Green Room

Amanda Marcotte: Feminism as Paranoia

posted at 8:35 pm on April 27, 2009 by

In Sunday’s Washington Post, University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus made the case that marrying in your early 20s is better than the current trend toward delaying marriage until your late 20s or 30s. Since this is a subject discussed at length here earlier, I was very interested.

It was equally of interest, for quite different reasons, to former John Edwards presidential blogger Amanda Marcotte, whom Hot Air readers will certainly remember for such thoughtful insights as:

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?
A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.

(Please note that Marcotte is not to be confused with her fellow Silky blogger, Melissa “Godbag Christofascist” McEwan.)

Marcotte is one of those people whom liberalism endows with superpowers, in her case telepathic mindreading ability to decode what Regnerus is really saying. According to Marcotte, Regnerus is unaware that “women aren’t legally considered chattel any more,” and like other “social conservatives” advocates marriage “because it’s an effective tool at clipping women’s wings.” Marcotte fearlessly exposes this matrimonial conspiracy against women:

Being married means handing over a lot of yourself to a man, especially if you’re in your puppy years and haven’t learned to stand up for yourself yet. . . .
The problem with older women (well, not problem—I’d say solution!) is that they are set in their ways, and that means they have more bargaining power in their relationships. If you already have your career, for instance, you know what you stand to lose if you give into the pressure to give it up. But if you don’t have it yet, it makes it much easier to let your husband’s needs and desires dictate the entire relationship.

That’s it, ladies! Don’t you see? That young fellow there, on bended knee in the moonlight, offering you a diamond ring and pleading for your acceptance, is an agent of the patriarchal plot against female autonomy. Of course, all men are part of that plot, even the men that married Marcotte’s fellow fembloggers Jessica Valenti and Kate Harding:

That’s the problem with trying to craft a feminism of personal solutions, where you police and guilt everyone about capitulation to patriarchal norms instead of tackle the underlying social structures that suck people into the vortex.

Any chance of Marcotte being sucked into the marital “vortex”? Oh, don’t you wish, you misogynist oppressors! But now that she’s a 31-year-old blogger, her “bargaining power” is too great for her to be tempted into “capitulation to patriarchal norms,” you see.

Not that anyone has ever actually tried to tempt her. She is “always a bridesmaid, never a bride, a sad necessity that she narcissistically imagines as heroic virtue.” And those grapes were probably sour, anyway.

Exit question: What happened to Ace of Spades? He used to live for the chance to trash Amanda Marcotte and Jessica Valenti. Is the de-patriarchalization of Ace yet another miracle of Hope and Change wrought in the First Hundred Days?

UPDATE: Speak of the (she-)devil, Jessica Valenti is “skeeved out” by the pro-marriage arguments of Regnerus. (H/T: Cassy Fiano.) Of course, this is all because of Darwin:

Evolution, in short, favors nubile females who still look like they have a great many years of fertility ahead of them.

Darwin, agent of patriarchal oppression!

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Amanda Marcotte has roughly the same relationship to feminism as Charles Manson has to the Beatles.

Jim Treacher on April 27, 2009 at 11:26 PM

Marcotte is an extreme example of an ideological alchemist, someone who can take any issue and turn it into something else. Hence abortion isn’t about whether or not it is morally permissible to kill a fetus, but about the evil patriarchy punishing women for having sex. Likewise, the suggestion that it’s better for a woman to marry in her 20s, regardless of the evidence for or against it, is inherently suspect and is an attempt by the patriarchy to yada yada yada …

It’s best to avoid arguing with ideological alchemists, because their world-view is self-sealing and conspiratorial.

Bill Ramey on April 28, 2009 at 3:06 AM

Amanda Marcotte has roughly the same relationship to feminism as Charles Manson has to the Beatles.

I disagree, Jim. I think she distills the essence of feminism, which is a radical egalitarian ideology. More accurate to say Amanda Marcotte has roughly the same relationship to feminism that Pol Pot has to Marxism.

The Other McCain on April 28, 2009 at 8:10 AM

The Other McCain on April 28, 2009 at 8:10 AM

There are many, many flavors of feminism, and they aren’t the same. Marcotte’s just nuts.

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 28, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Feminism just means you think women should have the same rights as men. All the rest is crazy people latching on.

Jim Treacher on April 28, 2009 at 8:46 PM