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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Feminist contradictions

Last week Aly Raisman and Paige Spiranac let nude photos of themselves be released last week, and both stated that doing so was "empowering." That both young women felt obliged to attach this feminist trope to their exhibitionism was a telling sign of the age we live in.

Showing off one's body is perfectly natural, if not quite laudable. And there's always a receptive audience for young women who want to pose that way. But why did they feel the necessity to try to frame their nude photos as an expression of feminism? Had they said it was "exhilarating," or maybe "excitingly exposing," it would probably have been closer to the truth.

Another feminist movement which seems founded at least partly in exhibitionism is the "free the nipple" movement. Some feminists are now saying that if men get to walk around bare-chested, women should have the same right. You see, it's all a matter of equal rights.

But at the same time, feminists say that if women are stared at, and thus made to feel uncomfortable, this is unacceptable. One can't help but be reminded of the woman who wears deep d├ęcolletage and then complains that men gawk at her breasts.

Feminists now say that if a woman is desired, she is being "objectified," a verb intended to convey the vague sense that men think of women as being nothing more than inanimate toys. But why else would a woman pose naked, unless she wanted to be "objectified?"

Most women of course, don't subscribe to that kind of silliness, though a large fraction of those who don't still feel obliged to at least pay lip service to feminism. But given the way some feminists complain about being objectified, one would think there might be an "ugly industry" to protect women against the horror of being viewed as an object. Yet there's no such thing. There's only an immense beauty industry.

The very idea of an "ugly industry" is, of course, silly. But, when you think about it, it's no sillier than complaining about being "objectified," i.e., desired.

We hear feminists talk a lot about how strong and smart and capable women are. But they also say that if a woman has so much as two drinks, she's unable to make a rational decision about whether to have sex, and therefore if she acquiesces, it means she's been raped. How does that show intelligence and strength?

Feminists tell us that women can be Army Rangers, yet they also say that women must be protected from dirty jokes, which are now termed "verbal assault." What will happen when the bullets are flying and some male Ranger, in the heat of battle, makes an obscene comment about the enemy? Will the female Rangers just throw down their weapons and fall apart at that point?

Slut shaming is now a concept: feminists tell us that women should not be criticized for their promiscuity. Yet if a man tries to kiss a woman but is rebuffed, he is now considered to have made "an unwanted sexual advance." Ergo, making passes is cause for shame, but accepting them is not. Does this dichotomy not require men to be mind readers so as not to run afoul of feminist doctrine?

The Left constantly berates conservatives for viewing homosexuality as a "lifestyle choice," as if the gays have any control over whom they're attracted to. Yet if a man is attracted only to slender women, feminists lambaste him for his "patriarchal sense of beauty" -- as if he has any choice about whom he's attracted to. (And doesn't this sound an awful lot as if some feminists are bitter that they're not objectified?)

The idea of gay conversion therapy is anathema to the Left. Yet the Left is constantly trying to get men to think of different types of women -- who are not their type -- as being desirable. Is this not simply gay conversation therapy for heterosexuals?

And it's not as if women don't have their own set of physical standards for men. As the #Metoo movement has made clear, ugly men are far more likely to be accused of unwanted sexual advance than handsome men are. Ought the Harvey Weinsteins of the world have the right to complain about a "matriarchal sense of handsomeness?"

Does a movement with so many inherent contradictions have any chance of standing the test of time?

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