Why the Right Needs Feminism

I want to start this article off with a simple statement: the Right needs feminism. I can hear your cries of indignation echoing through the tubes of the Internet, but hear me out.

The so-called “crisis of masculinity” – that is to say “the ongoing and ever changing struggle to find an acceptable compromise between the primal gang masculinity […] and the level of restraint required of men to maintain a desirable level of order in a given civilization”1 – is, as Jack Donovan notes, an inevitable result of modern civilization. The question has never been ‘is there a crisis of masculinity?’ Nay, that “problem is as old as civilization itself.”2 Instead, the question is ‘under what conditions can we address this crisis?’

It is my contention that, although seemingly counterintuitive, feminist epistemology has been the impetus (if not the primary force) behind movements to solve the crisis of masculinity. To understand why, we must journey back to 1949 and examine the introduction to the French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir’s seminal work, The Second Sex.3

In The Second Sex, de Beauvoir lays out a Hegelian (and arguably structuralist) understanding of womanliness and femininity. While we will not get into a detailed analysis of her argument, a cursory understanding is necessary before moving forward. For her, masculinity (whatever that may mean) has been the culturally hegemonic force in history and has shaped the identities of those around it. Specifically, she argues that masculinity has been the norm – “both the positive and neutral” electric poles in philosophical inquiry whereas women represent “only the negative, defined by limiting criteria”4 – and that womanliness and femininity have been defined as a “lack” of masculine qualities.5 What is important to take from de Beauvoir’s analysis is the concept of binary opposition. Binary opposition, in a word, is the idea in linguistics and semiotics that says that things get their meanings by reference to what they are not.

de Beauvoir’s analysis, indeed her entire project, hinges upon a view of the world that holds masculinity as the dominant, culturally hegemonic force which, for centuries, it was. As she noted in 1949, “[a] man would never get the notion of writing a book on the peculiar situation of the human male.”6 But this is The Current Year™ and times have changed. Not only does Jack Donovan’s excellent book, The Way of Men, do precisely what de Beauvoir says is impossible, but the scores of authors Donovan cites show that, indeed, “the peculiar situation of the human male” is being examined.7 The question we must thus ask is why? de Beauvoir’s analysis was certainly correct in the late 40s and early 50s – there were no major analyses of masculinity – but her commentary doesn’t hold up today. What changed? Simply, the change was the rise of feminism and female identity politics.

In the early days of feminist theory, the questions of femininity and womanliness were only raised due to the hegemony of masculinity. Because masculinity was such a dominant force, it was used as a thesis by Hegelian feminists off which to bounce an antithesis of femininity. This feminist dialectic directly resulted in the rise of female identity and a more multipolar conception of gender. This multipolar conception of gender – that is to say, a world where female identity politics were recognized alongside masculine hegemony – gave masculinity a thesis off which to bounce its own ideas. It’s true, as Donovan notes, that the growth of civilization, the bountifulness of food, and the peacefulness of society made inevitable a crisis of masculinity insofar as men are now unable to partake in traditional activities that made them good at being men; instead they are confined to simulated, vicarious, and intellectualized masculinity.8 Indeed, “[w]hat are men supposed to do when there’s no land to settle and no one to fight?”9 However, Donovan only takes the analysis so far. Just because the crisis of masculinity was inevitable does not mean the study of manliness was. Just because modern society produced a crisis of masculinity does not mean that modern society would have necessarily produced an answer to it. Rather, something was needed to force the issue of masculinity to the forefront of people’s minds. That something was feminism. Feminism created a reactionary male counterpart.

Absent a counterhegemonic force, we would be paralyzed by the crisis of masculinity with no way to define ourselves as men. There would be no male studies absent the rise of feminism; there would be no attempts to define masculinity absent an understanding of femininity; there would be no ‘manosphere’ and no understanding of The Way of Men absent feminism. Why? Because absent an opposite – a counterhegemonic force – there is no way to define the self. Absent opposition there is no tension and nothing to compare masculinity to. Without The Way of Women, there is no Way of Men.

  1.   Jack Donovan, The Way of Men (Dissonant Hum, 2012), 135.
  2.   Donovan, The Way of Men, 135.
  3.   Simone de Beauvoir, “The Second Sex,” in Continental Philosophy: An Anthology, ed. William McNeill and Karen Feldman (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 1998), 161-166.
  4.   de Beauvoir, “The Second Sex,” 162.
  5.   Ibid.
  6.   Ibid.
  7.   Donovan cites, among others, Sam Sheridan’s A Fighter’s Heart, Waller Newell’s What is a Man?, and Harvey Mansfield’s Manliness.
  8.   Donovan, The Way of Men, 97-98.
  9.   Ibid., 93.

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15 Responses to “Why the Right Needs Feminism”

  1. thordaddy says:

    The entire inquiry fails to account for the hegemonic rise of homosexuality. The man/woman binary has been absolutely distorted and perverted by the exaltation of the self-annihilating homodyke.

    Man, male and homo are not equal by a long shot nor is woman, female and dyke.

    • Jpw says:

      A man has to self-define. Like the guy at Michigan U who selected “His Majesty” as a gender when told he had to choose another one.

    • Leftists are using homosexuality and other non-standard sexual configurations as a weapon against the family. It remains unclear how many homosexuals support this, and how many are simply afraid to speak out.

    • Salger says:

      > The entire inquiry fails to account for the hegemonic rise of homosexuality.

      1. Dysgenics.

      2. Manufactured elements like the feminization of societies.

  2. I often wonder how modern “macho” Rightists hope to overturn Crowdist hegemony without active support from the more nurturing, sociable half of humanity, like no successful political movement ever. Hypermasculinism has the same sort of levelling, imprecise drawbacks as white nationalism: ignoring very real differences between individuals to construct victim narratives rather than the practical, realist hierarchies we need to restore authentic tribal traditional societies in the West

    • Asian Reactionary says:

      I don’t believe that there ever is a great and abiding desire to overturn Crowdist hegemony. Its to at least have a say and a place of existence with those like-minded without being destroyed.

      Masculinity has its own holiness spiral which Spandrall talks about, eventually creating pretty silly results. But its still a far more worthwhile result than the near insanity that feminine hegemony creates.

    • Chris I says:

      Define hypermasculinity.

      • Asian Reactionary says:

        Spandrell had some great examples – but for example, the Gaul barbarians that lived in worlds where men could do anything, and proceed to engage in masculinity signaling competitions endlessly.

        It didn’t lead to stable families or childraising, though I suppose Genghis Khan did manage to father more children than any other man in history.

    • This is why it makes more sense to skip the drama and go right for the goal: restoration and nurturing of Western Civilization.

      Much of this stuff just appears to me as fetishism now. The 1488 types seem to be determined to act out anger, the greens and Left to revert to the 1960s so they look cool to their friends, the Republicans to appear like business leaders. They are just self-promoting for different ends, but the mechanism is social control, or appearance to others.

  3. Wolfgang says:

    Jews are always subverting any movement that has popular appeal.

    • Sophie says:

      Yep, like with homosexuals like Jack Donovan and Milo and the divisive anti-White women agenda in the pro-White community. It’s unbelievable how quickly pro-White males fall like a house of cards.

  4. ChangeOfSeas says:

    We don’t need feminism. We need femininity.

    Confession time – I’m not a super macho guy. Athletics can be fun, as can hiking, and I can appreciate guns and nice cars. But a lot of “traditionally masculine” behaviors look vaguely ridiculous to me. And the constant competition for status can become wearisome, particularly around younger guys. Competition is fine, as long as we’re competing over something real, like who has the fastest sprint or who can write a better computer program or whatever. But competition over status for its own sake is the existential equivalent of masturbating into your own face.

    This points to the larger context, which is that masculinity is, indeed, sick. But it’s not sick because hierarchy and tradition are inherently evil, as the feminists would have you believe. It’s sick because modernity is sick.

    The gripes that feminists have with masculinity fall into two groups: hysterical tantrums against normality, and legitimate complaints. The former ought to be ignored, while the latter should be addressed, not through more egalitarianism, but by ditching modernity completely.

    • Asian Reactionary says:

      Well, the benefit of competition is that it leads to advancement. There wouldn’t be a point to making flintlocks, for example, unless you needed something more reliable and less unwieldy to shoot at people trying to gun you down with matchlocks.

      It can lead to issues, as the fallacy of composition teaches us – the endless competition between trees for higher heights doesn’t really give its participants any more sun, it just means that they spend more energy on building thicker trunks.

      But generally speaking, it drives us to be the best we can be.

      • ChangeOfSeas says:

        Agreed. The tree trunk example is perfect – there’s a point at which competition becomes a waste of energy, and it is at precisely the point where it loses reference to anything outside of its immediate context, e.g. competition for status-for-status’-sake.