Feminism as an ideology is perfectly capable of entailing consent to the patriarchy, protestations of radfems to the contrary. Liberal feminism, whether the radfems like it or not, is cladistically part of the tradition. That’s what this piece is about: because of the genetic heritage of feminism and its world-historical development, no matter what feminism as an ideology logically entails, the cladistic approach better explains why feminists, rather than Feminism as such, hate with a visceral hate all manifestations of patriarchy-by-consent, but encourage high-octane BDSM. Too often conservatives fall into the trap of accepting Feminism and falling in with feminists, and then are surprised when they wake up pwned. The cladistic approach shows why all types of feminism, equity feminism or first wave feminism, all must be rejected. Once you understand how it explains what feminists think of traditional housewives, you see how the cladistic approach applies to every other element of the feminist thede.
Do Not Link Salon is one of the cardinal rules of the Internet, but just for you, dear readers, I’m making an exception.
The author of the piece I’m using as a foil is Emily Matchar, is secular, liberal feminist who is obsessed with the blogs of traditional, Mormon housewives. I’ll skip the cursory opening remarks and jump straight to select passages:
“This focus on the positive is especially alluring when your own life seems anything but easy. As my friend G. says, of her fascination with Mormon lifestyle blogs, “I’m just jealous. I want to arrange flowers all day too!” She doesn’t, really. She’s just tired from long days spent in the lab, from a decade of living in a tiny apartment because she’s too poor from student loans to buy a house, from constant negotiations about breadwinning status with her artist husband.” Italics mine.
“So why, exactly, are these blogs so fascinating to women like us — secular, childless women who may have never so much as baked a cupcake, let alone reupholstered our own ottomans with thrifted fabric and vintage grosgrain ribbon?”
“I certainly have no illusions about what life as a Mormon would be like, and I’m sure it’s not for me, which makes my obsession with these blogs all the more startling.”
Quite startling, indeed.
It might seem surprising that feminists regularly broadcast long monologues dripping with dissonance all over the Internet. This is a common phenomenon, which I’ll discuss later in this article. Half of Matchar’s piece: telling stories about spending hours and hours poring over blogs of Mormon women, who like to talk about their children over coffee, make arts and crafts with the kids, cook and clean, and wait with excitement for the husband to come home after work in the evening to the smell of dinner and beaming kids jumping all over the place to see Papa. Apparently, this is a fairly common phenomenon among feminists. Jealous, much? Of course not!
The other half of Matchar’s piece: discounting all the blogs, all the photos, all the smiles, and validating her own choices through snide remarks and instilling doubt: “Clearly, life for the Mormon wife is not all crafts and cupcakes,” and: “Of course, the larger question is, are these women’s lives really as sweet and simple as they appear?”
Revealed preference, also known as browser history, slices through female double-talk. Yes, they’re angry and jealous—so jealous it burns.
Again, I repeat, feminism as an ideology is perfectly capable of entailing consent to the patriarchy and a traditional lifestyle. But innocent bystanders are confused when they’re continually bashed over the head with the slogan: “Feminism is simply about equality. Who could be against equality?”
Response: “Yeah, I guess, but…”
There are two strategies. First, reject the progressive conception of equality (not equality as such, since equality just means likes being treated alike—in this case, we’d just say men and women aren’t alike enough to justify any part of the feminist programme). Second, point out the cladistics. Feminists will deny and deny and deny that they’re full of seething rage and contempt for the choices of women to stay-at-home, despite the fact that these women consented.
Both strategies should optimally be combined to combat cladistic schizophrenia.
In effect, conservatives who object, yet accept the progressive equality frame are a little lost without cladistics. Something Is Wrong, But I Just Don’t Know What, they feel. Cladistic analysis works because it predicts that ideologies are mostly signaling and sorting mechanisms for thedes, for ingroups. And people sort themselves into thedes with other people very much like themselves. This type of analysis also predicts why people have a very difficult time drawing out the logical implications of ideologies, instead preferring to ask questions like: What’s the feminist or libertarian view of golf? The answer, at least for libertarians, should be that it’s a nonsensical question, asked in order to suss out thede dynamics. What they’re really asking is: is golf a thing libertarians regularly engage in–does the ingroup think it’s okay?
As a brief tangent, I can’t say exactly what the feminist understanding of golf would be, for verily the latest, ground-breaking contribution in women’s studies journals could be how golf is really just a forum for older, high status males lamenting the drop of testosterone and virility, signified by the one ball and phallic flag, instead of two balls and phallic flag.
Indeed, out of one side of the mouth, the pat answer is this: feminism doesn’t hate stay-at-home moms, at all! It’s about consent and equality, not occupational choice.
The other side: Stay-at-home moms are killing feminism. As Elizabeth Wurtzel explains, “real feminists don’t depend on men. Real feminists earn a living, have money and means of their own.” I’m not about to do a literature review and dredge up all the relevant stories, but anyone who’s actively paid attention to feminist goings-on in magazines like The Atlantic, Slate, Guardian, Salon, et al. are well-aware that this is not a fringe, minority position. It’s officially hushed and couched in a way so as to enable distancing-as-need and plausible deniability. But it’s there in full form. Cladistically, it has to be, in perfect, passive aggressive female form.
You Can Make Any Choice You Want To Make, So Long As It’s The Right Choice.
After all, everyone knows that ‘The Feminist Housewife’ Is Such Bullshit. Another article, “Feminism has fizzled, its promise only half-fulfilled,” isn’t so much condemnatory as it is a good example of the cladistic understanding of feminism coming from feminists themselves.
Most of these articles either come perilously close to or just outright allege false consciousness.
‘These stay-at-home, traditional women can’t be happy! That might mean the feminist project of grafting testicles onto my face isn’t working.’
I’m proposing to make a little addition to the feminist literature. Let’s call it the Wurtzel test: the ability of a woman to exhibit behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, a man’s. To achieve true feminism is to pass the Wurtzel test. Being successful to Wurtzel Women is doing stuff men do, and being recognized by the other boys in the sandbox as being a powerful force to be respected and feared. Of course, this doesn’t actually mean exhibiting masculine virtues, or working side-by-side with coal miners and taking hard jokes. What it actually means is status, power, and swooshing around in a strange-looking suit, while keeping finger nails intact. Success is defined by the high-status male paradigm.
Apart from cladistics is the purely ideological understanding of stay-at-home mommery from a feminist perspective. If low-to-high-grade BDSM can be consented to, then a fortiori, how much more should patriarchy be licit? You can put a leash around her neck and choke her unconscious, but you can’t expect her to consent to the norm of making you breakfast in the morning. What’s amusing is that it’s easier for feminists to justify all sorts of physically violent and soul-destroying fetishes or practices like polyamory or prostitution. The idea of a traditional housewife consenting to the formal authority of her husband, who lovingly but firmly guides the ship, is enough to send feminists into, well, depressingly typical female hysterics.
There’s a game I sometimes like to play in social gatherings. Make The Feminist Admit It—that is, force a feminist to admit that women can consent to living staying-at-home lives under patriarchal authority (don’t forget to throw in triggering terms like barefoot and pregnant)—while still, of course, being feminists. Watch their face contort with rage as she explains how a stay-at-home lifestyle is equally valid, so long as consent exists. Five minutes later, she’ll return to her usual routine of snide remarks about housewives, even though she’s also recounting how depressing and unfulfilling her paper-shuffling job is.
Not to fear, dear feminist. There exists an entire literature brought to you by Elite Daily and Huffington Post on how to stave off existential crises relating to delayed motherhood and femininity.
Eat, Pray, Love, Freeze Your Eggs, More Cock Carousel, More BDSM, More Polyamory, More Travel, More Cultural Experiences, More Yoga, More Jobs, And Most Importantly, More Pumpkin Spice.
The patriarchy is that constantly tempting force which threatens to suck women into motherhood as soon as they stop sucking cock.
Again, it’s all too depressingly female: the reason why feminism has experienced such backlash is that women are famously bad at keeping dissonance and schizophrenia to themselves, instead preferring to broadcast it over endless self-reflection pieces at Salon et al. I Went To Russia And I Kind Of Liked Patriarchy. Feminism Says All Choices Are Valid Except For Yours, You Disgusting Stay-At-Home Mums.
You can’t hide cladistics when your adherents want to make sure everyone knows in the most passive-aggressive way possible that all they want is to be like the Most High (status males). Feminism is a reversal of the Genesis Script, a direct affront to male authority. What this means, of course, is that cladistically, ol’ crazy, ultra-conservative Pat Robertson was right: “The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
This is why Christina Hoff Sommers, bless her heart, ought to reject the label outright. Cladistics shows that equity feminism is still feminism. And now it’s time for me to sign off. But before I go, I’d like to include one last little bit.
Feminism, at the end of the day, is just a way for feminists to justify talking about men all the time.
Feminism fails the Bechdel test.