By Eugène de Savoie
The immediate aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein debacle made it clear that changes were on the way, even before the #MeToo movement began to gather steam. I am not enamoured with facile historicity that aims to explain away momentous events with the use of lone, isolated episodes that only serve as catalysts or tipping points. The #MeToo phenomenon does not owe its existence to Harvey Weinstein – as I wrote back in October (“The Weinstein Scandal”, October 26th), if the world didn’t have Weinstein, he would have had to be invented. Yet Weinsteingate was certainly something of a watershed moment and, though I am no aficionado of conspiracy theories, the speed at which a deeply Hollywood problem became a global problem is remarkable. Along with other ultraliberal issues of the hour, feminism had been leading its assault for years. The time was ripe for the process to be accelerated, and Weinstein was the perfect agent of change.
It was obvious that an avalanche of ministrations – some symbolic, others perhaps less so, all supervised by the high priests and priestesses of the feminist movement – would cascade down the slopes of Western civilization; and so it has. I have arbitrarily selected three different news items that highlight the new post-Weinstein order. All three cover events that have taken place this year, and all three are remarkable for the hypocrisy and absurdity so often on display in the progressive world of ultraliberalism. Viewed apart, they might appear to be minor and insignificant in and of themselves, but the devil is not only in the details, but also in the small things; and any pattern is necessarily composed of small things. It’s the multiplicity of small things that betokens big changes and conflagrations.
I’d like to briefly outline each news item along with some personal commentary.
1. The Dorchester Incident. The Financial Times broke the story. A number of young women were reportedly hired as hostesses for a men-only charity dinner at the Dorchester Hotel, during which some appear to have been on the receiving end of lewd comments and, apparently, groping. In the attendance was an MP, who later claimed he’d left early. More significantly, he vowed to never attend a men-only event again. There will be more of these vows. Calls against all-male networking events have surged – a sign of things to come. Such events, we are told, are no longer acceptable in 2017.
Why not? There is always a possibility of lewd comments and perhaps even groping at men-only events; equally, there may not be anything of the kind. The notion that an all-male event necessarily leads to comportment that is demeaning to women is an example of stereotypical thinking – precisely the sort of thing that feminists and other ultraliberal ideologues view as a cardinal sin. At a time when men-free spaces for women – exclusionary by definition, these are referred to as “safe spaces”, which suggests that the presence of men introduces an element of danger to the women – are proliferating, where’s the fairness in clamping down on the ability of men to get together for a boys-only confab? This is before we even get to the question of how all-male networking events are to be stamped out. How is this to be accomplished and through what means? Moral suasion and appeals to ethics? Social ostracism? Shaming? Legislation? Castration?
Of course, there will be no shortage of men taking a leaf from the book of the MP who promised to give a wide berth to jamborees where testicles are a requirement if one is to attend. Much like the white males at the Golden Globes ceremony, who vigorously applauded as Oprah Winfrey informed them that their time was up, they will play the role of useful idiots.
And the Dorchester incident itself? As at the end of last month, there had been no complaints, according to the police. The person who seems to have fulminated the most appears to be the FT journalist who went undercover to break the story. However, a number of MPs have written to the police regardless, asking for an investigation to be undertaken anyway. Perhaps this isn’t a bad thing. At least some brash, indiscreet billionaire won’t have to wait three decades before being accused of planting his sweaty hand on the knee of a hostess, traumatizing her for life.
2. Formula 1 “Grid Girls” – Formula 1 has announced that it has decided to nix the use of models called “Grid Girls”, who have been part of the scenery of Formula 1 grand prix for decades. Think Vienna without its pastries or cafés. Those in charge have said that the decision is not “political”. Then what? This is a quintessentially male sport, and males enjoy looking at attractive women. According to a BBC Sport poll, 60% of respondents said they were in favor of the girls’ being there. One part-time Grid Girl interviewed by the BBC called the decision “disgusting”. The viewers don’t seem to have a problem. Presumably the girls don’t have a problem, either. So what is the problem?
Like it or not, beauty has been a metric used to value women since times immemorial. Those who deem this to be unfair can take it up with Mother Nature; in any case, they would do well to remind themselves that, throughout history, many women have successfully used their good looks – when the looks were good enough to be used – to advance their goals, usually without excessive moral angst. Feminists, who have taken up arms against the tyranny of human anatomy, believe that using beauty as a metric is objectification. A woman’s femininity should blossom independently of the way she looks; her looks are irrelevant. In other words, beauty might as well be ruled out of existence. And what better way to achieve this than to make women unattractive and bar attractive women from the spotlight?
Formula 1 has said that the use of women in this fashion (as models) is at odds with today’s “societal norms”. Beautiful women should not be paraded, we are told, even when they would very much like to parade themselves. In the interests of keeping up with today’s societal norms, should we perhaps outlaw the modelling industry as such? In fact, given the peculiarities of human nature, I have just the perfect solution that will put an end to objectification of women: make all women wear a burqa. This will allow every woman in our society to be judged on the merit of everything but her looks. Take heart: there are some signs that we may be moving in this direction. Perhaps it is no coincidence that contemporary feminists typically support a multicivilizational model of living – the kind of model that has been propitious to a surging Muslim population in many European countries.
Far-fetched? You be the judge. In the meantime, though, forget about gawking at Grid Girls.
3. “O Canada” – Canada’s anthem has changed its (sexist) tune, or at least its words have, pushing the title of the anthem closer to a lamentation than an exaltation. Just when you think that the liberal inclinations of Canada’s federal government cannot take a more absurd turn, the authorities find a way to surprise you. Earlier this year, the Senate (Canada’s upper legislative chamber, a body of unelected but exceedingly well-compensated people who are appointed to the Senate to serve until they turn 75) ratified a law that changed some of the wording of “O Canada” to make it a more “gender-neutral” (read: feminist-friendly) anthem. Where Canadians used to sing “true patriot love in all thy sons command”, they now have to remember to change the bit about “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command”.
As with all other such ultraliberal measures, the change does nothing other than smash an established tradition – but smashing traditions is a most ultraliberal hobby. The original version was not intended to exclude anyone, certainly not women, given that women are normally required to beget the very sons who are called upon by the anthem to nurse true patriot love. As the anti-hero in Julian Barnes’s England, England memorably observes, in connection with his habit of saying “gentlemen” even when there are ladies in the audience, “in my grammar the masculine embraces the feminine”. Supposedly the same kind of logic prevailed in Canada’s anthem, but the point may have been lost on the legislators.
It was certainly lost on Canada’s PM. Justin Trudeau is naturally very happy about the change and has said so on Twitter. No surprises there. Another step towards “inclusiveness” is an orgasmic experience for those who are keen on burnishing their ultraliberal credentials – and Trudeau is very keen. This is the prime minister who recently – yet again – distinguished himself in the annals of ultraliberal follies by chiding a young (female!) student who had dared to say “mankind” instead of “peoplekind”, a word that had been hitherto unknown in the English language but has since been added to the ultraliberal lexicon. “Peoplekind” – this new linguistic contribution might well be the extent of Justin Trudeau’s legacy when it’s time to speak of a Justin Trudeau legacy.
For those who think the change in the anthem’s lyrics is a quiddity – it’s not. The anthem is a symbol; symbols are expressions of our beliefs and identity. Tampering with the anthem is tampering with our beliefs and identity. This change is part of the continued process of the dismantling of European culture, the destruction of its icons, and the desecration of the great civilization that has served as the foundation of one of the most liveable countries in the world.
Without wishing to don the prophet’s mantle, which is not to be worn lightly, one can predict with some degree of confidence that things will only get worse before they get better – if they get better. What is one to do? Carry on, I say, remembering to fall back on your sense of decency and grasp of common sense. Groping is unacceptable, but there’s no harm in all-male networking events if one is accept the existence of all-female networking events. Neither is there any shame in valuing beauty in women and recognizing beauty when it’s there to be seen. And there is not a single dunce in the Senate who can force a Canadian citizen to break the habit of singing “all thy sons command” when the Canadian anthem is played.