Flip-Flop On Feminism—Is Race Next?




Taking Sex Differences Seriously
, a fine
new book by

Steven E. Rhoads
, a professor of government at the
University of Virginia, documents that just about every
male-female stereotype you ever heard is

true
. Most of them stem from disparities in

sex hormones
.

Reading Taking Sex Differences
Seriously
was something of a nostalgia trip for me.
The questions Rhoads grapples with were ones of intense
personal concern back in the early 1990s. At the time,
feminists dominated public discourse with their
insistence that distinctions between males and females
were purely

social constructs.

But somebody forgot to give my baby
son the memo.  In 1990, at only 15 months old, he
suddenly developed an intense disdain for all things
girlish, along with a corresponding passion for watching

strong men
hit balls with sticks. My wife
discovered, to her exasperated boredom, that

her baby boy
instantaneously began to whine anytime
she tried to flip past televised

baseball
or, God forbid,

golf
. Whenever we left the house on a walk, he`d
immediately have to find a

stick
to brandish menacingly, like the

killer ape
in 2001.

And he began throwing store-aisle
temper tantrums whenever his mother denied him a
flashlight (or toy sword, gun, spear, rocket ship,
baseball bat, bow and arrow, screwdriver, slingshot, or
whatever other “projection” device struck his
hormone-warped fancy).

She learned there was only one way
to silence him.

"That`s a Girl Flashlight,"
she`d explain. "They`re all out of Boy Flashlights.
Do you still want it?"

Believe me,

socialization
isn`t what differentiates the
sexes—it`s the only hope of their ever getting along
civilly.

Then, in October 1991, the world
seemed to go crazy over the

Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas
brouhaha.

To me, it appeared obvious that
Hill was another attractive, accomplished black woman
whose biological clock was ticking loudly as she
searched for that rare black man of even greater
achievement. Perhaps the crime of Thomas, the most
eligible bachelor she had known, was that he had not
propositioned her when he had the chance. And, worst of
all, he had gone on to

marry
a

blonde
. Now, the woman scorned was having her
furious revenge.

But the press, propelled by women
reporters like

Maureen Dowd
of the New York Times, went
bananas over the story. In the aftermath, feminism ruled
unchallenged, with deeply stupid books like

Naomi Wolf`s


The Beauty Myth
and

Susan Faludi`s


Backlash
jet-propelled up the bestseller lists
by the media frenzy.

Faludi argued that the media was
severely biased against

feminism
. But of the 40 reviews of her book I found
in the media, 37 were favorable. Which didn`t exactly
add up to a backlash.

The next fall, with his

feminist wife Hillary
by his side, Democrat Bill
Clinton rode “The Year of the Woman”

hoopla
into the White House.

I had been traveling to Arkansas
frequently to call on Wal-Mart. (I used to be a
contender!—working in marketing, not journalism.)
Arkansawyers regaled me with tales of their Gov.
Clinton`s

adulterous exploits
. So, in December of 1992,
shortly after his election, I wrote an

article
beginning: “A specter is haunting the
Clinton Presidency, one that the President-Elect needs
to defuse immediately.”

Forgive me for quoting from my 1992
essay at length, but it proved prescient:

“If I
was an investigative reporter wishing to make a name for
myself as the Woodward/Bernstein of the 90`s, I`d be
highly intrigued by these facts: Governor Clinton has
for many years presided over thousands of female state
employees…He is widely reputed to be a man like any
other man,

only more so
… It seems likely that some enterprising
reporter is going to think it worth his while to go
Pulitzer hunting among the secretarial pools and law
offices of Little Rock… At any moment over the next four
years, a vast brouhaha may erupt. While initially
amusing to contemplate, the thought of a Watergate-like
paralysis of the executive branch … is not.

“If Mr. Clinton has any secret worries on this score,
he should act now. A vague confession and apology would
cause a short flurry of tsk-tsking, but the ultimate
loser would not be the President but the expansive
definition of sexual harassment.”

Nobody would
publish my article. But one of the magazines I sent it
to,

The American Spectator
,
did what I advised and
sent David Brock to

Little Rock.
He found Paula Jones, who sued Clinton
for

sexual harassment
(and eventually collected
$900,000). Jones` lawyers asked the

President
about his affair with

Monica Lewinsky
. His perjury led to his

impeachment
.

So maybe it
was all my fault.

One
unexpected dividend from all this: Clinton`s survival,
which depended significantly on his near-unanimous
support from hypocritical feminists,

ended the era
in which intelligent people took
feminism seriously.

Feminism`s
intellectual demise has not hurt its institutional
strength (yet). Thus Rhoads documents how Title IX
forces colleges to dump male sports like wrestling and
add scholarships for

female athletes
in sports like golf that few young
women care about. Rhoads argues that colleges should
instead label cheerleading as a sport, since tens of
thousands of young women love it.

Still,
Rhoads` book would have been far more daring a dozen or
more years ago when feminism was so much stronger.
Indeed, way back three decades ago, City College of New
York sociologist Steven Goldberg`s classic

The Inevitability of Patriarchy
, which proved
the

impact of sex hormones on society
, won a place in
the Guinness Book of World Records by being rejected by
69 publishers before it finally appeared in print in
1973. Today, in contrast, the newsweeklies routinely
publish articles on hormones with only a derisory amount
of bowing and scraping before feminist dogmas.

The
interesting question: will the discussion of race
differences some day undergo the same intellectual
liberation?

I`d say the
long-run prospects are good. The onrush of the genetic
analyses will soon settle these questions once and for
all.

And greater
integration brings people of different races in closer
contact. For example, interracial marriage is one
little-noticed cause of more people becoming personally
aware of racial differences. Quite a few of the leading

race realists
, such as psychometricians

Charles Murray
and

Chris Brand
and essayist

John Derbyshire
, have married women of other races.

On the other hand, the current
trend in the media is strongly toward more

lying about race
and more

demonizing
of the

honest
.

So expect the climate to get worse
before it gets better.

But ultimately, as the Great
Flip-Flop On Feminism demonstrates, freer days are
coming.


[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and


movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.
His website


www.iSteve.blogspot.com
features his daily
blog.]