A historian’s disturbing news about the feminist revolution

Summary: Here is an eerily accurate assessment of the feminist revolution as seen by a historian writing 200 years in the future.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.
— Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in Les Guêpes (a satiric journal), January 1849.

"The Genius of France between Liberty and Death" by Regnault Henri.
“The Genius of France between Liberty and Death” by Regnault Henri.

Future historians will look at our time and see only the feminist revolution, technological change, and many relatively minor events. Here is an excerpt from an analysis of the feminist revolution as seen from 200 years in the future.

Louis-Marie Prudhomme described the ‘exhilaration of joy’ that gripped the revolutionaries. …It seemed as though a new day was breaking over France.’ …This revolutionary swagger, however, overlaid a much darker side to 1789, a feeling of crisis and social dislocation. …

“The influence of Lefebvre’s argument was partly a result of the cultural and intellectual ascendancy of Feminism after the millennium. It wasn’t until the 2070s that a younger generation of historians started to produce accounts of the Revolution inflected by ideological disenchantment. … Tackett {describes the revolution}.

‘Circumstances had a powerful impact on the coming of the revolution. Yet circumstances alone would have been insufficient without a prior transformation of the psychology and mentalité of the revolutionaries, a transformation with a tragic inner logic that was integral to the process of the Feminist Revolution – and that is perhaps after all integral to the phenomenon of revolution itself. Of course, every revolution has its own specific contexts in time and in space, its own rhythms, its own mixture of historical contingency and individual decisions and emotions.

‘Yet all major revolutions …involve intense convictions that the society must and can be changed convictions that easily breed impatience and intolerance with opposition. All engender counterrevolutionary opposition among those whose interests and values are threatened. All revolutions, during the inevitable process of transition, tend to produce power vacuums and create situations in which every authority is put into question …

‘{The Count of Mirabeau} was quick to size up the potential danger {on 10 August 1989}: ‘Once all the old boundaries have been erased,’ he observed, “it will take a certain time before new limits can be known and respected.”

‘All revolutions can be pushed in unanticipated directions through the influence of the popular masses. And it may well be that all major revolutions are beset by periods of conspiracy obsession, of intense suspicion and lack of trust, of agonizing uncertainty as to who are one’s friends and who are one’s enemies.’

“From the beginning, Feminism advocated an enlightened libertarianism while striving to create {an egalitarian} republic. It was at once individualistic and communitarian, and it inherited the hard-nosed intolerances of absolutism. Patrice Higonnet put it best in Goodness beyond Virtue (1998).

‘Feminists automatically assumed that Feminism could not stand still. Because its fragile and demanding nature did not allow for negotiation, because all problems as they arose were to be resolved ideologically and not pragmatically, Feminism — thought the Feminists — would either fall back or move forward. It required commitment. It could not pause. Time and time again, Feminist politics excluded those revolutionaries who feared to go further.’

But when Feminism encountered class-consciousness, dreams of universal reconciliation disintegrated. …

“{Attacks on} enemies of the Revolution never disturbed Feminist reveries about the public good, or their progressive agenda. …It attempted to create a ‘grand famille’ free of …paternalism. …

“Feminism was re-enacting the dying moments of the Roman Empire, and was guided by the despot’s maxim that ‘it is better that many innocent people die than a single culprit escape.’ …”Soon the revolutionary leadership turned against itself.”

The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution
Available at Amazon.

This excerpt accurately describes the feminist revolution. It is from Gavin Jacobson’s review in the London Review of Book of The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution by Timothy Tackett, professor emeritus of history at the University of California, Irvine (2015). I substituted feminism for “French” and “Jacobins”, shifted the dates into our time, and expanded the quotes Jacobson gives from Tackett’s and Higonnet’s books.

Note the many similarities between these two revolutions. First, see the toll taken by the #meToo movement among bien pensant male feminists in the leftist-dominated entertainment and media industries, and academia. As the feminist movement gains power, how it handles these internal tensions will determine its results.

“Citizens, we have reason to fear that the Revolution, like Saturn, will successively devour all its children, and finally produce despotism, with the calamities that accompany it.”

— Attributed to Pierre Vergniaud (1753 – 1793).

Second, class is a problematic element for feminists just as it was in France. The feminist revolution has been largely waged by and for upper middle and rich women, with less clear net benefits for women in the lower classes.

Third, see the two revolutions’ similar attitudes towards guilt and innocence. The ancient western maxim says “better that many guilty go free rather than a single innocent be punished” (see its history here). Tyrants often invert that rule, as do revolutions. As do some feminists today.

Conclusions

Revolutions are humanity’s giant social science experiments. Some are carefully constructed with limited goals, like the American Revolution. Others are leaps into the future, attempting massive changes with ill-defined goals — such as the experiments of the Soviet Union and China with communism.

We are in the early days of the feminist revolution, which might be one of humanity’s largest. Much depends on its course, and the nature of the eventual counter-revolution. The only reliable rule for dealing with revolution is to “expect the unexpected”.

For more information

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Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women
Available at Amazon.

Back to the origin of the revolution.

Well worth reading: Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women (1995). From the publisher…

“Philosophy professor Christina Sommers has exposed a disturbing development: how a group of zealots, claiming to speak for all women, are promoting a dangerous new agenda that threatens our most cherished ideals and sets women against men in all spheres of life. In case after case, Sommers shows how these extremists have propped up their arguments with highly questionable but well-funded research, presenting inflammatory and often inaccurate information and stifling any semblance of free and open scrutiny.

“Trumpeted as orthodoxy, the resulting ‘findings’ on everything from rape to domestic abuse to economic bias to the supposed crisis in girls’ self-esteem perpetuate a view of women as victims of the ‘patriarchy’.

“Moreover, these arguments and the supposed facts on which they are based have had enormous influence beyond the academy, where they have shaken the foundations of our educational, scientific, and legal institutions and have fostered resentment and alienation in our private lives. Despite its current dominance, Sommers maintains, such a breed of feminism is at odds with the real aspirations and values of most American women and undermines the cause of true equality. Who Stole Feminism? is a call to arms that will enrage or inspire, but cannot be ignored.”

 

7 thoughts on “A historian’s disturbing news about the feminist revolution

  1. Your word substitution is fascinating, but it implies that there was, or ever could have been a “moderate” feminist revolution that would have known where and when to stop, and I’m not sure about that. I’m not saying you’re wrong, just that I’m not sure. By the time most men turn 21, they’ve been in a fight. It may not have been anything serious, maybe it was just a schoolyard scuffle. But men learn early on a certain innate caution in dealing with other men, because they learn that they don’t like getting hit. Men have enough experience of (Hopefully nonserious) violence to learn (Hopefully) that they don’t like it. Women can go on and on doing one another small injuries because they’re pretty sure no one is ever going to step out behind the building and settle it.

    So I’m not sure that the feminist revolution was ever going to stay moderate. Women, because of their different experience of life, don’t always know what can happen when they push things too far. Now that they have political (coercive) power, the control rods are all the way out. After Mao was dead, the Chinese figured out that Communism had to be put on a more sustainable basis if the ruling class was to remain in power, and carry the weight and influence of a Great Power on the world stage. China is still Communist, with all that implies, but they don’t have Cultural Revolutions any more. There’s not going to be another Great Leap Forward that leaves a, eight digit body count.

    I’m not sure from whence the counterrevolution comes. I’m not sure it will come until this society is demographically past the point of no return. I don;t know who will lead us to sustainable feminism, if such a thing even exists. The alt right doesn’t seem capable of it, at least not yet, and the feminists themselves haven’t figured out what sustainable means.

    1. The Man,

      “it implies that there was, or ever could have been a “moderate” feminist revolution that would have known where and when to stop”

      No, it doesn’t. I point to the historical fact that there are different kinds of revolutions.

      “I’m not sure from whence the counterrevolution comes. ”

      It’s already starting. I have posted on this before (see the posts in section one here, and am gathering material for more about this.

  2. As arresting as your analogy is, perhaps there could be another outcome? perhaps the American revolution?

    In Scandinavian countries feminism has been incorporated into the social ethos for sometime, with few of the dire effects predicted or feared. In fact marriage rates have been climbing, and divorce rates dropping, the birth rate has also picked up. https://www.scb.se/en_/Finding-statistics/Articles/Marriage-now-more-common-in-Sweden/

    The number of Cat ladies according to Eurosat has remained static, as has the number of beta providers, however, the number of self identifying alpha males has shown an increase which has mirrored the traffic to pickup forums.

    1. Gerard,

      I don’t believe those graphs tell us much. First, it is not age-adjusted. The increase in the “crude marriage rate” might result from demographic cycles (e.g., the baby boom increased the crude marriage rate, but marriage didn’t become more common).

      Also, Sweden is undergoing profound demographic change due to high rates of migration. That changes both the age distribution (most migrants are young) and social patterns. This is more likely a form of counter-revolution to feminism than a result of it. As shown by the increase in sexual assaults and rape.

  3. “The ancient western maxim says ‘better that many guilty go free rather than a single innocent be punished'”.
    I always wondered what the “ancient Western code” was, that Leonard Cohen alluded to in The Future. Makes sense. It really does seem like the naked Man and Woman will indeed be a shining artifact of the past, if this view of sexual relations which you describe is to be the norm. Talk of Alpha/Beta males, and mutual exploitation by the sexes does sound the death knell of Love which is really the only engine of survival. You may notice I love to refer to poetry. It makes sense of Human affairs in a way that feels much more direct to me than dry academic analysis, good as it is.

  4. I must be honest…speaking as a woman, I almost always have difficulty with these kinds of arguments and find them somewhat disquieting. I can only speak for myself and perhaps this is not the message which is intended (or at least I certainly hope not) — but it often feels as if there’s an underlying subtext to a lot of these arguments, whether consciously acknowledged or not, which insinuates that women really ought to know their place and give up all these silly notions of being equal to men. Contrary to what some people might believe, “equal” does not necessarily imply “identical” and just because two quantities are different does not necessarily mean one is or must be inferior to the other.

    I would hope most people would acknowledge by this time that intellectually, women are as capable as men. While women are generally not quite as capable as men in terms of physical strength, in a technologically advanced society such as ours, it’s brains rather than brawn that matter — but a society that refuses to acknowledge the abilities and talents of half its members and insists that those individuals must accept a limited role simply because of gender does not strike me either as a healthy or efficient one. I’m far from convinced that the Good Old Days were really all that good — or if they were, it was largely because most people never thought that there was such a thing as a choice (let alone that they might be able to make a choice).

    That goes for men as well as women as well, by the way…just as there are women who are ambitious and who feel a strong desire to lead companies or even countries, there are probably also men who have no such inclination and whose temperaments might be better suited for taking care of a home but who feel pressured by society to conform to the more traditional masculine role. I find it rather sad — and yet at the same time telling — that even now, there appears to be more of a stigma attached to (or at least a somewhat more pejorative assumption made about) a man who explores those aspects within our society which are traditionally associated with the female role than there is a woman who feels drawn to explore activities and vocations which are traditionally associated with the male role. It suggests that those aspects of our society traditionally associated with the feminine are still, even if only subconsciously, considered less valuable than those associated with the masculine even though they are nonetheless important.

    1. Bluestocking,

      Have you talked with many Mormon wives and mothers? Women in Islamic families? Perhaps you should look at some other cultures for insights. Don’t assume yours is The One Right Way To Live.

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