March 30, 2018
Hence the so-called Men’s Project at the University of Wisconsin, whose aim is “to empower men to better understand themselves, promote the advancement of gender equity, and raise consciousness in their communities.” In other words, young men, get on board with the progressive agenda and become more like women. But who, one wonders, is to defend the state? Of course, the feminized academy envisages a world in which that won’t be needed.
Universities and the media are full of women who have endless sympathy for “the other”—that is, anybody who is not a white man, and so much the better if he or she is not an American. It is telling that, with the exception of the minority of conservative women intellectuals, we hardly hear anything from women intellectuals about putting the interests of their own country first. For what would that be but so much “patriarchal oppression,” “white supremacy,” etc., etc.?
Meanwhile, it is difficult to imagine a more welcome boon for our chief competitor, the Chinese. Theirs is a ruthlessly efficient, fiercely nationalist, and deeply shrewd culture. Not for them, talk about “implicit bias,” “cultural appropriation,” and all the rest. They laugh at what they disdainfully call baizuo, well aware that self-destructive America, with its morality gone mad, is playing right into their hands.
For an example of this female-led destructiveness, take these words from the current issue of n+1 by Dayna Tortorici, who is the coeditor (note the avoidance of hierarchy, particularly of gender, the other editor being a man) of that popular leftist magazine.
The men I knew were beginning to feel persecuted as a class. They remarked on it obliquely, with jokes that didn’t quite sound like jokes, in emails or in offhand remarks at parties. Irritation and annoyance were souring into something worse. Men said they felt like they were living in Soviet Russia. The culture was being hijacked by college students, humorless young people who knew nothing of real life, its paradoxes and disappointments. Soon intellectuals would not be able to sneeze without being sent to the gulag.
In a tedious, self-absorbed essay, aptly titled “In the Maze,” the “daughter of the Title-IX generation” goes on to explain why she advocates safe spaces and trigger warnings, each alluded to in the paragraph above. What is most significant, and most revealing, is that Tortorici does not take the idea of male persecution seriously, even though by now not only men but women writers and scholars have been emphasizing this for decades. Rather, her “testimony of a moment” (typical pumped-up academic cant, that phrase) focuses on the standard feminist agenda, working up the de rigueur white bogeymen. There is an “impending male backlash.” This is an “Intellectual Situation” that should be addressed, and yet amid all the stilted feminist posturing there is no empathy for a male point of view.
Nor does it occur to Tortorici, for all her interest in “sexism” and “sexual assault,” that in certain contexts it might be wise for women to not dress so provocatively, to not adorn themselves with lascivious makeup, and in general, to not perpetually dangle themselves in front of men like the carrot before the rabbit in the old cartoon. Such traditional good sense, taking into account the irrational effects of female sexuality on men, feminists consider “blaming the victim.” In effect, this attitude amounts to sheer manipulation. Women are to be free to pursue their ends by enticing men as much as they wish, and the danger of this game is to be annulled via the right to cry foul at any moment.
This, then, is where America is in 2018. If there is any good news for men, regarding being valued as men, it is that the United States of Matriarchy is gradually sliding toward Civil War, so that “toxic masculinity,” without which there is no state, will become a virtue indeed.