Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Romanticism and Third Wave Feminism

In 19th century there was an intellectual and artistic movement called Romanticism. Romanticism championed romantic love, respect for arts and nature, and saw feeling as a path to wisdom equal to reason and in some cases surpassing it. This movement was subverted by Marxism, which took it into a destructive direction. In 1960s Romanticism came back in America, and it was again subverted by a form of Marxism – the cultural Marxism, otherwise known as Third Wave feminism or political correctness. This movement attacked the very things that Romanticism championed the most and lead many people who had been a part of 1960s Romanticism to espouse an ideology that militated against its greatest values.

This movement has been named “feminazi” by conservative leaders. The term is quite apt. The behavior of the participants in this movement is indeed very similar to that of the Nazis. They have made a colossal and illegitimate power grab, claiming to speak for 50% of humanity without the 50% of humanity having voted for them to do so. They have been preaching a hateful and vicious ideology and influenced their followers to be horrible human beings. They have effectively vitiated democratic intent, effectively banning all speech that can offend anyone – meaning, anything controversial – meaning, anything meaningful. They have turned centers of academia from centers of learning into centers of indoctrination. They have been seeking to effectively exterminate whole sections of the population – the people whom they regard as “sociopaths” or “perverts” under an obviously false and completely irrational claim that some people are evil and can only be evil however hard they work, whatever they do and whatever work they do on themselves. They have proven themselves unwilling to listen to any rational criticism and to silence all perspectives that are not part of their party line. All this is very similar to the behavior of Nazis.

In attacking beauty and love, they have attacked the very roots of their ideology. They have also alienated many people who otherwise would have been their allies. Romanticism has encouraged men to see in women their goodness and beauty; but when both are destroyed then it ceases to exist. It makes no sense to side with someone against someone else merely because of their gender. It makes sense to side with someone against someone else because of their better qualities; and when such are destroyed then the ideology loses its appeal. Indeed, in cultures where this influence has been extensive, I have found better qualities in men than I have found in women; and in such cultures it is the men and not the women that deserve to be appreciated.

Now there was a page on Facebook, written by two “fun-loving English girls,” that stated that “we believe that there are good men out there, and we are willing to find them.” The problem has been the definition of good. If one applies ridiculous standards to men, then no man will be seen as a good guy. I am reminded of Pygmalion, who could never love women because they were not perfect. The Greeks – and other misogynistic cultures – became that way because they applied ridiculous standards to women; standards that no human woman could meet.

A criticism made of American writer H.L. Mencken is that he was “a pig who saw only the dirt.” We see this done by both sides in the gender war. They see only the dirt, and they see nothing else besides it. They fail to see in people – either women or men – their positive qualities. A rightful response to that is that everyone shits; but the fact that they do does not mean that that is the only thing that they do do.

Now I have known any number of good women – some of them exceptionally good women. If love, as Ayn Rand stated, is passionate approval of the other person, I give such to them. I am not however expected to extend the same to women who are jerks. There are both good men and good women, and there are both bad men and bad women. That is because both men and women are beings capable of choice; and anything capable of choice is capable of both rightful and wrongful behavior. A man can mean anything from Mohandas Gandhi to Joseph Stalin, and a woman can mean anything from Mother Theresa to Catherine McKinnon. It is wrong to side with either gender. It is right to side with the good ones in each.

Romanticism is a natural evolution of rationalism, and Marxism is a natural evolution of romanticism. In the first case, the mind sees such things as nature and feeling with contempt until it has studied them enough to see in these things mechanisms more intricate than anything that it itself knows how to devise; at which point contempt gives way to respect and even awe. Whereas a movement that champions love of women can be easily usurped by bad women to push on the other women a coercion toward horrible behavior. However the world – and the Western civilization in particular – owes vastly to both rationalism and romanticism, with the first being responsible for its economic and scientific infrastructure and the second being responsible for its best art and its best experiences and relationships. Cultural Marxism rejects both and in so doing destroys its own roots.

SO it comes as no surprise that, as cultural Marxism attacks both the influence of love and the influence of reason, what comes back is the genuine misogyny that preceded both. We see this with Eminem, Osama Bin Laden, Michael Murphy and any number of others. This of course hurts mostly the women – in most cases women who have done nothing wrong. In fact both reason and love have been vastly in favor of women. A rational man will be far more likely to be in favor of women's careers and political power than a “traditional” man who sees the woman's place to be at home; and a man who champions love will be far less likely to be ugly to his woman than would a man who thinks that women are of the Satan, or that real men oppress women, or that love is for wimps. What we see here is a completely self-defeating behavior, and one that has failed women on a huge scale.

I am in favor of women being able to have a meaningful choice of lifestyles; and that means that they should not be dictated in such choices either by “patriarchy” or by Third Wave feminism. A woman who wants a career should be able to have a career; a woman who wants family life should be able to have family life; and a woman who wants both should be able to have both. Neither Catherine McKinnon nor Phyllis Schaffly should be allowed to dictate to women their ways. For that matter neither should the Ayatollah or Pat Robertson. Freedom means freedom, and that means freedom to choose one's lifestyle. A woman who chooses the career path has the right to it; the woman who chooses family life has the right to it; as does the woman who chooses both. This way is far more actually empowering of women than anything that we have seen from the Third Wave feminism, and it is a sad state indeed if such needs to be told by a man.

SO that while it is rightful that women who seek the career path should be able to take it, it is completely wrongful to demand this of all women. It is more wrong to discourage love relationships and family life. We will see different women being comfortable with one, or the other, or both. This is because women – like men – all differ from one another. Affirming this difference – and real freedom of choice – is far more empowering of women than is Third Wave feminism claiming to speak for women without women having voted for them to do so.

I have found useful things in both rationalism and romanticism; but I have found nothing of merit at all in cultural Marxism. Both reason and feeling are valid faculties, and both have produced many good things. Combining both achieves wisdom faster – and fuller – than through either acting alone; and both should be developed and instilled. Whereas nothing good is accomplished through indoctrination into a party line. Less still is accomplished through usurpation of power, vicious behavior and unelected totalitarians dictating to women how they can behave, what relationships they can have and what life they can lead.

What I offer therefore is real freedom. A meaningful choice of lifestyles, both for the women and for the men. A woman should not have to follow either the party line of political correctness or the party line of the right-wingers. A woman who wants a career should be able to have a career. A woman who wants family life should be able to have family life. And a woman who wants both should be able to have both. Once again, it is a sad state of affairs indeed if this needs to be said by a man.

When women act in a vicious manner, this of course feeds real misogyny. We have seen any number of men claiming that this behavior has shown that men have been right about women all along. This attitude falls squarely on the shoulders of all sorts of innocent women, who wind up as a result of it living in hell. Part of the responsibility for that belongs with the men who claim such things. A greater part of the responsibility for that belongs with women who have influenced their followers to be jerks.

SO that while nothing good has come out of cultural Marxism, much of good has come out of both rationalism and romanticism. Both deserve to have currency, and both deserve to be taught. The first teaches thinking and the second teaches feeling, and both are important and valid functions. A person conversant in both will achieve fuller wisdom than by using either acting alone. These are useful skills, and teaching them accomplishes far more than does indoctrination into a party line.

There is no more reason to embrace Third Wave feminism than there is to embrace Holocaust revisionism. The first is feminazism, and the second is actual Nazism. Neither is close to being right. Instead it is important to develop both thinking and feeling into mature fruition; and it is toward this effect that education and academia should strive. Doing this will actually empower people to achieve wisdom and thus make rightful decisions. And this would do more for people – both women and men – than inculcation into a party line.


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