Some musings on feminism

Originally written for on May 11th, 2018

Now that I have distanced myself from the reactionary right and the anti-SJW community, I think it's time for me to address the pink elephant in the room, and that would be feminism. I think that now is the time for me to reassess feminism as an ideology, certainly now that I'm no longer drunk on the heady brew of contemporary antifeminism. In the weeks after I released my controversial video Why I'm Done With "Classical Liberalism" and the Right, I decided to examine the views of the people the anti-SJWs may well have lied about. This was when I started examining more of the left-wing side of YouTube, and I had come to the conclusion that feminism as a movement has been broadly and deliberately misrepresented.

Now since I'm aware that the vast majority of people here on Minds seem to hate feminism (now doubt thanks to four long years of antifeminist propaganda from the likes of Sargon of Akkad, who I will get to later on), I almost expect what comes next to be misinterpreted, and for the post itself to be downvoted en masse and flooded with comments calling me a "cuck" or an "SJW" or a "beta male", as meaningless as those terms are, so I'd like to start by clearing up my own views of feminism. I still don't personally identify as a feminist, and in addition to what you will later read there are two main reasons why don't.

1) Feminism, or rather the word, does not entirely suit my interests. I would prefer to call myself an egalitiarian.

2) I think it would be a pretty stupid idea for a straight man to label himself as a feminist, particularly in the wake of #MeToo, after which the actual feminists may likely be even more suspicious of men calling themselves feminist.

With this post, I would like to present an honest critique of the idea of feminism, from a left-wing and anarchist perspective, and in the process challenging the assumptions propagated by antifeminists.

First, I'd like to address the concept of "the patriarchy", mainly because it's among the first things you think of when you think of feminism. If you listened to anti-SJWs you probably believe that patriarchy is the feminist euphemism for capitalism, meritocracy and liberal values, or some other buzzword for the status quo. The actual definition of a patriarchy seems to vary from feminist to feminist. They all agree that the concept of a patriarchy represents systemic male dominance over women, and indeed many view the patriarchal system as oppressive to both men and women. Some feminists and intersectional anarchists view patriarchy as an expression of capitalism.

My view is that referring to the system as a patriarchy is a rather redundant metaphor for capitalism, considering that under capitalism everyone in the lower classes is subject to the same oppression, but if there's a feminist out there willing to argue that conditioning women to think in terms of the traditional feminine roles is a form of oppression, I'm willing to have the debate. As for whether we are a patriarchy, I'd say that we are actually more of a gynocentric society in terms of culture, but as far as systemic sexism goes, I think what they're trying to point to the lingering detritus of an older pre-capitalist society, in which we not only were a legitimately patriarchal society in the legal sense, but also one in which its rulers derived their authority from the church.

The idea that all feminists think alike, as though they are a hivemind, is also completely false. If you actually talk to feminists, or listen to what feminist YouTubers have to say, you'll find that they tend to have disagreements on aspects of the ideology, and this has been known for years. There are bitter arguments between pro-porn and anti-porn feminists, arguments between pro-sex work and anti-sex work feminists, arguments between pro-abortion and anti-abortion feminists, feminists who think safe spaces are good or bad, the list goes on. Hell, one of the most hated forms of feminists that many feminists hate as well are trans-exclusionary radical feminists, better known as TERFs, who believe that those who weren't born female have no place in feminism. The main reason many feminists hate them as because they view TERFs as transphobes looking to justify their hatred of trans women by claiming they're merely men looking to "invade women's spaces", and I entirely agree with the criticism against the TERFs. At best the TERFs are gender essentialists, and at worst they're open bigots.

Now to quickly address the idea that feminists are necessarily misandrists. While there are certainly feminists are misandrists in feminism, such as the TERFs as I just mentioned earlier, female separatists, and anyone who actually takes Valerie Solanas' SCUM Manifesto seriously, from my observations of feminists on and offline, it's clear that the majority of feminists not only aren't misandrists, but seem to welcome the company and/or support of men. Indeed a few have tried convincing me of the merits of feminism back when I was a rightist. I think part of the reason people tend to consider feminists as manhaters is the fact that when most people think feminism they may think of the radical feminists, and I think the culture industry is largely responsible for that. My explanation however is that the worst of feminist rhetoric has been co-opted by savvy bourgeois liberals and promoted as part of a corporate bastardisation of feminism.

This is what I would call bourgeois feminism, an ideology that thinks the way to solve inequality of the sexes is to have more women in corporate jobs, board rooms, leading film roles, and for good measure, we'd better have a female President. It's basically liberal identity politics. It can't fix anything, nor is it supposed to. It's just supposed to distract you from the reality of life under capitalism, and given the amount of anti-SJW channels that spend their energies whining about feminism "destroying Western civilisation" because they want more women in corporate board rooms, it's certainly worked. Meanwhile many of the actual feminists, or at least the ones I've met, are against bourgeois feminism and the corporate identity politics associated with it. Anarchists oppose it too because they see liberal identity politics as a cross-class movement.

To some of you this must seem odd. You may be thinking "how are feminists not practicing identity politics?", and the answer is simple. They practice intersectionality instead, which I guess is another scary SJW-ish word the anti-SJWs have trained some of you to hate on instinct. Intersectionality is not a feminist ploy to co-opt the entire left, as someone like Sargon might have you believe. In reality it, is an analytical framework in which capitalism and other methods of oppression (which they would define as sexism, racism, homophobia, etc.) are inseparable, and therefore according to it one cannot fight capitalism without also opposing racism, sexism, homophobia and what have you. This is why so many feminists fight the same causes, and indeed many anarchists have adopted intersectionality into their theory because they believe quite rightly that things like racism and sexism solely exist to divide the working class which might otherwise be fighting the capitalist class. In other words, intersectionality is actually intended to bring different groups together on the grounds that they are all being oppressed, whereas identity politics is a cross-class framework that does nothing other than create divides based on race, sex, sexual orientation and the like. The problem people have with intersectionality is that corporate liberals have bastardised intersectionality and turned it into a form of liberal identity politics.

The next predictable criticism is towards the idea that we live in a rape culture, and out of all the feminists that I've seen in action so far, only ContraPoints and Kristi Winters have been able to adequately (for me at least) explain why they think there might be some semblance of a "rape culture" in the West. Of course the feminist definition of rape culture is obvious. It refers to an environment in which rape and/or sexual violence is excused in the media and popular culture. The easiest way to think of the feminist perspective, for me at least, is to consider the contradiction between the way society condemns things like drug use while pharmaceutical companies encourage it, and while popular culture fetishises it. Hell, I noticed this kind of contradiction with regards to nonconsensual sex five years ago when Robin Thicke released "Blurred Lines". Also consider the fact that rape is, in addition to being illegal, universally despised in decent society, while at the same time nobody bats an eye to the abundance of pornography depicting nonconsensual sex.

The last thing regarding feminist ideology I think I should talk about is privilege, and this is where people will really cringe because they immediately think of white privilege theory, which to be fair is silly. However the feminists are right when they point out that in some areas are better off than women, and this is true at least with the wage gap, which could more accurately be referred to as the earnings gap. Not even the critics of the gender pay gap denied that there was a gap between how much men and women earned on average, but they attribute it primarily to individual choice, which is somewhat naive when you consider the externalities. As for white privilege, while it's stupid to assume that a white hobo is somehow more privileged than a successful black rapper (which would deny their material conditions), allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment.

If there is any validity to the idea that people in a given race have an in-group preference for people of the same race, then by that logic is it not possible to entertain the idea that members of the majority race would ideally prefer one of their own in positions of power and influence. I believe this is the sort of logic that the feminists who advocate white privilege theory are operating with, but in reality most people don't care about the race of the people in charge. What they care about are the fact that they are in charge and presumably working against their interests.

The problems associated with feminism seem not to come from authentic feminism, but rather bourgeois feminism, which incorporates the most easily understandable and loudest aspects of feminism into a readily saleable pop ideology for the masses, and in that regard, the fault lies not with feminism, but with capitalism. So long as the profit motive exists, ideological frameworks will always be bastardised and misinterpreted by monied interests hoping to use those ideologies to make a profit. So when people like Sargon of Akkad claim that feminism is the problem, they are being disingenuous, and in Sargon's case, wilfully dishonest.

You know what, let's talk about Sargon for a moment, because I said I would. Sargon is a man who seems not to understand feminism despite spending four years talking about it on YouTube. This is a man who when given the opportunity to debate Kristi Winters, an actual feminist scholar, he got his ass handed to him in the debate, and he outright admitted that he doesn't have any alternative to feminist theory in regards to analysing gender issues, and he didn't even care. So of course it makes sense for Sargon to want to wipe out all trace of feminism, to the point of, one point, wanting to use a petition to try and get social justice courses forced out of universities. We're talking about an ideology that Sargon not only doesn't understand (and seems to be scared of things he doesn't understand), but is also committed to not understanding it.

The same can be said for most of the anti-SJW, and antifeminist YouTube community. These are people that, either due to ignorance or for various other reasons, simply hate feminism, and will commit themselves to making sure it goes away for good, even if it would one day mean advocating that the state make it go away. The sad part is that these people, though obviously liars, have succeeded in deceiving many thousands of people into hating an ideology that they themselves have no understanding of, and I feel pretty bad for not only having believed them, but in making antifeminist videos similar to them, being party to such deception.

But since I'd like to end on a positive note this time, I may as well clear up which kind of feminism I would have the most respect for, and that would be the anarcha-feminists, because they smart enough (or perhaps rather cynical enough) to realise that so long as the state (whether in the Marxist conception or otherwise) and capitalism are still around, then the sexism and other oppressions they decry will always remain. I can respect them because they, like me, see the root of the problem and want to untangle it, and would be more than happy to engage in dialogue with at least one of them.

If I have one parting word of advice for feminists, it would be this. Resist the temptation to dismiss all those who aren't feminists as sexists. It is a bourgeois trap, and one that has proven effective in alienating otherwise sympathetic individuals who might have allied with your cause. Hell, the illusion worked on me for a while too. I was once quite sympathetic to the feminist cause before 2016. It took leaving the right and realising the extent to which I had been deceived for me to even regain any shred of sympathy.