I wrote in Part 4 of the insidious nature of radical feminism amongst the progenitors of the movement through the mid to late 20th century. We’ll pick things up in a minute, but it would pay to take stock quickly of where things stand at the start of 2018. (Thankfully I’ve just had the pleasure of completely ignoring the 2018 Golden Globes circle-jerk, but I’m quite literally stiff with excitement at the feminist awesomeness that viewers were seemingly beholden to.)
It’s hard to over-exaggerate the cognitive dissonance on display at these events (to me the gender-neutral MTV awards last year still take the cake) but the spectacle of the ladies of Hollywood at this year’s Globes, all dressed in black, standing up against the “gender inequality and sexual violence” endemic in their industry, even though the overwhelming majority of said heroines must have either known about, or been complicit to, whatever shenanigans have been covered up in the past, is breathtakingly asinine even for Hollywood. Some of these women even brought prominent feminist activists as their dates, in an epic display of look-at-me virtue signalling. #YouAllKnew.
So it seems we’re starting 2018 exactly as 2017 ended. To these privileged, spoiled and deluded liberal celebrities, filled with their own self-importance, their world is dominated by toxic masculinity, and their assumed mantle of perennial victimhood has now superseded any real world issues. This is not just in their own lives (how about just worry about making entertaining films and TV programmes?) but also those faced by billions of real women in the Third World each day who must worry about such trivialities as infant mortality, real violence and gathering enough food and water to sustain their families. I’m not sure what the viewership numbers were for the Golden Globes, but it’s unlikely many of them were from Venezuela!
Now back to the issue at hand.
We left off the discussion at the Sexual Revolution ideals of second-wave feminists, and their intended undermining of the family unit. Throughout the ‘60’s and 70’s feminists such as Kate Millett, Simone de Beauvoir and others such as the well-known Germaine Greer continued to advance the cause of gender being distinct from biological sex, pushing female sexual proclivities and generally angling for the destruction of the patriarchy.
This coincided with the time period in which great strides in gender reassignment surgery were being made, most notably at the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic in Baltimore, founded by ‘renowned’ sexologist, John Money. Money was working on a theory that ‘nurture’ was more important than ‘nature’, i.e. that any child could be raised as boy or girl irrespective of their sex at birth.
Money’s work was to become defined by the famous case of ‘David Reimer’, born Bruce Reimer in 1965 alongside his twin brother, Brian. As an 8-month old, Bruce had been the victim of a botched circumcision, leaving him with his penis all but destroyed. As a consultant to Bruce’s distraught parents, Money, equal parts ‘brilliant iconoclast’ and gender-fixated ideologue, selfishly persuaded them to allow him to have a sex change operation rather than attempt reconstruction surgery. As a result, Bruce was raised as ‘Brenda’ and Money had found the perfect test subject in young Brenda to prove the veracity of his nature vs nurture theory, with the young girl’s early childhood interactions showing signs that the theory had some merit.
However, things were not as they seemed. Brenda’s teenage years were a torment, as she began looking and acting more and more masculine. At age 14, her parents told her the truth, and she quickly rejected the abhorrent gender experiment she had been subjected to. Opting to immediately revert back to a male, ‘Brenda’ changed her name to David, had penile-reconstruction surgery, and went on to marry and father children. However, both David and his brother committed suicide before the age of 40 in the early 2000’s, after both suffered long histories of mental illness.
In the years after Bruce became ‘Brenda’, Money continued to advocate for the gender-fluid nature of the body, producing a volume of research work which very much suited feminists at the time as it supported their own theories that gender was independent of biology.
We now move to full-blown Queer Theory, and the introduction to our story of Judith Butler, doyen of third-wave feminists, and author of Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (1990).
Butler viewed second-wave feminism’s continued reinforcement of society’s binary view of gender as a failure. To her and other third-wave feminists, the binary model was flawed, as they believed there should be no link between sex and identity at all, and that the idea of gender should be abolished altogether. For Butler, the imposition of the gender label was an act of “pseudo-violence” integrated into our language and culture – there should be no biological expression of sexuality, only what she termed the “performance” of gender and sexuality arising out of everyday life.
If this is all sounding like the gibberish, it is, rest assured that this could be because Butler’s views were heavily influenced by post-modernist thinkers such as Michel Foucault. I will tackle the subject of post-modernism in a later article in this series, but it is enough to know for the purposes of this discussion that the post modernists were obsessed with power relationships and dominance, and with how language and culture is used by the dominant group (ie the patriarchy) to impose its truth or reality on the victim groups, ie women, minorities, homosexuals etc. Foucault’s book, The History of Sexuality (1984) set out the idea that modern heterosexual relationships between men and women were artificial and based on coercion (the power of the male over the female), and hence a more liberated gender-bending and queer expression of sexual desire should be encouraged.
Queer Theory – the specific post-structural critical theory field that emerged in the early 1990’s through followers of Foucault including Butler – merged the ideas of feminism and prominent gay and lesbian activism with the idea of gender ambiguity. Queer Theory’s primary aim was to debunk the stable nature of the binary sexes as a means of reinventing heteronormativity (normal heterosexual male-female relationships) as being privileged and hence in need of deconstruction.
One can see how this aligns with the third-wave feminist view to eliminate the natural order of the gender binary. This idea of transgenderism now not only coincided beautifully with the second-wave feminists’ Sexual Revolution ideals discussed in Part 4, but now activists and researchers concluded that any and all genders should be recognised as equally valid. The subversive nature of this cannot be overstated.
Butler went one step further with her views on transgenderism, with the promotion of same sex marriage seen as an antidote for traditional heterosexual marriage. Naturally, traditional marriage in the view of third-wave feminists served to reinforce the post-modernists’ power dynamic of the gender binary, serving as an instrument of oppression of not only women, but also those who didn’t conform to “normal” standards. But the disruption of traditional marriage was only one of several societal norms in the crosshairs – if marriage could be disrupted, so too could gendered bathrooms, gendered sports, or any other aspect of modern life to which the notion of gender essentialism or heteronormativity could be applied.
So here we are in 2018. Queer theorists, third-wave feminists, gender studies activists – all pushing a subversive narrative that traditional marriage is oppressive, and anyone experiencing gender confusion should be affirmed and celebrated.
I began this series discussing Australia’s Same Sex Marriage survey and the furore that surrounded it (see Part 1), from the point of view of someone deeply troubled at the public’s deep-set ignorance of the underlying issues and the ideology of the leftists pushing the love-is-love “Yes” message. How have the media and politicians in this country managed to ignore completely the stated and deliberate goals of the progressive radical gender activists? It’s hardly like they’ve been hiding their intentions all these years?
Is it any wonder then given what we know about gender and queer theory that we’ve seen such a precipitous increase in young children being referred to gender identity specialists in the past decade? According to official figures in the UK for example, the number of children being referred has increased from 2 per week in 2009-2010 to 39 per week in 2016-2017 – that’s a twenty-fold increase. It’s more difficult to track down statistics for Australia, but several articles suggest that in major children’s hospitals around the country, referrals for gender services have skyrocketed in recent years.
Is it any wonder too that radical gender theory is now endemic across government policy, sex education at our schools, on our televisions and movie screens, in pop culture, and has taken over the Humanities and Social Sciences departments at leading universities? Who could possibly have foreseen, I ask with tongue firmly in cheek, that the feminist and transgender activist war against gender, traditional families and patriarchal society, and the elevation of the sexual and gender revolutions into the mainstream consciousness these past few decades, would lead to a society where monogamy doesn’t matter, traditional families are viewed as oppressive, and where an impressionable generation has been raised by the state and feel the need to embrace the notion that to be truly free is to opt for whichever gender identity one feels like, for to do otherwise is simply not progressive enough?
As with all revolutions, destruction and deconstruction have been the central themes; overthrowing the status quo, the chorus. But like most revolutions, the radicals at the forefront of the gender revolution have never constructed anything meaningful in their lives; they’ve only broken down once meaningful institutions.
Statistics for depression, divorce rates, and single-parent households are up. Dating apps and meaningless sexual encounters; the isolation of social media use; the Men Going Their Own Way movement (the feminist leanings of so many millennial women is enough to turn any man away); millennials remaining single for longer or living in their parents’ basements – all signs point to a breakdown in our cultural norms and the way that Western societies meet, date, procreate, and raise their children – indeed birth rates across the West have been declining steadily for years.
But try telling that to rabid feminists – they’re too busy comparing victim narratives with their transgender allies, and shrieking that it’s time for men to sit down and shut up. To them, this is all working out perfectly, and we’ve been too blinkered to bother taking the fight to them.
More in Part 6.