30 March 2011

Yeah, That’ll Solve the Problem

Jonah Goldberg makes an immodest proposal:

Islamist extremism and oppression of women go hand in hand. And while the correlation between poverty and terrorism is often overstated, the correlation between prosperity and women's liberation is profound. Female education is tightly linked with GDP growth, lower birthrates and even higher agricultural yields.
It's also tightly linked with human freedom and decency, which is why no Islamic "spring" is possible without a feminist revolution. Countless Islamist countries practice gender apartheid and countenance wife-beating, honor killings and female genital mutilation. Islamist radicals have thrown acid in the faces of young girls for trying to go to school.

Mr. Goldberg is correct, insofar as Islamist extremism is linked to the oppression of women.  His mistake is that he thinks the solution is feminism.  Maybe he is unable to clearly see the well-documented problems wrought by feminism (e.g. the high illegitimacy rates, the high dropout rates, the high crime rates, the high degree of animosity between the sexes, the increase in government spending (particularly in regards to social spending), etc.)  Maybe he’s ignoring these things.  Maybe he is simply unable to see that matriarchal societies are mired in poverty,illiteracy, and a host of other problems.  Maybe he’s a liar.

At any rate, there is a difference between “oppression” and oppression. Mr. Goldberg is presumably referring to the latter, which is marked by abuse and unconscionable mistreatment of women.  (The former simply means that women can’t asset-strip their husbands and mooch off society.)  The solution to the problem of Islamist oppression is not feminism, but Christianity, for the problem is not patriarchy, but Islam.  Feminism is cultural poison, and will destroy men and women alike.  It cannot solve anything, save the problem of having a wealthy, spiritually wholesome society.

Feminism is too horrible a curse to be wished on even the vilest of enemies.


  1. Country Lawyer30 March, 2011 20:48

    He's also making the mistake of tranlating correlation into causation.

    One could also argue that the rise in pornography causing abundance by the same logic.

    Women's "liberation" does not produce wealth and abundance, it is the product of these things occurring and unfortunately destroys wealth shortly thereafter.

  2. And he misses the real causation on the side. The real reason why men stopped treating women like garbage over time is due to the rise of Christianity in the western world, not the rise of feminism. It's especially easy to see this when one reads histories of early England, Scotland, or Ireland.

  3. Lawrence Auster had someone suggest "Another Modest Proposal" (in 2002) very much like this:


    This is when he had commenting turned on, and it's a long discussion. Someone calls our culture "Cultural Weapons of Mass Destruction", or C-WMD.

  4. Country Lawyer30 March, 2011 22:29


    That might be the strongest argument against Christianity anyone could make, because it implies that feminism is a direct result of Christianity.

  5. @CL- sorry for lack of clarity. I should have distinguished between abuse and submission. Christianity expects women to live in submission to men, and men to do what is best for women (cf. Eph. 5). Treating women like animals or as some sort of subhuman is unconscionable.

    Of course, pedestalizing women is also antithetical to Christianity (cf. "thou shalt have no other gods before me), so in the end, Christianity is about balancing between the two extremes. On the one hand, you don't treat women like they're subhuman garbage; on the other hand, you don't worship them and submit to them. How anyone can infer that feminism stems from Christianity is beyond me.

  6. @anonymous- I have to say a similar thought occurred to me when I first read Mr. Goldberg's post. However, he would have to be smart enough to know that there is only the slightest of possibilities that Muslim society would collapse more rapidly than western society after being exposed to its decadence. Still, if we're going to go down, we may as well take others with us, right?

  7. A good discussion here at OZConservative concerning Goldberg --- ozconservative.blogspot.com/2011/04/goldberg-feminism-is-cure-for-world.html

  8. @Elizabeth- I'll take a look at it.