Feminists have long struggled to define their driving sense of discontentment. Understanding this sense of discontentment is critical to understanding feminism itself. If you don’t know what feminists are devoting their lives in reaction against, you won’t understand what feminism is really for. But as I mentioned above, even feminists struggle greatly to define exactly what they are rebelling against. Betty Friedan famously dubbed the burning sense of feminist discontentment “The problem that has no name” in her much cherished book.
Feminism at its core is about a feeling of envy for men. Feminists don’t deny this, but they claim they are merely envious of men’s position in society. Freud was closer when he coined the term penis envy, but even this only captures a part of the feminist dysfunction. It isn’t so much that feminists wish they had penises, it is that they deeply resent the fact that God made them women. It isn’t just about penis envy, but vagina revulsion.
Feminist icon Germaine Greer made headlines earlier this year when she rejected trans women as real women. Her wording in this rejection was incredibly telling; she didn’t object to trans women on the basis that they had been born with penises, but that they didn’t know what it was like to “have a big hairy smelly vagina”.
You’ve come a long way, baby.
At first glance this is a very peculiar way for a feminist to make this argument, but feminists have been surprisingly open about their struggle with self loathing for a very long time. They have long blamed the patriarchy for making them hate themselves as women and claimed that their goal as feminists was to overcome this self loathing. This comes out in a variety of ugly ways, but very often this involves feminists doing disgusting things with menstrual blood. In 1970 Germain Greer famously tried to mask her own self loathing in her book The Female Eunuch with the statement:
if you think you are emancipated, you might consider the idea of tasting your own menstrual blood – if it makes you sick, you’ve a long way to go, baby
Whether it is claiming a penchant for the taste of menstrual blood, wearing it as lipstick, or painting with it, feminists give themselves away in their try-hard attempts to deny their self loathing.
Drippy vulnerable femaleness
Butch feminist A.K. Summers wrote a comic for Mutha Magazine titled Nursing While Butch. She writes about her fear that breastfeeding would make her feel like a “brood sow”. Her fear was that breastfeeding would be like pregnancy (emphasis hers):
That it was going to keep my drippy, vulnerable femaleness front and center.
Summers explains that much to her relief breastfeeding actually made her feel like a man. Being able to breastfeed gave her a super power, like Superman.
One might be tempted to write this mindset off as only applying to butch lesbian feminists*, but as I showed above a sense of disgust at having a vagina and drippy, vulnerable femaleness is a universal part of the feminist experience. Moreover, you will find the same kind of revulsion towards motherhood expressed by straight feminists. A different Mutha magazine article, this one by Suzanne Cope, describes a very similar feminist loathing at the biological reality of motherhood. In Confessions of an Unsentimental Mother, Cope describes feeling relieved when told she had miscarried:
I began mourning my changing social life, home life, and let’s face it, body, to have this child.
Which is why when the doctor told me I had a miscarriage a few weeks later, I did not cry, or feel anything other than relief.
It turns out she hadn’t miscarried after all, and this brought up Cope’s own feelings of fear and resentment of the thought of being seen as a woman, as a mother:
I swore I would not be defined by my pregnancy. I was not a vessel. I cringed when my belly stared showing, and when colleagues, who once asked about my research and teaching, began inquiring after my health. I felt my identity start to slip through my fingers as my child grew more and more apparent to the outside world.
Similar to Summers seeing breastfeeding as turning her into a brood sow, Cope describes pregnancy as turning her into a vessel, and at times feeling like she was “host to an alien”. And again, there was that drippy vulnerable femaleness (emphasis mine):
And then, at almost 32 weeks pregnant, my water broke. At first I figured this new leakage was one more unfortunate symptom of a growing, and increasingly inconvenient, pregnancy.
But this particular form of drippy vulnerable femaleness was a sign of mortal danger to her child. Cope carried the same feeling of resentment and self loathing even into the hospital as the doctors and nurses worked desperately to save her unborn child:
In a moment, my life was redefined. I could no longer resist being seen as a vessel, for that was all that I was inside the hospital walls. I was no longer called by my name, but referred to as “Mama” by the rotating shifts of nurses who woke me every few hours to check my vital signs, and those of the baby. My new reality, forced upon me weeks before I thought I had to be ready, was rife with compromise.
Your cavities fight harder to stay in place.
Last year feminist Amanda Marcotte cemented her position in the Ugly Feminist Hall of Fame with her infamous rant against babies and motherhood.
You can give me gold-plated day care and an awesome public school right on the street corner and start paying me 15% more at work, and I still do not want a baby. I don’t particularly like babies. They are loud and smelly and, above all other things, demanding. No matter how much free day care you throw at women, babies are still time-sucking monsters with their constant neediness.
I like drinking alcohol and eating soft cheese. I like not having a giant growth protruding out of my stomach.
This is why, if my birth control fails, I am totally having an abortion. Given the choice between living my life how I please and having my body within my control and the fate of a lentil-sized, brainless embryo that has half a chance of dying on its own anyway, I choose me.
…[what a woman] wants trumps the non-existent desires of a mindless pre-person that is so small it can be removed in about two minutes during an outpatient procedure. Your cavities fight harder to stay in place.
When feminists like Gregoire and Valenti tell us their resentment is merely against what they see as the humiliating role of women, they aren’t being fully honest. They aren’t just objecting to serving others by making sandwiches and wrapping presents, they are objecting to what they see as the humiliating fact of being a woman.
Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder
Feminist rebellion is at its core a rebellion against beauty. The common expression is that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, meaning that there is no such thing as beauty. But this implies that there is no God, and that fallen men are the only beholders who can perceive beauty. If we understand that there is in fact a Beholder (with a capital B), we can understand that beauty is in fact very real and immutable. With this in mind, we also know that the very thing feminists rail against the most is beautiful to God:
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
It is important to note that feminist self loathing doesn’t just apply to women who consider themselves feminists, and it isn’t even limited to women. Modern Christian men and women both loathe what God finds beautiful, in a profound rejection of God Himself. We can see the fruits of this loathing in the theological cross-dressing which is so delightful to modern Christians.
Feminist self loathing; men’s auxiliary brigade
While men like Bruce Jenner clearly lead the men’s auxiliary brigade, they are not alone. We can see the same self loathing in Christian men seeking out pastors who will figuratively castrate them, just as other men seek out a leader who does so physically. We also see this in the modern Christian loathing of husbands and fathers.
Whatever the expression of rebelling against God’s order and creation, and whether done by man or woman, it is all ugly and will always only bring pain and discord.
*While not all feminists are lesbians, The Other McCain explains that the two are more connected than many would expect.