Tuesday, September 06, 2016

A Mind Needs Truth Like a Feminist Needs the Patriarchy

To put it another way -- in reference to what God owes us -- it cannot be that he is so irresponsible as to, as it were, create cats with no mice, birds with no trees, or fish with no water. Man has his legitimate needs, one of which is truth. If the intellect is what distinguishes us from the beasts, then we have every right to expect that it can find its needs satisfied down here.

Having said that, cats do not try to eat lettuce, gophers don't nest in trees, and fish don't try to make it on dry land. Only man systematically chooses what is wrong and bad for him -- not just physically, but mentally and spiritually.

For example, consider this little exchange, via Happy Acres:

Here precisely are human beings demanding that cats be dogs or lions cows. So sad! Such a losing battle!

Note that these women are engaged in a battle against reality. Reality is prevailing, and this provokes sadness. One doesn't have to extrapolate far to see that this sadness can only be a result of the failure of omnipotence: reality should not be what it is, but what I wish it to be.

But this is the very structure not only of feminism but of leftism more generally. Because I enjoyed Why Race Matters so much, I've moved on to Levin's previous book on Feminism and Freedom -- which might as well be titled Why Sex (or what they now call gender) Matters.

I've only just started the book, but one point the author makes right away is that feminism and freedom are at antipodes: you can have one or the other, but not both. Especially if you take feminism seriously, it requires nothing less than a totalitarian state to compel reality to conform to its impossible expectations. Think of the example of the two bubbleheads mentioned above. What would it require in order to make their dreams of androgyny come true?

Now, if humans can get something as basic as sexual polarity wrong, what can't they get wrong? Which puts God in a bit of a jam, doesn't it? You'd think that some things would be too obvious to screw up, but never underestimate the power of the human mind to "know" falsehood.

Now, of the three transcendentals -- love, truth, and beauty -- only truth fails to be itself in the absence of the proper object. In other words, it is always possible to love what is unlovely or to be attracted to ugliness.

But one cannot really "know" falsehood, because falsehood is the essence of "non-knowledge." For example, I can know everything about, say, unicorns, but it doesn't mean I actually know anything. And it is no different than knowing everything about feminism. A BA in "women's studies" is a degree in nothingness; it confers expertise in a fantasy world.

However, Levin's book shows that one can learn a lot from feminism about what is wrong with the human mind, or the errors to which it is prone. For "A theory whose basic assumption about human nature is completely erroneous... is indeed bound to be wrong about everything else." As we've said before, if you get your anthropology wrong, then your political philosophy will rest upon a foundation of Jello.

If there are no differences between the sexes, then it can only be a result of oppression that, say, men tend to be the defenders of civilization while women tend to be its nurturers. In a random distribution, there should be as many male as female warriors and nannies. If a disproportionate number of women choose not to be warriors, that cannot be a consequence of free choice, but rather, compulsion. Therefore, we must fight compulsion with compulsion, and the only power big enough for such a task is the state. The state will see to it that our warrior class is equally distributed between men and women.

But it's not just the military, it's everything: men and women reveal their preferences in different choices, so "efforts to eradicate those [differences] must be futile and never-ending." "[P]eople will never freely act in ways which produce a world devoid of sexism," so "the equalization of the sexes in personal behavior demands implacable surveillance and interference."

In short, the outcomes demanded by (left) liberalism can only be achieved by the abolition of (classical) liberalism. Really, it can only be accomplished by the patriarchy, that is, by the mailed fist of the omnipotent daddy state. It reminds me of women who, when they get married, make a point of keeping their father's name in order to stick it to the patriarchy.


julie said...

What would it require in order to make their dreams of androgyny come true?

One shudders to imagine; there would have to be so many amputations and mutilations of developing minds, hardly anything would remain except animal rage and craving for stimulation of either all kinds or none. Huh - come to think of it, that pretty much sums up the average feminist.

julie said...

If a disproportionate number of women choose not to be warriors, that cannot be a consequence of free choice, but rather, compulsion.

An ongoing battle between my two kids is his relentless quest to enlist her in his fighting games. He honestly can't understand why she doesn't want to play soldiers, and can't figure out that giving her a cooler tank or gun is not going to change her mind. Conversely, he doesn't usually want to engage in tea parties and picnics unless he can pretend to blow something up at some point. Thankfully, they get along more often than not, but only an idiot can fail to see that Boys And Girls Are Different. Sadly, it also needs to be explained that This Is Not A Bad Thing.


Gagdad Bob said...

Who says men don't have periods?!

Magister said...

It would be helpful to have another word for (left) liberalism. "Progressivism" is tendentious and begs the question. I like "Leftism" because I can associate it with violent and failed revolutions. But is there another word that would be both more accurate and more skewering?

My three kids are 16, 13, and 10. Two boys, then the youngest, a girl. The girl (like her mom) is feisty, smart, and physical. She wants to be what she is naturally. She also wants to be a mom someday. My oldest son has entered the reality that women are different. He wants no part of them while he studies his butt off and hangs out with his friends. He's already had his first kiss, but then the girl got clingy. To entertain anything more, he first wants to become a man. It's been interesting that they both already have firm ideas about what being a woman and man is about.

It's our middle child that I worry about. He is deeply thoughtful, a good writer, an accomplished cellist and archer, very quiet and contemplative. He had trouble hearing until he was four, so he is cognitively behind -- and knows it. He loves animals. He plays often with his sister. He loves "cute" things as much as he loves learning how to do masculine things with his father. He's a handsome boy, a great distance runner, but he thinks no girl will ever want to be his girlfriend. As you can imagine, I'm signing him up for Scouting, going to teach him all the trades I know, and throw myself into the life of the local Troop. He's 13, entering puberty, and I want him to feel that he also has (as he does) a masculine destiny. He just won't be an academic or engineer like the other men in our family.

So I've both seen the natural inclinations and the context that helps to shape them. I can see where things can take a destructive turn. Teaching our sons and daughters to avoid those turns is part of what being a parent is about. It's a confident, joyful thing.

No sadness at all.

julie said...

Magister, indeed, and well said.

Re. men and periods, Ha!

On a more serious note, why is it that, if I'm not mistaken, most modern feminine products were developed by, well, men? We live with periods, but apparently making it livable had to be mansplained first. Notably, the feminists never seem to have thought about that.

There's an interesting story/ documentary about a guy in India who was worried about his wife and what she goes through (we in the West have no idea how awful and unhygienic it is to have a period in the pre-modern age; all those prohibitions about women making the water unclean weren't cruel, they were practical!). His wife was horrified that he was even interested, but he stuck with it and as a result, a cottage industry of women making products for women was developed. Notably, this was not a century ago, just within the past 20 years.

John Lien said...

Since we are oddly on this topic.

How tampons are made. First world style. Related to me by a machinist who worked on one of these machines. There is a 7 foot (or so) diameter steel ring with tampon shaped holes bored all along the inner perimeter That ring is spun tremendously fast. The cotton fibers enter the chamber and the centrifugal force packs the fibers all tidy and tight into the holes. Pretty clever, eh?

Leslie said...

I was given 4 children, boy, girl, boy, girl. Not only are the boys and girls different from each other, but, they are all different from each other. My first 2 were "hyper" masculine and feminine. There was no danger my son would shy away from. I learned to "let him be a boy" when he was only 2, and directed it into sports. My daughter was my princess, and everything needed glitter. She was a ballerina for 12 years, and is an artist now, and can make anything. She also is a gym rat, who lifts heavy weights. The next two, are more subtle. But, my son is studying welding, after being given a classical school education. My baby, is a giant of a girl, who is head strong and physically strong, but, she also dances and recently spent her own money on high heels. No, they are who they are. We give them values and parameters, but, we cannot change the hard wire.

Magister said...

It's people like Raccoons who make me wonder whether HG Wells was right, i.e. that eventually humanity will sort itself out into "moral enclaves." The progs will have their societies based around their neuroses and control compulsions. The pure libertines will have their celebrity mediasphere, sex dolls, and ephemera. The Christians will have their communities. Etc.

Because I know where I belong.

mushroom said...

Now, if humans can get something as basic as sexual polarity wrong, what can't they get wrong?

Why does Michael Jackson come to mind when I read that?

mushroom said...

Wells said enclaves; I say compounds. Communities would be a good compromise.

julie said...

In short, the outcomes demanded by (left) liberalism can only be achieved by the abolition of (classical) liberalism.

I have been following with morbid fascination Bookworm's reporting on sending her daughter to college. While she has the right idea about deprogramming, I'm still flabbergasted that she hasn't yanked that kid out of there at light speed. On the one hand, I am sympathetic to the reality that you do what you need to do (and that changing daughter's and the father's minds on this one may just be hopeless), but I just don't see how anyone needs to spend 40 or 50k per year to get their kid's head screwed on backwards. There are still other ways to get an education, and better ways to give your kids the kind of life worth living.

Magister said...

Julie, I don't have a good answer for you.

Where I sit, I simply see that people do indeed send their young adults to enormously expensive colleges. Part of the rationale is that universities are important for social sorting and gaining entrance to professional networks. Alumni networks can be a means to getting a high-paying job.

As a parent, I confess to feeling several ways about this. On the one hand, I believe universities ought to train students to love and pursue the truth and to cultivate real wisdom. On the other hand, our society treats college degrees as indispensable entry-level credentials for professional careers. They know that parents want universities to be both of these things for their children. They have us over a barrel.

My wife and I seriously considered home-schooling our middle child, but on balance, we just didn't want to give up the material standard of living that we have now basically wired into the structure of our family's activities. Giving up one career would mean giving up our children's excellent music teachers, their various sports, and their travel opportunities. I suppose we could do that -- or, we could wire into our workdays and family nights readings and conversations that inoculate our kids with facts.

My eldest son for example is a positive ideological terror to the liberal kids in his classes. Every week, I send him an article to think about. Like this: http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/09/worse-depression-1-6-working-age-males-no-job-obama/

He's not only immune to Leftist indoctrinations, he sets about deliberately to confront and challenge them. I don't take total credit for this. God gave the boy a brain.

julie said...

That, I do understand. My concern in Bookworm's case is the rapidity with which her daughter seems to have been swayed by the leftist indoctrination. It's going to be a hard slog if, four days in, she has already been swayed by BLM propaganda.

I understand about the advantages still present with schooling. We sent our son to kindergarten this year, for a number of reasons. Not least of which is that we are trying to work from home, and having both small kids running around all day every day with no breaks for the grownups makes it difficult to get any real creative work done. As they get older and more self-sufficient, home schooling is definitely still an option for us, but for right now the benefits of school outweigh the risks.

Tangentially, I am convinced that part of the reason moms used to send their kids outside for hours at a stretch is that was the only way to get anything done. I suspect parents only began helicoptering when they only saw their kids for four or five hours out of the day.

Van Harvey said...

I won't click on that. I won't. Nope.