Editor’s Note: Below is an extract from the book, The Vast and the Spurious: 25 Problems for Feminism, by Duncan Smith. In this excerpt he examines the feminist vision of creating a utopia peopled only by women.
How long have we had feminism? It seems like eternity but it’s only about fifty years since it really fired up. In those fifty years, there have been thousands of books, talks, and courses on the subject, but we’re still no closer to gender Utopia. I reckon it’s time to seize the moment and quit while we’re behind. We must rise as one people and many genders and say Enough! After all this talk, after all this trash, it’s time to give Fecunda a go.
And what is Fecunda? It is a magical land; a country never darkened by evil or sin. It is a holy realm without pay gaps, privilege, or rape culture. Fecunda is a land populated only by women.
Sounds pretty good, huh? But is Fecunda a real place, or one known only in legend? Well, if it ain’t real, it ought to be. Women have suffered too long at the hands of men. As one feminist said, it’s only down to their ‘immense compassion or immense foolishness’ that they continue to co-exist with men at all. Yet we can’t expect women’s love to be boundless. It’s time for the Dear John letter; time to go our separate ways. Women deserve a homeland. They deserve Fecunda.
The idea of Fecunda came to me in a dream. It was right after I saw Black Panther, that documentary about the awesome country of Wakanda in Africa. Wakanda is a really cool place with advanced technology they developed on their own far from Western civilisation. Yet as we know, Wakanda is an ethnostate, only for Africans. Because of that, Wakanda has never had the problem of racism. It stands to reason there’s no racism in an ethnostate. In the same way, an all-female Fecunda will solve the problem of sexism. That means no more domestic disputes, no more man-splaining or man-spreading. In fact, no more problems at all.
Sure, there’s the matter of reproduction, for without children, how can Fecunda endure? Should they take a few men as breeding slaves in a sort of reverse Handmaid’s Tale? Better not. No hint of toxic masculinity should ever taint the holy land of Fecunda. I guess the Fecundan scientists can figure out some kind of cloning system. But that is mere detail. The immediate need is to get Fecunda up and running. Men have held women back for too long. Women have earned the right to live under matriarchy, with all-female companies, universities, and families. Let them lead the way and show us how civilisation can be done.
The Case for Fecunda
Now, Fecunda is not for all women. It’s for those who have made it clear they’ve had enough of men. In other words, feminists.
It’s for Boston academic, Suzanna Danuta Walters, who wrote a famous article called ‘Why Can’t We Hate Men?’ Some people say feminism’s a hate movement. According to Walters, it has every right to be. Fecunda is also for Laurie Penny, who’s fed up with women doing all the work in relationships. It’s for Roxane Gay who says that in the age of Me Too, it’s time for men to confess their part in creating rape culture. It’s for all the authors ripping off Margaret Atwood and putting out their own versions of The Handmaid’s Tale. Really, it’s for everyone who thinks patriarchy has them in its vice-like, invisible grip. Men are the problem? Fecunda is the solution.
It’s time to give Fecunda a go. Just think of all the problems getting rid of men would instantly solve. Like I said – no gender pay gap, no rape culture, no male privilege. Fecunda would have 100% female CEOs, a complete lack of sexism, and the Me Too movement would be about as necessary as those bicycles that fish don’t ride.
If you want to do the thing properly, you could even wind the clock back to Year Zero. It’s a grave injustice women in history were denied the chance to make all the great inventions and discoveries. A Stone Age Fecunda would give girls the chance to shine. Let the female Newtons and Darwins emerge as they will.
Or perhaps that is a bridge too far. Fecunda may be a social Utopia, but if it is to compete with other nations, let it have access to the knowledge male privilege has produced. Let Fecunda begin on an equal footing with everyone else. Then, it may shine as the model of what human potential can achieve once patriarchy is vanquished once and for all.
Trouble in Paradise?
In theory, Fecunda should be exactly what feminists want. Let them keep all the advantages of modern life, but remove the one blight on their lives: men and the patriarchy. They could build their own society from the ground up. What could possibly go wrong? Well, maybe a couple of things.
The first problem would be finding women to do all the hard, nasty, or dangerous jobs normally done by men. The garbage collection, building, manual labour, and so on. There’d be no more men to do all that stuff. There’d also be no more men at the top running, inventing, or achieving things from which all others benefit. Still, there’s no reason women can’t step up and start doing all this. That’s what they want, isn’t it?
The second problem would be mental. Being human and living a happy life is difficult. All this time feminists have told themselves their problems are caused by men. After living in that whole Excuse Culture, what are they going to do when the Great Excuse is removed?
Having played the blame game so long, they’ll find it extremely hard to change – which is one reason they’ll never leave. But imagine if they did. In Fecunda, there’d be no more blaming men for everything and thanking them for nothing. No more the eternal cop out. No more thinking ‘I could be anything but for the cursed patriarchy!’
When your mindset is one of grievance, this mode of thinking isn’t easy to give up. If a whole country was formed with people who think like this, it would be only a matter of time before a new scapegoat was found. Some new form of privilege or systemic unfairness would soon be discovered.
You can see this in the recent backlash against white feminists from women of colour. It is almost a matter of schadenfraude to see white feminists being chastised over their privilege, power, and even – Heaven forbid – the pay gap between black and white women. Still, we’d better not have any of that mean old schadenfraude stuff around here. It might lead to fantasies about what happens when people who do nothing but complain are forced to live with each other.
The Skeptics’ Attack on Fecunda
I’m not the first to dream of Fecunda. Of course, there were the lesbian separatists in the 1970s, but as recently as 2018 – at the height of the Brett Kavanaugh furore – some visionary on Twitter said, ‘Ladies, fuck it all. Let’s start our own damn country.’
This set off a storm of replies. The most succinct of these was, ‘And yet you’re still here.’
Some insinuated an all-female country might not be a place of peace and harmony. ‘The weekly civil wars would be draining,’ said one. ‘Y’all would hate each other in 4 days,’ said another. A less optimistic forecast was ‘I’d give your country about 2 hours before it burns to the ground.’ One woman tweeted ‘A country with only feminists in it? I think I’ve heard of that one. It’s called Hell. But please go.’
Some men were in favour of an all-female country, but for different reasons. ‘You can take the blame for a while,’ said one guy. Another echoed the sentiment. ‘Do it. There will be no way you can blame men for your problems!’ Another said ‘For the love of GOD, please do. Take all the Feminists and the Soy-boy fruitcake men. Let me know where to donate. It’ll take you less than a year to have your own civil war when you realize that men AREN’T your problem YOU are.’
This was all terribly unfair. As one girl protested, ‘It’s funny how men think women can’t run their own country because omg “women hate women,” like they didn’t create the systemic internalised misogyny to begin with.’ So it looks like in Fecunda, men can still take the blame even if they’re not there.
Then again, some women were keen to try it. ‘I’m in!’ one tweeted. ‘I offer super mad admin, commercial and legal skills…as well as being a homemaker.’ Now, while it’s true those skills are useful in any modern economy, several replies showed a concern that other jobs might be harder to fill:
I’m curious about this proposal. I’m interested to see if you’ll find enough workforce to construct the building, the roads, bridges, the power plants. Then there’s the sewage plants, the plumbing, the mining, et al. This would be fascinating & educational.
Go ahead. Some things to ponder. 1. What’s your constitution look like? 2. Who collects the resources? How are they distributed? 3. What’s your medium of exchange? 4. How do you protect yourselves? 5. Have a draft? Mandatory military service? I’ve got more when you’re done.
Who collects the garbage? Who climbs the cell phone towers? Who pumps your oil? Who frames your houses? Who defends your freedom? Hint: It’s not feminist ink spillers with ZERO job skills.
Perceptive readers will pick up a hint of skepticism at the idea a women-only country could work. Still, pioneers have always been mocked for having the guts to try something new. They laughed at Columbus when he set off for the New World. They laughed at Julius Caesar when he tried to conquer Ancient Britain. They laughed at Jimmy Jones when he took his People’s Temple to the tropical paradise of Guyana.
Don’t laugh. Goddamn it, let’s give Fecunda a try! Feminists have been saying for years women can do anything men can. Perhaps they’re right. Yet until the experiment is tried, it’s all hypothetical – and talk is cheap. That’s why Fecunda is the perfect chance for women to finally achieve their full potential away from the shackles of patriarchy and the soul-crushing privilege of men. All together now – Give Fecunda a Go!
As for who would rule, there’s no shortage of high profile leaders who could step up as Fecunda’s first president: Angela Merkel, Julia Gillard, or Justin Trudeau, just to name a few. Hillary might even step into the breach if she’s got nothing better to do. Maybe whoever it is could make some terrible empathy-based decisions like having open borders or something. Then again, that would defeat the point, wouldn’t it? Fecunda is all about keeping the right ones in and the wrong ones out.
Envy 10, Empathy 0
This essay has been facetious in tone, but has a more serious intent. It’s a response to what seems to be a systematic resentment of men.
Contrary to feminist belief, most Western men are not princes, lords, or playboys. We do not have lives of astonishing ease, free of troubles and sorrow.
Men are getting pretty tired of the Envy 10, Empathy 0 view of them. We’re sick of being blamed for everything and thanked for nothing. We’re sick of being a ‘we’ at all. Men are individuals, not part of a team that can be blamed for every problem, real or imagined, women think they have. We are not a gestalt entity to be blamed for the crimes of our worst members.
But if feminists really think men are the problem, Fecunda is the solution. They should leave and establish their own society. Let’s see if it leads to any kind of Utopia.
Perhaps it will. Inga Muscio seems keen on the thought of an all-female space. In her magnum opus, Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, she describes the life changing experience of attending the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, where it’s not only the music that’s female. The gatekeepers, bus drivers, and every other role is taken by women. Indeed the only men allowed to enter the site are there to empty the porta-loos.
Muscio contrasts this with regular life, where she cannot leave her home without being immersed in a male-created world. The cars, streets, and buildings are the result of men’s labour and design. Even most of the songs she hears, or the movies she sees advertised, have been made by men.
This is quintessential feminist discontent. Instead of seeing our civilisation as something to be proud of or grateful for, it’s a source of annoyance. The whole damn thing is a tiresome imposition on women. To be fair, Muscio’s point is the frustration that women haven’t had more of a hand in creating it – and Cunt certainly is one of the better feminist books. Yet in this section (from pages 206-07) the antagonism to men is so strong that maybe it’s time to trial some kind of gender apartheid. Why not? Why not trial an all female country where women can run the show? It’s time to replace the complaining with action. Fecunda would be like the Michigan Womyn’s Festival, but all the time. The only problem is the Fecundans will have to empty their own porta-loos.
Is feminism a hate movement? The official answer is no, but it does seem to be angrier than ever the last few years. My city’s main newspaper runs anti-male stories daily. One journalist used it to proclaim the Me Too movement a revolt against aeons of oppression. Another, writing after the murder of a young woman, raged against men as a class and said it was an act of folly for women to keep partnering with them at all.
In her infamous ‘Why Can’t We Hate Men?’ essay, Suzanna Danuta Walters argues that hate is justified. She says that right around the world, women suffer at the hands of men, just as they have through history. Men are responsible for centuries of woe and the only way they can make amends is to get out of the way. She calls on men to give up all leadership positions and hand power to women to make up for all the damage they’ve caused.
Some expressions of hate are even more direct. During the Brett Kavanaugh affair, a lady I’ll call Amelia was outraged by all the men defending Kavanaugh on social media. She tweeted that they all deserved horrible deaths and feminists would ‘laugh as they take their last gasps,’ before castrating their corpses and feeding them to pigs.
As an aside, Amelia recently defended free speech on Twitter. I tweeted a reply: ‘For once I agree with you, Amelia.’ ‘You might agree with me on a few other things too,’ she answered. Not sure how to take this, I tweeted, ‘You may be right,’ before returning to meditate on my hopes for Fecunda.
So, let’s repeat: Men are the problem. Fecunda is the solution. If Danuta Walters wants women to rule, she could keep slogging away in the countries clogged up with men, but why not just move to Fecunda? Imagine how much women can achieve once their main problem is removed once and for all. I mean, on Christmas Day, 2018, someone called ‘Feminist Next Door’ sent out a special festive tweet on the same topic. The gist of it was to imagine that men vanished from the world for 24 hours. Mind you, they would not be harmed, just absent.
The day men vanished need not be Christmas Day itself. It could be any day. But it would be just like Christmas for people like ‘Feminist Next Door.’ The idea was for women to imagine what they could do on that joyful day, and given the nobility of the sentiment, let’s forgive FND for ripping off Andrea Dworkin. A couple of months later she answered a male heckler who said something rude about International Women’s Day. She said the other 364 days of the year were all International Men’s Day, so the heckler should shut up and let women have their one special day.
The trouble is ‘Feminist Next Door’ is way too modest in her demands. 24 hours? What can you do in 24 hours? You need at least 24 years to see what women can really achieve. It’s just possible that after 24 years, Fecunda might be the greatest country in the entire world, a superpower to rival Wakanda itself. In Fecunda, it will be International Women’s Day 365 days a year.
*Part Two of this article will move on to the topic of ‘rape culture.’