The Feminist War on Fatherhood: Book Review of The New Politics of Sex

The Feminist War on Fatherhood: Book Review of The New Politics of Sex
The Feminist War on Fatherhood: Book Review of The New Politics of Sex

In his book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, the late Judge Robert Bork wrote that “radical feminism is the most destructive and fanatical movement to come down to us from the sixties…This is a revolutionary, not reformist movement…Totalitarian in spirit, it is deeply antagonistic to traditional Western culture and proposes the complete restructuring of society, morality, and human nature.”

How right he was. Yet not even Bork, who passed away in 2012, could foresee the full extent of feminist radicalness. The same sexual revolutionaries who destroyed his candidacy to the Supreme Court in the name of abortion “rights” in 1987 are today fighting to impose so-called Gender Ideology, erasing the very concept of male and female.

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On June 15, the Supreme Court took this process to its logical conclusion. In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, the Court redefined the word “sex” in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” The State will now be the enforcer of Gender Ideology in America. Any employer who objects to homosexuality or transgenderism will likely face prosecution, fines, and even jail.

It is tragically symbolic that the Court issued this decision the week before Father’s Day. Because if there is a single target for all the hatred of feminists, abortionists and homosexuals—indeed all sexual revolutionaries—it is the natural male headship of the family. They have waged a psychological, political and social war like none other in history to destroy manhood and annihilate the traditional family. With a frightening, Mao-like radicalism, these revolutionaries stop at nothing to gain power and impose their dystopian vision on society.

Stephen Baskerville, professor of government at Patrick Henry College, has described and denounced this feminist war on fatherhood in his excellent book, The New Politics of Sex: The Sexual Revolution, Civil Liberties, and the Growth of Governmental Power. Feminism has little to do with individual issues such as “equal pay” or “affirmative action.” Instead, feminists want to overthrow the entire social order—from politics to economics to law—and use the government’s full weight to force this transformation.

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Feminism, he explains, was born from socialism. “The first class opposition in history,” Frederick Engels wrote, “coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and…with that of the female sex by the male.”1 Simone de Beauvoir, perhaps the most well-known feminist of the twentieth century, concurred. “A world where men and women would be equal is easy to visualize,” she wrote, “for that precisely is what the Soviet Revolution promised.”2

Then as now, communists and socialists saw sex as a central component in their war to impose absolute equality and overthrow all hierarchy, authority and private property. Socialists created the war of the sexes as a continuation of their class struggle theory. According to this narrative, men are the natural “oppressors” of women in the family and, therefore, must be punished and permanently kept in check by the State. Since men built the structures of Western civilization, women’s liberation requires that they too be torn down.

To implement this revolution, feminists created entire academic disciplines such as “Women’s Studies” and “Gender Studies” to develop and disseminate feminist ideology. In addition, new gender crimes began to appear such as “abuse,” “rape,” “rape culture,” “sexual assault,” “sexual harassment,” “domestic violence,” “stalking,” “child abuse,” “bullying,” “sexual slavery,” “hate crimes,” and “hate speech.” These new crimes are political in nature, without any clear definition, and overwhelmingly enforced against men to the detriment of families and children.

That men are often falsely accused of these politicized sexual crimes is part of the strategy of striking fear in the innocent. Presumption of innocence has turned into a presumption of guilt. Indeed, a mere accusation of one of these new political crimes is enough for men to be punished. As Baskerville puts it, “criminality is defined collectively as membership in a class—even a class into which one is designated by government policy beyond one’s control.” Scholars Michael Weiss and Cathy Young write:

“Such liberal principles as the neutrality of the law, equality, and individual autonomy must be discarded because of their ‘patriarchal’ roots…The new feminism attempts to replace those notions with a new breed of philosophy and jurisprudence…Law is seen as an instrument to ‘change the distribution of power.’”3

This has led to an explosion of false accusations against men. To cite just one example, a Perdue University inquiry found that at least 50% of all rape accusations on campus were false. A Defense Department Inspector General report from 2005 found that 73% of women and 72% of men at the military service academies believe that false accusations of sexual assault are a problem. Such false accusations and prosecution of the innocent is a valuable tool of the feminist movement. “If there’s ten people who have been accused, and under a reasonable likelihood standard maybe one or two did it,” says former Congressman Jared Polis, “it seems better to get rid of all ten people.”

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One major goal of the feminist movement is to break up families and take fathers away from their children. To do this, they created a moral panic about “domestic abuse” and “deadbeat fathers” even though the statistics show that mothers are just as likely or more likely to physically abuse children as fathers. American law gives mothers legal and financial incentives to divorce their husbands on the flimsiest of reasons or for no reason. One New Jersey judge told his peers, “Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the man that you’re violating as you grant a restraining order. Throw him out on the street, give him the clothes on his back, and tell him, see ya around…We don’t have to worry about the rights.”4

Juries rarely adjudicate such crimes in standard courts of law. The left has created a parallel judicial system made up of “family courts,” university campus tribunals, social workers, lawyers, child protection services, public school officials and other bureaucrats who often issue politically motived yet legally binding decisions without any possibility of appeal. To deal with the explosion of broken families, feminists have created a giant government bureaucracy, which in turn encourages more family breakdown to increase its power and control over society. It is a vicious cycle with no end in sight.

Baskerville shows how feminists have mastered the art of psychological warfare and emotional manipulation to obtain its goals and silence opponents. Feminists created a moral panic about “abused” women and children to push their social revolution. Opponents of feminism, or anyone who simply defends the principle of due process, are accused of “rape denial” or “misogyny.”

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The most high profile example of these feminist tactics in action was the Brett Kavanaugh Senate confirmation hearings, itself an extension of the “#MeToo” movement. Without any evidence and based on one person’s flimsy testimony, Americans were expected to “believe all women.” Kavanaugh, we were told, was guilty simply because a woman accused him. Such tactics have the flavor of the Maoist Cultural Revolution.

Feminism and homosexuality are inseparable in this new sexual politics. “Feminism is the theory, lesbianism is the practice,” said well-known feminist Ti-Grace Atkinson. “For many of today’s feminists, lesbianism is far more than sexual orientation…It is, as students in higher education learn, ‘an ideological, political, and philosophical means of liberation of all women from heterosexual tyranny.’”5

Baskerville rightly blames feminism and the sexual revolution—with its new political sex crimes and post-modern deconstructed language—on the sins of rampant promiscuity and sexual license embraced by both men and women since the sixties. As a society, we are suffering the consequences of our sexual sins. “Perhaps,” he writes, “though they [men] receive an unjust punishment from human authorities, they are being justly punished by God.” By overthrowing all restrains on sexual activity, we have contributed to the same revolution that wants to deny absolute, objective truth. At war with human nature, this revolution is now destroying the very concept of male and female through Gender Theory.

Baskerville has the courage to say what many “conservatives” think but are unwilling to admit out loud: that free and easy divorce blazed the path for the feminist revolution. Many years before the sixties, it was divorce that began the breakdown of the family. “For the first time,” he writes, “a legally unimpeachable citizen (‘no-fault’), sitting in his own home and minding his own business—without any finding of legal culpability for anything—could be summoned to a court and find himself summarily evicted from his home, permanently separated from his children, confiscated of all his property and income, and incarcerated without trial.” Contrary to popular belief, women file the vast majority of divorces. The most frequent reasons given are not adultery or physical abuse but subjective and undefined ones such as “growing apart” or “not feeling loved or appreciated.” Often, judges grant divorces for no reason at all (“no-fault” divorce).

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Shamefully, a majority of conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants have long embraced divorce as a regrettable but acceptable choice for a married couple. This surrender granted a valuable victory to the sexual revolution and undermined all subsequent battles in the culture wars, including those over contraception, abortion, homosexuality and now transgenderism.

Overall, The New Politics of Sex is a well-written, thoroughly researched, and eye-opening summary of the feminist war on men and masculinity. The gender wars that we are fighting in 2020 are the endgame of the Long March of sexual revolutionaries through our culture. Stephen Baskerville’s book sheds much-needed light on this revolution’s goals and methods. It is not too late to fight back. Indeed, we must if we are to save the natural family and our beloved country from ruin.

1 Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884).

2The Second Sex (New York: Random House, 1952), 806.

3Feminist Jurisprudence: Equal Rights or Neo-Paternalism?(Washington: Cato Institute, 1996).

4The New Politics of Sex (Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2017), p. 185.

5The New Victorians (London: Simon and Schuster, 1995), 45, quoting Cheryl Clarke,This Bridge Called My Back