Feminist Jane Clare Jones cannot defend feminism against Breivik
Following much of the media's initial "fact-free conjecture" about the origins of the atrocity in Norway, we have since had to reckon with Anders Behring Breivik's own account of his motivations put forward in his 1518-page manifesto entitled 2083: A European Declaration of Independence. Overlooked, however, in the focus on Islamism and Islamophobia's culpability for Breivik's pathology is the way his gargantuan manifesto presents multiculturalism as just one form of the "ideology" which "now looms over western European society like a colossus". This ideology, most often known as political correctness, has, Breivik tells us, several other names. One of them is cultural Marxism, and the other is feminism.
Cultural Marxism is feminism.
Feminism is just another word for Cultural Marxism.
Feminism is the Sacred Cow of the West that is eating it out of house and home and pooping all over its carpet.
Breivik's introduction is entirely given over to a half-baked history of political correctness, "no aspect" of which, he tells us, is "more prominent … than feminist ideology". The PC-project is bent on "transforming a patriarchy into a matriarchy" and "intends to deny the intrinsic worth of native Christian European heterosexual males". But more than that, it has succeeded. The "feminisation of European culture" has been underway since the 1830s, and by now, men have been reduced to an "emasculate[d] … touchy-feely subspecies".
I can find nothing there to disagree with, except Jones' claim that Breivik's history of political correctness is "half-baked". She does not say how or why it is half-baked.
The antipathy to feminism – and women – threaded throughout Breivik's document is more than just incidental. The text is peppered with references to the pernicious effects of the "Sex and the City lifestyle, the propagation of sexual immorality (indexed by women's promiscuity), and the "erotic capital" women use to manipulate men. The degeneration of our civilisation is intimately linked to an epidemic of sexually transmitted disease and "emotionalism". Indeed, the danger of women's "unnatural" demand for equality is such that Breivik closes his introduction by claiming that "the fate of European civilisation depends on European men steadfastly resisting Politically Correct feminism".
A whole web of reasons are given for this conclusion, but two familiar constellations stand out. The first concerns feminism's purported sundering of the nuclear family and responsibility for a demographic collapse that opens Europe to Muslim colonisation. Too distracted by "having it all", western women are failing to breed enough to repel the amassing hordes. But, in their feminine naivety, they fail to realise that their comeuppance is on its way, their freedoms snatched by the invasion of the genuine oppressor. Barely submerged in this narrative – as in much cultural conservatism – is a profound anxiety about who controls women's bodies and reproductive capacities. In his concern to save us from ourselves, Breivik wants to drag us back to the 50s, limiting access to reproductive technology and discouraging women from pursuing education beyond a bachelor's degree. Alternatively, he suggests, we could "outsource breeding", and pursue surrogacy in low-cost countries or the development of artificial wombs.
This sci-fi fantasy of finally abolishing men's dependence on women's generative abilities is revealing. On the one hand, Breivik indicts feminism with causing our alleged "cultural suicide", both by encouraging reproductive treachery and also because women are apparently more supportive of multiculturalism. However, in another sense, Breivik's thought betrays an analogy between his monocultural nationalism and his veneration of a certain type of "warrior" masculinity, an analogy that revolves – as his manifesto's title implies – around the ideal of masculine independence. The "feminisation" of the European male corresponds to the "feminisation" of Europe itself. Our cultural purity is threatened by invasion from outside. Once proud, virile, and impregnable, Europe has been turned – Breivik suggests in Section 2.89 – into a woman, one who has submitted to rape rather than "risk serious injuries while resisting".
Jones appears to disapprove of Breivik's assumptions but does not or cannot say why.
Unlike Breivik, we must resist the urge to make easy causal connections.
Jones appears to be accepting that feminism is causally connected to European weakness while resisting the urge to make this casual connection. Talk about having your cake and eating it!
No account of this man's background or beliefs about nationality, religion or gender can serve to explain his actions.
Why not? Breivik has already told us again and again why he did what he did. Those reasons are rational, though ruthless.
His cool enumeration of technicalities about downloading the document, his careful inclusion of a press-pack of photos, the chilling reference to the sacrifices involved in its "marketing operation" – all this serves to exhibit an inhumanity which opens a chasm between ideas and action.
What does Jones mean by "a chasm between ideas and action"? There is no chasm at all as far as Breivik was concerned. He saw what he thought had to be done, and he did it.
Nevertheless, while the behaviour of Breivik must, and can, only be understood as insanity, we would do our understanding a disservice by accepting it as only that.
What on earth does Jones mean? Yeah, but no, but yeah, but no but ... ? We must regard Breivik as insane even though he was also rational, this silly woman seems to be saying.
Why does is this stupid woman being paid to write her incoherent and timorous nonsense in The Guardian when I am not being paid at all, when it is I who already know what the problems and solutions are?