From Truth Revolt, by M.J. Randolph
They said if America elected Trump, he’d destroy feminism – guess they were right!
The critics said that electing Donald Trump would destroy feminism, and I guess they were right! Helen Pluckrose has been a self-described liberal feminist due to her upbringing as the daughter of a women’s right advocate. In a recent article in Areo Magazine, she describes her mother’s evolution as a feminist, then hers:
Growing up, I spoke angrily about the legality of rape within marriage (criminalized in 1990), and won a personal battle to take woodwork at school rather than cookery (I was terrible at it but not noticeably worse than I am at cooking). I criticized sexist attitudes at work, which were still quite unapologetic in the 90s, informing my boss that he was a “good boy” when he called me a “good girl” and refusing to say anything apart from “cheep” to any man who referred to me as a “bird.
Liberal feminism was aggressive then, but a quite different quality of aggression to the spiteful malevolence we see now. It was optimistic, almost playful. We were confident that we were winning. It was fun seeing how we could disconcert the perpetrators of sexist stereotypes and challenge casual sexism, often humorously. We did not think older men (or women) with sexist assumptions were terrible people or want them punished. We simply wanted them to realize the times had changed and catch up. Women are everywhere now. Get used to it.
Of course, that’s a far cry from the sharp, acrid pettiness that defines feminism today. Now, women are on edge, waiting for offense, almost delicate in their inability to withstand criticism. The feminism of today looks more like the petulance you might see on a pre-school playground, instead of the confident feminism of days past. But Pluckrose is giving it up for more than just the shift in tone. Rather, she’s giving it up because of the shift in politics. She wrote that feminism gradually changed from this:
“Everyone deserves human rights and equality, and feminism focuses on achieving them for women.”
“Individuals and groups of all sexes, races, religions and sexualities have their own truths, norms and values. All truths, cultural norms and moral values are equal. Those of white, Western, heterosexual men have unfairly dominated in the past so now they and all their ideas must be set aside for marginalized groups.”
In other words, it became hopelessly political and marginalized many women who would otherwise believe in the same principles. Losing prominent women like Pluckrose is a very bad sign for modern feminism.
“I agree with Ayaan Hirsi Ali that western feminism needs to stop focusing on ‘trivial bullshit,'” she wrote. “I don’t have a huge amount of sympathy for women who feel traumatized and excluded by scientists’ shirts or video games.”