Four-letter Feminism

“Hey slut!”

“I hate her. She’s a c**t.”

No, not the street talk of ganged-up urban teens. Thirty-something women at a social event. Upper middle class, aspirational, social-climbing even.

The century-long linguistic fight the Left has fought against reality – you know, the one that uses everything from de Saussure to Foucault, Baudrillard to Critical Race Theory – has culminated in educated women using language to prove themselves to be everything they’re not.

Because somehow swearing is empowering. Because no-one, and no social norm, can limit your voice. Because sexual and social semiotics only apply to advertisements that have women in them, not to women’s behaviour, right?

I don’t care about swearing. I work blue, and so does my wife, so it isn’t offence that is driving this. Rather it is the question of what is behind it.

The truth is that despite decades of yay-team promotion of all things women, on the ground women have seemingly embraced all the worst elements of male life and eschewed the best. Thank you, Marieke.

Indeed, for men who appreciate the female sexual form, the idea of pole dancing as a social and physical recreation is pretty much the final victory. And all that talk of assertive sexuality and unrestricted voice and owning the terms of oppression so much gumph.

Why? Because the feminist project, starting from legitimate anger at unjustifiable unfairness, has ended up falling prey to the psychological projections of its adherents.

The mistake is the fundamental view that all men are privileged, that it is a man’s world, and that men have power and women do not. Merely feeling powerless in the face of others is no argument that others are actually powerful. Privileging the subjective experience of powerlessness formalises people’s projections onto others.

If you embrace that view, then it means quintessentially male behaviour is the quintessential behaviour of the powerful.

Whereas the reality is that, like most women, most men are relatively powerless, and much of their behaviour is the behaviour of the powerless.

So the feminine embrace of the blokey, so dominant on our streets, in our media and in our bars, is the embrace of a false image of power.

Throw in a supporting cast of fad-following  fashionistas supporting a thugs-and-sluts aesthetic, and you have a model of socially-approved behaviours that actually communicate a lack of power.

This is a sad reversal of reality. A sad reversal of the original liberal feminist impulse. But one that is in complete accord with the Left’s privileging of seeming over substance, of words over action, and their romantic misuse of linguistic philosophy to try and change the world by changing what we name it.


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