Claire Gordon regurgitates popular feminist garble in editorial rant against men

To the Editor:

Claire Gordon took reflexive victim-hood to a new level of vulgarity in her essay this week (“Myth-making men reify the almighty phallus,” 3/25). If there was a valid point behind her column, a little linguistic propriety might have made her case more persuasive. Yet I wonder why in the first place she felt the need to share with us her apparent rage against the male member.

I can guess the answer. The confident self-righteousness of her essay is characteristic of modern programs in women’s/gender/queer studies etc.

Who is to blame for male obsession with the phallus? Men, of course. And who is to blame for female interest in phallic magnitude? You guessed it — men! And who is to blame for problem x, y and z? Men, men and men.

I do have some understanding for Gordon — she is simply regurgitating what is taught in Yale classrooms every day. Her professors have apparently assigned her readings from the likes of Andrea Dworkin, who thought of all sexual intercourse as a kind of reinforcement of female subordination. This strikes me as a tragic misconception of what sex and love mean, or can potentially mean.

Perhaps Gordon has done us a favor in the end. She has spared us four long and hard years of studying extreme feminist theory, and has given us the essence of it in the course of a single piece in the News. The message is simple: If there is any blame whatsoever to be stuck, then always, always, always stick it to the man.

Nathan Harden

March 25

The writer is a junior in Berkeley College.

Comments

  • Lysistrata

    From the male's dominance as the 'leader' in ballroom dancing, to his role as the 'top' in bedroom dancing, the culture sends pretty clear non verbal messsages that the male member is expected to project himself in all areas of society. The worship of the phallus has at its source the very vulnerability of this projection: all leadership can be 'lopped off' either with a executioner's blade or an editor's prose, whether that leadership is the anatomical sword or the cerebral dagger. It is precisely because the safety of the phallus is so tenuous both anatomically and symbolically (as leadership, projection, subordinator)that a cult of worship has evolved to protect and nurture it. Without that long history of worship, men might not have the courage to rise to any occasion, let alone the one's which are scrutinized by women's (ergo mothers')eyes. Cut us some slack.

  • Anonymous

    Four long and hard years of studying feminist theory? Because the women and genders studies major is so intense…

  • God and Man at Yale

    Mr. Harden--perhaps trapped by the onamatopoietic prison of his surname--sounds like he longs to write the sequel to William F. Buckley's 1951 essay and title it: "Man is God at Yale".
    I am old enough to recall walking the streets of New Haven when Yale was not a co-educational institution. My late mother, a native of New Haven, remembers that Yale men were not allowed to date town women. Ms. Gordon's article is not a "rant'. It is a collective gasp for air after 2500 years of sexist oppression. Soften up Mr. Harden.

  • Julian Real

    <blockquote>Her professors have apparently assigned her readings from the likes of Andrea Dworkin, who thought of all sexual intercourse as a kind of reinforcement of female subordination. This strikes me as a tragic misconception of what sex and love mean, or can potentially mean.</blockquote>

    Mr. Harden. Even in your own words you acknowledge that reality and potential are two different things, often enough for you to word it that way. I know intercourse can be experienced in a variety of ways, and how intolerant of you to target one women who chose to ask questions about that subject that no one dared ask prior. Is one book by one feminist really that threatening to your manhood? (And, um, have you actually read the book?)

    And what's the excuse for the more generalized misogyny and sexism, sir? Had a bad experience once with a woman? If "one or two bad experiences with 'the opposite sex'" was the cause of disrespecting the other gender, many more women would disrespect men, don't you think? No woman I know has been unharmed by men, sexually and physically. Not one. (I know lots of women.) And all women suffer from living in a male supremacist system. We men benefit, which is why we don't tend to do much about changing things… except rant against feminists… because we all know how many social and political and religious institutions feminist women run, right?
    Grow up, and learn what manhood really is; read Robert Jensen… or Andrea Dworkin.