Monday, March 23, 2009

Twisty out of form?

I have to say, Twisty, that I'm a little disappointed. You have long been the most interesting of feminists as you are so fearless in drawing out the logic of liberal politics. No unprincipled exceptions for you. No concern to be pragmatic either. Pure theory applied to the lives of men and women.

And then you went and wrote a post on your "consent scheme". And showed what you're really about.

What is your consent scheme? You don't like the existing law in which a woman must prove that she did not consent to sex for a charge of rape to be upheld. You suggest the following alternative:

According to my scheme, women would abide in a persistent legal condition of not having given consent to sex. Conversely, men ... would abide in a persistent legal state of pre-rape.

Women can still have all the sex they want; if they adjudge that their dude hasn’t raped them, all they have to do is not call the cops.

But if, at any time during the course of the proceedings ... or if, in three hours or three days or, perhaps in the case of childhood abuse, in 13 years it begins to dawn on her that she has been badly used by an opportunistic predator, she has simply to make a call.

Presto! The dude is already a rapist, because, legally, consent never existed.

The cessation of rape would be immediate. Men would begin aligning their boinking protocols along non-barbaric lines in a hurry. It would suddenly be in their best interest to make damn sure that nothing in their behavior ... would cause their partner to believe she has been abused.

How to explain this? It does relate somewhat to patriarchy theory. This is the idea that society has been organised to uphold the unearned privilege of men as a class over oppressed women. Therefore violence against women is thought to be systemic: a form of social control enacted by men in general rather than a specific crime perpetrated by individual men.

If you think that rape is systemic, then you are more likely to favour the kind of radical proposal outlined by Twisty.

But this time I don't think it really has to do with intellectual principles taken to the nth degree. Twisty's proposal is "utopian" in another way: as a means of legalising the control of men by women. It is a feminist assertion of power over men.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Twisty should cast about for such a scheme. Traditionally women gained a measure of power in their relationships with men through marriage and family; a woman could ask things of a man who loved her and who was committed to his role as a husband.

For (self-described) spinster radical feminists like Twisty, though, this kind of leverage over men is not an option. They cannot make claims on men through personal relationships, so they have to use more formal means to assert power over men.

Twisty is none too subtle in her strategy; her scheme would create a tremendous fallout between the sexes. It would be yet another civilisational blow, something which won't worry Twisty as she identifies her society as being an immoral patriarchy.

Twisty, I would rather you kept writing according to your intellectual principles, no matter how misguided I hold those principles to be. It's a much more useful, interesting and admirable exercise than confessing to unwieldy ambitions for power and control over men.


  1. Wow! Talk about no concern for reality.

    The end result will be a dramatic upswing in the number of women murdered. Especially in countries where the death penalty has been ruled inhumane. A man would literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain by killing a woman and disposing of her body after sex.

  2. That's a very good point Andy. It would certainly increase instances of homicide (err, femicide? lol).

    Twisty's obsession with power suggests to me that she has some sort of emotional dysfunction. Why would any healthy woman be so... twisted?

  3. I wonder if that logic applys to burritos and beer.

    If I over eat and drink a bit too much and start regretting it(99% of the time), maybe I can have the vendor charged for unsolicited provision of food....

    Great point Mark, by opting out of marriage the mechanisms for interpersonal influence over men are destroyed.

  4. This kind of thinking is, of course, quite widespread among feminists; though not usually so blatantly expressed. Not only does Twisty envisage a world in which men are to be treated as disposable dildoes without rights, her proposal also divests women of the dignity of personal choice by denying their ability to make self-regarding decisions. Men as monsters/women as perpetual children.

    An acquaintance of mine: a very bright, very middle class, very PC young law student, argues that the best way to deal with prostitution is to impose heavy penalties on clients (and, presumably, pimps), and none on "sex workers." The moral here would be the same: women, stripped of their autonomy by patriarchy, are not to be held responsible for their choices; but when those choices are held to be detrimental to their wellbeing by some panel of Jacobin experts, someone's (male) head must roll!

  5. Also, I don't agree that twisty is out of form here at all. I think everyone here is familiar with examples of coercive\paternalistic liberal policy and has a fair idea how such policies originate in the liberal mindset. If you start with an ideology of absolute human equality and autonomy, it's going to come up against all sorts of real-world contradictions. E.g., if women continue to marry men and play something like the traditional mother-wife role, their behaviour contradicts the theory of gender-equality/interchageability. So either the theory must go, or else the facts must be reinterpreted so that women's choices do not appear really their own. So a mythical institution called the "Patriarchy" is invented and held to be responsible for brainwashing women into accepting traditional roles. This extravagant postulate then acts as a justification for sex-war: because the enemy is so big and powerful, women need a big, powerful, feminist state to combat its power FOR THEM.

    Warren Farrell's book "The Myth of Male Power" supports my contention here with its detailed account of the many ways in which the law treats women differently: awarding lighter sentences for the same offences; recognising women-only defences (battered-wife syndrome, PMT, post-natal depression, etc.). It's interesting to note how feminism actually plays on outmoded notions of chivalry and feminine purity/innocence to exculpate women and blame men. Traditionalists must be careful, then, to resist the temptation to play the knight in shining armour-- e.g. "conservative" judges teaming up with the likes of Andrea Dworkin to ban pornography as violence against women!

  6. I appreciate your last point, Jal, about being careful not to fall into the trap of blaming men and exculpating women. Twisty's notions about rape and consent, although bizarre and abhorrent, are the logical extension of feminist notions such as sexual objectification (which many traditionalists and conservatives often view as harmless or even correct). This is the danger of accepting feminism in any form, moderate or otherwise.

  7. I doubt there would be an increase in homicide. The kind of man who would kill after consentual sex is violent enough to perform genuine rape/murder already. Most people will not murder another person in the absence of extreme cause.

    Women also know the kind of guy who is genuinely too dangerous to accuse falsely of Rape because it would certainly lead to her death, so she would refrain from the accusation.

    Net effect: same homicide rate.

    The only real result is a whole lot more innocent men in jail, followed by a whole lot more prosecutors looking the other way on rape allegations. Less justice all the way around.

  8. Roci,

    There would be an increase in homicide for the very simple reason that any rapist who would not otherwise be intending to kill his victim, would do so under the circumstances Twity recommends. You'd be surprised how people come to find themselves in the position of being accused of murder or manslaughter.

  9. She ignores the differing natures between men and women again. Women would be miserable with such overt, coercive power over men. Women want to be desired and protected, not feared.

    I guess if human depopulation isthe goal, this scheme would certainly result in less babies.

  10. She ignores the differing natures between men and women again.

    And will do so again and again and again and again and again.

    Because it's not so much "liberalism" or "feminism" that guides her (or her ilk), it's plain hatred and fear of reality and the delusion that it can all just be talked away. There's no theory or principle there -- one "theory" doesn't work out, no prob, junk it and pluck another one out of thin air. Pretty easy, really.

    Richo, the more "wrong" you prove her, the more she'll dig her heels in. I've got a better idea: a home address and a good kicking the living F out of her. Think of it as "shock therapy". Barbaric, sure, but calls to arms are "conservative", aren't they? It'd sure save everybody the hassle of splitting hairs over this arrant nonsense, and, more importantly, spare society the folly of following the lead of dud "thinkers" like her. Time to get the ball rolling, I say. :)

  11. Silver, it's not Twisty I'm hoping to influence writing articles like the above. Of course Twisty is going to keep on with the patriarchy theory and, as you note, even if patriarchy theory went out of fashion she would find some other losing idea to express whatever underlying discontents she has with her own society and tradition.

    The point is to influence what the future right will be. In the past, the opposition to radical leftists like Twisty has been poorly directed. Those who were instinctively against it fell into a pre-existing liberal right.

    The right-liberal tradition promoted itself as being more patriotic and pro-family, but it was based on a view of an abstracted, market-oriented individual "liberated" from impediments to individual autonomy.

    So no matter how much energy went into right-liberalism, you still got the view that ethnicity shouldnt' matter, that gender shouldn't matter and so on.

    We need a non-liberal right. One which accepts the significance to individuals of communal traditions, of ethny, of history, of virtue, of family and of gender.

    We have to break the political pattern, the mould that people are stuck in. This won't happen if an alternative type of politics is never even articulated.

  12. Take it easy, Mark. The smiley at the end was there for a reason. I do think you could punctuate your points a little more forcefully, though, just for the benefit of your readers if nothing else.

    We have to break the political pattern, the mould that people are stuck in. This won't happen if an alternative type of politics is never even articulated.

    I'd love to see a bit more articulating as you go about your refuting, just to help ward off reflexive fears about "but if you're right, if the things you say matter really do matter, that means...<gulp>".

    The point is to influence what the future right will be.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to focus your critiques on the Johnny Ray Jays and the Andrew Bolts (meh, the National Observers too) rather than twisted far leftards then, or at least to do so at the same time? It's they who'll siphon off and divert the increasing support for your views that events are likely to drive.

  13. Wouldn't it make more sense to focus your critiques on the Johnny Ray Jays and the Andrew Bolts ...

    Fair point.