Of MRGs and MGTOW, or the age of the vagina

By Eugène E.

I first heard about the MGTOW community during a conversation with a Chinese-born mobile developer, who had been telling me about a brand-new business idea that he was mulling over. The idea concerned a female robot that would satisfy the most primordial desire of any man. For the mobile developer – let’s call him Bobbie – this was the new future, a time when men would no longer need real women for sex. I’d first thought it was a joke. But Bobbie was in earnest. The product was perfect for a member of the MGTOW community. Hadn’t I heard about it? As I hadn’t, he advised me to take a look, his eyes twinkling with the zeal of a proselytizing missionary. MGTOW could change my life. I greeted this with skepticism. Wary of yet another acronym in a world already heavily saturated with acronyms, especially one that had the potential of changing my life, I did not dwell on it for long.

When I finally did take a closer look at what MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) was all about, I was quite surprised – not by the existence of such a community, but by the fact that someone like Bobbie could conceivably be a part of it. MGTOW seemed like a club for men struggling with maladjustment; Bobbie was anything but maladjusted. He was young and good-looking in that boy-pop-idol kind of way; additionally, he drove a luxury car and seemed to be well-heeled. I found myself intrigued. By the time Bobbie and I spoke about MGTOW again, I was far less benighted than I had been during our first conversation, but no less skeptical. It was hard not to be, just as it was hard not to dismiss MGTOW as an online fringe group. In a way, that’s what it is. But MGTOW is also more than that: it is part of a broader reaction to the onslaught of feminism; and, as such, it deserves some commentary.

Unlike men’s rights groups (MRGs), which have a longer track record, MGTOW is a newer concept. It also differs markedly from men’s rights groups: MGTOW advocates are men who have thrown in the towel insofar as women are concerned. As the name suggests, they are men doing their own thing, which is very unlikely to include women. In the event that it does, the women in question are more likely than not to be prostitutes, courtesans, or just agents of promiscuity – the MGTOW community deplores pursuing anything serious with the fairer sex. MRGs, on the other hand, do not seek to withdraw from serious interaction with women; rather, their objectives revolve around asserting the rights of men, and ensuring that men are treated fairly and equitably by society and by the law. For all their differences, though, both men’s rights groups and MGTOW could only have come about in an environment that has succumbed to the perverse effects of feminism.

Many claim that the appearance of such movements is a reaction of those men who, in the wake of the emancipation of women, are struggling with the new competition. Not every man can handle that. For a man who can’t, life has become tougher; but it’s a fair price to pay for gender equality. No doubt that’s part of the story. But it’s not by any means the whole story. The truth is that, in many Western societies, a growing number of men believe they are under attack. Owing to the often unreasonable, if not nefarious, impact of a feminist-driven agenda, many men have been left feeling confused, stigmatized, and maligned. MRGs and MGTOW are their concerted responses.

It is argued that men have also been beneficiaries of the emancipation of women: after all, never before has it been so easy for a man to “score”. In fact, things are a little more nuanced: one or two centuries ago, going to prostitutes was de rigueur; in fin-de-siècle Vienna, for instance, hiring a girl for sexual services in the streets was as easy as getting a pack of cigarettes – this has been well chronicled. Today men who patronize prostitutes are seen as psychologically corrupt; the red-light industry comes with a major stigma in the West. In some jurisdictions, you can even get nabbed for being a punter. Paradoxically, the stigma associated with prostitution is a result of the sexual revolution: normal men shouldn’t need prostitutes, the thinking goes, given that women are so accessible. But that’s not how things work in real life. Those who stick to the ease-of-access-to-sex argument forget that copulation is easy enough only for those men who are young and decent-looking; men who are older and not so decent-looking are essentially out of luck.

Moreover, sexual culture has been characterized in recent times by a remarkable shift in emphasis, which is now put on the hedonistic dimension of sex rather than on the reproductive one. Of course, hedonism has always been an enormous part of it. Sex has got to be pleasurable: how else do you get two people to rub against each other? In the past, though, when traditions were strong, men went to bed on their wedding night to make their wives pregnant; women were supposed to safeguard their chastity until they were married and ready to be impregnated. In other words, society regarded sex as an instrument of population growth. Back then a man who had just gotten married did not need to worry about failing to meet some expectations when he lay down with his wife: unless she was a “fallen woman”, it was unlikely she had other points of reference. Anyway, his objective was to beget the next generation and not satisfy the Mrs. Men did not need to fret about their performance; their sex did not have to be ridden with angst.

This is not the case today. When a man starts courting a woman, he must face the reality that he might have five – or perhaps fifty – predecessors against whose copulatory feats his own pirouettes are bound to be compared. His job is not to make her pregnant; it is to please her – and if he fails at pleasing her, he fails as a man. While I am not advocating a return to the halcyon days of the great past, when women wore chastity belts and kept themselves pure until their wedding night, it is worth pointing out that in many ways the sexual revolution has put men under a lot of psychological and mental pressure.

Women were once encouraged, if not expected, to become mothers. Today they are encouraged to have “fun” and indulge in such pleasure-seeking proclivities as they might have; they can settle down later – if at all. They’re not told that their ability to conceive drops dramatically as they cross over into their thirties, but that’s a different story. Why spoil the girls’ fun? They have their jobs, they have the pill; they’re independent. Men used to be breadwinners and fathers – that was their raison d’être. Since women are now full participants in the labor force, they don’t need breadwinners; and since they’re no longer encouraged to become mothers, they’re not especially motivated to look for paternal figures for children that they may never have. They’ve been persuaded they no longer need men that much; men have lost their raison d’être. Put differently, men are no longer all that necessary; if anything, they are somewhat superfluous. It is unsurprising that such messages are not received very well in some quarters.

As a result of constant gender engineering efforts undertaken by ultraliberals, men also feel a lot less manly. There are considerable differences between men and women. This is not tantamount to saying that men are superior to women; they’re just different. These differences are manifested in all sorts of ways. On a primitive level, they are manifested in sexual behavior. A man always needs to prove his manhood: every time he enters sexual congress, he is required to have an erection. If he’s unable to have one, he has failed – by definition. Like a thespian performer who must prove himself every time he’s on stage, a man needs to prove himself every time he has sex. Women never have to worry about demonstrating this kind of rigorousness. It’s possible to fake ecstasy, but it’s impossible to fake an erection, certainly not by any natural means. At the same time, the reproductive life of a man is considerably longer than that of a woman. As was mentioned earlier, a woman’s ability to conceive begins to fall once she hits the age of 30, and the decline is a rapid one. A study done by the University of Edinburgh has demonstrated that a woman will have lost 90% of her ovarian eggs by the time she reaches the age of 30. It’s unfair, but such is human anatomy; and no ideological prestidigitation will ever change that. But gender equality warriors are trying to adjust reality to their doctrine. As a result, anatomy and biology have become subservient to ideology. The consequences have been described in previous blog posts: women have become more masculine; men, more feminine. For many men, this is as silly as it is humiliating (although women have also had to deal with some of that fallout, given the number of young women with “issues” these days).

Men have also been subjected to demonization. It is widely accepted now (by many men too) that women have been oppressed by men for centuries. That is a gross distortion of the real historical situation. Yes, women have been oppressed for centuries. But men have been oppressed as well. Until recent times, the story of humanity was, unfortunately, the story of oppression. There’s this absurd idea that women were forced to perform backbreaking labor, while men sat back and took it easy. Not so. Men toiled as hard as women did – in the fields, in the mines, in the factories. What’s more, when nations and states went to war, it was men and not women who were sent off to the killing fields to be used as cannon fodder. A picture’s worth a thousand words – see a symbolically rich painting by Johann Peter Krafft called The Departure of the Militiaman, which shows the head of a household who’s about to leave to fight, while his wife stays home with the child; or read Tolstoy’s War and Peace in all its sprawling majesty, where the men are despatched to paint the earth crimson, while the women flit about in aristocratic salons. The message is the same: men were sent to kill and be killed, while women stayed behind. So who were the oppressed?

Yes, the glass ceiling did exist, but it’s best not to overstate it. Pace feminists and ultraliberals, the world was not run by a sinister patriarchy. England had a queen in the 16th century – incidentally, one of the country’s most famous monarchs. Russia, which typically lags behind Western societies when it comes to social issues, alone had four empresses in the 18th century. Women with epistolary ambitions could become outstanding writers – it was not solely a man’s world. Let’s name the names: Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, George Sand, the Brontë sisters . . . By 1880, Constance Fenimore Woolson’s novel Anne had sold more than 50,000 copies. Many of these writers did not even bother to take on male pseudonyms. Was there absolute equality? No, but this might be explained by the intrinsic differences between men and women, and not by any predilection on the part of men to deny women opportunities.

En passant, I also note that, in those days of “patriarchal oppression”, great works of literature were produced; today, on the other hand, with the glass ceiling having been definitely shattered, literary output should be twice as good – instead, modern culture is mostly dross. And the fact that there was a time when it was almost impossible for a woman to attain the same status as that enjoyed by a man should be weighed against the fact that men paid dearly for their privileges – unlike women, they were expected to die on the battlefield when called upon to do so. Yet men continue to be accused of having oppressed women for centuries; they continue to be portrayed as violent tyrants and untameable satyrs whom society must neuter. At a certain point, for certain men, this kind of talk begins to grate.

The social changes mentioned earlier have also coincided with the economic winds of change. The increased outsourcing of blue-collar jobs to low-cost zones has left many men jobless and unable to adapt to, and insert themselves into, the new economy. Left in the dust by the digital world, they’ve been forced to abide by the rules of what can justly be called the “femcentric age”.

For that is what it is.

Although many people – women especially, but not exclusively – complain that our society is run by men and for men, this is not true. Our culture is actually very female-centric, fuelled as it is by a consumerist ethos (consumerism – shopping – is more female than male) and an obsessive quest to satisfy the modern woman. “Do you know . . . what it feels like for a girl” – so goes the refrain in a Madonna song; and modern culture demands of men to be acutely aware of what it actually feels like to be one. “What do women really want?” This is the “accursed question” of our times. Inspired by the egocentric, narcissistic contortions of the insatiable modern woman as shaped and presented by the entertainment industry and the media – the modern woman who is always in pursuit of the most skilled lover she can sleep with, the richest man to wine and dine her, the most handsome companion to grace her social media photo gallery – women expect men to cater to the needs of that culture and the modern woman it services. Note that this modern woman is not a mother or a mother-to-be; this modern woman is unabashedly single and hedonistically oriented. She is entitled to be pleased; modern culture and society exist to please her. It is for that reason that this age can, with a little bit of mischief, be called “the age of the vagina” – not the age of the woman, but the age of the vagina, since it is based entirely on the idea of pleasure and not on that of responsibility. Those men who refuse to kowtow to the demands of this culture are branded as men who are out of touch, men who don’t get it, men who are attached to the old ways. Sexists and misogynists, basically.

I remember having a tipple with two acquaintances a few years ago, both of them men in their mid-twenties. As so often happens with a male-only gathering, conversation soon turned to women – specifically, to gender issues. Looking downcast at one point, staring at the ground in melancholic abjection, the two gentlemen – both very intelligent and well-rounded – mumbled something about it being so unfair that women were still treated so unequally. At the same time, they worked for a company that prided itself on its commitment to gender equality, in an industry where women had never had it so good; certainly not a single female colleague of theirs had any reason to complain, and they admitted as much. Yet they felt unspeakably guilty. Is that the state of the modern man in the femcentric age?

Little wonder that some men decide to revolt. Men’s rights groups and MGTOW are manifestations of that revolt. What is one to make of them, though?

However valid its arguments might be, the MGTOW community (some might call it a movement; personally, I am not so sure) is inherently anti-social. Who are these men going their own way? They’re men who are rejecting traditional intercourse and interaction with women. Such a rejection is neither healthy nor productive. The primary function of the human species is propagation. Rejecting man’s reproductive duties means rejecting the continuation of the human race along with the debt that one owes to one’s progenitors. This attitude is selfish and irresponsible; the refusal to marry and have children will, quite simply, ultimately lead to extinction. It’s a dead end, but MGTOW adherents tend to sneer at such words as “responsibility” and “debt”. Indeed, this kind of sentiment was often expressed by Bobbie when we spoke. Après moi, le déluge! There were not the slightest stirrings of protest as far as the status quo was concerned; Bobbie’s whole mindset could be summed up by the words “who cares” – we’re here to gratify ourselves and nothing else. This is the mirror image of the modern single woman – it is just as puerile as it is, in the long run, unsustainable.

It is also not a little ridiculous at times. While looking for more information on the MGTOW community on Youtube, I unearthed a number of videos posted by a few MGTOW activists in one city. Aside from elucidating their ideas and doing the virtual equivalent of nailing their theses to the door, they also organized various social events in their area, which they would film for the viewing benefit of remote Youtube confreres. I saw one such recording, made during a barbecue outing. The sight of these men talking about how they could improve their lives over barbecue, with not a single woman to be spotted anywhere, was a sad one to contemplate. These men did not suggest confidence or strength; if anything, there was something distinctly neglected and despondent about them. They evoked the kind of feeling that one might experience in the couloirs of a retirement home or in the hallways of a hospital – instead of coming across as men going their own way to chart their great destinies, they looked like males who were evicted from normal life. If their goal was to show the beauty of a world that did not include women, they failed – at least, with me.

Men’s rights groups (MRGs) are a different beast. They deserve to be taken more seriously, not least because they are not withdrawing from life. They are unwilling to put up with the encroachment of militant feminism upon their rights, and they are ready to assert their rights and to influence legislation as necessary. That commands respect. Their arguments are valid and deserve to be heard – and some women are reaching the same conclusion. US director Cassie Jaye is one of these women. She made an excellent documentary, The Red Pill, which shows that men’s rights activists are not the misogynists or haters of women that they are often portrayed to be, and that they have a valid message worthy of our attention. The movie also debunks the myth of patriarchy and illustrates how the law – in the US, at least – often favors women more than it does men in matters of divorce law and child custody. The documentary ends with Jaye’s proclamation that, whatever she is now, she knows she’s no longer a feminist. So much the better.

Yet there’s something about men’s rights groups as such that gives me pause, and I think I’ve identified the culprit. My ancestors fought against the Nazis in the Second World War to defend their land and their homes, and they were forced to put up with privations that would be hard to imagine today. These men saw what must have been the nadir of Western civilization, and they came back with the scars, wounds, and medals to prove it. They did not need any rights groups to defend their interests. For better or for worse, they were men. Men’s rights groups – they wouldn’t have been able to understand the very idea. If our ancestors were to look at the men of today, the men of the femcentric age, they’d probably see pygmies.

There’s still room for optimism. I’ve lost contact with Bobbie, but the last time I spoke with him, he was in a serious relationship; and while he did say that his lady friend was a no-nonsense woman, he no longer spoke about the MGTOW community or about designing artificial sex partners for lonely men to cavort with. Yet when I look at statistics and the world around me, my optimism fades. The age of femcentrism is contributing to a major demographic hollowing-out of many Western societies. If this continues – and there is at present nothing to suggest that it won’t – Bobbie might want to take another look at the sex robots idea; there could be some money in it still. There’s just one problem, though: at this rate, there might come a day when there won’t be very many men left in Western societies to actually buy them.

The draft – an idea whose time has come (back)?

By Eugène E.

A hard-nosed individualist in my salad days, I was a sworn enemy of conscription as I cruised through that time of my life when conscription is usually relevant. The idea that young men were liable to be called up and separated from their normal lives for the sake of an abstract notion that seemed to have largely outlived its usefulness, irrespective of whether they wanted it or not, seemed to be an affront to my adolescent ideals of liberty and freedom. Fast-forward x number of years, and anyone lucky enough (or not) to run into me will find that, though I am still very much the hard-nosed individualist of yore, my take on the draft has evolved considerably.

There was a time when the draft was a coming-of-age ritual for males. While conscription in some form still exists in a number of European countries, it has been phased out in the major European states (the UK, France, and Germany). Further afield, there is no conscription in Canada, Australia, or the US outside of national crises or emergencies. While a number of reasons are typically put forth to explain the disappearance of conscription, there’s one that rarely gets much coverage: the advance of ultraliberalism.

The ascent of the ultraliberal movement and its domination of the national agenda occurred just as the relevance traditionally imputed to conscription began to melt. The army represents hierarchy, authority, and convention – all those things that ultraliberalism abhors and has tried to dismantle since the 1960s, when the hippie movement and the soixante-huitards took to the streets to tear apart everything that their ancestors had so assiduously built. The army also represents something else: manhood. The army is mostly a male thing. Male things are strongly discouraged by ultraliberals, who believe that anything oriented towards men smacks of patriarchy, misogyny, racism, colonialism, homophobia, and other such things.

Male things also reinforce a binary view of genders – namely, that there are men and women, and that the former differ from the latter. This view does not accord well with the views of ultraliberals, who believe that ideology trumps reality (in other words, that what one believes himself to be takes precedence over what one is). Ultraliberals cannot accept a reality that imposes constraints or limits. Hence the rising popularity of experiments conducted to reengineer gender notions and constructs, and, in the process, human beings themselves. There’s the Canadian couple that decided to bring up a child without any determinable gender. There are the projects in Swedish schools that try to make boys act like girls (by putting them in charge of the play kitchen), girls like boys (by encouraging them to shout “no”), or exit the entire gender-based model in general (by referring to children as “friends” instead of “boys and girls”). And then, to make sure that culture and the media back up and reinforce these adventures in absurdness, there’s the new movie exploring parenting in the age of non-binary children, appropriately directed by an individual said to have been active on the LGBTQ scene.

The purpose of all this is to challenge and master nature, render people oblivious to their own genders, and deemphasize manhood. It can’t be otherwise. It should also be obvious that this sort of ethos is incompatible with any traditional hierarchy. Moreover, the army represents a vertical power structure, while ultraliberals aim for horizontal power structures (though ironically, they have succeeded, wittingly or unwittingly, to create a vertical power structure of a different kind – one built on global capital and the extremes that it engenders). Consequently, the army needs to be rooted out. It has no place in the age of ultraliberalism.

Until recently, ultraliberals were on the right side of history. When the former Soviet Union collapsed, ending the Cold War and ushering in a new age that, for some, signified the “end of history”, it made even less sense to maintain conscription. The West proceeded to skate across the thin ice of the Lake of Complacency.

Now that the age of naivety is over, we might want to revisit this question. Rising Islamism and other geopolitical developments have reminded us that history is alive and well. Ultraliberals have not acknowledged that reality, since it implies that the ultraliberal doctrine has flaws and is therefore in need of adjustments; but those who do not feel compelled to be beholden to the prevailing ideological dogma and who value intellectual honesty might be more receptive to the idea that our ancestors were not as stupid as ultraliberals would have us believe.

A heartbreaking incident took place last month at a Hungarian zoo. A young boy reached through a fence to touch a pregnant meerkat, got bitten by it, and shook the animal so hard he ended up killing it. The director of the zoo then posted a heartfelt message that, aside from lamenting the death of the meerkat, lambasted the lack of respect that he sees displayed by the young people of today.

The zoo director is right, of course. Discipline is one of the most valuable lessons that can be imparted to a youth, and it is one that is no longer inculcated in young people today. In simple terms, discipline is recognition of authority, awareness of constraints, and comprehension of the word “no”. None of this is clear to those who have been steeped in the belief that squashing hierarchies is creative, that the only acceptable religion is one that believes in zero authority, and that all heavenly bodies move only to prop up the brilliant destiny of the up-and-coming generation dazzling our planet. This produces adolescents who believe their parents are their “friends” and behave accordingly; who think nothing of having their feet sprawl over seats on public transit or of swearing at their teachers; and who stick their hands through fences at zoos even when they are explicitly told not to. They have a rather vague notion of their responsibilities, but they are remarkably well versed in all matters concerning their rights. In a word, we end up with ill-bred, narcissistic ogres.

The problem is only exacerbated by the growing attachment of the young to the online world, which comes at the expense of the real world as well as the social awareness and norms that the real world imposes; by the fact that contemporary role models tend to be vapid, vulgar popular culture icons with an online platform and tools to connect directly to their audiences; and by the inability of some of the Western countries, typically those with younger histories, to offer viable identities or solid cultural narratives around which their citizens can rally.

As Ortega y Gasset wrote, for a society to qualify as civilized, its members need to be prepared to submit to a higher authority on a number of questions (e.g., on matters concerning culture). To the extent that its members do not recognize higher authorities or the need to submit to them, that particular society is not civilized. It would be remiss of us not to ask how civilized modern youth happens to be, exactly.

No less urgent is the question of whether today’s youngsters are prepared to defend their values and their land. While some might think it is overly dramatic to claim that there is a risk of civil conflict on European soil, it would be imprudent to make no allowances for such a possibility. If the worst-case scenario is taken, will today’s youngsters be prepared to don a uniform and defend the future of Europe, physically or mentally? Can we count on men who as boys were encouraged to wear dresses in elementary school, as they are today in some schools in Sweden, to rise up to the challenge?

In War and Peace, Tolstoy shows that the strongest army is an army that is made up of soldiers who fight for something that they believe in. Can a young man who was brought up to question his own anatomy seriously believe in anything, let alone fight for it?

People live longer today, and so youths mature intellectually at a more advanced age than previously. Today’s youths are still working towards their high school diplomas at an age when some historical figures were already commanding troops. I am appalled at the academic prowess of those who graduate from high school today (and are accepted by universities!), if prowess is the right word. They also tend to be more aimless than past generations. Society is doing these youngsters a major disservice. Instead of having young men sit in classrooms, why not have them spend the last year of high school serving in the army? They will learn invaluable practical skills, get imbued with a strong spirit of camaraderie, obtain a sense of national belonging and identity, and acquire direction along with a sense of discipline.

This need not be seen as a proposal to (re)introduce conscription immediately and without further ado. But the need for this kind of dialogue is present and becoming more urgent. As with many important issues, it is best to have it when the temperature of the times is reasonable. It would be unfortunate if we were pushed into this dialogue by circumstances. Perhaps now is the time to preempt them.

“Part of the problem”

By Eugène E.

As the plane glided across a vast cerulean expanse somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean, I was presented with a truth less savory than the hot dinner served by the cabin crew, if that was possible: I realized I was “part of the problem”. It had all begun innocently enough – with my decision to take advantage of the in-flight entertainment program and watch a movie. Something digestible, unimposing, jet-lag-friendly – I’ve never been much of a movie aficionado, and mainstream cinema works rather well with interminable transatlantic journeys. There is something about the air in an aircraft cabin that makes one susceptible to the kind of entertainment that makes few demands on one’s aesthetic sensibilities and that would be eschewed in closer proximity to terra firma – or so it had seemed to me as the opening credits of Snatched unfolded on the screen.

If there is one good thing about your typical media pabulum, it’s that it shows you the watermark of our times. There is a reflexive relationship between the media and the society it informs and entertains. On the one hand, the big studios of Hollywood want to cater to the tastes of their audiences (give the people what they want); on the other hand, the products that they deliver shape the perceptions, wants, and needs of those who are supposed to inspire them. The public propels the media; the media conditions the public.

Snatched, a comedy that runs on the twin engines of slapstick humour and slapdash vulgarity, came out in 2017 – and it shows. It was released before Weinstein and the #MeToo movement became household names for all the wrong reasons, but that’s irrelevant. The (white) man had already been consigned to the outposts of purgatory; women were getting primed to become the torchbearers of an Olympian heroism born of nothing greater than their gender. The only thing lacking was a good scapegoat; and Weinstein was perfect. The conditions that made it so easy for society to grind any overly sexed male into dust were already in place, and the media had been co-opted (or had co-opted itself) long ago. For years, movies, among other conduits, had been preparing society for both Weinstein and #MeToo; and Snatched, which shows how even Hollywood’s fluff can carry considerable ideological ammunition, is an example of that ultraliberal indoctrination.

The movie hardly merits any commentary about its quality, but the implicit ideological messages are interesting. The heroines of this cinematographic masterpiece – an in-your-face, slightly awkward damsel and her neurotic mother – take off to South America for some girls’ fun, where they run into serious trouble with a couple of bad hombres. The tone is jaunty and mischievous, even when people get clobbered with shovels or fall into precipices, but the hidden ideas contain far less levity. The women are the film’s over-sung heroes, constantly in danger of falling prey to priapic cads and other such hunters of female flesh, whom they defeat with sheer “girl power”. The men who do have some redeeming value are inconsequential: one (the damsel’s brother) suffers from psychological issues that prevent him from leaving home; the other, a gringo marooned in the South American jungle, is no homebody and is even endowed with some rugged virility, for which he is made to pay with terminal cancer and, eventually, a one-way plunge from a cliff. For a man to make it to the ending credits and retain the viewer’s sympathy, he needs to be sexually disarming and unthreatening – a eunuch, in a word, if only metaphorically. The films ends with the two hapless Amazons in Kuala Lumpur; the ladies are having a blast, and the damsel – still a damsel – blows off a potential seducer. The implicit message is clear throughout: when (white) men are not dangerous, they are utterly superfluous. In either case, women are better off on their own.

Still intent on getting my fill of the movie menu, my next choice was The Family Stone. For those who haven’t seen it, this is the kind of movie that is supposed to make you feel good, with all the guffaw-inducing and lachrymose moments strategically placed at all the right junctures. An uptight, pretentious urbanite (Sarah Jessica Parker) is forced to spend Christmas with her fiancee’s unconventional, idiosyncratic family (the Stones), whose matriarch is played by Diane Keaton. If memory serves, the synopsis of the film as presented by the in-flight entertainment program describes the family as “bohemian”, which is just as well. The family certainly has all the right ingredients to qualify as one. One of the family members, for example, happens to be deaf. This is a physical impairment, and the subject can be treated with the thoughtfulness that it merits. Thoughtfulness, however, falls by the wayside when ultraliberal boxes need to be checked off, so the deaf character also happens to be gay. To introduce the right degree of diversity into the very WASPish Stone clan, the deaf homosexual is given a black man for a partner, at which point this turns into an ultraliberal caricature. Throughout history, art was preoccupied with beauty and the heightening of aesthetic sensibilities; the sculptures of Michelangelo and Bernini convey to us this lofty obsession with capturing perfection. These days, art, which in many cases is a paid agent of certain ideological currents, revels in placing all forms of pathology on a pedestal. Who needs Bernini when you have RuPaul’s Drag Race?

But there’s more to this than a predilection for deformity: however bohemian the Stone family happens to be, in the final analysis, it is made to look quite conventional. They might be quirky, the movie says, but they’re just as normal as you; and the movie is constructed in such a way as to evoke feelings of affinity in the audience. This is by design: ultraliberalism needs to swaddle the abnormal in the warm linen of normality and pad it with the bubble wrap of acceptability. The movie, it should be noted, was made in 2005 – more than a decade ago – and, by that point, it had many precedents dealing in this sort of merchandise. In other words, an entire generation was brought up to believe that what had once been unacceptable was now palatable, acceptable, and even desirable.

After the movie was over, I decided to try the papers. I had on me the most recent weekend editions of the FT – my default choice in the realm of quality journalism – and I spread them out to confirm that even the most respectable newspapers are not immune to ideological viruses. The front page of one of the supplements of the oldest edition I had was monopolized by an article whose author, a woman, took issue with the fact that women are inducted into the hall of equality on the basis of distinct, gender-based qualities that allow them to perform as well as their male counterparts, if not better. This line of thinking is a problem, in the author’s opinion, since it still advances the argument that there are intrinsic differences between the two sexes; and the admission of there being any differences between men and women cannot be countenanced by feminists, who believe that differences, no matter how natural or inevitable, lead to inequalities and must therefore be eradicated. Nothing short of absolute equality – the kind of equality that rules out all possible differences – will be accepted by the ideological school of which the author of this article is clearly an honours student, whatever human anatomy has to say about the matter.

Other parts of the newspaper were equally contaminated. A now familiar sight, there were (white) male columnists saying their mea culpas for being – yes – “part of the problem”. One atoned for having committed the high crime of defaulting to the masculine pronoun in his book on economics; as he wrote with unmistakeable pride, he had been fully rehabilitated by the time he set out to write his next book. Another columnist indulged in auto-flagellation because he’d once happened to hear another man propose a jaunt to a nearby strip club during an all-male business outing. The fact that the columnist had not gone along does not, in his own estimate, reduce his complicity in being “part of the problem”. A John Updike article in the book-reviews section began with the late writer’s putative misogyny and then proceeded to exculpate him; but the fact that it worked off a feminist premise and seen through that prism speaks volumes.

It might not be surprising, then, that by the time the plane had landed and I’d stepped into the airy halls of Toronto’s international airport, it was obvious to me that I was “part of the problem” myself – not because of some infraction committed against the fairer sex, but simply by virtue of having been born without a vagina. There it is, then: I, too, am guilty. I, too, am “part of the problem”. #MeToo.

Modern feminists, like their brothers-in-arms in the LGBT movement, are like unruly, spoiled children who take it for granted that the whole world must constantly acknowledge their existence. They need to announce themselves to all and sundry relentlessly and with much noise. The higher its pitch and the louder its choir, the better. A French minister – a woman and, naturally enough, one in change of the gender equality portfolio – takes part in a play in which she informs the world that her vagina is angry (?): achieving full gender parity one play at a time. An actress goes on stage at the Academy Awards ceremony and proposes an “inclusion rider”, which sounds a lot like just another tool designed to promote fairness for some at the expense of others – a tax on those who are deemed to be overly privileged, whether this privileged state is real or just an ultraliberal fata morgana. And on and on it goes.

In Toronto, a bastion of ultraliberalism, “fem noise” is heard with the consistency of muezzins’ prayer calls in a Muslim city. Men are reminded everywhere that they are “part of the problem”. Offices are agog over safe spaces for women and various diversity initiatives; companies are obsessing over getting to the top of gender equality survey rankings. Feminist shirts and badges are spotted; there are advertisements for novels written “from a woman’s point of view”. Looking at some of the messages on Toronto’s public transit, it’s easy to believe that every woman in Canada’s largest city is in immediate danger of being sexually assaulted as soon as she enters a public transit vehicle, and that the entire city shivers in a culture of unending rape. More like South Africa in the immediate post-apartheid years, when it was estimated that a woman was raped every three seconds, than one of the safest cities in North America. Buses and subway trains have labels posted in prominent areas that inform passengers that “#ThisIsWhere Em and Lisa were attacked for their sexuality” (one might well wonder what Em and Lisa were doing that would have given away their sexuality) or “#ThisIsWhere Ashley saw a stranger leering at her” (as if a leer is an instance of sexual assault – a leer can make one uncomfortable, but it is a facial expression; and these can be easily misinterpreted). Are we sure we’re still within the bounds of reason?

Inappropriate behaviour cannot be excused. Every woman should always feel safe in the streets (and anywhere else, for that matter). But it’s worth asking whether this sort of “awareness program” (which seems to have coincided with the rise of the #MeToo movement) is the best way to tackle the safety of women, and whether things may not have gone too far and in the wrong direction. If things are as bad as the ads and warnings suggest, this is a security issue and may be best dealt with by better policing.

It’s also worth asking whether this kind of culture will not lead to a McCarthyist climate of fear and denunciations, with sexually lobotomized men who are cowed and apprehensive, and trigger-happy women ready to torpedo reputations. Those who take this hypothesis to be hyperbolic should not overlook the recent history of false claims that left towering names in ruins (the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, whose stellar career was cut short by accusations of sexual violence at a New York hotel that were later dropped by the prosecution on account of the victim’s credibility, comes to mind – while Strauss-Kahn was eventually exonerated by the US authorities, his presidential aspirations in France were effectively quashed).

The ultraliberal revolution (and it’s certainly a revolution) has been made possible by an unprecedented fusion between political life and entertainment, serious and non-serious, lofty and mainstream; by the invasion of every branch of society by mass thinking and mass behaviour. The role that the media has played in all this cannot be overstated.

As the media conditioned the public, the latter adapted itself to the new ideology. Some of the greatest changes wrought by the ultraliberal revolution are those that have taken place in women – in their bodies, their appearance, their comportment. As these changes have been brewing for many years, they have been all but unnoticeable; they’re all the greater for it. Generalizations can be dangerous, but one thing is undeniable: in many parts of the Western world – certainly in Canada and the US – women no longer cultivate their femininity. They may choose a masculine look, opting for tattoos or letting themselves be overtaken by heft. They might neglect their looks entirely, making no effort to appeal to the eye. Or they might make considerable investments in their bodies: the sight of garish sneakers, yoga mats, and liberally exposed skin has become ubiquitous in urban settings; but these women are now trimming themselves for a different reason. In the past, a woman took care of herself to make herself more attractive, which would then enhance her appeal to men; today she is taking care of herself for the sake of herself. Many will call it emancipation; others might say it’s just rank narcissism. Take your pick. The upshot is that women, on the whole, have become less feminine.

What will that do to our way of life? Coupling implies the laws and rules of attraction; if women renounce the imperative to look attractive, what effect will that have on coupling? The reality is that we’re witnessing nothing less than the death of romanticism as a form of life. Elegance has been replaced with convenience; femininity with independence; feelings and idealism with bureaucratization and compartmentalization. This has impacted language: women now have “partners” – an odd way to describe someone you consider the love of your life, but perhaps not so odd after all, for that is what a man happens to be for the modern independent woman: at best, a partner, a stakeholder, a joint equity owner with a 50% share in the enterprise; at worst, a tool, an instrument. This has also impacted the world of online dating: view the emergence of Bumble, which claims to have removed for men the burden of approaching women and which aspires to level “the playing field” by making it only possible for women to initiate the first approach. This ultraliberally positive corporate message belies the truth that women on Bumble get to choose and men don’t. The app takes it as an article of faith that “relationships should begin with respect and equality”. Given that men are turned into passive cattle on that site, we can see exactly what sort of equality Bumble has in mind.

The big question is whether, given all these jet streams, the affected societies can continue to reproduce at a level that will ensure their survival – whether children can be begotten in an environment powered by formulaic relationships and illuminated with lab-like lighting. The chief prerequisite for any society is continuity: a civilization needs people to keep on going. A civilization without people will end up being relevant to historians only. It’s a big question that predictably receives no treatment from feminists, bien-pensants, #MeToo crusaders, and other ultraliberals who are busy trying to free themselves from the shackles of an odiously oppressive (white) patriarchy. Their propaganda, a cauldron of ultraliberal reflexes and sentiment, is bereft of thought and analysis; their ideology is vicious, aggressive, and is no more tolerant than the hidebound ideologies it purports to challenge – just witness the experience of the Google employee who dared to challenge the sacred notion that there are differences between men and women, and who ended up paying for it with his job.

The recent feminist hysteria has reconfirmed what was already known about ultraliberalism. The ultraliberal movement, of which feminism is one of the main components, aspires to be a new Christianity without its God and its thou-shall-nots, but it only succeeds in turning into an amorphous ideology as bland as a vegan diet. It tries to promote egalitarianism, with mass appeal to every ethnic group that exists and every sub-gender that doesn’t, but only creates a shapeless morass, anarchical and uncultured. It strives to be modern, and ends up disseminating sexlessness and lifestyles that, if left unchecked, will leave any society barren. It makes promises of happiness, yet spawns mood and personality disorders. It preaches tolerance while suppressing all forms of dissent. It accuses political opponents of base populism and has yet mastered the genre. It excoriates ideological adversaries for their propaganda efforts and, starting with the cradle, brainwashes the public on a truly Orwellian scale.

But perhaps the lady doth protest too much. A better use of my time, from an ultraliberal’s standpoint, would be to declare that I am “part of the problem”, apologize for being a (white) male, and do my penance – or, better yet, as was suggested recently by a UK minister, albeit in a very different context, I should just shut up and go away.

The idiocy must go on

By Eugène E.

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.

Of Beards and Feminists

By Eugène E.

As many a fashionista will tell you, fashion is about more than just catwalks, anorexic models, and aesthetics. There’s a social dimension to it as well: what we wear and how we look reflects, to a certain extent, the times in which we live. On some subconscious level, we project the prevailing zeitgeist, the spirit of our times, and its very pulse to the world around us to show that we’re “in it”, that we are au courant. As being fashionable – being trendy – entails being in the vanguard of things, fashion is also an effort to capture the dawning future; and, as such, it is an intimation of things to come. In a word, if you want to get an idea of where we might be going, take a good look around you.

One interesting trend has been what I call the juvenilization of society. Prophetically, José Ortega y Gasset wrote about the celebration of youth culture as a way of evading responsibility, and this is possibly more relevant today than ever. What is the primary difference between children and adults? It lies in their notions of rights and responsibilities. Children are only cognizant of their rights; as they mature into adulthood, the sense of what they are entitled to cedes ground to a sense of the obligations underpinning those rights (although, it must be said, the extent to which that ground is ceded varies widely among people).

It is curious, then, that there has been a noticeable trend among many adults to emulate youths. This is seen in popular culture, which caters to adolescents; it is observable in language, as more and more adults began to talk like their children; and it is evident in fashion, where it is quite common nowadays to see white-collar workers wearing suits along with, quite incongruously, sneakers, knapsacks or backpacks. Adults look up to children, whereas things should be exactly the other way around. Napoleon was commanding troops before his eighteenth birthday; today many men defer their coming-of-age as much as they can. An objection might be made that people lived longer in Napoleon’s time; but that still makes mockery of the word “progress”. The juvenalization of our society suggests that society is becoming more immature and less cognizant of its responsibilities. It is being dumbed down.

Another interesting fashion trend is the rise of the Taliban beard. We’re not talking about trimmed beards – beards à la French PM Édouard Philippe or Canadian leftist leader Tom Mulcair. We’re talking about the kind of beard that will easily pass muster on the plains of Kandahar or in the tangled streets of Cairo – an unappealingly lush beard that is all the rage among younger men in Western cities. More Ayatollah Khomeini than George Clooney on a day the actor’s cultivating a ragged look.

This is no accident. As the number of Muslims in the West (especially in Western Europe) has grown, receiving a further boost from Angela Merkel’s spectacularly misguided decision to let in more than a million migrants from the Middle East in 2015, and as the demographics favor the Islamic polity in Europe over its native population, Muslim customs become more influential. Heavy facial foliage, a rather typical attribute of Muslim men, is therefore finding adherents among non-Muslim men as well. The question is whether these bearded young men think sporting an Islamic-style beard is simply the “in thing”, or whether they are unconsciously adjusting to a future in which such beards will be de rigueur amongand perhaps even a requirement for, the male citizens of many Western cities.

On a side note, I notice that the beard of Omar Khadr is quite trim and, despite the man’s past, decidedly non-Islamic. Omar Khadr, of course, is the Canadian citizen who dabbled in heavy-duty terrorism while still a teenager and has recently received a taxpayer-funded payout to the tune of more than $10 million for having suffered abuse at the hands of a government that – hard to believe – was not the Canadian government. Nevertheless, the Canadian government still decided to reward him handsomely for his agony. Canada’s prime minister – the textbook definition of a lightweight prime minister and a complete nonentity in every aspect except for, possibly, that of looks – has justified the settlement by arguing that not settling would have been more expensive and that Canadian citizens should never be subjected to torture, however unlikeable they might be.

The first argument is contentious, the second certainly valid – but there’s something very disturbing about a million-dollar settlement for a citizen who has engaged in terrorist activity against either the country of which he is a citizen or against an ally of the said country. Has a Canadian citizen who fought for Canada ever received anything approaching this sum? This reminds me of a decision by a EU court a few years ago to compensate Somali pirates on account of some minor judicial infractions that had been committed against them. Criminals have – and should have – their rights, but these rights should never supersede either the rights of their victims or the prerogatives of common sense. A society in which they do is a society run by nimble lawyers and no one else.

But I digress – we were talking fashion, not justice. What about women’s fashion? The Islamization of Western society seems to be bypassing Western women – for now, that is. There are certainly no overt signs of a lurch towards exaggerated modesty or a sartorial conservatism that conceals so much it offers nothing to the febrile imagination of a lustful male. Women dress no less provocatively than before and perhaps even more so; if it’s not provocative, it’s careless and unattractive, which is also a statement of sorts, calculated to announce to the world that the woman attaches no importance to what the world thinks of her, certainly the male part of it anyway – she will not let herself be objectified. Down with the oppressive patriarchy! To be fair, when it comes to drab attire, a lot of men are just as guilty: when Svetlana Alexievich wrote her Secondhand Time, she might have as well been writing about contemporary fashion in the West.

This is meant to be neither flippant nor frivolous. The fabled female intuition seems to have failed many members of the fairer sex in the West, where the fumes of raging feminism have obscured the view. Thanks to feminist propaganda, women see nothing but an endless advancement of their rights stretching into an indefinite future, whereas they should be seeing quite the opposite. The lot of women in Islamic societies is an unenviable one. Both Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran have a mandatory dress code for women. Women in Saudi Arabia weren’t able to drive cars until only a few months ago. In Iran a sign of progress is when a woman convicted of adultery doesn’t get stoned to death. Under Islamic law, men are free to engage in polygamy and can dispense of a wife who has overstayed the husband’s uxorial hospitality by merely saying “I divorce thee” three times. In short, the nightmare of a Western woman, not to mention a Western feminist. Of course, the Koran is an old text and, as any old text, lends itself to interpretations. The problem is that there’s no shortage of people who insist on a literal interpretation of the Koran – both in the Islamic world and, where Muslim immigration has been strong, in the Western world – and those who insist on a literal interpretation often seem to carry the day. The number of these people can only be expected to grow in the years to come.

We now reach a striking paradox that does not cease to amaze me: the ability of ultraliberalism to at once champion the rights of women and promote tolerance of those who want to destroy these very rights. Ultraliberal indoctrination has been so powerful that many ultraliberals remain blind to this glaring contradiction. Many feminists, in fact, believe that wearing a hijab empowers women, since it is a form of self-expression. Just ask Linda Sarsour, an activist who is able to attend a women’s march wearing a hijab alongside many other women who have donned pink “pussy hats” for the occasion. We see two parallel trends in Western societies: an aggressive, boisterous feminism that legitimizes the hatred of men (especially, it seems, white ones); and a more subtle, but far more dangerous Islamization that is quietly amassing influence and that can be expected to give short shrift to “pussy hats”. #MeToo-ing miniskirts and Taliban beards – ultraliberalism makes this sort of thing possible. Of course, it’s a temporary aberration – many women should shudder at the thought of what jihadists will do to their “pussy hats” when there’re enough of them around.

As far as women’s rights are concerned, two high-profile women dominated the news this week, from different sides of the barricades. One was Oprah Winfrey, who, ever the opportunist, distinguished herself at the Golden Globes ceremony by delivering a maudlin, mawkish, and banal hodgepodge of a speech, unoriginal and unimaginative – just the kind of oratory that makes a good ultraliberal’s eyes get all lachrymose. Padded with all the right names and allusions, it was nearly ten minutes of cliché-ridden schwarmerei, which was enough, however, to give rise to murmurs about a possible bid for the White House. Oh, Hollywood! It is noteworthy that Winfrey, while talking about the vicious crime against an African-American woman, felt compelled to mention that the attackers were “five white men”. There’s nothing wrong with that description (they were white, after all, and probably very racist too); but, given the context of the speech, it is remarkable, since Oprah swiftly proceeded to say that “their time is up”, which was repeated several times, in case anyone missed the point. Whose time is up? She wasn’t talking about the racists. As the billionaire doyenne of the media world, the conscience and cradle of hope of ultraliberals and bien-pensants everywhere, moved from racism to – surprise! – the #MeToo campaign, it could not have been more obvious whom exactly she had in mind – the white man, naturally. White man, your time is up. The standing ovation at the end of the speech was predictable, but the sight of white males, who had just been told that they were being willed out of existence, clapping energetically was a peculiar one. Did they realize what they were applauding?

What’s troublesome is the corrupting, toxic influence that the #MeToo campaign will have on ordinary women. The #MeToo campaign is not a societal issue. It’s a Hollywood issue. It is the story of a number of female celebrities who owe their status not to their talents (since they often hardly have any) or their intelligence (which they often have none at all), but to the fact that they offered their loins for use at the right time and to the right man. Along come feminists to tell them that they are, in fact, highly talented and intelligent, and that they had been forced to offer their loins by powerful ghouls and ogres, and that an atrocity of the worst kind had been perpetrated against them. The origin of the #MeToo campaign is nothing more than a settling of scores. It started in Hollywood and it would have been better if it had stayed there; instead, it went mainstream, poisoning our society. For months, it has been ruining reputations, often gratuitously; creating a climate that could rival the worst excesses of McCarthyism; making misandry an official policy; and further weakening the foundations of an already fragile society. What does it say about our society if a man’s reputation can be ruined before a single criminal charge has even been filed, before the man has had an opportunity to defend or explain himself? What does it say about our society if the entire edifice of a man’s life can be destroyed on the say-so of a woman spuriously claiming to have been left traumatized by a vague indiscretion that took place decades ago?

But these are dangerous questions to ask. Feminism – and ultraliberalism in general – is to be accepted, never questioned. One doesn’t cast aspersions on the #MeToo campaign with impunity, as Catherine Deneuve found out earlier this week. Her crime? Along with 99 other signatories, the French movie icon dared to express criticism of the #MeToo campaign in an open letter – for the most part, a judicious missive with a soupçon of Gallic insouciance – published by the French Le Monde; and, predictably, the guns quickly turned in her direction. Deneuve was pilloried and excoriated on social networks for nothing more sinister than having expressed her viewpoint; but in the free, democratic, tolerant world of ultraliberalism, there is no place for dissent.

There is plenty of space for absurdity, however, which is doled out with no regard for economy. A Japanese professor of sociology with an interest in gender theory (you know you’re in trouble whenever the word “gender” floats in the academe) has recently opined that the princes in the fairy tales in which they kiss sleeping princesses are, in a way, guilty of sexual assault – the princesses haven’t given their consent, after all; and then a kiss is such a traumatizing experience! Japan, it should be noted, is undergoing gradual depopulation, and the prognoses for its demographic situation are bleak. With professors such as this one shaping national culture, it will only get bleaker.

It shouldn’t astonish anyone, then, that many men are taking measures to prepare themselves for the new reality, however unconscious these preparations may be. Responding to the nervous twitches of the society around them, they try to stay current, anticipating the advent of tomorrow, alert to new dangers and challenges. Just look at all those beards.

(No) Sex and the City

By Eugène E.

As high-profile males and swashbuckling power brokers all of stripes continue to be targeted by sexual harassment accusations, some of which predate the fall of the Berlin Wall, ordinary men – who may not have big reputations to lose, but who still are conscious of the temperature of the time and of the national unemployment rate – are gearing up to adjust to the new reality in the workplace. So are the companies they work for.

The feminist-led witch hunt is creating a climate of insecurity, and it will only get worse. Where will all this lead? What is the new reality going to look like? Predicting the future is a fool’s game, but if the present is at least a somewhat reliable prologue to the future, the road ahead – for men, at least – will be an angst-ridden one. Yes, the environment for women will likely be a lot safer – a noble accomplishment. But at what cost? That men will need to tread a lot more carefully than ever before is a given. Flirtatious banter and playful sallies redolent of anything sexual, however faintly, will be verboten at work. Humor will have to be necessarily sanitized. Wistful glances will need to be a bit less wistful lest they be misinterpreted as wanton leers. Men will be a lot more reluctant to engage in any work-related sessions that involve tête-à-têtes with the fairer sex. Distrust and discomfort will govern interaction between the sexes. Some men might even think twice before entering an elevator if they’re about to share the ride with a lone woman.

Conscious of the potential legal liability involved, companies will lead the charge on behalf of the oppressed women of the Western world. Workplace manuals will turn into feminist pamphlets. Failure to use gender-neutral pronouns will result in written warnings and, in case of repeat violations, terminations. The more progressive companies will encourage the use of feminine pronouns in a bid to redress centuries of male oppression and domination. Offices will create male-free space where women will be given the opportunity to relax in a setting that does not involve the anxiety fomented by the presence of men. Romantic liaisons between coworkers – at least heterosexual ones – will be banned (which will only create more difficulties for men, since an increasing number of companies are making a major effort to keep employees in the office longer than ever). Every HR department will include specialists to deal with women’s affairs. Christmas parties (if the word “Christmas” isn’t banned from usage) might be organized twice: one for all employees, and one for female employees only (again, to provide an environment in which women can feel at ease). Both men and women will require the help of psychotherapists in order to adjust to the new gender roles into which they have been thrust and ones that run counter to the laws of nature.

There will be wide ramifications for society, which will witness a gender convergence – women will become more assertive, and thus, more masculine, while men will need to be less assertive, and thus, deprived of the traditional (and, one might add, natural) concept of virility, more feminine. This will make both genders – but particularly men – more reluctant to apply to the institution of marriage and procreate, a reluctance that will only be reinforced by the greater psychological duress caused by the new gender reality.

The old relationship model will have been destroyed. Relationships will be more formalized and framed along contractual lines (the use of the word “partner” to refer to a significant other is indicative of this trend). Stripped of intimacy, romance and sentiments, affairs of the heart will no longer be such – an evolution that will be complemented by the ubiquitous use of technology spawned by the cyber age. People will, on the whole, feel a lot lonelier – both women and men. Unwilling to compromise and override their natural instincts, the more desperate ones among the latter will head to medieval towns in Eastern Europe or humid metropolises in Southeast Asia to regain some sense of their emaciated manhood.

The above are certainly not projections, but merely wild transports of the imagination – for now. But then today’s dystopia is next year’s reality. To see how far we’ve already come, consider the case of US Vice President Mike Pence, who has apparently made it a personal policy to avoid having one-on-one meals with any woman except his wife (curiously, the decision has led to his being derided by many a feminist for impeding the progress of women’s march to equality and freedom – men just can’t seem to win). Or consider the case of an investment manager at a small firm, who has confided to me that he will never interview a prospective female candidate if he’s alone in the office – from his perspective, the potential risks are simply too high.

Or consider the case of one company that I happen to be involved with. ABC Inc. – we’ll call it that – has a committee called “Women at ABC”, which is there to encourage women empowerment (which is something of a paradox – if you truly feel empowered, you won’t need to turn this into an official framework and remind everyone of how empowered you are). A women-only room exists in ABC’s internal chat system; every female staffer is in it, from the C-Suite down to the entry level. Though men are not officially banned from the room, there’s an implicit understanding that they are not to join it, either. The inclusion that feminism claims to promote is anything but inclusive; it is reverse sexism designed to exclude men, to make them redundant.

I have been made privy to some of the discussions that have taken place in that chat room by an inside source, who has helpfully provided a number of screenshots for my viewing pleasure. The screenshots show ABC female staff freely discussing such things as “bad boyfriend” experiences and lesbian sex. If the men of ABC were to do anything remotely close, there would be an outcry and denouncements of discrimination and objectivization of women; but double standards grease the wheels of contemporary feminism. While proclaiming to make things fairer for women, feminism is only making them unfair for men.

The problem is not so much that women will feel more assertive and men less so – indeed, if things were limited to that, there wouldn’t be much to discuss. The problem is that the changing dynamics of gender interaction will continue to adversely affect the demographic situation in the Western world. Feminism is not conducive to population growth; countries where feminist (and other untraditional) values have taken root typically have dismal growth rates, at least as far as the autochthonous populations are concerned. The average household in these countries can be expected to continue to have 0.7 children and 1.4 dogs, running well below the rate of replenishment required for the survival of any society, and reinforcing the depopulation already experienced by many Western societies.

Given the current civilizational interplay, the prognosis is bleak. Much of the West is assailed by a religion whose numerous adherents are claiming ever more space in the West. This religion gives short shrift to women’s rights; according to its fundamental tenets, women add up to little more than chattel. Watching developments in the Western world with an amused eye, Islam – which, unlike Western civilization, understands that power is in numbers – is biding its time. Who will protect the women of the Western world from Sharia law? The “silence breakers” just chosen by Time as persons of the year? As the Muslim faith continues to strengthen its presence in Western countries, feminists remain oblivious to the darkening horizon, oblivious to the fact that the enfeeblement of men and the promotion of rights they are seeking so enthusiastically can lead to a world in which women will, in the end, have no rights at all.

The Weinsteingate Scandal: An Exercise in Misandry

By Eugène E.

A lot of ink has been spilled and a lot of voices were made hoarse in the wake of the sexual scandal surrounding Harvey Weinstein. The real issue, of course, has been obscured: when there is a lot of noise, common sense is truly uncommon, and the facts are hard to see. Never more so when ideology and lobbying interests are involved. The Weinstein saga has little to do with Harvey Weinstein, who is simply a sacrificial lamb, served as today’s lunch special. Instead, it is yet another victory by an aggressive, illiberal movement that has dominated Western thought and mores in recent decades, setting the social agenda, influencing legislation, and damaging Western society beyond repair in the process.

That sexual assault cannot be condoned – ever – is an axiom hardly in need of being restated. If Weinstein is guilty of it, he ought to bear the full brunt of the law. Rapists and sexual predators have no place in society and should be behind bars. But since when does a sexual proposition constitute sexual assault, even when it comes from a man of power? Sleazy, immoral, louche – there’s no shortage of adjectives that can be used here, but to call it sexual assault? It’s unwise to dwell on Weinstein’s erotic adventures too much, since each new day brings fresh allegations; but many of the allegations and accusations say more about the accusers than about the accused.

One of Weinstein’s victims was reportedly paid $100,000 some years back, presumably to buy her silence. Why did she not step forward in the name of the cause back then? Why wait all these years? Was the money more appealing than justice? Many people, men as well as women, knew about Weinstein’s proclivities; why did they not speak out sooner? The answer is simple: back then silence was more profitable, so everyone looked the other way, including the victims; today the wind is blowing in a different direction, so everyone from Hillary Clinton to Tarantino is, all of a sudden, engaged in indignant chest-beating and relentless soul-searching. In fact, careerism and venality are a recurring leitmotif in this story; the casting couch its damning symbol, the method of conveyance to reach stardom. Many women decided to pay the price; now, years later, not without a little help from rigorous feminist indoctrination, they want additional compensation. The hashtag #metoo is the compensation claim. How valid is it? As the hashtag is adopted by an increasing amount of women, it becomes less of a genuine statement of distress and more of a fad. Self-victimization, the airing of one’s inner turmoil, psychological exhibitionism – this is now the in-thing, so all aboard! Fads come and go, however; so it is incumbent upon ideology to see to it that the fad becomes a meme – the truth, logic and common sense be damned. And one can surely count on feminism to rise up to the challenge.

Take the op-ed article written by Lupita Nyong’o in The New York Times, which has garnered much gushing praise and, reportedly, thousands of likes on social media for its candid portrayal of Nyongo’s experience at the hands of the Hollywood brute. The actress describes Weinstein’s initial “attack”, which took place in Weinstein’s home during a movie viewing to which Nyong’o had been invited. According to Nyong’o, she found herself alone with Weinstein in a room and was offered a massage. So far, so creepy. Nyong’o had an odd reaction, though: she offered to give him a massage instead. That was her way of staying in control of the situation, or so she explains. The explanation is buyable – in uncomfortable situations people can react in all kinds of ways. What is strange is that the experience did not deter Nyong’o from a second rendezvous with Weinstein, this time at a New York restaurant. She writes that she’d decided that the massage experience had established the necessary boundaries between them, and that there were supposed to be other people there anyway, so she’d be safe. At the restaurant, she was met by a female assistant of Weinstein’s, who informed her that this would be, after all, a rendezvous: she and Weinstein would be dining alone. Weinstein showed up and invited her upstairs to a private room; Nyong’o declined, and the story, though not the article, stops there (well, the story didn’t quite stop there: Nyong’o would agree to another meeting with Weinstein further down the road, this time in the presence of her agent).

One doesn’t need to examine the narrative too closely to ask a few awkward questions. Why did Nyong’o agree to meet Weinstein for a second time after the massage incident? Why did Nyong’o stay at the restaurant once it was clear that she’d be alone with Weinstein? Finally, where’s the bestial sexual comportment that Nyong’o is supposed to have exposed? The op-ed certainly paints a picture of a disagreeable, aggressive, unlikeable Hollywood wheeler-dealer. It also paints a picture of a woman who, despite presenting a litany of psychological rationalizations, appears to have been willing to overlook some of those things as long as it served to advance her career.

The author of an article in a recent issue of the weekend edition of the Financial Times is put off by the sight of men in various stages of fossilization mingling with a bevy of young women in a trendy bar in Los Angeles; sadly, the author laments, it is not a take-your-daughters-to-work day. Many might find such a scene distasteful. But it hardly qualifies as male oppression. The women want a breakthrough, and they believe it’s their only chance. They’re there on their own volition, ready to use their sexual powers to launch their careers. Are they any less guilty than the men at that bar? Will they claim to have been sexually harassed in a decade? Why not? Keep on telling someone he’s being victimized, and the individual will end up believing it. If Hollywood has a problem, it is not confined to a culture that is fuelled by testosterone, as the author of the FT article refers to it. Ambition meets letch – it’s a story that has forever spanned the river that is human civilization. The feminist movement doesn’t like that (certainly not when the lechers are men) and is busy trying to rewrite the script. Definitions are changed; notions are upended. Aggressive courting is now sexual harassment or, worse, sexual assault. Should we accuse balding wealthy men who saunter along with statuesque girlfriends and trophy wives of sexual harassment? Like the casting couch owners, they too offer their paramours a deal: a gilded lifestyle in exchange for sex. As with casting couch victims, women who turn down such a deal are barred from the life of privilege that is offered to them; and so many choose not to resist. Is it not another example of powerful men exploiting vulnerable women? Where does one draw the line?

These women have a choice. They can say no. Tragically, sometimes the option isn’t there. That is the verboten zone, the land of the non-consensual; and we have laws to deal with those who transgress. The problem is that certain doctrinaire activists are busy redrawing the borders to come up with a map that is more in line with their ideological objectives. This is not hyperbole. The indoctrination is real, and it works. Former US President George Bush Sr. has apologized in response to an allegation by a young actress, Heather Lind, who has alleged the ex-president “sexually assaulted” her in 2014. The actress, now thirty, waited three years before accusing a wheelchair-bound nonagenarian suffering from Parkinson’s Disease of “touching her from behind” and telling Lind a dirty joke. Why the delay? “What comforts me is that I too can use my power, which isn’t so different from a president really,” Lind explained. This, then, is the true colour of modern feminism, which is not about equality and empowerment, but reverse inequality and overpowerment. (I seem to recall a delightful scene from the movie Disclosure, in which a female character who has complained about the protagonist – played by Michael Douglas – having patted her on the posterior, jokingly pats him on the posterior in the end – a mischievous but unsettlingly prophetic gesture. Modern feminism is not about levelling the playing field and quashing a patriarchy that has become a relic of the past anyway; it is about demoting men.) Contemporary feminism teaches that women are abused and men are the abusers, that a war of nearly genocidal proportions is being perpetrated against the female sex, that men are inherently evil. Especially if they are white men. According to this discourse, men need to atone, apologize and repent, preferably on a daily basis. The whiter you are, the more spirited your self-flagellation needs to be. The strategy seems to be working. The media has had no shortage of men willing to make a public spectacle of themselves as they genuflect and beg forgiveness for, well, being males. Particularly white ones. Lind’s post, which has since been deleted, ended with the hashtag #metoo.

“#Metoo” indeed.

Feminist indoctrination has been so successful that many people now view the world strictly through the prism of gender fault lines. The ideology driving today’s agenda casts a long shadow over people’s perceptions. As the Weinstein scandal unfolded, another story briefly bubbled up to the headlines: the gruesome murder of journalist Kim Wall, who is believed to have been killed aboard a submarine while working on a news story. Police have charged the owner of the submarine with the crime. As tributes poured in on social media, some of the messages, typically left by women, took pains to emphasize the gender of the victim, as if the tragedy were just another chapter in the history of women’s rights; one message even referred to a war waged by men against women. A war? What war? This is not a crime by men against women; it’s a horrific act of violence committed by a depraved individual against a human being who happened to be a woman. But admitting as much would take the ideological wind out of feminism’s sails, which is unacceptable to that particular current of thought.

In order to be successful politically, an ideology has to have clear enemies. The man is the archenemy of feminism. However, the male gender is an abstraction; to be effective, the enemy has to have a human face. Weinstein is just such a face. As far as scapegoats go, Weinstein is a juicy target. He’s a male – strike one. He’s rich – strike two. He’s white – strike three. Of Jewish extraction – the cherry on the cake. But he is merely a convenient scapegoat, however easy he’s made it for others to turn him into one. You would have thought that Weinstein might have been eligible for the presumption of innocence principle, according to which the rage should follow the verdict and not vice versa; but when ideology and social media intersect, all gloves are off. The global community is ready to lynch Weinstein, even though, at the time of this writing, not a single charge has been laid against the man. But that’s all moot: Weinsteingate is not about Weinstein, as I have said. If Weinstein didn’t exist, he would have had to be invented. He is not the first; he won’t be the last.

The real loser isn’t Weinstein, nor the women who claim to have been victimized by him. The real loser is Western society, which is being held hostage by a feminism that has lost sight of its original goals. Far from empowering women, modern feminism is corrupting them – and, as a result, our civilization. It is an ideology that disseminates lies (as feminism does when it tries to deny differences between the two genders), promotes hatred of others, and erodes the foundations of our society.

That last bit is not a fanciful exaggeration. Feminism is one of the contributing factors to the demise of the traditional family and its concomitant population decline in Western countries. Not the sole one, to be sure, but it has had its inglorious effect; and every little bit counts. The strength of any society lies in its continuity, in its ability to replenish itself with minimal outside effort. A society that cannot do so will eventually require external help; in other words, its native population, along with its culture and way of life, is doomed. This is exactly what we are seeing in many West European countries today, where the host peoples are compelled to welcome large inflows of foreigners in order to assure the survival of their states. This need not be a major problem in a situation where the foreigners represent the same civilizational spectrum; however, the entire West – a West based on European civilization (from Canada to Russia) – is facing a demographic crisis. Europe therefore has to fall back on foreigners who hail from a civilization inherently different from the one that receives them. The Muslim polity in Europe has been aggressively asserting itself for years; in some areas, native Europeans are threatened with minority status. It is tempting to be an optimist and see a great bright future in these demographic shifts. Recent events, unfortunately, suggest that the long-term effects will be more along the lines of social anomy and, at worst, civil war. This is not doomsday talk; it is where doctrines that destabilize Western society can realistically lead.

The great irony is that the championship of women’s rights is not one of Islam’s strong suits, to say the least. Michel Houellebecq’s Submission offers a variant of the future we can all look forward to, and feminists are unlikely to find it a pleasant one. Submission is a dystopian novel, but the 20th century has shown that the journey from dystopia to reality might be short and comfortable. It will be tragicomic if a movement that started out fighting for equality in society should eventually become one of its pallbearers – and ultimately perish with it.