Feminism was born not of the oppression of women by a non-existent patriarchy, but from the boredom of left-wing women, which they blamed on a quite-real capitalism.
It was “capitalism” (in my opinion, misnamed) that freed women from a lifetime of cleaning, sweeping, laundry, sewing, cooking, canning and the rest of the day-long drudgery involved with keeping a home. It also freed them from unwanted, sometimes dangerous and occasionally fatal pregnancies.
The fruits of political and economic liberty resulted in the burdensome necessities of life not being eliminated, but greatly eased. After that advancement, with life being so much easier, the next step should be the improvement of minds and lives. That was the problem: what to do with the challenge of all that leisure.
Unfortunately, when it comes to leftists, this material abundance results, as it always does with them, in spiritual poverty. I not believe there could be a Marquis de Sade or a Herod when men spent their days hunting game to survive; only “aristocrats” who never had to work a day in their lives could turn into bored leftists who whiled their days away with sex and drugs and partying.
Boredom, quite correctly, was considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins: ennui, to be exact. That is, being unable to find meaning, importance and community in your life.
The word “sin” comes from the word “hamartia” and is derived from archery; it means “to miss the mark.” Those who cannot find true meaning, importance and community in their lives have missed the target.
Since no one can live without meaning, importance and community, leftists, since they almost always reject traditional religion, end up worshipping themselves. Only in leftism can Man be considered a god.
Bored by the advancements and leisure generated by political and economic liberty, and at a loss what to do with their lives, leftists misinterpreted these things as oppression. Bored people always feel oppressed, and being the first defense of people is to blame their problems on others, they looked around and decided that “capitalism” and “patriarchy” were to blame.
Leftist critics did diagnose the problem, but not only was the diagnosis terribly skewed, the cure was deadly: the destruction of society and the (impossible) remaking of human nature so they men and women would be exactly equal. Only then, they claimed, could “patriarchy” and “capitalism” be overthrown and destroyed.
In a perverted and limited sense, these critics were correct: these material advancements were generated by men (specifically white men), which was misnamed “patriarchy,” and also by science and political and economic liberty – misnamed “capitalism.”
The Stalinist Betty Friedan, one of the founders of Sixties feminism, wrote in The Feminine Mystique there was a problem that “had no name.” The problem did have a name: that missing of the mark known as ennui. Friedan, not at all surprisingly, was an atheist who was married to an extremely wealthy man and lived a life of luxury in a mansion on the Hudson River in New York. The housework was done by maids.
She was another bored, wealthy, self-appointed aristocrat without a religion, one whose suitcase once fell open at an airport and spilled her sex toys on the floor.
Her leftist “religion” promoted the elevation of women, the denigration of men, and the hoped-for destruction of “patriarchy” and “capitalism,” to be replaced with primitive tribal matriarchal equality and fraternity.
One way to overcome women’s “oppression” was for them to enter into men’s occupations. This didn’t mean entry into any hot, dirty, dangerous jobs: it meant entry into the much easier, highly-paid ones, a path smoothed by Affirmative Action (“white men need not apply”).
It also meant the denigration of motherhood and marriage. Gloria Steinem throughout her life never had a good thing to say about romance and marriage, even though they were the most importance things in her personal life, and she never practiced what she preached to other women.
These self-appointed elites, the vanguard of a hoped-for New Society, gained meaning to their lives – and importance and community – by trying to destroy the existing social order. It must be heady to think you have that kind of god-like power, and to get that kind of money and attention.
It is a sad fact of life there are people who get meaning to their lives by trying to destroy a society they hate, however incorrectly, as being little more than crushing and oppressive.
The intended goal of these people is a complete equality between men and women. Unfortunately, they never take this belief to its logical conclusion: if men and women were totally equal, they would be totally identical and interchangeable.
Men and women have to be totally alike, in the way two nickels or two quarters are alike. We’d have to be hermaphrodites, or totally sexless, with babies grown in jars. We’d be much like ants or termites, I suppose. Or worse, amoeba.
Since such equality is impossible, society would instead form along the lines of what Hans Prinzhorn called “the tyranny of a clique in the name of the equality of all.”
It is, of course, supposed to be leftists who are the wealthy and political powerful clique, and the mass of people who should have “equality” forced on them, whether or not they want it. They just need their consciousness raised by their betters.
The eternal delusion of the leftist is for people to be checkers that can be moved around, or perhaps just mud that can be shoveled into whatever shape rulers want. Only the intellectually and morally superior know what is good for the unwashed masses.
Their Nietzschean Will to Power is cloaked by the belief in their own humanitarianism – the humanitarian with a
guillotine, as Isabel Patterson noticed.
This desire to remake people and societies is how leftists find meaning and importance in their lives. Perhaps it does make them feel God-like. It certainly a religion to them, as Arthur Koestler clearly documented in his book about those disillusioned by Communism, The God Who Failed.
If feminists did succeed in imposing their beliefs on society (which can only be done by the force of the State, being their beliefs run opposite to human nature) what kind of world would we have?
Since men, specifically white men, are responsible for modern civilization, if feminists were in charge of civilization we would, as Camille Paglia so correctly noted, be living in grass huts. Or, as the humorist P.J. O’Rourke once wrote, without men civilization would last until the next oil change.
Men have created civilization; women are the ones who made it comfortable. Many men, left to themselves, live like utter slobs. Some would wear their underwear until it fell off.
One ironic way to deal with leftists is to exile all of them to an island, where they would find rapidly their ideas of how society should be run won’t work.
Of course, they would blame their problems on the residue of the false consciousness inculcated in them by their former society. Perhaps in a few hundred years, I’m sure they’d say, – or maybe a few thousand – would all those bad ideas finally be eradicated.
Perhaps if they were denied the comforts of science and technology, and had to spend their lives eking out a living (so much for Rousseau and his Noble Savage), could they be neutralized. They certainly wouldn’t be bored anymore.
They might even end up like some of the blacks in Africa who, after running the white man out, begged him to come back.
People, unfortunately, are not that hard to mislead. Just keep repeating the same propaganda over and over: white men and capitalism bad; everything that is not those two things, good.
Today, through the media and schools, people are being inundated with ideas that don’t, and won’t, work. Not that leftists will ever believe this, except for the few who successfully graduate from the School of Hard Knocks.
Leftist ideas, manifested in society, always blow things up. I doubt anyone will be bored by that process – just pained. “May you live in interesting times,” goes the ominous old Chinese curse.
Leftists, not merely misunderstanding human nature but not understanding it at all, have failed at their attempts to cure society, at defining the relationships between men women, at finding the truth. Instead they have opted for simplistic, narcissistic – and wrong – answers. It’s a shame for all involved.