Svetlana on Feminism

Recovered from Cache:

“I’d ask you to evaluate the history of women’s rights and equality in just America. It sounds like you have and have reached a different conclusion than I have. I’m not calling you names about it. I just think you’re wrong.”

I know the history very well. It is part of my job. I recognise the “progressive” slight of hand here too, trying to drag up a straw man argument based in a past that is long over, and also ignoring the complexities of the discrimination within that history.

But the fact that you “just think I am wrong” is telling for me. It is for me a very scary thing. You see I would be happy to be proven wrong by someone who can make a logical argument. It happens all the time. But when someone says that they disagree or that they hold any position, not because they can back it up, but because they “just think you are wrong” then I kind of cringe; because that is fundamentalism. That is faith based ideology, and that is madness and intolerance and bigotry dressed up as niceness. That is the essence of political correctness and it never ends well.

Feminists are very good at it.

Calling yourself a Catholic doesn’t make you a homophobe, even though the Catholic Church is homophobic.

No it doesn’t. It means that you subscribe to a religious doctrine that disapproves of homosexuality and that therefore you are either a hypocrite or you are not a Catholic.

It means you align with their doctrine in general. It doesn’t mean that you slavishly believe every dogmatic policy in rigid lockstep.”

No but it does mean that you do subscribe to the core doctrines of the ideology. The core doctrines of feminist ideology are what I am talking about; the things that define the feminist movement, its teachings, its theory and its activism for a century and still today.

“If you believe in equal pay for equal work, equal opportunity for equal skill, and advocate for women to actively avail themselves of their own agency in order to clearly assert what they want out of a situation, you’re probably a feminist.”

Nonsense: Pretty much everybody believes in those things. But if you believe that women in the western world do not have the right to equal pay for equal work and if you further believe that this is because of some sinister patriarchal project to keep women down, then you are probably a feminist.

Most people are not feminists and that includes most women.

You are ascribing every nutty thing the lunatic fringe has to say as a core principle of feminism”

More nonsense. I am talking about the core tenets of feminist doctrine that are believed by all feminists and are preached by every feminism organisation, institution and individual of note everywhere in the world.


“Why is a young man that has sex with a multitude of women just experiencing and sowing his own wild oats, while a young woman who would engage in this behavior is labeled a slut?”

Ah: “Slut Shaming.” Feminists just love to bleat about this one. Why are women who sleep around labelled sluts and men who do the same are more likely to be congratulated by their friends? Why are women “slut shammed” and men “virgin shamed?” Why are women subjected to “sexist” insults while men are apparently not?

Well “slut shaming” happens because societies tend to build taboos around practises that have a generally negative impact on societies as a whole. Shame has always been an effective way of enforcing those taboos. It is why we shame heavy drinking or drug use or incest or drunk-driving or even smoking. Smoking is a good example. It was not frowned upon a hundred years ago until people began to understand how unhealthy it was. Promiscuity has always been considered unhealthy because from a societal point of view it is. The taboos around promiscuity have generally been focussed on the female because the female controls access to sex, amongst other reasons I will get to later.

Just to start by pointing out that if you didn’t believe that “slutty” behaviour was something negative; then the word “slut” would have no power to shame you.

Feminists also like to ignore the differences between the sexes, their interaction with each-other and why different slurs are used to target males and females. It is easy (and lazy) to reach the conclusion that girls had experienced more “unwelcome” sexual comments than boys. But to reach that conclusion you must first ignore the differences between what girls and boys consider “unwelcome” and you must also ignore the sexual dimorphism of the species.

For example a boy is more likely to be called a “creep” and a girl is more likely to be called a “slut.” But both slurs are just as gendered and just as insulting. A boy is far less likely to be offended by an off-colour joke or by sexual innuendo, so he is far less likely to consider it to be an “unwelcome” comment. He is also not likely to be as offended by comments about his looks as a girl is.

To contrive to misunderstand these things is to compare apples with oranges and come up with “sexism.” Of course sexism is there. It is a natural and necessary function of any species because it is what drives the species forward. But it is very much a two way street. Pretty much all insults are “sexist” whether the person either using the insult, or being insulted, is male or female.

Our most basic instinct as a species (after survival itself) is to mate and reproduce. Therefore almost everything we do is driven, either consciously or subconsciously, by our desire to be able to attract members of the opposite sex.

Therefore the most commonly used insults involve an implication that the person being insulted is not attractive to the opposite sex. Men are attracted to youth and beauty in women. Women are primarily attracted to success and status in men. That is why women lie about their age and men lie about the importance of their jobs or their income. As the sexes are driven by different biological imperatives and prioritise different qualities in terms of attraction; the insults used are different, but they all mean basically the same thing.

For men they include — You are a pussy — You are a loser — a waster — a wanker — a creep — You still live with your mother!

In other words: You are weak, unsuccessful, unmanly and therefore not attractive to women.

For women the insults include — You are butch — You are fat — You are manly — You are a slut — Your arse does look big in that dress.

In other words you are ugly or unfeminine or you look like a man. You are therefore not attractive to men.

All of these insults mean the same thing and they are all very much “sexist” in nature. Put simply they mean that the person being insulted is a biological loser:

It is rare to hear an insult that is not “sexist” whether that insult is being directed at a man or a woman. Even when a man insults another man, or when a woman insults another woman, the slurs are usually “sexist” in nature.

The suggestion often bandied about that slut-shaming and “sexism” were the products of Christianity is ludicrous. All of this is biological and it all predates Christianity by thousands of years.

But why have we evolved to judge girls more harshly than boys when it comes to promiscuity? Well mostly because females control the sexual market place, not males and because promiscuity is not beneficial to either women themselves or to society as a whole; but most of all it creates insecurities for the next generation and leads to population decline.

But I promised to explain the phenomenon of “slut shaming” so here it is. -

The word “slut” is actually a relatively new one in this context. That word used to refer to a person who was slovenly or unkempt. The traditional word was “cheap.” And this word was meant literally. A woman who was seen to be “giving it away too easily” was called cheap, usually by her female peers, because she was deflating the value of a very valuable female resourse. In the early 20th century, women who were seen as too easily forthcoming were called “charity girls” by other women. It has always been mostly women who have policed and guarded the sexuality of other women.

Men were physically stronger and as most work required physical strength, they had more opportunities to work and earn money. Women sought out “good matches” with resourceful men. In the days before DNA testing, nobody really knew who the mother of a child was except the mother herself, which is why females were chaperoned on dates generally by older female relatives.

So a man did not want to marry a woman who had a reputation for being “cheap.” Mothers and Grandmothers therefore guarded their daughters’ virtue carefully. They wanted their daughter to marry the local squire, not the guy who looked after the goats, and if the woman had a reputation for running around with the guy who looked after the goats, then she might have to settle for a more lowly marriage and that would affect the status of the whole family.

So a woman’s sexual allure combined with her virginity was her biggest chance of finding a “good match” and if she was wise, she would use it to extract all kinds of commitments and resources from him before she was giving anything away. The jewellery he was expected to give her, usually on bended knee, was symbolic of the marriage contract. It can be summed up in the words every Grandmother has told her daughter — “Don’t give it away too easily. He won’t buy the cow if he can get the milk for free.”

“Slut-shaming” has always been generally driven by women, not men. Today I have heard the word “slut” used by women quite frequently to refer to other women, usually out of jealously or a fear that those women might be “giving away the milk for free.” I have rarely heard it being used by men. Likewise campaigns against porn and prostitution are largely driven by women and based on this visceral feeling of hostility to anything which reduces the collective market value of female sexuality. That is probably why I dislike porn and prostitution too but at least I understand my own biologically based antipathy towards those things. Feminists predictably take a complex historical and biological issue and simplify it into bizarre conspiracy theories about patriarchies and rape-cultures.

Men generally desire sex more than women, because they are biologically wired to want it more and the risks for them of having casual sex have always been lower. Women evolved to be more cautious with their sexuality; because of course the implications for a woman for most of human history, of becoming pregnant without having a supportive man to provide provision and protection, were enormous.

That is why our evolution dictates that men pursue and women choose. When one group has control over a resource that others want, then that group has a lot of power, but that power only lasts as long as access to that resource remains limited. Women have used that power very effectively throughout history. One of the reasons why “slut-shaming” is becoming increasingly prevalent amongst women again is that many women are sensing that hook-up culture robs them of that traditional advantage, leaving them at a disadvantage in the dating and marriage market.

So in cultures where women become promiscuous, men are less inclined to provide them with resources and commitment (witness the current marriage rate collapse and the accompanying demographic melt-down in the west). In short, “sluts” drive down the overall value of females in the sexual market-place. Women have always striven to keep the value of female sexuality high: Hence — “Slut-Shaming.”

Many people seem to forget that social norms are generally formed around biological imperatives, not the other way around. It is not about morality. It is about biology.

Most men prefer to bond long-term with someone who does not have a casual attitude to sex. This is self-evident and it particularly applies to men for obvious biological reasons. Of course there is an increased danger of contracting infections from someone who is sexually promiscuous, but it is much more than that.

We all know that someone who has developed a habit of any kind is more likely to revert to that behaviour in future. Of course people can change and reject old habits, but we all know that old habits die hard.

We do not bring an alcoholic to a pub, even though he has been dry for years, because we do not want to put temptation in his way. It is not a mystery that most men do not want their female partners to have sex with other men. Therefore a woman, who has a history of a lifestyle of casual sex with random men, is going to be less attractive to most men as a long-term partner.

It really isn’t complicated.

The issue is also about trust and jealousy and both are biological.

Of course there are also psychological issues around casual hook-up culture which are only now beginning to emerge. A woman who has random sexual encounters can often feel “cheapened” by those trysts even though she might have enjoyed them at the time. As women are programmed by evolution to be the gate-keepers and men the pursuers, a gate-keeper might feel cheapened by her own failure to discriminate.

That is also why women are far more sensitive to sexual comments than men are. Male sexuality is relatively worthless anyway, partly because it is so easily accessible, and partly because from an evolutionary point of view, an egg is more valuable than a sperm. But a comment that mocks or denigrates female sexuality is something many women find threatening.

That is where all the glaring disconnect between feminist rhetoric and feminist action comes from — “Proud to be a slut” one day and — “How dare men treat me like a sex toy” the next. — “You can have sex with me and then never see me again, but don’t dare “objectify” me!” — “I want the right to go about exposing my body but you’re a “creep” if you look!”

There is also a lot of evidence to suggest that women in particular, who engage in a lifestyle of casual trysts, find it more difficult to form strong bonds in later life. I do not know if I agree completely with this argument or not and the jury still seems to be out in general, but there is certainly a lot of evidence to support it. There is also a lot of evidence that people in societies where hook-up cultures are the norm, are indeed having serious problems forming lasting relationships later in life. I do not claim that hook-up culture is the only cause of this; just that the evidence suggests that it is an important contributory factor and it is just one of many reasons why societies might want to shame promiscuity.

Feminists claim that there is no evidence to support this theory. Actually there are mountains of it; most of it scientifically scrutinised and peer-reviewed, unlike anything that has ever been written by Naomi Wolf or Jessica Valenti.

Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have discovered that youthful sexual promiscuity leads to extremely high instances of the human papilloma virus, which although relatively harmless in itself, remains dormant in the cervix, and in later life becomes the largest single cause of cervical cancer. In the UK, which is an extremely promiscuous society, almost half of all women contract the virus in their younger years. One in five of these will develop more severe cervical abnormalities and about half of those infected by these abnormalities will eventually develop cervical cancer.

One thing that there is absolutely no dispute about though, is that male and female brains are wired differently When feminists claim that gender is a social construct they are practising wilful ignorance of our entire bank of biological and psychological knowledge. Why? Because their ideology demands it: If gender is not a social construct, which it very demonstrably is not, then the entire network of feminist theory falls apart like a house of cards.

Sex differences in human brain formations lead to enormously different behavioural patterns and different motivations driven by different priorities between men and women. How anyone could expect two creatures who are wired so differently, to behave in the same way or to judge each-other to the exact same standards is a mystery to me.

Societies tend to view a man that has been with many women as lucky, where as a woman who has been with many men as a “slut.”

To sum it up, if something is easy to acquire it is usually seen as not having much value: As our sexuality is tied to our reproductive imperatives and our genetic legacy; as it is such a big part of who we are; we need to think of it as being valuable and especially to want others to see it as valuable; Which is why most women tend to play down the number of sexual encounters they have had.

A woman who has had many sexual encounters is seen by society as “cheap.” A man on the other hand is more motivated to play up his sexual encounters. Ask any teenage boy about his sexual conquests and he will tell you wild exaggerated stories, most of which will be fictional. A male is genetically programmed to understand that his status is measured by his success. As females tend to gravitate towards males of high status, then for a man, having been with many women is evidence that he is a high status male. In fact a man is far more likely to be “virgin shamed” than “slut-shamed.” Conversely a woman who admits to many sexual encounters is demonstrating that in terms of long term partnership, she is a low status female.

So men are more likely to brag about their sexual conquests and women are more likely to play down theirs.

Feminist doctrine simplifies a mind-boggling complex of interwoven historical, biological, environmental and psychological factors which feminists have made no effort to understand. It reduces the entire topic into a few completely unsubstantiated slogans based on nothing but their own desperate need to see “oppression” of women everywhere they look.

I suggest you try reading up on some basic biology and history. Angrily regurgitating politically correct doctrine might make you feel terribly enlightened, but it also makes you difficult to take seriously. Your personal opinions and visceral feelings do not make for convincing conclusions.


Another poster also claims that slut-shaming leads to people losing self-esteem. That is because that is its purpose. It is completely off topic and irrelevant but let me just put it to rest anyway.

You do not have any automatic right to high self-esteem. Nobody has any obligation to massage your ego, molly coddle your feelings or boost your self-esteem. In short, nobody has any obligation to care about how you feel. That is up to you.

High self-esteem comes from your own achievements and consequently your own standing amongst your peers. How they view you, IE your reputation, is largely up to you and based upon what you achieve, how you present yourself and how you interact with others.

If you choose to break the taboos of your society which are used to enforce social cohesion, then you will be frowned upon by others, and that might affect your self esteem. Example; a Muslim who drank alcohol or ate pork would be frowned upon by his fellow Muslims even though he is not harming them directly.

Other people’s opinion of you is largely down to how you choose to behave. Society does not have any obligation to ensure that you feel good about yourself. That’s up to you.

It is childish to demand that others should approve of you. Other people’s opinions of you, as I already said are largely down to how you present yourself. They have the right to hold whatever opinions of you they choose. They also have the right to disapprove or to criticise you if they choose.

You can have the strength of character to rise above that if you choose, and not care what strangers think; or you can whine about it as if society owes you the right to high self esteem.

It doesn’t.

White Feathers and “Male Privilege:”

Just a few stories I picked up from some research I did on the suffragettes and the white feather campaign.

What sums up the lie of “male privilege” for me is most poignantly illustrated by an old photograph I once saw of a scene in an English town taken in 1915. Three well to do women sat outside a café. One of them was wearing a suffragette rosette bearing the slogan “votes for women.” They were watching with smiles on their faces as another woman accosted a scruffy looking young man in a flat cap. She was holding a white feather in front of his face. The look of mortification and utter powerlessness on the man’s face is obvious, even from the grainy old photograph, and I wondered how long it was before his name was being carved into a little white cross somewhere in France.

So when I hear feminists babbling away about men always having had all the power, I am sometimes so aghast at the enormity of their ignorance. How these “well known facts” can become so entrenched in the public consciousness when so much historical record contradicts them, has always been a mystery to me.

I have always found the white feather campaign to be the most complete refutation of the lie of “male privilege.” It is now downplayed because the accepted feminist narrative would prefer us to believe that the handing out of white feathers was not common and was not a major feature of the feminist campaigns at the time.

Sylvia Pankhurst did not agree. She stated publicly several times that the white feather movement and the suffragette movement were one and the same, and her distaste for the movement resulted in her excommunication by leading suffragettes including her mother and sisters. Most feminists in my experience do not know for example that the suffragettes all but dropped their campaign for the vote in 1914, and began instead to campaign for the introduction of conscription for men. This campaign went hand in hand with the white feather campaign. While Emmeline or Cristobel Pankhurst held forth from their podiums, lecturing the British people about how cowardly men were; hundreds of their followers would fan out into the surrounding streets armed with fistfuls of white feathers.

The men of Britain were terrified of being shamed in this way, to the extent that male civilian workers were afraid to use trams and buses in many places. White feather girls would install themselves in small groups on buses and trams and target any man who boarded not in uniform. They would also gather outside cinemas and dance halls looking for victims. On one occasion they invaded a rest-home for the mentally impaired and handed out white feathers to men who had already been seriously traumatised at the front. Soldiers on leave, often because of injuries received, were also targeted with white feathers.

The white feather girls were occasionally confronted by a man they had targeted on a bus who would point to a missing foot or hand, but it didn’t seem to faze them.

Eve Pirrel, who wrote articles for the Weldon’s Ladies Journal, described a scene she had witnessed on a tram in London.

“The first girl showed admirable pluck. She marched up to where the two men were sitting. She called them “chickens” and wondered if they should not be ashamed to show themselves. She offered each of them a white feather. One man adjusted his position to reveal that his left arm was missing. “I left it in France” he sneered. “Would you be a dear and go and fetch it back for me.” The young lady, unruffled by the man’s rude tone, complimented him on his patriotic service and asked him if he was not uncomfortable sitting next to a coward.”

George Grainger describes his experience in a cinema in Liverpool.

“They walked up and down the aisle before they took their seats. It was dark and I pulled my coat up over myself and sank down. They didn’t notice me but they did find two other chaps and shouted “chicken” at them. Everybody was watching those two chaps as they left. I had to duck every time the usher walked by with her lamp. I left before interval.”

Peter Bentley sent a note to his sweetheart in Maidstone to remind her of their date for an evening out at a dancehall. He received in reply a card with a white feather attached. The note explained that the young lady would not lower herself any longer by associating with a coward.

James Lovegrove was only 16 when he was confronted by a group of women on his way to work. He wrote: -

“They started shouting and yelling at me, calling me all sorts of names for not being a soldier! Do you know what they did? ‘They stuck a feather in my coat, meaning I was a coward. Oh, I did feel dreadful, so ashamed. I went straight to the recruiting office.”

15 year old Bernard Doyle, having been presented with a white feather by a group of girls who followed him home, jeering him all the way, lied about his age to enlist in 1914. He was involved in the fighting at Mons and the first battle of Ypres before he was sent home with damage to his eyes and lungs sustained in a gas attack.

While Walking across Putney Bridge in London in 1916, four women approached him. One of them stuffed a feather in the buttonhole of his coat and called him a coward.

“I explained to them that I had been in the army and been discharged, and I was still only 16. Several people had collected around the girls and there was laughing. There were shouts of “coward” and “chicken” and I felt most uncomfortable and very humiliated.”

Bernard Doyle went to recruiting office a few days later and rejoined the army. He was sent home again in the beginning of 1918 having lost both his legs.

Jonathan Cooper recalled how he ran a gauntlet of taunts and insults from groups of young women almost every evening as he cycled through the streets of his town as fast as he could on his way home from work.

The youngest recorded victim of the white feather campaign as far as I know was 10 years old. He received a white feather in the post attached to a photograph of himself as a baby in a christening gown. The note on the back of the photo read.

“What a promising boy you were! Now wear this brooch and buttons with your frilly white dress. ‘Whilst your brother goes to war, riding gallantly, the town all sees your ways. Chicken you are!”

Christopher Stevens described his encounter with white feather girls in the winter of 1915. He had left for work at the docks in the early hours of the morning because he hoped to use the cover of darkness to avoid being spotted. His job was a “reserved occupation,” classed as vital to the war effort, and he could not have left it even if he had wanted to.

“They were out so early that morning and they caught me again just outside the gates. The things they said. I felt so ashamed.”

Stevens begged his boss to let him go so that he could join the army. His boss finally relented and let him go after he had received his third white feather in less than a month.

Workmen who were employed in jobs considered vital to the war effort, and therefore unable to enlist in the forces even it they had wanted to, were eventually issued with badges to show that they were not shirking their duties. This cut no ice with Emmeline Pankhurst who believed that women should work (except for her of course) and men should fight. Men, who worked these vital jobs she said, had chosen them in the first place because those men were cowards “trench dodgers” and traitors.

Simon Cutmore writes of his great-grandfather, James Cutmore.

“James Cutmore’s attempt to volunteer was turned down in 1914 because he was short-sighted. But in 1916, as he walked home from work in south London, a woman gave him a white feather. He enlisted the next day. By that time, they didn’t care about short-sightedness. They just wanted a body to stop a shell, which James Cutmore duly did in February 1918, dying of his wounds a few weeks later.”

One of the least known features of the white feather campaign is that it became a common theme of popular fiction for women. Characters in fictional stories who handed out white feathers were described as “plucky girls” doing their duty. Women were advised not to worry about the possibility of giving a feather to a man who might be an off duty soldier. If he is a “proper English man” they were told, he will be able to explain himself, and anyway, it was suggested that these misunderstandings could be a useful way for a young girl to meet “proper Englishmen.” Girls were advised not to lower themselves by giving any favour to “cowards.” Pity was to be felt for any woman who was married to a “coward” and girls who were engaged to men not in the forces were advised by public billboards to break off the engagement.

The press also joined in, ridiculing men who were not in the forces and commending women who doled out white feathers, for their patriotic valour.

As the casualties of war mounted and more and more men were being shipped home with all kinds of horrific injuries, the mood in Britain changed dramatically against the suffragettes and the white-feather girls, and the press followed suit. Some of the hardliners continued to issue white feathers even after conscription was introduced in 1916, but the public mood was no longer on their side. While men were unable to respond to attacks by women, the working class women were the first to turn shame and ridicule back on the white feather girls. White feather girls now risked being confronted by angry wives and mothers and many of them quietly gave up their campaign.

Immediately after the war, another kind of white feather campaign began. The object of this one was to shame men who did not get married. One tactic was to publically question a bachelor’s sexuality at a time when it was still a criminal offense to be a homosexual. There was a dire shortage of men in Britain, and women were having enormous difficulty finding men to marry. Probably for the first time in British history, women found themselves in the awkward position of having to compete for men.

Lonely hearts advertisements began taking up entire pages in newspapers, with women even specifying that they would even consider a wounded officer and even specifying precisely what kind of injuries the woman would be prepared to over-look. IE “I would find an officer missing an arm or leg to be acceptable.”

But for the first time in British history bachelorhood became acceptable at least amongst men, and the hard partying gentleman bachelor became an icon to be emulated by other men right through the nineteen twenties.

Spinsterhood however was a frightening prospect for many women of the time and the women’s groups did everything in their power to shame men who remained unmarried. A woman who remained unmarried by the age of thirty was the object of pity.

Sylvia Pankhurst believed that the suffragettes and white feather campaigns had tarnished the reputation of women in the eyes of men. The “chickens” of the white feather girls were coming home to roost.

The white feather campaign was revived during World War Two and there are hundreds of reports of men and teenage boys receiving them, mostly by mail. There are few examples of women handing them out in person though and those who did were likely to be met with a hostile response from the men. Maybe Sylvia Pankhurst’s fears had been realised; British men were beginning to see women in a less rose tinted light and were more likely to confront them.

The campaign did not take off the way it had in 1914, but while the men of Britain seemed more than able to just shrug it off, teenage boys do not have such thick skins and it did result in several suicides of teenage boys who were too young to join the army.

And feminists are still waving metaphorical white feathers at men today, not caring how much damage they do. Every time men are admonished to “man up” and be “good men,” they are being offered white feathers. In fact the feminist movement, from the very beginning has always been about white-feathers.


“The least that men can do is that every man of fighting age must prepare himself to redeem his word to women.”

Emmeline Pankhurst.



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Al Black

I work in IT, Community volunteer interested in Politics, support Capitalism as the best economic system for lifting people out of poverty, Skeptical scientist.