Sunday 18 August 2013

All the Cards: The Pleasing Limits of Feminism, Misandry and Hypoagency

The concept of hypoagency is gathering pace as an explanation for the preferential treatment afforded women in many areas of life. It is also used to explain the widely-observed female obsession with infiltrating all-male institutions, sub-cultures and societies.  Karen Straughan’s analysis of hypoagency suggests that inactivity has long been an advantageous evolutionary strategy for women – it confers personal and genetic survival for minimal personal risk. Men, by contrast, have had no such option:  for men, inactivity leads only to genetic and personal extinction.  Of course, we see most of these claims proven every day. Men who fail to act functionally are treated very harshly, compared to women: 98% of the homeless in Britain are men, for instance. Indeed, the basic concept of hypoagency coheres well with my own ‘nothing’ theory of women: women never evolved anything beyond physical charms because, in the simplest terms, it was not necessary. Male dominion and prowess obviated the need for any such 'development'.

Hypoagency has also been used to explain the widely observed-female tendency to ‘invade’ all-male spaces. The video games subculture is a good example – increasingly infiltrated by women and their ceaseless demands for non-sexist story-lines, PC speech, and so on. By bending male agency to their collective will, so the story goes, women can secure resources both for themselves and their offspring. Hence, they have evolved a strong tendency to infiltration and manipulation, as well as a reflexive suspicion of all-male groups and subcultures. However, this is improbable. Why? Because, as I have already stated, women never evolved complex, active patterns of behavior in relation to men, sex or gender interaction.

Why would they? Aside from looking as comely as possible, female behavior mattered little for most of evolutionary history.  Omnipotent male agency obviated any need for such complex adaptation – men of power coerced women to their will, whatever they said or thought. And male prowess on the hunting ground or the battlefield ensured the survival of their children, not feminine ‘wiles’

So why, then, are women so attracted to all-male spaces? Why are they so fearful of male autonomy – and indeed, the Men’s Rights Movement? In my view, simple fear: fear of abandonment, fear of starvation, fear of death. There is no need for long, complex explanations based on female evolutionary adaptation. And a cursory glance at contemporary feminism demonstrates this. In the final analysis, women need men a lot more than men need women.

Consider Anglo-American feminists. Despite their misandry, it will be noted that Feminists – and women in general – never seek authentic detachment from men. Ultimately, ‘separatist’ feminists are nothing of the kind. They may live in communes from which men are excluded, so that the inhabitants never see a male for years, if not decades. However, it will be noted that they still  use the technologies developed by male science very freely. Further, their communes can only exist within a protective male context – one that affords safety from wild animals, natural calamities and the criminal underclass.  Hence, it will be noted that female separatism is always selective: even the most ardent feminist retains many aspects of the despised ‘patriarchy’ in her otherwise ‘man-free’ life.

Why is this? The simple answer is that women cannot survive without men to protect and provide for them. Every supposedly 'all-female' institution - from nunneries to sorority houses - retains male janitors, ICT workers and security guards, literally without exception. In sum, the all-female institution is a feminist myth. And this ubiquitous, underlying dependence best explains the female obsession with infiltrating all-male social, cultural and intellectual spaces. The matter is one of sheer survival. Even the most rabidly misandrist female knows deep-down that, if men withdraw their consent from any enterprise, it will fail. And that applies to lesbian communes, not just the real-world institutions that (ultimately) sustain them.

One is strongly reminded of Marxism. This outworn philosophy claims that the proletariat – uneducated manual workers – are ‘exploited’ by the capitalist class. If they could only realize their collective bargaining power, Marx argues, the ‘working’ class could overthrow their oppressors and build a communist utopia. Hold on, though: quite aside from the fact that uneducated manual workers are typically parochial, ignorant and reactionary, they typically lack the cognitive and organizational skills to maintain complex societies. If the ‘oppressing’ classes withdrew their cognitive capital from post-industrial civilization, the ‘working’ classes would be living like medieval peasants within a generation.  The wonders they use but do not understand – the Internet, satellites and smart-phones – would be withdrawn overnight. That would also happen to jobs, healthcare and the elaborate welfare state. In the space of a decade, they would resemble the peasants depicted in the Bayeaux Tapestry, sowing seed in the fields and dying at forty (if that). 

Detroit is a perfect example of what happens when the cognitive elite leave proletarians to their own devices: a once-thriving city becomes a primitive, crime-infested slum. Yet Marxists  still argue that the working class is ‘oppressed’ and ‘exploited’ by its cognitive superiors, who deny them the ‘fruits’ of their labour. However – as with feminism – Marxists never agitate for a separatist solution to this ‘injustice’. If the cognitive elites are so ‘oppressive’, why don’t Marxist academics or the working class go find a Pacific island and built a Communist utopia there, free of their ‘oppressors’? Instead, they want ‘revolution’ – a conflagration which will, conveniently, coerce the cognitive elites into creating (and running) everything ‘for free’.

Despite their rhetoric, never once do Marxists or feminists make real efforts to disengage from their ‘oppressors’  - either men or ‘capitalists’. And yet, it would not be difficult. The Pacific is full of uninhabited islands, while Asia and South America contain many unpopulated enclaves. Look at the hippies of Goa, with their own communes and way of life. If hippies can do it, why not feminists and Marxists?

Of course they could; they just don’t want to. They don’t want to because, at heart, they prefer the many benefits of a capitalist 'patriarchy' to their various utopias. However, there is this crucial difference: while a Marxist commune might subsist indefinitely on some Pacific island (albeit in Palaeolithic squalor), a feminist commune in the same situation would perish in a few weeks.  Without men to hunt and grow food, build shelters, dig drainage channels and guard the community from dangerous arthropods, reptiles and mammals, its inhabitants would perish like flies.

Such a thought-experiment describes a potent evolutionary truth: women without men perished quickly. For me, hypoagency is a variant of the ‘female choice’ theory – it credits women with far too much evolutionary autonomy.  Women never developed a strong, complex sex-drive because there was no need for them to do so: reproductive matters were largely ‘taken care of’ by intra-male competition for women, land and resources. Similarly, women never developed any real capacity for psycho-social autonomy: it simply wasn’t possible in a world full of dangers. Note how prominent feminists preach their misandry from universities founded by men, using concepts and culture created by men, using systems and technologies maintained by men, in societies guarded by men. If all those gifts were repealed, academic feminism would simply not be possible.

So, rather than being a by-product of complex evolutionary processes, hypoagency – or rather, ‘feminist hypocrisy’ – is just female dependence, by any other name.  As ever on our journey through Anglo-American feminism, revolution is really reaction. And in truth, men hold all the cards – if they could just but realize it. Withdraw male consent from anything – even feminism – and it will crumble to dust. Of course, feminists have harboured the ‘structural’ resources inherent in complex post-industrial societies to defend and advance their interests: law, politics and the media. While this shields them somewhat from the direct withdrawal of male consent, their existence still depends on a techno-physical structure devised and maintained by men. The liberal arts and social ‘sciences’ – the academic redoubts of women in general, and feminists in particular – all share this inherent vulnerability. The female assault on all-male spaces is not a mark of female strength and coherence; rather, consider it a mark of desperation, a frantic attempt to recapture male goodwill.