Over the years a Prototypical Man has
distinguished himself in his attacks, forcing me to contemplate a
feminist construct: sexism. I’ve been skeptical about its validity in
North America, even suggesting in
a review of Catharine Mackinnon’s book in The American
Conservative that feminists ought to decamp to Darfur. There they’d
find the proper context for their theories.
I stand by what I said. Distaff America is not dogged by sexism. So what
is one to make of men, mostly of the left-libertarian and liberal
variety, who use sex as ad hominem when a woman is concerned?
These puritans are in the habit of deploying the photos on
IlanaMercer.com to shame its proprietor. To wit: “Mercer puts up the
images; she’s asking for it.” To these solemn commissars, an aesthetic
display of the female form signifies that a woman is begging for
As a capitalist, I like many aspects of our commercial culture. Contra
Virginia Postrel, I don’t like them all (the central thesis of
her second book was: all that glitters is gold). But I’m not
averse to most aspects of it, including a healthy enjoyment—and
commercial exploitation—of the male or female form.
The austere, Soviet-like stance vis-à-vis the female figure and its
commercialization is the trademark of feminists and socialists. They
oppose what they term the “objectification” of women, but also object to
anything that’s fun, free, appealing, and lucrative. In their prissy,
sexual rebukes to me, these phony progressives and pseudo-capitalists
have sided with backward elements.
Oddly enough, neoconservatives have never lobbed sexual insults at this
scribe. When I wrote as though possessed about the war, I endured
unpleasant epithets. These, however, were not sexual. For their part,
cultural conservatives tend to be courteous and chivalrous. As for
Objectivists: to them Ayn Rand bequeathed a healthy respect for a
certain kind of woman.
True, neoconservative readers often demanded that I be fired.
Conversely, they counseled that I become more like Ann Coulter.
LA COULTER. My archetypal libertarian attacker will invariably conjure
Ms. Coulter. “This is the fatal legacy of Coulter,” writes a
paleoconservative gentleman—a fine writer, unencumbered by ego
issues—“that ANY female with keen wit and an attitude is now going to be
demonized by various, mostly not too bright or too secure,
left-libertarian males for being a Coulter-wannabe / bimbo / aspiring
Is that why a flaccid financier from the UK invoked via e-mail the
anodyne—and unflattering—Coulter comparison? If asked to pinpoint the
similarities between Coulter and the woman who penned “Lethal
Weapons: Neocon Groupies,” the bloke would be at a loss. Was it the
dark hair? The antiwar stance? Did Coulter
also liken Bush’s “bring 'em on grin” to the grimace “on the face of
a demented patient with end-stage syphilis”? Unburdened by fact, and
riled by differences he refused to brook, this colossal bore resorted to
sexist insults (“what’s the matter; having a bad hair day? Can’t compete
BORES. When these Left-libertarians do inflict their piss-poor prose on
the public, they tend to be tinny and their insights pedestrian. I’ll
take a James Wolcott any time over this uncouth lot. Our versatile—and
pompous—sexists are especially good at assuming the duties of High
Priests. In the liberty-oriented community, people tend to huddle in
atrophying intellectual attics, and quibble about detecting and
expelling contrarians. Dare to dissent, and keepers of the flame will
take it upon themselves to read you out of the movement. Or call you a
self-styled libertarian (as if I care).
This, naturally, makes for tribalism, not individualism. The bad,
moreover, have a nasty habit of crowding out the good. Or as one
Objectivist wag once wrote, “Quality is never the result of intellectual
purges: the most creative and independent thinkers are the first to go.”
That makes perfect psychological sense: those who remain feel more
secure, group cohesion having trounced intellectual vitality. In any
event, I don’t give a tinker’s toss if I’m “in” or “out.” Being
far from the madding crowd has worked just fine for me, so far.
There are many women who bank on their looks to get ahead. If it’s any
consolation to The Men From Marx and The Women from Uranus, whose
deficiencies compel them to depict me as a vacuous pin-up, my looks, for
what they’re worth, have done nothing to popularize my writing. I orbit
no closer to Coulter’s comet than when “Creators” first attempted, and
failed, to syndicate my column—a column they deemed “too out of the
mainstream for comfort.”
©2006 By Ilana Mercer
Free-Market News Network