The West has been blindsided by second wave Marxism – in which the central stream is the movement popularly referred to as radical feminism, but which I prefer to call genderism. It is the genderist political machine that creates feminist ideology-for-the-masses, throughout the West.
Attempts to point to a connection between Marxism and genderism are perceived by most people as absurd – the political equivalent of believing in alien abductions. And yet, a large number of intelligent and well-informed thinkers insist that the connection is very real, and their voice, stifled for decades, is beginning to be heard.
Take this quote from Professor Ruth Wisse of Harvard (in the Washington Times, 1997):
“Women's liberation, if not the most extreme then certainly the most influential neo-Marxist movement in America, has done to the American home what communism did to the Russian economy, and most of the ruin is irreversible. By defining relations between men and women in terms of power and competition instead of reciprocity and cooperation, the movement tore apart the most basic and fragile contract in human society, the unit from which all other social institutions draw their strength.”
Another well-known neo-conservative and veteran anti-genderist, Midge Decter, put it rather straightforwardly when she wrote (in “An Old Wife's Tale”, 2001), that “the society in which [American men] live has become engaged in what can only be called a conspiracy against them.”
So here, then, are two respected neo-con women pointing to a neo-Marxist conspiracy against men. What do they mean by this? Surely these successful intellectuals do not think women should be denied the right to go to university, pursue careers or get equal pay for equal work?
To answer this, let's strip Marxism down to its bare essence – and avoid Marxists' own definitions of their cult, which are tailored to mislead. Basically, Marxism identifies a target group within society that can be made to believe it is the victim of an eternal conspiracy by another, more powerful group. It then uses intellectuals and agitators to manufacture pseudo-scientific lies and disseminate propaganda that causes the target population to develop hatred for its perceived oppressors, and follow the Marxist politicians, whom it perceives as its saviors. These politicos subsequently gain access to political power and resources, as the supposed protectors of the meek.
The First Marxism was based on class struggle. The Second Marxism, aka the New Left, divides society in other ways: black against white, “colonized” against colonialists, homosexual against heteronormative, and female against male.
The “women's Karl Marx,” if you will, was Betty Friedan, née Betsy Friedman, whom Mona Charen calls “a restless Marxist". Friedan's hugely influential 1963 bestseller, The Feminine Mystique, was the equivalent of Marx's Communist Manifesto, but the “proletariat” had changed from “workers” to women. “Its premise,” writes Charen, “was that women were miserable in the 'comfortable concentration camp' of domestic life but were too brainwashed to know it. The job of feminism was to 'raise the consciousness' of these benighted dupes.”
The ultimate proof of genderism's Marxist DNA can be found in its own leaders' writings – if people only bother to read them. Arguably the most influential genderist academic of our time, Catharine MacKinnon, openly and proudly attempted – in Toward a Feminist Theory of State (1989) – to synthesize a genderist theory of exploitation rooted in patriarchal oppression, with the Marxist account of exploitation based on class struggle.
While beyond the scope of this essay, it is important to note also that Marx and Engels themselves laid the foundations for gender struggle and state-initiated weakening of the family, alongside class struggle. “Within the family, the husband constitutes the bourgeoisie and the wife the proletariat,” they wrote, creating the theoretical backdrop for anti-family policies in Marxist societies, from Soviet Russia to the early kibbutzim.
Thankfully, communism never took hold in the West – but Marxists did not give up. By turning genderism into an independent movement, a new Marxism, they finally succeeded in sinking their talons deep into the flesh of Judeo-Christian society – from the inside.
The strategy of dividing and ruling the sexes is currently being very successfully implemented on western civilization, through a never-ending blitz of propaganda and legislation undertaken by ferociously leftist “gender studies” departments and countless journalists, jurists and politicians on all levels. These genderists are not interested in advancing women's rights, any more than Stalin was interested in advancing workers' rights – and the “feminism” they create is not about fixing things, but about destruction.
This is why women need to take a long, hard, and critical look at the books, articles, plays, films, media campaigns and legislative efforts – often citing bogus research and quoting faux academics – that come under the heading of “feminism,” and make every effort to differentiate the legitimate wheat of feminism from the malignant chaff of genderist propaganda.
It isn't easy, but the need to counter genderism is an urgent one. In the United States, the fact that Barack Obama's 2012 victory over Mitt Romney was made possible by the largest-ever gender gap in voting patterns, as well as the looming shadow of Hillary Clinton in 2016, make it absolutely vital to find some way of neutralizing the spell by which gender propaganda binds women – especially young and unmarried ones.
In Israel, too, it is a well-known yet seldom uttered fact that the radical left wing's main power base is the genderist movement. Without leaders like Tzipi Livni, Zehava Galon and Shelly Yechimovich, the radical left would likely shrivel to single digits in the Knesset.
In a less genderized political climate, Labor might even go back to putting ex-military men in its leading positions, rather than the pacifist women who currently typify its parliamentary roster – and that of supposedly centrist Yesh Atid. The seemingly unbreakable sword of power wielded by the New Israel Fund and its guiding light, Naomi Chazan – who is both a product and a leader of neo-Marxist genderism – would be dulled. The nationalist camp could reclaim the hearts of its traditionalist voters, who expect it to defend family values, instead of toeing Meretz's line.
Right-leaning conservatives in both countries would therefore do well to begin thinking outside the box and recognize the need to provide an intelligent alternative to genderism. This requires an urgent investment in the coordinated, creative and revolutionary work that needs to be done on the academic, journalistic, and political planes, to prepare the ground for subsequent reforms in law enforcement and social policy.
The writer is a senior editor at Arutz Sheva.