Why Does It Always Fail?
I wrote this some years ago. Every so often I’ve returned to it and revised it here and there, but 90% of the words are from the original. With dull, unoriginal Michelle Goldberg’s lament for the death of feminism, it seems apt to put it up here.
You can’t fool nature.” Richard Feynman
Feminism is surrounded by much confusion. Let’s cut to the chase and define the terms. By “feminism” I mean “Second-wave Feminism, a radical movement that was grew from the 1960s counterculture. I am not referring to the 19th century movement, which was focused on basic equality.
According to the Second Wave feminists:
Feminism is the universalist ideology which decrees that the bond between women everywhere supersedes their loyalties to their male blood kin.
They may not have put it that way, in fact, none of them did. But this is what they meant. Once you understand this key concept, it’s easy to understand what previously was mystifying.
If you think this definition is the overwrought creation of a cranky polemicist, I respectfully ask you to read any of the books written by the radical feminists of the 1960s and 1970s. They mention traditional women’s rights and career advancement only to scoff at them.
Getting a better deal in the existing set up was the last thing they wanted, which was to overturn the social order.
Feminism is not about “women's rights.” The first wave in the 19th century was all about that. The fight for women's rights was a natural progression of 19th century liberalism, which was a product of industrial capitalism and 18th century Enlightenment values.
To extend the rights of the aristocracy to all property-holding males is something we now consider conservative, but this was a gigantic revolution in thought in the 19th century. Once that threshold was breached, the lavalike flow of rights was inevitable even with the occasional reactionary setback.
The fight was fierce but in human terms, not very long. If you graphed it, the arc of progress was jagged, but the linear trend was straight up. Women’s suffrage was extended first to women in South Australia in 1895. In 1902, a franchise act enabled women to vote for candidates in the federal Parliament, and to run for office. By 1911 all Australian states gave women the franchise. In the US, the western states followed Australia’s example before the supposedly more progressive Northeast.
It is interesting that frontier societies enacted female suffrage with little fuss, and that the 19th century saw the forerunner of today’s practical feminist and gender feminist radicals, with a New England-based suffrage movement providing the brain power but otherwise accomplishing little, while the women of the American West and Australia secured their political rights with no theorizing. They just did it with the cooperation of their men. Why would this be? Women advance in practical ways when they are presented as benefiting society as a whole. And what is that society made up of? The family: blood kin.
Blood kin is the basis of all human interactions all human society. It is the gravitational silent force grounding us, the constant that cannot be outstripped, the speed of light that cannot be exceeded. Blood is truly thicker than water. Blood predicts everything. No matter how hard modern capitalist society tries to overturn the axiom, and it is trying its damnedest, with the capitalist creation of markets and interest groups, blood is all.
The Marxist notion of class is also a failure because it signally excludes blood kin, but that’s not my concern. However, I welcome readers to take my theory and examine how Marxism has failed because it ignores blood ties. If Marxism has anything to teach us, it’s that class is a proxy for blood ties. But since this obscures the truth, I oppose it. I once challenged a well-known Marxist about this, and he had no answer. He ducked. He has a website and tossed the question out to his followers but none of them answered directly, either.
The second wave was all about the search for a universal, totalizing identity. Because we don’t understand what feminism is, we don’t understand why it keeps failing despite every effort to keep it going. Every ten years capitalism reinvents a new form of feminism, and every ten years it fails in the same way.
The conventional media supplied answer is that we haven’t done feminism well enough. Just keep trying and we’ll get it, like 10,000 hours of piano practice. This is accompanied by the media's constant distortion of feminism to cover everything that it is not. Pornography is feminist. The Pussycat Dolls are feminist. Stiletto heels are feminist. It seems as if everything except actual rape can be redefined as feminist, and I’m just waiting for someone to do that. Perhaps one day a transsexual will rape himself and call it the ultimate feminist act.
No woman with meaningful blood ties can be a feminist in the true Second Wave sense of the word.
Let me ask those of you who are mothers a direct question. What means more to you, the life of your son, or some poor woman in Afghanistan whose husband throws acid in her face because she did something that dishonors her family?
If you answer honestly, you’ll tell me that your son’s life does. Do you want to send him to Afghanistan so that women don’t get acid thrown in their faces?
I’m sorry that women in many places labor under fearful handicaps. I hope that they can work out a better deal with their men. I’m willing to give money and sign petitions. But these feelings are merely philanthropic, that is, disinterested sympathy attended by no costs and carrying the moderate benefit of making me look good. I’ve never really done a thing for them, nor will I. They have my best wishes, but I do not care about them enough to sacrifice anything meaningful and neither do you. Putting a self-flattering photograph on your Instagram account is not taking meaningful action.
I posed my theoretical question to mothers, which I am not, because it’s the most obvious example of a blood tie that binds. But few women have no blood ties with men. Every woman is a man’s daughter and many of us are sisters. I have brothers. One was disabled for most of his tragic life. I feel tied to him and a concern for him in a way that I do not about oppressed women in Afghanistan or Rwanda.
I’m not asking you to cry for my brother. You won’t. You don’t care about him. I care about him because he's my brother, and for no other reason. Fifty percent of our DNA is the same, a primal biological bond.
Without understanding this, one can never truly apprehend what a flawed and mistaken model of humanity feminism is, and why it will always fail. Forget all the stuff about brain chemistry, brain organization, testosterone differences between the genders, and a million other minute and gross physiological differences between men and women that add up to differing behavior.
That’s all true, but it is all not relevant to my point: women are members of families that include men, and they will always be more loyal to their blood kin than to some stranger. They will always be more loyal to their tribe, or tribally based grouping, than they will to women of another tribe, class, or nation.
Until feminists admit that a woman’s blood kin mean more to her than the abstract cause of “sisterhood,” it will always fail, even if feminism the brand name succeeds because it sells products. And isn’t that the greatest irony of all? The force of capitalism has made feminism the juggernaut it is, but blood ties remain the silent gravitational pull forcing it back to its origin point, again and again, thwarting and confounding its goals.
There is no force strong enough to give women the escape velocity feminists so yearn for except death itself. Something based only on an abstract principle will always shatter and evaporate in the face of difficulties. Blood ties dissolves only under the most lethal of solvents. Even then, their ghostly outline remains.
Ti-Grace Atkinson, a Second Wave feminist luminary, said, “Sisterhood is powerful. It kills.”
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 2021 update: The great women’s marches of the early Trump years disintegrated over anti-Semitism and racial divisions. Then came an avalanche of anti-Second wave feminism: “white women’s tears,” etc. The suffragists of the early 20th century were accused of racism on t-shirts. All predictable. Women never stick together.
 Note the superseded term “transsexual.” I leave it the way it is, but it should be pointed out that even in the early aughts that subject was present.