Where are the Feminists?
While the Taliban barbarically repress women in Afghanistan, toxic feminists wage a war against American men.
Freedom Center Shillman Fellow Bruce Bawer’s excellent Frontpage article "Where Are the Gays?" paints a chilling portrait of the imminent torture, execution and amputations that await gay men under Taliban rulership in Afghanistan. And, of course, western gays are silent. Many are too busy hooking up on multiple sex apps. Many have never been concerned with rights that extend beyond the erogenous zones of their genitalia, and several are too busy celebrating the pedophilia presented in the best-selling young adult pornographic novel, Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts), as a moral victory over heteronormative patriarchy.
The majority of sex-addicted gay men live in a curated silo where drugs, hook-ups, flaunting open relationships, and chasing youth and beauty supersede condemning the horrific agenda of the Taliban -- an agenda that will no doubt transport Afghanistan back to the Dark Ages.
A reader suggested that a better article would be named: "Where Are All The Feminists?" Given the plight of women under the Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001, feminists should be concerned about the repression of the rights of individual women in that country. This concern should extend to the current resurgence of child marriage of young teenage girls to Taliban soldiers.
No, feminists in America will not be criticizing the Taliban, just as neither they nor gays in America have dared criticize the brutal treatment of women and gays under the governance of Hamas in Gaza. Feminists in this country are too consumed with another task: the destruction of the American male, who is seen as the producer of imperialism, “racist capitalism,” and systemic racial and gender oppression. This is their obsession. The destruction of the American male supersedes moral concern for the wanton annihilation of human lives in other countries. They will not speak out against the Taliban because they hate America and American men more than they care about the rights of any individual singled out as a target for discrimination based on membership in a demonized group.
As we hurtle towards a possible post-American future, this new breed of feminists, a phalanx of zealots, has forged fourth-wave feminism, and it’s far more rabidly anti-male than previous iterations of the ideological movement. You’d think because of its petty maliciousness and deranged radicalism, its appeal would be narrowly limited to the faculty lounges of liberal arts colleges. Yet since the inception of the #MeToo movement, the crazed foot soldiers of fourth-wave feminism managed not only to take their worldview mainstream, but also to put a headlock on the commanding heights of American culture. This is as impressive as it is terrifying.
These new man-haters are seething with toxic feminism, and the further spread of their noxious sentiment could likely spell the death of our country as we know it. Increasingly prevalent is their practice of exploiting female agency and identity to make blanket attacks on men, to neuter manliness, and to advocate for the end of masculinity. These goals are being achieved while simultaneously promulgating the dual concepts that men are by nature nefarious and that female advancement can only come through the wholesale annihilation of heteronormative constructs of maleness. The destructive consequences for relationships at every level of society—from the simple couple to the community to the nation—will be vast and irreparable.
The New Misandry, as I call it, arose out of the more extreme versions of second-wave feminism. Proponents of this form of feminism, such as Gloria Steinem and Kate Millett, Valerie Solanas (author of SCUM—Society for Cutting up Men) and Carol Hanisch, began the process of speaking to the irrelevance of men to women’s life and society in general. Steinem’s famous dictum, “a woman needs a man the way a fish needs a bicycle,” spoke to the changing cultural attitudes towards men that regarded them as disposable, annoying, and of having nuisance value only. Third-wave feminism, beginning in the early 1990s, saw a rise in affluent middle-class women influenced by Anita Hill who wielded their agency in strategic ways to exact a revenge against all men in the ways in which they imagined a malevolent, collectivist male psyche had inflicted irreparable damage on all women. Fourth-wave feminism, which arose in the 2010s, gained traction with the creation of the #MeToo Movement. This form of feminism is the most toxic brand we find in the history of feminism. With full malice aforethought, its adherents depict masculinity as inherently toxic, and claim that only the abolition of maleness will result in the creation of an egalitarian world for women.
The #MeToo Movement started out with noble intentions of addressing harassment claims of women that were not being adequately addressed in the legal system. It quickly morphed, however, into a male-bashing movement that sought to strip men of their agency and dignity, and engaged in a social eugenics program encroaching on all spheres of life—from abolishing the swimwear category in beauty pageants on the grounds that it was sexist, to attempting to cancel the James Bond movie franchise on the grounds that Bond represented old-fashioned sexist stereotypes of women that were degrading and eviscerative of female dignity. It quickly created a toxic culture in which an accusation of male harassment was sufficient to introduce the presumption of guilt on the part of the man. We say this in the case of Christine Blasey Ford and other women who tried to destroy the life and career of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. No compelling evidence was ever offered, just hyperbolic testimony based on hazy recollections of incidents that allegedly happened decades ago and that were never reported when they allegedly happened.
Their goal is to neuter young boys from K-12 by abolishing gender, and by queering the identity of young boys from as early as those in the 3rd grade.
Such feminists have been aided by weak and purposeless Beta-males. Governed by a “gynocentric paradigm,” they have supported the congeries of woke anti-male progressives for several reasons, ranging from political expediency to poor self-esteem.
The #MeToo Movement, the mother of fourth-wave feminism, is an insidious, Marxist-inflected, social eugenics organization bent on reshaping the sensibilities of men. Toxic femininity’s collusion with a particular kind of male gives us a look at the deeper crisis in masculinity which has created a new and rather ghastly phenomenon: the neutered Beta-male. This man has allowed himself to be eviscerated of his male pride, his manliness, his masculine virtues, and the sense of massive empowerment he ought to feel in the enjoyment of his values. He feels a deep-seated hatred for real men whom he envies largely because they have never sold out to the ways in which toxic feminists and the larger culture have attempted to re-socialize them into being feminine men. These neutered Beta-males are parasitic social ballasts who feed off toxic female power. They collude with such women to bring down real men to radically change the world. More important, their only experience of manliness comes from a weak collusion with women to destroy men who are stronger than they are. The cruel irony is that toxic feminists do not respect such men. They simply use them as pawns in politically expedient ways to serve their ends to end the patriarchy, male assertiveness, and a world in which men lead. We may describe such men as constituting a confederacy of gender-quitters—traitors against their own sex.
Now, more than ever, men—who built Western civilization and, for the most part, do the dirty work of its upkeep—are regarded as expendable, and by their very nature, an existential threat to the planet itself. Against these attacks laden with presumption of guilt, we see that civilizational longevity, economic prosperity, and human flourishing are all irrevocably tied to manliness. To be manly is not just healthy, it is moral, for it creates the ethical space out of which our sense of purpose and identity arises.
What we need to help counter this morally narcissistic form of feminism is a celebration of manliness—specifically working-class manliness—into mainstream culture. Working class men are paragons of male pride. They seek no one’s approval or permission to express their singularity, and their unabashed manliness. They aspire to glory through heroic deeds, and they often risk their lives to save and vindicate those of others. They assert their virtue over authority, and they have a strong respect for meritocracy. They may be defeated, but they are never destroyed. They are men of action who take risks as a way of life. Such men elicit admiration in a simplicity they possess. It is one forged in the crucibles of an attitude that desires to leave the world a better place than they found it through grit, resilience, honor, tenacity, and perseverance. Unlike compassion which invites us to look down on those towards whom we feel pity, admiration is a command to look up to those in control.
Toxic feminists such as Anita Hill, Gloria Steinem, Pauline Harmange, and others rely on one advantage: the Sanction of the Victims. Men who are psychologically victimized by such feminists rarely if ever speak out in radical defense of themselves, let alone their masculine natures. Their silence suggests guilt which implies wrongdoing. This in turn grants such women a coercive monopoly on the moral narratives to indict men and, further: to stamp themselves with the imprimatur of innocence. Men have too often been socialized to feel that they are somehow bad as men and exist as a problem to be solved. These toxic feminists take advantage of this moral weakness in men who are unable to inoculate themselves against the often-baseless accusations of women. Such men are presumed guilty by accusation alone. Morally neutral male behavior that is derived from masculine culture—a kind of bawdiness and raunchiness in general—is construed as damaging to the agency of women. Rather than defend their primal raunch and rambunctiousness and entreat women to be strong in their resolve, men instead resort to lame apologies, silence, moral atonement, acts of contrition and redemption.
Returning to Bruce Bawer’s initial question: the majority of sex-addicted gays and man-hating fourth-wave feminists are, in the end, irrelevant. The real question is: where are the real men—in the USA and in Afghanistan? Real men don’t surrender without a fight or, in the case of the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, abandon his military and his people and run in hiding at the first advance of these vicious trolls.
What we need are ways to fight the toxic feminism that aims to cripple the decisiveness of real men along with their heroic and warrior nature. This involves a comprehensive guide to taking out one of the most potent heads of the identity politics hydra. Toxic feminism is a form of identity politics that trades on a univocal victim status to inflict punishment on men in general for the sheer thrill of garnering power over them.
1) Men will first have to construct masculinity on their terms. It will be non-negotiable, and women will have to accept it as one would the invariability of the laws of nature. This is not to imply that men will not make concessions in their relationships with women for mutual advantage. It is to suggest that masculine construction, per se, is the business of men—not that of women.
2) Men must accept that human male leadership is a role that is an inherent one in nature. They must come to rid themselves of any guilt and shame they feel from exercising leadership. They must see it as their birthright and part of their natural constitution.
3) Men must learn to say No. No to toxic feminism. Silence is not an option. Mere assertion of one’s masculinity is a necessary condition for fighting toxic feminism, but it is not a sufficient one. Men must point out the emotional poison, the moral impotence, and the intention to annihilate male potency that lies behind toxic feminism.
4) Men must use their masculine agency as an ethical and constructive normative identity to enumerate an ethical masculinity. This will give countenance to constitutive features of manliness deemed offensive by toxic feminism by seeking to reclaim them as positive attributes.
To enumerate the values of ethical masculinity men will have to cultivate and manifest in their characters the values of freedom, trust, courage and glory, integrity, authenticity, responsibility, rationality, faith in God (if they are believers), moral leadership, and playfulness, joy and vitality in themselves and in others. This form of masculinity creates a space for women to be fully feminine.
Those who practice ethical masculinity are motivated to achieve, protect others, provide for others, and possess the aspirational desire to leave a legacy. They are not motivated to beat others. At its heart, toxic feminism is impotent since it seeks to destroy male agency. Generous, chivalrous and thoughtful masculine men who find that they harbor a share of the untamable, of the “bad boy” element in them and that they can exercise such traits without being duplicitous and disingenuous will discover that they will attract more women than they can handle.
Toxic feminists and their practice of toxic feminism will be defeated by the sexual, erotic and psychic gravitas these men sway over women. Toxic feminists, like the majority of sex-addicted narcissistic gay men, will be ultimately revealed for what they are: ignoble social ballasts who will elicit the scorn and contempt of real women, and the abject indifference of masculine men.
Jason D. Hill is professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago specializing in ethics, social and political philosophy, American foreign policy and American politics and moral psychology. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. Jason is the author of five books, including the forthcoming book, What Do White Americans Owe Black People: Racial Justice in the Age of Post-Oppression. Follow him on Twitter @JasonDhill6.