Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Another feminist falls

Sandra Hochman was a second-wave American feminist, perhaps best known for a documentary film Year of the Woman.

Her daughter, Ariele Leve, has published a book, An Abbreviated Life, giving an account of her childhood. If it is an accurate portrayal, then it is clear that her feminist mother was psychologically disordered, possibly borderline or narcissist.

It's another case of modern society being influenced by people unfit for the role.

You can read reviews of Ariele Leve's book, including descriptions of her mother's unusual behaviour, here and here.


  1. then it is clear that her feminist mother was psychologically disordered, possibly borderline or narcissist

    The interesting question is - does feminism attract psychologically disordered women or does it cause the psychological disordering?

    1. It is an interesting question. I suspect that feminism attracts psychologically disordered women but then deepens the disorder rather than alleviating it. The radical leaders tend to be the worst, as they commit wholly to a doctrine that is at odds with normal heterosexual relationships, motherhood and love. I've listed before at this site all of the leaders of second wave feminism who had severe "daddy issues", including Germaine Greer ("Dadddy, we hardly knew you"). Kate Millett is another leading feminist light who ended up with severe mental health issues. For me the real issue here is why a society would entrust something as serious as family formation to the *least* well-ordered people in society - it should be the other way round.

    2. I am currently reading a book called From Morality to Mental Health by Mike W. Martin. The intro includes this: "...The line between character flaws and personality disorders has become fuzzy, with even the seven deadly sins seen as mental disorders. In addition to pathologising wrong-doing, we also psychologise virtue; self-respect becomes self-esteem, integrity becomes psychological integration, and responsibility becomes maturity... Mike W. Martin asks: are we replacing morality with therapy, in potentially confused and dangerous ways, or are we creatively integrating morality and mental health? According to him it's a little of both..."

      As a quick aside, I find self-respect, integrity and responsibility are ultimately "outpourings" or other-centric, while self-esteem, psychological integration and maturity are "egocentric". I'm reminded of the words of John Ruskin: "He who is wrapped up in himself makes a very small package."

      Anyway, I think a morally compromised, or morally weak person (weak in character) may look to a Cause for self-fulfillment or affirmation. They then develop an exhaustive worldview based on this Cause, which eventually subsumes you. Because any Cause is ultimately a movable feast, it takes bizarre stretches of mental gymnastics to keep it legitimate and meaningful. That must ultimately take a huge mental toll. I suppose that's paraphrasing what Mark has said.

      I think it ultimately boils down to how "devout" you are as a feminist, as to the degree this Cause subsumes you.

      Interesting enough, the more devout you are as a Christian, the more Christ-like you ought become. Whereas, any human Cause, seems to create a scenario where the more devout you are, the more likely mental illness is to present.

      Having said that, and a comment for a different time, could explore the correlation between mental health and religious fervour, ala Jim Jones, and the like.

      I think a lot of these interplays hinge on moral robustness, hence the point from Mike W. Martin.

    3. Interesting Matt, thanks for that.