My working relationships with both men and women have been, with very few exceptions, excellent. My life has found its center around the God, the people and the work I love. Feminism has played no part in it whatsoever.
Sure, now and then over the years, some hysterical harridan has accosted me for some idea I’ve expressed or word I’ve used. I’ve generally explained to her politely that I was indifferent to her opinions about how I should think or speak. Once or twice, some sad dame has snapped at me for opening the door for her. I’ve politely apologized for mistaking her for a lady.
I’ve seen many people hurt by feminism, which has saddened me. But I’ve often wondered if this hurt was inevitable. Over the years, for instance, a surprisingly large number of women have said to me in private: “I know I shouldn’t, but I dream a man will rescue me from my life and carry me away to his castle to live happily ever after.” I always ask them the same thing: “Who says you shouldn’t dream that and how did they acquire power over your life?” A disturbing number of young men have told me: “I hate modern women.” I always ask them, “Do you hate the women you actually know or do you only hate the women you see on the Internet?”
Because for me, a genuine life turning point was the realization that that screaming, spoiled, entitled, insulting, creepy little feminist creature making demands when she should be making herself useful is #notallwomen.
It was a good thing to realize in the eighties, and I suspect it’s a good thing to remember today.