Cornelius Van Til argued that unbelieving societies alternate between rationalism and irrationalism, that unbelieving thought displays a rationalist/irrationalist dialectic, which is quite true. But in advanced stages of cultural decay it should be observed that this dialectic turns into an oscillating fan set on high.
Examples are plentiful — in fact, it is hard to find things that aren’t examples — but this morning let us consider some of the erratic standards flowing from feminism. Feminism began by insisting that women could do anything a man could do, and has ended by saying that women can’t do anything that their grandmothers used to do routinely. “I am woman, hear me roar” has turned into “I am needy bucket, hear me whine.”
Feminism demands that we tell ourselves hard truths about the relationship between the sexes, and simultaneously demands that no woman ever be told the truth about anything.
Examples range from the comparatively trivial to the very serious. A standing assumption appears to be that if any woman posts a picture of herself online in some godforsaken getup, a minimum of three of her friends will tell her that she is “gorgeous,” “smokin’ hot,” and so on. This is done for two reasons. The first is the same kind of thinking that drives awards ceremonies in Hollywood. If everyone gets called a genius, then it is just a matter of time before it is everybody’s turn to be called a genius. The second reason this happens is that it is expected. Refusal to do so indicates that you must have a deep-seated antipathy toward women generally.
So we have gotten to the point where misogyny could be defined as telling a woman the truth. The other half of this is that we are up against a culture-wide demand that we call the most manifest and obvious lies “the truth.” If anyone actually tells, you know, the actual truth, they will do their level best to destroy you.
But shouldn’t it be possible to think that for women to have a permanent silvery drip hanging from the bottom of their noses is not as fetching as everybody said it would be? And perhaps someone could think this because he has a higher view of what women were called to be than is currently being promoted? A man can hate feminism because of the vandalism it is perpetrating on feminine glory.
I said examples ranged from the trivial to the serious, but the same principle is driving all of it. Because “the truth” is off limits when it comes to speaking to and about women, we have the minor social evil of women in tight jean muffin tops thinking they’re cute. But we also have the rapidly hardening public dogma that women are suitable for combat roles — something Deuteronomy calls appalling (Dt. 22:5).
Someone might think I am being inconsistent here, because wouldn’t I want to defend the older, more chivalric order, when men deferred to women, and would not “speak the truth” to them, restrained by kinds of courtesies? Yes, I would, and it is not inconsistent. The “false” nature of “manners” — opening a door for a woman, as though she were incapable of it herself — was possible and healthy because the culture as a whole understood the truth about men and women. Because sexual roles were well-defined, the artificial nature of manners was no hypocrisy. But now people are demanding that we retain a hyper-inflamed respect for those same manners against the backdrop of an imbecilic understanding of male and female.