Monday, June 25, 2018

The bugman

I've been noticing an increasing number of references on social media to "bugmen". I didn't know what the term was referring to, so I looked it up and found a wonderful description by Adam Winfield, titled "On the infestation of small-souled bugmen".

It's too uniformly good to pull out a quote to highlight, so I suggest you click the link and read the whole thing. If I really had to summarise it, I'd say it has to do with the cost to the human personality of trying to adapt to the corporate and technocratic side of liberal modernity

Saturday, June 16, 2018

She didn't get the memo?

Hayley Hendrix
Hayley Hendrix is a Perth woman who, being single in her early 40s, used a sperm donor she found on Facebook to conceive a child.

She's not alone in doing this, but she is right in line with modern ideology in how she frames her life choices.

Why did she wait until 42 to become a mother? She very honestly describes how she spent her prime years of youthful fertility:
I'm really ready at 42 to be a mother. I was too career focused, too 'me-oriented' to have done this a decade ago. I was living in Los Angeles – it was a hectic lifestyle and there is a real Peter Pan syndrome going on there.

'You almost never grow up and I suppose this is how I missed the memo for motherhood,' Ms Hendrix said.

'I was thinking of where to travel next, what bar was the coolest place to be seen at, who was the coolest person to hang out with.

'Life now is a world apart, filled with unwashed hair and dirty nappies. And I couldn’t be happier. I am more fulfilled now than I ever have been.'

Ms Hendrix explained that living in LA, she felt a void that is gone now. These days, she feels deeply rewarded by the simple things in life.

'Remy’s smile has filled my heart,' she proudly told Femail.

'I am really present with him – he is getting all of me so it is the best of both worlds for the two of us. Not only did I have a miracle child, I really found my purpose.'

It's not that there were no potential fathers to be had, but that she followed the liberal script and spent her younger years in pursuit of an "expressive individualism" in which we focus on those things we can choose as autonomous individuals, such as career, travel and food - as well as casual, uncommitted relationships.

Hayley Hendrix admits that this realm of choice was not genuinely fulfilling or purposeful, and that she has found herself in motherhood, but she just can't let go of her ideological commitments. This is how she justifies single motherhood:
Ms Hendrix wants women to know that they are the authors of their own story, and that regardless of their relationship status, they too can become a mother just like her.

She added that while she acknowledges that there are strangers out there who may disagree with her choice, she wants to share her story publicly to show women that there is no 'right' way to have children.

'It's about breaking down stigma and purely traditional ways of thinking.'

So she's learnt nothing. Instead of admitting "I should not have wasted my prime fertile years doing insubstantial things" she is instead claiming to be a liberal heroine who is the author of her own story (autonomous) and who is breaking down traditional ways of thinking (i.e. breaking down limits on individual choice).

It was this focus on maximising autonomous choice that got her into trouble in the first place, yet she is doubling down on it and encouraging other women to do the same thing.

And it's a lie. She claims that there is no right way to have children. Yet her child will grow up without having a father in his life. And she herself, as a mother, will lose the depth of love and support that would have come from a relationship with the father of her child. She is pushing toward a kind of spiritual barrenness or sterility in denying our more profound relational needs in favour of an "I can choose any which way" mentality.

We are "creatures" in the sense of having a given, created nature and therefore there are necessarily limits on what we can rightly choose if we wish to genuinely flourish as individuals within a community.

There are even leftists now who are using the word "slave" to express how they feel within a modern, liberal society. They are expressing a deeper intuition here, that freedom is not really being able to choose insubstantial things as an autonomous individual. We do not really experience this as a state of control or agency, but as powerlessness over ourselves and our society. In the classical tradition, freedom was more usually understood as an acquired ability to govern ourselves, through habits of virtue, which would then give rise to communities oriented the same way, i.e. in which men were able to apply self-limitations not only to preserve political freedoms, but to live within a community that was able to orient itself toward the good.

Hayley Hendrix changed her surname after having her Facebook baby:
Ms Hendrix, formerly Hayley Chapman, changed her surname as a result of her experience with social media sperm donation to represent the new chapter she had forged for herself and baby Remy.

'I did it to show that Remy and I are a family in our own right.

'I am my own person on my own mission –I don’t need to wait for someone else.'

I'm not sure what exactly to make of this. I suspect, though, that it is another assertion of individual autonomy, in the form of rejecting a connection both to the past and future. Usually our surname marks a particular family lineage that connects us to generations past, present and future. When you select your own surname, to mark yourself as "a family in our own right", then it is just you and the baby as a one generational unit and identity.

It's noteworthy that Hayley Hendrix is a very good looking woman. In most eras, she would have had no trouble finding a high quality man to form a family with. Yet, having embraced the liberal anticulture, she found herself in her later 30s "desperately seeking" motherhood. All she aspired to by this time was to be impregnated by an anonymous man.

It doesn't have to be this way. Last week I visited a family I've known for a couple of years now. I walked in at a good time - they were all on the couch, laughing together - father, mother, three children and another on the way. You could sense the familial love, of the kind that most people aspire to.

The parents have achieved this at a relatively early age, early 30s at the most. How? In their case, they have a serious commitment to an independent church, and therefore to marriage, family and parenthood.

Now, a lot of churches have collapsed into liberal modernity, and many more will not resist liberalism when it comes to issues of nation and identity. But this family nonetheless illustrates the point, that if there is an active community of people, with serious and explicit non-liberal commitments, that a culture different to the liberal mainstream, with different social outcomes, can be generated.

A note to Melbourne readers. If you are sympathetic to the ideas of this website, please visit the site of the Melbourne Traditionalists. It's important that traditionalists don't remain isolated from each other; our group provides a great opportunity for traditionalists to meet up and connect. Details at the website.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Millennia of woe?

A feminist by the name of Suzanna Danuta Walters has written an opinion piece for the Washington Post with the title "Why can't we hate men?"

I found the piece interesting because it spells out so clearly the logic of the feminist position.

I have been writing for many years that if feminists took their theories seriously that they would be, at the very least, deeply conflicted in their attitudes to men. After all, feminists claim that throughout history men have organised together to create privilege for themselves at the expense of women; that men enact violence against women to uphold this privilege; and that at the core of society is a conflict between the two sexes for power and status.

If you were a woman who really believed that, then it would be logical to see men as the enemy and to have some sort of negative feelings towards men as a class of people.

And Suzanna Walters (a professor of sociology) acknowledges this: seems logical to hate men...Women experience sexual violence, and the threat of that violence permeates our choices big and small. In addition, male violence is not restricted to intimate-partner attacks or sexual assault but plagues us in the form of terrorism and mass gun violence...wage inequality continues to permeate every economy and almost every industry...women have less access to education, particularly at the higher levels; women have lower rates of property ownership.

...So, in this moment, here in the land of legislatively legitimated toxic masculinity, is it really so illogical to hate men? For all the power of #MeToo and #TimesUp and the women’s marches, only a relatively few men have been called to task, and I’ve yet to see a mass wave of prosecutions or even serious recognition of wrongdoing. On the contrary, cries of “witch hunt” and the plotted resurrection of celebrity offenders came quick on the heels of the outcry over endemic sexual harassment and violence. But we’re not supposed to hate them because . . . #NotAllMen. I love Michelle Obama as much as the next woman, but when they have gone low for all of human history, maybe it’s time for us to go all Thelma and Louise and Foxy Brown on their collective butts.

...So men, if you really are #WithUs and would like us to not hate you for all the millennia of woe you have produced and benefited from, start with this: Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down. Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power. We got this. And please know that your crocodile tears won’t be wiped away by us anymore. We have every right to hate you. You have done us wrong. #BecausePatriarchy. It is long past time to play hard for Team Feminism. And win.

It's all there. Men have created "millennia of woe" for women so that women "have every right to hate you". The suggested solution is for men to play for the other team by giving up all power ("Don't be in charge of anything").

Nor is this is new feature of feminism. In 1913 a male feminist by the name of W.L. George noted of the "new women" of his era that:
The "New Woman", as we know her to-day, a woman who is not so new as the woman who will be born of her, is a very unpleasant product; armed with a little knowledge, she tends to be dogmatic in her views and offensive in argument. She tends to hate men, and to look upon Feminism as a revenge; she adopts mannish ways, tends to shout, to contradict, to flout principles because they are principles; also she affects a contempt for marriage which is the natural result of her hatred of man.

Again, we should not be surprised as the same logic was at work in 1913 as it is more than a century later.

Professor Walters appears to be a lesbian and so can more readily embrace the logic of the feminist position. For heterosexual feminists the situation is more difficult: they have to reconcile the logic of their politics with their desire for relationships with particular men. The difficulty of achieving this is magnified when you consider that feminist women are not likely to be attracted to servile men who are willing to roll over and give up masculine power. The result is an uneasy compromise between the personal and the political for more serious feminists, whilst most women continue to refuse to identify as feminists at all.

The larger point, of course, is that feminist assumptions have to be challenged. The picture that feminists have of the past is, mostly, a strange one. It does not acknowledge the sacrifices that men made on behalf of their wives and children; nor does it recognise that men and women, rather than being set apart, mostly worked together for the larger benefit of their families and communities (ultimately producing Western civilisation).

I want to finish on a positive note, so I'm going to praise, again, the work of traditionalist women on social media, who are pushing a much more positive message of men and women cooperating together for larger purposes of love, family, community and culture. In no particular order, here are some of the traditionalist women worth following on Twitter:

Sarah Jean Gosney:





A note to Melbourne readers. If you are sympathetic to the ideas of this website, please visit the site of the Melbourne Traditionalists. It's important that traditionalists don't remain isolated from each other; our group provides a great opportunity for traditionalists to meet up and connect. Details at the website.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Why the fatal delay?

Chandler is a feminist woman. One day she wants to get married and have children. But not now. Not in her twenties. She thinks all women should wait until very late in the piece:

It's a popular message. Her tweet has over 160,000 likes and 50,000 retweets. But why would Chandler hold these views?

The answer is that Chandler is a follower. She is a follower of the ruling ideology of the age, namely liberalism. Liberalism tells Chandler that the primary good in life is that of autonomy. Autonomy means that a woman aims to develop solo as an individual rather than as a wife or a mother within a family. It means that a woman aims to be independent rather than interdependent. It means that she aims for power ("empowerment") rather than love. It means that she aims for things she can choose as an atomised individual, such as career or travel, rather than goods that are fulfilled within a family or a community.

Chandler answered her critics with the following tweets:

The problem for Chandler is that she wants contradictory things. She wants to have a husband and children. But she also wants to follow liberalism and believe in autonomy as the highest good. And so she attempts to resolve the dilemma by dedicating women's youth to the liberal goal of autonomy and their older age to the non-liberal one of family.

It's not a wise strategy. Consider the following:
  • Chandler will spend her formative years deliberately rejecting a culture of family and relationships in favour of individualistic goods of empowerment and autonomy. It will not be easy for her to switch over to being a wife and mother when the time comes. Is she not likely to resent the compromises that occur within a marriage?
  • It is likely that she will pursue numerous unserious relationships with men in her twenties, collecting emotional baggage along the way and damaging her ability to pair bond with just one man.
  • She will not attempt to find a husband or conceive children until long after the peak of her youthful attractiveness and fertility. Her options will be limited compared to other women.
  • Many of the men who are forced to wait will adapt to a bachelor lifestyle. It will be difficult to sustain a family man culture.

Here is Chandler advertising the "too many boyfriends already = emotional baggage" problem:

She seems to be repressing healthy maternal instincts in order to follow the liberal path:

How sad that the ideology of the day leads Chandler to deny herself something that is so fundamental to her sex. She has become an outsider to herself. If she could only free herself of her ideological bindings, she could be more openly oriented to the things she fatally delays.

A note to Melbourne readers. If you are sympathetic to the ideas of this website, please visit the site of the Melbourne Traditionalists. It's important that traditionalists don't remain isolated from each other; our group provides a great opportunity for traditionalists to meet up and connect. Details at the website.