“Ifeminist” Wendy McElroy wrote a good post yesterday about Ampgate. She doesn’t care about pornography; she’s a libertarian and pro-porn, so it wasn’t the connection with pornography that bothered her. It was the selling out and not telling about it, especially given that Amp had regularly visited her boards, read her articles, and commented on them on Alas in a negative way as though he stood in solidarity with feminist women against the likes of McElroy and her I-feminists. It was interesting to see that McElroy linked to witchy-woo, Reappropriate, Dr. Violet Socks at Reclusive Leftist and to me here at WomensSpace. We’re not exactly women she’s done any linking to before, or would have, had she been blogging, other than in a adversarial way.
What a weasel that man is! Whether you like or hate my beliefs, I live them. I write under my own name and — as with the Independent Institute that appears prominently on ifeminists.net — I identify who affiliates with my domains.
Anyone who has paid attention to the business world, the Fortune 500 world, over the past decade has had to have noticed, as I have, that far more corporate whistleblowers — people who out CEOs, accountants, and entire companies for fraudulent and criminal activity, dishonesty, shady dealings — are and have been women than men. I don’t think this is because women are morally superior to men because of their biology or for any other reason. I think this is one evidence of the way women as a group are not corrupted by power, and do not, in fact, enjoy power as men do, even when they rise to the top in the business world. Men have one another’s backs in their fraudulent and shady dealings– always. They circle the wagons around each other, and they all benefit from that in various ways. Women have never been, and still are not, allowed into these inner circles in which men broker power wordlessly, over lunch, out fishing, in strip clubs, where they protect one another in their personal and corporate shadiness as a matter of what is usually an ongoing series of unspoken gentlemen’s agreements. It is shocking and jarring to women when we are witness to these dishonest and shady dealings and we call them out, we blow the whistle. Part of the reason we do call things like this out more easily than men do is, we never expected men to have our backs or to be part of those very male inner circles where justifying the unjustifiable, rationalizations, lies, and mutual back-scratching are de rigueur, par for the course. We don’t stand to lose the protections inherent in the good ol’ boys network because those networks have never included us.
It’s interesting that Alas is now dominated by men, including progressives and liberal men. It’s also interesting that some of the women who are continuing to participate (though not all) seem to be there more because they didn’t like the politics of the women who outed Amp than because they share Amp’s politics. There was a choice to make there: solidarity with women or being thrown a bone now and again by the men, who, as always, but more so now, remain front and center. It’s pretty clear that the men, with a very few, very admirable, exceptions, chose solidarity with the men. Hugo is still there. Jeffrey Newman is still there. The usual male libertarian/neocon/men’s rights suspects are still there. They have Amp’s back. They’re taking care of each other as men. The women who stayed did not stand in solidarity with women– in some instances, I believe, for reasons that are something along the lines of, “Don’t get the idea that just because I’m a woman, I have anything in common with the likes of you.” The rhetoric around that kind of decision can be sophisticated, can sound like a defense against essentialism; my experience is that nevertheless, 99 times out of 100, it’s old-fashioned misogyny talking. Women can be misogynists too, I think, and often are in the mistaken notion that they will be admitted into those inner circles of men eventually. Well, they won’t be. That’s not the way things work under male heterosupremacy. I don’t think that changes, just because men call themselves “feminists.”
It must have rankled McElroy to see that after a huge exodus of men’s rights types from her boards some time ago — they had all decided she was too feminist, was actually a feminist, didn’t really care about men’s rights at all — these same men, many of them, seemed tickled to have Amp show up and participate on their men’s rights boards. Amp, the male feminist, was acceptable to anti-feminist men in a way McElroy, the anti-feminist, would never be. Why? Because McElroy is a woman and Amp is a man. That’s the way male power works. That’s the way it works.