The feminist revolution is already over. Men lost.
International Women’s Day is a day when women of the chattering classes parade their virtue and moral superiority to the rest of us. If you were listening to the ABC last Thursday and expected your favourite male presenter, tough. And if you wanted a provocative, balanced read from the Age’s opinion pages, you were greeted instead by woman polemicists including ex-ABC broadcaster Virginia Hausegger and Fairfax’s resident feminist, Clementine ‘Fight Like a Girl’ Ford.
‘Are you done with women yet? Sick of hearing about them?’ were the first words of Hausegger’s Age piece. Her argument, however, boiled down to warning like-minded readers to beware ‘the brewing whiff of backlash’. ‘As women continue to push for progress’, she wrote, ‘men are clearly disoriented by the demands for change’.
The premise of International Women’s Day is that women need to be empowered, to lead, to shatter the glass ceiling. So Peta Credlin, herself a very powerful woman before she found her voice at Sky News, writes in the Australian decrying the Liberal party for not changing as fast as she wants. Tanya Plibersek and other grandstanding progressive politicians, male and female, brand feminism as a progressive Left triumph. Labor talks 50:50 gender quotas for its MPs; Credlin and other Liberals talk affirmative action and mentoring within the party’s preselection processes.
Credlin and Plibersek make a surreal unity ticket, but on one thing they’re indeed very much united: the final triumph of the feminist revolution in politics isn’t coming quickly enough for their liking. Yet they overlook the fear of a feminist backlash helps keep poor political performers who happen to be women, like Michaelia Cash, in post where men who blunder as royally would be sent packing. It means the sisterhood not condemning the bad examples of female politicians already in leadership, like Tasmanian Labor leader Rebecca White, whose petulant and deluded concession speech on election night made Turnbull’s ugly and spiteful 2016 effort look tame.
Labor’s much-touted seat quotas are tokenistic. That they simply guarantee more mediocrities enter parliamentary ranks under the guise of gender equality doesn’t matter to Emily’s Listers. And the Liberals mentoring women candidates is pointless when factional and personal loyalties now count more than ability in picking MPs of either gender.
But feminist polemicists and Q&A panellists should be honest about just who’s on top. Every day is now International Women’s Day. Feminist issues, feminist values now shape and frame what’s appropriate and what’s not in public discourse, especially in politics and the media. Public and business figures who once would have got away with louche personal behaviour towards women are now called out and broken. Not that some men in power don’t deserve what comes: Barnaby Joyce’s selfish disregard for his wife, daughters, mistress and even unborn child makes middle-aged white blokes look more pathetic and ludicrous than even Clementine Ford could assert in a fire-snorting Fairfax column.
Thus the #timesup and #metoo movements enthusiastically call out male sexual harassers and predators, their starting premise that every man is by nature a predator on women, and preternaturally disposed to aggression and violence. Thomas Hobbes’s dark vision of men’s natures is as nothing to that of Hollywood virtue-signallers and their political allies.
Consequently in politics, business and the media, men are being denounced and rooted out, and the ideology of the gender revolution benchmarks public life. Middle-aged white men in authority positions and ‘traditional’ male occupations particularly are fair game: we are a generation of Calibans to be tossed aside for fair, enlightened Mirandas. The progressive media, not just the ABC and Fairfax, are willing arbiters of what’s acceptable in this brave, new world. Ever-angry feminist pundits like Ford and Hausegger rage as if the struggle’s all before them, when it absolutely is not. They deny what straight middle-aged white bloke dinosaurs like me already know: the gender revolution is not a work in progress, but already won.
The social and cultural norms of 10,000 years of Western civilisation, that always have presumed men, with our physical strength, are the hunter-gatherers, warriors and natural leaders and protectors of families and communities, have been overturned in not quite two generations. That’s astonishing, but in this age of technology manpower counts for little. Brain is the new brawn and it’s not gender-specific: men’s natural advantage over women is obsolete. Women now have the upper hand and set the gender agenda. What is happening now is not, therefore, the feminist revolution, but its mopping-up operation. High-profile naming and shaming like #metoo is the revolutionaries consolidating victory, the new regime denouncing and purging pre-revolutionary leaders and hate figures, and all they represent. The vile behaviour of ogres like Harvey Weinstein simply makes their task easier.
Revolutions happen because the evils of what they replace can no longer be ignored or tolerated. Endemic sexual harassment and one person’s abusing personal power over another rightly deserve calling out. But in correcting the perceived excesses of millennia, and in the heady thrill of toppling the likes of Weinstein, Don Burke and now Robert Doyle, revolutionary zeal and a desire for vengeance can create dictatorships potentially as bad, even worse, than the regimes they topple. Think Jacobin France, Soviet Russia and post-Shah Iran.
For feminist elites, International Women’s Day is their May Day in Moscow, showcasing themselves and consolidating their revolution. Establishment acts of solidarity like the ABC’s unnecessarily ostentatious, all-female International Women’s Day ensured the rest of us got the message.
Instead of securing their equality goal, the media and political Revolutionary Guards of Australian feminism are creating a new, permanent gender imbalance. The new matriarchy is here. We men have lost.