Skirting the Matter of Feminism’s Culpability

Skirting the Matter of Feminism’s Culpability. By Declan Mansfield.

The most serious issue, however, is that feminists are reluctant to admit it was feminism which weaponised postmodernism and launched the irrationalism that underpins the crisis engulfing our institutions.

And it was feminism’s ‘sisterhood’ concept which stopped traditional feminists of every stripe from calling out the anti-reason and anti-science madness when it first became fashionable in academia. …

Ideas, to be clear, have consequences and irrational ideas have negative consequences, even feminist ones, which have unfortunately become the shibboleths of the twenty-first century. …

Feminism’s rise began in the shadow of the Age of Reason and its anti-rational philosophy can be viewed as the sign of a culture in decline. Feminism can also, moreover, be understood as a warning of the danger of good intentions when denied the counterweight of intellectual rigour.

We now have a generation of entitled young people, to give an example of feminist pedagogy, with no concept that their dogmatic opinions are — ironically, considering feminism’s embrace of Derrida’s philosophy — binary adolescent nonsense. The epitome of black-and-white thinking, in other words.

Feminism is both the cause and the effect of this situation. What began as the belief women are entitled to the same rights as men transmogrified into a rejection of reason, common sense and tradition, without qualification, across our institutions.

How did this happen? The answer is simple: it’s the politics of envy, what Nietzsche called ressentiment. Because men have traditionally been the creators of art, science, engineering, philosophy (pick any field of human endeavour), feminists latched on to the one philosophy that rejected every form of human accomplishment, postmodernism, in an intellectually dishonest attempt to create a female intellectual tradition.

Explaining why females were stymied throughout history because of biology, childbearing and being physically weaker than men, and how things will be different in the future, was not enough for feminists. They had to rewrite the past as a patriarchal conspiracy against women, and what better way to accomplish this agenda than to use the illogical philosophies of Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard, etc., whose ideas can be crudely summed up in one all-encompassing idea: there is no such thing as truth or, at best, truth is relative.

What feminists did with the philosophy, however, was to disingenuously reject truths they didn’t like and substitute feminist ideology as a new metaphysics. It was politics masquerading as philosophical principle.

To give two examples of irrational ideas from the feminist criticism of science and reason (they are legion), Luce Irigaray argued that E = MC2 is a ‘sexed equation’ and Sandra Harding called Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica ‘a rape manual’.

What goes around comes around: the trans movement irrationally asserts that anyone can be a “woman” and then help themselves to female privilege.

There are two reasons why ‘male spaces’ are not under threat the way women’s spaces are. The first is biology. Men’s upper body strength is 40 to 60 per cent higher than female upper body strength. No matter how many push-ups a transman (a woman who identifies as a man) like Elliot Page does, the threat to men in changing rooms, toilets, and prisons from transmen (or women competing in male sports) is minimal. The opposite is true for women. …

The second reason is one that Kathleen Stock, Helen Joyce and other transgender critical feminists skirt, which is that many female rights are privileges granted to women that are not granted to men. Men can’t abstain from something they were never given. And they can’t be held responsible because female privileges are under attack by the trans movement. It’s not misogyny; it’s reality. Men don’t need the privileges afforded to women because female rights and privileges are based on the imbalance in physical strength between men and women. Women also give birth and menstruate, which are added burdens. You can’t argue for privileges, justified privileges in my view, and then claim that only women are being treated badly around the issue of transgenderism because female rights are being eroded, and that it’s misogyny because men aren’t being treated the same way. It’s what Paula Wright has called, in another context, “the feminist two-step”: women are the same as men, but they need help because they’re not the same as men. Describing this as misogyny would mean that every imbalance in physical and intellectual difference between people is now a form of discrimination or hate speech. …

Feminism is an ideology designed to help middle class women get better tax-payer funded jobs. Cynical perhaps, but that has been the main effect of feminism.

Feminists have only themselves to blame for the bizarre anti-rational world we’re inhabiting. It’s time for feminists to take responsibility for their actions. Feminist leadership, we’re constantly told, is more mature and empathetic than the ‘toxic masculinity’ of men. Prove it. Admit feminism was wrong to focus on anything other than equality before the law and equality of opportunity for women, then apologise and move on.