Last week, the Internet went wild about Professor Jessie Daniels, who teaches sociology at the Hunter College campus of the City University of New York (CUNY). What did Professor Daniels say?
Jessie Daniels, a self-described “expert on race,” began her tweetstorm . . . by declaring that “what I’ve learned is that the white-nuclear family is one of the most powerful forces supporting white supremacy.”
“I mean, if you’re a white person who says they’re engaged in dismantling white supremacy but…you’re forming a white family [and] reproducing white children that ‘you want the best for’ – how is that helping [and] not part of the problem?” . . .
Daniels notes that she’s not alone in her hostility towards the family. Other scholars have a “feminist critique of The Family as an inherently conservative force in society,” she says, citing the work of feminist scholars Peggy McIntosh and Michele Barrett, who argue in their book that the nuclear family structure is a “fact to be lamented.”
The sacredness of the family also concerns her, Daniels notes, adding that “there’s a whole ideological apparatus to justify how f-cking sacred the family is,” adding that “nothing’s more important” because “Until white people are ready to confront their own family’s racism [and] participation in systemic white supremacy, it’s not getting dismantled.”
Professor Daniels locked down her Twitter account, rather than to defend her wicked arguments. And she has been preaching this hateful ideology at taxpayer expense since 1993. Because higher education in America is extensively subsidized by federal and state taxpayers, everything taught in our universities is a matter of public interest. Even private colleges and universities received direct and indirect subsidies from taxpayers, especially in the form of Pell Grants and government-guaranteed student loans. Taxpayer funding is the financial source of what Professor Glenn Reynolds has called The Higher Education Bubble. Professor Daniels taught at the University of Cincinnati (1993-1994) and Hofstra University (1995-2000) before being appointed research director at CUNY/Hunter College’s Center on Community and Urban Health in 2002, and from there gained tenure as a full professor at the CUNY School of Public Health. Let the taxpayer ask, “How does the hateful message of Professor Daniels promote ‘public health’?” It is self-evidently absurd that such a hate-filled monster as Professor Daniels should be employed in this position, and who is paying her salary? Every taxpayer in New York City, New York state and the United States of America. Professor Daniels is a government employee, and her employment at public expense is tantamount to a government endorsement of her monstrous beliefs.
Professor Daniels has a verified “blue-check” Twitter account. She is a public figure, and not some obscure private citizen. Criticism of her hateful anti-family tirade is not “abuse” or “harassment.” Her arguments were self-evidently indefensible. Everyone with two eyes and a brain could see that Professor Daniels is a demented hatemonger and, by locking down her account, she tacitly admitted that she cannot defend herself in open debate. She waved the white flag of surrender.
Why does Professor Daniels believe what she believes? Because of her devotion to radical feminism, an ideology that emerged from the New Left in the 1960s. Radical feminism derived its methodology (historical materialism) from Marxism and the feminist belief in women’s collective oppression by patriarchy was cloned, so to speak, from the Marxist claim that the industrial proletariat was oppressed by capitalism.
This concept of oppression involves a zero-sum-game mentality, where individual success is condemned as a product of unjust exploitation of others. Because the capitalist system is inherently wrong, according to Marxists, the most successful people in our society are the worst people, and those who fail are the best people — the sainted “victims” of oppression. By equating success with oppression, and celebrating victimhood, this ideology of “social justice” condemns every honest person who works hard and saves their money to try to make a better life for themselves and their families. In the obverse, “social justice” ideology also incentivizes claims of victimhood, encouraging a form of identity politics based on self-pity and an attitude of resentment toward others. It is often the most privileged people in our society (e.g., students from affluent backgrounds attending elite universities) who embrace this identity politics mentality, claiming to be Victims of Oppression.
Feminism condemns “male privilege” as a way of stigmatizing male success. In most cases, the successful man “stands on the shoulders of giants,” so to speak, having been born into fortunate circumstances, inheriting certain advantages. As Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book Outliers: The Story of Success, it may take generations of hard work (and good luck) to produce the great man. A billionaire like Mark Zuckerberg, for example, is the son of middle-class parents, but he is the great-grandson of impoverished Jewish immigrants. The crucial factors that put Zuckerberg in a position to create Facebook while he was a Harvard student could be traced back to his grandparents’ generation, before anyone dreamed of modern computer technology.
Did the “patriarchy” make Zuckerberg a billionaire? This is what feminists would have us believe, with their talk of “male privilege,” but this claim is as paranoid as an anti-Semite claiming that Facebook is a “Zionist” conspiracy. (Incidentally, Zuckerberg’s older sister Randi is also a Harvard-educated success, having left a job at a top advertising firm to work seven years at Facebook before launching her own ventures.) The anti-Semite resents Jewish success in the same way the feminist resents male success, and it doesn’t enhance the respectability of feminism’s anti-male agenda that they have developed an elaborate theory to justify their resentments. Anti-Semites have their theories, too, you know. The main difference between anti-Semites and feminists is that the latter have their own sanctuaries in university Women’s Studies programs.
Feminism is an ideology of rationalized hatred, based in a zero-sum-game worldview that condemns success as the result of unfair exploitation. As Ronald Reagan once observed, “We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.”
And what of Professor Daniels at CUNY-Hunter College, and her claim that the “nuclear family” is a mechanism of “white supremacy”? Is it wrong for white people to get married and stay married, “reproducing white children that ‘you want the best for’?” Professor Daniels says so, and she cites a “feminist critique of The Family” to justify this claim. Indeed, I have quoted such feminists many times here.
“Certainly all those institutions which were designed on the assumption and for the reinforcement of the male and female role system such as the family (and its sub-institution, marriage), sex, and love must be destroyed.”
— “The Feminists: A Political Organization to Annihilate Sex Roles,” 1969, in Radical Feminism, edited by Anne Koedt, et al. (1973)
“Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the Women’s Movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.”
— Sheila Cronan, “Marriage,” 1970, in Radical Feminism, edited by Anne Koedt, et al. (1973)
“We want to destroy . . . polar role definitions of male and female, man and woman. We want to destroy patriarchal power at its source, the family. . .. We want to destroy the structure of culture as we know it, its art, its churches, its laws . . .
“The nuclear family is the school of values in a sexist, sexually repressed society.”
— Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating (1974)
“The first condition for escaping from forced motherhood and sexual slavery is escape from the patriarchal institution of marriage.”
— Alison M. Jaggar, Feminist Politics and Human Nature (1988)
“The view that heterosexuality is a key site of male power is widely accepted within feminism. Within most feminist accounts, heterosexuality is seen not as an individual preference, something we are born like or gradually develop into, but as a socially constructed institution which structures and maintains male domination, in particular through the way it channels women into marriage and motherhood.”
— Diane Richardson, “Theorizing Heterosexuality,” in Rethinking Sexuality (2000)
Here is how I have previously summarized this “feminist critique”:
Feminism is the ideology of the Darwinian Dead End. It is a rationalization of human extinction, a philosophy that justifies self-imposed sterility as more personally fulfilling than motherhood. Because feminists hate babies, they advocate abortion, promote contraception, and encourage hatred of men, marriage and heterosexuality, per se. . . .
Feminism is a movement devoted to destroying the family. Feminist theory condemns marriage and motherhood as institutions of “male domination,” which is why taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood is sacred to feminists: The road to “equality” is paved with dead babies.
Only if you take the time to study feminism as a political theory, and to research the movement’s historic roots in 1960s New Left radicalism, is it possible to comprehend this implacable hostility to the family.