In my first post of 2014 I introduced the topic of the ugly feminist. As I explained at the time, this is an old charge but is typically aimed at the superficial instead of the core problem. Feminists are ugly because the philosophy of feminism is ugly. It is based on avoiding caring for others and being miserly with love. Several commenters pointed out that this is a devastating charge against feminism, as they could see no viable counter argument for it.
For Christians of course the answer should have always been obvious. The feminist mindset is the opposite of what the Apostle Peter explains is beautiful to God. Even so, I was curious as to how feminists would try to deny the obvious. What I observed over the year as I continued to write about the topic is a continuation of strategy which first appeared in response to the topic. When feminists are faced with this charge, they trip over themselves to describe themselves as the opposite of feminist. Shell was the first to demonstrate the pattern. Keep in mind, Shell is (was) here to argue the merits of feminism:
…frankly, I do not think it is possible to dialog with people who write posts like “Feminists are ugly” and those who use this as an opportunity to unload their misogyny and personal unhappiness it has created in their lives.
So how did Shell respond to the charge that feminists are ugly? She did so by explaining that while she is a feminist, she delights in her role as a very traditional wife:
I have been a stay-at-home mom most of my married life, at a certain point starting my own business to help my husband supplement our income and to do what I’ve always loved to do. He works very hard to be an excellent provider for us and has been doing it for years. Now that the kids are grown, we both have our own businesses and help each other running them when necessary. We are together 24/7 and this allows us plenty of opportunities for great sex, which has only become better since the kids left home.
Not that you will have to believe me, but I am thin and elegant, always taking good care of myself for my husband’s and my own pleasure. He likes that, very much. I also cook, clean, shop, mend our clothes and occasionally make them. I take pleasure in that, although I don’t think this is such a big deal. My husband never cooks, BTW (nor cleans), I don’t think he even knows how to, but he likes watching me do it (oh, and how). We have a fruit and vegetable garden, and we still can our harvest, although less than we used to.
This is the power of the observation that feminism is ugly. The most hard boiled feminists suddenly feel compelled to describe themselves as the opposite of feminist in order to distance themselves from the undeniable ugliness of the feminist mindset. This power is so strong it even compelled a player to white knight for a feminist friend on a later post.
Eventually the original post must have attracted the attention of feminists on the web, as feminists started showing up to deny the charge. As with Shell the common response was to morph into a modern day June Cleaver when confronted with the ugliness of feminist miserliness. Commenter Dude explained:
You silly bugger. I am female, a feminist, and I bake bread every day, make dinner and lunch every day, home-made soup twice a week and brunch on Sundays.
Dude kept her feminist bona fides in tact by explaining that she does all of this while also being the breadwinner.
The pattern continued, with Dawn and Karley Heiman arriving to defend feminism on the grounds that feminists don’t have any objection to women performing the roles of cooking and cleaning. inmynuddypants arrived and was inspired to tell us about her desire to please the man in her life:
I feel so sorry that you have met so many cruel feminists. Let me assure you that we are not all this way. I not only made my boyfriend dinner tonight, but I fully plan on sucking his dick later. And I don’t think that feminism is suffering at all because of it! 🙂
The problem of course is while the women are able to distance themselves from the ugliness of feminism with these tactics, it is disingenuous to claim that feminism isn’t hostile to women cooking and cleaning for their families, or to the idea of a wife satisfying her husband sexually. Feminism is deeply antagonistic to these ideas, despite the fact that individual feminists tend to compete to outdo each other in how much they love cooking for, cleaning for, and pleasuring their men when the ugliness of feminism is pointed out.
I continued on with the theme throughout the year, wondering if I would ever see a truly different response as I continued to provoke feminists with the ugly truth. But the pattern never changed from the special version of Dalrock’s law I describe above. My last post on the topic covered Jessica Valenti’s ugliness at the Guardian, where Valenti spewed feminist venom at Christmas:
We all know that women do the majority of domestic work like child care, housework and cooking. But the holidays bring on a whole new set of gendered expectations that make the season less about simply enjoying fun and family and more about enduring consumerism, chores and resentment so that everyone else can enjoy rockin’ around the Christmas tree. (I bet even Mrs Claus gets upset that Santa works one night a year but she’s dealing with hungry elves 24/7. That would be almost enough to make you want to over-indulge in eggnog and hurl yourself in front of a reindeer-pulled sleigh.)
Valenti is the founder of the feminist site Feministing, and is arguably the poster child for the ugly feminist. She also wrote a book on motherhood from a feminist perspective shortly after having her daughter. Feminist Jesse Ellison at the Daily Beast was disappointed in Valenti’s book because after making the standard feminist complaints about motherhood Valenti never got around to making the case for motherhood:
The problem is, she never convincingly argues the opposite point, which means she never actually answers her question—or my own. There’s no doubting what decision she made; it’s right there in the subtitle: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness. What we don’t know is how she got there.
More recently Valenti has written about her multiple abortions, while also complaining that she wasn’t able to have as many children as she wished to have.
My Christmas post on Valenti’s ugly feminism inspired manosphere tag-along Bodycrimes to try her hand at defending feminism from the charge of ugliness. However, before defending feminism Bodycrimes of course explained that she personally found herself responding to Christmas by feeling gratitude at the engineering wonders men have provided her. She does this with feminist sarcasm, but she nevertheless starts by positioning herself as deeply grateful for the work of men:
And this miracle of engineering was made possible, for the most part, by men.
Oh, sure, there are women here toiling away with mops and – since Germany has a fair contingent of female engineers – it’s possible one of them had a hand in choosing the drapes.
By and large, however, us passengers are enjoying the fruits of a male enterprise.
Am I grateful to the unknown men who made it possible for me to speed safely towards Scandinavia for Christmas?
Does it lift my spirits to partake of a miracle of engineering that rivals flying in its complexity and comfort?
Am I enjoying the free box of Christmas chocolates?
I’m a feminist.
After first protecting herself from the charge of being an ugly feminist, Bodycrimes then focused on trying to defend feminism. To her credit, most feminists stop at protecting themselves from the charge, so even though her defense of feminism is quite weak she should at least get credit for trying. Bodycrimes explains that when Valenti was decrying traditional gender roles, Valenti wasn’t being a feminist, she was being British:
What’s particularly galling is that Valenti wasn’t even talking from a politically correct feminist standpoint. She probably just wrote that article after The Guardian rang round its writers, needing someone to take on extra Christmas Complaint duties.
See, what the Christian Taliban don’t get – being optimistic, sunny-natured Americans as they are – is that complaining is integral to the British Christmas. It’s an ancient tradition that probably dates to the first time the druids found their carefully-planned Solstice rituals ruined because some pillock forgot the mistletoe.
This might make a bit more sense (but still not much) if Valenti were British and not an American. But even then, the entire form of Valenti’s screed is feminist from beginning to end. At best, Bodycrime’s claim would explain why a British paper was so willing to run a miserly feminist post about Christmas. If all miserly posts about Christmas are welcome, then Valenti’s year round miserly approach fits right in at Christmas. But even this explanation fails, because Valenti is a regular at the Guardian and her miserly feminist approach is welcome the rest of the year as well.
I look forward to another year of writing about the folly of miserliness, and the astounding power such posts have to make even the most hard boiled feminists appreciate the patriarchy and fervently desire to cook, clean, and care for others.
May God bless you with a loving, healthy, and prosperous 2015.