Virginia Heffernan is into sex segregation. She chooses to pretend not to know that sex segregation has always accompanied the most opressively anti-women societies. She also likes to fake a complete ignorance of how gender wars serve the cause of female subjection. Instead, Heffernan celebrates female chauvinism and gender bullying:
It buoys spirits, of course, that there are big, bestselling new books that fly the flamboyant colors of female chauvinism. They have those ugly, slightly bullying titles. There’s “Vagina,” by Naomi Wolf. “The End of Men,” of course, by Hanna Rosin. And “The Richer Sex,” by Liza Mundy. These books have not exactly delighted reviewers, but they’ve made it possible to pretend that playground name-calling (“boys are dumb!”) is social science. Better still, Wolf, Rosin and Mundy do the name-calling for all womankind, so the rest of us can meet in silk dresses and not talk about gender madness at all.
Of course, everybody is entitled to their own ignorance and stupidity. Still, I feel offended that Heffernan considers it acceptable to assume that “all womankind” shares her diseased attitude towards men.
According to Heffernan’s strange logic, the war against women’s reproductive rights that is currently being waged by the US politicians is not a big deal because Myanmar, golf, and Jesus. Think I’m exaggerating in order to make her look bad? See for yourself:
The stylized “war on women” may rage on as a fiction of the election, but in the barracks women are living it up. Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader, now sits in parliament in Myanmar. Women play golf at the Augusta National Golf Club. And, this week, we come to find out Jesus may have had a wife.
Got it? Well, neither did I. Real women are being denied their rights but for Heffernan this is a greater fiction than Jesus’s wife.
Heffernan is a great example of a person who refuses to face her own neurosis and pretends that her psychological imbalance is some sort of a political or social issue. Take the following statement, for example:
Last week I hired a babysitter, put on a dress and took a taxi to a friend’s birthday party across town. . . In place of cake and candles was an exclusionary door policy. Women. Only women. The three men present were waiters. There was nothing defiant or political in this separatism. Separatism by sex is so standard at social events now that no one even commented on it. The crowd was cool and gracious. The women seemed universally like winners, expansively at home in this unmixed company. No men around to worry about, to protect, to impress, to slow down for.
What Heffernan doesn’t know is that she can look and feel like a winner who is at home wherever she goes without locking herself up in a gynaikonitis or a seraglio. All she needs to achieve this happy state is solve her psychological issues that make her switch on the worrying, protecting, impressing, slowing down mode whenever a man enters the room.
When I imagine the sad reality of a person who automatically begins “to worry about, to protect, to impress, to slow down for” whenever a man shows up on the horizon, I feel perplexed. It must be a weary task to walk through life dragging these decidedly unhealthy responses everywhere you go. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to find the reason why the possibility that a complete stranger might have a penis provokes such an intense response in you? Wouldn’t it be more productive to look for a way not to be in such a complete thrall to other people’s physiology?
Crowds of women live their lives without any desire or need “to worry about, to protect, to impress, to slow down for” whenever men appear in their vicinity. Heffernan could easily become one of those women if only she gave herself the trouble of realizing that this is not about “all womankind.” This is an issue of personal psychology that she is choosing not to address out of sheer laziness.
The feminist discourse has degenerated into a laundry list of psychological issues that their owners blame on society, men, the patriarchy, and the Loch Ness monster. Such pseudo-feminists have no interest in the very real encroachments on women’s rights. Instead, they prefer to smother feminism in trivialities. Inane complaints against the universe, vapid discussions of golf and Jesus’s wife, endless passive-voice statements that allow them to whine without ever charting a course of action that will make the whining redundant – this is what I encounter with a scary regularity in the feminist section of my blogroll.
“Why is feminism losing popularity?” such pseudo-feminists ask whenever a fresh bout of vacuous militancy against nothing specific subsides. “Why are the younger generations distancing themselves from feminism?”
Well, just take a look at Heffernan’s article again. Would you like to be associated with something this insipid, infantile and stupid?