Saturday, April 28, 2007

Todd Needs a Good Date, Bad

Last week, Jane Galt over at Asymmetrical Information linked to this rant against feminism by libertarian Todd Seavey. I'd never read Seavey's work before, but I spent an interesting hour discussing this piece with a feminist friend. It's torturously long (though he claims throughout that it could and probably should be a lot longer), and while reading it I thought it was overheated but occasionally clever. A few minutes after finishing it, I felt like his arguments betrayed a creepy grudge (or series of them). This isn't to say the whole thing is without interest. For instance, I think most guys secretly (or openly) believe this on some level:
Oh, and that raises a side point that I think is worthy of a few books and doctoral theses: far from feminism being the opposite of chivalry, it should by this late juncture in history be obvious that both chivalry and feminism are just systems for getting men to treat women more gently than they treat other men. The difference is that under chivalry, both sexes admitted this was the arrangement and under feminism, we are supposed to pretend women are being held to the same standard even when they aren’t.
But more often than not, his tone makes it clear that there's some unspoken personal history at work here. Take this:
But the tragic thing is that I am perhaps more feminist in one narrow sense than anyone: I want one truly equal (intellectually, emotionally, morally) partner and had assumed since imbibing the feminist messages pervading pop culture in the 70s and 80s that that was a natural, relatively easily-found thing. And while I was in effect being a naive feminist and trying to engage women in respectful conversation about philosophy, women were sleeping with the callous football captain and the even more callous professor (hey, beats dating your equals).
Like Ferris Bueller, I don't subscribe to -isms. The only one I give any credence to is humanism, and I have to assume feminism's goals fall under that rubric, to the degree that those goals are coherent and worthwhile. To the degree that, like most -isms, its goals are improvised and/or regenerated to achieve the supreme goal of simply keeping the -ism alive, I have no use for it.


Anonymous carman said...

How about realism ? Just a tiny little dash of it might have prevented the freak in the Whitehouse from invading Iraq. Your country wouldn't now be known worldwide primarily as torturers, despised and put in a position of lose/lose. You'd still have a reputation to defend...

12:48 PM  

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