Maria Bustillos:

Feminism began, necessarily, by rightfully demanding equality from men. Men, who once held all the cards rather than just most of them, were increasingly challenged to demonstrate an egalitarian spirit: to consider the claims of women, the work of women, the needs of women, as being equal in value and importance with their own. And where has this history led women like Jessa Crispin? To a haughty, point-blank refusal even to listen to any man who may have a response to her work. Some soi-disant feminists drink their tea from “Male Tears” mugs, while others wear T-shirts reading, “Kill All Men.” Is it any wonder that American feminism is dead? Good riddance to it, honestly.

The wider context for Bustillos’s accurate observation here is one of disappointment — she agrees with Crispin that any feminism worthy of the name cannot be merely a piecemeal, practical strategy for improving various aspects of women’s lives, but must be a utopian, transformative social movement. Hearts need to change, not policies. It seems to me that what they really yearn for is another Great Awakening, even if our secular sensibilities won’t allow us to call it as such. Well, we’re all about accentuating the positive here, so as far as that goes, Bustillos has pinpointed why fulminations like Crispin’s are destined to echo no further than the back row of the misandrist choir. Still, I’m starting to suspect that religious conservatives are correct when they insist that the denial of religious impulses often leads to unintended consequences — namely, salvationist tendencies start bleeding over into your politics, and that never ends well.