Facebook’s Tax Break (and info on America’s corporate tax setup)

“Facebook’s Tax Break Revealed with David Sirota” (uploaded Feb. 2013):

Newsflash: Facebook sucks. Boycott it.

The tax system in our country is mind-numbingly off-course. Well, that is, off-course by what’s of actual value to most people. The corporate puppet masters are tickled shitless. We give them everything they want and more. Even as we are required to pay more in taxes. It’s like humanity is stuck on stupid or something. Generations of Americans just let this shit go on until it’s gotten so completely out of control.

That thought reminds me of the quote from Benjamin Franklin where he says: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” We failed right out the gate at keeping it, sir. ha  Makes me wonder if it really is true that people would be better off under benevolent rulers. But how do you ensure they remain benevolent? Same way we’re supposed to already be ensuring the integrity of the politicians we elect. So does that mean humanity is destined toward enduring various forms of tyranny, we proving to be unwilling or unable to effectively rebel and all? Because it’s gotten to looking that way.

I’m still coming across men and women who state outright that they don’t discuss “politics,” nipping all such conversation in the bud before it even takes off. Just plugging their ears and contenting themselves with work and hobbies, which likely includes facebook. Yet people go on claiming to want “change.”

Makes a person wonder: are we talking change as in nickels and pennies here? Because that’s where we as a nation are headed. Ironic considering we were the China of yesteryear, producing cheap shit for others.  Eventually we’ll be waxing nostalgic over the 20th century being the “good ol’ days.”

“Malcolm X: Make It Plain”

Malcolm X: Make It Plain (Full PBS Documentary):

Elaborating on a “Response to an MRA”

A video I uploaded back in January titled “Response to an MRA”:

In that I was reading aloud an email response I’d sent back to an MRA who’d been corresponding with me. Having been approached by a number of self-described MRAs through email already, I figured it might be helpful to make this response public so as to cut down on me needing to repeat myself. I’m not interested in joining or backing any gender-related movement, having had my fill of making sense of feminism throughout much of my 20s.

In an exchange of comments with fabrizionapoleoni and Thermic Light on the comment thread since last night, I’ve decided to go ahead and post this here to try to flesh out my own thought process a bit.

As stated in the video and also in the comments, I’m not of the belief that waging a major legal battle against feminism will likely prove fruitful, and here’s why. First, let me expand on what I think of feminism.

From the way I see it, feminism became a tool of the government several decades ago intended to drive more women into the workplace so as to generate more taxable revenue and stimulate the economy. The feminist movement served also to divide the sexes and pit them against one another in workplaces as well as in academe, which trickled down to affect households and set off a boom in suing for divorces. We see this. The sexual liberation revolution that accompanied the second-wave feminist mantra came at a time of Judeo-Christian values dramatically losing their hold over people due to advancements in scientific understandings and economic concerns coming to eclipse all else (this trend had been in motion for a couple hundred years already, heralded by the Enlightenment Era and later the introduction of the Industrial Age), leaving people in the confused state of value anomie where greater subjectivity entered the arena and allowed much freedom of expression and experimentation that continues on ’til today. Not that I necessarily take issue with the sexual revolution, seeing it as a natural reaction to the suppression of female sexuality under Abrahamic religions, this being an attempt to establish a more favorable balance for women going forward. I take no issue with that on the surface, but what we don’t tend to think about is the propaganda promoted to tap into our selfish interests and to stoke hostilities between the sexes.

Keeping this as brief as I can, what ultimately wound up happening is feminism and its organizations grew in large part thanks to financial infusions from major contributors tied in with the government, as well as from the government directly. Why did the government do this? Because higher-ups sympathize with the plight of women? Not hardly. Rather it was because they and their corporate sponsors stand to benefit in a variety of ways. First off, feminism involves a lot of fear-mongering, particularly when it comes to topic of rape and child molestation (not that these aren’t incredibly important issues), where the fever-pitch scream over these matters inevitably sought redress through the courts and promoting protectionist legislation. Feminism preaches a great deal about “empowerment,” yet its real message tends to revolve around victimhood, which tends to focus primarily on women and children’s suffering. Every topic must be framed in how it affects women or mothers of children or female children, and this is justified by claiming that everything outside of feminism caters to the male perspective, as if the common man were being fairly represented already.

Saying nothing new to people so far. But what’s really interesting to me is how this sleight of hand proved exceptionally divisive, especially in light of more women increasing their dependence on the State and less so on men. But we have to remember it wasn’t too many decades back when these social programs were nonexistent and most men and women had to rely on one another to grow enough food and rear children. Pitiful was the widow or single mother who had to rely on the charity of others or churches or enter into some low form of servitude to make ends meet. Now that has all changed and feminism has aided in protecting women and children from bleak fates, or so it gives the appearance of doing. In there is where everything gets really complex and crazy, because the feminist movement embraced the notion of promoting and extending the role of the State in getting involved in our lives. The charity received is accompanied by government intrusion through the formation of an entire league of social workers and CPS employees — people who earn incomes from monitoring other people’s family situations.

But it goes deeper than that obviously. With the pushing of more laws and greater penalties, including mandatory sentencing, we saw immense growth in the penal system. More prisons built and filled, primarily with men. A huge number of which are in there on drug offenses, which is another area where the feminist movement supported tougher sentencing in the name of protecting children. Prohibition has ties with feminism going back to its inception, most notably in the alcohol prohibition of the early 20th century. In other words, when social problems confront us, the feminist movement tends nearly always to push for the State to step in and criminalize behavior on our behalf, but nearly all popular movements have aimed the same way over the last century. And where they branched off and called for individual action, their leaders were assassinated (as in the case of the most prominent civil rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X).

Let’s think about that for a moment, because what those two men advocated is largely where I am coming from. Dr. King spoke from the position of people changing their hearts and following their consciences, referring to the tradition of Jesus and other peace-builders. Because he understood that the problem lies within us all and that laws alone won’t change us. Malcolm X understood that power never concedes itself without being given a fight. He understood that new laws alone couldn’t rectify past injustices, remarking that you can’t stab a knife in a man’s back 9 inches, pull it out 6 inches, and then call that “progress.” He understood what ails us is deeply entrenched in our cultures and argued for the individual to grab hold of the reins of his or her own life, to take back power by refusing to bow to unjust authorities, by being willing to fight back by whatever means necessary (not excluding utilizing the courts, though he learned the hard way there too). He did not see this as a battle to be fought and won primarily within the courts, but out here in the streets, out here where we can make a difference through what we choose to do or not do, through our resistance and our rejection of that system. Both men died as a result of speaking the truth.

Returning to feminism, we saw the rise of the welfare state, promoted as needed to care for women and children and the disabled. Sounds nice in theory, except the programs established are ran by our horribly inefficient, bureaucratic nightmare of a government. Notice how little is said as to whether so many kids should be born out of wedlock as has become so common; instead attention is focused on blaming fathers for abandoning their children by not paying enough toward their support. Why have so many fathers stepped out on the families they’ve helped create? Does this not point back to people being chewed up by the economic wheel, either by employers (in conjunction with the IRS) or by the courts when marriages dissolve? I contend that it’s a cultural problem, a failure of this society to leave communities to care for themselves and determine their own collective fate. Over time communities have been broken down and each of us individuals are set out on our own, pulled primarily by economic pressures while attempting to dodge being taken advantage of. The feminist movement, whether intentional or not, helped exacerbate this problem and has done very little to counteract it.

Then enters talk of our public education system in the U.S. Lord, help us there. That’s an indoctrination program of our young people, teaching them false histories (or glossed-over history anyway) while encouraging them to engage in such movements that see the legal contest as most relevant. Furthermore, it’s a glorified daycare to set children while parents work, because nearly everything in life anymore revolves around money, acquiring it and, Americans’ favorite pastime, spending it. Young people are not taught to think critically, not unless it pertains to the scientific realm, and even there attempts appear to fall short.

Thinking about the scientific realm for a moment, another major player in this whole fiasco of the last century is the field of psychiatry, which one might initially think more women would oppose considering its history of focusing on “correcting” women who rebelled against previous societal norms. But no, feminism has become entrenched in that field, supporting and circulating its pseudo-scientific “findings” as well as accepting and adopting its lingo.  That right there worries me. Because psychiatry is closely tied to the State (not to mention advertisers and Big Pharma, but that will be discussed another time) and has been utilized to promote conformity, dicing the public up under labels said to require chemical or institutional “treatment” for varying degrees of “maladaptation.” I’m surprised more people aren’t spooked by such a field where their claims are based not on actual scientific evidence but on a social planning agenda. Psychiatry is the field of social engineering, plain and simple, and it’s brought forth tons of “experts” prescribing for us how we need to live our lives and how to raise young’ns (notice though how swiftly opinions within the field change, demonstrating how psychiatry and psychology are fields of study of human behavior, not unlike sociology, and have no place being equated with medical science). Psychology and sociology (and anthropology and philosophy, etc.) are all incredibly interesting fields of study, but they are not scientific in the way people have come to assume psychology and psychiatry to be. It is propaganda that has pushed that belief on the uncritical masses, allowing psychiatry to rise in popularity and fuse itself with our government (which is two-fold, because on one hand it is employed as a controlling mechanism to interfere with the social realm, but also pharmaceutical companies wield great lobbying power to influence Congresspeople to embrace and promote this insidious alliance).

And as in the case of everything these days, it all leads back to concerns over money and the economy. While the feminism movement is angling to promote women in positions of power throughout the power structure currently in place, it does nothing to overturn that system, though there are claims that once infiltrated, the system can then be altered from the inside out. All that says to me is this is one way in which fascism can establish itself, because the status quo will only be enhanced, never overthrown or dismantled from within as some feminists may dream. Fascism is the alliance of State and major corporations, whereby this combined power comes to control and exert enormous influence over nearly all aspects of society. When we consider that one arm at the government’s disposal involves the field of psychiatry and its drug sellers, can we doubt that will come to play a bigger role as time moves on, if only under the guise of promoting jobs and helping people? Because those are hot fields enlisting lots of foot soldiers to spread their message of “mental health” (whatever that means on any given day). A number of self-professed feminists are involved in the so-called mental health system, with a great many newcomers joining each year. That is disconcerting.

Whereas the feminist movement came out loud protesting against the Vietnam war, now we see mostly those on its fringes still making a fuss and joining in the serious antiwar rallies. Old women mostly, from my experience. The economic costs of endless warfare and the sacrifice of our young people to the war machine is one of the gravest concerns confronting us, yet the feminist movement busies itself worrying with injecting more women into academia and upper management positions in the business world, or embarking on slut-shaming protests, or squealing about differences in pay — trivial concerns if this system winds up buckling under due to financial overreach.

In a nutshell, the feminist movement today runs counter to what many of us thought it was supposed to be about, namely taking to task a system run amok. But whatever. Aside from securing voting rights and women’s reproductive control over their own bodies, the movement has been used to create more problems than it can solve. It’s time to move past reliance on gender-specific movements and to take in the bigger picture, which to me asks of us how we can fight back against these forces at play in our society. The only answers I can come to is that we as a people and various collectives therein must reestablish our ability to care for ourselves in community settings. What I’m referring to here involves neo-agrarianism, because without food and water, we won’t last long. More importantly, without regaining control over providing for our most basic needs, we will grow increasingly dependent on this system, that is our government and major corporations, to provide what we need at the prices they set, paid for by the dollars we must earn from them.

To bring about a neo-agrarian revolution, land must be secured and/or reallocated to serve purposes beyond pure aesthetics, and intentional communities will have to form in anticipation of future secession. I realize people don’t wish to hear this, but without taking the first step to generate what we need to survive, nothing else can progress. Because where we stand now we are hopelessly dependent on the State/major corporations (particularly food producers) to provide for our sustenance. And you can bet that will be one of the first things jeopardized if it ever comes down to civil war.

The way I see it is we have two choices: prop up the status quo, which includes the entire infrastructure we’ve grown dependent on, or figure out ways to reduce our reliance on that system so as to be able to fight against it. Without ground to stand on, disrupting the current system will likely lead to a lot of pain and little gain. But either way, it should be obvious that I favor the latter option. People who remain caught up in the legal contest are, unwittingly or otherwise, playing into and perpetuating the current system. The fines and taxes we pay feeds it. Do people realize that divorce courts are making a killing for the State, all because we allow the State to control the institution of marriage? Takes money and effort to change laws, and it takes even more to protect said laws once on the books, as feminists will tell you. Beyond that, there’s virtually no way to effectively attack all of the forces driving society today through the legal system because it is broken by already being bought and paid for. We will go broke trying, just as we will go broke thinking we can contribute even a fraction of what corporations contribute to buy the loyalty of politicians.

We are faced with a serious conundrum with no easy answers, and I don’t think it’s possible at this point for any consensus to be reached. For those operating under faulty logic, I say let them go their own way. Let them learn for themselves what will and won’t work. This is why my mind keeps returning to the notion of people fragmenting off into smaller, intentionally-created communities where the members share common objectives and beliefs. Much as I can appreciate diversity, and I believe it can still be preserved under this strategy through trade alliances, it has bogged us down to where we can’t agree on much. So we’d be better off splitting and going our own ways versus continuing to fight one another, tooth and nail, trying to convince one another, turning toward domination strategies when that fails. We’ll drive one another increasingly insane if we keep this up.

Furthermore, our evolutionary history prepares us for smaller group engagement whereby we have more influence and negotiations become possible. Once things get too big and too out of control, we wind up at each other’s throats down here on the ground while the puppet masters loot us and force leashes around our necks. That is no future I wish to take part in. Yet another reason I am keen on not producing children forced to contend with what lay in store. One way or another, it’s going to be ugly. It’s a matter of whether that ugliness will come through the preservation of the status quo and its ceaseless wars and its drive toward micromanaging us all, or if we’ll be willing to get down and dirty in defense of another way of life. As always, the choice is entirely up to us. If we take no action, we will simply be swept along with the tides, and surely we can see where that will wind us up.

That’s enough to say on that subject for now, but anyone wishing me to consider different angles feel free to post a comment.

An excerpt from Thomas More’s book “Utopia”

Here are selected excerpts from Thomas More’s book Utopia, written in the early 16th Century and later translated to English by H.V.S. Ogden, pages 80-82 in Book II:

Is not a government unjust and ungrateful that squanders rich rewards on noblemen (as they are called), goldsmiths, and others that do not work but live only by flattery or by catering to useless pleasures? And is it just for a government to ignore the welfare of farmers, charcoal burners, servants, drivers, and blacksmiths, without whom the commonwealth could not exist at all? After their best years have been consumed by labor and they are worn out by age and sickness, they are still penniless, and the thankless state, unmindful of their many great services, rewards them with nothing but a miserable death. Furthermore the rich constantly try to whittle away something from the pitiful wages of the poor by private fraud and even by public laws. To pay so little to men who deserve the best from the state is in itself unjust, yet it is made “just” legally by passing a law.

So when I weigh in mind all the other states which flourish today, so help me God, I can discover nothing but a conspiracy of the rich, who pursue their own aggrandizement under the name and title of the Commonwealth. They devise ways and means to keep safely what they have unjustly acquired, and to buy up the toil and labor of the poor as cheaply as possible and oppress them. When these schemes of the rich become established by the government, which is meant to protect the poor as well as the rich, then they are law. With insatiable greed these wicked men divide among themselves the goods which would have been enough for all.

[…]

If that one monster pride, the first and foremost of all evils, did not forbid it, the whole world would doubtless have adopted the laws of the Utopians long before this […]. Pride measures her prosperity not by her own goods but by others’ wants. Pride would not deign to be a goddess, if there were no inferiors she could rule and triumph over. Her happiness shines brightly only in comparison to others’ misery, and their poverty binds them and hurts them the more as her wealth is displayed. Pride is the infernal serpent that steals into the hearts of men, thwarting and holding them back from choosing the better way of life.

Pride is far too deeply rooted in men’s hearts to be easily torn out. […]

 

It’s a very short read, and while the “utopia” described doesn’t resonate with my heart’s fantasies, nor was it necessarily More’s ideal but instead a useful alternative with which to compare and contrast his own society (under King Henry VIII). It’s eye-opening to learn that credit, gambling, and greedy, self-serving leadership was in high fashion in the 1500s just as it remains today.  Kinda depressing actually that we the masses haven’t wised up much, if any.

An excerpt from the book “The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future”

From the book The Cunning of History: The Holocaust and the American Future (1975) by Richard L. Rubenstein, below is a piece I transcribed in 2008 for safe-keeping.

This excerpt is taken from chapter 1, Mass Death and Contemporary Civilization:

The passing of time has made it increasingly evident that a hitherto unbreachable moral and political barrier in the history of Western civilization was successfully overcome by the Nazis in the World War II and that henceforth the systematic, bureaucratically administered extermination of millions of citizens or subject peoples will forever be one of the capacities and temptations of government. Whether or not such a temptation is ever again exercised, the mere fact that every modern government possesses such power cannot but alter the relations between those who govern those who are governed. The power must also alter the texture of foreign relations. According to Max Weber, “The state is a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of force within a given territory.” Auschwitz has enlarged our conception of the state’s capacity to do violence. A barrier has been overcome in what for millennia had been regarded as the permissible limits of political action. The Nazi period serves as a warning of what we can all too easily become were we faced with a political or economic crisis of overwhelming proportions. The public may be fascinated by the Nazis; hopefully, it is also warned by them.

In studying the Holocaust, the extermination of Europe’s Jews, it is necessary to recognize that our feelings may be strongly roused. Both the Nazis and their victims elicit some very complicated emotional responses from most people. These feelings are important but they can add to our difficulties in arriving at an understanding of what took place. In order to understand the Holocaust, it is necessary to adopt a mental attitude that excludes all feelings of sympathy or hostility towards both the victims and the perpetrators. This is a methodological procedure and, admittedly, an extremely difficult one. Nevertheless, this bracketing is necessary, not only because of the emotions aroused by the Nazis, but also because of the ambivalent reactions Jews inevitably arouse in Western culture. In view of the fact that (a) most Europeans and Americans are the spiritual and cultural heirs of a religious tradition in which both the incarnate deity and his betrayer are Jewish and that (b) the fate of the Jews has been a primary datum used to prove the truth of Christianity from its inception, it is difficult for even the most secularized non-Jew to be without a complex mixture of feelings when confronted with Jewish disaster. The feelings are likely to include both guilt and gratification.

Nor are Jews normally capable of greater objectivity in dealing with the Holocaust. The event has challenged the very foundation of Jewish religious faith. It has reinforced all of the millennial distrust on the part of Jews for the non-Jewish world. It has also raised the exceedingly painful issue of the role of the Judenräte, the Jewish community councils which everywhere controlled the Jewish communities and which were used by the Germans as a principal instrument to facilitate the process of extermination.

Both Jews and non-Jews have good reasons for responding with emotion to the Holocaust. […]

[…] It is, of course, somewhat easier to assess the meaning of the Holocaust today than it was a generation ago. During and immediately after World War II, the shock of the experience was too great. As the camps were liberated, brutal media images of survivors who seemed hardly more than walking skeletons were mixed with images of mounds of unburied corpses. The pictures hinted at the frightfulness of what had taken place, but their very horror also tended to obscure comprehension. The moral and psychological categories under which such scenes could be comprehended were hatred, cruelty, and sadism. The past was searched to find parallels with which the event could be understood. Human history is filled with incidents of rapine, robbery, and massacre. It was to such categories that the mind was initially drawn. In addition, the Jews had been the victims of degrading assault so often that there was an understandable tendency to regard the Holocaust as the contemporary manifestation of the anti-Jewish violence that had so often exploded during the two-thousand-year sojourn of the Jews in Europe.

There was also the paucity of facts. It was known that millions had been killed, but, until the German archives and the survivors’ memoirs became available, it was not possible to get an accurate picture of the destruction process as a whole. Because of the total collapse of the German state in 1945, its archives became available soon after the events had taken place. Under normal conditions, many of the most important documents would never have become available. Even after having been made available, the archival material, the transcripts of the war crimes trials and the avalanche of memoirs all had to be digested. To some extent, that process is still going on. Unfortunately, whenever scholars have attempted to comprehend the Holocaust in terms of pre-twentieth-century experience, they have invariably failed to recognize the phenomenon for what it was, a thoroughly modern exercise in total domination that could only have been carried out by an advanced political community with a highly trained, tightly disciplined police and civil service bureaucracy.

As reflection replaced shock, attention shifted from a description of the mobile killing units and the death camps to the analysis of the process by which extermination was carried out. The process was a highly complex series of acts which started simply with the bureaucratic definition of who was a Jew. Once defined as a Jew, by the German state bureaucracy, a person was progressively deprived of all personal property and citizenship rights. The final step in the process required the cooperation of every sector of German society. The bureaucrats drew up the definitions and decrees; the churches gave evidence of Aryan descent; the postal authorities carried the messages of definition, expropriation, denaturalization, and deportation; business corporations dismissed their Jewish employees and took over “Aryanized” properties; the railroads carried the victims to their place of execution, a place made available to the Gestapo and the SS by the Wehrmacht. To repeat, the operation required and received the participation of every major social, political, and religious institution of the German Reich.

The essential steps in the process of annihilation have been outlined by the historian and political scientist, Raul Hilberg, in his comprehensive and indispensable study, The Destruction of the European Jews. According to Hilberg, since the fourth Christian century, there have been three fundamental anti-Jewish policies, conversion, expulsion, and annihilation. Until the twentieth century, only two of the policies were attempted in a systematic way, conversion and expulsion. Throughout the history of Christianity, there have been countless attempts to inflict violence upon Jews. These assaults were often encouraged by religious and secular authorities. Nevertheless, such outbursts, no matter how extensive, were never transformed into systematic, bureaucratically administered policies of outright extermination until World War II. According to Hilberg, the Nazis were both “innovators” and “improvisors” in their elimination of the Jews.

Before the twentieth century, the Christian religious tradition was both the source of much traditional anti-Jewish hostility and an effective barrier against the final murderous step. Something changed in the twentieth century. As always, there were men who sought to rid their communities of Jews and Jewish influence, but the methods proposed were no longer limited by traditional religious or moral restraints. The rationalizations with which a massacre of the Jews could be justified were at least as old as Christendom. […] For our purposes, it is sufficient to note that those stereotypical images did not lead to systematic extermination until the twentieth century. There was little that the Nazis had to add to the negative image of the Jew they had inherited from Martin Luther or from the Pan-German anti-Semites of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In every instance, the Jew was depicted as an enemy within the gates, a criminal and a kind of plague or species of vermin. Gil Eliot has observed that such images ascribe to an adversary or a potential victim a paranthropoid identity. As Eliot has asserted, once a human being has been stripped of his human and given a paranthropoid identity, the normal moral impediments cease to operate.

To repeat, something happened in the twentieth century that made it morally and psychologically possible to realize dreams of destructiveness that had previously been confined to fantasy. Part of the reason for the radicalization of the destructive tendencies can, of course, be found in such specific events as the defeat of Germany in World War I after four years of fighting of unprecedented violence. An element of even greater importance was the fact that the secularized culture which substituted calculating rationality for the older traditional norms in personal and group relations did not mature fully until the twentieth century. Yet another factor was the conjunction of the charismatic leadership of Adolf Hitler, the bureaucratic competence of the German police and civil service, and the mood of the German people at a particular moment in history. Himmler and Goebbels, for example, were convinced that Hitler’s leadership gave the Germans a unique opportunity to eliminate the Jews that might never be repeated.

All of the elements cited played their part, but more was involved. The Holocaust was an expression of some of the most significant political, moral, religious and demographic tendencies of Western civilization in the twentieth century. The Holocaust cannot be divorced from the very same culture of modernity that produced the two world wars and Hitler.

[Emphases his. Links obviously mine.]

The gist of “paranthropoid identity,” as I understand, is it represents assigning someone sub-human status where they are considered primitive by comparison.

“Gonna wreck this fucker’s ride” and more

Been a long week. Just gonna stick to music right now.

On the menu this evening is “Bad Habit” by The Offspring:

Just because I love that song.

Moving along to Nine Inch Nails:

True that.

And in case further evidence was needed to prove our military is out of control and off its rocker, see this:

Sick and disappointing that is.

“…from now on, all resistance is local.”

Been a busy week. In the few minutes I have this morning before heading to work I’d like to share this short excerpt from a speech by Chris Hedges on inverted totalitarianism:

Chris Hedges is the author of several books, a number of which I’ve read and greatly appreciate, including War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Losing Moses on the Freeway, I Don’t Believe in Atheists, American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, among others.

Why I’m No Longer a Feminist

Now, let me back up to the month of November 2012 when I posted a video titled “Why I’m No Longer a Feminist”:

Probably would help if I added a bit of background information on who I am and what my experience with feminism involved. I originally became aware of feminism’s existence during teenagehood, though I had no direct exposure to it back then aside from television programs and talk in glossy magazines marketed to girls (like Cosmo and Glamour). During my freshman year in college (1999-2000), I purchased my first computer and discovered feminism in greater detail online. Now, I was attending school at Mississippi State University and wasn’t all that sociable with others, so at that time delving into feminism was pretty much strictly limited to the internet, though my husband (now ex) considered himself a feminist and we did discuss topics pertaining to that movement. We both come up with and embraced a libertarian spirit (as products of the same small county), which then dovetailed into supporting women’s rights to do with their own bodies as they see fit.

I remember becoming aware of NARAL and NOW online back when they were offering free kits to anyone who asked that included pro-choice literature and posters to put up around campus, but like I said we lived in Mississippi and my husband staunchly put his foot down on this due to the likelihood of this leading me to be targeted and given hell. This was at a time when there were no abortion clinics in the state, though I am told there now is one.

So I contented myself with learning and reading online, which is when I first came up against a band of feminists who really threw their weight around and ridiculed me and let it be clearly understood that I was naive and ignorant and should sit back and listen and read rather than speak up and interfere. That would’ve been when I was 19. So for a while that’s what I did. I read and listened and a couple years went by.

I moved up to the Midwest once again when I was 21 after my husband and I decided to split. As a young woman single once again, the world appeared to be my oyster, and I went about earning a living and picking back up on continuing my education. Continued reading and listening and then jumped back into the feminist arguments, again mostly online despite living in a much larger, more open-minded city. The reason for that probably has a lot to do with me not knowing a lot of women in person, and those I do know and get along with don’t consider themselves feminists necessarily and aren’t too interested in discussing those sorts of topics. The feminists I did run up against in academia or out in society didn’t seem to have much patience with me or my questions, so not much in-person dialogue took place that I can remember. Wasn’t involved in any local groups and didn’t attend any rallies. Most of my friends tend to be male, and we did and still do discuss feminism from time to time, but the breadth of their understanding of it was that it pertained to women’s reproductive rights, which they all pretty much support. Mostly I tell them what I’ve learned and they take it in. When I’ve asked how feminism has affected their lives, most stated that they don’t see really how it has, aside from being reared to be respectful toward women (as was the norm long before feminism came into existence). So, not much drama occurred there. Had a few verbal bar feuds, as to be expected when we drunks get to running our mouths.

But when I went back online and decided to really get into what all was being said and to speak my piece, I found out just how unpopular my beliefs were. One major source of contention between myself and many feminists I interacted with online revolved around the question of sexual agency. While on one hand they argued that we women have so much power, on the other and at the same time they spoke a great deal about us being victims to violence men can and do inflict upon us, particularly rape. Now, I don’t feel like going into much detail here on my experiences in dealing with men or what life has taught me, but I will say that I’ve always been a strong advocate for women arming themselves and becoming well-acquainted with their weapon of choice so as to be properly able and willing to use it if needed. Seems to me that cuts down significantly on worrying about being victimized when you are in possession of an equalizer. Doesn’t even have to be a gun; tasers and stun guns work too, as do knives and brass knuckles and whatever else happens to be handy. Well, you wouldn’t believe how unpopular of a position that apparently is in some feminist circles. Holy cow.

Now, combine that with my hesitation in accepting the notion that women should walk around scantily clad and expect no repercussions at all (that’s not to say we deserve to be attacked, not at all, but cat-calling is predictable) and you might imagine where those fights led. I still struggle to see their logic, because to me, if I’m out walking around in public half-naked I’d expect back then to have to deal with men’s come-ons. And because I’m no fool when it comes to understanding how some men will treat you when you appear young, dumb, and defenseless, I did make an effort to protect myself. Hell, even a canned air horn is something to consider to draw attention from others if you’re afraid and being confronted by a strange person. My point was that there are options, though I also certainly know that walking around scantily clad isn’t the only way to wind up receiving unwanted male attention. But the issue made over the right to self-defense really stuck in my craw when dealing with a lot of feminists because they were arguing in favor of gun control, which to me seems completely antithetical to their professed goal of remaining safe and secure. If a woman wants to remain safe, why not take power into your hands and do what you can to ensure it? That was my primary argument there. But many of them had jumped on the liberal bandwagon and the Democratic Party pushes for gun control, so they then followed in suit, and I don’t feel very many critically considered what they were advocating there. Because basically that’s arguing in favor of a situation where you have to rely on police protection, and one thing I do know is cops can’t be everywhere all at once. Depending on what neighborhood you live in, they might not even show up after being called. Besides, police are part of a retributive justice system, which is to say they seek out people who have already committed a crime. And my experience dealing with police has shown me that their response can be a mixed bag. Sometimes they care. Sometimes they don’t. Depends on which officer is on duty that day, I suppose. And they surely don’t want to receive a call every time someone feels creeped out by someone else who has not yet perpetrated a crime.

From there we went on to argue about prostitution and pornography and women’s agency in regard to being involved in those forms of employment. There’s lots of disagreement within feminism in relation to the sex industry, though many feminists appeared to take the position that women cannot freely engage in such work because they are being exploited, and even to desire to do such work is a sign of past psychological damage within the woman in question. So, if she wants to earn money engaging in sexual acts, she’s sick or seriously misguided and therefore lacks the agency to decide that for herself, but if she wants to “ho around” for free, that’s perfectly acceptable and nobody better talk bad about it. Okay. That makes no sense whatsoever.

The minority of feminists in support of sex work, those today referred to as “sex positive” feminists (which is a weird label, IMO), argued from the position that sex work somehow leveled the playing field between men and women, as if that were the preferable arrangement for any two people interested in seeking out sex. Some bolstered this with economic arguments, stating that the money is good so therefore that makes it worthwhile to pursue — basically benjamins speak and they listen. And let me say that plenty of the so-called “sex positive” feminists strike me as a bit kooky in their defense of sluttiness. And I don’t mean that to be mean necessarily, just an honest observation, because I see there as being more sides to the argument than feminists were bringing up. Either they’re victims in a male-dominated society or they’re empowered, money-making freak hos doing nothing of greater consequence than businessmen — no in between, no third or fourth possibilities, no deeper thought given to the intricacies of how using one’s body in so intimate a way affects the participants involved in such a transaction. And that’s about where I’d had enough and began backing toward the door. That would’ve been about 2007.

But there were many discussions throughout those years, such as women’s roles in the military, women’s advancement in businesses (with lots of griping and complaining that there aren’t more female CEOs), discussions among ethnic women about how mainstream feminism caters primarily to middle-class white women’s interests (which I do believe was true originally, though ethnic middle-class, college-educated women are being actively brought into the fold nowadays), socioeconomic class divisions with lots of talk on how to allot resources to the poor, the perceived imbalance of educational choices, and, of course, the ongoing debate about whether a stay-at-home mom supported by her husband’s income can even consider herself to be a feminist. I read a lot of people’s opinions, followed countless links and tried to make sense of an untold number of academic journal articles written by self-described feminists. The jargon employed within their movement got to where it turned me off, because patriarchy is a central tenet that you can’t get past, can’t deny, and can’t resolve to virtually anyone’s satisfaction.

What is patriarchy? I’ve come to see it as the old way, meaning the several-thousand-year period marked by societies and cultures being shaped, in part, by special attention paid to patrilineal lineage. That era only recently began to dissolve (100+ years back), something commonly attributed to the first wave of feminists in their securing for women the right to vote, though I tend to believe it was waning prior to that. Why? I don’t know. Probably because religions were already beginning to slowly die out, Abrahamic religions having provided the great narrative for patriarchal societies. With the lessening of that stronghold, cultures become more flexible and paradigms begin to shift. But with change comes chaos, so the trade-off brings with it growing pains.

What we’re left with today is a weird hodge-podge constructed in a past that no longer seems as relevant, updated and retooled again and again since the 1940s by men and women with new objectives, and no one seems to know where to steer this ship. Generally speaking, feminists place what I consider an unwarranted amount of faith in the State and centralized power to realize their dreams and to provide for their protection. Many men seem unsure of what their role is supposed to be anymore, and I can sympathize with their confusion and feelings of being left out of a meaningful position in the new narrative others are busily constructing for the future of society. I feel left out too, but in a different way. I feel like once all the talk about rights settles down, we’ll be left to realize we dropped the ball on our responsibilities to one another, especially a lot of women who believed the horrible Disney-fied lie that they could have it all (a committed partner, children, a demanding career, a healthy sex life, an active social life, exotic vacations, a fulfilling existence and time to enjoy it). They’re being run ragged by their own selves, and it shows. More than that, it affects everyone around them. When locked up in an echo chamber one comes to believe they’re on the right path, but what is it a path to? A fantasy is all it is. And not even that great of one when you really stop and think about it.

When I first took up interest in feminism, it was because I believed in my right to do with my own body as I see fit, and I still feel that way as much, if not more, today. What I discovered I didn’t want to sign up for or take part in was this great lie, this massive experiment in social distortion supposedly in favor of women but in the end appearing to not be truly in favor of hardly anyone. Men are not automatically our enemies, though specific individuals may prove to be, and the same holds true vice versa. Most men are no more guilty of upholding “patriarchy” than are most women, even self-professed feminists. The problem isn’t in men universally, it’s in people, all of us. History swings back and forth over time, favoring some more than others in any given period, but we were all simply born into it and none of us are responsible for having created the past. All we can do now is move forward, and I think that’s a discussion that needs to be brought out to include everyone, not just this sex or that one. This group or movement or that one doesn’t get to decide the fate of all going forward. No. That’s ludicrous. That, in itself, is bigoted, because it pretends that members belonging to one affiliation or another are necessarily more “enlightened” and therefore in the best position to decide for everyone. But plenty of us are deeply unhappy with the options being handed to us and we reject this queer “utopia” others seem intent on striving toward and dragging everyone else along in tow.

There’s plenty more I can say on the topic of feminism, but it will have to wait until another night.