Quote: Christina Hoff Sommers wrote a fine book on the subject, “The War Against Boys.”
I saw this book in the library and applied my usual test: looked in the index for “circumcision.” Not a mention of what is clearly the preemptive, decisive, surgical first strike in the war she purports to be writing about.
Christina Hoff Sommers appears to mean well, but like others of her type she isn’t ready to really challenge feminism, she just wants to adjust it a little so its uglier aspects will be tucked back out of sight. Another book by her asks “Who Stole Feminism?” Nobody “stole” feminism, Christina, it’s only that with such overwhelming success its real character has become plain for all the world to see.
This is a complex subject; ‘fraid I don’t have time right now to examine it fully. I realize that my statement might seem mysterious to someone who hasn’t thought it through as I have. I’ll try a few points, in hopes the picture might fill itself out with some thought.
First, one thing I’ve realized over the last decade of thinking about the American infant male circumcision program, and the wider/deeper subject of relations between the sexes, the origin and nature of female power, etc., is this: It is not necessary to be conscious of ones power in order to use it effectively. This fact is key in understanding the entire phenomenon of feminism, as well as female psychology. The power exercised by women, like the powers of Nature whence it is derived, is primarily unconscious. This is why, although it is obvious to anyone who really thinks about how the world works that it is women who have and use the real power, women see themselves as helpless victims–and can usually, easily convince men to agree with their world view.
“Women run the world. No man ever did anything unless he was allowed or encouraged by a woman.” – Bob Dylan (interview in Rolling Stone, late 1980s)
Thus the rape victim who becomes incensed if someone suggests that perhaps she might have had something to do with what happened to her, when she wandered half-drunk, in short-shorts and halter top, into a locker room full of testosterone-enhanced males. “But I didn’t do anything!” she wails, and the feminists scream about “blaming the victim!”
Again, it is curious that even while any biologist (including even female biologists) will affirm that in all other species sexual behavior is totally controlled by the female, her needs, cycles, and signals, amongst humans the idea that the female is anything but a victim of oppressive male power and violence is totally unthinkable. Why? Female power, subtly, unconsciously applied: what women do not want to acknowledge will not be discussed.
Ever wonder how it is possible for a little, tiny woman to control a great, huge, hulking man? Think about it. Obviously, the idea is preposterous: the one who is more powerful must dominate the one who is less powerful. Yet we see this archetypal encounter acted out all around us. Feminism is successful precisely because its basic premise is not true!
The Zuni Indians, whose home is in what we call western New Mexico, have a story, about a couple of young hunters who one day freed a dragonfly from some mud. The dragonfly, being of course a magical creature, offered its saviors a couple of wishes. The first young hunter said he would like to be the smartest man in the world. “Done,” said the dragonfly. The second young hunter naturally was a little miffed at this, but then he had an idea: “I want to be smarter than the smartest man in the world,” he said. “All right,” said the dragonfly, “you’re a woman.”
I’m old enough to remember Harry Belafonte’s great hit song in the 1950s: “Dat’s right! De woman is – uh! – smahtah! Dat’s right. Dat’s right.” Never forget this. However, also remember that “smart” is not necessarily the same as “wise.” In older times, it was this knowledge, more than anything else, that male elders passed down to their sons, nephews and grandsons. More than anything else, it is the loss of this knowledge that has led to our present predicament.
(I remember another song from the 50s, an early rock-n-roll ditty whose refrain went, “De girl cain’t he’p it, de girl cain’t he’p it…” I’ve come to the conclusion, based on observation of the actual results of several decades of feminist denial, that this is true–and that a “civilization” based on ignoring this fact cannot last.)
So no, I wouldn’t say the circumcision program was a “deliberate move.” Like much of what women do, it didn’t (and doesn’t) have to be “deliberate,” i.e. consciously conceived and executed, to work very well indeed.
As I understand it, the circ program was first marketed during the Victorian era (the time when “civilized” women spoke of the “limbs” of a table, because “legs” was too suggestive–also the time of families, like my father’s, of a half-dozen children or more, sometimes many more) as a “cure” for the terrible problem of masturbation, the “nasty habit” to which boys were unfortunately all too susceptible, which at the time was the known cause of a whole host of both personal health difficulties and societal ills. As that idea fell out of fashion in the early 1900s, newer “scientific” excuses were made up. Which also are obviously bogus, not holding up even to brief examination. So why is the circ program such a “sacred cow”? Nobody will talk about it, the media won’t discuss it, mothers become hysterical when it is questioned. Again, female power: what women don’t want to confront will not be discussed.
Note that the circ program is based on the idea that there’s something wrong with males–something, indeed, that requires drastic corrective measures. This is the very cornerstone of feminism. I note also that the American practice of male circumcision came out of the same Northeastern WASP/Puritan cultural matrix (check the origin of this word) which also produced Prohibition–another force-based “solution” to the problem of What’s Wrong with Men–and Feminism, whose official birthday was at a conference (originally to promote “female suffrage”) in upstate New York in 1848.
Feminism is based on the proposition that there is no significant difference between the sexes. This is usually taken to mean that women are not “inferior” relative to men, but this is just another red herring. The truth is that female power–if/when she wishes to use it–totally trumps anything a man can do. Feminists insist on being dealt with as if they were men, and ignorant, “honorable” men do just that–and don’t/can’t see the knife under the table, in the realm of darkness which is women’s real field of power. “Take back the night!” is misleading: they never lost it. As Camille Paglia makes clear, there is truly “No Law in the Arena.” Whatever else it may be (and sometimes it can be very pleasant), the sexual encounter is a war, and, as I remarked elsewhere, women (a) don’t fight fair, and (b) fight to win. Men enter the arena handicapped by ideas of honor–but if we abandon such principles, we betray ourselves. If we attempt to meet women at their own level, we lose–and so do they.
This picture is the truth behind that old axiom of male wisdom: “Never argue with a woman.” I’ve not yet come across a woman who is willing to really confront what I’m talking about here. Sooner or later, she will take evasive action, like Scarlett O’Hara: “I don’t want to think about that, and I don’t have to, so I won’t, and you can’t make me.” True, I can’t, if she doesn’t want to. Throughout human history, this tactic has worked for women, as it must. This is the reason for all the “keep women in their place” “oppression” that feminists complain about. Now that they have been allowed out of “their place,” the results are becoming plain.
The only thing men can do in response to female power is to create a limited, artificial realm where such power is not allowed to rule–and then show women how it is in their interest to subject themselves to the discipline necessary to live in such an environment. This can be called human culture, or civilization: a way of living together and relating that is different from how other, unconscious animals do it. Where the rule of law–an artificial, human construct–is paramount, rather than the rule of power. In order for this to work, men must be wise to women’s tricks, and not allow them to get away with the kind of unconscious manipulation that is their natural, instinctive skill. None of this is easy, which is why it is not easy to be a man: because to do this, we must also be aware of the trickster in ourselves, and not let ourselves “get away” with anything that is less than our best: self-aware, and self-disciplined.
All I have time for now; perhaps some food for thought. Regarding the subject of circumcision itself, some useful links if you haven’t seen them:
Sexually Mutilated Child
Circumcision Information and Resource Pages
A Brief History
Of course, you’ll see little or no mention of women/mothers and their role in any of this information–because they’re seldom if ever evident on the surface of events. However, note the Bob Dylan quote above. I put it this way: There is no human culture that is not fundamentally a Matriarchy. Any apparent “Patriarchy” is no more than a front for the Matriarchy that really runs everything in this world. It wouldn’t be happening if it didn’t somehow serve the female agenda.
Previous Philalethes Index Next
Philalethes #1 - Feminist Allies?
Philalethes #14 – Hyphenate Them Any Way You Want, A Feminist is a Feminist is a Feminist.
Philalethes #16 = Who Stole Feminism? Nobody!
Philalethes #21 - Circumcision
Philalethes #23 – Who’s to Blame?
Philalethes #24 – Who’s to Blame II