Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Will Professor John Dunn answer my questions on feminism and politics?

I have emailed him for the following questions.

  1. How would you define feminism?
  2. Is feminism a force for the good?
  3. Has feminism been good for men?
  4. Does feminism ever consider the long term national interest?
  5. Is feminism really only the amoral and tribal privileging women simply because they are female?
  6. What has feminism to offer men in the short term other than the false impression that sex is cheap because it affirms the right of women to have sex outside marriage?
  7. Has feminism desecrated the institutions of marriage and family?
  8. If we repealed the Equality Act 2010 and abolished no fault divorce, would we have cut off both legs of feminism?
  9. What is there to stop any political party from proposing the repeal of the Equality Act 2010 and abolishing no fault divorce?
  10. If you could, would you repeal the Equality Act 2010 and abolish no fault divorce? 

Professor Dunn says more sensible and interesting things at 

But his hair is untidy, his collar awry. Doubtless he could have been made to look less like an old tramp if his ex-wife, the delectable Ruth Scurr, had not abandoned him, but she had other ideas.  

I do hope Professor Dunn is not too old and ill to answer my questions. In answering them, I trust he will arrive at the answers to the points he himself raised, which was about understanding our own political and social structures so that we may change them if things go wrong, rather like a mechanic with a broken down car or a driver with a punctured tyre.

Dunn argues that politics is about struggles between individuals, or sometimes groups, in complex social orders to resolve competing views about the organisation and ends of society. It is about the "collisions between human purposes" commonplace in complex social organisations such as modern states - "an endless and highly unstable round of struggle and quest for understanding". He investigates the ways in which designers of political institutions have attempted to address the implications of this need to organise.

He does so with reference to influential alternative understandings of human motives - whether we are motivated by self-righteous individualism or by the logic of collective action, for instance. Do we think our individual judgements are the only ones worthy of respect, or do we recognise that making political choices is ineluctably a collective process?

Dunn emphasises the importance of accommodating individualism in designing institutions for political stability. He cites approvingly Aristotle's directive that "we need above all to analyse how human beings are best advised to live together, in order both to judge how their common life could go best and to give it the best chance which they can to go well in practice".

Poor old Dunn, hinting ever so delicately, ever so obliquely, about the patriarchy. I already know that hints dropped are not picked up by the deliberately deaf. I know even shouting at people saying the same thing again and again simplified to the point that it even rhymes and makes sense does very little to motivate or inspire a race of men who only want to be seen as not misogynistic and worthy of being given sex from a passably attractive woman not their wives from time to time.

Let us remember what Camille Paglia said about the Greeks.

Women played no part in Athenian high culture. They could not vote, attend the theatre, or walk in the stoa talking philosophy. But the male orientation of Greek culture was inseparable of its genius. Athens became great not despite but because of its misogyny.

To be honest with you, I think it is too late now. All the establishment white males who would agree with me are already long dead and gone. The ones who might agree with me are now very old and frail, and, because if you are old and frail you look like an old tramp if you don't have anyone to look after you or at least tell you you need a haircut or that your collar is awry or your tie crooked, not matching your shirt or your cuffs frayed, people will just sneer at you and dismiss everything you say as soon as look at you or see you on TV looking like shit.  

The old men of UKIP do not discuss my ideas, probably because they are unable to access them, being so proud of their technophobia and technical incompetence. Those who access the internet might read my blog from time to time, but do not discuss it with each other.

As for the younger ones, they don't get it and won't get it because they fear for their careers and reputations for seeming to say anything that could be interpreted as misogyny. 

Also, if you are old, you don't like using new technology, which means you won't be able to communicate your message well or at all, having to rely on others to put people in touch with you or deliver your messages, and these people would  mostly be women and most women are feminists. 

I have already called him at his number but, predictably, there is no answer.  

Perhaps he doesn't even do email.  

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