Ever since the recent ‘Pestminster’ scandal, there has been much excited commentary about how all of a sudden women now control the culture, and are enforcing a new sexual puritanism. The Spectator even dubbed it ‘a sexual Reformation’ (see what they did there?)
In fact neither is strictly true. Those of us who remember the John Major years, when Political Correctness burst on to the scene, can recall a similar febrile atmosphere of witch-hunting and denunciations, with men’s lives and careers being ruined for minor transgressions no worse than those recently reported. It was a time not dissimilar to our own, with weak, grey, nervous government and economic uncertainty. Then it was all forgotten, giving way to the sexual free-for-all of the New Labour boom years – a world of thongs and push-up bras, when even the dearly departed Page 3 was deemed Politically Correct. As the economy rises and falls so do hemlines and heels, and since the 2008 crash society has once again become gradually more sexually repressive.
Nor is it true that ‘women’ generally have cultural control: middle-class, feminist-leaning women have control, certainly. Conservative women probably have less control than they have ever had and, as we know from recent horrors, white working-class women none whatsoever.
That said, over time feminism has increasingly tightened its grip, and we have to ask ourselves: will it ever stop? After all, much of modern feminism is professional and middle class in nature, driven by cold and cynical calculation and ruthless will to power by women who see the movement as a way of maximising personal advantage. If I was a feminist of this type, I’d probably be wise and intelligent enough to know that things are fast approaching endgame: optimal self-interest requires me to be on top, with retained advantages in education, the legal system and gender quotas, but it is nonetheless not wise to destroy men and masculinity completely.
However, there is a much older and more irrational strand to feminism, driven by a deep neuroticism immune to intellectual argument. This type of feminism seems caught in an endless Faustian pact with reality, demanding ever more resources and legal advantages, forcing men more and more to the margins of society into the world of ‘Going Galt’, ‘MGTOW’ and, in extremis, sex-bots and virtual-reality fuelled fantasy.
Both these strands of feminism sing from pretty much the same hymn sheet when it comes to the issues, and came together in ugly amalgam during the recent #MeToo Twitter storm and Pestminster ‘scandal’ in the parade of cynical, attention-seeking professional women in the media sharing their trivial experiences to boost their public profile. (And, as I am sure you noticed, disappearing rapidly into the woodwork after it culminated in tragedy.)
Revolutionary movements rarely know when to stop, and history suggests that the second school will prevail. If so, then we may be for the first time in history about to find out what female tyranny is really like. It is clearly going to be very different from the male tyrannies of the past, relying much less on physical force and violence and more on repeated psychological shaming by endlessly repeated verbal aggression, essentially a form of non-stop show trials carried out over mass media. Indeed, you can argue that in some sense such a tyranny has been in existence for some time, and has been remorselessly driving men to their deaths. ‘Pestminster’ tragically crystallised that demonic power of feminist hatred, but we tend to forget that whereas one death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic, and in white America life expectancy is actually declining – particularly for men – and the terrible reason given is death by despair. Doubtless there are many socio-economic factors, but the decades-long demonisation of men and masculinity by feminism is surely likely to be a contributory factor.
Perhaps in time female tyranny will prove less spectacular, slower, infinitely more patient and subtle but ultimately just as murderous as the male variety, and only long after the fact will we realise just how destructive it has been.