Home > Sex, Lies & Feminism > Chapter 1
fighting feminist lies
In his article, "The Women Are At Fault"1, Matthias Matussek refers to the modern woman's "narcissistic posturing before the mirror." He also cites the widespread popular feeling that "women are on the ascent, men on the descent." These two features of modern Western societies are closely connected.
Our societies have been trained by generations of academics and journalists to see women as victims of oppression. The second half of the 20th Century has been dominated by the "lessons" that our gurus (Hollywood, plus these same academics and journalists) think we should have learned from the Second World War. The main lesson for us from this War, in which the Left defeated the Right, has been that the "oppressed" are good, and their "oppressors" are bad.
This has been the new secular religion, and there has been an unholy scramble by various sections of our societies to jump onto this bandwagon and prove oneself oppressed, and therefore good. This "goodness" guarantees positive media coverage, together with research by liberal academics into one's oppression, government subsidies of various kinds -- and possibly a clutch of Hollywood movies, as well. This obsession with goodness may perhaps be seen as the guilt-driven ethos of spoiled middle-class Western baby-boomers (of which I myself am one).
Theoretically, you have to be a minority to fit the classic, or Jewish prototype of the Oppressed Group. But women are so nice, really, that the Liberal Establishment decided to make an exception in their case. They declared women to be a "Minority", pointing to various features they thought women had in common with genuine minorities. They simply ignored the many features which women had in common with oppressors, such as relative longevity, relative freedom from imprisonment, better access to health care, a lesser tendency to commit suicide, and so on and so forth.
Nowadays this is all taken more or less for granted, and we live in a "Women's This, Women's That, Women's The Other Thing" culture. Society revolves around women and their needs, so it is only natural that women have become ever-more self-obsessed and narcissistic. After all, if everything else revolves around you, you might as well go with the flow and revolve around yourself as well.
So women's narcissism is partly a result of women's power. But it is also a cause of women's power. Since women are so turned-in on themselves, they have ample opportunity to discover wants that they must get the rest of Society (men) to fulfil for them. By expressing these wants, they give further evidence of their status as victims, and so reinforce their power.
Left/Liberal ideologues have a "straw man" model of political power, which they use to deflect attention away from the real bastions of political power in Western democracies. In this model, they emphasise the politicians and bureaucrats as being wielders of power, but that emphasis is misplaced. It is true that decision-makers such as politicians do have power -- but that power is severely limited by the power of those who control information and popular stereotypes.
The journalists, Hollywood personnel, and researchers who control information and stereotypes thereby control the choices that decision-makers think are available to them. They also control what the electorate thinks is good, realistic or credible as a policy option. And I am talking here about the actual workers (eg journalists) in these fields -- not the financial backers, who are usually too interested in making money to care about influencing the content of what is produced by their one-eyed Left/Liberal workers.
For example, one day2 I made an oral submission to a committee of the national legislature, which was considering some draft legislation on a Sex War issue. The actual issue was the provision of social welfare payments to people (ie women, in most cases) who were deemed to be victims of ongoing domestic violence. They were to be made eligible to receive these payments even if their partners already had an income which would normally make the woman ineligible to receive social welfare payments. On behalf of my Association, I made a written and oral submission, focusing on the use of the term "Battered Woman Syndrome" in the preamble to the Bill.
I had some hand-outs for the media, so, when I saw some women sitting at the back of the committee room, I asked if any media were present. No one, including those who were obviously taking notes of some kind, answered. There were two oral submissions made before I made mine, and there was at least one made after mine that day. Despite this, the town's only morning newspaper, the next day, wrote up the committee's activities for that day as if there had been only one submission -- one of the Feminist ones. It gave what amounted to a press release on that Feminist submission, without comment or criticism of it. It was obvious that an insider on the staff of the newspaper was determined only to give one side of the story. This scenario, I feel, is played out routinely by Feminist journalists every day throughout the Western world.
This brainwashing process, however, does not have to continue perpetually. There was always a risk that reality would gatecrash this particular Hollywood set some day. And this day is now close at hand. I hope that this book, together with other events happening world-wide at at roughly the same time, will mark a watershed in this process.
The Soviet Union and Comecon are no more, China has declared that to be rich is glorious, and there has been a massive swing to the Right in Western economic policies. Countries in East and Southeast Asia have also helped to weaken the stereotype that only Whites can be rich (and therefore "bad"). The old Left-wing stereotypes are breaking down all over the world. Leftism in social policy matters cannot remain unaffected, like Mount Ararat in the biblical Flood, because Leftism is a state of mind, shared by a Rainbow Coalition. If one part of it is undermined, all are undermined.
FEMINIST NARCISSISM AND POLITICAL POWER
In his article, “The Women Are At Fault" Matthias Matussek refers to the modern women’s "excitedly-chattering programs of feminine self-elevation."1 He asks, "Why do they constantly stand before the fairy-tale mirror-on-the wall, to reassure themselves that they are the most beautiful, the smartest, the most courageous?" He suggests their "narcissistic posturing before the mirror, as silly as it is, is part of the prescribed role-acting for the 'modern woman,' something that she finds almost impossible to escape." (Translator: W. Schneider, www.pappa.com/emanzi/mm_fault.htm)
He also cites the widespread popular feeling that “women are on the ascent, men on the descent.” These two features of modern western societies – women's narcissism and their ascent, relative to men – are closely connected. To understand these phenomena, we need to analyse developments in both political and social thinking since World War II.
One major result of the Second World War has been that conservative and right-wing policies were discredited by the defeat of their apparently most extremist (Fascist and Nazi) proponents. Any policy promoted by Hitler, Mussolini, the Nazis or the Fascists (even just moderately conservative ones) is vulnerable to attack because of its association with the "Bad Guys." In fact, Germany was probably lucky the autobahns weren't all dug up on that pretext after World War II! The Left/Right dichotomy is to some extent artificial, or course, and Nazism was to some extent a Socialist ideology. However, in popular culture Nazism is classed as being on the Right and Socialism is classed as being on the Left.
In response, our gurus (Hollywood, plus university lecturers and journalists) inundated the second half of the 20th Century with the “lessons” they thought we should learn from the WW II. Apparently, they believed the main lesson is that, by definition, anyone who is “oppressed” is good, while “oppressors” are bad. My point is not that this precept is wrong, but that, by virtue of this connection with Nazi atrocities, it has become the moral cornerstone of western society. It is so pervasive that as westerners we might need to learn Arabic or an Asian language and go live in certain parts of Muslim or non-Muslim Asia before we could even conceive how it is possible to think of Hitler without the moral overtones that have become second nature for westerners. Hitler and his actions have become synonymous with extreme evil, and are often used by political movements as reference-points, with which to compare some evil that they are attacking.
Why should that matter? Because of how it causes us to view victims (both real and alleged).
Virtue of the victim class
Generations of academics and journalists have told us women are chief among the victims of oppression, and men are their oppressors. In the post-W.W.II paradigm, this makes all women "good" and all men "bad." This story told long and loud has produced a virtual cult of oppression, and there has been an unholy scramble by various sections of our societies to prove themselves oppressed, and therefore good.
Getting classified as one of the oppressed provides all sorts of benefits. First, it all but guarantees positive media coverage, and even ordinary women can now expect to be treated as victims in situations where men would not.
Then there is the research into one's oppression, government subsidies of various kinds and possibly even a clutch of Hollywood movies. (Despite a growing body of evidence proving women commit as much domestic violence as men, for example, scarcely a month goes by without the release of a new movie about how husbands beat up their wives, and the Battered Woman's Shelter movement has become a lucrative government subsidized business.) With all that, who wouldn't want to be one of the oppressed? Or at least recognized as one.
Today the view women are victims is taken for granted, and we live in a culture obsessed by their issues. Society revolves around women and their needs, with so many Feminist Special Interest Groups (SIGs) demanding whatever they feel might benefit women as a whole, or one sector of the female population in particular, that men's issues are virtually ignored, by comparison. Such is Feminists' power that few politicians are willing to oppose them for fear of being labeled "sexist."
With men and society so obsessed with women's issues, it is only natural for women – like the spoiled only-child of doting parents – to become ever more self-obsessed and narcissistic. If everything else revolves around you, you may as well revolve around yourself as well. Only the strongest resist. Making derogatory remarks about men is habitual in some Feminist circles – but men can hardly make derogatory remarks about women without being shamed or bullied into an apology.
Women's self-esteem is constantly built up by exaggerated headlines (any woman who is able to breathe is a candidate for being called a "Superwoman" in a Feminist journalists's puffery.) And this, together with the absence of criticism, means that women can blame external forces for all their problems, and need never taken responsibility for them.
Women's narcissism is partly a result of women's power (see chapter 14). But it is also a source of their power. Since women are so tuned-in to themselves, they have ample opportunity to discover "needs" (i.e. wants) which Society (i.e. men) must fulfill. Complaining about all these new unfulfilled needs creates more evidence of their victimization by men, and this reinforces their power.
Who's got the power?
On both the Left and Right, philosophers, politicians and ideologues often use a "straw man" model of their opponents' ideas – a distorted model which they can attack more easily than the real thing. Similarly, Feminists have used a straw man model of political power, emphasizing the power of politicians and top bureaucrats, to deflect attention from the real bastions of power in western democracies. Decision-makers such as politicians do have power, but that power is severely limited by those who control the flow of information, stereotypes and ideas in popular culture.
The really powerful people are the journalists, Hollywood personnel, and researchers who control information and stereotypes, and thereby control the choices decision-makers think are available to them. Joseph McCarthy once tried to purge Hollywood of Communist sympathisers. He failed, and our sympathies are now supposed to be with those whose careers he damaged.
However, it would be naïve to assume he was wrong in his analysis -- however heavy-handed his methods. Hollywood, the media, and the education system control or at the least strongly influence what policies the electorate thinks are good, realistic or credible. I have first-hand experience of blatant left-wing indoctrination in the education sector, where many professionals think it is sufficient to label something or someone as "left" for she/it/he to be worthy of promotion – and labelling something or someone as "right" is sufficient cause to oppress or censor him/it/her. In universities, it has long been fashionable for Leftists to label something or someone as "Fascist" if it or they are even slightly to the Right of their own stance on an issue.
I am talking here about the actual workers (e.g., journalists) in these fields – not the financial backers, who are usually too interested in making money to care about influencing the content of what is produced by their sometimes one-eyed Left/Liberal workers. Even print media which have a conservative editorial line do not always insist on that same bias in other sections of their publication.
For example, the Wellington, New Zealand, conservative Dominion morning daily newspaper once periodically ran prominent articles on Feminism and female politicians in France. What makes this remarkable is how irrelevant it is to most New Zealanders, who have very little interest in internal French politics. Could it be a subtle way of disguising Feminist propaganda? Hitler's infamous henchman Goebbels preferred to use historical analogies rather than direct propaganda, in order to conceal his "art." Were Dominion Feminist journalists using geographical displacement to package their propaganda the same way Goebbels used historical displacement to package the Nazis' propaganda.
Parallel to the degree of control Feminists exert in the media is the difficulty men have in finding publishers for books on men's issues.
The Internet promises to liberate us from this covert censorship, but librarians and teachers are working hard to prevent that and reclaim their pre-Internet control over information. Articles such as "Testing the Surf: Criteria for Evaluating Internet Information Resources" (Alastair Smith, The Public Access Computer Systems Review 8, No. 3, 1997) argue that people should be taught to avoid web sites that are "biased" in favour of those that have "authority" or "reputable organizations" behind them. It just so happens the latter category of web sites are likely to belong to libraries and educational institutions. Librarianship and education are female-dominated occupations, and these institutions typically teach Feminism as fact and ignore or deprecate men's rights.
Take the well-known Feminist journalist and author, Susan Faludi. According to the author of the Femjour web page,
"Faludi thinks a journalist's job is to create social change by educating people and taking the time to investigate things. A journalist needs to be passionate about a cause, she says." (www.dnai.com/~ljtaflin/FEMJOUR/faludi.html )
Leftist journalists are often "engaged" or "committed" in this way. I once read a "news" article in the Guardian Weekly about a new or resurgent right-wing party in Austria (Austrian Freedom Party) that wanted to restrict immigration. This party later became part of the Government and one of its Ministers, Mr. Haupt, founded the World's first Men's Department (in the Ministry of Social Security and Generations). Because immigration is such an emotive issue when it concerns German-speaking countries, I had to read about half-way into the article before I could find any indication of the reasons this party gave for its policies – the first half was pure rhetoric about how dangerous this party was! Yet the Guardian counts as one of the "quality" newspapers of Britain!
When this Men's Department was founded, I started to take an interest in whether the Austrian Freedom Party was actually a Neo-Nazi party, as the media tended to imply. I did a brief search of the Internet, which confirmed my initial impression that most of the opposition to this party was based on Left-wing hysteria and rhetoric, rather than fact.
Later, I attended a lecture on the history of Austria given by a retired Professor of German (himself of Austrian origin), who also called the party "Neo-Nazi", but gave no evidence for this. So I challenged him to give some concrete evidence that it was Neo-Nazi, but all he could say was that the party's original leader, Mr. Harder, was "too clever" to say anything specifically Nazi, and that he had addressed a gathering of former SS soldiers. Interestingly, he also characterised the New Zealand politician, Winston Peters, as "too clever" ! I pointed out that, if Communists voted for a left-wing party, he would not then say that that entire party was Communist ! He was most reluctant to consider even the possibility that the Austrian Freedom Party was not Neo-Nazi, but he did eventually admit that possibility.
He mentioned that these former SS soldiers (if that is what they actually were) explained their vote for the Austrian Freedom Party as a vote for "Freedom" – and he was very scornful of that. However, he himself explained that the ruling Leftists in Austria had become very corrupt, and it doesn't take much imagination to see that conservatives in the Austrian countryside might indeed have justifiably seen a vote against the ruling Leftists as a vote for freedom from oppression. I constantly come up against the Leftist attitude (in the capital city of New Zealand, where I live) that, if you don't have the correct Leftist views, you should go and live in a provincial town ! That bias is also reflected in the kind of service I get from Leftist bureaucrats. Often the bias is so great as to be unbelievable.
Since World War II, an entire intellectual culture of hysteria has grown up, where certain topics (e.g. restricting immigration) are taboo, and anyone broaching those topics is considered to be a racist or even a Neo-Nazi, who is simply too clever to say what he/she really thinks. Every country restricts immigration to some extent, and I would guess that Third-World countries, from which refugees typically flow into Western countries, restrict immigation much more than Western countries do, on the whole. No country, surely, can afford to open its borders to everyone who wants to come in !
When I read the left-liberal British Guardian Weekly newspaper, I filter out the bias. One of its subscribers, however, told me he reads it specifically for its bias! This kind of person is what is known in Britain as a "Guardian-Reader"; i.e., someone with a fairly predictable set of politically correct views. Such people, who graduate en masse from our Liberal Arts colleges and universities, provide a ready market for committed Leftist journalists to carry out political activism as part of their professional activities.
In the 1970's, in Auckland, New Zealand, I failed to get into journalism school while a Marxist female friend succeeded. She told me my mistake had been to wear a suit at the interview – the panel was looking for crusading journalists, not conservative types. And I am sure I gave the wrong answer when the interviewers asked me if I wanted to "change the World." "Of course not!" I said. As a consequence of this pervasive bias, the West is flooded with journalists who have been selected for courses or for jobs on the basis of their leftist credentials, and their determination to avoid objectivity at all costs.
In 1997, I made an oral submission to a committee of the national legislature, which was considering some draft legislation on a Sex War issue.2 The actual issue was the provision of social welfare payments to people (i.e., women, in most cases) who were deemed to be victims of ongoing domestic violence. They were to be eligible to receive these payments even if their partners already had an income which would normally make them ineligible to receive social welfare payments.
On behalf of my Association, I made a written and oral submission, focusing on the use of the term unscientific term “Battered Woman Syndrome” in the preamble to the Bill. I had some hand-outs for the media and when I saw some women sitting at the back of the committee room who were taking notes, I asked if any members of the media were present. No one responded, though much was written.
There were two oral submissions made before mine, and at least one after. Despite this, an article appeared next day in the Dominion, the city’s only morning newspaper, describing the committee’s activities as though there had been only one submission – from a Feminist. It gave what amounted to a Feminist press release; no comment or criticism of any kind. Obviously, an insider on the staff of the newspaper was determined to give only one side of the story – the Feminist's. The paper is known for its conservative editorial line, but this line is obviously not enforced in all sections of the paper.
The combined efforts of the New Zealand Men's and Fathers' Movement did succeed in persuading the Committee to throw out the concept of the "Battered Woman's Syndrome," but the Law Commission, as I write, is trying to get it introduced into New Zealand law under another name. I see such one-sided reporting as typical of my experience with the media, though the situation has gradually improved due to our persistent opposition to media bias.
This media/Hollywood/university/publishing industry brainwashing process, however, does not have to continue perpetually. Despite their best efforts, reality may yet gatecrash this particular Hollywood set. I hope that day is close at hand and that this book, together with other events happening around the world will mark a watershed in this process.
The Soviet Union and Comecon are no more, China has declared that to be rich is glorious, and there has been a massive swing to the Right in western economic policies. Countries in East and Southeast Asia have also helped weaken the stereotype that only Whites can be rich (and therefore “bad”). The old Left-wing stereotypes are breaking down all over the world. Leftism in social policy matters cannot remain unaffected because it is a state of mind maintained by a victim coalition. If one part of it is undermined, all are undermined.
I am not attacking the victim coalition here – just analysing their power-structure in relation to Feminism, as defined in the Introduction. The victim coalition and its ideology, Political Correctness, have become very powerful. I do not desire their total destruction, but I do acknowledge that attacking one of their pillars – Feminism – has the potential to weaken the entire edifice.
See also: Theoretical Issues and Theoretical Resources