The Feminist Endgame
Remember the wave of light bulb jokes popular some years ago? One in particular captured the essence of feminism:
How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?
THAT'S NOT FUNNY!
Modern feminism is characterized by a toxic mix of prudishness, self-importance, paranoia, groundless hatred, and epidemic humorlessness. As a disease of sheer cray-cray offense-taking, culminating in hatred for half the human race, with a special emphasis on white males, feminism will not rest satisfied until men are taught to keep their knees together, their eyes down, and their mouths shut, eliminating confident alphas from the sexual equation or turning them into compliant betas.
Humor, or rather lack of same, is the key to understanding the feminist personality type and the species of derangement to which it is prone. A sense of humor, including a penchant for wit and satire, is a sign of developed intelligence. Being able to tell jokes and especially to get jokes, even at one's expense, is a human quality whose absence betokens a closed and rigid sensibility.
Examples abound; I will consider a few of the most egregious.
In 2015, Nobel Laureate Sir Tim Hunt, the discover of cyclin, was forced to resign from his position as honorary professor at University College London's Faculty of Life Sciences and from the Royal Society for making a facetious and self-deprecating jest at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul about relations between teachers and students. "It's strange," he said, "that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists. Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry."
All true, kind of funny, and no big deal, as I can attest from my own teaching experience and that of many of my friends. Hunt is no charlatan like Bill Nye or Al Gore, but a genuine and brilliant scientist whose work on cancer cells has greatly benefited humanity. No matter. Abandoned by many of his friends and professional colleagues, Sir Tim is now pursuing his cancer research in Japan. A joke told in a feminist environment is the kiss of death.
More recently, Simona Sharoni, a professor of gender studies at Merrimack College, famously took offense at King's College professor Richard Ned Lebow for making an innocuous remark in an elevator they were riding. The elevator stopped, someone asked which floor it was, and he replied with the "women's lingerie" department. Sharoni filed a grievance with the International Studies Association, of which they were both members. Lebow, the 2014 recipient of the ISA's distinguished scholar award, called her complaint "frivolous." Sharoni did not agree. "As a survivor of sexual harassment in the academy," she huffed, "I am quite shaken by this incident." Oblivious to the arrant nonsense of her deposition, the ISA, whose disciplinary committee found Lebow's behavior "offensive and inappropriate," instructed him to apologize. An even "more serious violation," said the committee's director Mark Boyer, was "that you ... termed her complaint 'frivolous.'"
Three things immediately stand out from this ludicrous encounter: the flayed sensibilities of the feminists; the ubiquity of the beta syndrome; and the dreary priggishness of those who bridle at jokes, however lame. As a woman in the same elevator confided to Sharoni, "I wonder if we should have told them that it is no longer acceptable to make these jokes." She might have said any jokes.
Or consider the sexual harassment scandal in which Canadian Conservative M.P. James Bezan made a feeble off-color joke during a photo op with Liberal M.P. Sherry Romanado and a third person at a fundraiser for Canadian war veterans. What did Bezan say? "This isn't my idea of a threesome." Romanado found Bezan's comments "unwanted," "inappropriate," and "humiliating." They "caused me great stress," she went on, "and negatively affected my work environment. People are afraid to live what I've had to live through." Yes, you read that right.
As for Bezan, he had to undergo an investigation conducted by the House of Commons, complete sensitivity training, and apologize repeatedly for his transgression. A year later, Romanado, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Veterans Affairs, is still trembling from a wound as grievous, no doubt, as any suffered by the veterans for whose file she is responsible. As they say, unbelievable!
The vast majority of such claims are undeniably trivial. As my wife, Janice Fiamengo, observed at a panel discussion on the #MeToo sickness, given in Ottawa on December 8, 2017, "This is surely a phenomenon of mass hysteria, in which thousands of women claim to have been sexually terrorized by a range of behaviors that include lewd remarks, jokes, compliments, requests for dates, expressions of sexual interest, or fully clothed physical contact in public spaces."
The phenomenon, she continued "is related to decades of feminist theorizing insisting that men are guilty when women say they are. On that basis it is right to publicly shame men, to publish their names, to socially isolate them, to drum them out of an industry, to pressure businesses to fire them, to circulate their names on databases of 'bad men' ... and to create extra-judicial tribunals to hear charges against them and to determine actions to be taken."
All this is serious stuff, not only in its consequences, but in its psychic seriousness – that is, the vice of amateur souls and heavily indoctrinated natures who are strangers to nuance, complexity, irony, and the inherent absurdity of our histrionic productions. Proponents of a sinister ideology, these agelasts do incalculable harm, not counting the great number of men they have transformed into spineless confederates of a misbegotten agenda.
The absence of a sense of humor is a dead giveaway of a narrow, psychologically limited, puerile, and saturnine personality-type, which makes it difficult for lively and intelligent people to converse; negotiate; or, obviously, exchange jokes with such attenuated individuals. As Milan Kundera pointed out in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, the tyrannical mind does not laugh. When this lugubrious infirmity becomes a collective phenomenon, we know we are dealing with a social pathology whose effect is to warp and distort a culture almost, if not wholly, beyond recovery. This is feminism's endgame, and it looks bound to succeed. You cannot reason with the humorless.
There is another light bulb joke that complements the one with which I began:
How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?
It's not the light bulb that needs to be changed.