by David Solway
Sometimes one is tempted to shoot the sheriff. When we take note of what is going on in the town — the moral degeneracy of its affairs, the raging puritanism that has installed itself as a twisted form of prurience, cruel punishment for perceived sexual misconduct and natural behavior meted out under cover of the law, and indeed, the wielding of the law as an instrument of repression — the sheriff can no longer be respected or obeyed. Defiance of an entrenched administration that wears the badge of cultural authority and determines the politics and mores of our lives becomes a duty.
What I call “the town” is simply the place where we now live, the decaying precincts of Western civilization. In the name of “social justice” and a sterile version of sexual propriety — code for a species of depravity — a once-vigorous culture has proceeded to devitalize itself. Normative male heterosexuality is under assault while gays, lesbians, and transgenders are routinely celebrated and seldom if ever the object of police investigations or criminal proceedings for rape, assault, or molestation.
The same exemption applies to heterosexual women who are almost always deemed innocent in sexual misadventures while men are almost inevitably found guilty. Moreover, women who have lied by misrepresentation or salient omission in rape or assault cases are rarely sentenced for perjury or legal mischief. The docket is remorselessly slanted against the male defendant. Just ask the Canadian public broadcaster’s Jian Ghomeshi, the Duke lacrosse team, Columbia University’s Paul Nungesser falsely accused by “mattress girl” Emma Sulkowicz (who has not only remained unpunished but received a “Woman of Courage” Award from the National Organization of Women), the targeted fraternity at the University of Virginia in the Rolling Stone scandal, the as yet unidentified man falsely accused by the RCMP and a provincial judiciary of assaulting his autistic, non-verbal daughter (a suit based on a largely discredited therapeutic technique called “facilitated communication,” the Ottawa University hockey team (in which two players were charged with sexual assault — as yet unproven — and the entire team suspended by former Liberal justice minister and university president Alan Rock).
The feminist attack on a nebulous entity called the “patriarchy” asserting its putatively illegitimate sexist power over the female half of humanity is a paranoiac absurdity, a pathological misandry masking as a cultural verity. The feverish fixation on male sexual “perversion” and on the need for “liberating” alternatives can only lead to social confusion and mental derangement. As C.S. Lewis wrote in The Abolition of Man, “There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgement of value in the history of the world,” a truth rejected by the sexual vigilantes of the day pushing a distorted system of sexual values — really a system of anti-values — at the cost of cultural sanity.
Under this new sexual dispensation, heterosexual masculinity is singled out as a pernicious form best rejected altogether or at least radically overhauled, pacified, and feminized. The entire dynamic of heterosexual courtship and mating — its patterns of pursuit and retreat, of display and admiration, of provocation and conquest — has now been deemed by feminist opinion-makers a manifestation of misogyny to be replaced by new sexual identities and configurations.
This “alternate morality,” Lewis continues, is “arbitrarily wrenched from [its] context in the whole and then swollen to madness.” It is thus no surprise that the juridical status of bestiality has come to the fore as a burning sexual question. The wiredrawn distinction between man-animal penetration and touching or fondling with sexual intent is a subject which has recently exercised the judgment of Canada’s Supreme Court. When nine robed dignitaries devote their attention to the intricacies of human/animal intercourse, with a view to distinguishing the licit from the illicit, we know we are in deep trouble.
But it is men, male sexuality and hypothetical venereal chauvinism that remain the primary sphere of interest galvanizing the feminist and “social justice” constituency. In an important column, journalist Cathy Young analyzes the new legalistic concept of “affirmative consent” that, were it adopted in law, could turn “nearly every sexually active person — especially if male — into a sex offender awaiting detection.” The lawyers promoting affirmative consent “state that the ‘default position’ should be to err on the side of protecting individuals from sexual coercion. However well-intentioned, this is an open invitation for any regretted sexual encounter to be reinterpreted as assault.” The ideological zealots have been given carte blanche and the hunt to incriminate men on any sexual pretext, however ephemeral or disputable, is now ubiquitous. This is merely the coital version of what Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff in a much-circulated essay for The Atlantic called “vindictive protectiveness.” The authors examined the disaster of coddling students — “snowflakes” — in the university; the coddling of women at the expense of manly pride and domestic harmony is equally, if not more, catastrophic.
“Creating gaping fissures between men and women,” writes Bruce Walker, “suits the interests of womenists” — Alice Walker’s term — as they seek to destroy “[h]appy marriages, joyful parenthood, and peace between the sexes.” When male sexuality is persecuted while as we have seen everywhere around us marginal or heteroclite forms that are inherently barren are lauded and protected, cultural degeneracy must assuredly set in. For a culture that criminalizes men and consecrates nonpuerperal deviance cannot hope to replenish itself. The war against men, waged by a dystopian sept of resentful neocrats, means that marriage, reproduction, technical innovation, scientific creativity and the hard labor of material maintenance on which civilization depends have all been radically compromised as the sexual dynamic is fatally weakened, masculinity defamed, and both tradition and biology cast to the winds.
We now find ourselves living in a romcom gone sour. We have reached a point where the sexual bond must conform to a theoretical model that exists nowhere but in the minds of people disassociated from reality. Something like the Thomas theorem is at work here, namely, situations defined as real, though they may not be true or valid, are real in their results. Fantasy can produce malign effects. And the social consequences are conspicuously observable as men grow increasingly wary of women and women grow increasingly unfulfilled in their natures, a development addressed by Helen Smith in Men on Strike, Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly in The Flipside of Feminism, and, to a lesser extent, Valerie Burton in Happy Women Live Better. Women have taken over the citadel; men are gaming in their parents’ basements. As a May 24, 2016 PewResearchCenter poll treating of demographic shifts puts it, “Share living with a spouse or partner continues to fall”; the “decline of romantic coupling” and the “retreat of marriage,” culminating in the safe haven of the parental dwelling for male adults between the ages of 18 and 34, are social trends that show no sign of diminishing. The stats are alarming. Reciprocal estrangement of the sexes is nothing less than a social and cultural tragedy — a tragedy regarded by a praesidium of legislators, magistrates, media figures, academics, and intellectuals as a collective triumph.
“If we are to be a truly healthy democracy,” writes author and motivational speaker Swayne O’Pie in Exposing Feminism, “we must exorcise the cultural and political taboo that prevents our questioning and challenging Feminism’s issues and Ideology.” Our cultural leadership, however, is hopelessly corrupt and patience with its malfeasance is neither a virtue nor an option. The natural order must be restored and a right relation between the sexes reaffirmed. We can no longer accept, from fear or timidity or indifference, a custodial authority that has poisoned the wells of normality. “Men seem to be so cowed that they can’t fight back,” said former feminist Doris Lessing, “and it is time they did.” Lessing is half-right. It’s time that men — and women, too — began to fight back against the sanctioned arbiters of the cultural moment. It’s time, so to speak, to shoot the sheriff.
First published in the American Thinker.