Back in the ’00s, when there were a lot more blogs, I used to amuse myself by calling myself “The Twin Cities’ Best Feminist”.
I did it partly – OK, mostly – to troll the local feministbotblogger community; so un-self-aware were they, and so seriously do they take themselves, that they found countless ways to spin their underwear into knots when I wrote that. (“The Twin Cities ‘Best’ Feminist?” Really? What does that even mean?)
Background: I did it partly because it was true. Well, partly – because “Feminist” doesn’t just have one meaning. Because as Camille Paglia noted around twenty years ago, there are really two branches to “Feminism”.
There’s “equity” Feminism – the idea that women should have the same opportunity to go as far and do as much as their merits and talents can take them. It’s the feminism that killed off the “barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen” thing; the one that advanced the world out of the “Mad Men” era. I think any father with a daughter qualifies on one level or another. Am I “the best” at this? Sure, why not?
Then there’s “Identity Feminism” – the idea that women are an identity group, like blacks or Armenians or Jews, with an agenda and history and grievances against long-time enemies and oppressors, and a collective (and to one extent or another, retributive) political interest. I’m proud to say, I’m no good at this. l
So we have – again, Paglia’s idea, not mine – the “feminists” who seek equality, and the “feminists” who seek demagoguery and political power.
We’ll come back to that.
Boys Without Mothers Won’t Quite Be Boys: There’s a huge body of research about what happens when girls grow up without fathers – because our society is rife with it, thanks to our family court system and an urban culture than systematically devalues fatherhood. Such girls grow up much more likely to fail in school, to get pregnant while a teenager or single, to have trouble with guys, and to suffer from depression and other psychological issues in adulthood.
The study of boys without mothers – or whose mothers systematically devalue their relationships with their sons – is a lot newer, since it happens a lot less often But it’s starting to happen. And it’s not pretty. Boys whose mothers are absent, impaired, or who just undercut that relationship in favor of other things – other relationships, addiction, or dysfunctional addiction to career – grow up very likely to act out, to be violent, to have trouble in school and at work, and to have the same raft of psychological issues as girls whose fathers do, basically, the same thing.
We’ll come back to that.
Meet The Mother Of The Year: Jody Allard is a feminist writer in, where else, Seattle. And her sons are going to make some psychologists very wealthy, Ro judging by this article, “I’m Done Pretending Men Are Safe (Even My Sons).
I have two sons. They are strong and compassionate—the kind of boys other parents are glad to meet when their daughters bring them home for dinner. They are good boys, in the ways good boys are, but they are not safe boys. I’m starting to believe there’s no such thing.
A psychologist once told me there are two lies that everyone tells: “I never doubted my sexuality” and “I’ve never ever even once thought about suicide”. Without arguing about the point, I’d add a third; “I’ve never thought things about my kids that concerned, worried or scared me”.
But one thing most parents don’t do is tell it to their kids, even directly.
Not Allard (emphases added by me):
I wrote an essay in The Washington Post last year, during the height of the Brock Turner case, about my sons and rape culture. I didn’t think it would be controversial when I wrote it; I was sure most parents grappled with raising sons in the midst of rape culture. The struggle I wrote about was universal, I thought, but I was wrong. My essay went semi-viral, and for the first time my sons encountered my words about them on their friends’ phones, their teachers’ computers, and even overheard them discussed by strangers on a crowded metro bus. It was one thing to agree to be written about in relative obscurity, and quite another thing to have my words intrude on their daily lives.
Can you imagine – one of your parents considering you guilty until proven innocent (not to mention with no actual avenue to prove yourself innocent(?
One of my sons was hurt by my words, although he’s never told me so.
And have it wind up in the Washington Post in a few months? I’d take a pass, too.
He doesn’t understand why I lumped him and his brother together in my essay. He sees himself as the “good” one, the one who is sensitive and thoughtful, and who listens instead of reacts. He doesn’t understand that even quiet misogyny is misogyny, and that not all sexists sound like Twitter trolls.
Let’s just take a step back and reassess: “Mom” has called her sons, essentially, rapists in training – because of traits their mother insists are in them, never mind their lying eyes, brains or senses of self.
It seems to astound Ms. Allard that her son has reacted:
He is angry at me now, although he won’t admit that either, and his anger led him to conservative websites and YouTube channels; places where he can surround himself with righteous indignation against feminists, and tell himself it’s ungrateful women like me who are the problem.
His problem is not an “ungrateful woman”. It’s one, apparently narcissistic woman who he has, luckily, discovered has been trying to gaslight him – to convince him, via .
I teeter frequently between supporting my son and educating him. Is it my job as his mother to ensure he feels safe emotionally, no matter what violence he spews?…When I hear his voice become defensive, I back off but question whether I’m doing him any favors by allowing his perception of himself to go unchallenged. When I confront him with his own sexism, I question whether I’m pushing too hard and leaving him without an emotional safe space in his home.
Am I the only one who suspects that poor kid hasn’t had “emotional safe space” since he was a zygote?
I’ll leave the rest of this exercise in narcissism – in the full, clinical sense – to you to read (or not. And I hope this woman’s poor sons find some way to fill the hole she’s no doubt left in their lives from prioritizing them below her yapping ideology; I hope they can find some sense of themselves outside of her gaslighting.
But for a parent to marginalize their children in the face of their ideology?
It might be mental illness, of a sort (my vote is for Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Is it exacerbated by an ideology that treats men as an enemy to be vanquished – even one’s own children?
Which came first: the mental illness or the ideology?
UPDATE: Kurt Schlichter notes that one of Ms. Allard’s sons has given indications of being suicidal – which, naturally, “she” used as fodder for her self-adoration:
In a post as recent as May, the feminist wrote in Role Reboot about her and her suicidal son watching 13Reasons Why, a show that has been argued to glorify suicide.
Someone get this chick a Mother of the Year award.
Curiously, Allard also has at least one daughter about whom we can’t find any public shaming pieces.
I have no words to describe my revulsion for this “person”.