Late nineteenth century Victorianism was renown for its delicate sensitivities. Victorians had to be careful not to say the wrong thing, and rigid sexual mores coincided with double standards. Social shaming was the preferred method of enforcement, though the law played its role as well.
Today, the Neo-Victorianism of the evangelical Moral Majority has been co-opted by the Left. In the words of Heather MacDonald, campus feminists
That feminism would take a conservative sexual turn is unsurprising. Feminism, in reality, sprang from a division among traditionalists rather than being a departure into progressiveness. For example, first wave feminism was about more than just the right to vote. It was also, in the words of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, about women being “infinitely superior to men”. As such, women’s moral reform of men was a feminist issue:
Today’s moral code is enforced through shaming techniques with cute names: mansplaining, manturruping and manspreading.
Collective guilt is secularized Original Sin:
We’re told to “teach men not to rape”. But “teach Muslims not to terrorize” would be bigoted.
The Victorianism of yore restricted women’s sexuality while men’s sexuality was restricted on the surface but allowed indiscretions so long as they were discreet. Neo-Victorianism, however, takes a different approach: it promotes female promiscuity without responsibility while simultaneously seeking to control male sexuality.
Feminism in a nutshell: Women cannot be forced into parenthood, but men can. And a woman can abandon an infant at a hospital with no further legal responsibility, but a man can be legally liable even for a child he can prove is not his.
If a man and a woman are equally drunk but not incapacitated, and they mutually agree to have sex with no coercion or force involved, he is fully responsible while she is not at all responsible.
Topless women proudly go on slut walks and then shame a male scientist for wearing a shirt featuring cartoon bikini clad women.
Men are blamed for slut shaming even though this phenomenon is primarily something women do to other women of lower socio-economic status.
Non-white men (all of low socio-economic status) catcalling a white woman is outrageous, but there’s no outrage for ignoring the same behaviour by white, high socio-economic men.
Welcome to Neo-Victorianism, new and improved for the Left!
It’s unquestioned that yesterday’s Victorianism developed solely because of a patriarchal drive to control women’s sexuality. But this feminist narrative, which portrays women as acted upon rather than as actors is erroneous. After all, limiting other women’s access to desirable men is very much in women’s self-interest. Men also have reasons to limit other men’s access to women. But women employ social shaming with greater efficiency than men do. As such, it seems absurd to claim that women play only a passive role in the development of human culture.
For example, historically most cultures have permitted polygamy. Modern thinkers typically assume that if a cohort of ancient men monopolized all the women, the reason must be rapey patriarchy. But is polygamy really in men’s best interest? For obvious mathematical reasons, polygamy creates a class of loner men, a phenomenon seen today with fundamentalist Mormon “lost boys“.
On the other hand, how can one deny that women never would have chosen, were they free, to share one man with other women?
Yet, an informal poll by dating site OkCupid found that while men find half of women to be above average in attractiveness, women say 80% of men are below average. Still, men focus most of their attention on the most beautiful women. Most are ignored, however, and men move on to women closer to the average. But average women think they’re above average.
Other researches lend credence. Scientific surveys that control for social expectations find that men and women on average have the same number of sexual partners over a lifetime (with some indications that young women are becoming more promiscuous than men). But averages are only half the story. For example, 3 & 5, and 2 & 6, both average 4 – but these datasets vary. Men are outliers, some having larger numbers of sex partners than most women while other men are more likely than women to be virgins (tables 3 & 4).
Women have a narrower focus than men, so a trade off is needed. For many women this means choosing a man fewer women are competing for, though she may feel dissatisfied with “settling” (and this could be one reason women file most divorces). On the other hand, having a high status male who is unlikely to be faithful is a trade off some women are willing to make (with playing the victim as a bonus).
Neo-Victorianism’s solution to this dilemma is to free women from restrictions and responsibility while shaming men into submission. It’s a reversal of what feminists imagine patriarchy is – except that their notion of patriarchy is inaccurate. Female feminist contempt for male feminists highlights this: Feminists see these men as useful idiots. And these men, none of whom are among the most desirable men, futilely think their pandering will make them more desirable, much like a chronic gambler believes the next pull on the slot machine will yield the jackpot.
As caprizchka puts it:
Authoritarian movements typically push the envelope till enough people push back. I really wish Dr. Matt Taylor of shirtstorm fame, instead of caving to feminist shaming, had been defiant. But it’s only a matter of time before something like that happens, and the rebellion against Neo-Victorianism is in full swing.