Monday, November 14, 2011

Looking For A Well-Paying Feminism-Related Job? Copy Katie Roiphe!

Does that sound like a joke to you, about getting well paid for something to do with feminism? Those jobs do exist though you have to be creative in finding them.

The thinking goes like this: If there is going to be a debate about whether women are full human beings or just handmaidens or Playmates, two sides are needed. But men might not be the best boxers on that Playmate side, because then they will come across as sexists. So that side needs women and they pay well. Or at least pay.

Hence the Caitlin Flanagans, Camilla Paglias and Charlotte Allens who get to write in all sorts of mainstream places about what is wrong with feminism and how the good old times were really very much better altogether. And women are rather silly creatures, are we not?

Katie Roiphe has the same shtick. You may not be familiar with her Seminal Work which was published a generation ago. Here is a summary from the review of the book by Katha Pollitt:
In "The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus" (Little, Brown; $19.95) Katie Roiphe, a twenty-five-year-old Harvard alumna and graduate student of English at Princeton, argues that women's sexual freedom is being curtailed by a new set of hand-wringing fuddy-duddies: feminists. Anti-rape activists, she contends, have manipulated statistics to frighten college women with a nonexistent "epidemic" of rape, date rape, and sexual harassment, and have encouraged them to view "everyday experience"- sexist jokes, professional leers, men's straying hands and other body parts- as intolerable insults and assaults. "Stranger rape" (the intruder with a knife) is rare; true date rape (the frat boy with a fist) is even rarer.
As Roiphe sees it, most students who say they have been date raped are reinterpreting in the cold grey light of dawn the "bad sex" they were too passive to refuse and too enamored of victimhood to acknowledge as their own responsibility.
Katie is still at it. Her newest opinion piece for the New York Times, "In Favor of Dirty Jokes and Risqué Remarks," hooked to the Herman Cain incidents, argues that workplace sexual harassment is mostly just innocent jokes, that women are strong enough to take them and that work would be a really boring place if nobody could ping your bra strap while you go to the water cooler. Or rather:
Is the anodyne drone typing away in her silent cubicle free from the risk of comment on her clothes, the terror of a joke, the unsettlement of an unwanted or even a wanted sexual advance, truly our ideal? Should we aspire to the drab, cautious, civilized, quiet, comfortable workplace all of this language presumes and theorizes? At this late date, perhaps we should be worrying about different forms of hostility in our workplace.
No, of course not! That anodyne female drone should be out there pinging jockstraps and making jokes about the probable size of various male colleagues' penises! To spread the joy and humanity to everyone working in that place. Duh. Everybody can see that.

Except perhaps for our Katie. The fun thing about the world she would like to have back is that it makes no demands of equal treatment of men and women, and that for an unusual reason:

Women are strong enough to take everything the world throws at them. Therefore, there is no need for concerns such as date rape or sexual harassment. But then if we accept her premise, men must be too weak to be able to endure any kind of restraints on their behavior. Or the poor must be strong enough to take poverty and so on. You can go on with those examples, I'm sure.

My apologies for writing about all that. The central point about making money from feminism is to oppose it, to portray it as a humongous evil claw squeezing the whole society while also being totally wrong and marginalized and unattractive and utterly illogical, like swimming against the waterfall of nature and tradition.