Suppose someone said in casual conversation that “men are pigs.”
What would society’s reaction be? Can we imagine anyone objecting to
this statement, upbraiding the speaker for bigotry or inaccuracy or
sexism? Perhaps, on hearing this slur against half the human race, most
men would take it as an occasion to laugh at themselves. Perhaps most
women would nod in unthinking agreement.

But isn’t there something dangerous in humoring such a statement of
bigotry?

Here is what I have recently observed: Statements with hostile
content directed at the male gender are increasing. More and more, a
generalized hostility to men breaks to the surface in the casual talk of
college-educated women (i.e., recently educated). It is suddenly a
proof of masculine unfairness — and villainy, perhaps — that most
senators and all past U.S. presidents have been men. It is suddenly
evidence of masculinity’s oppressive nature that Europe’s classical
composers were men, or that the “great books” were written by men, or
that the Bible refers to God as a masculine entity. Day by day, as we
are increasingly bombarded by such complaints, we are imperceptibly led
to understand that — yes — men are pigs. They have hogged all the
glory and power for themselves.

Of course, 99.99 percent of men were neither great composers, great
authors, presidents or senators. In historical terms, most men could
not be accused of hogging glory or power. The lives of most men
throughout history, in fact, have been spent in a constant and
unglamorous struggle to support their families in the face of war,
famine, tyranny and pestilence.

Of course, one should be careful not to say anything that will
justify or excuse what militant feminists call “the patriarchy,” because
it is now an article of faith with such people that men control
society’s wealth to the disadvantage of women. Therefore, one must
forget about the realities of history and the struggle for survival in
ancient and Medieval times. It is sufficient to demonstrate that men
are dominant, and therefore men are pigs.

Momentarily setting aside the question of male dominance, let us
dissect the dehumanizing formula in question, which could be rendered
as: “x are pigs.” What if we substituted x for some other group? What
if we said, for example, that “Homosexuals are pigs”? What if we said
that “Women are pigs”? Would most men laugh and nod in agreement?
(Somehow, I don’t think they’d dare.) And imagine what would happen if
a university professor said to his class that blacks or Jews or Asians
are pigs?

But oddly, at the university today, one might form an entire
discipline around the notion that men are pigs. In fact, “women’s
studies” might be this discipline, as it subtly extends and elaborates
on the theme of patriarchal tyranny. By using sociological arguments
and statistical fabrications, by looking at history with a view to
blaming men, some political feminists have intellectually organized
their resentments and hatreds into a coherent body of thought. They
have fashioned for themselves intellectual weapons. And they are using
these weapons, day by day, spreading a message of hate to other women
and to that pathetic creature — the “self-hating man.”

In the 1920s a French writer named Julien Benda wrote a book
entitled, “The Treason of the Intellectuals” (La Trahison des
Clercs
). He wrote that “Our age is the age of the intellectual
organization of political hatreds.” Benda said that the chief political
hatreds in modern society are those of race, class and nation. But
today Benda would have to add a new category to the list. He would have
to add the category of sexual hatred.

Think of the devastation wrought by nationalism in the First World
War. Think of the devastation wrought by racism in the Second World
War. Add to that, as well, the hundred million plus lives claimed by
Communist dictators in the name of class hatred. And now we have sexual
hatred in our midst.

As Benda said, the modern era is one of increasing
intellectualization and rationalization. We have built huge
bureaucracies, we have thoroughly rationalized authority, commerce and
war. In other words, we have used reason to make every human activity
more efficient and perfect. Government has become a gigantic machine,
commercial transactions continue to get easier and easier, and war has
become a matter of destroying an entire city with the push of a button.
In this context is it any wonder that human intelligence — in this same
era — has been used to organize and systematize personal hatreds into
more general hatreds, perfecting and refining the personal
disappointments and resentments of individuals until they become
academic disciplines and political battlecries?

According to Julien Benda, the problem began with the advent of
modern materialism. He said that 20th century writers and thinkers,
insofar as they embrace materialism, have been led away from genuine
humanity, love and charity. He also noted that democracy involves a
political struggle for power and money between contending and
impassioned groups. With the French monarchists Benda said that, in
terms of this struggle, “democracy is war.”

And what is war except hatred?

Julien Benda blamed the writers and thinkers of his time, especially
those living in democratic countries, for perfecting man’s political
passions. “The present age,” wrote Benda, “is essentially an age of
politics.” Politics first, always and everywhere. That is how modern
democratic plunder works. And hatreds are the raw stuff for organizing
and motivating the plunderers. In this context, said Benda, “political
passions have obtained the habit of discipline.”

If you think that modern feminism is not an example of the
intellectual organization of political hatred, as described by Benda,
you should think again. Christina Hoff Sommers has written a striking
new book entitled, “The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is
Harming Our Young Men.”

According to Sommers a bias against boys has emerged within our
society. She documents how feminist agitation and intellectual
organization has created the myth of the shortchanged girl.
“Inevitably, writes Sommers, “boys are resented, being seen both as the
unfairly privileged gender and as obstacles on the path to gender
justice for girls.”

Sommers has discovered that the case against masculinity (made by
misguided feminists) is full of holes, fabrications and errors. Worse
yet, this new propaganda of sexual hate threatens our society with a
grave crisis. Sommers notes that “some educators will tell you that it
is boys, not girls, who are on the fragile side of the gender gap.”

Increasingly, boys are dropping out of school. They are involved in
drugs and crime. They are less active in student government, honorary
societies, academic clubs and music programs. Today’s boys are less
likely to enter college. The only refuge for boys, it seems, is
sports. And Sommers tells us that the militant feminists have zeroed in
on this last remaining male fortress in a long-term effort to batter it
down.

Several years ago David Thomas wrote an excellent book entitled, “Not
Guilty: In Defence of the Modern Man.” One of his chapters is called
“The Myth of the Bad Man.” Thomas shows that today’s intellectual elite
is creating a myth that men are violent and violence is male. A huge
cottage industry has grown up to demonstrate that within families, men
are a bad influence — a necessary evil at best. “Meanwhile,” asks
Thomas, “why won’t anyone have the courage and the honesty to confront
and deal with abuse carried out by women?”

There is no balance, says Thomas, who writes of a “pattern of
prejudice” in social science itself. Thomas argues that today’s
accepted orthodoxy holds “that all abusers are male. …” This is
especially true in the area of sexual harassment.

The organization of hatred along sexual lines is, in my view, the
most troubling intellectual trend in modern thought today. The next
time you hear somebody say that men are pigs — or some similar comment
— you might want to object.

But be forewarned. Your objection might be met with an unexpected
expression of blind rage.

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