A Scene from "Slutcracker"
I recall the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I became very ill with what later became recognized as the early symptoms of HIV infection in the Spring of 1984. I missed a week of work. I developed profound weakness and jaundice, yet tested negative for hepatitis. My initial call to my medical provider was answered by a female nurse practitioner. Since I was then a practicing nurse as well, I readily told her I was in a homosexual relationship with a former male prostitute. I thought this would help her reach tentative diagnosis related to what was already known as a deadly viral STD affecting gay men.
"No. That's highly unlikely," she snapped over the phone. "We don't have any information to support the idea of an initial reaction to exposure." I remember becoming angry at her attitude. I also remember asking her how the hell she would get such information if she blew off intelligent patients who are voluntarily presenting her with clinical data. She ended the phone call by saying, "Well, I suggest you practice sexual abstinence until we get this thing figured out." The call offered neither comfort nor cure. She also did not ask me to come into the clinic for any testing. The clear message was, "You're on our own." I knew her response was deeply influenced by her female conditioning to see sex as something bad.
I have worked extensively with women, both as colleagues and patients. Few of my nursing colleagues of my age were feminists in the 1960's and 1970's. Most were conservative, religious (mostly Catholic) and vocally sexist. Most were married with children. Many had husbands in blue collar jobs. Yet these women occupied one of the first recognized professions staffed and administered by women. This informed many of my opinions about women, their programming and their mentality as determined by their biochemistry. My appreciation for those factors has led to my usually keeping those opinions to myself.
There is a production locally of a play called "Slutcracker". It is staged predictably in the epicenter of hipster neo-feminism of Greater Boston. Judging from the subway poster, it entails women of all sizes on stage in underwear with various shades of hair dye derived from a crayon box. The play on "Nutcracker" is obviously a neo-feminist attempt to cash in commercially on the conventional Christmas season here in Catholic Boston. Good luck with that.
This represents the current confused state of young feminists, who mouth victimhood (rape culture) yet take on the trappings of female prostitutes, women who choose the sex industry out of poverty, ignorance or perhaps shrewd business planning. Young women in this city walk the streets night and day in skin-tight pants in bright colors to draw attention to their bodies, yet are politically prone to alienate the very people they might attract with this costume. This is an addled and superficial assertion of egoism, not the assertion of the right to dignified consideration as a mindful human being.
Hillary Clinton was not representative of this confused feminism in her own life, despite becoming its avatar in the recent election. She has chosen a life far removed from the neo-feminist confusion. She has been focused, self-educating and cosmopolitan. She has chosen the company of the toughest and most predatory men on the planet. She had one child. She dresses conservatively, speaks with traditional rhetoric and has never looked like she was soliciting sexual attention. Hillary Clinton was not a radical feminist of the 1960's and 1970's, yet she has drawn intense loyalty from that sector. This strikes me as another symptom of the current dysfunction in the modern feminist movement.
Why are young feminists not talking about the core feminist issue: Child-bearing? This morning, I heard a BBC report about poverty in Australia, one of the world's richest nations. They dragged in a whining unwed mother of three on welfare. Was this woman asked why on earth she decided to bear three children she knew she could not support? The woman sounded intellectually competent enough to have thought about this. She did not claim she had been raped. There was no overbearing husband in the picture.
So, why wouldn't a female journalist bring up the subject of birth control and choice? I can only guess that the BBC would not allow it. Why? Because there is pressure on media by powerful religious, political and economic forces which oppress women by encouraging unintelligent reproduction (right to life). So-called feminists in Academia and mainstream media have adopted the meme of reproductive "rights" over reproductive "responsibilities", because this keeps them from having to challenge the establishment while still feeling morally superior to those who advocate reproductive responsibility, a much more difficult and revolutionary path in most societies.
Instead of speaking plainly and scientifically about the impediment child-bearing places in the path of women who wish to ascend out of poverty, modern feminism has done the opposite. This does not surprise me, as a person who has worked with many women, but it seems surprising on the surface. Contemporary feminism encourages unintelligent reproduction as a human right. It defends the self-oppression of traditional women in religious cultures who accede to having too many children and killing their own healthy sexual desires. It accuses men of being natural rapists, then defends patriarchal religions, like Islam, Christian fundamentalism and Hasidic Judaism. While superficially supporting obese women, contemporary feminists elevate outrageous transgender exaggerations of traditional femininity and masculinity.
Contemporary feminism in America is the product of thirty years of exploitation of religiosity (often cloaked as "traditional spirituality" or simply "faith") and anti-science in Washington, DC, and on college campuses. Thus the rage of contemporary feminists when challenged. They are trying to stage a new Inquisition, in which the heresy of confident adult gender and sexuality are punishable socially, if not legally. This feminism is a movement of thumb-sucking regression, not progress. That is why it is doomed to failure. Its proponents will not succeed ultimately in the real harsher world to come. That world will not be shaped by transgendered academics or celebrities. It will be shaped by climate change, overpopulation and the reality-anchored scientific minds who can come up with real solutions, when and if politicians allow them to implement those solutions. Hopefully, among those minds, will be women of the future who see a saner path through the impediments of misogyny and sexism.