Questions we can answer

Can you be a right-wing feminist?

Yes. Arguing for equality of opportunity between men and women is not any-wing.

Feminism is inextricably linked to socialism

No, it isn’t, now fuck off you stupid bint.

38 thoughts on “Questions we can answer”

  1. Yes it is, Tim. It always has been a philosophy of the Left. Feminism since the 1960s has been overtly predicated on a Marxist theory of class struggle. You can no more be a right wing Feminist than a right wing any other sort of Marxist. It’s akin to being a Christian atheist. Definitionally impossible.

    You seem to be under the illusion that Feminism is something to do with equality of opportunity. It isn’t. Equality of opportunity- let us call that “equity”- is intrinsically incompatible with the (stated) claim of Feminism[1] which is equality of outcome. You can only get equality of outcome by applying different degrees of oppotunity to different classes. This is why Cath Mackinnon (correctly) stated that Feminism is not compatible with a liberal society in Towards A Feminist Theory Of The State. That is, the only way for equal numbers of goals to be scored by every football team is to variously handicap the teams until the scores are brought into alignment.

    There is no non-left Feminism. It does not exist. It never has existed, and it never will exist.

    Reminds me, as it goes, I was just watching the paleoconservative Paul Gottfried on Youtube- excellent bloke, top brain- and he remarked how there is no Right Wing in the USA as such. The Conservative movement consistently opposes something, then accepts it, then tries to claim it is a conservative value, and he gave Feminism as an example. American Conservatives now try to claim that Feminism is a Great American Value that must be spread to the rest of the world (by dropping bombs, somehow).

    This is why the Left always win. They know that once they get soomething through, the Right will adopt it after a little grumbling. 20 years from now, they’ll be talking about the Great COnservative Tradition of Gay Marriage, guaranteed.

    Anyway, no, there is no right-wing feminism. It just isn’t possible.

    [1] Feminism isn’t really about its stated claim either, but we’ll go with that for now.

  2. Labour is violently right-wing: they took part in the slaughter of a million Muslims in Iraq for no good reason (unlike the “far right” BNP and UKIP which opposed the war from day one).

    So if you’re a feminist and vote Labour, then you’re right wing and a feminist. Jesus this is complicated.

  3. Tim, you’re wrong on this one.

    Your mistake is in thinking feminism = equality of opportunity for women.

    It does not. That’s just the PR spiel they use to reel in suckers. Like how various Trotskyite sects camouflage themselves as “anti-war” or “anti-racist” groups.

    What is feminism really about?

    To understand feminism we need to understand what the intellectual vanguard of feminism are really about.

    The intellectual leaders of feminism are mostly found in gender and women’s studies departments at universities.

    If they were teaching “women should have equal opportunities to men”, their degree courses would last two minutes.

    Feminism is in fact, and always has been, a Marxist-inspired liberation movement. Women’s Studies teaches that:

    * Gender is a social construct
    * All women are oppressed by a system known as Patriarchy, which benefits all men
    * Capitalism is a tool of Patriarchy
    * Rationalism and empiricism are tools of the Patriarchy
    * The personal is political, i.e. EVERYTHING is political, there is no such thing as a “private” matter
    * The nuclear family oppresses women
    * Women are forced into compulsory heterosexuality
    * All heterosexual sex is rape

    You might not agree with the above, but these are the core ideas of feminism as taught in every Women’s Studies course in the country.

    If you’re interested, check out the core texts assigned at Oxford. It’s chock-full of de Beauvoir, Foucault, Butler, Sartre, and other “critical theorists”, “queer theorists”, and every stripe of Marxian creepy crawly. Neoliberals need not apply.

  4. ” To me, feminist policy in modern times is about a radical transformation of the allocation of power, whether that is in families, institutions, the media or the wider economy.”

    In other words taking any economic and political power that men might have and giving it to women, while not of course taking the enormous social and sexual power that women have and giving it to men.

  5. Every woman seems to have her own definition of feminism; some will agree with Tim, others with Ian B and Steve; a large group who can’t be bothered to think for themselves agree with Jonathan

  6. Ian B – great minds 😉

    Jonathan – “In other words taking any economic and political power that men might have and giving it to women, while not of course taking the enormous social and sexual power that women have and giving it to men.”

    I’ve seen it expressed as follows on the Chateau Heartiste blog:

    The goal of feminism is to remove all constraints on female sexuality while maximally restricting male sexuality.

    That’s quite a provocative statement. But is he wrong?

    Of course, the same applies to economic and political power.

    The feminist prescription for women:
    * slut walks and “sex-positive” mantras encouraging promiscuity
    * celebration of contraception and abortion, breaking the link between sex and its consequences, namely procreation
    * women must always be given special preference in educational, career, and political opportunities
    * women must always be treated more favourably by the courts

    The feminist prescription for men:
    * war on men’s sexual preferences – i.e. Page 3, lapdancing and prostitution are assailed as evil
    * shaming of men who don’t want to have sex with old or fat birds – “you can’t handle a real woman / woman your own age / whatever”
    * “rape culture” fantasies designed to demonise and pathologise normal heterosexual interactions
    * relentless assault on male spaces – golf clubs, etc. must admit women or else
    * any male-majority industry or profession is a problem that must be corrected
    * fathers and husbands now have few effective rights, but a huge burden of legal responsibilities

  7. The radical feminists don’t want to remove all constraitns from female sexuality; just all responsibility. They would much prefer that girls not have sex at all, and are doing what they can (quite successfully, it would seem from the Generation Yawn narrative) to damp it down. They just use peer pressure on girls rather than the legal violence they use against boys.

    The aim is the complete rollback of the Sexual Revolution. They probably won’t achieve that, but it’s where they are aiming. They actually want to constrain female sexuality severely.

  8. john77 – Sure.

    And to a lot of people, socialism simply means “fairness”. Or having a welfare state.

    Those people are idiots though.

    And if we attempt to understand the history and nature of socialism by reference to a vague sense of “fairness” or a desire to have a social safety net, we will miss the point entirely.

  9. Ian B – the Radfems are almost exclusively lesbians, and the main thrust of their critique of sex is aimed at convincing young women that they should be lesbians too.

    Intersectional feminists are more likely to be “sex-positive”, i.e. in favour of every type of slapperdom, as long as contraceptives or abortifacients are used, and as long as the man or men involved get consent in writing and signed and witnessed.

    The Radfems are losing ground to their intersectionalist sisters, but they still dominate academic feminism. Intersectionalism has more sway in the media.

  10. Charlie

    “you stupid bint” is unnecessary. Bint is an ugly word with offensive meaning.

    Charlie, no one is making you use it – it’s a free world.

    Personally, I think it can be remarkably descriptive at times…

  11. @john77
    “Every woman seems to have her own definition of feminism.”

    Indeed, feminism is not a coherent ideology, thus allowing every feminist to claim that when another feminist says, for instance: “All men are rapists and that’s all they are” or ” Most women have to be coerced into Heterosexuality”, that they’re not a real feminist and don’t represent feminism.

  12. Dave – same thing.

    “We are not accustomed to associate patriarchy with force. So perfect is its system of socialization, so complete the general assent to its values, so long and so universally has it prevailed in human society, that it scarcely seems to require violent implementation. . . .
    “Historically, most patriarchies have institutionalized force through their legal systems. . . .
    “Significantly, force itself is restricted to the male who alone is psychologically and technically equipped to perpetrate physical force. . . .
    Patriarchal force also relies on a form of violence particularly sexual in character and realized most completely in the act of rape.

    – Kate Millett, Sexual Politics
    “Family ‘stability’ in a patriarchal system depends upon sexual repression of women. …

    We know that men beat women because they can. No one stops them because to do so would be to interfere with the family. . . .
    “Violence has always been an important tool for maintaining the family to serve the purposes of patriarchy. . . .
    “Susan Brownmiller’s [1976] book, Against Our Will, is a milestone in the women’s movement because it demythologized — desexualized — rape. We learned . . . that sexual and physical violence against women is not ‘sexual’ at all but simply violent. Men use it to dominate women. . . .
    “Susan Brownmiller showed us that the rapists serve all men by enforcing male supremacy. . . . [W]e should be clear that our quarrel is not only with certain abusive men but with male supremacy. Our goal should be not merely to redefine our sexuality but to redefine the world and our place in it.”
    — Ann Jones, “Family Matters”

    “Why should women get married? Why should we enjoy ‘feminine’ clothing? What is wrong with ‘homosexual tendencies’? . . . Indeed, why should women want sex with men at all? . . .
    “Radical feminist practice is concerned about recognizing our fear, and anger, and refusing to dismiss those reactions as simply ‘dysfunctional.’ It is about organizing collectively to challenge the institutions that deny women’s rage and pain. It is about questioning ‘common-sense’ understandings of the world. Radical feminists have examined the institution of heterosexuality, the social construction of desire and the links between rape and ‘consensual’ sex. These analyses question the existence of ‘truly chosen’ and ‘egalitarian’ heterosexual relations by focusing on the compulsory enforcement of heterosexuality; they are suspicious of appeals to some ‘authentic female sexuality,’ hidden deep within ourselves and uncontaminated by the rule of heteropatriarchy.”

    — Jenny Kitzinger, “Sexual Violence and Compulsory Heterosexuality”

    I think heterosexuality cannot come naturally to many women: I think that widespread heterosexuality among women is a highly artificial product of the patriarchy. . . . I think that most women have to be coerced into heterosexuality.”
    — Marilyn Frye, “A Lesbian’s Perspective on Women’s Studies”

    “[O]ur survival demands that we contribute all our strength to the destruction of the class of women within which men appropriate women. This can be accomplished only by the destruction of heterosexuality as a social system which is based on the oppression of women by men and which produces the doctrine of the difference between the sexes to justify this oppression.”
    — Monique Wittig, “One Is Not Born a Woman,”

    “[Charlotte Bunch’s 1972 manifesto] ‘Lesbians in Revolt’ argued one powerful and uncompromising principle: because sexism is the root of all oppression and heterosexuality upholds sexism, feminists must become lesbians and lesbians must become feminists if we are to effect a revolution. . . .”
    — Bonnie Zimmerman, “Confessions of a Lesbian Feminist”

    “Only when manhood is dead — and it will perish when ravaged femininity no longer sustains it — only then will we know what it is to be free.”


    Under patriarchy, every woman’s son is her potential betrayer and also the inevitable rapist or exploiter of another woman.

    – Andrea Dworkin, “The Root Cause”

    Men play the same role in feminism that Jews did in Nazi ideology.

  13. Dave, that’s the No True Scotsman Fallacy.

    What Steve and I are discussing is what is taught in Womens Studies, what is the ideology of NOW, the Fawcett Society, European Womens Lobby, and every other significant feminist organisation and their subsidiaries. It is the theory of Feminism, and Feminism is nothing without it.

    Loose movements without a single organisation can always be defended with “well there are other members who don’t believe that”; so one looks at the significant perosns and organisations, and look at the policies proposed and enacted in the movement’s name. And you read its literature and propaganda. And you find what Steve and I are describing.

  14. Ian>

    No, it’s not OTS. Unless you want to claim that Ritchie is actually a tax expert. Many people claim to be things that they’re not.

  15. Dave – if you prefer to believe that the intellectual leaders of feminism – women whose books and essays are taught as feminist research in every Women’s Studies course in the Anglosphere – aren’t actually feminists, then good luck to you.

    I didn’t choose the quotes above at random or out of context. They represent the mainstream of academic feminist teaching. You may not have heard of these women or their ideas before because feminists tend to tweak their message for mass consumption, just as the Socialist Workers Party likes to downplay its fetish for revolutionary violence and pose as an anti-war, anti-austerity group. When you read what they write for the consumption of other feminists you get a truer picture of what they’re really about.

    Kate Millett was hugely influential in the 70’s women’s movement and her books are still assigned in Women’s and Gender Studies today.

    Jenny Kitzinger of “compulsory heterosexuality” fame isn’t some fringe nutter with a blog – she’s Director of Research at Cardiff University -

    Marilyn Frye was highly respected and famous within her field. She is still cited as a leading feminist scholar.

    Monique Wittig was a titan of French feminism. Her books are still in print.

    Similarly Bonnie Zimmerman – a well known, multiple award winning feminist academic whose essays are often on the required reading list in universities today.

    Ann Jones is a celebrated feminist author whose work appeared in the New York Times and the Guardian – back when those papers had standards.

    And Andrea Dworkin is one of the biggest names in feminism. Her name carries the same sort of prestige in feminist academia that Issac Newton’s does in physics.

    You are free to believe that all these women -who described themselves as feminists, founded or joined feminist organisations, taught feminist theory, wrote feminist textbooks and essays, and are referenced as respectable primary sources in feminist academic papers – are somehow not actually feminists.

    Just as you’re free to believe that Elvis is still alive.

    Sadly, believing doesn’t change reality and Elvis has left the building.

  16. Steve>

    You’re still making an argument that can also be used to insist Ritchie is actually a tax expert. It should be obvious that it is, in that case, invalid.

    People claim all kinds of ludicrous things about their positions in all areas, and ‘feminism’ is no exception. You know, the vast majority of people proclaiming themselves to be ‘radical feminists’ don’t even realise that the ‘radical’ in radfem refers to the 18th and 19th century Radicals – Bentham, Mill, et c. – and not to the popular meaning of radical at all.

  17. It’sactually true that feminists are quite bonkers, hence the concentration on ‘equality’ rather than the ‘all heterosexual sex is rape’ side of things.

    Anyway it keeps the ugly lezzies off the street.

  18. Dave – to my knowledge, there’s no political movement known as tax expertism.

    There is one called feminism. The ladies I quoted above, as I hope I proved, are feminists and their ideas are feminist ones.

    While feminists do indeed make a lot of ludicrous claims, feminism as a movement is not a joke, or a lunatic fringe. It is embedded in the heart of academia and – because it’s a cross-disciplinary subject – has gained considerable traction outside the Women’s Studies ghetto. You can find the influence of feminist teaching in many other areas of study – psychology, sociology, law, politics, medicine, history, English, teacher training, and even the hard sciences.

    It also has considerable influence in government, in public policy, in law enforcement, and in legislation.

    It’s a mistake to write radical feminists off as either not being real feminists, or not knowing what they’re talking about, or through some semantic argument over what the word “radical” should mean.

    You may give her ideas short shrift, but that isn’t going to stop Dr. Jenny Kitzinger – – from teaching impressionable students that they are victims of a societal conspiracy of “compulsory heterosexuality”.

    And it certainly isn’t going to stop her embedding radical feminist assumptions in her research papers, which are then published in legal studies and medical ethics journals and used by the EU and the British government as the intellectual basis for nudging legislation and policy in a feminist direction.

    People can claim all kinds of ludicrous things – sure, but so what? Just because something is ludicrous doesn’t mean it won’t be put into practice. Communism was ludicrous too.

    Equally, you seem to think that because Ritchie is a crank we shouldn’t take him seriously. Why not? A lot of people in positions of power are happy to listen to him and people like him. Should we just declare him to not be a real tax expert and leave it at that? Won’t stop influential people like Lady Hodge or the unions using his “research” to push their agenda.

    Ideas have consequences, Dave. Bad ideas can be like a finding a weird lump on your skin. If you ignore it, take the wait and see approach, unpleasant things have a tendency to happen.

  19. “You can find the influence of feminist teaching in many other areas of study – psychology, sociology, law, politics, medicine, history, English, teacher training, and even the hard sciences.”

    Where is hard sciences? I don’t remember the feminism bollocks appearing in Physics or Engineering. Can’t imagine it in maths or chemistry. (i do see a lot of women in the recruiting propaganda etc, but the actual subject?)

    If that’s the “mainstream of academic feminist teaching” how loony must the fringe be?
    Do a bit of a search on YouTube. Won’t be long before you find “feminists” (i prefer the term psychopaths) who want to eradicate 90% of men and give women control of the earth.
    Interestingly, (or disturbingly) mainstream feminists never seem to denounce these nutters for being nutters…

  20. Apologies for the formatting of my main post. Was done on phone. Hopefully everyone can figure out what was quote, response and typos.

  21. A feminist utopia.

    The Two Ronnies – The Worm That Turned (1 of 8)

    “The Date line is 2012, England is in the grip of a new regime of Terror. Traditionally a land of brave heros and great statesmen. Britan now laboured under the yoke of a power guarenteed to strike fear into the hearts of all men… The country is being run by women…”

  22. Rob>

    “If that’s the “mainstream of academic feminist teaching” how loony must the fringe be?”

    It’s more the case that academic feminism is the loony fringe.

  23. So Much for Subtlety

    It is interesting to see people here reading Roissy. And if I am not mistaken, has someone been taking Robert Stacy McCain’s work without attribution? Come on, give the guy some credit. His series on how bat-sh!t crazy mainstream feminism is has been a delight. I loved his work on Dworkin in particular:

    How mainstream is this nonsense? Well, let me quote from a very non-mainstream blog, one of the few people who makes sense about modern relationships – mainly because I don’t want to link to Vox and despite the fact that he is a hard core Christian of some description:

    ”No Means No” has created a world where women are afraid. To work, “Yes Means Yes” needs to create a world where men are afraid.

    That is Ezra Klein. Mainstream as you can get. He was inspired by this nonsense:

    That status quo puts women in the position of having to constantly police their own behavior to make sure that they are not giving the appearance of passive consent. That’s not only exhausting; it’s limiting. It reinforces power imbalances that keep women out of positions of success and authority.

    So to go back to the generally vile, but sadly accurate, Roissy, the whole point of this law is to restrict whatever men want to do and allow women to do whatever they want without any consequences whatsoever. The man may be a low life, but he was ahead of his time.

  24. Dave is talking pants about “radical”. The term had nothing to do with Mill and Bentham (men, for heaven’s sake!). The Rads adopted the term because they believed that, rather than addressing womens’ problems on a case by case basis (e.g. wages, suburban alienation, etc) feminism should address the “root” causes of these problems (radical as it literally means, derived from “radix” == “root”).

    The theory of the root cause they developed is well known. Men as a class impose a system called patriarchy. This system prevents women surviving independently, thus forcing them to serve men in return for the means of survival. A woman denied her own income must derive one from a man, in return for servitude to his desires (she trades sex and domestic servitude for the means of survival). So, in radical theory, a wife is a sex slave, and heterosex is under patriarchy is inherently an act of exploitation and abuse. Any woman who thinks she likes these arrangements must therefore be suffering from false consciousness, like a black slave who claims to enjoy picking cotton, or a worker who thinks he enjoys being an employee.

    Dave can carry on claiming that they are a lunatic fringe, but without this theory, the entire Feminist canon of argument falls apart. It underwrites every feminist argument about sexual exploitation, within relationships, the sex industry, sexual harrassment, “rape culture”, etc, even when not explicitly stated.

    On the last point, it is common for a movement to have a theoretical and a popular doctrine. Most feminists don’t need to overtly state the theory on a day to day basis because it is implied by statements like “sexual exploitation” and “objectification”, etc. In the same way that most Christians don’t routinely articulate the complex theology underlying the religion, because in the popular discourse they will say more sloganistic things that imply it, like “Jesus loves you” or “He died for our sins” or “we are born in sin”. Those statements carry a payload of deep theology, just as everyday Feminist slogans carry the payload of Radical theory.

  25. As to the ridiculous consent law, it is obviously intended as entrapment; a regretful female can claim a rape, and then an absurd process ensues in which the male didn’t ask if she wanted it enough times (how often? Once every five minutes? Once a minute?).

    The reality is that humans operate on implied consent in all things. If my friend Dave says “let’s go down the pub”, and I put my jacket on and go with him, it’s presumed I consented to go to the pub. Now it might be that I didn’t really want to go to the pub, but felt awkward saying no because I knew Dave really wanted to. But unless I actively say, “no, I don’t want to go” and then enforce my consent by not going, there is nothing much anyone else can do.

    The idea that somehow consent becomes an observable if it is repeatedly asked for is ridiculous anyway. Presumably a woman who can’t say “no” once is just going to feel bullied into saying “yes” over and over again. We will thus no doubt end up with ludicrous court proceedings in which the man is saying “she said yes fifty seven times” and the woman is saying “and I didn’t mean any of them, I was oppressed by your manly oppressiveness” and we’re back where we started.

    And of course, the whole red herring of “consent” just reinforces the barmy Feminist idea that men are sexually active agents, and women are passive vessels for their lustful oppressions. None of this addresses the real complexities of human behaviour. There are all sorts of situations in which persons of all types do things they don’t really want to do, and that includes sex. The Feminist assumption is that if consent is not “active”; i.e. the person does not actively want to have sex right now, it is rape.

    Well, I bet every man in the world has also been raped then, by that definition. I know I have. One incident for some reason has always stuck in my mind; years ago now, I was working on some fangled Javascript. My girlfriend had had a shower and walked in naked clearly expecting sex. I did my best, but my nerdbrain was stuck thinking about Javascript, and sad to say I was like FAIL. So she was disappointed and upset, and I couldn’t seem to achieve an adequate apology; mistakenly saying “well I was like mostly thinking about Javascript” came across as dismissive and “don’t you fancy me any more?” and so on.

    So basically, if you swapped the sexes around and it’s the woman who wanted to do the computing and the man expecting sex from her, under Feminism she’d be apologising for failing to respond enthusiastically to rape. Of course it’s really just the emotional complexities of human interactions. But the Feminists don’t do that part very well; my own impression from reading their canon is that most of the theorists were really quite psychologically abnormal and cannot really grasp how other people are and what their lives and relationships are like. The very last people you’d trust for a theory of humankind. Unfortunately, they are the ones who provided the theory we are all currrently supposed to adhere to, just because they were in the right place at the right time with the right connections to activism, academia and publishing.

  26. As to Ritchie, the cohort we would be interested in wouldn’t be “tax experts”. It would be “tax justice campaigners”, and Ritchie is indeed a significant figure in that movement, which is why Tim spends so much time arguing against him. If you were to write a list of “influential tax justice campaigners in the 2010s”, Ritchie would indeed be on the list.

  27. So Much for Subtlety – has someone been taking Robert Stacy McCain’s work without attribution?

    Yar. I nicked some of his essential feminist quotes, he’s been collating some crackers.

  28. Wasp – feminists trying to get into the hard sciences (and Biology):

    That’s just a sample from 30 seconds of googling.

    You have to bear in mind that Women’s Studies doesn’t actually prepare students for any sort of career other than becoming professional feminists themselves. There’s only so many places available for Women’s Studies lecturers, so it’s inevitable that some of these girls will try to branch out.

  29. Ah, ok.
    I was taking the idea wrong. I was struggling to see how a feminist outlook would change the deflection of a beam under a bending load, or the behaviour of an electron passing through a magnetic field.
    The idea of encouraging women in large numbers into a lot of these fields is laughable. Long hours? Dirty unpleasant work? Significant risk of injury? Unsociable hours? Just what every woman wants…

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