Posts Tagged ‘feminism’

on parenting

June 5, 2017

I noticed some comments on the idea of raising a feminist son as described in the New York Times (iirc), and sighed at the blatant ideological agenda of such a parenting purpose. Several comments focused on the point that it would make more sense to focus on raising a good person, which would by itself solve for the problem that equity feminism claims to be about. Gender feminism, of course, is a different ideology.

Stacy McCain approached the topic from his own experience of having raised successful sons, along with capable daughters, one of whom married an equally capable, successful man. McCain is eloquent in warning against taking parenting advice from those who in fact both hate the institution of the family and have no successful experience of their own in parenting (e.g., Gloria Steinem) upon which to base their opinions.

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on reaping the whirlwind

May 9, 2017

I have read with some interest the travails of Dr. Rebecca Tuvel, who wrote a philosophical argument that the distinction being made between transgender identity and transracial identity (i.e., the former is widely accepted, the latter rejected) is untenable. Apparently the social media mob so familiar on Twitter and Facebook has been ferocious. All the familiar claims of violence and fear and hatred are being made against Dr. Tuvel because of her ideas.

One of her former professors, Kelly Oliver, has written an apologia for her and her essay, remarking on the hijacking of feminism. Although I am sympathetic to Dr. Tuvel’s plight, the apparent surprise at what has happened seems a bit out of place. Professor Oliver suggests calling this era of outrage-as-argument “the Trump era” since President Trump got elected, she writes, “by voicing outrage.” This seems to me to be one or two steps behind the process.

Professor Oliver observes some troubling dynamics, including the public/private split of opinion expressed. She tells of scholars who defended Dr. Tuvel in private, but were silent or sometimes even critical in public. This prompts her to write, “The question is, why did so many scholars, especially feminists, express one sentiment behind closed doors and another out in the open? Why were so many others afraid to say anything in public?”

She also makes this observation: “Part of the problem with the response to Tuvel’s article is that some seem to feel that they are the only ones who have the legitimate right to talk about certain topics. At best, this is identity politics run amok; at worst it is a turf war.”

Dr. Tuvel’s experience is quite familiar to many people in the United States who have not accepted critical orthodoxy on gender, race, economics, politics, and a host of other topics. It has been the case for several years now that dissent from critical orthodoxy on these topics is guaranteed to elicit the sort of condemnation Dr. Tuvel has experienced. An aspect of the situation is precisely what Professor Oliver has observed, that only some critically approved people can offer any view on the topic, and only the approved point of view.

This is the dynamic the Donald Trump tapped into during his campaign. What Professor Oliver sees as characteristic of society beginning sometime in 2016 has actually being going on for a couple of decades. Much of the support for Donald Trump was a reaction to this. That Professor Oliver, who holds an endowed chair in philosophy at a prestigious university, would be confronted with this dynamic close up, since it is happening to a friend and colleague, demonstrates how far along the problem is.

Professor Oliver laments, “The viciousness of the attacks was fueled by the mob mentality of Facebook. Dissenters, even those who just wanted a civil discussion of the issue, were shut down immediately or afraid to voice their opinions in public. Some who in private were sympathetic to Tuvel, felt compelled to join in the attacking mob. The thought police were in full force. . . . Some who joined in the protests later admitted in private that they hadn’t even read the article. . . . Just this morning, I received a text from someone I respect, lamenting the cruelty on social media, but telling me she was sure she would disagree with the article and find it offensive, even though she hadn’t yet read it.”

She also asks, “If an essay written by a young feminist scholar in support of trans rights is violent and harmful, then haven’t we leveled all violence such that everything has become swept up by it, and the very notion of violence has lost its meaning?” The answer, of course, is “yes,” but this is the inevitable fruit of the course critical academia has been traveling for several decades. It’s a shame that people with the position and influence of Professor Oliver are only now seeing it, and hoping to do something about it.

Quote of the day

November 28, 2016

I’ve never watched the Kelly File, or any of her news shows (though I’ve seen plenty of clips that get passed around), so I can’t say I’m particularly familiar with Megyn Kelly’s thought nor her approach to hosting a news show. She has gotten a lot of attention lately for a variety of reasons during the campaign, Fox News drama, and her new book, and it certainly hasn’t been uniform across either side of the political spectrum, which I’ve found interesting, which is why this profile of her caught my eye. It ends with special attention to her place in the modern women’s movement.

Megyn Kelly is exactly the kind of woman that a legitimate women’s movement would celebrate—which is why the feminist movement never will.

Carrie Lukas

This is a money quote

January 20, 2015

I think of myself as egalitarian more than complementarian, to adopt one polarity often used in discussing women in society, but given the current state of national discussion, I could not identify myself as a feminist:

Most young women would like to find a man who loves them, a man who wants to marry them, a man who is willing and able to provide them with a better life than a woman can have by herself.

No matter how much satisfaction she obtains from career achievement, she needs (and no, “need” is not too strong a word for her profound psychological urge) to have the love and support of a man. She wants babies. She wants to find a strong man, a masculine man who loves her so much that he is willing, for her sake, to shoulder the responsibilities inherent in the titles “husband” and “father.”

Feminism is not the solution to that young woman’s problem. [R. S. McCain, “Feminism’s Big Lie”]

Read the whole thing.