The Legacy of Feminism 1 - The Attributes of Feminists

Examining a peculiar subculture.

Editor's Note: This series of articles was originally a speech delivered fifteen years ago.  It's interesting to note what has changed since then, and what hasn't.

We’re going to explore one of the great mysteries of life on this planet—one which has engrossed the minds of great men, has stymied many, and has, at one time or another, consumed most.

I am, of course, referring to Females.

Specifically, we'll address one particular type of female that has intruded herself on the American—well, the Western—political scene, especially in the past four decades or so.  I’m glad to say we don’t have too many of them around here; if we did, I probably couldn’t be doing this article.
This peculiar individual is seen on the news most every night; is prominent in Hollywood and business; but especially thrives in academia and politics.  If you can’t tell yet, I’m speaking of the infamous Feminist.

The early feminists had some legitimate grievances.  If all men were created equal, why weren’t all women?  Were they somehow a lesser species?  Well, no man is going to argue that women are—not if they want to get married, anyway—and of course neither am I.

So, around World War I, women were granted the right to vote, and other fair legal rights.  That was the goal of the suffragettes, as they were called, and they achieved it.

But feminism, as we call it today, did not die when it achieved its goals.  No, it found new goals, ones a little less obviously reasonable.  So let’s find out the attributes of a modern feminist; what makes them tick; and how you can know when you’re around one.

Not every woman is a feminist, and not even everyone that says they are really is.  So learn to discern!  Early feminism’s goals and methods were arguably laudable and honest; but let’s take a look at what modern feminism is doing.

The first, and perhaps most definitive attribute of the true modern feminist is that she is mad.

No, I don’t mean insane, necessarily, though you might think so to listen to some of them talk.  I’m referring to a deep-seated anger—anger at society, anger at Western culture, anger at men.

And this is not just observation by others, this is what they say about themselves.  Here are some examples from a feminist conference in 1992.

The different speakers honored each other’s “politicized anger,” one speaker said, “Our anger. . . arouses the patriarchy to disgust.”  They held an afternoon “Anger Session,” in which the keynote speaker introduced herself as “an expert on anger” and thanked other feminists for teaching her “to use my rage in my writing.”  The other speakers were introduced as “angry and struggling,” “struggling and angry since 1972,” “an enraged and engaged intellectual.”  Gloria Steinem, perhaps the most prominent feminist of all, said, “I have become even more angry. . . the alternative is depression.”

Apparently, in order to be a feminist, you need to be in a perpetual state of being ticked off.  Well, I don’t know about you, but who wants to be angry all the time?  I mean, some of the time, maybe, but all the time?

It’s almost as if they use their anger as a set of credentials, to show they’re serious, that they mean business.  What a hideous fate!  But according to orthodox feminist dogma, being angry is a prerequisite to being a feminist.

Well, you know—I’ve noticed that when I get really, really angry at something, I don’t think clearly.  Could it be that anger is necessary for feminism because, if they weren’t angry, they would think clearly and stop being feminists?

And it’s not like they have an obvious right to be angry either.  Those women from the feminist conference, all described as being angry in one way or another?  They are about as privileged as anyone could be.

Christina Sommers, who was at the conference, writes:

Many of the women on the ‘Anger’ panel were tenured professors at prestigious universities.  All had fine and expensive educations.  Yet, listening to them one would never guess that they live in a country whose women are legally as free as men and whose institutions of higher learning now have more female than male students.

When confronted with this fact, one feminist, Carolyn Heilbrun, huffily snapped, “Female doesn’t mean feminist.”  Apparently it’s not enough that females be in prominent positions—they have to actually be feminists in prominent positions.

These women are the freest women the world has ever known.  Think what they could be—They could be in China two hundred years ago, having their feet bound.  They could just be common people of any age, bearing and raising children, and dying young.  Worst of all, they could be Arabs, not allowed to drive, work, or show their faces.

But no, they are as free as men, legally protected, with a longer life expectancy and often more education.  And they think they have a right to complain!

This complaining attitude of feminists leads us to another notorious attribute of true feminists: They are easily offended.  For example, the adjacent cartoon.

Well, what do you think of that?  You see, there’s Mr. and Mrs. Caveman, and Mr. Caveman has just brought his wife a nice flat rock and a big pile of firewood for her to do her work with.

I think it’s pretty funny.  I expect most of you did too.

It is funny.  It plays on what’s considered to be a normal part of the human experience: a wife asking for new appliances.

No doubt most of you husbands have heard this request at one time or another.  Growing up at home, I heard it from time to time, and Dad always came through.  Maybe not right away, but sooner or later Mom would get her new dishwasher, or washing machine, or fridge, or what have you.  We’re still waiting for a new stove and dryer, but I know they’ll turn up eventually.  [ed - they did]

But a feminist would find this cartoon not just offensive, but highly offensive.  It makes light of stereotypes; it expects that women are in service to men; it makes us laugh at the work that the woman is clearly expected to do for the domineering, muscular man.

Whoa, what a hunk!  Look at the manly hair on his chest!  How offensive!

If I were a famous person, feminists would pillory me in the press for showing that cartoon.  They would rail on me for insensitivity to women.  No doubt some feminist would be on the evening news, saying that if I had my way, men would be dragging women around by the hair back into their caves.

Things that most of us would find humorous, or perhaps just in poor taste, the feminists find mortally wounding.  For another example, here’s a story Rush Limbaugh tells.

A San Francisco men’s club lost its battle to exclude women from membership.  The courts ruled that they had to admit women, on the basis that businesswomen were being unfairly denied opportunities to do business.

After one year, the female members demanded their own exercise room.  They were probably tired of being ogled by a bunch of slobbering men while they pumped iron and rode LifeCycles clad in leotards and spandex.  The men agreed and, with grace and humanity, offered to install the first three exercise machines in the women’s new workout room.

The ladies were thrilled.  When they arrived on that first day they found, to their stunned amazement, a washing machine, an ironing board, and a vacuum cleaner.

Heh, heh, heh.  Well.

When Rush guested on the CBS Morning News, this wonderful segment was aired to promote his upcoming interview.  Paula Zahn said to her co-host, Harry Smith, “If he says that on this show, he won’t get out of this studio alive.  Who thinks that is funny?”

Well, I’ll tell you, I think that’s funny.  But not only did the feminists in the media not think it was funny themselves, they couldn’t even imagine anyone else thinking it was funny.

If feminists’ tendency to get easily offended was limited only to not laughing at jokes, well, we can live with that.  But unfortunately, that’s not all it’s limited to.  Feminists are offended at other things as well, with more severe consequences.

Take the sad case of Professor Richard Hummel of the University of Toronto.  A couple of years ago, he was banned from a campus swimming pool and ordered to take sensitivity counseling.

And what was his crime?  Well, some lady—I use the term loosely—said he had looked at her through his swim mask and used his flippers to catch up with her in the pool.  Another said he swam to the bottom of the pool and ogled women swimming above him near the surface.

Now, let’s just assume that the charges are in fact true.  We don’t know they are—in fact, there’s absolutely no way to prove it—but let’s just assume they are true.

Suppose the good professor was indeed guilty of looking at girls.  And if so, then of course we would not condone it.  I’m not saying that there is no such thing as true sexual harassment.

But in this day and age, sexual harassment charges are a serious matter.  Is punishing the professor publicly like that fair?  Is it just?  Is it reasonable?  Let’s think about that for a bit before we go sentencing people for “harassment” for looking at girls.

Even kids aren’t safe.  Here’s a quote from Nan Stein, a project director at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, about as feminist a group as you’re likely to find.

Friday Flip-Up Day is a weekly occurrence at many elementary schools in Montana.  Every Friday, boys chase girls around the school playgrounds; those girls who have worn skirts are fair game—their skirts will be flipped up.  School administrators. . . have seen no reason to intervene or to punish the perpetrators.  Their silence has allowed this gendered terrorism on the playground to continue.  [emphasis added]

Let’s think about this for a moment.  Flipping up little girls’ skirts is wrong, I’m not denying that.  It’s crude, rude, and inappropriate; any boy doing that should be punished.

But is this really “gendered terrorism”?  Are these little boys, rude though they be, terrorists?  Is this the same thing as going around wearing ski masks, carrying AK-47s, shooting holes in people?  At the very least, the feminists have a rather twisted way of labeling behaviors, and a bizarre view of the relative importance of some of them.

Let’s just remember one thing.  The people who say these things—the people who do these things—the media and politicians don’t consider them extremists.  They are mainstream feminists.

So there are two key attributes to a mainstream feminist.  They’re angry, and they’re easily offended.

What?  You don’t feel this way?  Then I’ve got good news for you—You’re not a true feminist!

These folks are.  They’re where it’s at.  And when the media says someone’s a feminist, that's what they mean.

To be continued...

Condensed from a speech delivered in the mid-90s.  Read other articles by Guest Editorial or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

the right to piss moan complain whine & bitch is not just a prerogative of females
and those who are loudest seem to be...
men, a-feared of liberty for their chattel women-folk

January 6, 2011 1:15 AM

No, but it's not men who force women to act as sluts and floozies. The women of the 1950s may not have been CEOs - but most women today aren't either, and ALL women got way more respect from men back then than most do today.

January 7, 2011 10:04 AM

I find this article guilty of the following fallacies.

Hasty Generalization: Because one room of feminists is angry, all feminists must necessarily be angry. This paper is littered with hasty generalizations, frequently due to common mistakes such as small sample size and (willfully) limited experience.

Appeal to Fear: The author continually feeds off his audience's fear of women taking over (hence the haste with which they are supplied with household appliances, also an appeal to tradition).

Strawman: There is really no sentence in this article that DOESN'T use the strawman fallacy.

No True Scotsman: The author claims that a "true" feminist must necessarily be angry and easily offended. I question how qualified the author is to define feminism, given his views on it. The quandary is similar to asking Lenin to define capitalism.

Begging the Question: The author supports his claim that feminists are too easily offended by "traditional" treatment...with a story from Rush Limbaugh, who coined the term "Feminazi."

This is only a sampling of the flawed logical practices littering this paper. But to paraphrase the Simpsons: I, for one, welcome our new feminist overlords.

March 13, 2014 4:08 PM

You obviously haven't seen the feminists in the same light as the guest editorialist. I for one find them, to use their femininity as a trump card and demand not to be held to the same standards as men. Example: women come into the workplace and demand that men not cuss. If the company doesn't adhere to their demands they get sued. Is this fair and equal to the men? I think the author really skirted around the issues of feminists very lightly. I'm all for the girls coming in and working right beside a man but don't bring your rules to the existing workplace.

March 13, 2014 8:39 PM

The Legacy of Misogynists

(Editor's Note: Please don't take this as I hate "all men", something you noted in your argument, or that I'm a misandrist (mysandrist- as you so elegantly stated). I just have a problem with your specific (and invalid) points.)

We’re going to explore one of the great mysteries of life on this planet—one which has engrossed the minds of great women, has stymied many, and has, at one time or another, consumed most.

I am, of course, referring to MISOGYNISTS.

While I'm sure you can't hear me over the sound of your neckbeard and fedora, and those week old hot cheetos that have been sitting on your desk (lime, possibly?) I would just like to say that you are by far one of the most repulsive and misogynistic men I have ever come across.

All of your arguments, as stated by Antonio Gee above, are invalid based simply on the fact that you're a man and you know nothing. While I'm sure you're an overall educated person (although this article makes me question that), you know nothing of women's oppression, nor do you even have intelligence to back up your statements. Your argument that feminists are angry and offended probably has something to do with the fact that you are rude and offensive, therefore making the prior reactions appropriate. No, no. Please. I get it. YOU'RE A NICE GUY!! You would never. But have you ever thought that your impression of women comes from the gross things you've said? I would BET MY LIFE you have a "go make me a sandwich shirt" or a "cool babe, get back in the kitchen" bumper sticker- oh, is that too hasty a generalization for you? Oh, sorry. I just forgot that ALL feminists are angry and "get their panties in a wad" over nothing (your definition of nothing: a highly offensive and misogynistic joke). But that's not a generalization right? No. Good. Glad we're on the same page.

So, Guest Editorialist, before you go publishing a three part saga filled with sexist and racist jokes, check your facts, check your privilege, and don't type it up.

Thank you, you ignorant, privileged, sexist, pig (WHOOPS!- gosh I just can't stop being angry).

A group of angry feminists <3

February 11, 2015 2:03 PM

Every so often, a comment comes along that needs no rebuttal. Within that rare group of comments, there exists a type of comment that begs for promotion because - opposite the intention of the creator - it utterly proves all of the various points it has attempted to refute. With enemies like this, who needs friends.

February 11, 2015 2:19 PM

@3 angries

I don't know how you define "feminist," but I've noticed that a lot of women seem to want other people to pay the costs of their decisions. Working women want "affordable, high-quality day care" which is code for "someone else should pay the costs of my decision to have a child and then work."

They want access to free birth control and free abortions, which means that someone else should pay for what they want.

How is that different from any other pressure group which wants to receive benefits from other taxpayers?

February 11, 2015 3:07 PM

" a comment comes along that needs no rebuttal"..
if you are incapable of issuing anything logical and germane, perhaps you should get off the internet?
The world doesn't need any more arrogance.. one would think there are sufficient Bush's & obamas & McCains already to runin one's day

February 11, 2015 5:47 PM


Your assertion, then, is that the internet is inhabited by "logical and germane" thought? You must be a feminist, my dear.

February 11, 2015 5:59 PM

Well, it can be ... if being logical is a requirement for being a feminist (which I doubt), then so be it; I prefer logic myself than pedantic and perverse rants, though how possessing the skill of reason requires any references to sex, gender or other such biological or social assertions escapes me.

February 11, 2015 7:33 PM

@moxy - it is kind of hard to discuss feminism without references to gender. What's lacking is generally not logic, but an explanation of the underlying assumptions. If someone presents a conclusion which seems illogical, it might be quite logical given a few underlying assumptions, but without an explanation of them, the conclusion seems bizarre.

To wax political, many of Mr. Obama's actions seem utterly illogical if you assume he's trying to help the US economy. If you assume he isn't, his actions make more sense.

February 12, 2015 12:07 PM


March 8, 2019 4:01 PM

Hi, Mrs. Weiii

March 8, 2019 4:02 PM

big oof

March 11, 2019 2:09 PM
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