A Radical Manifesto

An interesting doctoral dissertation for an individual of reckless courage, or someone who only had a short time left to live anyway, would be the rise and fall of the notion that equivalent actions of both sexes should be judged equally. Another might be systematically to chart the ways in which the self-same acts can be variously defined according to whether they are committed by a man or a woman – not in some imagined patriarchal past but now, and with it being a wholly empirical question which sex is at any given time benefiting from differential description.

All human acts find themselves classified in different ways, depending on whether they are done by our precious selves or by someone else. This is what the Kantian ethical system was trying to combat. Much everyday evil comes from the infantile cry, “But it doesn’t apply to ME!”

It is hardly news that gender is one of the greatest of the reclassifying principles. One example is what used to be called the “double standard”, where a man who had thirty sex partners per year was a hero and a woman who had three sex partners per year was a slut. Many women are still living on the capital of that generally-agreed injustice, so that nobody notices that they themselves are systematically reclassifying acts in the opposite direction, in such a way that ethical discourse is systematically being replaced by declaration of gender.

In many places radical feminism is now the Establishment, sucking at the tit of the State and becoming just another patronage machine; true radicalism, on the other hand, would consist in attempting to recover or develop the startling idea that men and women are not a symmetrical pairing of malicious agent and helpless object of moral action, but rather ethical equals who must take the same lumps for the same acts.

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