YDS: The Clare Spark Blog

October 29, 2016

Hillary, Comey, and “faux feminism”

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 7:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,
Naviex/Achievement Hunter

Naviex/Achievement Hunter

Mulling over James Comey’s (ambiguous) “bombshell” announcement on October 28, 2016, earlier today, I posted this item on my Facebook wall: “After the initial euphoria, today I am still wondering if the Hillary supporters are motivated by faux feminism and/or compelling personal advantage in the welfare state/progressivism.”

This blog is about the meaning of “faux feminism”—my own attempt to distinguish the excitement over “the first woman candidate of a major political party” from the enthusiasm that some of us felt in the 1970s. I am guessing that it is faux feminism that may have taken in (moralizing) progressives of the “Left” in 2016.

For instance, I remember that the late Francine Parker organized a whole bunch of us in Los Angeles to protest an experimental production of the Mark Taper Forum because a male director was in charge, presumably messing with women’s heads. Francine, an antiwar documentary director herself http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/arts/22parker.html) ,  used to declare that she would defend “all women” anytime and anywhere. Yet this separatist impulse (reflected in Women’s Studies departments and in role-reversal*), stood in contradiction to the feminism that I preferred at the time—consciousness-raising that would ostensibly alert all women to their true conditioning as “the second sex.” (Such enlightened radical women would be distinguished from liberal feminists; Francine Parker fell between two stools)

Of course, “the movement” would end up as a hodge-podge of motives: Great Goddess Feminists, right-on Feminists (who, as NYC radicals, largely faded fast), New Age bourgeois Feminists, postmodern Feminists, and so on.

It is hardly surprising, given the confusion of “what women want” that Hillary and her “liberal” supporters would play “the Woman Card,” hoping to snare as many votes as possible. (For an anti-Trump review of feminism, see http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/06/27/hillary-clinton-and-the-history-of-women-in-american-politics; for a prior treatment by leftist-feminists of “faux feminism” see https://www.amazon.com/False-Choices-Feminism-Hillary-Clinton/dp/1784784613; for some of the reasons I left the Left, see https://clarespark.com/2014/05/10/why-i-left-the-left/.)

*role reversal: assuming that male characteristics are better, and that women and men are identical.

Advertisements

April 1, 2016

’70s feminism and its bizarre legacy

MegynKellyI have written so frequently about the “second wave” of feminism that I didn’t think another blog was merited. But this week, the media attention to Donald Trump’s alleged gaffes, supposedly indicative of his vile sexism and aggressiveness in “the war on women” made me change my mind about a feminist blog that would reveal the base media distortions directed against advocates for female equality.

First, the flap against abortion. One extreme conservative smear consists of the proposition that pro-choice feminists are “pro-abortion.” To be sure, there exist women who use legal abortions as a form of birth control, but I have never known a case where agonizing ‘soul-searching’, extreme youth, or poverty did not accompany the termination of a pregnancy. (https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/induced-abortion-united-states.)

As for Trump’s gaffe, he was plainly reacting to the necessity to conform to the rule of law. Of course, he should have refused to discuss the subject, since it was obviously a Chris Matthews trap. Indeed, the subject had never come up in the Republican debates (except for Planned Parenthood), since it is assumed that all Republicans would be “pro-life” (though I have long insisted that Republicans might better focus on the feminist question “Is there life after birth”? See https://clarespark.com/2015/10/10/is-there-life-after-birth-states-rights-and-controlling-our-children/. A more interesting question would have been regarding Trump’s view of embryonic stem cell research. See http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics5.aspx.)

Second, the class basis of ‘70s feminism. As I have stressed over and over, the “second wave” of feminism came out of the civil rights/antiwar movement, and its chief publicists appealed to middle class educated women, resentful of male put-downs, relegating them to secretaries at the beck and call of “movement heavies.” Or, alternatively, ‘70s feminism may be seen as a revolt against domesticity (Betty Friedan was the chief instigator on this front.)

What Friedan failed to recognize was that, since John Locke’s idea of the tabula rasa and the Industrial Revolution that removed the paterfamilias from the home, domesticity gave women unprecedented influence in the home/child-rearing and also in the Progressive movement that was striving “to make the whole world home-like.” To displaced patriarchs, this was an outrageous turn of events that one might surmise helped fuel the opposition to votes for women, who already seemed to have too much power, especially in their uncanny sexual power (too reminiscent, perhaps of Mother).

Although some lesbian feminists had a different agenda, liberal heterosexual feminists mostly failed to focus on such crucial issues as the co-option of feminist demands that failed to challenge “the beauty myth”, deficiencies in women’s health, and the dumbing down of American culture owing to the growing power of mass media (including Fox News Channel), which were all too eager to promote hyper-sexuality, blondes, cosmetics, plastic surgery, fashion fetishes (such as stiletto heels), and role reversal where the dominatrices ruled.

Third, the uplifting conception of “victimology.” Enter the second Trump scandal of the week: the Michelle Fields affair. Independents, libertarians, and conservatives alone seem to be objecting to current widespread practice in the schools to enforce “safe zones” where allegedly bullying (white) males must be isolated, reformed, and punished. (Other victim groups usually get off the hook; such is the power of academic social justice warriors.)

Predictably, the glamourous female journalists (who don’t self-identify as “feminists”) promoted by Fox News Channel and mainstream television outlets generally fail to question or probe the negative aspects of 70s feminism. Why should they?

angryfeminist

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.