|A scene in Haiti, after its earthquake.|
Sometimes The Spearhead, probably the internet’s leading angry-man site, seems like a giant interactive game of “pin the blame on the feminists.” When uprisings broke out in Tunisia and then Egypt , you may recall, W. F. Price — head honcho at The Spearhead — suggested that the unrest in both countries was a male reaction to the excesses of feminism and female power.
Now he’s returned with an even stranger article, comparing the current disaster in Japan with the very different outcome of last year’s earthquake in Haiti– and blaming women in general and feminists in particular for the far more lethal outcome in Haiti.
You might think that the staggering death toll in Haiti — estimates range from 92,000 to more than 300,000 — might have something to do with the fact that it’s the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with a weak and corrupt government and almost nothing in the way of intrastructure. And that Japan’s relative resiliance in the face of an even more powerful earthquake might have something to do with the fact that it’s a wealthy nation — the world’s third most powerful economy, with a GDP per capita about 30 times greater than Haiti’s — with a great deal of experience in handling earthquakes.
But Price has a rather different, and highly peculiar, explanation: Haiti suffered more because it’s a “matriachal” country, unlike properly “patriarchal” Japan. Comparing “matriarchal Haiti’s and patriarchal Japan’s respective responses to natural disaster,” Price writes that
in Haiti the women are still living in open encampments well over a year after the quake, [while] Japanese women are already sheltered, which is necessary, because it is still cold in northern Japan this time of year. …
Price goes on to argue that Japan is doing better by its men as well. While in Haiti in the aftermath of the quake, the UN and some relief organizations targeted aid towards women — who tend to literally get pushed aside in the mad scramble for food supplies otherwise — Price argues that
Japanese men … have it far better than their Haitian counterparts as well. There are no foreign troops pointing guns at them and denying them food, they are taken care of and respected if old, and given jobs and a place in society if young. Perhaps most importantly, They are given the opportunity to do what men often do best — they are allowed to take care of their families and communities.
Let’s set aside for a moment that it is a tad early to be declaring, er, “mission accomplished” in the Japan crisis, especially with the specter of a nuclear reactor meltdown looming. Price is a man with an agenda, and he moves fairly quickly to his grand conclusion: The two disasters, he argues,
give us an opportunity to ask ourselves what kind of a society we want to live in. Do we want, as the feminists would have it, to be helpless, disease infested, homeless and starving if we face hardship, or do we want to have the ability to come together and pull ourselves up from the rubble? For the sane people of the world, the choice is clear.
Yes, that’s right. Feminism is the party of helplessness, disease, homelessness and starvation. Anyone who’s just made the argument he made really shouldn’t be offering any opinions on the sanity of others.
Before we get into a critique of Price’s argument, such as it is, let’s pause for a moment to ask how his novel thesis was received by the Spearhead regulars. While a few commenters did take him to task for ignoring economics, others took his absurd argument and ran with it. (This is The Spearhead, after all.) Alucin declared,
Feminism is a crime against humanity. What happened in Haiti regarding food distribution will be repeated again and again as long as feminism prevails. Fighting feminism is something good people do on behalf of humanity. The men and women of Japan will get their lives back together again far more quickly than the matriarchal people of Haiti.
The future is patriarchal. It’s just a matter of which form it will take and when the West will re-masculate.
Epoetker took it a step further, adding a bit of racism to the misogynistic mix:
Haiti is a land of men who look like men but think like women. Japan is a land of men who look like women but think like men.
Rebel, meanwhile, found a grim humor in it all:
The Haitian case is proof positive that feminism is exactly like AIDS.
No matter how many die, feminism will be the last thing to die.
It was planned that way.
Whichever way you look at it, the answer is always the same: feminism is a religion of death.
Feminists are death worshippers.
That leaves very little hope for the future.
Life is so short and we worry too much. And it’s so futile.
One day we will all be Haitians. LOL!!
A note: These aren’t a couple of weird comments I’ve “cherry picked” to give a distorted picture of the discussion. In fact, these comments got anywhere from 20 to nearly 70 upvotes from Spearhead readers, and almost no downvotes. There were many other comments, also heavily upvoted, agreeing with these general premises. If you don’t believe me, go take a look yourself.
Numerous other commenters, I should also note, offered frankly racist interpretations of “the tale of two earthquakes,” blaming the greater scope of the disaster in Haiti on what one commenter called its “largely negro, largely indolent society.” While some objected to the racism, many clearly racist comments got numerous upvotes from the Spearhead crowd. (The comment I just quoted got 60 upvotes and 20 downvotes.)
Getting back to Price’s argument, let’s try to unpack the various layers of bullshit here. First of all, Haiti is no matriarchy. Yes, women often head up households there. But they don’t run the country, by any measure.
Life in Haiti is no picnic for men, but women have it even worse; as one human rights group noted in a recent report, “Haitian women experience additional barriers to the full enjoyment of their basic rights due to predominant social beliefs that they are inferior to men and a historical pattern of discrimination and violence against them based on their sex. Discrimination against women is a structural feature in Haitian society and culture that has subsisted throughout its history, both in times of peace and unrest.”
Rape is a constant threat, and, as a recent article in the Los Angeles Times notes, it “wasn’t even considered a serious criminal offense in Haiti until five years ago. … Before 2005, rape was considered an offense against honor, or “crime of passion,” meaning it was a minor infraction in which the perpetrator would go free if he agreed to marry his victim.”
The earthquake only made the situation worse for women. Rapes are especially widespread in the camps that sprung up in the wake of last year’s earthquake. Instead of “tak[ing] care of their families and communities,” as Price would put it, many Haitian men have instead preyed on women and girls, sexually assaultng them and stealing their food and other supplies. This is not, to put it mildly, a country suffering from an excess of feminism or female authority.
No, Haiti is in dire straits mostly because of its extreme poverty. Anyone looking at the history of natural disasters can plainly see that they tend to cause far more chaos and misery and death in poor countries than they do in rich ones: In highly patriarchal, and poverty-stricken Pakistan, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake killed an estimated 75,000, though the quake there was an order of magnitude weaker than Japan’s.
I’m not sure why I feel the need to remind readers of these basic points; the absurdity of Price’s arguments should be immediately obvious to anyone not blinded by misogyny. Sometimes I wonder if Price even believes all of the shit he shovels. Stupidity would be easier to forgive than that level of cynicism.
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