Feminism and What Makes a Woman
Crowds of angry women, and a few men, shuffle along. Their signs flaunt words of hate and venom. So do their shrill voices. Many placards sport the hammer and sickle – the emblem of slave empires that many of these women dream of recreating here in America.
On the platform are other women – entertainers and politicians, mostly. Very successful public figures, all. They complain bitterly about being downtrodden despite their enormous wealth and power.
Later, on television, is a Supreme Court justice. Oblivious to irony, she complains about what she perceives as the rampant sexism that suppresses the ambitions of women. Equally unconscious of irony, a former female speaker of the House makes the same complaint on the floor of Congress.
These people loudly proclaim themselves feminists. All they want, they say, is equality. In reality, they already have equality – equality under the law, that is. But that is not what they really seek. Truth be told, what they seek is total dominance and unrestrained power.
Except for seeing these creatures from afar, I do not know these women. They are the Toxic Feminists. They are nothing like the women I know.
While I don't know these toxic women, I have occasionally encountered them.
I first encountered this twisted breed of humanity half a century ago during the rowdy sixties. At the time, I was a student-leader at a university. Being prominent, I attracted the attention of the Students for a Democratic Society – the notorious SDS. When they invited me into their inner sanctum, I decided to have a look-see. If in public they were a noisy, obnoxious, hate-filled bunch, what would they be like in private?
As bad as they were in public, among themselves, they were infinitely worse.
Leftists always seem to split into bitterly opposed factions. This was certainly true of that bunch. There were the Stalinists and the Maoists and the Trotskyites and a small number on the side who couldn't decide which faction to join. The one thing they had in common was their bloodthirstiness. They were of one mind in their intention to someday round up the hated American bourgeoisie and "eliminate" those who refused to be "re-educated." They were dead serious about the elimination, too.
It was there that I first encountered toxic feminism. For it was a particularly domineering young harridan who ran the show and totally intimidated the young men and women in attendance. That obnoxious woman was utterly sanguinary, too. Really scary, she was! Women like her, facilitated by their craven beta male minions, now dominate many universities and other institutions.
Those repulsive ideas of old still color the thinking of people in high places. I am well aware that a recent president of ours was the protégé of a founder of the SDS. The former president's deep association with that breed, and its domineering women, explains a lot.
I am not of that crowd. All my life, I have been surrounded by accomplished but feminine women. For example, my sister is a major general and a consummate diplomat. She undoubtedly inherited much of her talent and drive from our strong, loving mother. In an earlier age, our grandmother established, owned, and managed a string of newspapers. My dear wife, Sarah, when young, was a popular stage comedienne and singer with the Seattle Opera. Later, she gave comfort and healing to many through her profession as a psychotherapist. My other lady friends and associates have also won their spurs in the professions and the arts or in the family. Remarkable women, remarkable individuals, all of them.
Despite my delight in successful women, I refuse to be called a feminist – at least not as the term is currently used by the nasty feminist collective. Rather, I am a humanist. It gives me joy to see each person strive for and often reach fulfillment as a unique individual.
In this politically correct age, one mustn't admit such things. We must always promote the collective narrative that we are all indistinguishable. The narrative is that we can be any sex we want to be. Never say the obvious: that men and women really are different – and permanently so.
One can be severely punished for saying this. Consider the case of Larry Summers, fired as president of Harvard for speaking this truth. And there is James Damore. Once an employee of Google, he is no more for the same reason.
And yet it is true. We are different.
Many women don't understand why they sometimes struggle to advance in organizations and professions long dominated by men. The reason is simple: men created those organizations and professions and developed their operational cultures. Women just entering those environments are not men – not part of that masculine culture. And yet, in over-compensation, some women try to be their perception of men in a man's world. They fail, of course, and wonder why, and then get angry.
What is true for women entering the masculine world is equally true for men entering the feminine world. A man in the women's world must be a man. I have a dear friend who worked in the world of women. He was a nurse. He is also a combat-proven and highly decorated corpsman who has much experience with violent death. He was successful as a nurse, but no one is ever fooled into thinking him other than a man.
I suggest that most women, until they have a great deal of experience with the masculine cultural environment, simply miss the signals that men unconsciously transmit to each other. That could be at the root of the frustrations many professional women face. They really don't know, intuitively, what is going on. Since the signals are subliminal, most of the time, neither do the men know why they react as they do.
How do I know? How do I know that subliminal signals are being exchanged? When a woman is in the room, the feel of the room is different from when it is just a gathering of men. When a woman enters the room, the room instantly changes.
Without years of experience, most women can't function the same as men in these masculine environments. They are not genetically equipped to naturally intuit the cross-currents. On the other hand, many experienced women excel in this world. They often do so by creating their own productive culture within the organization – a feminine culture that complements the masculine culture. My experience with professional women is straightforward. They usually are successful if they remain women and don't try to be men.
With several decades of experience in large engineering organizations, I have observed there a substantial number of successful women. I find it interesting that female engineers, as they gain professional experience, almost inevitably gravitate into program management positions. It is in the social realm that women naturally have the advantage. A successful engineering program manager requires great people skills as well as a sound technical foundation. Upon reflection about this, I am not now surprised to have encountered several successful female program managers.
So let us accept that each of us is different. Let us accept that, though we are all human, men tend to incline one way and women another in their native talents. Let us accept that while some succeed wonderfully in cross-over professions, we do have general male-female biases in our talents. And those biases strengthen and enrich the whole.