Depth of Disgust

You know, I would be completely, totally, utterly disgusted and disillusioned with the non-reaction of international, professional and academic ‘capital F’ Feminism, in the wake of Hamas’ rape, pillage and kidnapping spree of last October … except that I sussed several decades ago that the same international, ‘capital F’ professional and academic feminists didn’t really give a waffle-fried damn about the lives, ambitions, challenges and condition of ordinary women. I had no illusions to lose about the big-name capital F feminists, not after I came to a certain realization sometime around 1985 or so.

Until then, I had thought of myself as a mild sort of feminist – really wanting nothing more than equal access to education, employment, and consideration by society in general, given meeting the same standards/qualifications. While the situation for women in the early latter half of the 20th century wasn’t quite as limited as it had been a hundred or two hundred years earlier – there were restrictions, a few of them legal (such as military women not permitted to marry or have children and continue to serve) but most were societal expectations affecting middle- and upper-class women. (Working class women, married and unmarried, almost always had to have jobs. Even in the 19th Century.) Feminism in the 1970s meant to me personally that there were choices that individual women could make about choosing and balancing a career, a family and the domestic obligations involved, rather than having them made for us. (That many women have since been free to make unwise choices is a separate issue.)

What I came to realize after about a decade of subscription to MS Magazine (Yes, I had a subscription – to that and about half a dozen other progressive/liberal publications, in the pre-internet days) was that there was a definite bias therein when it came to defining a feminist. The message that I got from the MSlings and the rest was that it might all be very nice to be a woman employed in a fairly non-traditional profession, but you really weren’t a ‘real’ feminist and down with the cause unless you worked at some academic establishment or in the creative or publishing fields, earning an upper-middle-class salary, were a single parent, man-hating vegetarian, lesbian or at least bi, who celebrated one’s abortion/s and reliably voted progressive. There was, briefly, a ‘feminists for life’ action group, which, predictably, got read out of meetings when the Mainstream Capital F feminists decided to go all-in on abortion access.

Increasingly, it was obvious that mainstream, professional feminism had practically nothing to say to me – I was only one of those things (single parent through an unfortunate choice of potential life partner). I gathered that being working class was beneath consideration, and military was just too infra dig for the MSlings and the professional feminists: Kate Millett, Germaine Greer, Betty Friedan, Andrea Dworkin, Shulamith Firestone, and other influential voices. They were all notable, professional, capital ‘F’ feminists of the ‘Second Wave’ as writers, theoreticians, campaigners. They weren’t quite as far out on the man-hating whack-job fringe as Valerie Solanas, who tried to murder Andy Warhol in 1968. But over time it eventually became clear that they were desperately unhappy women; they hated men, despised family life, had no affection at all for children – and eventually didn’t have much to say to me. I liked men as friends and romantic partners, treasured a family life and held children to be precious. I did rather agree with Naomi Wolf, who briefly wandered off the mainline feminist plantation with publication of her 1993 book, Fire with Fire. She argued that mainstream feminism had to basically grow up, make common cause with women across the political spectrum, stop glorying in victimhood, and stop wasting time and energy in man-hating and abortion; work to benefit all women, not just the doctrinaire hard-core Feminists. I rather think she was chased back onto the plantation after that – she only totally rebelled recently.

My second disillusion regarding the Feminist Establishment came about two decades after the first, watching an able politician like Sarah Palin monstered and denigrated by the mainstream establishment Feminist voices in the media, mostly, but also in academia and among the surviving intellectual Feminists. It was an absolutely disgusting display of snobbery. Here was an able, attractive, and intelligent state-level politician, happily married with mostly well-adjusted children until the glare of the establishment media put them under the unbearably white-hot spotlight. She was neither spawn or spouse of an established male politician, who made a career in politics entirely on her own merits, previously well-respected as a state governor … and she got treated like something nasty, tracked in on someone’s shoe after the 2008 election. There was an awful kind of bitchiness about the aftermath of that campaign – as if a hundred thousand doctrinaire Feminist mean girl snobs piled on to the chosen victim.

These observations all left me less than impressed with the current crop of ostentatious feminists, out there protesting, cosplaying the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale or wearing pink knitted hats and bleating about microaggressions and the patriarchy or the male gaze, or because their feelings were hurt because someone somewhere wore a shirt they didn’t like or said something they found offensive. Meanwhile women in certain African cultures are mutilated genitally, South American women are sex-trafficked … and Israeli women were gang-raped, mutilated, murdered or kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. The professional capital F feminists are mostly silent, especially about this last. I’d like to think it’s an embarrassed silence, but I know better. The professional feminists are first and foremost progressives – and they really don’t care for the lives and fortunes of women not in their own little circle.

Comment as you wish.

(PS – my latest historical, That Fateful Lightning, is released into the wild! In both e-book and print, here at Amazon!)

28 thoughts on “Depth of Disgust”

  1. It’s one of the oldest stories out there. At first, seeking power to effect some greater good, but in the quest for power allowing the good to slip until the power itself is the goal.

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more about the decline and collapse of feminism. I followed much the same track as you did–considering myself a feminist and the becoming increasingly repelled by the man-hate.

    I have said for at least 15 years that if the feminist movement had made “safe, affordable child care” it’s signature issue rather than abortion, it would be the single most powerful force in politics today. But for all the reasons you mention, that was never going to happen with the crowd who “led” the women’s movement.

  3. Honestly, T – I have never really understood why the militant feminist establishment decided that abortion access was the hill to defend, unless it was that many of the big names in ‘Feminism’ had abortions and were frantically justifying that long-ago decision. Safe and affordable child care, or even support for family-friendly leave policies would have gotten so much more support among women of all political persuasions.
    I laughed my *ss off, when “Me Too!” circled around and torpedoed so many progressive males who had been painted as allies to Establishment Feminism.

  4. There has been a lot of ink spilled about how fractious the Right is, well the Left is just as bad they just have better PR The “people of color” part wants nothing to do with the LGBT alphabet people around their children, the Green fanatics hate the union folks and see others as useless eaters, within LGBT the trans is at odds with gays and lesbians, and everyone hates the corporatists and establishment Dems. Heck if you followed what happened in LA last year the various people of color don’t like each other either. It’s an alliance of convenience held together by being transgressive to what they see as a status quo. In their fevered imagination,t he archetype of evil is the 2-parent family grilling copious amounts of meet in the backyard of the suburban house while son washes the SUV and daughter cleans the family’s guns.

    The biggest reason the Left use Trump and MAGA as well as the “Far Right” as their Emmnauel Goldstein is that it is the only thing holding it together

    The feminist ignoring of the Hamas atrocities has its mirror in the horrific testimony of the 3 university presidents last week. The reason they equivocated on condemning antisemitism is that they were being pushed back on the contradictions of the Left’s coalition in large part because they were at a Congressional hearing and couldn’t avoid. I will expect that in future job posts for university administrators, a key requirement will be the ability to effectively dissemble

    You see the same dynamic with the feminists and rape except that no one has been able to force them to respond. Also we shouldn’t have expected anything else given the past corrupt behavior of feminists with MeToo, Tara Reade, etc… To mangle Beria’s famous quote “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” feminists say “Show me the man and I’ll tell you if what he did is a crime”

    A comment regarding abortion….

    I think the claim that legal abortion is necessary due to socioeconomic reasons and can be ameliorated by government support such as child care is misleading; the Left hauls it out because people can sympathize with the single woman who is unable to support a child. However that is not what has driven the fanatical nature of pro-abortionists. Originally abortion was pushed by those like Margaret Sanger who saw it as a tool of eugenics. The latter incarnation of the argument, the one being pushed by feminists, is that abortion is the symbol of women’s freedom from biological serfdom to the patriarchy and as such is a sacrament. That is why since Dobbs, the Left has aggressively pushed for abortion up to and beyond birth; any limitations on abortion, even on partial birth, is verboten. This isn’t the pro-choice argument that abortion is a sad choice that should be left to the woman but rather an act of affirmation reinforcing a culture of nihilism and death.

  5. My sister’s best friend in high school got her doctorate in Ed Psych, regarding problem solving strategies in comparing objects for young children. She found that in comparing objects, boys tended to use more measuring and counting strategies than girls.

    She made no speculation about why this was the case: she gave neither genetic reasons nor socialization reasons (nature/nurture) for the results. She merely presented the results.

    She could not get a tenure-track position because her findings did not fit the then-and-now prevailing narrative of equal abilities/performances between the sexes.

    BTW, both her mother and father were MDs, so it couldn’t be said that she grew up in an environment that viewed females as inferior.

  6. thats why I cheered when Jezebel died its long awaited death, their wraith like screech at Palin’s selection was legendary, same with the likes of Tina Fey and Julianne Moore, who piled on even three years later,

    but you see it with a similar reaction today to Riley Gaines being haunted by these Chimera people, neither man nor woman, biological females don’t seem to matter, well unless they serve as handmaids to Moloch, (see the Texas abortion case)

  7. ‘And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, “We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”’ — Isaiah 4:1


    There’s a great deal of amusement to be found in Scripture. ;)

  8. I remember when genuine feminists promised us that, if women had a larger role in business & politics, the world would be a much better place. We now see women — and women of color, and women of different sexual proclivities — dominating government, politics, big business, and media. And yet the world has definitely not become a better place.

    Perhaps this is because the kind of woman who has taken advantage of the more open climate is essentially an older version of the high school “Mean Girl”. Two examples from that reliable thermometer of popular culture — the London Daily Mail:
    A white woman boss insists on checking out all the white males hired into senior positions, apparently to make sure that white women are hired instead if possible.
    An Asian woman politician has a party for elected officials of color, whites not admitted (apparently even if they are white women).

    These days, almost everyone supports the idea that there should be no barriers to women in high places — provided that the particular woman is demonstrably the most capable person for that job. Today’s “Feminists” are misusing that positive support. When are the majority of women going to realize that it does not help to advance less-competent “mean girls”?

  9. It’s enough to make me ashamed to even be an American woman these days. I was raised in a devout Catholic home, still practice my faith, and I went out of my way my entire life to NOT be either a man hating B***H or a golddigger and to respect men and women equally. I very much wanted to marry and have children (both of which I eventually did) but I also strove to be able to take care of myself and not HAVE TO rely on a man to support me, or marry a man for his money. So here I am, creeping up on 60 years old, and wondering what the heck I did it all for because these Mean Girl types are ruining it for everyone. More and more I see comments on right leaning sites that “the 19th amendment was a mistake”, women should never have been given the vote, all women are just gold digging b****s that men should avoid, etc.

  10. A lot of the treatment of Sarah Palin revealed the class bigotry that underlies much of what for want of a better team I call organized feminism. She had an accent of sorts, said “darn” and “heck” a lot, gave her kids odd names, and went to several colleges, finally graduating from the (sneer) U. of Idaho journalism department.

    Of course, the reason she attended several colleges was that she needed to drop out and earn money for school. I know nothing at all about Idaho’s journalism department but I’d bet that there is more respect for different opinions there–or in your average Teamsters local–than in most women’s studies departments.

    Oh, yes, women can choose to have remunerative and exciting careers as college professors, in publishing, or as business executives…or they can be soul-destroying full-time mothers and such. The class bigotry among people who claim class is one of their interpretive concepts seem to miss this but then again, self-auditing is not a leftist long suit.

    But the average woman who works is not your average Ms. subscriber. She’s a secretary, that nice lady who sells me hot dogs at Costco, she’s an LPN or does light assembly at one of our local (Detroit) auto plants. She works because she has to work.

    I represent claimants at unemployment hearings in Michigan and many of my clients are that type of working woman. I get my clients early to the hearings on the grounds that you never know about traffic or weather, so we often have time to chat. Pretty much all of them tell me they’d have preferred to stay at home with their children at least until the kids start school…and for that matter, when it comes up most tell me they’d rather work for a man.

    As to women being nicer and less aggressive than men–I’ve been a junior high student and taught middle school. Girls are aggressive in different ways. I’m doing playfield duty an i break up an actual fight–kicks and punches. I direct the boys to class or the office as appropriate. Next day same boys, I toss out a ball, everyone plays nicely. Girls will be smoldering months later over what someone said.

    Future social historians will look at middle and upper middle class American women…probably the most privileged and cosseted group of women in history, with opportunities most women throughout history couldn’t dream of…and see that they saw themselves as beleaguered victims. Maybe they’ll understand it because I don’t.

  11. AAAND right on cue… one of the commenters at Instapundit says:

    “I’ll think these “anti feminist women” screeds are serious when they acknowledge that letting women vote was a huge mistake and start advocating for revoking the franchise”.

  12. It’s a perennial con: give us power and we’ll make everything sweetness and light.

    When the movement’s founding mothers are Stalinists Friedan and deBeauvoir, perhaps the abuses of power and self-enrichment shouldn’t be a surprise.

  13. Deductions are being made that won’t be positive for women, in general. Feminism like racism are broad brushes to put against a whole category of people. But humans stereotype in order to make rapid personal security decisions. Ugly animals with snarling faces; dangerous. Glowing things; hot. Prickly plants; hurt. Bad tasting things; poison. Jews; rich, snob. Catholic; pedophile. Baptist; holier than thou. Tatted in colors; gang member. Loud crowd of minorities in public; danger zone. Feminist; nut job. Gaudy trans person; groomer. Black person in tats or gang colors or in large, loud groups; (the list of bad things). None of those are consistently true. They’re stereotypes developed by the observation of patterns. All of them are true enough often enough that one can deduce the safest route around any of them is avoidance. If women in general don’t want to be categorized according to the fringes of their category they’d best be putting a lid on the sisters who aren’t right about all this radical feminism. I can’t take the time to parse every person in every circumstance. Sometimes I have to rely on the stereotype when a quick decison has to be made.

  14. protesting, cosplaying the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale or wearing pink knitted hats and bleating about microaggressions and the patriarchy or the male gaze
    Like so much else, this is because, primarily, all the real problems are solved (except the ones they generated by solving other “problems”). While there is still racism, misogyny, bigotry, etc., it’s pretty much gone from power – at least in the form against which they were fighting; the amount of bigotry is huge coming from the Progressives.

    So, having brought us to a pretty good place, they must now strive for perfection. And anything less than their perceived perfection requires whatever force (and stupid acting out) to be applied.

    They have been brought up to believe in the necessity of a crusade, and that human nature doesn’t really exist. And so crusade they will, in order to make themselves seem important.

  15. Sgt. Mom
    December 13, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Honestly, T – I have never really understood why the militant feminist establishment decided that abortion access was the hill to defend

    Hedonism is a prime pillar of Progressivism. It’s about throwing off the “shackles” of Christian morals so they can do as they please without consequence. The destruction of “obscenity laws,” the removal of “religion” from everything, the legalization of marijuana – all of them are about allowing the pursuit of any pleasure without fear of disapproval or negative consequences. Abortion is the ultimate avoidance of “consequences” for sex.

  16. MCS
    December 14, 2023 at 7:27 am

    Just where on the spectrum of feminist empowerment does this stand?

    Squarely in the camp of hedonism.

  17. A lot of the treatment of Sarah Palin revealed the class bigotry that underlies much of … organized feminism.
    I think there’s another element, too. Less class, but more… zealotry. If you view Progressivism as a religion (and you should), the analogy would be to a Christian running off to be a missionary in the deepest parts of the Amazon and showing disdain for all the other church members who work regular jobs to provide for a family and aren’t in “ministry.” Or looking down upon those who didn’t join a crusade. And, of course, apostasy or heresy is even worse (if you don’t believe properly).

  18. As Solzhenitsyn stated “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart.”

    The great lie of feminism is not that it empowers women as equals to men, but that women transcend men and are their superior, that the world can be made good if only women were in charge. The postmodernists have taken the Christian idea of the Fall of Man, where evil enters the world because of Man’s alienation from God, and corrupted it so that evil enters the world because of the White Male Patriarchy. The postmodern project, that claims that there is no single Truth or Being, is really built on this “Truth” that what is wrong in the world lies with an oppressor and merely replacing it will immanentize the eschaton.

    The American system of government rests on the idea that evil, the capacity for tyranny is endemic in the human race. As per Madison’s famous quote in Federalist 51 “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” No person, man or woman, white or black should be trusted with unlimited power, moral or political

    We fail in our duties as citizens for not repeating Madison and Solzhenitsyn’s dictums whenever the Left wishes to eliminate “minority rule” or inject some favored group by fiat with moral superiority. It is our birthright as Americans. Feminism has many things to offer and should be engaged in honest debate, but as SGM has pointed out feminists are not angels but are as corrupt and cruel as those that they wish to displace. They with the evil that lurks in every human heart, refuse to show the unflavored the grace and compassion they claim for Woman. So is it for the Father of Lies

  19. “stereotypes developed by the observation of patterns…. are true enough often enough that one can deduce the safest route around any of them is avoidance.”

    I agree. While stereotypes and prejudices are often not fair to individuals, they do exist for a reason and are at least partly based on truth, otherwise they would not have become stereotypes. Personally, I think a distinction needs to be made between prejudice — the instinctive emotional/gut aversion one has to an individual or group that sets off your “dangerous” alarm bells — and genuine racism or sexism, which is an ironclad conviction that ALL people in a particular group are, ipso facto, bad or not to be trusted. Prejudice can be overcome or set aside in the face of contrary evidence (i.e. you meet a person who does not fit the stereotype you have of their group and you welcome them) but genuine racism/sexism would not be set aside.

  20. at least partly based on truth, otherwise they would not have become stereotypes
    While I generally agree with this, can someone then explain the truth behind the “blacks love chicken and waffles” stereotype, please? Because I don’t think I’ve ever met a black who fits that stereotype, and most (including family members) look at me in puzzlement when I bring it up. “I was hoping you could tell me” is a common response. LOL

    And an excellent comment, Elaine S.

  21. “It’s an alliance of convenience held together by being transgressive to what they see as a status quo.”

    There’s a favourite quote of mine from The Lord of the Rings that neatly sums up this effect, an exchange between Sam and Frodo in Mordor after watching, while hidden, a pair of orcs turn on each other in a squabble that ends in murder:

    “Well, I call that neat as neat,” Sam said. “If this nice friendliness would spread about in Mordor, half our trouble would be over.”

    “…(T)hat is the spirit of Mordor, Sam; and it has spread to every corner of it. …But you can’t get much hope from it. They hate us far more, altogether and all the time. If one of them had seen us, they would have dropped all their quarrel until we were dead.”

  22. “can someone then explain the truth behind the “blacks love chicken and waffles” stereotype, please?”

    Chicken and waffles have been considered a “Southern” dish since at least the late 19th/early 20th century, and a lot of people equate Southern food with black/soul food. But it was also well known among the Pennsylvania Dutch.

  23. Fried chicken and watermelon is the racist gustatory trope I am most familiar with.

    As for Feminists, when I was in college in the early ’70s I was very sympathetic to what I took to be their goals and ideals. But gradually it dawned on me, due to discussions in and out of class with my peers, that many–maybe a majority–actually used abortion stats as a proxy for the relative freedom of women in different places and under different political systems. More abortions per woman was better, obviously.

    It was like the naive idea at the time that because in the USSR a majority of MDs were women, that meant their medical system was more fair. In reality it meant that in the USSR medical doctors were not the high-earning demigods they are (were) in the US, and the field could be left to the ladies. It was like that idea, but far more sinister in what it said to me about many Feminists.

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