Thursday, July 05, 2012

So obvious as to be ridiculous

Twenty years ago I was studying at Melbourne University and thinking that my female peers were absolutely nuts.

They had decided that family formation was something to be shoved off to their late 30s. It seemed crazy to me - why would you imperil something that was so important by leaving it to the absolute last moment?

Tory Maguire is an Australian writer who has a column in today's Herald Sun in which she finally acknowledges that she and her friends were mistaken in wanting to delay things for so long:
I remember when I was at school having conversations with my girlfriends about how we were all going to wait until our late 30s to have kids. That gave us a whole 20 years to have a great time before starting a family, which we thought would be as easy as saying "OK, now it's time".

Of course, nothing is that simple.

Just ask Virginia Haussegger, one of the first to sound the alarm on this topic, with her 2002 column "The sins of our feminist mothers".

Haussegger argued women who were raised to believe they could put off children until their career was established were sold a lie. At the time it caused a storm and spawned a book.

Now it seems so obvious as to be ridiculous.

It's interesting how political ideas change over time. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, at the height of third wave feminism, the emphasis was all on female autonomy. What mattered was propping up female independence of men. That's one reason why the single girl lifestyle was pushed so hard for so long; it's not that women wanted to abandon marriage, but that a long delay allowed independence to be drawn out for much longer.

It wasn't easy to criticise feminism at the time - if you raised objections you were labelled sexist or misogynist. There was a lot of pressure brought to bear to suppress dissent.

Nonetheless the orthodoxy eventually cracked. I was a one man opposition on campus at the time, when a conservative documentary maker, Don Parham, made a film called Deadly Hurt which criticised feminist attitudes to domestic violence. (Don Parham has a website here)

Parham's documentary came at the right time. It allowed others to speak up and make criticisms - feminism was no longer untouchable.

And then some years ago the men's rights movement took off. Instead of just a few scattered critics of feminism like myself there was now a small movement.

The political atmosphere when it comes to feminist type topics is now very different to what it once was. For instance, Tory Maguire also published her column at an independent opinion site called The Punch. It's not, as far as I'm aware, a conservative website, but look at the cartoon and the comments accompanying the post.

That cartoon would not have been published in 1990 - it would have been thought too subversive of the political projects then underway. And though the comments aren't particularly traditionalist, nor are they written from an ideologically feminist perspective either. The conversation about whether or not to delay family hasn't been strangled as it would have been 20 years ago.

So what happened to propel the men's rights movement into existence? I am guessing that the attitude that men were supposed to adopt, that they were privileged oppressors who should devote themselves to propping up female autonomy, just became too far distant from the reality of men's lives and from what younger men were able to endure.

Another factor, perhaps, was the disruption to relationships that happened to Generation X. It became harder for men to do the normal thing of finding a female partner and then having the motivation to commit to careers. The feeling that "things aren't what they're meant to be" would have been strongly present for many men.

And there's a lesson in this for traditionalists. We shouldn't presume that Westerners will forever assent to the idea that their role is to identify with the other rather than having a collective life of their own. It might seem now that this type of belief is so orthodox that it's impregnable, but so did feminism seem to be in this position just two decades ago.

As the position of Westerners declines, the idea that we are a privileged social construct might well lose its hold on some members of the political class. That could happen particularly early in Australia, as the professions here are likely to be held increasingly by other groups.

And if that point of "unendurability" does happen, having even a small group of traditionalists would be a tremendous advantage in pushing things along. For instance, when the men's rights movement first appeared it was relatively open to suggestion. But there were too few traditionalists active in the movement and so it gradually veered toward "reimagining liberalism" rather than rejecting it. I suspect that if there had even been 20 traditionalists early on the outcome might have been different.

Is it really impossible to imagine getting a layer of traditionalists ready for opportunities that might arise in the coming years?


  1. Well, one very important reason that feminism and other forms of PC lunacy no longer have - on even the stupidest Australian campuses - the free ride which they had in (say) 1990, is the Internet. The rise to ubiquity of the Internet (not only or primarily within Australia, of course) has done more to empower genuine conservatives - as opposed to right-liberal girly-men - than any other event in my lifetime.

    In 2012 even the stupidest feminazi, when confronted with the presence of at least one Mere Male in her audiences, is apt to find herself musing along the following lines: "Hmmm, this man might be running an anti-feminist blog somewhere. Thus he might expect arguments instead of the crotch-driven billingsgate which I can usually serve up, unquestioned, to the sistas. I might be required to sharpen up my act, intellectually speaking." Whereas in 1990 that musing would have been impossible: back then, it would never have occurred to feminazis as a hypothesis - let alone as a probability - that there could be honest cognitive disagreement with their totalitarian religion.

  2. Neil Whitmont, excellent point.

    It's true that back in 1990 there was a closed information loop - the media, schools and universities would all push the same line. It made dissent a lot more difficult and it's correct that it also made feminists and others on the left intellectually lazy.

    I can remember a few times that I challenged some on the left and their first response was a kind of bewilderment - they had never really had to defend their positions before.

    I remember one time in particular I got into a debate with a young lefty male in a very beautiful street in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern. He said to me "Australian culture? There is no such thing. What culture does Australia have?"

    I pointed to the wonderful garden suburb we were surrounded by and he didn't know how to respond. It occurred to me as I watched him floundering for something to say that probably nobody had ever disagreed with him before.

  3. The internet is a blessing. Soon enough when the upper class Anglo Australians are being displaced economically and territorially. They will have no other choice but to finally form a political alliance with the largest suppressed minority group. That being the lower class Anglo.

    It's really sad how divided we have become spiritually, ideologically, and geographically. Particularly in the cities, which is the hub of cultural influence.

    One thing Australia still has going for it, is the back bone of rural Australia. Not that the liberal right, left and wage reducing capitalists haven't tried to break it.

  4. Sadly, Craig, I think elite whites would (quite literally) rather die than form a political or any other kind of alliance with prole whites.

  5. It's really sad how divided we have become spiritually, ideologically, and geographically.

    Agreed. I've got a post on this coming up soon. There are inner city, white collar, middle-class, liberal whites who seem to define their existence in opposition to outer suburban, blue collar, more conservative whites.

    It's not a healthy division to have - these are unhealthy and unviable tribal markers.

    Anon, I'm not so sure. I agree that it's unlikely that the white elite will go over as a whole, but I don't think it's impossible there will be shedding.

    Again, look at what happened with the men's rights thing. In the 1980s it was a marker of being a "superior" leftist man that you supported feminism. That was something that seemed rock solid, despite the fact that feminism was eroding the position of men in general.

    I used to wonder how white men could endure being part of the left when they were cast in the role of villains - they got to play the role of oppressor, which then meant they lost moral status.

    Still for a period of time leftist men stuck with it. And then suddenly in the early 2000s the leftist male identification with feminism started to break.

    Even though most of these men continue to identify as leftist their shift in position helped to open up the political landscape.

  6. Good post, right on, positive attitude :)

  7. Little did I suppose, when I posted here yesterday, that my point about the Internet's blessings would be proven so dramatically by VDARE's report on Baltimore's latest explosion of ... ahem ... all that vibrant creativity which African-Americans are so good at:

    As VDARE puts it: "The MSM [mainstream media] must know that they are defeated by technology and that Black violence can no longer be hidden."

    Or as expatriate US Marine turned Mexican columnist Fred Reed put it presciently several years ago:

    "The media can't change. They are too close to being part of the government they purport to cover, too steeped in the artificial egalitarianism of the newsroom, too afraid of each other, of advertisers, of being racist or sexist, too big and smug and ossified. They cannot report anything that might disturb blacks, women, homosexuals, Jews, Latinos, or mental defectives. Although the rosy-fingered dawn may now be penetrating the hitherto intractable darkness, too many journalists live in the past. Like IBM when it thought that the personal computer was a funny little typewriter, they stare into the tiger's maw and think that it's a closet. They would probably invest in slide rules. How are these hobbled organs going to compete with the wild west of the web, with its limitless well-argued sites espousing or denouncing every imaginable point of view? Compete with people who document things that the majors can't even talk about? A conceit of the usual media is that the web consists of inaccurate vanity sites run by teenage bloggers in garages. These exist. So do very researched sites by people who know their fields and are not afraid to talk about them. The difference is stark. The intelligent know it."

    The whole Reed column is here:

  8. Neil, sad to say it only proves that the internet is flawed, by virtue of the fact that the Baltimore report was from LAST year's festivies-gone-wrong. The confusion was due to Unamused changing his URL in the interim.

    Some mahem at Chicago's fireworks this time around though, root cause found in white oppression, according to the police chief there.

  9. Dear sir,

    We discovered your blog via the Thinking Housewife blog. We know what it is like to oppose feminism, and we started our own blog recently to do just that (among other things, e.g politics and the left-wing agenda).

    We live in Northern Ireland, we are a married couple with one child, and we are evangelical Christians.

    Perhaps you would be interested in reading our blog. It is found at

    Best wishes, from the Whites.

  10. "Is it really impossible to imagine getting a layer of traditionalists ready for opportunities that might arise in the coming years?"

    Yes. Conservatives couldn't hold onto power when they had it, showing a complete lack of concern for themselves, their families, the culture and the country as a whole.

    It's impossible to think that a few of these failures, even working together, will do anything but make things worse. Thereby continuing the work they've been doing.

    Decades too late, $billions too short, even if traditionalists weren't already proven failures.

  11. Anon,

    I'm talking about principled traditionalist conservatives, not the right liberal types.

    And how do you know that the traditionalist movement that ought to have formed 30 years ago wasn't held back by people saying exactly the sorts of things you're saying now.

  12. Exactly, Mr Richardson. Anon at 3:18:00 seems to be confusing traditionalists with gun-stealing, race-replacing wimps of the Howard government type.