Grown-up feminism

  1. World Policeman?
  2. Dastardly men, nefarious power, passive damsels
  3. I want me one of them electric Ponzi cars
  4. 11/8/16 revisited
  5. The GOP’s dissolving coherence


The phrase “world policeman” is usually taken as a pejorative, but it is actually extremely apt: A policeman should not be a nanny or a busybody, but, by god, if he sees a thug punching a grandmother, he should intervene. It is actually the antithesis of that other pejorative word, “empire.” In political theory terms, a policeman enforces a minimal rule set — what you must not do — whereas an empire enforces a maximal rule set — what you must do. A world empire would be a disaster, but a world policeman is a wonderful thing.

(Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry) This is a challenging inversion of the usual stuff, in which I myself deal. But I still disagree with Gobry’s opening:

Last week, President Trump decided to fire missiles at Syria over its use of chemical weapons in rebel-held areas. This was almost inarguably the right decision.

To be “almost inarguably the right decision,” Trump’s missile adventure would have needed a more solid case than I’ve seen that the gas came from Assad and was used intentionally.


In later chapters, Ms. Kipnis examines campus rape statistics and the controversies over false accusations; she also surveys other Title IX cases, mostly involving students whose only perceived power lies in their maleness. While she is appalled by the railroading of the accused, her broader theme is the disservice done to women by narratives that turn them into victims. This narrative, she writes, paints a “world of dastardly men with the nefarious power to bend passive damsels to their wills, a world out of storybooks.” What baffles Ms. Kipnis is how this very patriarchal storybook became a feminist one: “What use to anyone is a feminism so steeped in self-exoneration that it prefers to imagine women as helpless children rather than acknowledge grown-up sexual realities?”

Ms. Kipnis ends with a plea for a “grown-up feminism”: one that supports victims of sexual violence but does not automatically label every accuser a “survivor”; one that holds men accountable for behaving badly but does not shy away from telling young women that getting blackout-drunk at parties isn’t wise; one that celebrates women’s sexual autonomy while teaching women to say “no” to unwanted sex.

(Cathy Young, reviewing Laura Kipnis’ Unwanted Advances) Kipnis, a left-of-center feminist, probably will find herself defending another Title IX complaint for publishing this book. Sanity contra the new orthodoxies is an aggression, or even “violent,” you see.


The head of the U.S.’s largest car-dealership chain called Tesla Inc.’s market value “inexplicable,” a day after investors pushed the Silicon Valley auto maker ahead of General Motors Co.

Tesla “is either one of the great Ponzi schemes of all time” or will eventually work out for investors, said AutoNation Inc. Chief Executive Mike Jackson during an interview at a New York automotive event …

Mr. Jackson said Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk deserves accolades for establishing a valued brand that enthusiasts embrace. “You have to tip your hat,” Mr. Jackson said. “He has created a brand that has a strong cultlike following.” … “What would impress me about Tesla? Selling vehicles at a profit,” Mr. Jackson said. He said it wasn’t a good idea to be “giving away vehicles at below the cost of what you have to make them.”

(Mike Spector and Christina Roberts in the Wall Street Journal)


I’m on record dissenting from the peckerwood sonofabitch who won the general election. (I’m also on record dissenting from his hawkish opponent, the shrike who was so self-assured, dyspeptic, and oily that she couldn’t even beat a peckerwood sonofabitch.)

(Jason Peters, Self-Righteousness in the Age of Trump)


Trump’s highly personalistic, anti-ideological presidency is an expression of a much broader trend in the GOP — namely the thoroughgoing dissolution of the party’s ideological coherence.

All that remains to be seen is whether the Democrats can exploit this massive vulnerability.

(Damon Linker)

* * * * *

“Liberal education is concerned with the souls of men, and therefore has little or no use for machines … [it] consists in learning to listen to still and small voices and therefore in becoming deaf to loudspeakers.” (Leo Strauss)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.