The theory of feminist devolution, BBC edition.

We’ve already discussed how feminists have pretty much corned the market in vagina-based art. Now they’re bringing that feminist je ne sais quoi to the highbrow stage of the BBC for a concert of feminist music.

Oh no! you are surely thinking. Not singing vaginas!

Well, no, but that wouldn’t have been much worse:

Ah, I needed a laugh tonight after the day I had and predictably, feminists were good for providing that laugh. (H/T MarcusD at Dalrock’s)

You know, now seems like a good time to repost with minor edits something I posted a little over a year ago on a now-private blog. From The Theory of Feminist Devolution:

I read this Soda Head quote at the Thinking Housewife recently:

…leftism is in and of itself a form of decay. It’s what happens not just to television shows but to nations, churches and universities as the energy given off by the big bang of their inception slowly ebbs away. Rather than expend vitality in originality and creation they become obsessed with introspection, popularity and lethargy. Leftism is entropy of the spirit and intellect.

In other words, leftism is devolution.  I’m using devolution in the sense of something that evolved (changed) over time to become great and then decays away, but let us also consider the bonobos.  From Wikipedia:

Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans.

Personally?  I believe in the Bible, so I’m mostly a creationist (and don’t hassle me about the “mostly” part, fellow Christians. I studied under both Richard Alexander and Barbara Smuts, so I’ve had a long way to come in getting over my darwinist roots).  But let’s say that we were created by God in similar genetic groups and one of the non-human animals most similar to humans is the bonobo.  What do we know about bonobos?

The bonobo is popularly known for its high levels of sexual behavior. Sex functions in conflict appeasement, affection, social status, excitement, and stress reduction. It occurs in virtually all partner combinations and in a variety of positions. This is a factor in the lower levels of aggression seen in the bonobo when compared to the common chimpanzee and other apes. Bonobos are perceived to be matriarchal and a male’s rank in the social hierarchy is often determined by his mother’s rank.

Bear that in mind as we consider how feminism has influenced women, both religious and secular.

Recently a reader who had been raised Mormon sent me a link to this article: Mormon women laid bare: Powerful nude photo series protests religious system that enforces strict modesty.  From the article:

With the goal of ‘normalizing nudity,’ a new photography project featuring naked Mormon women hopes to shed light on the religion’s strict codes of modesty.

Salt Lake City photographer Katrina Barker Anderson, who is a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, launched Mormon Women Bare in July 2013 and has so far had more than 30 Mormon women volunteer to be photographed.

‘I know that images can be very powerful tools for change,’ the 30-year-old told MailOnline. ‘For the women who chose to be photographed, this act of artistic expression helps them reclaim their bodies while protesting a system that has told them they must remain covered and careful.’

I clicked over to Mormon Women Bare, to which I will not be linking, and read the following from the creator:

Mormon Women Bare is about reclaiming. It is about women reclaiming our bodies from a culture that teaches us that we belong to men, to God, to the society that objectifies us. It is about reclaiming the female body as more than just an object of lust or resistance. Through images and personal stories, this project breaks taboos by unabashedly showing what is supposed to be covered- our female form- while also exposing  the often not talked about price of a culture that places a woman’s ultimate value on her so-called “virtue”.

My reader, though now Catholic, was nonetheless very angry and wrote:

They aren’t faithful Mormons. They remain Mormon only because of the culture and are openly not “true believers” as they put it. They want to change a religion they don’t even have faith in. And as is evident in some of the images many of the women photographed in that series are either formally Mormon or not in good standing (because they have tattoos and piercing). Parading these women as Mormon is false and damaging. It’s also degrading to actual faithful women and the church and culture. These women are fakes! How dare they act as if they are the real deal representing the church and her people.

I would say they don’t just want to change it; they want to destroy it by devolving it.  I’ve noticed the same tendency in Christian women who try to break (or have broken) into the pastorate.  It isn’t about religious convictions; it’s about seeking power for themselves in order to destroy the institution.

This desire to destroy by devolution isn’t limited to the spiritual realm.  Consider this article from Salon:

Meet the world’s most famous vaginal knitter: Performance artist Casey Jenkins talks to Salon about her decision to knit with yarn inserted into her own vagina

Casey Jenkins didn’t realize more than 2.5 million people would see her vagina. But that’s what happened after a segment she shot for Australian broadcast network SBS was uploaded to YouTube last week. In the video, the feminist performance artist is shown knitting from a ball of yarn she’d inserted in her vagina. Pulling out a thread, the wool having been wound in such a way that allowed it to unravel from the center, she then proceeds to knit one long, unbroken scarf.

She’s talking via telephone from a laundromat in her hometown of Melbourne. It’s the first free moment she’s had to wash her clothes since returning from Darwin where she performed her now viral piece, “Casting Off My Womb,” at the Darwin Visual Arts Association. In it, Jenkins spent 28 days in a gallery knitting from the skeins she’d placed inside herself. She explains that the project wouldn’t have had the resonance it did if she’d paused when she began menstruating, but concedes it made the process more difficult “because the wool is wet and you have to kinda yank at it.”

At the Darwin Visual Arts Association…how fitting.  Women’s Art, under the influence of feminists, has devolved from this:

Catinou-Knitting-Anna-Elizabeth-Klumpke

Catinou Knitting 1887, Anna Elizabeth Klumpke.

To this:

Bonobo inspired art, circa 2013

Her motivation, she says…was a response to the societal expectations heaped upon women of childbearing age — a weight that increases in intensity as the years tick by, which can result in a building sense of panic. “There are a lot of very extreme and loud and clambering responses whenever you try and talk about menstruation or the vulva, or what a body like mine can and should do. I wanted to quiet down all that noise or move away from it to a point where I could spend some time contemplating what I want to do with my own body,” said the 34-year-old.

Oh dear, she’s in her mid-thirties and childless.  Could this explain her desperate need to call public attention to her barren womb? Is this just a bonobo-like attempt at a mating call?

The other reason for the piece is a bit more far-reaching. Jenkins’ work has long been concerned with questioning and subverting the conversation around the vagina and its place in society, as well as what constitutes women’s activities — in this case, knitting — which has led to the kind of sexist responses one might expect from armchair critics. While “Casting Off My Womb” was well received when Jenkins performed it in Darwin (“The people there, they call a spade a spade and a cunt a cunt”), it has raised the hackles of many an Internet denizen; the deafening roar of disgust and disbelief lead SBS to disable the comment field of the YouTube video. “I think that there are misogynistic attitudes toward the vulva, and there’s widespread repulsion in my audacity to show it. And then there are also misogynistic attitudes toward knitting, as it’s associated with something that women do,” she explained. “There is a dissonance between the two. They’re both constructs, patriarchal constructs … and people don’t know what to do when they walk together.”

Yes, she is partially correct in that last bit there; patriarchal constructs do include the elevation of feminine virtue and modesty and revulsion at women who behave like bonobos.

Genesis 3:19 says

…till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

Darwinists might have their own religious-like way of putting it:

till  you return to the bonobos, for out of them you were taken; for you were bonobos, and to bonobos you shall return.

As for me, all this has led me to conclude something we might call the Theory of Feminist Devolution:

Feminism causes women to devolve, as evidenced by their art, into a bonobo-like state.

 

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15 thoughts on “The theory of feminist devolution, BBC edition.

  1. Considering how much pornography is consumed worldwide, I very much doubt the disgust aimed at the “vaginal knitter” had anything to do with her vulva. It had everything to do with tainting a piece of clothing with biologically hazardous substances. It’d be just as gross as if she stuffed the yarn into her mouth or nose or butt instead. And anyone who’s handled yarn understands how porous it is and how you must keep it from getting wet, unless your carefully cleaning it with (fresh) water.

    Your thesis is quite right though. These women are obsessed with their sexual organs and all that mocking the feminists engage in toward men’s supposed obsession with their penises just looks like projection.

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  2. Not my cup of tea, but this kind of work falls squarely into a tradition of avant garde art. Anybody who’s sung in a chamber group and had to endure the throat-ripping horror of early 20th century atonal music would nod with grim recognition at that BBC screechfest.

    To be honest, if you’re going to make the argument that women are doing vulval knitting as part of a cunning plan to destroy our artistic cultural institutions, then I’d have to counter-argue that they’d better get those needles moving with a vengeance, because they have a very long way to go before they catch up to the huge amount of contemporary phallic art that’s out there.

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    • Sort of, but the mantra of Avant Guarde is “shock the middle class.”

      At this point, there are no more middle class values to shock, because absolutely nothing is sacred. Every boudary has been crossed.

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      • Well, it seems this particular one isn’t crossing that many boundaries. I looked it up at lunch time – it’s from a show called Sirens by a Belgian company, which was enough of a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe festival to end up touring London and regional cities.

        Feminist, yes, but context is everything. The Fringe festival is a gladiator’s pit. There are hundreds and hundreds of shows on at any time, and even when you queue for tickets, actors will come up and try and sell you on changing your mind and getting you to a different show. The competition is intense. So for a show to break out is very difficult – but this one did.

        This is a snippet from the overall show. Without context, it sounds like monkeys. In context, it obviously has a purpose. And is carefully rehearsed and screamed on specific pitches, because they’re ‘screaming’ safely, in a way that won’t rip their vocal folds.

        This is the fault of the BBC for not providing any context.

        If you saw a similar snippet without any explanation from an intense production of Aeschlyus, with the furies howling for justice, you’d probably think those ancient Greek playwrights were crazy avant garde-ists with low morals and no artistic sense.

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      • I’m the wrong person for that. Performance art makes me cringe. My hand gets itchy any time I go past one of those silver statue people, because I long to push them over.

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  3. For those that are having a hard time recovering from that screechfest, may I submit for your consideration

    There should be more than enough phallic representation here to keep Bodycrimes’ indignation satisfied.
    One overall thought. What was in the posts were demonstrations of outright goofiness. To paraphase Genesis, women are spending too much time with themselves and it’s not healthy.

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    • I always wanted to see the 1812 Overture done with guns. I may never get a chance to inreal life. Glad for youtube!
      Oh, there is not substitute for guns.

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  4. I posted this at Dalrocks just now. I suspected that a woman had not put that piece together and finally got the time to investigate. My comments about yipping and yapping are directed at the Dalrock thread – not here, because there has been little of that. But still …
    ————

    A little investigation would show you critics what it is you are critiqueing. The presentation at the top of this thread is by the Belgian Theatre Company “Ontroerend Goed”. The composer of the “music” you hear in the video posted at the top was composed by a man – Joris Blanckaert. The theatre piece is called “Sirens”, and the video posted at the top is but a part of the entire production. A production directed by a man – Alexander Devriendt. At least some of the women in the production describe themselves as not feminist.

    Despite the hideous sound, it actually takes quite a bit of skill to “perform” the piece in the video. It is performance art – meant to provoke emotions and thought (as evidenced by the comments here). It is not meant to be music that you should enjoy while listening, as so much of the other videos posted here actually is.

    The yipping and yapping here of folks who don’t actually know what they are yipping and yapping at reminds me of the words from some other theatre: father forgive them, for they know not what they do. I really am ashamed of the willingness to criticize something when you didn’t even know what it was. I thought only women were supposed to do that.

    http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/dec/02/feminism-ontroerend-goed-sirens-soho-theatre

    http://www.thestage.co.uk/edinburgh-reviews/73539/sirens/

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  5. you are an idiot in every sense of the word. go back to your dessicated spectre in the sky. your idea of the world is archaic, your idea of yourself is feeble, and artists like Casey are smart enough to wave at you as you become more and more irrelevant

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  6. Pingback: But is it art? | The Sunshine Thiry Blog

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