Sunday, June 12, 2005

Poor Jane Fonda

Here is an interesting opinion column. The Seattle PI has a piece by Terence Blacker criticizing the victim obsession in Jane Fonda’s new autobiography.

In Blacker’s words:

The theme of Fonda's promotional interviews, and presumably the autobiography itself, has been simple and consistent: nothing is ever Jane's fault.
Apparently, every man in Fonda's life had it out for her.

Family life was unhappy because poor old Henry Fonda was so uptight that he made her feel bad about herself. Although she was good-looking, her boyfriends had somehow made her feel inadequate. Even when she was an international star and married to Roger Vadim, his behavior played havoc with her self-esteem.
Well, with all that money and such low self-esteem, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we ought to all be playing the patriarchy violin for Fonda. But, not according to Blacker:

It is about this time, that even her most devoted fan -- me, for example -- is likely to experience a sharp twinge of irritation. Is she not responsible for anything? There are various ways of reminiscing about bad behavior in one's youth, ranging from the sheepish to the boastful, but there is something particularly pathetic about a woman deciding to include raunchy stuff in her memoirs but describing it in dreary, self-pitying terms of victimhood.
No argument there, Mr. Blacker. But, you must be living on another planet if you believe the following:

Blaming men for this and that does not sound like feminism to me; it sounds more like bleating. Even that great call to arms, in which she urges girls and women to avoid defining themselves by men, has a whiff of defeatism and dependence to it.
In fact, contemporary gender feminism is all about blaming men. And, Fonda’s new book sounds like a shining example of what is taught in Women Studies departments on a daily basis. Worse, it is incorporated in a federal law called the Violence Against Women Act, that patriarchy fighting superhero Senator Joseph Biden has introduced for reauthorization.

Contemporary gender feminism is a cult of victimhood that blames the monolith called "man" for every problem a woman encounters: The glass ceiling in corporations; Pay disparity between men and women; Domestic violence as a manifestation of the “patriarchy;” deadbeat dads. These are all myths that have been debunked not only on this blog, but by numerous scholars that use scientific evidence instead of ideology. But, the victim chorus continues.

After recognizing the flaw in Fonda’s character, Blacker fails to recognize the same flaw in contemporary gender feminism.

Perhaps it is unfair to judge Fonda by the way she has promoted her book … But playing the victim card, as most of the Women's Institute audience will have known, can send out the wrong messages.
Well, no Mr. Blacker. None of the gender feminist’s organizations recognize that playing the victim card is causing them to loose credibility. In fact, so far, the louder they scream, the more federal pork they have received. They see themselves as victims of the “patriarchy” and so have pushed gullible politicians to implement policy after policy that attack American men and fathers, treating their liberty as less important than the delusional feelings of disenchanted women who do not know how to go about putting together productive lives for themselves.

Fonda’s book fits the bill and will likely be widely read and praised within the gender feminist victim cult.

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