So we are spang in the midst of what is being called a “sexual harassment apocalypse.” But this is only being experienced as an apocalypse by a certain class of individual—that class being what we might call the poseur-feminist. This is one who cops the attitude of quisling males who somehow decided that, provided their politics were in order, they could be pigs in their treatment of all the women around them. By their calculus, it was a great racket while it lasted.
But let me define apocalypse first, a word that is singularly appropriate to what is going on. This is the name of the last book in the Bible in the Greek, and that word means an unveiling. The Latin for it is Revelation, which—as applied to this situation—is what happens when you flip over a large flat rock in your garden, and there discover a host of creepy crawlies.
The initial unveiling was that of Harvey Weinstein but—as such things go—it promptly swept up things that had been revealed before this, and things that were to come thereafter, and here we are. So let us call it the year of the pig. We are talking about the situations involving Harvey Weinstein, Mark Halperin, Anthony Weiner, Kevin Spacey, et al. These are the cases where some significant level of guilt can be considered to have been already confirmed. And in the category of “still under investigation,” take the example of Hamilton Fish at The New Republic. And Dustin Hoffman got himself accused just the other day. We also have the category of men who have gotten a bye for various political reasons, like Bill Clinton or Donald Trump, but whose reputations contribute to the same general effect.
Now in line with what I have argued in the past, these allegations do not create a collective “group guilt,” such that any allegation should be treated as automatically true. Operating that way is a central problem with our identity politics. Some men lie about women they have groped, and some women lie about having been groped. At the outset, we don’t know. So when an accusation is made, and also denied, the thing that must happen is an evaluation of the evidence before any determination is made.
But in what we are seeing now, even when particular incidents are denied or explained, the weight of the acknowledged and cumulative story is grotesque. In other words, it is beyond safe to say that certain places in this fair Republic have been crammed with dirty deeds for quite a while now, and it has started to fester. The Hollywood pus is starting to ooze.
And that is why this whole thing has created another interesting thing to puzzle through—which is the thing I want to ponder today. The question why so many progressive and liberated women put up with this kind of thing, for so many years, and all throughout the upper echelons of Enlightenment Town.
The lesson is this—I think it shows us the power of paradigms. Belief in the dogmas of the one true church can survive a long line of individual run-ins with skanky priests. It can’t last forever, but it can last a long time. And that is what I think is happening here. This is how it works.
As with all hard-driving and proselytizing religions, the progressive dogma is that humanity is divided between the elect and the reprobate, the enlightened and the throwbacks, the coastal cosmopolitans and the hicks of flyover country. Just as Islam divides the world between the House of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the House of War (Dar al-harb), so also the progressives divide the world into the blue states, which are basically European but without castles and ruins, and the red states, where people still go to rodeos and state fairs, and eat deep-fried things.
With this state of “war” assumed, the dogmas of the progressive faith have taught for a generation or more (and taught fiercely) that the red states are misogynistic to the bone. Women are kept barefoot and pregnant, back there in the kitchen, where from time to time they are forced to make biscuits. One of the first things that propaganda in a time of war always seeks to do is dehumanize the enemy, and in this the progressive propaganda war has succeeded spectacularly. It is most on display with regard to sexual issues (because sexual issues are perennially relevant everywhere you go), but they are also very active when it comes to racial matters.
And the revolution is all of a piece. If you have the stomach to check, you can tell if any of your Christian leaders have capitulated to the Gramscian rot in principle. If they join in on the furrowed brow concerns about anonymous posters putting up notices that say hateful things like “it’s okay to be white,” they have surrendered already. When that kind of mild and unassuming statement triggers entire campuses, reacting to the “white supremacy,” you know that it can’t be long now. If that is a hate crime—that the police feel they need to investigate—what would they do if someone wrote an op-ed for the student paper with the headline “I am moderately contented with being a Caucasian male”? When that kind of thing is treated as though it were the return of Attila, you should know what is happening. Decent white dudes are being demonized, that’s what is happening.
So here is my point, I promise. If an entire strata of our culture has been so propagandized as to be triggered by something so stupid, do you think they have also accepted the idea that red state America is chock-a-block with misogyny? Yes, of course they do. It is axiomatic with that group that conservative males are far, far worse in their treatment of women than liberal men are. And with that running in the axiomatic background, the treatment of women they see with their own eyes in enlightened and progressive enclaves like Hollywood is beyond appalling.
Got it? “The conservative men (that I have heard about) are terrible. The liberal men that I know are far better. But the liberal men that I know treat women in ghastly ways. Therefore . . .” And that is how Oklahoma is assumed to be just a notch or two above Mordor.
And this feeds another feminist dictum, which is that all men are rapists, that heterosexuality is patriarchal oppression by definition, and that men themselves are the human disease. If the really good ones (who have accepted the “one true faith”) are so bad, what must the bad ones be like?
The only alternative to this line of thought is conversion, radical deep conversion. In order to break free of this set of assumptions, the entire architecture of progressive thought would need to be toppled. Nothing good will happen in our culture until then. But unfortunately, rather than stand up against this school of architecture, many of our Christian leaders are trying to decorate this kind of unbelieving architecture with a Bible verse here or there.
If they let us post our Bible verse for ten years, and that is all we ask, then we will have, in our own little flaccid way, sought the peace of the city.