“Feminist movement to eradicate heterosexism — compulsory heterosexuality — is central to efforts to end sexual oppression. . . .
“Feminist movement to end female sexual oppression is linked to lesbian liberation. . . .
“Feminist efforts to develop a political theory of sexuality must continue if sexist oppression is to be eliminated.”
— bell hooks, Feminist Theory from Margin to Center(2000)
“I’ve gone home drunk with someone on the first date — scratch that, the first meeting — and f–ked sweaty until 2 a.m.
“I ‘lost’ my ‘virginity’ at age fifteen and haven’t had the decency to regret it. . . .
“I’ve gone down and dirty with strangers on a crowded dance floor. I’ve played quarters with the wrestling team. Once, I had sex with my girlfriend in a barely hidden doorway. . . .
“And I hereby declare my right to be wild and still maintain my bodily autonomy.”
— Jaclyn Friedman, “In Defense of Going Wild,” in Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, edited by Jaclyn Friedman and Jessica Valenti (2008)
“Coming up against ‘the wall of patriarchy’ . . . early adolescence is a defining period for young women. Many regard harassment and violence to be a normal part of everyday life in middle and high schools . . . yet most of these crimes go unreported. . . .
“Feminist scholarship . . . consistently finds that traditional gender arrangements, beliefs and behaviors reinforce women’s sexual subordination to men. . . .
“Young women overwhelmingly depicted boys and men as natural sexual aggressors, pointing to one of the main tenets of compulsory heterosexuality. . . . Male power and privilege and female acquiescence were reified in descriptions of ‘routine’ and ‘normal’ sexualized interactions.”
— Heather R. Hlavka, “Normalizing Sexual Violence,” inGender Through the Prism of Difference, edited by Maxine Baca Zinn, Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, Michael A. Messner and Amy M. Denissen (fifth edition, 2015)
Everything is connected in feminist theory, and who am I to question or criticize these eminent women? If feminists declare that heterosexuality is a synonym for oppression, and insist that “lesbian liberation” and “a political theory of sexuality” are central to their movement, I will simply take their word for it. If I am told that exercising a “right to be wild” is essential to feminism, I believe it. When feminists declare that middle-school boys are beneficiaries of male privilege, so that girls encounter “the wall of patriarchy” as soon as they get to sixth grade, I feel obligated to publicize this claim. Indeed, I want the whole world to know the whole truth about feminism’s “theory of sexuality,” because for too long the feminist movement has succeeded by exploiting a widespread ignorance of what feminism actually is, and what feminism actually demands.
Everything that most people consider normal, feminism condemns aswrong. To the feminist, “normal” is a synonym for “oppressive.” This is why, for example, Jaclyn Friedman uses quotation marks to signify her feminist belief that “virginity” is a patriarchal concept — a social construct which oppresses women — and that chastity is not a virtue, whereas going “down and dirty with strangers” should be celebrated as an expression of “female sexual power.” To disapprove of Friedman’s bisexual promiscuity is to oppress her because, as Heather Hlavka explains, “traditional gender arrangements, beliefs and behaviors reinforce women’s sexual subordination.” If you are a parent who wouldn’t want your daughter pursuing her “right to be wild” in this manner, then you are oppressingyour daughter, infringing her “bodily autonomy,” and reinforcing her “sexual subordination to men.”
This is why I call feminism a War Against Human Nature. Once we get past the superficial rhetoric of “equality” and “progress” to examine what feminists actually believe — the movement’s esoteric doctrine — we recognize feminism as a sort of political bait-and-switch scam. The idea of feminism as a “mainstream” reform movement that everyone should support is impossible to reconcile with the radical program of social revolution that feminist theory envisions. Feminism requires eradicating “traditional gender arrangements” and constructing a sort of Brave New World in accordance with “a political theory of sexuality.”
When the average person sees pop singers like Beyoncé and movie stars like Emma Watson promoting feminism, of course it is not this radical ideology that comes to mind. The bizarre agenda envisioned by feminist theory is far beyond what the average person could possibly imagine, and yet this agenda is widely embraced by intellectuals within the academicFeminist-Industrial Complex of university Women’s Studies programs.
It is not just a few obscure “fringe” extremists who are promoting this ideology in our educational system. Thousands of Women’s Studies professors on hundreds of campuses are involved in teaching tens of thousands students annually. The book Feminist Theory From Margin to Center is an assigned reading in many courses, widely cited in feminist literature and excerpted in anthologies. The textbook Gender Through the Prism of Difference, published by prestigious Oxford University Press, is edited by four professors — Maxine Baca Zinn (Michigan State University), Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo and Michael A. Messner(University of Southern California) and Amy M. Denissen (California State University-Northridge). Professor Hlavka, who sees teenage girls victimized by “the wall of patriarchy,” is a professor of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University. And the anthology Yes Means Yes, in which Jaclyn Friedman celebrates going “down and dirty with strangers,” helped inaugurate the “rape culture” hysteria that has swept over college campuses. Jill Filipovic recently explained:
Friedman, Valenti and other feminist bloggers became regulars on the college speaking circuit, bringing feminist ideas about consent (among other issues) to campuses across the country. In the meantime, feminist blogs grew larger, and many feminist writers transitioned to larger, more mainstream outlets. Other large media platforms saw the popularity of feminist-minded content and were quick to either hire new writers or give the long-time feminists on staff — of which there were already many in media — more space to shine. The feminist pipeline began to pump further and further out, and it seemed like overnight the F-word was everywhere.
Promoted on campus and publicized by the media, radical feminism has gained “mainstream” status without much critical examination of what “the F-word” actually means. Does it mean “lesbian liberation”? Getting drunk and having sex with strangers? Eradicating “traditional gender arrangements”? All of the above? And what would the world transformed by feminist theory look like? We need not think of these questions as hypothetical speculation, if we follow the daily news:
- In Michigan, soccer coach Lauren Hill, 26, was arrested in May for having sex with a teenage girl on her team.
- In New Jersey, charter school teacher Lauren Mitchell, 32, was arrested in June for having sex with a 15-year-old girl.
- In California, a choir teacher, Veronica Lopez, 44, was arrested Oct. 10 for “oral copulation” with a 17-year-old girl.
Well, not every teacher is having lesbian sex with her students, but if “early adolescence is a defining period for young women,” as Professor Hlavka says, and if “the F-word” is now everywhere, as Jill Filipovic says, what do we expect? If feminism aims to end the “sexist oppression” of women by “compulsory heterosexuality,” as bell hooks says, then doesn’t it make sense that “a political theory of sexuality” should be taught in public schools?
Last week, California became the first state in the nation to require lessons about sexual consent in high school sex education classes. The legislation mirrors laws passed last year mandating colleges and universities in both California and New York apply an “affirmative consent,” or “yes means yes” standard when investigating campus sexual assaults.
“California must continue to lead the nation in educating our young people — both women and men — about the importance of respect and maintaining healthy peer and dating relationships,” Assemblyman Rocky Chávez said. . . .
“We are very concerned that we are seeing a move toward consent being the arbiter of whether or not teen sex is appropriate,” said Valerie Huber, president of the National Abstinence Education Association. “We think that is a disservice to our teens and it also ignores all the scientific research showing young people are much better off both now and in the future if they don’t have sex.”
Yes, obviously, feminists want to teach sexual consent in high school because “yes means yes.” So your daughter can learn how to get “down and dirty with strangers.” Or maybe her teacher.
You can say what you want, but don’t say you weren’t warned.