Monday, May 6, 2013

50 Shades of Feminism

Today I’m going to share an observation I’ve made over the past year. It involves the book (three books actually) “Fifty Shades of Grey” and the death of liberal-feminism. Here’s the bottom line: “Fifty Shades” is a watershed moment that has altered the course of inter-gender relations. Yep.

In many ways, my generation bore the brunt of feminism.

Liberal feminism (as distinguished from “conservative feminism”) has always been about economic power. Essentially, liberal feminists view women as economic inputs who need to out-earn men so they can take over the patriarchal power structure blah blah blah oppression! This is why feminists pushed the idea of divorce in the 1960s. They realized that women who married were much more likely to drop out of the workforce and become useless to the struggle. To fix this, they advocated a combination of birth control to stop women from being burdened with kids and no-fault divorce to weaken the marriage commitment so women would always keep one foot in the economic door. Basically, if you can’t trust your husband to be there, then you need to maintain an independent existence.

The effects of this hit in the 1970s and 1980s as many of the kids I grew up with became the first generation of kids from broken homes. It was a mess. Indeed, while feminists published politicized studies to try to convince the public that divorce was harmless to kids, it was obvious to all us that this wasn’t the case.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, feminism took the next step: de-feminization of girls. This was when young women were told that they were no good if they didn’t compete with men. If you didn’t play sports like the boys, you were a loser. If you didn’t want to be President or a CEO, you were a loser. Housewives are losers. . . oppressed cookie bakers. This was the time feminists began attacking things like makeup and high heels and Satan herself. . . Barbie. This was the age of gender neutral toys, of forcing girls to play soccer, and “try lesbianism. . . everybody’s doing it.” This was the time a number of feminists openly spewed ideas like “all sex is rape.” The early 1990s were also the point where you would meet womyn in law school who wanted to become “reproductive rights lawyers” or divorce lawyers who “only represent other women.” This was the time feminists claimed that 25% of all women had been raped and PSAs warned women that all middle-age white males were abusers. This was when there was a big push to make women keep their last names when they married – a trend which died in the 2000s – and when single-motherhood was celebrated.

This destroyed the dating scene for my generation. For one thing, many women responded to the above by becoming neurotic man-haters. But even beyond them, there was tremendous confusion. No one understood the new rules - some women viewed common courtesies as oppressive or sexist. None of the males I knew wanted one of these de-feminized creatures and most of the women didn’t want to be like that, but it was so pounded into people that this was expected that few dared say otherwise. The result was that my generation married later and, of all the women I’ve spoken too, the women of my generation are the most unhappy and are uniquely uneasy about their sexuality. . . I haven’t found this in any other generation.

Anyway, around that time, I discovered a female underground. There seemed to be a large number of women who really hated the feminists and the feminist vision of what they should be. They were, however, afraid to speak out for fear that other women would be nasty to them. Conservatives weren’t a helpful alternative either. So they had no voice.

By the 2000s, however, liberal feminism was killing itself with its owing idiocy. It’s one thing to say that women are treated unfairly, it’s quite another to whine that the English language oppresses you or to claim that all men are rapists. It also seemed that women weren’t particularly happy with the demands liberal feminists were placing on them. This was when I noticed the rise of a new branch of feminism, which fits with the modern “conservative-feminist” view of feminism. These women describe themselves as “feminists” but see feminism as being about giving women the same choices men have to chart their own courses. They don’t buy into the competition theory of liberal-feminism, nor do they want to de-feminize women or emasculate men. But they also don’t buy the “promiscuous women are evil” routine of the Bill Bennetts and Rick Santorums.

In short order, this view appears to have become the vast-majority view of the American public. What’s kept this group off the radar screens, however, is that the MSM is dominated by liberal-feminists and the conservative opposition is dominated by the so-cons, and neither group wants to acknowledge this “silent majority” who reject both ideological camps. Moreover, this group has no leader and hasn’t had an event to galvanize them and to expose how large their support really is, e.g. the Stonewall riots for gays, Selma for blacks, publication of “The Feminine Mystique” for feminists, etc.

Then came “Fifty Shades of Grey.” This book has caused a silent revolution.

“Fifty Shades” is about a woman who decides she wants to submit sexually to some guy. This is interesting because the idea of a woman submitting to a man flies in the face of liberal feminism in a big bad way because it fundamentally rejects the one commandment of liberal feminism: women are worthless unless they try to dominate men. What makes this book REALLY interesting, however, is its popularity. “Fifty Shades” has sold 70 million copies, which is a monster amount these days, and they’re making a movie. More importantly, this is one of those rare books which people know even if they haven’t read it. Even more importantly, women ARE admitting they’ve read it, and what’s more, they’re talking about it openly. They’re talking about it in book clubs, on blogs, and on television. You may recall me mentioning that I’ve spoken to bunches of women Rush hates, well, they all talked about this book too at one point or another. . . they’re all fascinated by this book. This never could have happened in the 1990s. In fact, I doubt this book would have been published in the 1990s. And if it had, feminists and their allies in the media would have silenced the book as hateful, sexist and anti-woman. And I certainly can’t imagine women in the 1990s, who were cowed by feminists, admitting they’d read it. But now they are.

Now, before you get the wrong idea, I should point out that I don’t think this means vast numbers of American women are looking to become sex slaves. Far from it. Indeed, the conversations I had never went like that. What I found instead was that women are using the book as an opportunity to ditch the idea that women need to compete with men and that all relationships need to be equal. In effect, this book has become the catalyst for making it acceptable for women to declare that they’re ok with women letting their husbands run their relationships. . . if that’s what they want.

That sentence is the key point. It’s key because it tells us what is really going on here.

These women are using this book as a catalyst to change the course of feminism away from the anti-male garbage of liberal-feminism and toward the supposed original purpose of feminism: freedom of choice for women. In other words, this is not a rejection of feminism, it is instead a reformation. These average women are basically saying, feminism is about choice and they want all the choices. . . not just the approved choices. And in so doing, they are rejecting the very basis of liberal feminism. Frankly, I see this as being as significant as if blacks suddenly rejected affirmative action and all the other things the race lobby have demanded and they instead declared an intent to see the world as color-blind. Same thing here. Moreover, this appears to be a mass movement, even if it hasn’t been covered by the MSM. . . like the Tea Party, the liberal-feminist MSM is blind to this.

Ultimately, what I think this means is that conservative-feminists have won. The public has decided that genuine freedom of choice is the order of the day and they are done politicizing sex. Naturally, ivory-tower feminists will still rant about the phallus lurking under their beds and pulpit-conservatives will rant against promiscuous women destroying the fabric of once-great America, but I don’t think the public is listening anymore, and I think historians will look back at this book as the moment everything changed.



Commander Max said...

You were not the only confused guy out there. That stuff was crazy, I realized there was a problem with feminism when girls from different sides of the country were saying the same things. Even worse were the girls who claimed they could do anything a man could do. Have I got stories, if I had the brain I have today, back then. I would ask one question, why is it you have to do everything I can do. But I can't do everything you can do, how is that fair and all about equality?

In concept of feminism is ridiculous, which means it has other goals.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, I wasn't personally confused because I've always played by my own rules... always have. But it was definitely a messy time. And I can tell you, that all of this had a dramatic effect on my generation and that I haven't seen any evidence of similar effects on older or younger people. There really is a marked difference, even now.

T-Rav said...

In my defense, I spend equal time ranting about promiscuous men destroying America.

Anyway, I saw signs of this going on well before the debauchery that is "50 Shades." My sister is very much on board with the whole liberal feminist thing and pretty much my polar opposite politically, but it became clear long ago that we hated Hugh Hefner with equal passion. From different angles, to be sure, but we could agree that he was terribly degrading to women.

Bottom line, a reaction like this has been brewing for some time.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, It's definitely been brewing (I'd say from the late 1990s), but this is the catalyst that seems to have sparked normal, non-ideological women to finally say what they've been thinking.

And let me stress that what I see going on is a rejection of both the liberal-feminist and the socon view on sexual relationships. Basically, these women are saying, "However women want to arrange their families is fine by them and we don't care about ideological positions."

Patriot said...

Andrew.....I think what exemplifies the idiocy of the womyn's lib movement is that female "sports" writers and newsies can go into the men's locker room after a games while men are showering, yet, as far as I know, men are still not allowed in the female athlete's locker room after games while they are showering. Do you know if this is still true?

K said...

It may be too late, Andrew:

50 Shades of the Delta

Anthony said...

I'm 38 (was an undergrad 1992-1996) and during that time feminism seemed to be a spent force to me. Non-lesbians avoided that title (at my college anyway) and most everyone was fine with recreational sex though some were more picky about their partners and/or discrete than others.

I think delayed marriage, more women in the workplace, fewer children and a higher divorce rate isn't something that is going to go away. That is a rising phenomena everywhere. I don't think its a matter of women hating families or kids or anything, but them not putting up with stuff they've endured in the past because the system, society and their personal circumstances no longer force them to (back in the day spouses unhappy for whatever reason were pushed to suck it up, nowadays particularly is one side cheats or abuses, most people view ending the relationship as reasonable). Its simple human nature that the easier you make something, the more it happens.

I expect the nutty fringes you mention (who consider all women victims or whores) will become even more fringe over time, but I don't see the declines of marriage and childbirth reversing, though I do expect the trends will stabilize.

Tennessee Jed said...

Reading your post reminded me a little bit of organized labor. There is no question that women had always gotten the short end of the stick in our society. And, there is no discounting the great impact Victorian style morality had on our culture. Hence Rob and Laura Petrie always slept in twin beds. The birth control pill came along and changed that in a big way. But you could also clearly see the politicization of the movement. I think like organized labor, "feminism" clearly got co-opted by a group of people who were clearly in it for the political and economic power. What characterizes many of those people is that they were fueled, at least in large part, by a real hatred of those in power {sic} men. It was not equality these people were seeking. They wanted to become the new power people and get some "payback." I actually think the feminazi's were the first socio-political movement to perfect the tactic of political correctness.

Having said all that, I do look forward to a day when women, and blacks can be considered for top executive status based on their ability to perform effectively instead of being either kept out, or (just as bad) forced into jobs they are not prepared for, just to make a point. (I know, a little Star Trek utopia in this particular rant.) :)

tryanmax said...

I do look forward to...a little Star Trek utopia

Jed, I don't think your rant is utopian at all. Not long ago, Italians and Irish were singled out and kept down. Now, who cares if your name starts or ends in an "O"? So long as there remains someone to discriminate against. Like obese smokers.

rlaWTX said...

oooooh, tryanmax, doncha know that obese smokers are causing the downfall of civilization!

I have to agree with Anthony's experience. I'm just a smidge older (grad HS in 90). Admittedly, I hung around the folks from the Baptist Student Union and most were righties in some form, but most of the girls were there for an education, and meeting a guy was icing. "Feminists" were weird. Choices in job, marriage, children were "freedom". Men weren't evil.

As for this "type" of book, it has been around for a looooong time, not mainstream, but not unpopular. And, from what I've heard about the book, there's a lot of more intense stuff out there too. I'm not sure what made this book so "talk-about-able". [I read the first chapter online - couldn't stand the style: choppy, basic...]

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I have no idea if that's still true.

AndrewPrice said...


AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, You're actually right on the cusp generation-wise. If you were 2-3 years older, you would have run right into all of this stuff. I would say that between 1990 and 1992 was the peak and then by 1996 it had collapsed except for in the media and women's studies departments.

In any event, it left a clear distinction between generations which is actually really obvious if you start talking to large numbers of women from different age groups.

But until now, it had left certain taboos in the culture, and women saying they wanting something other than to be in charge of everything was the big one. That's the change this book really highlighted.

In terms of delayed marriage and kids and all of that, I actually suspect you will find a statistical bump if anyone breaks it out. I honestly don't see the same thing with younger people or older people.

In terms of the fringe, I think you're right. They do keep getting fringier and I don't think that will stop. This is an obsession for them and they've built up their own mythos about it and they really believe they can force everyone else to conform. So they won't stop.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, On the fringe, let me add that what I find so interesting about this issue on the fringe perspective is how both sides think that the world is divided into the two fringes -- either you are a liberal-feminist or you are a socon. What I'm seeing is that the vast majority of the public (on the order of 80+%) is this other groups who aren't either. They don't split the baby, they have a little of each, they have their own different view that basically rejects both camps.

I think that has a lot of implication for politics and why sex issues don't sell with the public anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, If I'm reading the tea leaves right here, and I think I am, this represents a sea change in the politics of sex. What I'm seeing here is:

1. A rejection of liberal-feminism and its attempts to social engineer, BUT.

2. A complete embrace of the original feminist rhetoric of legal equality, non-discrimination within reason, and seeing others as equals.

3. BUT... within that framework, women want the right to be not equals in their relationships if they want, i.e. they want the right to choose whatever they want without being told they are wrong.

4. And this is combined with a de-politicization of sex. I see this largely as the libertarian attitude of "whatever works for you" winning out. Basically, these women want the government out of the sex/gender business.

I think those changes are truly significant because they represent a rejection of all of the sexual politics of the last thirty years and I think this means that the public has completely lost its appetite for issues that lie at the heart of many people.

On your last point, will this eventually result in an end to gender roles? No, I don't think so. To the contrary, all the women I met are very happy with gender roles. They just don't seem to want politicians in the process. That said, allowing people to make their own choices is more likely to lead to a meritocracy than forcing people into fields by the numbers.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Well, in all fairness, obese smokers are worse than Hitler. ;)

On you point, I don't see gender roles every ending precisely for the reason the above was written -- people don't want them to end. What I've seen in all the talk about this book is a rejection of the idea of social engineering. I see this as a total repudiation by women of the idea that they need to be the same as men. That is an embrace of gender differences.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, This type of book has been around for a long time and in many more or less intense forms. That's the point though... it's not the book itself that changed anything... it's the fact that women have chosen to embrace it.

Think about the analogy to Rosa Parks. Did the fact itself that she sat in the front of the bus change anything? No. The bus still got to where it was going and the world didn't end. It wasn't like her act caused the bus company to suddenly declare equality throughout the world and no war broke out on the spot which fixed everything. What she did was create an event that became the spark for millions of people to speak their minds and to say, "You know what, she's right, this needs to change." It's the millions of people speaking their mind which changed the world.

Ditto Rick Santelli and his tea party comment. His comment wasn't meant as anything except one of his typical rants. But people responded to this particular rant... they hadn't responded to his prior similar rants. Rick didn't change the world, it was the millions of people who decided to use his rant as a reason to speak their own minds who changed the world.

It's the same thing here. It's not the book that matters, it's the fact that it brought millions of people to speak their minds that they wants a change.

BevfromNYC said...

Yes, these books are extremely popular. Like, rlaWTX, I read the first chapter of the first book, realized it is just an updated version of "The Story of O", and "yawned".

Moving on, Andrew, I have to agree with you, but from a woman's perspective. I AM old enough to be in the first wave of young '70's "feminists" It was pounded into our heads that we were good enough, smart enough, and gosh, not only should we be equal, but we should take over the world because men were stupid and evil and wanted to keep us barefoot and pregnant and didn't want us to succeed and were holding us down...yada, yada, yada. I bought into it some of it because, face it guys, you WERE pretty bad. I bought into the part where women need the choices, BUT we also needed to earn it. Which is why I fought hard AGAINST the Equal Rights Amendment. I felt we needed to earn our equality and not have it handed to us. But that is where I feel that the woman's movement failed. They lost sight very quickly, as the Civil Rights movement did, that it was/is a fight for choice and equality of oppportunity and NOT of outcome.

I LOVE working and competing with men. Maybe it's because I have brothers. I like the challenge and frankly, women are evil to each other.

All this being said, I am frustrated with young woman today. They are whiners and not the least bit sympathetic to woman who have come before them.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, The books are popular, but what I find even more interesting is that women are talking about them, whether they read them or not. And the conversation isn't "did you read what happened next," the conversation is "what should be acceptable". That is the real point to what is going on. And I'm finding the nearly-unanimous answer quite interesting: they want freedom of choice.

On your perspective from the 1970s, I agree... men were pretty bad, but that changed pretty quickly too. And the reason it changed was that it was obvious to everyone that discrimination and sexism were fundamentally wrong. But notice that the changes stopped the moment they started pushing things that weren't right, but were instead political.

Indeed, the problem arose when the feminist movement tried to go further than the things you are saying... after they failed with the ERA. At that point, they decided they needed to re-engineer women. That's when all this force started to appear: You WILL play sport. You WILL become a CEO. You WILL NOT stay home and raise kids. You WILL raise your kids in a gender neutral way. We will brainwash you! Etc. This peaked with my generation and is what caused the problems in the mid-1990s.

That ended, but it still left a lot of residual damage. What I'm seeing now is that women are rejecting the residual in their discussion of this book.

As for your point about competing, I don't think there's any problem with that. I think there is only a problem when social engineers try to force all women to compete, whether they want to or not, or try to put barriers in the way of the women who do want to compete.

I really do think the idea of conservative-feminism has won here -- women should be free to do whatever they want, compete or not.

Anthony said...


Based on the stats I've found it looks like the average marriage age (and childbearing age) is continuing to creep up. I think their are a lot of things besides ideology that factored into the creep upwards, so I don't think a change in ideology will have a meaningful effect (I certainly don't see such an effect in the numbers).

I don't think the trend will reverse because society is not pushing against it and because economics are pushing for it. To get a good job, one no longer needs just a high school diploma, but a college degree.

So women will marry later in part because guys become good providers later and in part because women also need that education if they want to provide for their families (at least in my middle class neighborhood, its common for women to stay home when their kids are young and work when they are older).

Also, its worth keeping in mind that a single college degree often doesn't translate into a job which allows for a man to provide for his family as well as a high school diploma did once upon a time.

Anyway, below is the data I found.

Year --- Men --- Women
2012 --- 28.6 --- 26.6
2011 --- 28.7 --- 26.5
2010 --- 28.2 --- 26.1
2009 --- 28.1 --- 25.9
2008 --- 27.6 --- 25.9
2007 --- 27.5 --- 25.6
2006 --- 27.5 --- 25.5
2005 --- 27.1 --- 25.3
2004 --- 27.4 --- 25.3
2003 --- 27.1 --- 25.3
2002 --- 26.9 --- 25.3
2001 --- 26.9 --- 25.1
2000 --- 26.8 --- 25.1

1999 --- 26.9 --- 25.1
1998 --- 26.7 --- 25.0
1997 --- 26.8 --- 25.0
1996 --- 27.1 --- 24.8
1995 --- 26.9 --- 24.5
1994 --- 26.7 --- 24.5
1993 --- 26.5 --- 24.5
1992 --- 26.5 --- 24.4
1991 --- 26.3 --- 24.1
1990 --- 26.1 --- 23.9
1989 --- 26.2 --- 23.8


The average age of marriage is increasing to 26.5 years old for women and 28.7 years old for men. That's up from ages 23 and 26 in 1990, respectively. But, the median age of first birth for a woman is now 25.7 -- meaning that about 48 percent of first births happening outside of wedlock.

The information was presented in a report titled "Knot Yet: The Benefits and Costs of Delayed Marriage in America." It was sponsored by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and the RELATE Institute. Information was compiled from a number of studies and government surveys.

Researchers believe that many couples are waiting to get married because of economic and cultural reasons. Many jobs for Americans that may not have higher education no longer exist. A middle-class lifestyle now requires more schooling, meaning young adults are spending more time pursuing education. In addition, many young adults now view marriage as a "capstone" instead of a "cornerstone" in their lives, meaning that they are waiting until they have everything else in place -- including a job -- before tying the knot.

AndrewPrice said...

Let me add one more point.

There is something else to consider here, and that is that conservatives really need to end their aversion to the culture. The debate this book spawned didn't come from out of nowhere. It's been building for well over a decade by my estimation. So why weren't conservatives able to tap into this sentiment? I see two reasons:

1. Conservatives didn't know the sentiment was there because they are out-of-touch with the culture. Indeed, I am noticing that when it comes to changes in the culture, conservatives are constantly getting blindsided because they prefer to disdain the culture rather than embrace it. This means that conservatives are incapable of spotting potential opportunities and they only join the discussion long after whatever issue it is is already settled.

This is the perfect example, where conservatives could have killed liberal-feminism if they had seen this and exploited it, but they never saw it.

2. Conservatives are horrible at speaking to the public because they refuse to engage in the culture. Culture is what shapes opinions, not politics. You can put 10,000 Bill Bennetts on the radio and they will have less effect than a single film. Conservatives need to rethink how they try to get their message across. Go where they public goes to get their ideas and sell your ideas there. And realize that books, films, songs, etc. are much more powerful that political speeches.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, A couple points.

First, the age of marriage isn't the point to my article. So let's not get sidetracked.

Secondly, of course there are other factors, there always are and economics certainly will be a big one.

Third, I have no idea if this data addresses the point or not because it's not broken down by generation. For all we know, the rise is the result of people born in a single year skewing the data. For example, people born in 1965 could have waited until 2000 to start getting married and they alone are skewing the data each year. We don't know, which is why the data need to be broken out by birth year. Moreover, when you lump all American together, the baby boomers skew all the data because of the sheer size of their group.

Fourth, there is a three-year spike right in the period of time I'm talking about.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, on the "capstone" versus "cornerstone," idea, I've found that to be true as well. There seems to be a fundamental shift in how marriage is viewed.

Anonymous said...

Not that I'm an expert... :-)

...but I don't see gender roles going anywhere anytime soon. IN FACT, this reminds me of something I recently read. A hardcore feminist type was complaining about Pinterest. She explained how technology was supposed to liberate women, etc. and yet what are women doing on Pinterest? Sharing beauty tips and recipes! How dare they! ;-)

As for me, I guess I fall into the waiting to get married demographic. I'd like to do so one day but I don't have the money and since my parents are still together (whereas most of my friends' parents are divorced), I feel an added pressure to get it right the first time!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I agree, gender roles aren't going anywhere because the two genders are wired differently. And what I think the public has concluded is that they are fine with that and they are fine with it too if some women want to break those roles.

That's why this is really a repudiation of ideology. Feminists want to shatter the roles and conservative culture warriors want to force everyone back into those roles. The public has basically said, "No" to both groups and charted their own course.

Your Pinterest story highlights this perfectly. People are going to do what they're going to do no matter how much the ideologues try to tell them otherwise. And I think what the "50 Shades" revolution is about is declaring openly that this is the case and that the public is finished paying lip-service the ideologues.

Anonymous said...

It was also mentioned above that books like that have existed for a looong time. What hasn't existed is the 24/7 media. I imagine women may have always gravitated towards a book like this but they would've had to hear about it through whispers, and not the local news. And it would never have been seen in reputable bookstores, let alone on the display tables near the door.

Same thing with porn. I have no problem with it [cough] but even I'll admit it troubles me to know that porn has gone nearly mainstream and even tweens know the names of certain porn stars.

P.S. Check out the May Day thread when you can. I answered your Tim Burton challenge. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, This stuff has always been there and if you check out Amazon you'll see TONS of it.

The reason I mention it is (1) because this is being discussed so openly, which something I don't think could have happened a decade ago because it would have brought the wrath of feminists, so it indicates a change in who is considered as controlling the debate,


(2) because the conversation isn't about the book so much as it is about the proper role of men/women in society.

Basically, women are having this discussion far outside the political process and they have reached a conclusion that repudiates the ideologues on both sides. And from what I've seen, the decision not only has been made, but it's final and it's gained widespread acceptance.

rlaWTX said...

I think we could assign the as much of the blame of the book's open popularity to the fact that sex has become so pervasive in our culture relative to our past (not as compared to other countries) that it isn't as "unspeakable" as it once would have been. With homosexuality, bigamy, and promiscuity all being celebrated in our media on a regular basis, it's not too surprising that BDSM made it's appearance in "polite society". Women got to be "naughty" and still respectable simultaneously. I think it's probable that the gender roles wars were of little consideration to most of the avid readers.

AndrewPrice said...

Actually, the gender roles wars are what everyone is talking about. All they really say about the book is that it's poorly written. Moreover, most of the conversation is being had by people who never even read it.

I also disagree about assigning the book's popularity to sex being pervasive in the culture because the book is standing out as unique. It's not part of a rash of sex books being discussed nor did it open the door to more sex books being discussed. It stands unique.

Plus, 70 million in sales is beyond "an event" at this point. Obama's two books together sold only 4.6 million. Palin sold only 2.7 million. Selling 70 million copies has resonance far beyond being dismissed as people just being interested in porn.

tryanmax said...

If I could sum up everyone's insights: Feminists are the true misogynists. They hate it when women do feminine things.

Koshcat said...

I find this topic amusing with it being International Clitoris Awareness Week.

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! I had no idea. Nor did I know they needed awareness.

Koshcat said...

They can be kind of shy.

AndrewPrice said...

Oh boy, this is how conversations that get you in trouble start!

Koshcat said...

Since I am already in trouble, I'll just leave this here.

AndrewPrice said...

Uh, yeah. I recall the episode.

BevfromNYC said...

"Feminists are the true misogynists."

Yes, Tryanmax, I think this is true. Women, in my experience, are pretty hateful to other women.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, In my experience, it is definitely easier for men to work with women than it is for women to work with women.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - I have always chalked that up to the fact women don't generally play team sports, so they don't know how to compete without it being to the death.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I honestly have no idea what causes it, but one thing I've seen over and over as an attorney is that female attorneys take everything personally. Male attorneys rarely do -- unless it was something underhanded.

Maybe you're right about the lack of "training" in how to compete?

tryanmax said...

Bev may be onto something. I work with a lot of scientists, and many of them tend to take everything very personally, as well. I don't want to play into too many stereotypes, but it seems pretty clear that the worst of these aren't exactly the athletic type, nor do they seem to have ever been. It's obviously not a hard and fast rule, but I also expect that young boys, even before they're old enough for organized sports (is there such an age anymore?), are encouraged to take things on the chin, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

This also reminds me of a funny photo I saw on Reddit. The caption reads, "To avoid perpetuating gender stereotypes, I gave my daughter a mix of dolls and toy cars to play with. This is what happened."

And here is the photo.

As for Clitoris Week, I looked on my calender and couldn't find it. :-)

T-Rav said...

Come on! That's not a real week!

tryanmax said...

Aha, Scott, I see what you did there!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, That's pretty funny.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's what the idea of sportsmanship is about -- the idea of not making things personal.

tryanmax said...

I wonder how many dictators played sports in their formative years? A large percentage of them seem rather effete and paunchy.

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! Excellent observation!

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

Interesting article, Andrew. But Take it easy on the socon hate, m'kay? Not all of us are puritanical prudes. I thought you used the term "Religious Right" to differentiate those types away from the rational, non-crazy socons?

Feminism should just die period. The world would a better place. Men will be men and women will be women.

BTW, that bear is just creepy. I wouldn't want that thing within the vicinity of my home...

BevfromNYC said...

Severus, to a point you are right, but the REAL feminist struggle has been about options. Itnisnthe same with the REAL Civil Rights movement. Unfortunately like in any movement for change, the intent gets hijacked by the extremists. Extremists sell more papers...

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - That is exactly it. Women at least my age did not generally play team sports, so they were not trained in the fine art of losing AND winning gracefully. Unfortunately today very few children are learning this art since no one is allowed to lose or win anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

Snape, No hate intended... I'm just pointing out that there seems to be a massive, but silent shift in public attitudes away from the politicization of sex, with a particular rejection of the underlying principle of liberal feminism. And it strikes me that what the public has decided when nobody was looking is that they want the government out of the sex/social engineering business from either ideological end.

In terms of RR v. socons, yeah, I do usually use RR when I'm talking about people like Santorum and his crew, but I didn't think about it this time because that wasn't really the focus of the article -- I was focused on the rejection of liberal feminism. Should have been more clear on calling them RR. Sorry about that.

As for the bear... LOL! If you think this is creepy, you should do a tour of tumblr at some point. Wow there's some creepy stuff out there!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I agree with that. I think the original purpose of feminism was a good and just one -- equality under the law, an end to discrimination, and allowing more choices.

But the movement was hijacked by women who wanted to engage in a power struggle and who seemed to hate men. And they've spent a lot of time pushing really horrible things.

But if I'm right about this, an I think I am, the open acceptance of this book signals that the public has embraced the original intent of feminism and rejected the goals of the women who hijacked it. I think this is significant.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Your sports theory is a good one and I'll have to watch for more evidence of it.

If you're right, then all the recent trend toward bad sportsmanship and the way kids aren't allowed to fail anymore will have a really significant effect on their ability to relate with people with whom they compete later in life.

Way to set kids up for failure!

wahsatchmo said...

Andrew, I enjoyed your perspective on this. One of the things that James Taranto harps on is the concept of “hypergamy”, which is the tendency of women to seek the most desirable man for a mate. I embrace this concept, because it makes sense from a societal perspective in that for a culture to survive, women should find the strongest mate who is most likely to produce and protect healthy children. Lots of men are relatively unnecessary to society, from a reproductive perspective, so you can consider that a great deal of men can be sacrificed in the creation of a culture, yet women should be preserved as a priority to ensure the reproductive status quo.

Unfortunately for liberal feminism, this concept is subverted into a series of contradictions that leaves liberal feminist women confused and unhappy, and the liberal feminist men feminized and despondent. Liberal feminists believe that women “deserve” the best mate available, but they don’t have to actually do anything to attract them, because that’s sexist (This sort of dovetails with what Bev was saying.) They are told that most men are unnecessary to society’s reproductive capacity, without realizing that men still produce and protect. Further, there is a divorce between the feminist concept of the ideal man versus the hypergamous ideal.

Liberal feminism taught that the male ideal would be a partner to the woman, one who lets her find herself while absolving her of responsibility for her poor decisions, yet giving her full credit for any successes (because a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.) A feminized man will take all responsibility for making the liberal feminist woman happy, without consideration of his own happiness. A feminized man will realize that his need for sex just isn’t all that important compared to the liberal feminist woman’s need for self-fulfillment. And then comes the no-fault divorce once she determines that she’s unhappy, made extra special with the concept of debtor’s prison if he fails to pay child support. Interesting that the only debts you can be imprisoned for are debts to the government or debts of a man to his former wife.

Yet the hypergamous ideal mate is far different. He is dominant and knows how to lead. He is attractive to other women, but not necessarily in looks or money, but in societal hierarchy. He won’t be the subservient husband, paying for his wife to go back to school for the third time. He’ll be the guy that winks at the cute waitress while making sure his wife notices, pats his wife on the butt, then tells her which chapter of 50 Shades of Gray they’re going to re-enact that night.

And here’s where the nasty, dirty secret comes into play. Men are wired to be attracted to women that are younger. If a woman pursues a career at a young age, purposely delaying marriage, she puts aside her prime years of attraction; her best chance at getting the truly most desirable mate. As women age, tattoo, embiggen, and shorten their hair, they lose their peak femininity. And that’s what’s attractive to (most) men: the feminine. So how can an accomplished woman, pushing 40 and single after a stellar start to a career, start a family?

You’ll see the complaints: “There are no good men anymore.” No. It’s just the men you want are no longer looking for you. Had you not been told that you deserve and can accomplish anything, as a liberal feminist woman, regardless of your levels of effort, you might have realized this.

Truly, as Tyranmax says, “feminists are the true misogynists.”

Conservative feminists realized the disconnect between the liberal feminist ideal mate and the hypergamous ideal, thus their rebellion. Note that hypergamy is not an insult to women or men; it is a realization that we are wired a certain way, and to act in a contrarian manner is hurtful to society, and most especially, to ourselves.

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew -
A. I think most reasonable people HAVE rejected the hijacking and see it for what it is.

B. Yes, it is very disturbing that we have created a few generations of children who do not know how to compete. And most disturbing do not know how to fail. Part of "failure" is learning to a deal with it, get over it, and learn from it and for the very motivated a gift. If you are never allowed to fail how can you learn these extremely valuable lessons. It is already showing up in very bad ways (IMHO) in the ever increasing incidences of wide-spread cheating from grade schools to universities. Yes, failure can be embarrassing, but it is not life threatening.

Imagine if Thomas Edison had quit after his first failed attempt at finding the just the right filament for his lightbulb?

AndrewPrice said...


B. Failure is vital. Failure is what teaches you that you aren't as smart as you think you are and that you actually need to work to get the things you want. That is the key to success ultimately... learning how hard you really need to work to get what you want.

And you're right, I've dealt with some of these kids who were never allowed to fail and they truly have no idea how to handle it -- they whine and try to quit rather than figuring out what went wrong and stepping up their game. It really is handicapping your kids to not let them fail a few times.

A. I think you are right, but in my experience, there were still taboo areas you dared not speak lest you wanted to be ridiculed. If a woman said in 1995, "I want to be a housewife," she would have been attacked by other women. I saw that happen, I heard women complain about it. I think that now, however, they can say something like that. That's what I mean in the article, is that I think the openness with which women are discussing this book signals a change in attitude that they've decided they aren't going to let anyone (e.g. feminists) tell them what they can or cannot do anymore.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed my perspective. :)

Everything I'm seeing about sexual relations is that humans are indeed driven by instincts rather than rational thought. So things like subconscious assessment of fertility and health really do matter. And I think it's hard to dispute the idea that, for whatever reason, women are attracted to more powerful men, whereas men are not attracted by that at all... which makes feminism truly backwards to human nature.

What I think is interesting though is that once again, the public seems to have found the rational solution.

If there's one thing we know about people, it's that they aren't all the same. While the above seems to be true for most people, it isn't true for all people. So what kind of system maximizes the ability of people to find what they are looking for? Conservative-feminism.

Think about this. Liberal-feminists want defeminized females and emasculated males, with females dominating males. Their opposite numbers in the anti-feminist camp want males to dominate females. The public's solution (the same as conservative-feminism) seems to be, "Look, let people figure it out for themselves and stop trying to impose your own preferences through law or discrimination."

That's a pretty strong solution and I doubt very much that the public is going to give it up any time soon.

wahsatchmo said...

Think about this. Liberal-feminists want defeminized females and emasculated males, with females dominating males. Their opposite numbers in the anti-feminist camp want males to dominate females. The public's solution (the same as conservative-feminism) seems to be, "Look, let people figure it out for themselves and stop trying to impose your own preferences through law or discrimination."

Perfectly said. The attraction of women isn't to feminized men. They want men, pure and simple.

Yet academia, HR departments, and governmental agencies are over represented in terms of female employees, most of which tend toward liberal feminism. As such, are educational agendas, hiring quotas, and governmental regulation so easily thwarted?

In other words, should we all start writing dirty conservative romance novels for women?

If so, mine would involve a handsome jackanape who can light his flatulence on fire for over 100 yards, yet is saddled with a wise-cracking stuffed penguin who can see two seconds into the future.

Wait. That's my buddy-cop movie. Forget you heard anything.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, The penguin sells the story. LOL!

I don't know if writing conservative porn is the answer, but I do think that this really does highlight the need for conservatives to get into the culture game.

Take the example of gays. Gays didn't win acceptance because they gave a good speech or had a talk radio program or wrote a book with an 80 word title printed by a think tank. They won acceptance by including gay characters where they could on television and in films and presenting them as normal and harmless. That is what changed public perceptions and opened the door for people to get to know them.

Culture shapes opinions, politics follows opinions. Conservatives disdain the culture game and then act surprised when the public shows up and says, "We made up our minds, we want X." That's because opinions get fixed long before they get discussed in the political arena.

The smartest thing conservatives could do would be to learn to translate their view of the world into entertainment and start putting out books and films that promote those ideas casually. Not only would that get conservatives back into a debate from which they've excluded themselves, but it gives people things they can wrap their heads around without feeling like they are supporting one side or the other politically.

wahsatchmo said...

That seems to be excellent advice. Where I consider conservatives to be best is in terms of microproductions. Personally, conservatives and libertarians should be producing short, high quality entertaining videos and music distributed via Funny or Die, YouTube, etc.

Sure, the Will Ferrells will simply dominate that presence, but it will get out there. Stephen Crowder can't make an impact solely on We need to get into the somewhat "neutral territory", and not with the overt simple mentality of a plain message, but the need to entertain with such.

We need to get away from the sites that are perceived as conservative. We have to find those avenues that will reach to a wide, dispassionate audience. I tried for a while on Cracked, and previously on Pointless Waste of Time (like Jim Treacher of the Daily Caller), but it's very difficult.

In one instance, I found myself white knighting on a PETA screw-up, in another, I'm trying to avoid acknowledging Ron Paul's agenda while embracing the tenements of my own perceived understanding of libertarianism.

Is conservatism/libertariansim entertaining? Can you conceptualize anything but the most base stereotype of a conservative (a la Archie Bunker, who would've voted Democrat) or the stereotype of a libertarian (hunched in a closet, with a gun, cash, and coffee) in any Sitcom?

This is the challenge. To convey that this stereotype is not the norm. We love our families. We love our freedoms. I don't really care who your gay son marries. That's what should be made fun of.

But MadTV already tried this about 8 years ago.

That's right on. Or, it was. Just enjoy his this compilation of his stupid 6 second lemon videos.

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, A couple things.

First, I think conservatives need to go into the culture industry at all levels -- view it as a worthwhile profession and goal... not as "where can I be a conservative XXXX" but simply as an XXXX. In other words, go be a writer, a director, an actor, etc.... not a conservative writer, conservative director, conservative actor. Identifying yourself as ideological is a horrible start.

Secondly, conservative ideas can be brought in very easily, but not in a direct attack on liberal stereotypes. That's what American Carol tried and it was awful. It reeks of propaganda.

Instead, you do things like make sure your characters play by conservative rules. Show people who follow liberals failing, e.g. a character who lives off the government being unhappy. Then play with the stereotypes... show a conservative businessman who saves the day. Show liberal characters like environmentalists committing terrorist acts and hurting people in the process. Make your villain a green, a race hustler, etc.

That's the way to do it. Doing what a guy like Crowder does is pointless because no one but conservatives will ever listen to him.

wahsatchmo said...

I agree. Crowder, Breitbart, et. al., are useless. Sorry to say such, but it's preaching to the converted. Breitbart probably knew this, but he'd worked on the other side at HuffPo, and probably thought he had time to converge the world views. An ambitious man, if there ever was one.

I started a novel about 20 years ago, never going beyond the first chapter, and the Green Party were the fascists in power. It was a crappy novel, of course, but I think the themes were correct.

OWS proved that terrorism is within the exclusivity of the socialist/communist/fascist realm. Progressivisim is simply a euphemism for the same idealogy. Crapping upon police cars, petty vandalism, rapes, and even murders are the tools of leftism, yet we smile and patiently pick up our trash after every single one of our Tea Party protests, and then we Twitter within 140 characters how poorly we are portrayed in the media. We expect that to be convincing.

The Progressive should be seen as littering, nose picking, smelly, casually aborting, hypocritical, tiresome, unhappy, and ultimately fascist as their nature makes so clear.

Paint a scenario where the most feminist of them all comes to power. Show that their sense of equality is to dominate, intimidate, oppress, even at the expense of their own happiness, because to experience such at the expense of their own philosophy would require excommunication.

Their defense to attack will be to hide behind the ever paternal government, which they've anointed to be their ultimate asexual husband. It never needs sex, but it can persecute, penalize, and imprison any non adherent to the feminist ideal. A little irony, perhaps, that only by paternalism can feminism survive?

Then show those men that feminism created, whom all the women despise, and then they all go home to their loneliness, wondering why the sex was so bad.

Idiocracy was close to this, and it gained cult status.

I figure I'll call this world Impotencia.

AndrewPrice said...

Impotencia... nice.

Let me give you a great example. Do you recall the original Battlestar Gallactic? What was Baltar? He was a traitor who used the peacenik movement to get unilateral disarmament and they got nearly wiped out because of it. Then, the Gallactica gets away and they come to that planet with the casino and what happens... the peaceniks are right at it again: "If we disarm, we won't be seen as a threat and the Cylons will leave us alone." Again, they would have walked into a trap except Adama knew better and he broke the rules to save the fleet.

That is a great example of a conservative message that no one will see as a political message. It just seems like common sense in a decent television show... but it supported the Reagan view of re-armament over the Democratic view of unilateral disarmament. Kids watched that show and they understood exactly why Adama was right and they took his side. And when Reagan said, "we need to build up," they understood exactly why and they supported him.

That's the sort of thing I'm talking about where you ground people in conservative values without ever saying the word "conservatism." That single show did more to support Reagan than a thousand speeches by prominent conservatives. That's the kind of thing we can do if we get back into the culture.

Unfortunately, most conservatives flee the culture like it's a plague. And those that don't are like Crowder or see Crowder as our lightening rod and they want him to wade in as our guy and fix that mess. That's the wrong approach because it makes him easy to dismiss as an agent of propaganda and no one outside of conservative ranks will ever bother listening to him.

Conservatives need to stop seeing culture as the enemy and instead see it as a very powerful tool.

tryanmax said...

Just caught up on the thread, guys. All I can say is right on, right on, right on.

The key notion is that conservatives need to stop disdaining the culture, consider cultural profession worthwhile. If enough conservative people go into the cultural sphere, their ideas will disseminate as if by osmosis. They won't have to sit and consciously work conservative themes into their writing. They will simply be there.

When ideas come through a narrative, they are simply accepted. So when a conservative politician comes along later, he will be seen as making sense when his words align with those of a popular movie or TV character.

tryanmax said...

As an example of my last point, I can't help but think of the character of Brian Griffin on Family Guy. He's constantly going about saying "Hey, this is totally cool!" and "Well, you know that's bullshit," without ever supporting anything he says. He doesn't have to. And lots of people will internalize things said by Brian Griffin b/c the character appeals to them. This in spite of the fact that little about Brian is appealing besides his acerbic wit.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Exactly. If enough conservatives start to work there, their ideas will become part of the structure almost automatically. That's how humanity works.

Good point about politicians sounding more correct if they mimic what television characters already say. Culture drives politics, not the other way around.

wahsatchmo said...

You've touched on something quite amazing, in that 80's TV was rife with wonderful, fulfilling, heroic themes. Some of them have been/are being modernized, but in ways that diminish the themes of the original.

Miami Vice and the A-Team were remade, to some effect. But they both missed the point. Galactica had a resurgence, and may even be a better story in the later version, but did it capture the original point?

I loved the Greatest American Hero, Misfits of Science, A-Team, Airwolf, Magnum PI, Simon & Simon, all that crap. Unlikely heroes, pulling it off in the end. Defending people. Getting the unjust to face justice.

But there was always a side commentary. Blue Thunder came before Airwolf, I think, and I see it mostly as a libertarian movie. Consider that you have a weaponized police helicopter that can invade your privacy at a whim, and target its weaponry by the pilot's helmet position. Roy Scheider *spoiler* destroys the prototype helicopter via train *end spoiler* because of his firm libertarian beliefs that the government should not employ tools of the military to attack its people without provocation.

Or were they liberal beliefs? Maybe because of racisty racists, because tea baggers are racist? Or because those racist tea baggers oppose gay marriage, because racist?

That's the problem. The simple heroic themes of the past are easily controverted. Progressivism knows how to rewrite the past, and the major media complexes are complicit in the effort.

Thus, we need something viable, that shows what we offer is not only simple common knowledge, but entertainingly so.

Progressivesm/liberalism is an emotional state of being that will eventually erode your sense of self in favor of an emotionless, all-encompassing state. What progressives don't understand is that the state is incompetent, vengeful, forgetful, unsympathetic, and most of all, self-perpetuating. But we've had those movies, and those stories, most of which were in the 70's and 80's. Why don't they stick in their consciousnesses?

Is it utopianism? Just a willful forgetfulness in favor of a dream?

The Lord of The Rings movies did astonishingly well, and Tolkien was very much a Christian, incorporating many Christian themes. Why do these stories and themes entertain, especially the themes of the shows from the 80's (I could probably remake any one into a movie and have it be successful), yet they don't persuade?

Are we doomed to be the Michael Bay's of thematic persuasion?

AndrewPrice said...

wahsatchmo, The 1980s stuff was full of conservative themes. I think that at that point, Hollywood was more responsive still to the public.

But keep in mind that since that time (30 years now) conservatives have done nothing but attack Hollywood. They treat it like the plague, they tell their kids "that's not a career" and they turn their back on anyone from there. The end result is that Hollywood has drifted further left.

Brietbart was brilliant to try to get Hollywood conservatives to speak up so they could start forming a network, but he wasn't able to achieve it because he ran right into the conservative disdain of culture and he ended up spending all of his time fighting his right flank to get them to admit that it's important to participate in shaping the culture.

On your point about progressive warping things, that's true, but we could do the same. The problem is that right now we lose by forfeit.

Also, the one area where this is not true is in military thrillers, which conservatives dominate. They are starting to get more influence in Hollywood as a result. What we need now are people to go work in all the other genres as well.

You can't win if you don't play.

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