Feminists Explain Things to Me


That’s a parody upon the title of Harper’s Magazine media heavyweight Rebecca Solnit’s latest book Men Explain Things to Me. Ms. Solnit was a special guest on the one hour online news show produced by Pacifica and starring Ms. Amy Goodman called “Imperialism Now” by some and “Democracy Now” by others. The purpose of the half hour interview with Ms. Solnit was by way of a response to the mass shooting in Santa Barbara to raise the fear factor among women for the purpose of perhaps the benefit of the gun lobby. Most people do not know it but women today are becoming the largest segment of the market for handguns in the US. Creating a climate of mass hysteria in regard to the assumed threats that all women today face from all men worldwide seems to be laying the basis for creating the kind of gender chauvinism on both sides of the gender divide that given these facts could lead to an out and out armed civil conflict between males and females in contemporary capitalist culture. As with all things capitalist today they seem to bring out the ultimate perversity of a social system that has long outlived its usefulness to humanity and has indeed become a threat to human survival on many fronts.

The gender war whether it becomes a shooting war or not does truly represent a new level of social perversity and threat to a human future as opposed to one of many kinds of subhuman futures that American and the West seemed to be degenerating into. One of the notable quotes from the hysterical Ms. Solnit was “Women are so hemmed in by fear of men.” Is there any real moral difference between the use of fear in this particular situation based as it is upon the Rape Myth than that which was used to justify the national security state that was justified to a docile American public following the events of 9-11? Perhaps some definition of what the Rape Myth is could be useful. The Rape Myth is something that has seen yeoman’s service throughout American history. In its latest incarnation at the hands of radical feminists it is the now standard ideological construct that all men constitute a threat of rape to all women at all times and in all circumstances throughout the day or night. Given the hysterical use of such fear mongering is there any reason why women should not be stocking up on handguns and ammo to protect themselves from such an imaginary threat?

Probably the earliest known appearance of the Rape Myth was in the “Christian” fundamentalist stronghold of Puritan New England. After having been saved from starvation by the neighboring tribes of New England the Puritan settlers land lust led them to conclude that because the indigenous population was often scantily clothed during the hot summer months of the year that these aboriginals who had saved them from starvation during the brutally cold winter and fall seasons constituted a rape threat to the Puritan women. Such supplied the convenient justification for the genocide that was successfully waged by these so called “Christians” hoping to found their New Jerusalem against the Native American tribes of New England. The use of the Rape Myth in this particular circumstance proved so marvelously effective that in became the template used by the expanding settler land grabbers for a much greater and more widespread campaign of genocide against the Native American populations of North America.

If we fast forward a couple of centuries to the post Reconstruction era in the South following the Civil War we can see just how effective the Rape Myth became for those gallant white knights of the Ku Kux Klan in defending the honor of southern womanhood. I found it interesting that Ms. Solnit referred to the mass shooting in Santa Barbara as “our Emit Till moment” without ever stopping to put such a bizarre statement into its proper historical context. Emit Till was a young African American teen living in Chicago back in the first part of the 20 century whose family had migrated there from the Deep South. He was sent one summer to stay with relatives in Mississippi and made the mistake of either whistling at some attractive southern belle or indicating that he found the gal attractive. For this reason he was kidnapped and beaten to death in the most horrible and atrocious manner by members of the local KKK who like their modern day radical feminists’ counterparts took sexual harassment very seriously. So I think that the reality of the situation is quite otherwise than what Ms. Solnit would suggest. If anyone or any group in American today is experiencing its Emit Till moment it is most certainly the men and boys of America and the world who are being depicted in the most atrocious manner as a threat to all woman at all times.

Ms. Solnit goes on to state that “We need to escalate the battle.” What can be inferred from that is that the US power structure that excels at using fear to manipulate the population can count on the Rape Myth as a convenient means to the further establishment of the kind of totalitarian state that they seem to have in mind for us. Another interesting quote from the “Imperialism Now” interview was the statement by Ms. Solnit that “It begins with all these micro aggressions that end in rape and murder.” It could be posited that what Ms. Solnit unconsciously or consciously projects onto the sociopathic Santa Barbara shooter as an applicable fact related to the pathology of such deeply disturbed individuals can have a useful meaning when applied to the kind of misanthropic gender based hatred that such ideological feminists have been fomenting for years. It begins with creating the kind of social climate that will allow a US president such as Obama to declare retroactively after the fact that any military age male assassinated by one of the CIA’s area drone assassins to be a “terrorist” be default because to do otherwise would be to expose to public scrutiny the fact that the US national security state has declared war on the entire male population of many countries in the Arab/Islamic world and routinely murders large groups of male congregants solely for the crime of being male.

All of this is part and parcel to a feminist agenda that has been left unchallenged in its basic assumptions for to long. By not attempting to challenge these basic fear based assumptions that serve only to deepen the American public’s distrust of one another along gender lines we become complicit. Reasonable fears on the part of women in regard to their personal safety in certain situations are perfectly understandable. There are many violently abusive men that some women need to protect themselves from. Domestic violence and all forms of violence against women is now taken seriously for a change as opposed to the bad old days when everything came down to a “he said/she said” situation that was always quickly dismissed by police officers called to the scene of a domestic dispute, Since we live in an era of changing attitudes about both women men and owing to the new assertive leadership role of some women, some men will be harboring unhealthy resentment against some women. This is not a black and white a situation as some would make it out to be and there are a lot of examples of micro violence that can happen to anyone regardless of gender that happen to everyone. Some of this may be based upon some form of gender based chauvinism. It’s a better world now that women are becoming more empowered in all directions and in completely new ways. No one should feel threaten or anxious about this although perhaps some men still do. One thing is certain and it is that such men constitute a distinct and shrinking minority. We can all be grateful for this.

Note-This piece was originally posted to Open Salon on 05-29-2014


About charlesknause

I was born in Camden, N.J. (now the poorest city in America) in 1950 and grew up in a beautiful old Victorian town in South Jersey called Collingswood. I now live in Ormond Beach, FL where the weather suits my spirit. My personal life was impacted at an early point in my life by a psychiatric diagnosis that changed my life and put me on the workers scrap heap. I have refused to accept such a miserable fate and today consider myself a social activist dedicated to changing the way that people who have been diagnosed with a serious psychiatric disability are perceived by society and the people in their community. I have a B.S. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida and 18 graduate credits in Mental Health Counseling from Stetson University in DeLand, FL as well as 24 graduate credits in an MSW program at UCF. I am a member of the Volusia County Behavioral Health Care Providers Consortium where I function as an advocate. I am a daily reader of the World Socialist Website and an occasional contributor.
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