Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hank Pellissier criticises male-identified males

I'm reading Liberalism & the Limits of Justice by Michael J. Sandel. The useful thing about these academic works is that they discuss issues at the level of underlying principles. You get a better feel for what the real motive points for liberal politics are.

In the preface, Sandel defines the liberal conception of the person this way:

According to this conception, my dignity consists not in any social roles I inhabit but instead in my capacity to choose my roles and identities for myself. (xiv)

That is, of course, the autonomy theory I frequently criticise at this site. If you read this definition carefully, you can understand why Western modernity has turned out the way it has.

What does it mean for me to choose my roles and identities for myself? It means that roles or identities that are unchosen in any way are thought of negatively as impediments that the individual must be liberated from.

And which roles and identities are unchosen? All those which are inherited, either as part of a tradition or through our biological nature. That includes our biological sex, any family roles deriving from our biological sex, our sexuality, the traditional family, our ethnicity and our nationality.

The liberal assumption becomes that all of these identities and the roles connected to them are merely passing social constructs. Perhaps they never really existed at all except imaginatively in a traditionalist utopia. Or, if they are recognised to have a real existence, they must then be transcended as immoral and outmoded. Either way they must be made not to matter when it comes to what people choose to do.

That's why there's such consternation in Australia right now that there are more men than women in company boardrooms. This is an instance of our sex still having an influence, still mattering, when it comes to the roles people play in society. And that is something that liberalism cannot easily tolerate.

It explains too even more radical expressions of liberal modernity, such as the opinions put forth recently by Hank Pellissier. Pellissier likes the fact that Japanese scientists managed to create a mouse (named Kaguya) by a process of ova-fusion in which no sperm was required. Why is he so keen on the idea of reproduction without men?

Well, he doesn't like the fact of gender distinctions:

Personally, I’m tired of today’s gender polarity, the boy-girl chasm, with segregated shopping and play, the dominance-submissive flirting games, the mating and marriage manuals, the seduction rituals, the opening lines, the Mars and Venus dichotomy. Yeah, I’m sick of it. I’m ready to try something else.

He wants the world to go unisex instead. He also wants to determine intellectually for himself, whom he will be attracted to and when:

Wouldn’t a unisexual culture of Kaguyas be preferable? They’d be conveniently sterile, unless aided by biotech. Another feature I’d like Kaguyas to have would be an ON/OFF switch for libido so they could carnally, ecstatically bond with anyone at an opportune time. Far better than being enslaved to awkward, inappropriate arousal, like I was, at puberty...

...Can’t we transform ourselves — via gene therapy — to fall head-over-heels in love with mere intelligence, wit, and integrity?

Pellissier is himself married with children. And yet he sees the transgendered as the symbolic leaders of society:

A unisexual world…

Transgenders already are heading towards this abolition of sexual differentiation. Last spring, in Australia, 48-year-old Norrie May-Welby became the first person to be granted citizenship with non-specified gender status. A commenter from the UK’s Gender Trust claimed, “many people like the idea of being genderless.” Some observers believe that, after gay and lesbian equality is secured globally, the next struggle will be for “gender neutral” rights.

And who does he think stands in the way of progress toward this genderless, unisex utopia of his? Well, us, the people he calls "male-identified males", anti-feminists, conservatives and traditionalists:

Male-identified males, like the “anti-feminists” who furiously write to me, will battle, as they always have, unwilling to surrender any turf in the civilization that they can arguably claim they created. Conservatives, traditionalists, and religionists will mightily resist, appalled that anyone would want to improve the “Adam & Eve” polarity that has plagued us.

The term "male-identified male" is significant here. Remember, the liberal conception of the person is that my human dignity consists in my capacity to choose my own identity and roles. I don't choose the fact that I am male. Therefore, it is consistent with the liberal view to believe that I should not be a "male-identified male" - that there is something backward or regressive in being a man with such an identity.

That's where liberal modernity takes you, at least if you're ideological enough to take the liberal conception of the person to that level. Hank Pellissier remains an outlier for now, but the principle he follows is a dominant one in the West, and we traditionalists would do well to live up to Pellissier's characterisation of us as being "unwilling to surrender any turf in the civilization that they can arguably claim they created."

21 comments:

  1. O wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here!
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
    That has such people in it!

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  2. Pellissier has also written, elsewhere, about how voting rights should be stripped from men, because men just get in the way of a more enlightened, female, government.

    He's not really sex-neutral, he's pro-female and anti-male. That makes sense when you consider that eliminating sex/gender means feminization, because we all actually start life as female-type in the womb, but some of us differentiate into male type. So eliminating sex differences really means a reversion to the universality of the female, which is what Pellessier is after -- he's quite simply a misandrist feminist tool.

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  3. Liberals have the guts to say that liberalism has always been normal, that they are the guardians of what is right and good (even though there is no such thing as right and wrong btw) and that we are endlessly progressing (indeed evolving like the whole theory of evolution from Darwin) towards a perfection, utopic, democratic, egalitarian individualist society offered by liberalism (or the enlightement). Yeah right.

    Rome didn't fall in one day. Decay and the destruction of a society takes time. There is nothing new under the sun. History always repeats itself.

    Here is a plan on how to stop and derail liberalism --- http://bonald.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/what-is-our-plan/

    Here is something on Brussels Journal as well --- http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/4671

    The best thing would be maybe to create some traditionalist conservative society and another with liberalism. The ones who want to be reactionaries and conservatives and the liberals go to the other. And vice-versa. They basically immigrate to where they want to go.

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  4. "The ones who want to be reactionaries and conservatives go to one society and the liberals go to the other."

    Sorry for the spelling mistake.

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  5. I have no patience with the word 'gender' - unless it refers to a grammatical category used in classifying nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in some languages.

    When the word 'gender' is used instead of the more correct word 'sex', there's usually an assumption that men and women have not been equipped by nature to enable them to play different social roles. So-called 'gender theory' would have us believe that innate differences between the sexes are strictly biological, and all other roles and identities are contingent because they've been 'socially constructed'.

    Using the word 'gender' without this reservation admits a presumption of liberal discourse.

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  6. I don't choose the fact that I am male. Therefore, it is consistent with the liberal view to believe that I should not be a "male-identified male"

    But it is, oddly, not inconsistent with the liberal view to be a "female-identified female". Moreover, given this kind of rhetoric I can't help but wonder why any gay man is liberal.

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  7. Pellissier is himself married with children.

    His poor wife and kids!

    Mark, this is a great post - you excel at this kind of thing. You read this garbage, so I don't have to. Thankyou!

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  8. I have no patience with the word 'gender' - unless it refers to a grammatical category used in classifying nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in some languages.

    I totally agree. I almost used it myself, today, but happily wrote "sex" instead.

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  9. Elizabeth Smith said...
    "The best thing would be maybe to create some traditionalist conservative society and another with liberalism."

    Is this conservative society only for Christians? Do non-christians get included.

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  10. One question,

    If these guys actually believe this crap, how the hell do they ever get laid?

    I mean this guy is married [presumably not to a potplant] so somewhere along the line he would have had to pick up a woman, I have no idea how you could do that with such a twisted mentality.

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  11. ""Moreover, given this kind of rhetoric I can't help but wonder why any gay man is liberal.""

    because if they are not they get shunned.

    You live in a small, insular community and you rely on it for sex. Powerful motivators for conformity.

    Doesn't get all of em, but like the wider community many are intimidated.

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  12. "Is this conservative society only for Christians? Do non-christians get included."

    It's a traditionalist conservative society with various traditions of different natures (Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc) e.g. regionalism.

    "I mean this guy is married [presumably not to a potplant] so somewhere along the line he would have had to pick up a woman, I have no idea how you could do that with such a twisted mentality."

    At the university or anywhere infested with liberals (a leftist central of sorts).

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  13. I have a question for the MRA's. Does the immigration situation generally piss you off or are you predominantly one issue people?

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  14. Yet another liberal quandary. For all their arguments to nature ("only humans practice monogamy") and supposed environmentalism, liberals actually despise nature and the natural order.

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  15. "Yet another liberal quandary. For all their arguments to nature ("only humans practice monogamy") and supposed environmentalism, liberals actually despise nature and the natural order."
    The argument with nature is quite funny. Nature is very brutal and unforgiving. I read somewhere that for hunter-gatherer societies violent dead is the 2nd most common reason of dead (between 15-40% of all deads). Due to limited resources infanticide is common too and canibalism exist(ed) either. Sexual freedom and polygyny is fairly limited even in these societies (to reduce violence).

    You cannot just grab one thing from the (nature) package and ignore the rest.

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  16. Liz said...

    ""At the university or anywhere infested with liberals (a leftist central of sorts).""

    Nah I go to uni, most "feminist" males spend all three years sucking up to one girl trying to root her. The sportsy guys, international guys and country guys then pick up all the other girls while most of the blokes just get drunk with their friends and talk about whatever sad losers talk about..

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  17. James, if I were talking to them I'd tell them to hit the gym and become more "international" or country.

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  18. ""James, if I were talking to them I'd tell them to hit the gym and become more "international" or country.""

    Yup, you would think some of them would figure that out, but nope.

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  19. That fits what I've observed - the sporty guys are still doing well. I'll definitely be encouraging my son to keep up with his sports at uni.

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  20. Wingers are soooo behind. Who really follows party lines anymore? Apparently, many still try.

    Separatism IS the answer. I do hope the MRAs don't hesitate to create their own community all to themselves. Lord knows that's what females are doing in droves. I've seen the best fighters and best minds *ever* in feminists, personally. I don't advise screwing with them.

    Yes, gender is not for application to people. And replacing "sex" with "gender" on fill-out forms is especially troublesome.

    You are either male. Or female. That is the rule. You get what you get.

    The exception to the rule is "inter"sex (as if sex exists on a spectrum instead of as a binary...binary IS the reality of our universe...) is the exception. Note that exceptions cannot be used to make an argument.

    Anywhozzle,
    Hank is trying to ride the wave and get some tail in the process. He has not mentioned Andrea Dworkin or Mary Daly or Sheila Jeffries. Those are required fem 101 reading. He really has no business calling himself anything but a PRO-feminist. But if he wants to hurt his own case for the long-term and pay for it later, then I guess no one can really stop him.

    He admitted he wants to be the sex toy of the matriarchs. Yeah a dude in that situation really wouldn't get laid very much. He'd need to pleasure women with cunnilingus. Or not. Whatevz works. Then, when a woman wanted a baby, she'd just go to the lab and fuse her egg with another female's egg. It's really only a three step procedure. So. Yeah. There you have it.
    -Anornoe

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  21. Oops. Should be Sheila *Jeffreys*.
    -Anornoe

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