The ‘Mechanism of Social Control’

“Since sex is something men do to women . . . men dominate and control women. . . .

“In other words, heterosexuality is the foundation of the social structure of male dominance, and successfully attacking it could bring down the whole house. . . .
“Is consensual sexual activity which entails male dominance and female subordination a form of social control? . . .
“The need for a unified feminist theory of sexuality is clear. If one concludes, as many feminists have, that heterosexuality is the primary and most powerful mechanism of social control, then understanding its meaning in all forms is imperative if male dominance is ever to be overcome. . . .
“Heterosexual instrumentalism practiced at the interpersonal level allows men to dominate and control women, which, in turn, provides the underpinnings of a system where women are controlled in all settings.”
S.P. Schacht and Patricia H. Atchison, “Heterosexual Instrumentalism: Past and Future Directions,” in Heterosexuality: A Feminism and Psychology Reader, edited by Sue Wilkinson and Celia Kitzinger (1993)

The authors of that quote were both professors of sociology. Professor Steven P. Schacht taught at Southwest Missouri State University and Professor Patricia Atchison taught at Colorado State University.

Professor Schacht is a rather extraordinary example of male self-hatred, which he has further expressed in a remarkable essay, “Teaching About Being An Oppressor: Some Personal and Political Considerations.” Click through and read it. No Onion satire could possibly exceed Professor Schacht’s absurdity. It might be helpful to know that he received his Ph.D. for a dissertation entitled “Obscene Telephone Calls as Instruments of Male Dominance.” Just in case you are not yet convinced that Professor Schacht is a textbook case of pathetic self-loathing, however, please readhis essay “Why Men Should be Feminists”:

Perhaps like many men who claim a feminist identity, the path I traveled to grasp such an outlook has been meandering, often painful, and not well marked. The seeds of this very divergent course of personal being were initially planted by a woman who was, among many other beautiful things, an artist, a poet, a radical feminist, and my mother. She spent untold hours trying to share with me the anguish and the hope of her feminist vision.
In my pre-adolescent years I accompanied my mother on numerous pre-Roe v. Wade protest rallies — the chant “women unite, stand up and fight, abortion is a women’s right” still clearly rings in my ears — often helping her paint banners and signs to carry as we marched. She took me with her to anti-Vietnam protests at the University of Minnesota campus (1968-70), several rallies for George McGovern . . .
As one would expect, almost all of my mother’s friends were strong feminist women themselves. My mother’s feminist values in raising me were very much reflected and consistent with other important women in my childhood.

Did I mention that his father was a former Air Force pilot? How do you think that marriage turned out?

[M]y parents separated for several years during my mid-teen years, each taking turns living in the family home with the other maintaining an apartment. Since my father was a pilot and away for many days of the month, in a sense, their separation had probably already occurred years before their formal breakup. Both dated, my mother even publicly became a lesbian, openly stating and showing her affection for her female partners, while my father pursued flight attendants and other younger women. My parents eventually did reunite, but this was because of my mother becoming critically ill, and their personal differences remained quite apparent.

Professor Schacht’s mother died when he was 19. Honestly,  it seems easier to interpret his story not as proving “Why Men Should Be Feminists” but rather “Why Women Should Not Be Feminists.”

That is to say, if you are a woman whose hobbies include anti-war rallies, pro-abortion protests and campaigning for liberal Democrats, and all your friends are “strong feminist women” . . .

Well, there is a Greek island near the coast of Asia Minor. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. If the first phrase that comes to a woman’s mind when she thinks of heterosexuality is “mechanism of social control,” she might just want to take the shortcut to her ultimate destination — over there on the other side of the Mytilini Strait — rather than ruining some unfortunate guy’s life by pretending to enjoy heterosexuality.

As for “feminist men,” obviously there is no hope at all for them.Professor Schacht recounts his academic career:

I would only spend two years teaching at SMSU. Like many positions to follow, in spite of having high teaching evaluations and a quite active publication record, I was basically fired for being too radical, too feminist, too queer, and an obvious gender traitor of sorts. Consistent with my SMSU experience, since leaving graduate school in 1990 I have held six different positions, spent a year unemployed, been divorced twice, and am presently recovering from colon cancer. Moreover, during the early years of my return to my mother’s feminist ideals, I increasingly found myself being betrayed and rejected by men (especially those in academia). Conversely, many of my attempts for seeking acceptance from feminist women were met with a cool reception, often filled with indifference, mistrust, and even hostility.

There’s a song by Beck. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

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