Today, I draw your attention to another subtly counter-feminist message embedded between the lines of an article written for the pro-feminist Guardian:
My intense focus on the turmoil within the Murdoch empire – its dizzying implications for the future of British journalism, for press regulation, and for the reputations of all and sundry – has suddenly been interrupted by the chilling news from California that a wife has chopped off her husband’s penis. This is not something that happens often – the last known occasion was in Virginia in 1993 when Lorena Bobbitt did it to her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt
First off, this is somewhat misleading. There have been numerous cases of male genital mutilation and removal by women in the last couple of years alone – stories of cutting, burning and biting which briefly appeared in the news and made their way around the manosphere, none of which I have to hand, nor do I particularly want to go searching for them again. While I am not about to make the claim that this is a frequent occurrence, it has plainly happened more often than twice in eighteen years.
Still, the parallels to the Bobbitt case are unsurprising. That case was infamous, not only for the action but for the subsequent celebrity treatment of the violent criminal (and veneration as a folk heroine by the feminist sector); for her acquittal; for the scorn heaped upon the victim of genital mutilation (and likely a false rape accusation); for the twisted way that women would then make reference to the incident as an implicit threat against men, seemingly for no purpose other than to upset them.
In a “spontaneous statement” to police, Becker said only that her husband “deserved it”. One shudders to think what offence would make a man deserving of such a punishment, but perhaps that will come out during the trial.
Lorena Bobbitt, having been schooled by feminist advocates before her case went to trial, made the typical claim that she had suffered rape, abuse, and so on, and the only way for her to escape this desperate situation was to lacerate her husband (as opposed to, say, leaving the house, or calling the police). Her chief concern, though, was apparently that he was selfish and would always orgasm first.
We continue with Mr Chancellor’s piece:
John Bobbitt is an unappealing character who may well have been guilty of some, if not all, of the offences of which his wife accused him. But I find it difficult to accept the widely held view among feminists at the time that they were fully deserving of his wife’s gruesome revenge.
It is worth looking back at what the feminist reaction to the Bobbitt case actually consisted of. 1993 was a long time ago, and even the odd feminist visitor who finds her way here may be unaware. The most comprehensive account is found here, and from which I quote:
From the outset, Lorena Bobbitt was widely regarded as a feminist hero. Time Magazine said there was a “ripple of glee that passed through the female population when Lorena Bobbitt struck back.” Vanity Fair ran a sultry photo spread of Lorena Bobbitt and branded her a “national folk heroine.”
A woman wrote to the New York Times: “Prof. Catharine MacKinnon of the University of Michigan and the writer Andrea Dworkin long ago pointed to the institution of marriage as a legal cover for the act of rape and the permanent humiliation of women. Lorena Bobbitt’s life has been a poignant instance of that nightmare, which elicited a bold and courageous act of feminist self-defense.”
Another woman seemed to sum up the feelings of many women without the pretentious feminist patina: “Every woman I’ve talked to about this says, ‘Way to go!'”
The mainstream media was only too happy to mirror the feminist glee with barely any more restraint. Progressive writers (we called them “liberal” back then) dubbed the affair a “cautionary tale” for men. The lesson wasn’t that mutilating another human being is never justified; the lesson was that men had better wise up when it comes to how they treat women or they’ll rightly lose their dicks. Female features writers couldn’t bring themselves to outright applaud the mutilation but they went to great lengths to make clear that they were sympathetic to it. One columnist wrote: “Personally, I’m for both feminism and nonviolence. I admire the male body and prefer to find the penis attached to it rather than having to root around in vacant lots with Ziploc bag in hand. But I’m not willing to wait another decade or two for gender peace to prevail. And if a fellow insists on using his penis as a weapon, I say that, one way or another, he ought to be swiftly disarmed.”
Much of the nation, and beyond, watched intently with sympathies split largely along gender lines. In Ecuador, Lorena Bobbitt’s home country, the National Feminist Association called several news organizations to announce that if Mrs. Bobbitt went to prison for mutilating her husband, 100 innocent American men would be castrated (it is not clear if they really meant “castration,” which generally means removal of the testicles, or if they meant they would slice off 100 innocent penises). The organization also staged a large protest outside the U.S. consulate.
The Lorena Bobbitt trial was a feminist Woodstock. A carnival atmosphere swept over Manassas, where it was held. A woman sold homemade, penis-shaped white chocolates outside the courthouse. T-shirts were hawked that said “Revenge — how sweet it is,” and “Manassas: A Cut Above.” Some feminists sold buttons that read: “LORENA BOBBITT FOR SURGEON GENERAL.” Disc jockeys handed out “Slice” soda pop and cocktail wieners “with lots of ketchup.” Hundreds of Lorena Bobbitt supporters cheered their champion outside the courthouse. When the man she mutilated — the real victim — walked outside, he was greeted with boos and whistles, but he stoically showed no reaction.
Perhaps with this very article in mind, Fidelbogen has shared a quick thought on this new mutilation case:
Will this story get the huge, worldwide notoriety which the Bobbitt case received? No, I reckon it won’t. For that would immediately force the Bobbitt case back into our collective mind, and invite comparative discussions of a politically loaded nature which plenty of people would rather not see happening. The zeitgeist has changed a LOT since the Bobbitt case . . . and the men’ s rights movement has had a lot to do with creating that change.
Oh sure, the feminists would love to crow and gloat about the present case, and whip out their attitude, and wave it around as brazenly as they did back then. But they know damned well that this time around they had better “put that thing away and zip it up” because the zeitgeist won’t tolerate such public obscenity any more.
He is absolutely right. Feminists will not, and absolutely could not, afford to indulge in the antics that they did following the Bobbitt case. Times have changed dramatically since 1993, and this has, indeed, been mainly down to the slow pressure that the Men’s Rights Movement has exerted on the public consciousness, primarily through its chosen medium, the internet. Surely, there will be feminist women gloating over this latest mutilation (surely, there will be non-feminist women doing the same). But the level of obscenity that followed the Bobbitt case will not be matched, because since 1993, feminism has been put on its back foot.
So it comes to pass that even leftists are becoming uncomfortable about associating with a movement that is obviously violent and sexist. The left adores its victims, particularly minorities, but becomes less keen when they actually attain power and begin using that power to persecute others. The leftist Guardian recently fired one shot across the bow, and the conclusion of Mr Chancellor’s piece is clearly another:
It is impossible to imagine what act of mutilation by a husband against an abusive wife would be regarded as equally justified. But I think that might be rather an old-fashioned thing to say.
Old-fashioned, because we have moved beyond the expectation of equality between men and women, and are now oriented towards explicit female supremacy. The idea that there should or could be an equivalent situation with the sexes reversed is obsolete now that equality has been surpassed. Chancellor does not outright attack feminism, but his parting words on the subject are clear as day. The notion of equality between men and women is an old-fashioned one, not because feminism is fading out, but because feminists have moved beyond it in their pursuit of women’s power.
But then how can these two views be reconciled – first, that feminists have moved past the point of equality and are now openly seeking female supremacy, and second, that feminists are now unable to express their misandry as freely as they once could?
There is not necessarily a contradiction here. Those of us who have studied feminism are well aware that female supremacy was being advocated long before 1993. The gains that feminism has made since then have drawn more attention to its activities – more critical attention, both from their traditional enemies and from former or would-be allies. Their seeking female supremacy is nothing new; this is not the sign of changed times. But the pro-feminist Guardian stating outright, in a barely veiled criticism, that this is the case, certainly is a sign of changed times. And it is precisely because they are being watched – and know that they are being watched – that they know they cannot get away with rallies celebrating women who mutilate men any more.
One final point. In the comments section of Alexander Chancellor’s piece, several commenters crop up, self-identifying as feminist, and making it very clear that they in no way support the removal of male organs.
I say to them: very well. I shall not claim to know your mind better than you do, and until I have reason to believe otherwise, I shall grant you the benefit of the doubt in the matter.
But if you really do feel this way, will you please clean house?
Stop pretending that the feminists who do support male genital mutilation are a rare find. We both know they’re out there, and in their numbers. I’m doing my part, so you go ahead and do yours: grab a mop and bucket and let’s get to work on your rabid sisters.