Politics and Books

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Friday

TK Kenyon's Misandry, Carol Lloyd Of Salon Attacks Doris Lessing

Now that we're on the subject of Doris Lessing and misandry (see posts below), a good example of exactly the type of sexist feminists Lessing refers to have recently published their thoughts on Internet. One is a writer named TK Kenyon, the other a writer for Salon, Carol Lloyd. Both appear to be practicing overt sexism and misandry without a moment's hesitation--the former because she labels anyone of male gender a misogynist who doesn't like Doris Lessing's writing, and the latter by implying that Lessing's viewpoint on contemporary feminism can't be taken seriously because she fails to specifically address favorite feminist issues. After all, how dare Lessing challenge the viewpoint that all men are anything less than snails and puppy dog tails?

In a recent blog post on the subject of Lessing, TK Kenyon refers to all men (no distinctions made--cause we know all men are alike, right?) who don't like Lessing's writing or feel Lessing should not have won the Nobel Prize as: 1) Male chauvinist idiots; 2) Sci-fi hating snobs; 3) Devious misogynists; 4) Self-appointed literati; and of course, 5) Sexists.

The true sexist deceit being practiced here by TK Kenyon is obvious to anyone with an IQ greater than 20. NEWSFLASH: there are also lots of women who don't like Doris Lessing's sci-fi-ish work (see one of them at Powell's Books). Kenyon dishonestly pretends, for the sake of a rousing male bash, that only men are capable of disliking Lessing's work, but as a feminist sexist, her viewpoint is predictably absurd. Next, she jumps from this unsupportable conclusion to suggest a conspiracy of "male chauvinist idiots" who are attacking Lessing simply because they don't want to see a woman win a Nobel. Is this intelligent? Every time a writer wins a Pulitzer or a Nobel loads of critics come shrieking out of the woods to bitch about it. So what? But no amount of context or inherent foolishness of viewpoint will stop a TK Kenyon-like feminist from seeking publicity or pretending to take the moral high ground before her peers and admirers (just ask Nancy Grace).

Nevertheless, the first bit of comedy derives from Kenyon's comparison of Lessing to Vonnegut and how they both suffered similar "unfair" criticism regarding their sci-fi. Well, ummmm, there you go. Vonnegut suffered the same fate, according to Kenyon--and his critics, by definition, were not woman haters. Doesn't Kenyon contradict her premise somewhat when she uses this example? Yes? No?

Now, on to Carol Lloyd of Salon. In reference to the Guardian article on Doris Lessing, Carol savagely rakes Lessing over the coals for her viewpoints expressed in the Guardian:

On which imaginary planet is she residing? And what about domestic violence, rape and the scores of countries in which women are quite literally second-class citizens? As evidence of this ubiquitous male-bashing, Lessing recounts being in an elementary-school classroom in which a teacher was telling her 9- and 10-year-old students that wars are a result of men's innate violence. Yeah that's pretty stupid stuff, but ... can we really extrapolate on the failings of feminism from the silly comments of an elementary-school teacher?

Ok, well, the fact that Lessing did not specifically address domestic violence, for example, does not negate her viewpoint as expressed in the article. Carol Lloyd, rather than acknowledge the sexism inherent in second wave feminism, bashes Lessing for not seeing all men in the same light that she sees them--as abusers and woman beaters. Lloyd's dishonesty resides in the fact that she herself fails to acknowledge well-known facts regarding domestic violence, namely, that more mothers are guilty of child abuse and neglect fatalities in the home than fathers. According to the biggest child violence study in America conducted by HHS, women acting alone as child abusers comprise a far larger percentage of all perpetrators than men, 40 percent vs. 18 percent. Yes, that is correct. Hate to bring the wall down on you, Carol, but talk about power relationships? Why don't you complain about Lessing not addressing this fact also? Maybe because it makes women look bad and not men? But it makes no more sense to suggest that women as a whole are child killers than it does to suggest that men are woman beaters. Lessing was right to draw attention to the extremism of second wave feminism.

The second comical thing is the fact that Carol Lloyd, herself a sexist feminist, should fairly classify as a misogynist (as defined by Kenyon) simply because she finds serious fault with the writing of Doris Lessing. So as I noted previously, there are plenty of women who don't like Doris Lessing's writing. Other human beings who are not MEN don't like Lessing. Yes! I know them. And obviously, they're not misogynists!!!

Let's stop all this female redneck man-bashing. I agree with Doris. It's getting dumber and dumber and making everyone look like asses. Also, to TK and Carol, people should feel free to express opinions without being insulted. Debate is fine, but bashing is not.



Another Doris Lessing - This One Decries Feminist Sexism

Praise be! I just stumbled into an article posted by the Guardian which appears to confirm that not only does Doris Lessing object to second wave feminism, but STRONGLY objects. Fair is fair, so I must quote this article below:

The novelist Doris Lessing yesterday claimed that men were the new silent victims in the sex war, "continually demeaned and insulted" by women without a whimper of protest ... Lessing, who became a feminist icon with the books The Grass is Singing and The Golden Notebook, said a "lazy and insidious" culture had taken hold within feminism that revelled in flailing men.

And further:

"I find myself increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that it is hardly even noticed," the 81-year-old Persian-born writer said yesterday ... "We have many wonderful, clever, powerful women everywhere, but what is happening to men? Why did this have to be at the cost of men?"

And further:

"I was in a class of nine- and 10-year-olds, girls and boys, and this young woman was telling these kids that the reason for wars was the innately violent nature of men ... You could see the little girls, fat with complacency and conceit while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologising for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives." Lessing said the teacher tried to "catch my eye, thinking I would approve of this rubbish". She added: "This kind of thing is happening in schools all over the place and no one says a thing."

And further:

"It has become a kind of religion that you can't criticise because then you become a traitor to the great cause, which I am not. It is time we began to ask who are these women who continually rubbish men. The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests ... Men seem to be so cowed that they can't fight back, and it is time they did."

I can't help but wonder if Doris Lessing really wrote that foreword that I mention below? ... Very suspicious.

Sunday

Et Tu Doris? Truth or Sexism?


I have not read this book, but according to a review at Powell's Books, Doris Lessing states in her foreword that men:

... lack the solidity of women, who seem to have been endowed with a natural harmony with the ways of the world....Men in comparison are unstable, and erratic. Is Nature trying something out?

This sounds right out of the mouth of Maureen Dowd and extremist feminists who proclaim it's nature's intent that men should become extinct. Well, wait a minute! Here is a statement by none other than Doris Lessing which is so general that it effectively negates itself, i.e., she would be more accurate if she had said "Men are accountants" or "Men are firefighters," but even these statements are markedly false as stated because of the implication made that most, if not all men, are accountants or firefighters. Thus, Men are no more "unstable, and erratic" than they are heroic and honest. I have to argue on this basis alone, the Lessing statement qualifies as absurdly sexist.

After I read it, I immediately flashed to past memories of a favorite woman boss of mine who was a Devil Prada monster of the worst kind, and to the vision of a mother violently abusing her child outside my office while simultaneously browbeating her husband into total submission. If you are out there, Doris, I highly recommend a reality check in the form of Phyllis Chessler's Woman's Inhumanity to Woman. As Library Journal notes:

Second Wave feminists have for 30-plus years operated under the assumption that sisterhood is powerful. Indeed, women acting in concert have forced society to redefine gender, domestic relations, and the workplace. Still, despite huge gains in public visibility, female ascendance has been hampered by a rarely acknowledged reality: women often betray, hurt, and humiliate one another. Mothers stymie daughters, biological sisters compete, girlfriends gossip maliciously, and women bosses exert arbitrary and capricious authority.

Next, a dose of In The Company of Women for dessert.

NOTE: Evil and assholish-ness are NOT gender specific! And I refuse to join the band of Second Wave feminists who pretend this is true. I know it's a method of bonding for some. If you can sit around and blame the husbands and male bosses and boyfriends and fathers for all your problems, then you have something in common, yes? It reminds me of Neocon rednecks hoisting a beer and blaming all America's problems on Democrats.

I can't do that. I blame everyone for my problems. No one is singled out.