Emma Watson, a recent Brown University graduate, gave a speech before the United Nations last year about the importance of cultivating male allies for the feminist movement. The campaign, titled HeForShe, made a brief splash in the prestige press before disappearing from public consciousness.
The barely perceptible bump under the letter ‘B’ is the relative search interest for the promoted campaign. This is even coming from two highly recognizable, vocally feminist celebrities.
So, with that out of the way, let’s go to the speech’s concluding remarks:
If you believe in equality, you might be one of those inadvertent feminists that I spoke of earlier, and for this, I applaud you. We are struggling for a uniting word, but the good news is, we have a uniting movement. It is called HeForShe. I invite you to step forward, to be seen and to ask yourself, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
Given that we don’t believe in equality here at Social Matter, it’s easy for us to know where we stand. But what of the hoped-for allies to whom she is speaking?
There used to be an insult which boys used to use against one another — ‘momma’s boy’ — to taunt a kid thought to be weak, coddled, and dominated by his mother. In more contemporary times, we call men dominated by their wives ‘whipped.’ Why do men feel this almost instinctual need to heap shame their fellows for deferring to women? Is this just cruelty for the sake of it, or is there some moral purpose behind the taunts?
There are some clues in history as to why it’s useful for men to toughen themselves up. For one, war, crime, famine, economic depression, tyranny, and disorder are ever-present, cyclically recurring problems. The only way to return chaos to order is through the use of power. And men are the more powerful, emotionally resilient, and physically strong sex, regardless of all the technological fantasies that people might have about gap-closing.
Male allies make their weakness, their willingness to be dominated, their eagerness to defer, into a sign of holiness. Their weakness stops being a source of shame to them, and becomes a source of glowing pride.
Their eagerness to abase themselves, to make a virtue of weakness, is actually to the extent to which they’re worse than useless to the women whom they serve. Although in the Western world, they have few opponents (and enjoy the support of the central state), those few opponents who they do have are multiplying. Can people who make a virtue out of weakness, androgyny, and submission be effective defenders against those who don’t?
We already know the answer ahead of time. In this world, wolves eat rabbits. The post-stereotype men whom Watson spoke to aren’t men who value strength in the defense of women. Part of the trouble that feminists face is that women who are unfeminine inspire no sense of devotion in men. The male heart only tends to be moved to sacrifice by both their ideal of what a good woman is, and by the actual good women in their lives. If there are no good women in their lives, they will not be so moved to sacrifice, regardless of what they say about how their ideals of what a woman ought to be have changed.
In the terms of modern academia, the idea of men sacrificing themselves for ‘their’ women is problematic, in any case.
In the enervated, suicidal, liberal parts of the West, stripped of spirit and of unifying purpose, there comes a disconnection in androgyny. Liberalism is like a demagnetization field for the sexes. Outside of it, you can feel the physical pull and the push between the sexes. There is motion at a distance, caused by invisible forces. Inside the field of liberalism, everyone is a pile of inert material, to be shuffled around, poles flipped this way and that way, moved only by direct forces.
The liberals put the culture through degaussing, but fortunately, there are back-ups available to restore the missing data from.
No one feels intimidated by these momma’s boys of social justice. They’re sensitive to loud noises, much less real opposition. They’re happy to be dominated, but unwilling to venture too far from under the skirts of their big protectors. It’s hard to encourage your little man to be courageous if you never permit him to go outside and face danger. And it’s a harsh world, out there.
Denying this polarity between the sexes, which drives so much of human activity, is one of the more significant causes for the decay of the progressive political structure. We should instead seek to make the differences more extreme, as such differences are an unmistakable sign of higher civilization.