Sunday, 18 September 2016

The failure of feminism

I

I’ve noticed something.

Open up almost any social networking site (ok, perhaps not Pinterest) and see how frustrated men seem to be about powerful feminism.

They complain how women can publish any article they want on almost any media channel, but men are too afraid of the social backlash they might receive if they pen a story about defending males. Even if it's prostate cancer or prison rape. Men are being hounded out of the public sphere, men say, and the power of feminism has created a world in which hatred of men is acceptable.

But that doesn’t sound right. I want to suggest the only reason women can get away with saying nasty things and doing horrible things is because men are self-controlling their physical strength. That isn't a popular opinion, I realise. But the entire history of humanity can be boiled down to "might makes right." If you do not have the might, then you do not have the right to make laws because you have no way of defending or prosecuting those laws.

So feminists must ask themselves: why is the weaker sex, which is generally disgusted at violence, able to operate in such positions of power? Consider how women are better represented today as leaders, politicians, CEOs and much else. Why do they feel invincible when they spit in men's faces and insult them in ways that if a male said the same thing would get him beaten up? What is it about modern society that creates this space?

II

The feminist movement has been tricked. Feminists do not realise they are fighting on a battlefield they did not choose. Even when they win, they will drill deeper into the system created by men.

Women are legitimately concerned about inequality. But they almost always make the mistake of seeing the symbols of power men gather for themselves – such as certificates, uniforms, titles, money, etc – thinking if they can achieve those too, then they will have power. Not power over people, but existential power. The power to choose and to not be robbed of agency. The ultimate power of being taken seriously as a human, without the need of symbols.

Women will never gain parity with men if they fight for greater access to the system men created. Many men fall into this trap too, but no man confuses the title of CEO with his maleness. A CEO has to be a leader. The person must fight horribly in turf wars and nasty ladder-climbing for that title. Men created the idea of hierarchy to secure such victories. They invented symbols of authority for the same reason. The title "CEO," "General" or "Professor" screams to other men words it appears women cannot hear.

Instead, modern feminists assume being called CEO suddenly makes them a leader, to whom subordinates will bow and follow willingly into whatever combat lies ahead. That some women are actually seen as leaders reinforces this point: they have had to act like men so their subordinates see them in a way that correctly reflects the title.

This is what happens when a movement fights to control an oppressive system, but its members do not understand true revolution. The movement becomes everything it thought it hated and is subsumed into the old system.

III

Men don’t have to worry. Feminism is not actually winning, it is merging neatly into the male-created system of modern society. Why do I know this? Because it is an “issue” in the media. The moment a movement is discussed in media is the moment the system obliterates it. Someone, somewhere, figured out how to make money at its expense.

Women can get away with shouting and screaming at men, hitting them, firing them from jobs, enforcing gender diversity and everything else because the cause poses no threat to the male-created system of consumption/production and the economic status quo.

If a feminist becomes the CEO of Goldman Sachs, what will happen? The system of corrupt money flow will continue without obstacle. Why? Because the feminist chose to control the company, not attack its ideological bedrock. She might think she has power, but power over people is inferior to existential power. Feminism fails here in the only way that matters: pro-status quo.

Early feminists could see how the male-created system of modern society hurt not just females, but men as well. They wanted to change the structure by fighting to be taken seriously as human beings without the need for titles or millions of dollars.

Men know how the system of power works. A man without any power can walk into a room and talk to powerful men and they will take each other seriously. Can a woman do this? Can a feminist? Feminism is not in control of anything. It should notice that the moment powerful men feel threatened, they will crush the movement like a bug.

IV

This is true for the civil rights movements as well. Those with real power figured they could make more money from coloured people and women if they funnelled their revolutions onto a battlefield where, even if the usurpers won, nothing would change. And even worse, those radicals would begin to fight for their own slavery.

French philosophers, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari in Anti-Oedipus, wrote about how people fight for slavery, and the more I follow the present culture wars, the more relevant these writers become:

"That is why the fundamental problem of political philosophy is still precisely the one Spinoza saw so clearly, and that Wilhelm Reich rediscovered: 'why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?' How can people possibly reach the point of shouting "more taxes, less bread"?  
“As Reich remarks, the astonishing thing is not that some people steal or that others go on strike, but rather that all those who are starving do not steal as a regular practice, and all those who are exploited are not continually out on strike: after centuries of exploitation, why do people still tolerate being humiliated and enslaved, to such a point, indeed, that they actually want humiliation and slavery not only for others but for themselves.  
“Reich is at his profoundest as a thinker when he refuses to accept ignorance or illusion on the part of the masses as an explanation of fascism, and demands an explanation that will take their desires into account, an explanation formulated in terms of desire: no, the masses were not innocent dupes; at a certain point, under a certain set of conditions, they wanted fascism, and it is this perversion of the desire of the masses that needs to be accounted for."

The failure of feminism and other equality movements is a deep shame because they all had such great potential to clean up this male-created mess of a society. But they stood no chance against the incredible forces of power systems arrayed against them.

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