Imperialism in Pumps

Mainstream feminism has abandoned women’s interests so thoroughly that it has largely become only superficially distinct from the patriarchy it purports to oppose, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone

“President-elect Joe Biden is expected to take a historic step and select a woman to head the Pentagon for the first time, shattering one of the few remaining barriers to women in the department and the presidential Cabinet,” reads a new report from the AP. “Michele Flournoy, a politically moderate Pentagon veteran, is regarded by U.S. officials and political insiders as a top choice for the position.”

“Seen as a steady hand who favors strong military cooperation abroad, Flournoy, 59, has served multiple times in the Pentagon, starting in the 1990s and most recently as the undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2012,” says the AP. “She serves on the board of Booz Allen Hamilton, a defense contractor, which could raise concerns from some lawmakers. But her moderate views would likely ensure wide bipartisan support in a position that requires Senate confirmation.”

This word “moderate” which the AP news agency keeps bleating is of course complete nonsense. Standing in the middle ground between two corporatist warmongering parties does not make you a moderate, it makes you a corporatist warmonger. Flournoy is no more “moderate” than the “moderate rebels” in Syria which mass-media outlets like AP praised for years until it became undeniable that they were largely Al Qaeda affiliates; the only reason such a position can be portrayed as mainstream and moderate is because vast fortunes have been poured into making it that way.

‘Angel of Death’

As we discussed recently, Flournoy is a bloodthirsty imperialist and war profiteer who peace activists Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies accurately labeled an “angel of death” for the American empire. As leader of the laughably titled Department of “Defense” she can be expected to oversee the same agendas of unipolar global domination at the expense of rivers of blood as her predecessors, in more or less exactly the same ways.

There is nothing special or noteworthy about a murderous ghoul rising to the top of a war machine that can only be run by murderous ghouls. But because Michele Flournoy is a woman, we will see her appointment as “defense” secretary applauded and upheld as a major landmark for women by a political/media class which has never cared about women beyond their ability to turn the gears of the machine.

And of course Establishment narrative managers are already greasing the wheels for that applause.

“White progressives training their fire on women and women of color who are under consideration to lead the nat sec departments makes me deeply uncomfortable about their allyship for those communities,” tweeted MSNBC contributor Mieke Eoyang. “Especially when the nat sec community is dominated by white men.”

It’s only going to get dumber from here, folks.

Mass Murderer in Spanx

Let’s clear this up before the girl-power parade starts: the first woman to head the U.S. war machine will not be a groundbreaking pioneer of feminist achievement. She will be a mass murderer who wears Spanx. Her appointment will not be an advancement for women, it will be imperialism in pumps.

Modern mainstream feminism has abandoned women’s interests so thoroughly and completely in almost all spheres of importance that it has largely become only superficially distinct from the patriarchy it purports to oppose. The plight of mothers, elderly women, young girls, caregivers and wives have been almost entirely shuffled out of popular discourse, with focus instead shifted onto discussions about whether women are being adequately rewarded for their service to the God of Capitalism, or how they’re just as qualified as men to murder thousands of people at a time.

Instead of fighting to correct the societal imbalances which have resulted from millennia of male domination of society, mainstream feminism now promotes and applauds the very worst aspects of those imbalances. Instead of fighting to help women out of the impossible situation where they’re expected to simultaneously be successful capitalists and good mothers in an economic system where families can’t survive on a single income and children and the elderly are being neglected, we’re getting headlines about murderous warmongers “breaking barriers” and think pieces about how women should be allowed to inherit dukedoms.

In a system where dominant cultural narratives are always being deliberately twisted toward the advantage of the powerful, healthy collective impulses consistently wind up being diverted and corrupted until they find themselves unwittingly serving the very forces they set out to push back against. Movements toward racial equality have been twisted into support for the Democratic Party whose austerity policies and legal authoritarianism disproportionately hurt racial minorities worse than anyone else. Movements to elect a Democratic Socialist get funneled into support for the idiotic Russia conspiracies of the #Resistance. Movements to fight patriarchy wind up amplifying the most unhealthy aspects of patriarchy.

Black Lives Matter art wall at U. S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Building renovation construction site, Washington, D.C., Nov. 4, 2020. (Elvert Barnes, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

A true feminism would work toward a reversal of all the unhealthy aspects of society which were put there by social engineers without any input from women.

Leadership Invented by Men

All around the world for thousands of years, wherever a civilization sprang up, the larger, stronger gender was naturally in a position to assert dominance over the way that civilization was run. Leadership systems were invented by men, social hierarchies were invented by men, marriage was invented by men, family structural norms were designed by men, money was invented by men, war was invented by men, and men invented religions which just so happened to have patriarchal gods who all agreed that the way men had set things up was indeed right and just.

Women were essentially property throughout most of this, and thus had very little input into how any of it was set up. Generation after generation after generation of women were born into this male-engineered society, over thousands and thousands of years, into a system so deeply and extensively normalized that it’s almost impossible to imagine what our society might look like had it not been dominated entirely by men throughout its history.

And then, very, very recently in the grand scheme of things, a healthy impulse emerged among women to cease being second-class citizens, and to instead stand as equals with their brothers.

In response, after much whining and foot-dragging, the men who ran things said in effect, “Right. Okay. You want equality? Fine. The jobs we invented are over there, the capitol building for the government we invented is over there, the bank for the economic system we invented is across the street, the Department of War is two blocks that way, and the Church of the Patriarchal God is around the corner. Welcome to equality!”

And some rich guys standing by watching leaned in and whispered to each other, “Sweet, double the workforce! We can halve their wages!”

We should not be cheering for women rising to the top of a psychopathic war machine. We should be dismantling that war machine and rolling back all the conditions which led to it. True feminism, which is interested in guiding the world toward balance and heath in a way that benefits women and their children, would make this a priority.

Push against the celebrations of women being elevated to positions which go directly against the interests of women. Do not let mass murder and psychopathy become the landmark for success in the kind of world we are creating for our daughters. Oppose this madness and push for the kind of world we all know deep down we ought to have.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.   Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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20 comments for “Imperialism in Pumps

  1. Michael Goldenberg
    November 19, 2020 at 13:44

    I’ve forwarded this article to a lot of (mostly) female friends. The reactions have been less positive than I would have hoped. One response was to ask immediately if you (Caitlin) liked any powerful, successful women politicians. I wasn’t about to do a research project to satisfy my friend, but I speculated that Jacinda Ardern and Tulsi Gabbard might pass muster. At any rate, if that reaction represents a significant percentage of current feminists in the English-speaking world, we’re in bigger trouble than I thought. Identity politics is a disease, in my view, and it seems to have infected wide swaths of people who see themselves as left of center in the US and elsewhere. Not good news.

  2. Sam F
    November 18, 2020 at 22:42

    Very true, with just a minor exception: that men are also offered only positions in the structures created by tyrants. It is the tyrant who created our fake democracies, not men in general. But of course the introduction of women in tyrannical positions is celebrated by tyrants as equality.

  3. Anonymot
    November 18, 2020 at 18:32

    Bravo, bravo, Rogue Journalist! Once again you drove a spike of truth and reason into the drab heart of contemporary journalism and the unthinking minds that believe it all.

  4. Pablo Diablo
    November 18, 2020 at 16:15

    Don’t forget Madeline Albright and Iraq. Or Hillary in Libya.

    • Anne
      November 19, 2020 at 12:17

      Oh so bloody (literally) true, Pablo. One’s biology does not determine one’s humanity, one’s having a conscience or lacking one, one’s over-weening sense of righteousness however diabolical one’s actions, one’s greed and power ridden/soaked worldviews, determinations.

    November 18, 2020 at 15:42

    An admirable plea for equality of the sexes, but the tragedy is that the writer couches it in a deep belief that biology is evil. Yes, wonderful to imagine a world dominated by women, but remember we humans are part of nature, not apart in some special god-like role. Yes we are also animals, for better or worse, and one need only look to the animal kingdom for clues as to what the natural order seems to be. Feminism that believes that males have somehow magically always been intrinsically evil – and logically this means males of all species – is a pathologically Utopian world view. I just don’t see where it can go apart from a total hatred of life itself. If we humans ever come up with a workable solution to the “equality of the sexes” so beloved of this arrogant big-brained minority white culture in the last paltry hundred years or so of billions of years of evolution, then I’m very open to it.

  6. Alex Cox
    November 18, 2020 at 12:44

    Thank you, Caitlin. What you have said very much needed saying. I wish I could share it with my “feminist” friends but I fear that TDS and idpol have dragged the discourse so far to the right that they would welcome a nuclear war, as long as a woman starts it.

  7. November 18, 2020 at 11:52

    Thank you, Caitlin, for telling it like it really is, as usual. Your work is important, so keep putting out the truth as you are here.

  8. Anna
    November 18, 2020 at 11:51

    The ‘angel of death’ Michele Flournoy is also a perfect example of cultivated incompetence. While Michele Flournoy is a choice of war profiteers and captains of finance, she will be unique as a Pentagon’ chief in having zero actual military experience (let other peoples’ children die for Michele Flournoy’s profits) and she is totally ignorant in technical matters of weaponry: “she received a bachelor of arts degree … She received an M.Litt. in international relations” see:èle_Flournoy
    Michele Flournoy is an ignoramus in math and physics; she is not able to understand the basics of weapon technology. But she knows who controls the US Congress: “In a webinar hosted by the Israel Policy Forum in June 2020, Flournoy expressed concern that Israel’s proposed unilateral annexation of the West Bank could lead Congress to deny almost $4 billion in annual US aid to Israel. “I would hate to see some in Congress decided they are going to hold hostage our security assistance to Israel as a way of protesting their policies in the West Bank.” Flournoy added that a fraying of the US-Israel relationship would be disastrous for US interests.”

  9. doris
    November 18, 2020 at 10:51

    Right on, as usual, Caitlin! The patriarchal brand of feminism is just lipstick on a murderous boar.

  10. November 18, 2020 at 10:14

    “Instead of fighting to correct the societal imbalances which have resulted from millennia of male domination of society, mainstream feminism now promotes and applauds the very worst aspects of those imbalances.”
    I agree with Caitlin. Slightly off the point, though related: it is the desire for power that brings humans into conflict, and is leading us to yet another world war – this time nuclear.

  11. Anne
    November 18, 2020 at 09:42

    “A true Feminism” presumes that females are intrinsically kinder, gentler, friendlier more humane than males, and frankly I consider that to be untrue, undemonstrated. There are profoundly kind, gentle, humane males. My late husband was the epitome of such a person.

    In part my perception is based on my personal experience. There were my parents – both – hardly exemplary gentle, loving, kind people. And then in every one of the eight primary schools I went to (my parents moved a lot) it was never ever the lads who bullied me, (they simply ignored me) it was always the girls. Then as a working adult there were occasions/places of work where there was bullying (disguised as discussion) – by the females. I never had – and still don’t – any female friends (and cannot comprehend how one might).

    And then there was Thatcher… surely she exemplified the fact that Power itself, the desire to have and hold Power, are a manifestation of socio/psychopathy. And females are as liable to these as are males.

      November 18, 2020 at 15:50

      Bravely put in such a form, Anne. This excellent writer means well, and I support her aspirations for equality even though they are impossibly Utopian. However a deep hatred for the duality of biology is evident here (as with many “feminists”). Yes, let’s continually move against male domination, but somehow I don’t fancy our chances of complete victory in the next year or two.

  12. Dario Z
    November 18, 2020 at 07:51

    Spot on as always, Caitlin.
    It is indeed quite sad that, on the one hand, it has to be women like Rice and possibly Flournoy the first to cover what might have been otherwise a groundbreaking role in gender equality advancement; ever more so, on the other, that a part of the feminist movement so reflexively defend such indefensible candidatures on the grounds of what appears to be a form of tribalism, not a genuine gender equality stance.
    To be truthful, we have seen this on a much larger scale, and with way more devastating effects, in the case of, well…Hillary Clinton herself.
    It is undeniable that a large segment of the mainstream feminist movement quite blindly supported a demonstrably corrupt, corporate hyper-warmonger like Clinton since the very beginning, providing a significant contribution to her decisive victory on Bernie Sanders in the democratic primaries of 2016. Certain (pseudo?) feminists’, let’s say not very sophisticated comments in her defense still resonate in my ears…
    Caitlin’s piece is an important warning. I’m regrettably pessimistic about it being heeded.

  13. Andy
    November 17, 2020 at 20:38

    Great reading as ever Caitlin, really insightful as ever – I always look forward to your articles.

  14. Tom Kath
    November 17, 2020 at 20:11

    Old pop Kipling never spoke a truer word, “The female of the species is deadlier than the male”. There may be some fundamental sense in males and females playing different roles in any species.
    I find it strangely troubling that anyone should see success as “a world created for our daughters”. Equality can never exist where it is confused with superiority.

    • Eapen Panicker
      November 18, 2020 at 13:51

      The same “White Man’s Burden” Kipling?

      Take up the White Man’s burden—

      Send forth the best ye breed—

      Go send your sons to exile

      To serve your captives’ need

      To wait in heavy harness

      On fluttered folk and wild—

      Your new-caught, sullen peoples,

      Half devil and half child

      Take up the White Man’s burden

      In patience to abide

      To veil the threat of terror

      And check the show of pride;

      By open speech and simple

      An hundred times made plain

      To seek another’s profit

      And work another’s gain

      Take up the White Man’s burden—

      And reap his old reward:

      The blame of those ye better

      The hate of those ye guard—

      The cry of hosts ye humour

      (Ah slowly) to the light:

      “Why brought ye us from bondage,

      “Our loved Egyptian night?”

      Take up the White Man’s burden-

      Have done with childish days-

      The lightly proffered laurel,

      The easy, ungrudged praise.

      Comes now, to search your manhood

      Through all the thankless years,

      Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,

      The judgment of your peers!

    • November 19, 2020 at 00:36

      There are also good old white male specimen like Elliot Abrams and John Bolton.

  15. peon d. rich
    November 17, 2020 at 19:52

    Radical feminists YES, YES, YES. Over-whelmingly represented for the most inspiring people I have ever worked with. F’ing amazing!!! Anti-imperial, anti-capital, anti-domination, anti-fascist, PRO-biosphere, PRO-life (in the way that matters). They pump their fists, not their feet.

    Liberal, glass-ceiling feminists: f’ing atrocious. Chicken hawk Karens. Pelosi, Feinstein, Clinton (barely that), Harris. Co-opting and back-stabbing. Streep and holywoodies – #MeToo as they dress in gowns and titilate for $$$$$. Pathetic exploitation of women’s struggles for self and community. Put those heels on, there’s work to do.

  16. ranney
    November 17, 2020 at 19:45

    Oh Caitlin I hope women everywhere will hear your plea! But I fear the die is cast and not enough will object.

Comments are closed.