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MASTER CLEANSE: Why social justice feels like self-help to privileged women.

Self-help has always been a woman’s game. Not that men don’t also seek to improve themselves, but the books targeted to them tend to assume an existing state of self-confidence: You’re great as you are, you could just be a little better. Men learn optimization, life hacks, the power of thinking without thinking: four-hour work weeks and other highly effective habits that are meant to help them build upon their innate perfection, like a software upgrade. Women, on the other hand, have faulty wiring that needs ripping out. Our most beloved self-help books are all about fixing something that came broken, delving into the psyche and excavating everything that’s wrong with you: Women are exhorted to work on themselves the way a weekend warrior might work on a vintage TransAm, tinkering endlessly, replacing parts, fixing one flaw only to find that the engine still won’t turn over, the real problem still buried somewhere under the hood. That you might actually get behind the wheel and drive out of the garage someday is a possibility so distant that it’s hardly worth thinking about. What matters is that whatever is wrong—with the engine, your life, the world—it’s definitely all your fault. (“YOU have to DO the work.”)

Is it socialization? Evolution? A bit of both, nature and nurture at once? Whatever the reason, women’s feelings of inadequacy have always been a gold mine for savvy salespeople, with entire industries springing up around the insecurity du jour. The trappings change as attitudes do; notice how the publications that used to sell spot-reduction techniques or cellulite creams pivoted to “wellness” in the early aughts. At the peak of its relevancy, the Gawker empire even launched its own version of the women’s lifestyle magazine with Jezebel, a supposed game changer that would deliver all the sex-celebrity-fashion fun of a Marie Claire or a Cosmopolitan, “without airbrushing.”

Ten years later, it’s clear that the game did not, in fact, change. Female self-loathing is still a major moneymaker, the only difference being that the relentless focus on women’s flaws has moved under the skin. Your problem areas are now your problematic areas; it’s your soul, not your cellulite, that needs smoothing.

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Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility seminars—at which the attendees are overwhelmingly white, female, and highly educated—cost as much as $165 per person. Her keynote speaking fee is $40,000. Whatever is being sold, be it a jade vagina egg or a ticket to an anti-racist workshop, there’s a great deal of money to be made off the guilt, anxiety, and insecurities of financially secure white women.

Read the whole thing. As Glenn noted after the 2012 election, billionaire GOP supporters might want to “Buy some women’s magazines. No, really. Or at least some women’s Web sites,” since their then-current message (before DNC-MSM women’s publications added racialism into the mix) was: “There’s one way that women should think; people who don’t think that way are bad and stupid — and if you think the wrong way, women won’t like you. For $150 million, you could buy or start a lot of women’s Web sites. And I’d hardly change a thing in the formula. The nine articles on sex, shopping and exercise could stay the same. The 10th would just be the reverse of what’s there now.”

Related: Matt Taibbi: On “White Fragility.”

OTHER THAN PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY, WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN THIS DEVELOPMENT? Men now avoid women at work – another sign we’re being punished for #MeToo:

Which makes you wonder why so many men are afraid to interact with women at work?

The answer to that question, perhaps, is that a lot of men aren’t so much afraid of being accused of anything as they are they are angry that #MeToo ever happened. They’re angry that they’ve been made to think about their behavior, made to interrogate power dynamics they always took for granted, and they are punishing women for it by refusing to interact with them.

It’s worth noting, I think, that the Harvard Business Review article previewing the study’s 2019 results is headlined The #MeToo Backlash. You see that phrase a lot and that framing subtly implies that #MeToo went too far, that a backlash is only natural. It’s yet another form of victim-blaming; another way to quietly put women back in their place.

As Glenn has written, “you could write a strong argument for patriarchy using only the things feminists say about the fragility of women.”

THE #METOO WRECKING BALL TURNS OUT TO BE A BOOMERANG:

Author of the article, Melissa Locker goes on to say, “It’s an infuriating addition to the challenges that women already face in the workplace, adding to their emotional labor by making sure their male bosses feel comfortable interacting with them alone and at those all-important work socialization events.”

Infuriating, maybe, but not unexpected.

As Glenn has written, “you could write a strong argument for patriarchy using only the things feminists say about the fragility of women.” Read the whole thing.

AMY SCHUMER: ‘BEING A WOMAN SUCKS.’

As Glenn has written, “you could write a strong argument for patriarchy using only the things feminists say about the fragility of women.”

BRAVE OF HER TO TAKE THIS STAND: Lionel Shriver says it is time to end the #MeToo movement.

Speaking at Cheltenham Literature Festival, the controversial author of We Need To Talk About Kevin said that the ongoing movement against sexual harassment has “run its course” and is having a negative effect on relationships between men and women.

According to The Times, Shriver said that that the movement had been “important to begin with”, having exposed “some of the real malefactors” such as Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

However, she added: “Then it took a turn and suddenly we were talking about bad dates and bad taste or making crass remarks and it trivialised itself and I thought that was really regrettable.

“I don’t like the feeling that now everyone has to have their story of some kind of terrible sexual abuse in order to be able to have an opinion about any of this stuff.

“I don’t want younger women to locate their sense of power in their weakness, in their fragility. I think the movement has run its course and we can pretty much call time on it now.”

Shriver also criticised Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who claimed US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and he was 17. He denies the allegations.

“I wouldn’t say it was negligible [the incident] but I also did not think it was life-changing,” the author said, adding that she failed to comprehend how Blasey Ford was “haunted by it and having post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms”.

“Let’s have a sense of proportion about sexual offences and levels of grievousness,” Shriver continued.

I didn’t know people were allowed to speak so sensibly anymore.

IF THE RIGHT WANTED TO UNDERMINE THE SOCIAL AND INTELLECTUAL AUTHORITY OF ACADEMIA, IT COULDN’T DO BETTER THAN ACADEMIA HAS DONE FOR ITSELF:

Last month, during a conference for scholars who study international affairs, Simona Sharoni, a professor of women’s and gender studies at Merrimack College, asked a crowded hotel elevator what floor everyone needed. Richard Ned Lebow, a professor of political theory at King’s College London, replied, “Ladies’ lingerie” (or, as Sharoni remembers it, “Women’s lingerie.”) Several people laughed. Was that sexual harassment?

Academics have been debating the question among themselves since last month, when Sharoni filed a formal complaint about the incident, triggering an investigation by the International Studies Association. The ISA would later conclude that Lebow must apologize in writing by May 15.

So far, he has refused.

He should refuse, and the filing of such a complaint is itself a form of sexual harassment, and an indicator that Prof. Sharoni is not fit to attend public events.

And as I say, you could write a strong argument for patriarchy using only the things feminists say about the fragility of women.

ANDREW SULLIVAN: #MeToo and the Taboo Topic of Nature.

But it is strikingly obvious that for today’s progressives, humans are the sole species on this planet where gender differentiation has no clear basis in nature, science, evolution, or biology. This is where they are as hostile to Darwin as any creationist.

And this is stupid. The alternative explanation — that these core natural differences between men and women have been supplemented by centuries of conscious oppression — is staring us in the face. The fascinating conundrum is where one ends and the other begins. How much of this difference is natural and how much is social? That is the question. And the answer is a tricky one. Is the fact that the vast majority of construction workers are male and the huge majority of nurses are female a function of sexism or nature? Is male sexual aggression and horniness a function of patriarchy or testosterone? Is the fact that women now outnumber men among college graduates a function of reverse sexism or nature?

My suspicion is that it’s more about nature than about society, and one reason I believe this (apart from all the data) is I because I’m gay. I live in a sexual and romantic world without women, where no patriarchy could definitionally exist, a subculture with hookups and relationships and marriages and every conceivable form of sexual desire that straight men and women experience as well. And you know what you find? That men behave no differently in sexual matters when there are no women involved at all. In fact, remove women, and you see male sexuality unleashed more fully, as men would naturally express it, if they could get away with it.

All I know is that it becomes increasingly easy to make an argument for restoring the patriarchy, using nothing but what millennial feminists say about the irrationality and fragility of women.

YOU KNEW THIS WAS COMING: Why Should We Hire Women?

When James Damore was asked for feedback from his supervisor and internally circulated his google memo, it got leaked, he got fired and women stayed at home the next Day because “for emotional reasons”
A ten page summary of data and analysis from Damore was enough to “emotional distress” the women at the company.

I’m not arguing here about the validity of the memo — we can talk about that on a separate occasion — my point here is that a ten-page document with written words that suggested possible gender differences cost multiple sick days!

Feminists used to mock Victorian ideas about the fragility of women. Now they embody them.

MEGAN MCARDLE: The Current Sex Panic Harks Back to the Era of Coddling Women: The outcome of #BelieveAllWomen is no utopia. We’ve seen such a repressive regime before.

Last week I considered our culture’s vanishing burden of proof when a prominent man is accused of any sexual impropriety. Certainly I wouldn’t want the bad old days of sexual harassment to continue. But there must be some way to find justice for women who have been abused without rushing to punish men who may not have abused anyone.

You can think of crimes as a sort of pyramid: At the top, there are a relatively small number of actions that we can all clearly agree merit the severest sanction, if proven. And then, as you slide down the walls of the pyramid, a growing number of cases that are less and less bad. At the base of the pyramid is a gray area where reasonable people can disagree about whether the evidence is strong, or the behavior alleged merits any sanction.

What happens if we try to apply the sanctions that are clearly merited for the guys at the top to the guys in the middle? What happens if we try to move the line down until it encompasses more and more of the guys at the bottom?

One risk is that the public will eventually rebel — and that when they do, the public won’t distinguish between the top of the pyramid and the middle, because the people trying to raise awareness of a problem have deliberately blurred the lines. There’s a real risk that in the resulting backlash, the baby will get thrown out with the bathwater.

The same logic applies to the burdens of proof. If unsubstantiated claims are accepted at face value, then eventually enough will turn out to be false that many future claims will be disregarded — whether they are plausible or not, whether they are substantiated or not. That was the harm done by cases like the Duke Lacrosse scandal, the UVA rape case, the Tawana Brawley accusations, and many others. But there’s another potential harm we also have to think about.

Let’s say that we do manage to establish a social norm that a single accusation of “inappropriate sexual behavior” toward a woman is enough to get you fired and drummed out of your industry. It’s the crux of the issue so eloquently explored recently by Claire Berlinski: What would a reasonable and innocent heterosexual man do to protect himself from the economic death penalty?

One thing he might do is avoid being alone with anyone of the opposite sex — not in the office and not even in social situations. You might, in other words, adopt something like the Pence Rule, so recently mocked for its Victorian overtones. (Or worse still, work hard not to hire any women who could become a liability.)

I willl be very interested to see if the numbers of female law clerks hired by federal judges drop next year.

I also remarked, in response to this New York Times piece on when “yes” really means “no,” that we aren’t far from someone writing a book spinning all these tangled feminist takes into a full throated call for the return of patriarchy. After all, if women are this fragile and incapable of making good decisions, and if the world is really such a hostile place for women, they obviously need a social structure that accommodates their fragility and poor decision-making via protection, and control.

CAMILLE PAGLIA ON THE SAD STATE OF CONTEMPORARY FEMINISM. “The problem with too much current feminism, in my opinion, is that even when it strikes progressive poses, it emanates from an entitled, upper-middle-class point of view. It demands the intrusion and protection of paternalistic authority figures to project a hypothetical utopia that will be magically free from offence and hurt. Its rampant policing of thought and speech is completely reactionary. . . . I am continually shocked and dismayed by the nearly Victorian notions promulgated by today’s feminists about the fragility of women and their naïve helplessness in asserting control over their own dating lives. Female undergraduates incapable of negotiating the oafish pleasures and perils of campus fraternity parties are hardly prepared to win leadership positions in business or government in the future.”

True. Plus: “The anti-porn crusader Andrea Dworkin was a rabid fanatic, a self-destructive woman so consumed by her hatred of men that she tottered on the edge of psychosis.” Much of left-politics emanates from people who range between neurosis and outright psychosis. Their fear/hatred/desire of normal life produces ugly and dysfunctional results.

SEXISM: Liz Sheld: Anti-Gun Group Worries What Your Drunk College-Age Daughter Might Do with a Gun. Given what we’re hearing about college-age women’s fragility and irresponsibility, maybe they shouldn’t be allowed in college until they’re 30.

CAMILLE PAGLIA: The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend Evil.

Young women today do not understand the fragility of civilization and the constant nearness of savage nature

The disappearance of University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham two weeks ago is the latest in a long series of girls-gone-missing cases that often end tragically. A 32-year-old, 270-pound former football player who fled to Texas has been returned to Virginia and charged with “abduction with intent to defile.” At this date, Hannah’s fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

Wildly overblown claims about an epidemic of sexual assaults on American campuses are obscuring the true danger to young women, too often distracted by cellphones or iPods in public places: the ancient sex crime of abduction and murder. Despite hysterical propaganda about our “rape culture,” the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides.

Colleges should stick to academics and stop their infantilizing supervision of students’ dating lives, an authoritarian intrusion that borders on violation of civil liberties. Real crimes should be reported to the police, not to haphazard and ill-trained campus grievance committees.

Too many young middleclass women, raised far from the urban streets, seem to expect adult life to be an extension of their comfortable, overprotected homes. But the world remains a wilderness. The price of women’s modern freedoms is personal responsibility for vigilance and self-defense.

Current educational codes, tracking liberal-Left, are perpetuating illusions about sex and gender.

To their proponents, that’s not a bug, but a feature.

ET TU, DOROTHY? I don’t believe in a higher standard for conservatives. I think that’s a trap. If women are strong enough to operate in the public sphere, they shouldn’t be able to call on archaic standards of female fragility whenever they want, and I think Rabinowitz is way, way behind the times.

Plus, her comments on Limbaugh’s “booming voice” sound a bit sexist, to my ears. . . .

UPDATE: Reader Catherine MacMillan writes: “I have long said that ‘not showing up to riot’ is a failed conservative policy.”