“The problem with the war between the sexes is there’s too much fraternizing with the enemy.” — attributed to Kissinger.
You may wish to refer back to my post about dorkiness and assholes, and how popular movements get overtaken by popular people who may have very little interest in whatever the movement was originally supposed to be about. Instead, the movement becomes yet another way of reinforcing the status quo of popular people, which is why, of course, virtually everyone babbling on about other peoples’ “privilege” is insanely privileged. To be perfectly frank, I don’t hear any of the homeless people I talk to complaining about privilege.
So if you’re trying to avoid people who talk about privilege, try volunteering with the homeless. Besides, they actually need the help.
Anyway, back on track. As I was thinking about all of these things, I had another of those little moments of clarity. Feminism is framed as a females vs. males thing. It is very literally about raising up women, as a group, and fighting the “patriarchy”, symbolic of the all-male power structure.
Perhaps at some point it was that.
But this runs into an obvious problem that Kissinger himself articulated: men and women live together. You can’t tear down men without tearing down the women who live with them (and you can’t build up women without building up the men who live with them.) My [male relative]’s bad divorce outcome will have a direct and measurable effect on my material well-being; money going to his ex-wife is money that will not go to me. Since both of us are female, there is no net gain in female well-being. (Technically, it’s a net loss due to legal fees.) This is only an anecdote, of course. Let’s not overthink it.
If feminists were really serious about tearing down the patriarchy, we’d see different behavior. They’d block-vote for female political candidates, not vote for male candidates, set up all female communities and businesses, etc. In reality, feminists spend a lot of time arguing about whether some character in a popular movie or video game is sexist or posting on Twitter about how much they hate creeps. This doesn’t make any sense, until you realize that the whole notion of Males vs. Females is bunk and not even what feminists are trying to achieve.
We do not live in a society where females exist physically separate from men and desire to act as a single block in opposition to a single block of men. That is not how we live and act. Rather, we live in a society where males and females are intricately linked–as are their social statuses. Popular politicking, then, is about asserting the popular people’s dominance over the non-popular.
Popular men and women unite behind a common moral facade in order to assert dominance over unpopular men.
To the extent that this raises up women generally, it only raises them up relative to already unpopular men, not so much relative to men generally, and not so much relative to men who are actually the prime movers of the “patriarchy” (though earlier or more genuine forms of feminism may have had such effects, and there may be un-intended “trickle up” effects.)
Overall, feminism doesn’t seem to have many direct effects on unpopular or low-power women, except inasmuch as these women are generally connected to low-status males. Unfortunately, our society’s notions of popularity and status are pretty darn worthless, leading to the denigration of sincerity, hard work, and intelligence.
This suggests a big difference between the dynamics of feminism and the critical race theories it is so closely associated with these days: most members of different races actually don’t live with each other. So arguments about one set of group dynamics probably aren’t valid when applied to the other set of dynamics.
This theory doesn’t seem great for easily quantified predictive value, but someone else may be able to think one up.