People of course can lose their minds, but so can cultures. An individual can lose his grip on reality (as we used to put it so quaintly), but it is also possible for the solons of a particular generation to lose that same grip. And as these solons circle the drain, remnants of the older order float by them—and so they try to appeal to those, trying to get the same cachet that “arguments” used to have, trying to get us to feel outraged by all the oppression. But we just can’t anymore.
That’s because oppression is just a social construct. Everything is a social construct. How can men oppress women when, by this time tomorrow, everyone could in principle be a woman? How can we smash the patriarchy when the patriarchy is a social construct? We could “smash” it today and the whole thing could be rebuilt the day after tomorrow. Not only that, but we have the authority to rebuild the whole thing to our very own specs. We could even specify that Patriarchy 2.0 would have the “women” staying home baking pies and having babies, and in this next social construct they would all like it.
If biological sex is one thing, and gender is another, then this admits of limitless possibilities. Putting someone on the rack is one thing, and turning the crank is another. Torture is a social construct.
The problem is that when anything can be x, the necessary consequence is that nothing can be x. When anyone can be a woman, what’s the big deal about being a woman? When all the parts are interchangeable, what’s the big deal about changing the parts?
In this world that is descending into madness, you tell me—what isn’t a social construct? And, having drawn an arbitrary line at whatever spot you wanted to maintain (for now), tell me why that particular line has any authority whatever. Authority is a social construct, particularly yours.
So I am back to the point that was implicit in my first paragraph. Feminism is not simply a mistake. It can be merely that on an individual level, but promoted to the levels of arbitrary cultural authority it now enjoys in the public square, feminism is mental illness, the kind of mental illness that is rooted in a defiled conscience. It is the kind of madness that came to Lady Macbeth. Feminism is insanity on stilts. Cultural feminism is what happens when demented women are flattered as though they were not demented. It is the sort of thing that ends badly. Recall that Pentheus gets torn apart.
When a culture devolves to that point, remember, order must be maintained with a club. No one can police themselves anymore in accordance with the rules of a social order because social order is a social construct, and the whole thing might shift on you.
Arbitrary change, capricious reversals, and you are an intellectual outlaw for not keeping up. Genital mutilation is a crime when Muslims do it—for now—but genital mutilation is au courant if you are an upscale liberal with a femmy little boy. Only troglodytes opposed the establishment of women’s sports on college campuses a few years ago, and only troglodytes today fail to see the wickedness of such a binary establishment. What’s next? Colored drinking fountains? Actually . . . that’s not a reductio. We are now back to racial segregation on our campuses. But if everything is a social construct, then race is a social construct. So what happens when Shaun King gets thirsty?
And good luck charging them all with intellectual inconsistency. Consistency is a social construct. Expecting consistency in these times of ours is like going down into the basements of Bedlam, finding the most isolated cell, way in the back, and taking up an argument to expose the flaws in the case of the man who thinks he is the king of Neptune. “But,” you say, “that does not line up with what you said yesterday. I made a special note of it . . .”
Sure. The inmates need to be locked up, but so do the people who argue with the inmates.
If you are an intellectual outlaw for not keeping up, then what are you for refusing even to make the attempt? What are you besides a threat to democracy, I mean?