14A030 The Feminist Contradiction by Jim Davies, 8/2/2014    


On July 18th The Guardian published an over-long feature by Kathleen Hale, who proudly described how she had turned from being a sex-molestation prey, into a molestor's predator. As a naïve Harvard freshwoman, she had a massage; afterwards, she decided she had been assaulted and pursued the masseur, eventually to prison.

All of the reader comments beneath it were favorable, of the kind "Thank you for sharing. I hope your story helps others." Most unusually - because The Guardian normally allows free comment with little censorship - there were no critical ones at all. I sent three, but each in turn was rejected. Quite obviously, the subject is one close to the censor's heart, and nary an adverse word was going to be allowed.

From the facts Ms Hale related, she pulled a back muscle while hauling furniture into her undergrad room, with her mother's help (but without that of any passing member of the physically stronger gender) and found a massage parlor in Harvard Square, to soothe the sore. She told Mom it looked "creepy" but Mom said she thought it okay. So after putting her mother in a cab for Logan, Ms Hale entered and ordered a massage.

You can read the detail of what transpired, but notice: at no point did she complain or say "Stop!" nor at any point did she get dressed and walk out, until finished. She paid her bill and said Thanks. Only later did "buyers' remorse" kick in; she reckoned she'd been ogled and fondled. How it's possible to give a massage without touching some parts of a young lady on which a stranger would not normally lay hands, I cannot tell. Nor do I know whether it's good practice to massage a person without using eyes to find the way around.

Even when affected by regret, she did not return to the parlor and demand a refund or make a complaint. Instead she lay low, got to know some feminist friends, and pounced when other allegations were made against the masseur, so becoming (her word) a "predator."

This brings me to my point (you'll be glad to know): feminism fits ill with responsibility. In June there was a ZGBlog about that subject focusing mainly on whether anyone has a responsibility to his country, but here is another aspect: responsibility for one's actions. Is one just a piece of driftwood, helpless to take charge of one's destiny, or is one properly a full-function human being in sole charge of one's own life and answerable for decisions taken? It will be no surprise that this Blog picks the latter, and applies it to both varieties of hom. sap.

Kathleen Hale got exactly what she ordered and paid for, and if she was so very fragile as to need a government Nanny to look after her every move, she had a great deal of growing up to do and was hardly suited to be let loose on the Ivy League, let alone on a free society. She must have been a very smart 18-year-old to get into Harvard, but not smart enough to make her own choices and live with their consequences.

We are long past the age when women were legally forbidden to act as free agents, independent of a husband; long past, even, the time when they were forbidden to commit the immoral act of casting a vote. Happily, the time is not quite yet past when gentlemen usually defer to ladies as a matter of courtesy; though if more Kathleen Hales get on the predator warpath, I'd not care to predict how soon it will become so.

Her story is a good example of the contradiction inherent in feminists' thinking. Today, at one and the same time, they want ladies to be treated as equals when rising to the competitive top in commerce and academia (not to mention government) while at the same time deserving extra special privilege, consideration (and even affirmative action) as the delicate, weaker sex.

Seems to me that ladies can have one, or the other; but not both.





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