Thursday, February 16, 2012

THAT'S WHAT THE NEW BREED SAY. James Poulos, a promising young rightwing intellectual, breaks it down:
In a simpler time Sigmund Freud struggled to understand what women want. Today the significant battle is over what women are for.
I'm going to make a wild guess and predict: On the one side, babies and Jesus, and on the other side, sterility, plus maybe careers, soft drugs, Tumblr, and kittens.
None of our culture warriors are anywhere close to settling the matter. The prevailing answer is the non-answer, a Newt-worthy challenge to the premise that insists the real purpose of women is nothing in particular.
I'm liking my odds thus far.
If the conservative movement’s nominal unity is actually belied by a stunning range of right-wing views on the status and purpose of women (and believe me, it is), the left’s alleged philosophical uniformity on the woman question is a complete fabrication — despite the fanatical discipline and norm-enforcement of much of the liberal cultural establishment.
I'm not expecting to hear an actual explanation of this "stunning range" of conservative opinions of what women should be -- maybe it has to do with this idiotic CPAC slutwear debate -- but I am eager to hear about "the left's alleged philosophical uniformity."
The purpose of lifting the left’s Potemkin skirts is not to score tits for tats.

Let me shorten things up: careworn liberal consensus blah blah Sandra Day O’Connor blah blah Planned Parenthood v. Casey blah blah suffering of the crucified Christ. OK, onward:
Lurking beneath this procedural non-judgmentalism was a stubbornly conspicuous judgmental end. Roe couldn’t be overturned, the plurality argued, because Americans might think the Supreme Court was bending to public pressure. The court’s solution was to bend to the public reality that millions of women had altered what it meant to be a woman — and what status that meaning conferred — by having or supporting abortions. On the bogus theory that all linear change is progress, the plurality embraced the immoderate view that a descent into barbarism is impossible.
I can only extrapolate from these bits of rightwing cuneiform that women's insistence on having abortions is commandeering the meaning of What Women Ought To Be from the people who by right should be deciding it: Male public policy dorks.
Continued on Page 2 >>
Oh shit.
Today, the left is increasingly torn between old-school modern liberals who think like O’Connor and new-school postmodern liberals who find their cognitive elders in thrall to a haute-bourgeois conventionality that the deep premises of their own thought seem to strip of authority.
OK, I get that the O'Connor team hearts abortions, but what's the postmodern crew about?
So postmodern Cynthia Nixon, who used to be straight but now isn’t, tells The New York Times Sunday Magazine exactly what establishment liberals don’t want to hear when it comes to the sexual politics of women — “you don’t get to define my gayness for me.”
Gasp! He's onto us! This was all the liberals at my liberal cocktail parties have been talking about all week -- the crack in the aborto-haute-bourgeois facade represented by Cynthia fucking Nixon.
Nixon was swiftly accused by the left’s cultural policemen of “aiding and abetting bigots and bashers.”
I may be old-fashioned, but it seems to me you oughtn't use the plural of "basher" when you're talking about one guy, particularly one who added, "it might be wise if Nixon articulated her feelings in a more thoughtful way that would not lead to LGBT youth stuck in Bible Belt communities ending up in 'ex-gay' boot camps." Call me childish-foolish, but I have a hunch deviation from liberal orthodoxy was not high on his list of concerns.
Reihan Salam
Oh Jesus Christ.
has hinted that typically left-wing implications of academic theories like “erotic capital,” including mainstreaming prostitution, point in directions quite at odds with the dominant but failing framework of liberal sexual politics.
I have seen Poulos in the flesh; I know he gets around. Yet to read this anyone would be tempted to imagine he'd been imprisoned in a faculty lounge since infancy. At union demonstrations against Scott Walker, the brethren would only be talking about "erotic capital" if it were the name of a strip joint in Madison.
To the growing discomfort of many, that framework hasn’t come anywhere close to answering even the most basic questions about what women are for — despite pretty much universal recognition across the political spectrum that a civilization of men, for men, and by men is no civilization at all, a monstrously barbaric, bloody, and brutal enterprise. A few inherently meaningful implications about what women are for flow naturally from this wise and enduring consensus, but no faction of conservatives or liberals has figured out how to fully grasp, translate, and reconcile them in the context of our political life. 
Ironically, one of the best places to look for a way out of the impasse is the strain of left feminism that insists an inherently unique female “voice” actually exists. That’s a claim about nature. Much good would come from a broader recognition that women have a privileged relationship with the natural world. That’s a relationship which must receive its social due — if masculinity in its inherent and imitative varieties (including imitation by quasi-feminized males of quasi-masculinized females!) is not to conquer the world.
Pardon me, I realize this (thankfully closing) section is long, but I have included it because I have something I wanted to ask about it:

What the fuck is he talking about?

Seriously. I'm not very well educated, and half drunk most of the time, but I do know how to read, and I swear to God I have no idea what he's saying. I don't know how "a civilization of men, for men, and by men" relates to anything else he said. I don't know what he means by women's "privileged relationship with the natural world," unless my browser has failed to show me the picture of a lady sniffing a purty flower that was supposed to explain it. And as to "imitation by quasi-feminized males of quasi-masculinized females," it sounds like Archie Bunker had one of those Flowers for Algernon operations.

MLA President Michael Bérubé, I know you read this thing -- help a blogger out. Is it modern?

(h/t Tbogg)

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