Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Even Back Then, the Future was Female

“The Future is Female.” This now-familiar feminist slogan has its roots in the unapologetic female chauvinism of over a century ago.

In 2013, a high-profile public debate took place in Toronto, Canada, part of the popular Munk Debates series. It showcased four women addressing the question “Are Men Obsolete?” Perhaps the fact that no men participated made the result a foregone conclusion—the ‘Yes’ side won easily, though the snide, mostly fact-free exchanges somewhat undermined the claim of the series to canvas “Big Ideas.” Two of the participants, New York Times writer Maureen Dowd and Atlanticmagazine editor Hanna Rosin had already published books glibly asserting male decline (titled respectively Are Men Necessary?
and The End of Men). Only one of the participants, dissident academic Camille Paglia, seriously defended men’s continuing civilizational significance.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Early Feminists Pathologized Male Sexuality - Janice Fiamengo

Nineteenth century debates about prostitution and disease ignited widespread feminist denunciations of male sexuality, which in their fury and deliberate dehumanization clearly foreshadow modern feminism’s hatred of male sexual nature.

Nineteenth century British and North American societies were periodically convulsed by discussions of prostitution, especially as it related to the spread of syphilis and gonorrhea, two then-incurable sexually transmitted diseases. Though historians cannot provide clear data about the number of people infected at this time, the diseases were widespread enough to cause serious concern amongst medical authorities, and to result in alarming rates of infertility, deformity, blindness, mental defect, and death.

Early Feminists Hoped to Destroy the Family - Janice Fiamengo

Many nineteenth-century feminists saw the traditional family as an oppressive institution and looked forward to its destruction.

Contrary to what we now believe, contempt for the traditional family and demands for female sexual liberation didn’t begin in the 1960s. Instead, hatred of the family was firmly rooted in nineteenth century feminist advocacy, which often asserted that marriage, including monogamy and childrearing, was oppressive for women.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Victimhood Craze in Early Feminism: The Case of Elizabeth Cady Stanton - Janice Fiamengo

The most famous name in American feminist history, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, provides a fascinating case study in the power of victimhood ideology.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) is an iconic figure in the American women’s movement. Convenor in 1848 of the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, author of its incendiary manifesto The Declaration of Sentiments,
E. Stanton
and tireless campaigner for over fifty years, Stanton was a beloved though controversial feminist whose assertion that women deserved the right to vote as an expression of equal citizenship is still widely admired. She is referred to by even conservative feminists as an “egalitarian” inspired by Enlightenment ideals (Sommers,
Freedom Feminism, 30).