James Kunstler: welcome to GenderWorld!

Summary: Every day more people write about the gender wars after seeing what fourth wave feminism is doing to America. Here James Kunstler joins in with a perceptive look at a leading feminist.

Angry woman in red - dreamstime_104183400
ID 104183400 © Vadymvdrobot | Dreamstime.

Welcome to GenderWorld

By James Howard Kunstler at his website. Posted with his generous permission.

The defeat of Hillary, and the elevation of the vulgar Mr. Trump, loosed a fury of women against men in America that now verges on a kind of all-consuming chaos, like those western wildfires turning every product of human endeavor in the burn-path to smoke and ash. All the sorrows of our national life are assigned lately to the wicked white male patriarchy that must be defeated to usher in a satori of female sharing-and-caring.

A case in point is Sam Harris’s dialogue on his “Waking Up” podcast #141: “Has #MeToo Gone Too Far?” He interviews Rebecca Traister (Wikipedia) – reporter with New York Magazine (articles here) and author of the new book Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger. There is no better interlocutor of the current right-think about men and women than Ms. Traister. She puts it across as though her brain was shot out of a cannon from a graduate seminar on “Engendering the Intellectual Space” as if there are no other points at issue in our national life than the power valences between the two sexes – and, of course, even suggesting that the human mammal comprises two sexes is a punishable offense these days.

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger
Available at Amazon.

To get a sense of the true chaos behind her argument, just have a look at the cover of Good and Mad. Notice that the blood-red title stands against a gray field of the word “F*CK” (asterisk hers) repeated 120 times on a 5 X 24 grid. Deconstruct that. Is it the generative act of copulation itself that she is inveighing against? Should it be gotten rid of? Will that solve the problems of a foundering hyper-complex industrial society?

Ms. Traister might have used the word “power” five hundred times in her conversation with the excessively gallant Sam Harris {Ed. – an incredible 145 times}. The choo-choo train of “post-structuralist” ideology that pulled into the college scene in the 1990s, when she was a student, is based on the idea that all relations between men and women – and all human endeavor, for that matter – come down to questions of who has power over whom. The result, naturally enough, has been an escalating power struggle between men and women that has the potential to tear this society apart.

It has already damaged our understanding of what men and women are supposed to be, and the outcome so far is that men are not sufficiently female and vice-versa. Thus the consecration of “transgender, intersex, non-binary, gender-nonconforming” states of being as heroic, and the demonizing cries of “toxic masculinity” ringing through the ivory towers, the halls of congress, and the corporate C-suites.

Much of this stems from the fact that only in the past half century have men and women tried to occupy the same work-spaces, especially in political bureaucracies. Until fairly recently, men and women existed in rather separate work-and-social worlds, with behaviors that seem weird and quaint today — for instance, the practice of men and women retiring to different rooms for conversation after a dinner party, based on the idea, possibly true, that they had categorically different interests (as suggested by James Damore in his notorious Google memo).

Now, to suggest that there was anything to these divisions of sexual space amounts to another punishable offense, but that is probably the least of the dreary consequences in this contest. The worst part is that we’re burning all our political capital in this foolishly contrived war at the expense of all the other actual tasks we face. If the US Senate put one-tenth of its attention to rebuilding the passenger rail system as it put into the furor raised by Christine Blasey Ford, we might have addressed the awful problem of our soon-to-be obsolete mass-motoring matrix. But then trains are such a male concern. They have so little to do with …feelings!

Rebecca Traiste
Rebecca Traiste. By Dana Meilijson. Jewish Women’s Archive. Creative Commons license.

Apropos of the war between men and women itself, something really bugs me: the deliberate and convenient overlooking of women’s sexual power over men. That is what has been absent in the #MeToo movement, and quite dishonestly so. It’s really something to see the various indignant women of cable news coming onto the flatscreen every night to inveigh against men while dressed, coiffed, and made up like thousand-dollar Las Vegas call girls – except for Rachel Maddow, of course, who opts to present as the nation’s guidance counselor.

In fact, women have tremendous sexual power over men, and it is exactly that which provokes so much of the idiotic behavior that has come to be categorized as “abuse” where men and women intersect and the mists of pheromones perplex the air. It is at least as potent as the power that men supposedly exert in politics and the workplace. And it incorporates a range of behaviors that are subtle and insidious. (Classic literature certainly understands this, but it’s being removed from the curriculum for doing that.) The failure to even acknowledge female sexual power or to dismiss it as inconsequential is just plain dirty fighting – though it’s proclaimed unselfconsciously on the cover of Rebecca Traister’s book: “FCK, FCK, FCK, FCK, F*CK. See for yourself.

Kunstler’s blog is sponsored this week by McAlvany ICA. To learn more visit their website.

———————————————–

See the video of the interview.

Editor’s afterword

This interview must be seen to be believed. Or better yet, see the transcript at YouTube. As Kunstler says, it is all about her feelings and her ideology. It appears never to occur to her that their might be logic to those that disagree with her, or any validity to their values. She has no empathy for them, and dismisses them with labels, such as “misogynist.” She sounds like one fluent only in Newspeak, unable to express the beliefs of others except as “thoughtcrime.

She sees the world only in terms of power and tribalism. In her discussion of the Kavanaugh hearings, she shows no awareness that evidence is important – or that false accusations of sexual assault (even rape) are common (examples here). Or that lies are an effective tool for political action (details here).

Note her somewhat incoherent description of the three waves of feminism. Stated more clearly, the first wave was about getting the vote (the suffragettes). The second was about getting equality in schools and work. The third wave was about social justice, restructuring society to produce deeper kinds of equality. The fourth wave has just begun. They seek superiority of women over men. It is easy to test for 4th wave writing. Apply the standard test for bias; reverse the genders. If it sounds grossly misogynist, it is written by a 4th wave feminist.

James Howard Kunstler
Photo by Charlie Samuels.

About Kunstler

James Howard Kunstler (Wikipedia) worked as a reporter and feature writer for a number of newspapers, before working as a staff writer for Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he began writing books on a full-time basis. Kunstler is the author of 12 novels and has been a regular contributor to many major media, writing about environmental and economic issues. He is a leading supporter of the movement known as “New Urbanism.”

He has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, Dartmouth, Cornell, MIT, and many other colleges. He has written five non-fiction books.

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

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Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women's Anger
Available at Amazon.

Another book about grrl-power rage

Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.

By Soraya Chemaly, writer and activist (2018).

“Relentless and revelatory.”
— “The Perils and Possibilities of Anger” in The New Yorker.

“Urgent, enlightening.”
— “Why women’s rage is healthy, rational and necessary for America” in the The Washington Post.

“A work of great spirit and verve.”
— “Women’s Rage Is the Most Powerful Engine of 2018” in TIME.

“{W}omen aren’t keeping their anger a secret anymore. … a thoughtful and utterly eye-opening book. …Trust me when I say, after reading Rage Becomes Her, you will be more than willing to make noise, too.”
— “A Nuanced Look At The Power & Perils Of Female Anger” at Bustle.

From the publisher …

Rage Becomes Her is a validating, energizing read that will change the way you interact with the world around you. As women, we’ve been urged for so long to bottle up our anger, letting it corrode our bodies and minds in ways we don’t even realize. Yet there are so, so many legitimate reasons for us to feel angry, ranging from blatant, horrifying acts of misogyny to the subtle drip, drip drip of daily sexism that reinforces the absurdly damaging gender norms of our society.

“In Rage Becomes Her, Soraya Chemaly argues that our anger is not only justified, it is also an active part of the solution. We are so often encouraged to resist our rage or punished for justifiably expressing it, yet how many remarkable achievements would never have gotten off the ground without the kernel of anger that fueled them? Approached with conscious intention, anger is a vital instrument, a radar for injustice and a catalyst for change. On the flip side, the societal and cultural belittlement of our anger is a cunning way of limiting and controlling our power—one we can no longer abide.”

11 thoughts on “James Kunstler: welcome to GenderWorld!

  1. It makes me want to yell: “Enough! Shutup, bi*** and go back in the kitchen where you belong, for you lack the wit, wisdom, understanding, and basic tact to be anything more than a man’s bedwarmer”. It’s high time we stop taking feminist shrieking seriously, and put our collective feet down. The first thing the feminists did when they got the vote was to outlaw alcohol, and now they’re trying to outlaw basic humanity as well. To hell with feminism! To hell with the spineless Democrats and Republicans both, kow-towing and unscrupulously taking advantage of this madness for their own short-sighted power grabs.

  2. There are more than 130 million men in the USA that will never have the power she wants. Never be CEO, congress, rich, famous etc.

    1. Sven,

      There are over a hundred million men in the US who will never have the money that she has. Affluent white women playing the victim card is a bit much.

  3. I lost count. Are you sure it is only 145? ;)

    It is telling, IMO, that Cosby becomes a white totem because his shows were for whites. Strange that so much of the cast was black and were addressing problems associated with being black. The whole conversation is broad where that makes white men look bad, and in detail where white men look bad.

    I have tried to determine how one can determine how that a majority is automatically misusing disproportionate power in “massive structural realities” as claimed. “Persuasive systematic discrimination” is the claim, and I have to wonder how to measure it. My question is in what way as a white male do I share with this supposed group of men. Especially the way that she side steps the fundamental problem with the female support of Bill Clinton. By this, Justice is not just the nature of the crime, but when and how it occurred. Yet, later claims women do know the difference between different forms of coercion.

    This conversation makes the observation that many of the bad men are still rich, making money, doing well, etc. So now, Justice is to be done by the women rather than our system? I do not discount what the victims experienced. But why is this problem seen as part of the white men, and not with evidence, or jurisprudence problems or whatever. She equates the bad actions of individuals legitimizes violence of mobs against innocents. And disagrees with persons pointing this out.

    One of my rules for problem solving is that you correctly identify the problem. Pretty basic. As long as the conversation is skewed so badly, I doubt even Solomon could solve this. This is a complex problem since she, in her own words, covers such a broad massive structural reality. Yet offers simplistic solutions with inherrent contradictions, especially when she talks of Hollywood.

    An example is just arresting prostitues rather than including the johns. If Hollywood took to task those women who used the quid pro quo in their pusuit of fame as being the enablers that they call out so easily among men, then it may be possible to start addressing some of the most flagrant evils. But if it is an advantage to the take fame by quid pro quo, and then enhance your fame for talking about the horrors experienced, justice is not part of the deal.

    1. John,

      The Myth of Male Power definitively debunked many key claims by feminists. But they ignore it, and journalists suppressed it. So we roll on, ignorant and increasingly dysfunctional. It’s America, home of the broken OODA loop.

  4. Well, you see, for some reason when I read the name “Sam Harris” I think of Sam Francis and become despondent. If only we’d listened back then….

    1. He wasn’t a ‘white nationaliat’ Although he held controversial often antiquated views. He would have characterized it more along the lines of American nationalist.

  5. After all that great stuff Sam Harris did (and sell) lately — “Moral Landscape:.., Free Will and LYING,”
    I can’t understand one thing: How could he say that “He’s a big fan of hers?”

  6. Speaking of transgenderism, I recently came across an interesting blog that I would like to mention, if I could. it’s called 4thwavenow and collects the thoughts of a community of liberal-minded people who are pushing back against the foisting of modern gender theory upon our children, especially medical gender transition. There is more and more evidence that many teenagers who are “coming out” as transgendered are actually just latching on to a fad and are just confused and isolated rather than born in the wrong body. More and more evidence is bubbling up that the steep rise in kids claiming this label is a social epidemic, rather than an honest rise in transgendered people.

    Anyway, I just thought that many people here would find that site interesting.

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