This Caught My Eye

A feminist ponders:

It makes me wonder what happened to the Brave New World we’d envisaged for our daughters and granddaughters. A world of unlimited possibilities, choices and equality for girls to become or do anything?

A world I — like many women — fought for in the Sixties.

Has feminism made life worse, not better, for today’s generation of girls?

Certainly, women have never existed in such a bleak emotional landscape.

G. K. Chesterton answered the question long before the feminist was born:

Now I have only taken the test case of Female Suffrage because it is topical and concrete; it is not of great moment for me as a political proposal. I can quite imagine anyone substantially agreeing with my view of woman as universalist and autocrat in a limited area; and still thinking that she would be none the worse for a ballot paper. The real question is whether this old ideal of woman as the great amateur is admitted or not. There are many modern things which threaten it much more than suffragism; notably the increase of self-supporting women, even in the most severe or the most squalid employments. If there be something against nature in the idea of a horde of wild women governing, there is something truly intolerable in the idea of a herd of tame women being governed. And there are elements in human psychology that make this situation particularly poignant or ignominous. The ugly exactitudes of business, the bells and clocks the fixed hours and rigid departments, were all meant for the male: who, as a rule, can only do one thing and can only with the greatest difficulty be induced to do that. If clerks do not try to shirk their work, our whole great commercial system breaks down. It is breaking down, under the inroad of women who are adopting the unprecedented and impossible course of taking the system seriously and doing it well. Their very efficiency is the definition of their slavery. It is generally a very bad sign when one is trusted very much by one’s employers. And if the evasive clerks have a look of being blackguards, the earnest ladies are often something very like blacklegs. But the more immediate point is that the modern working woman bears a double burden, for she endures both the grinding officialism of the new office and the distracting scrupulosity of the old home. Few men understand what conscientiousness is. They understand duty, which generally means one duty; but conscientiousness is the duty of the universalist. It is limited by no work days or holidays; it is a lawless, limitless, devouring decorum. If women are to be subjected to the dull rule of commerce, we must find some way of emancipating them from the wild rule of conscience. But I rather fancy you will find it easier to leave the conscience and knock off the commerce. As it is, the modern clerk or secretary exhausts herself to put one thing straight in the ledger and then goes home to put everything straight in the house.

This condition (described by some as emancipated) is at least the reverse of my ideal. I would give woman, not more rights, but more privileges. Instead of sending her to seek such freedom as notoriously prevails in banks and factories, I would design specially a house in which she can be free. And with that we come to the last point of all; the point at which we can perceive the needs of women, like the rights of men, stopped and falsified by something which it is the object of this book to expose.

The Feminist (which means, I think, one who dislikes the chief feminine characteristics) has heard my loose monologue, bursting all the time with one pent-up protest. At this point he will break out and say, “But what are we to do? There is modern commerce and its clerks; there is the modern family with its unmarried daughters; specialism is expected everywhere; female thrift and conscientiousness are demanded and supplied. What does it matter whether we should in the abstract prefer the old human and housekeeping woman; we might prefer the Garden of Eden. But since women have trades they ought to have trades unions. Since women work in factories, they ought to vote on factory-acts. If they are unmarried they must be commercial; if they are commercial they must be political. We must have new rules for a new world—even if it be not a better one.” I said to a Feminist once: “The question is not whether women are good enough for votes: it is whether votes are good enough for women.” He only answered: “Ah, you go and say that to the women chain-makers on Cradley Heath.”

Now this is the attitude which I attack. It is the huge heresy of Precedent. It is the view that because we have got into a mess we must grow messier to suit it; that because we have taken a wrong turn some time ago we must go forward and not backwards; that because we have lost our way we must lose our map also; and because we have missed our ideal, we must forget it. “There are numbers of excellent people who do not think votes unfeminine; and there may be enthusiasts for our beautiful modern industry who do not think factories unfeminine.” But if these things are unfeminine it is no answer to say that they fit into each other. I am not satisfied with the statement that my daughter must have unwomanly powers because she has unwomanly wrongs. Industrial soot and political printer’s ink are two blacks which do not make a white. Most of the Feminists would probably agree with me that womanhood is under shameful tyranny in the shops and mills. But I want to destroy the tyranny. They want to destroy womanhood. That is the only difference.

Whether we can recover the clear vision of woman as a tower with many windows, the fixed eternal feminine from which her sons, the specialists, go forth; whether we can preserve the tradition of a central thing which is even more human than democracy and even more practical than politics; whether, in word, it is possible to re-establish the family, freed from the filthy cynicism and cruelty of the commercial epoch, I shall discuss in the last section of this book. But meanwhile do not talk to me about the poor chain-makers on Cradley Heath. I know all about them and what they are doing. They are engaged in a very wide-spread and flourishing industry of the present age. They are making chains.

15 thoughts on “This Caught My Eye

  1. Cluster July 31, 2017 / 1:13 pm

    This is profound:

    “We have to start running people who can win and people who are beloved by the American people.” — Michael Moore on how Democrats can get back supporters.

    Only the genius of Michael Moore could come up with a strategy like this. No mention of policies mind you, just someone who everyone likes.

    • Amazona July 31, 2017 / 5:40 pm

      Hey, Republicans do much the same thing. That’s why they turned against Cruz, who was running on policies and ideology, and flocked to Trump, who was running on being liked by a lot of people.

      • Cluster July 31, 2017 / 5:48 pm

        I disagree. I never really liked Trump as a person, still don’t and know many who feel the same way but I also felt he was the only one that could have won against Hillary and her media machine. Trump was the only street fighter in the group and when you’re up against thugs ………

      • Amazona July 31, 2017 / 7:52 pm

        I understand that many were convinced that the only way to beat Hillary was to be, as you say, a street fighter. To be willing to roll around in the gutter with her. I just don’t think that is necessarily true.

        We’ll never know, because we never had a chance to find out if an appeal to people on a different level would have worked. This premise that only Trump could have beaten Hillary is based on a lot of assumptions and suppositions.

        There is the assumption that Cruz would have been a pushover and not able to deal with the viciousness of a Clinton campaign. However, this is pure speculation, and many of us thought (and still think) that Cruz could have dealt with her very well. In debates he would have eviscerated her. If Cruz had the GOP behind him, I think he could have pulled a Rope-A-Dope on Hillary, with her doing her Hillary thing of throwing punches all over the place and being, well, thuggish, while he let her do her thing and then sliced her up with every bit as much energy as Trump but slyly and skillfully.

        Basically, there were two ways to look at an election cycle match-up. One was to assume that the only way to beat Hillary was to get down in the gutter with her and play her game, and the other was to leave her alone in the gutter while showing people an alternative to gutter fighting. I got the distinct impression that a LOT of Trump supporters really wanted to see a bloody slugfest, and quite honestly I think there was a strong element of the WWE mentality there. People wanted to see Hillary beat up, and they wanted it to be brutal and bloody. Where a lot of people loved the spectacle of Trump going after Hillary with a sledgehammer, a lot of us would have enjoyed watching Cruz cut her to shreds with a scalpel, leaving her bewildered and not quite sure just what happened. One approach is to send the message “I’m better at being a thug than she is” and the other would have been “the choice is between a thug and someone who isn’t a thug”. Too many Republicans wanted a cage match with blood on the walls, and that’s what they fought for.

        Unfortunately, they didn’t get someone who can put on that persona when necessary and then take it off when it isn’t. What we saw is what we got.

        But overall I think your premise was proven, though maybe not in quite the way you intended. I think Trump won because the nation, as a whole, has become the nation portrayed in Idiocracy. In such a nation, the sledgehammer approach is probably the only thing that will work with an electorate of that mentality.

        But my point was that Trump did not run a campaign of policies and conservative principles. He ran a campaign of Identity Politics, pitting his identity against Hillary’s. He ran a campaign of sound bites and promises to beat up Hillary. And it is that too many Republicans are still suckered into Identity Politics, while what we need when the air clears and the blood is washed off the streets is ideas and principles.

      • Cluster July 31, 2017 / 8:11 pm

        We’ll never know, because we never had a chance to find out if an appeal to people on a different level would have worked

        I agree with what you’re saying and obviously I like Cruz a lot, but one thing that went through my mind was 2012. Mitt Romney was probably the most decent and respectable human being ever to run for office and they (Democrats) brutalized him and won. In other words, Romney failed to appeal on another level to enough voters to win and I think the same thing would have happened to Cruz.

      • Amazona August 1, 2017 / 9:02 am

        And here we disagree. I think Romney just wouldn’t fight, and also had terrible campaign advice. He tried to run a gentlemanly campaign against a thuggish machine. And he had to deal with the bigotry of the anti-Mormon people. Also, Romey was running against the race card, while Cruz would have been running against a Clinton. I think Cruz has a mean streak, is a good guy but who can drill down to that if he has to. “Mean” may not be the right word—“tough” might be better. I would not mess with Cruz. I think he can bring it when he has to.

        Cruz, as a lawyer who repeatedly won in Supreme Court hearings, up against a criminal who couldn’t keep her lies straight, would have had his way with her. And I believed that even before the email thing popped up. His incredibly sharp legal mind would never have let that go, and would have explained it in a way that made people realize how important it was.

        No, it was not the candidates—it was the electorate. Sadly, too many of our voters are at the mental level of sound bites like “Crooked Hillary”. Cruz may have lost some of the cretins who flocked to Trump because of his TV shows and WWE links, but I think he would have gained a lot of people who couldn’t force themselves to lower themselves to vote for Trump but who couldn’t vote for Hillary, either, or who simply didn’t understand the enormity of her actions.

        But when you get right down to it, Cruz would not have had the GOP behind him, either, and would be facing a lot of the same inner subversiveness Trump is facing. I’m happy to have Trump up there taking the hits, because quite honestly I think Trump is dispensable. He is not the face of a revived Constitutional movement. He is a placeholder, someone who will, hopefully, kick a lot of ass and take a lot of names and whose defects won’t reflect badly on the party because he is not in or of the party. And then he will go away, leaving—hopefullly—a better playing field for the future.
        As far as I am concerned, he has already vindicated his win, by nominating Gorsuch and getting rid of so many regulations, and as long as he continues along that path I will be happy. I’m not saying I am sorry he won. I am glad he’s the one we ended up with.

        My post was not to slam Trump, just to point out that he ran on, and won on, Identity Politics far more than on a coherent and appealing ideological appeal to principles. He had a lot of populist issues that got a lot of people excited, and he is now working on most (if not all) of those issues. Good for him. They are important. And hopefully he is paving the way for someone with a true and coherent conservative ideology who isn’t dependent on issues.

      • Amazona August 1, 2017 / 9:54 am

        Here’s the problem with just running on issues. If your focus is on something you want to get done, without the context of where this “something” fits into the structure of government laid out by the Constitution, you too often end up doing what Obama did, and what Congress has done for decades, and that is just addressing an issue without regard for whether it not it is being addressed properly.

        Most of us on the Right share a lot of issues, at least domestic issues, with at least the sane element of the Democrat Party—where we veer off in different directions is the best way to address them. The Left thinks the feds ought to do everything, for everyone, and the Right (at least the ever-shrinking ideological Right) thinks most of those issues have to be handled in compliance with the Constitution.

        There is a difference between taking away something and merely shifting it to a different authority. We never explain that. Trump can’t because his mind doesn’t work that way. Cruz could, and was trying to, but he stepped on too many Establishment toes (within his own party, BTW) and had to be punished.

        It is my belief that laying out a coherent ideology that explains this will split off the well-meaning average Dem from the radical element that is now taking over the party because there is no voice telling them there are solutions to the things that matter to them that don’t involve sedition, subversion or an overthrow of the government, that don’t involve hysteria and street theater and escalating hatred and divisiveness.

      • Cluster August 1, 2017 / 3:44 pm

        I think Trump is dispensable. He is not the face of a revived Constitutional movement. He is a placeholder, someone who will, hopefully, kick a lot of ass and take a lot of names and whose defects won’t reflect badly on the party because he is not in or of the party.

        I agree with this, but the reflection on the GOP has been forever tarnished because of people like McCain, Flake, Murkowski, McConnell, etc. With people like this in the GOP, I do not want to be part of that party any more. McCain 2016 campaign slogan was … “leading the charge to repeal Obamacare”. As it turns out, McCain led the charge to keep Obamacare.

        I despise the GOP and am glad that the GOP remnants of Spicer and Priebus are gone from the WH. The GOP and the DNC are two peas in a pod – worthless piles of power hungry, elitist crap.

      • Amazona August 2, 2017 / 7:01 pm

        Murkowski announced that her focus is to represent her constituents and her state. Maybe she should read Jim DeMint’s book Saving Freedom, particularly this:

        I, Jim DeMint, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation of purpose of evasion; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

        There is nothing in this oath about representing my district and state or helping the poor and downtrodden. There was nothing about responding to the woes of the American people. There was no list of duties because everything we were supposed to do in Congress was written in the Constitution. All federal officials, the president and his cabinet, justices on the Supreme Court, and members of the armed services all take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. It must have been really important at the time.

        “There is nothing in this oath about representing my district and state or helping the poor and downtrodden. There was nothing about responding to the woes of the American people.” Maybe we ought to be asking different questions of candidates in debates and town halls—not what they will do for their districts or their states, but what they will do for their country.

  2. Cluster July 31, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    A great example of how liberal minds work vs how conservative minds. Ben Shapiro NAILS IT!!!

  3. Cluster July 31, 2017 / 5:35 pm

    And again:

  4. Cluster August 2, 2017 / 9:31 am

    This today from Brent Bozell:

    On behalf of my late father and my family, I am denouncing Senator Jeff Flake and his new book, dishonestly titled, Conscience of a Conservative.

    Since entering the Senate in 2013, Jeff Flake has, time and again, proven he is part of the indulgent hypocrisy in Washington. While he waxes poetically about conservative principles, his Conservative Review Liberty score is an abysmal 53%, also known as: “F”. In 2013, I watched first-hand as Flake refused to sign a letter pledging to defund ObamaCare, among his many betrayals to conservatism. Jeff Flake is neither a conservative nor does he have a conscience.

    I think it is time that all conservative minded people in fly over country realize and admit that the GOP has lied to us, and failed us. Ryan and McConnell are either massively incompetent, or simply lying through their teeth when they say they want to pass a conservative agenda.

    We are being played people.

    • Amazona August 2, 2017 / 6:50 pm

      THIS is the kind of strong talk I have been wanting. This is how to take it back to the hypocrites—get in their faces and call them out on their hypocrisy. We have tried appeasement, courtesy, mild-mannered approaches, appealing to better natures, etc. They don’t work.

      Flake did this because he could. He did it because he has gotten away with this kind of crap for years, because no one ever stood up and called him on it. All the Left has to do is start moaning about “bullying” and being “mean” or “divisive” and the Right crumples up and apologizes, or at the least just shuts up.

      Hurray for Brent Bozell. May many others follow in his footsteps. I want it to go farther. I want people to wonder, aloud, if he says the things he says because he is a liar or just ignorant. I hope he has a strong challenger in his next primary, who will look him in the eye and ask that question. “Do you think Bush was selected and not elected because you do understand the Supreme Court ruling but are pandering to a certain demographic, or do you just not understand the ruling and are too lazy to find out what it really said?”

      Every single RINO needs to know that this is the kind of grilling he or she is going to get next election cycle—-and we need to follow through on it. That means supporting strong candidates, with money and energy.

      Colorado had a good candidate running against Michael Bennett in Colorado last election, for his Senate seat. I sent him a lot of money. And I saw the most impotent, nearly invisible campaign I have ever seen. I know he had a lot of support, and surely at least some of this turned into financial support. The Colorado GOP took a major hit when it supported Trump but they could have rallied behind Glenn, and there was no evidence that it did. So when I got an email from him asking for support for him as he runs for a House seat, I just wrote back and said no way——unless he can prove that he has a decent manager and will run a strong campaign he is on his own, as far as I am concerned. I thought he would probably lose to Bennett, given the Left’s attention to Colorado as a swing state, but I thought at least his candidacy would consist of more than appearing on radio talk shows. Until the Right discovers or builds a backbone and a willingness to take on the opposition head-on, it is doomed.

  5. Amazona August 3, 2017 / 10:16 am

    Matt Walsh has a good article on a different aspect of this Brave New World. (Comment: I doubt that many of the supposedly educated Progs even get a reference to “A Brave New World”, any more than they understand the context of being called “fellow travelers”. They probably see the comment as admiration for the mess they have created. Ah, blissful ignorance.)

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