Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to Hate Feminism (And You Must)

From my latest Taki's Magazine column:
American women today, as a class, are the most privileged women in the entire history of humanity. No women anywhere have ever enjoyed more wealth, more leisure, or more opportunity. And yet they are not grateful, nor do they give American men any credit for their good fortune.
All we ever hear from them is bitch, bitch, bitch -- especially when a man dares call attention to their faults. Gentlemen, you are guilty of cowardice for not speaking out more strongly in your own defense, and in defense of your fellow men. . . .
Go read the whole thing, then come back and let's talk. There are principles involved here.

Months ago, when I first coined the motto, "Equality Is For Ugly Losers," some of the ladies took umbrage. What was I saying? What was the point? And, even if my point was valid, why would I choose to express it in such a potentially offensive manner? Isn't it better to "draw more flies with honey," so to speak?

Whomping the mule
Mild and accommodating rhetoric, the pleasing niceness of polite discourse, is a fine thing to practice in one's personal life, and I attempt to do so. Taki's editor Richard Spencer can tell you of the CPAC cocktail reception where he struck out with Suzanna Logan in part because he insisted on provoking rather a fierce argument with a Republican political operative. (Dude, we've got to work on your game. Seriously.)

However, the engaging habits of deference and humility, so requisite to success in interpersonal relationships, can become a deadly poison when applied to political and intellectual combat. The ability to bite one's tongue and make amiable cocktail-reception chatter is a useful skill, but when it is time to fight, it's time to fight, and a different skill set must be applied.

First, an argument cannot be influential if no one reads it. There is an old joke about a farmer training a mule. The farmer begins by taking out a stick and whomping the mule upside the head. "What'd you do that for?" asks the city slicker, to which the farmer replies: "Well, the first thing is to get the mule's attention."

Wishing to make an argument against feminism, an argument that could not be ignored or mistaken for any mild anti-feminist critique, I whomped that mule upside the head: Equality Is For Ugly Losers.

'Winners' in girly-land
One observes in our intellectual life persons who are eminently respectable, influential and successful while also being plainly and fundamentally wrong. Chris Matthews immediately springs to mind, and this is not Tuesday, so we will not digress to discuss David Brooks, but you see the point. Such people are always the best targets for Rule 4 ("Make Some Enemies"), the intellectual emperors whose nakedness must be exposed.

How do these people operate? How does a transparent bankruptcy of intellect gain respect, influence and success? And if one wishes to undermine such a person, how best to go about it?

Given that we are "An Army of Davids," as Professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame says, I take it for granted that many will engage in the point-by-point refutation of the errors and lies in any 2-minute YouTube clip of Chris Matthews, or the latest David Brooks column. (As Mary McCarthy said of Lillian Hellman, "Every word she writes is a lie, including 'and' and 'the.' ") Yet if the wrongness of such people is so evident that any blogger in his pajamas can spot it, how do they get away with their fraudulence?

To answer that question, let me ask you another question: Why do Ace, Allah and Rusty insist on maintaining their personal anonymity? (NOTE: This is not intended as a slight to these three fine bloggers; see Update IV below.)

By slow and imperceptible degrees, like a vine climbing a wall, a stultifying artificiality has crept into American intellectual life, which is governed by a set of unspoken rules that prohibit engagement on terms that are honest, honorable and manly. Our discourse has become dishonest, dishonorable and effeminate, in the manner of vicious third-grade schoolgirls on the playground, whispering behind each others' backs.

This nasty girlishness is the reason why David Kuo could get more than a million dollars to waste on Culture11, why Ace fiercely guards his privacy, and why I am out here shaking the tip jar (please give today) instead of composing columns for National Review. Am I the only one who remembers that, when Ann Coulter got axed from NRO, she denounced Rich Lowry as a "girly boy"? And am I the only one who knows exactly what she meant?

Capital climbers
When I arrived in Washington from Georgia in 1997, I was immediately struck by the stifling falseness of the place. The source of this falseness, however, was not immediately apparent, and it took me many years of careful observation, painful experience and lonely contemplation to discover that source.

In Washington, reputation, image, status and prestige are everything, for these are the means by which one acquires that most precious of commodities, influence. Here, a man can be a clueless fool, a two-faced liar and/or a porn-addicted closet homosexual in a sham marriage, yet as long as he has influence, he will be praised and treated with courtesy as if he were a gentleman.

The all-important factor of influence in D.C. means that the smart operator carefully calculates everything he says or does. He learns to be circumspect and obsequious, to fawn and flatter with those who can help him, to backstab and undermine his potential rivals, to ignore those who are inconsequential to his ambitions, and to carefully accumulate a curriculum vitae of senior fellowships, contributing editorships, board memberships, et cetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

Ordinary Americans do not operate by such methods, nor even attempt to understand them, because the Ordinary American happily lacks the quality essential to success in Washington, namely the ambition to be a success in Washington. And the reason the successful Washington operative is so insultingly arrogant is because he is so consumed by his pursuit of influence that he cannot distinguish between ambition and ability.

The press secretary to a Senator vainly imagines that he holds that job because he possesses such vast intelligence and skill that there is no one else in this nation of 300 million who could possibly do it so well. Yet if Tom Coburn fired his press secretary tomorrow -- this is a name-out-of-a-hat example and I don't even know Coburn's press secretary, much less have any desire that he should be fired -- the resultant job opening would attract a dozen or more applications from persons equally suited to the job. And never mind all those who might be qualified for the job, but have no interest in such work.

Such, however, is the role of influence in Washington that Coburn's press secretary is treated with a measure of deference and respect. He exercises, by proxy, senatorial prestige, and those who seek favor with the senator will cultivate the press secretary's friendship and admiration -- though not nearly so much as they cultivate that kingpin of congressional bureaucrats, the Chief of Staff.

There are 535 chiefs of staff in the Capitol, and let the curious outsider inquire what terror the Chief of Staff wields over the lesser functionaires who are dependent on his good favor for their continued employment and hopeful advancement. No court eunuch in ancient Persia ever so jealously guarded his prerogative as does the congressional Chief of Staff.

Means of ascent
What is true on Capitol Hill is true at the White House, in every agency and bureau, in every think tank, policy shop, advocacy group and media organization in Washington. A young man or woman does not graduate from a Top 50 university with a degree in political science, public policy or communications, go through a series of internships and leadership seminars, then hire in on a lower rung of the Washington power establishment with the career goal of moving up one or two rungs before turning 65 and collecting a pension. Oh, hell, no.

When a fellow out of Penn or Stanford comes to Washington at age 23, he means to claw his way to power and wealth, if not also to fame, By Any Means Necessary. Influence is the objective, and ambition is the fuel, and woe unto he who is perceived as an impediment or obstacle to the success of the ambitious young Washingtonian.

To understand the culture of the place, you must understand these organizational dynamics, and with such an understanding, you then see how David Brooks gets away with his scam. David Brooks has friends in Washington, and all of his friends are influential friends, for the likes of him never cultivates the friendships of people who are not relevant or useful to his ambitions. He has kissed all the right asses, and the recipients of his tender ministrations are grateful to have their pliant toady occupy that precious slice of editorial real estate, a column at the New York Times, where -- whatever useless idiocies he may spew -- his patrons can be sure of one thing, and one crucially important thing: He will not attack them.

Ah, but today is not Tuesday, so we must leave aside this amusing digression and now return to our main theme.

Portrait of an Idea
The girlish artificiality of discourse in Washington, a byproduct of the game of ambition and influence which is the daily bloodsport of our nation's capital, is manifested in any other arena of endeavor where similar organizational dynamics prevail. What is true of the senatorial Chief of Staff is therefore true of certain prestigous and respectable ideas, because the ambition/influence dynamic exists there also.

Falsehood cannot withstand truth, so long as truth is accompanied by courage, and therefore the practicioners of falsehood always seek to discourage the friends of truth. (Ask Kathy Shaidle or Rush Limbaugh about this.) One effective means of discouragement is to make truth a career liability, so that habits of honesty become an impediment to employment, promotion and success.

This is why our university faculties are dominated by bullshit artists. An honest man must remain silent for years to gain tenure at an American university, and after practicing silence as a necessary means of survival for so long, it is rare that any man recaptures the courage to speak out once he acquires that sweet reward, the Full Professorship. After all, once a man begins speaking truth in the Museum of Modern Bullshit that is American academia, he forfeits forever any other reward or honor that academia can bestow on its membership.

To bring one's career to a full stop is a painful thing to contemplate, since the desire of advancement is natural to the man of ability and thus, in academia, few are so bold and manly as to denounce and repudiate feminism.

Like David Brooks, feminism retains its respectability because it has influential friends, including lawyers and judges. Speak out strongly against feminism, then find yourself the target of a sexual harassment accusation, then ask your attorney whether one thing has something to do with the other. (The feminist historian Elizabeth Fox Genovese was a victim of this at Emory University.) When you denounce feminism, you are attacking an idea that upholds privilege, and those who possess that privilege will do whatever it takes to maintain the intellectual fiction necessary to their status, their influence, their cherished prestige.

Therefore, however much effort one expends on a detailed forensic disproof of the tenets of feminism, the ultimate target of the attack is the prestige of the idea. People were once proud to call themselves Whigs, when being a Whig loyalist would gain them prestige among influential Whigs. And there were once many who proudly called themselves "liberal Republicans," so long as there were liberal Republicans who could reward their comrades with jobs, awards, contracts, and other emoluments. But once being a Whig could no longer qualify a man for a patronage appointment at the post office, and once calling yourself a "liberal Republican" meant foreswearing any hope of high elective office, those who had once called themselves such things began to call themselves something else. But this is not Tuesday.

The Kleagles of feminism
Consider the example of Robert Byrd, who now weeps womanly tears for his dear friend Ted Kennedy, but who was once a Kleagle in the Ku Klux Klan. What motivated Byrd to join the Klan is the same thing that motivates him to demonstrate by his Teddy-loving histrionics his devotion to the liberal Democratic cause. Byrd is a weak and vain creature who craves nothing so much as to belong, to be cherished and praised, to be one of the popular and pretty girls on the third-grade playground.

When his contemptible ambition could be served by becoming a Klansman, Byrd's cunning earned him the honor of being a Kleagle. When that ambition could be served by demonstrating his devotion to segregation, he filibustered the Civil Rights Act. But once he realized the enormous opportunities for praise that awaited the outspoken liberal, Byrd became a disgusting toady of liberalism. Whatever his political peregrinations, the constant factors of Byrd's career have been his overweening ambition, his shrewd opportunism and, above all, his enormous vanity.

We know in our hearts that liberalism is doomed precisely because it attracts the likes of Robert Byrd, unworthy weaklings who are more dangerous to their friends than to their enemies. When a man tells me that he is a liberal, he might as well tell me he is either a liar or a fool, because liberalism is nothing but a conspiracy whereby liars advance the cause of evil with the assistance of fools.

Why, then, do some women who call themselves conservatives insist on claiming that they are also feminists, since feminism is nothing more than the Ladies Auxilliary of Liberalism? The answer is simple: Because conservative men surrender to the fearful cowardice that they have been taught in the Museum of Modern Bullshit.

You will never meet a man working as a carpenter or truck driver who does not laugh to scorn the idiocy of feminism. The blue-collar man works a man's job for a man's pay, and his career ambition is not dependent on his ability to pretend he believes respectable nonsense. But if the working man's son goes off to college, he must beware of becoming indifferent to the daily insults to his intelligence that academia inflicts. It is only too easy to acquiesce in silence, and thereby allow the boldness of falsehood to discourage the friends of truth.

Let the insult be returned in kind, and repaid with interest. Aim directly at the solar plexus of feminism's bogus prestige, and when you are ready to take your shot, son, hit it with everything you've got: Equality Is For Ugly Losers.

And that, my friends, is how to hate feminism, as you must. The tip jar is open for business.

* * * * *

UPDATE: Linked at Protein Wisdom (compare and contrast) and I just got off the phone with my new most favorite blogger, Cynthia Yockey, who likes the large package. I owe Miss Yockey an apology, but that will come later. (Note to self: Resist temptation to brilliant double-entendre.) At this point, I would just suggest that the reader ask, "Why would a lesbian hate feminists?"

UPDATE II: BTW, among my regular readers is a fellow who is an associate pastor in a church attended by the girl I was in love with in third grade. And fourth grade. And fifth grade.

By sixth grade, I moved on to unrequited pining over others, but you cannot imagine what joy there is in knowing that Sunday morning, that Christian minister will say to that girl, "Oh, did you see what Stacy wrote this week? It was f---ing awesome!" (Yes, even ministers of the gospel are inspired to such vehement modes of expression when they encounter genuine, first-class lunatic gibberish.)

UPDATE III: A blogger who worked for five years on Capitol Hill: "I can't begin to express how true this is. If the nail had been hit any more squarely on the head, it would have split an atom."

UPDATE IV: The main text of this post (not including the column excerpt or the updates) is 2,400 words, written between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. this morning. Do the math and figure that if David Brooks is paid $300,000 a year to produce two 750-word columns a week . . . well, the tip jar is open for business. It's For The Children!

To compose original English prose at the pace of 480 words an hour means that the resulting draft will include errors and typos, and so when I wrote "Ace, Allah and Rusty," I did not stop to include links, nor did I bother to answer the question I left hanging so ponderously in the air.

The reason those three bloggers jealously guard their anonymity is that they know how the enemy operates. When a cowardly character assassin comes to put the knife in your back, he will quite often do so by a vicious personal smear, accusing you of some vile thing -- e.g., racism, adultery, failure to make timely payments on your 2004 KIA Optima.

So if you wish to blog with impunity, to deal out the punk-smacking goodness without fear or favor, then anonymous blogging is the way to go. You can ask Jeff Goldstein or Michelle Malkin about the professional and personal hazards of being a name-brand conservative blogger. The Left recognizes no standard of justice or decency. They will attack By Any Means Necessary, and if you are ever important enough to draw their attention, you had better pray that you are living right and have lots of good friends to defend you when the attack comes.

You will notice that at the top right of my page is a link to a new book by Sam Childers, Another Man's War (which I urge everyone to buy). One of the things Pastor Sam talks about in the book is the role he played in bringing relief supplies to the South Sudanese during their long war to win their autonomy from Khartoum.

The South Sudanese were led by John Garang, a man of the Dinka tribe who deserves to be mentioned with reverence whenever the word "liberty" is spoken. During the fiercest battles of that war, the frontline was at a point on the Juba-Yei road called "Mile 40."

Pastor Sam introduced me to some veterans of Garang's Sudanese People's Liberation Army who had helped hold the line at "Mile 40," men who stayed and fought when others ran away. And there were many others who died fighting to hold that line, in what seemed at times a hopeless fight, so that their children could be free. And it occurs to me that at the Last Judgment, many soldiers of the SPLA will answer that trumpet call. The gates of heaven will swing wide, and the angels will gratefully sing welcome to those heroes, the Men of Mile 40. (And you should definitely order Another Man's War now.)

Well, Ace, Allah, Rusty -- these guys have spent years in anonymity, blogging to defend that which is right and good against those who are wrong and evil. All three of them have advanced degrees. They are men qualified for high professions, who have risked much and suffered much to do what they believed to be a duty in defense of liberty. Yet circumstances require them to remain anonymous in service to this great cause.

What if, however, some day freedom wins such a great victory that these anonymous bloggers should finally be recognized by name? Won't you, dear reader, be proud to say then, "Hey, I used to read his blog!" And won't you be even prouder when you say, "Hey, I hit his tip jar!"

You should be grateful for these men's service in the blogosphere, because they have stuck with it when the tip-jar wasn't jangling and the blog-o-bucks (to use Ace's term) weren't exactly rolling in. They were diligent in their work, a phrase I use with emphasis. Because if you buy my book -- don't do it now, buy Another Man's War instead -- and you ask me to autograph it, I will include below my signature "Proverbs 22:29," which is:
Seest thou a man diligent in his work? He shall stand before kings . . .
A proverb with a promise, as they say. Like many of my posts, this one went off on some unexpected tangents and digressions. The one thing I meant to do when I got up this morning was not to get back into metablogging (i.e., blogging about blogging), but when Dan Collins gave me a little love tap this afternoon about Bristol Palin, it caused me to realize with sudden horror that I had not clarified the meaning of my question about Ace, Allah and Rusty, who have held the line online for so long.

God deals justly with man, and requires of man but two things: That we acknowledge Him, and that we deal justly with our fellow man. Sort of a divine Rule 2, you see. So . . .

Follow the links (right-click and choose "open in new window"), hit their tip jars, too, and please do yourself a huge favor and order Another Man's War now.


  1. I live by this philosophy:

    Women are crazy.
    Men are stupid.

    Works every time.

  2. Ok. Now I'm depressed. Not that I was completely unaware of how Washington operates ... just spelling it all out. We're screwed. I wanna use a harsher term, but I'm new here so I'll be polite.

  3. I like your new Kleagle robe. It really brings out your eyes.

  4. You're not the only one who remembers Coulter's dig at Lowery. It was mean yet absolutely accurate.

    BTW, anyone remember how NRO covered for the New republic when they printed the blood libels of Scott beauchamp?

  5. Shrew opportunism!


  6. I'm a fairly recent addition to your reading audience, and it is posts like these that have earned a spot on my bookmarks toolbar. Not only are you extremely insightful, but one of the few brave souls to actually put into words what everyone in this disgusting city knows to be true.

  7. "The tip jar is open for business." = QED.

  8. Once a Kleagle?

    that would imply he quit..

  9. Embracing belief for political convenience isn't exclusive to liberals; look at all those who turned out to be fair weather conservatives like George Will.

  10. McCain, your post inspired me to rattle off a 1000+ word rant of my own: The Ways of Washington

  11. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 03/12/2009 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

  12. My God, what a great post! I love your take no prisoners approach to the bull crap that passes for social convention in politically correct warped (by liberalism) society. You put a smile on this crotchity male chauvinistic pig's conservative face.
    On guard you feminazi's biotch's!

  13. Brilliant - in so many ways. It may actually have drawn a tear.

    I've read it three times ... and before the day's end, I'm sure I'll read it thrice more.

  14. How are ugly women supposed to keep a roof over their head on your planet, where they're not allowed to be equal to anyone else? I haven't done anything wrong but be born ugly. I appreciate having the legal right to work, own property, sign contracts, etc, just like men do, instead of being stuck waiting for whatever table scraps my sisters' husbands allow me to have after our father dies.

    That was life for ugly women before Seneca Falls--doesn't seem to jive well with conservative notions like individual responsibility. So, please, tell me, what the fuck am I supposed to do?

  15. Stacy:
    As far as DC goes, that exists in any power structure. You want to be in, kiss the ring. So, if politics is hollywood for ugly people, then feminism is politics for ugly women? My advice to Heather is to become a fellatrix, and a good one at that.

  16. I'll have to read this again. Good job of crankin' out a dense column without any speed bumps. It's like riding in the HOV lane on a big-assed Harley, headed west, doing 95.

    One small point: Feminism, like many other "isms" didn't start out (totally) wrong. Like classical Liberalism, it just got thoroughly compromised by leftists selling the same old crap. Fortunately there are still feminists like Phyllis Chesler ( ) who show what the original idea was all about.

    If you aren't reading Phyllis, you aren't learning about the horrific effects of the medievalist version of Islam on women.

    So no, I won't be hating feminism: just what they did to it.

  17. "The all-important factor of influence in D.C. means that the smart operator carefully calculates everything he says or does."

    - You said it very clearly. But then again, pepole don't mind hearing "full disclosure", "transparency to the American people". It works all the time.

  18. One of the best blog posts I've read in a long time. Bravo, sir.