Wendy McElroy on the Silliness of the Gender Wars

Wendy McElroy predicts that men and women will eventually look back at the gender wars in disbelief,

Future feminists will look back in disbelief at today’s false notion of a built-in Gender War between men and women, in much the same way we regard past theories of a flat earth.

Only flat-Earthers were generally harmless people. Politically correct feminists can be vicious.

McElroy defines the gender war as the idea that men and women’s political interests are inherently at odds — the sort of thing that motivates some academics to argue that women can only enjoy true freedom of speech when some men are censored (or that the idea of freedom of speech itself is situated in a patriarchal hierarchy and is thereby itself suspect).

McElroy thinks that eventually common sense will supplant such nonsense,

The only way out of the quagmire is to abandon convoluted social theory and return to common sense. Men and women are first and foremost human beings. Biology is a controlling factor of human nature, albeit not the only one. Men and women act as individuals, not as cogs in some vast class struggle. And, as individuals, we all share the same political interest: freedom.

Certainly the world will be a better place if McElroy is right, but she might be underestimating the tenaciousness of the gender war idea. After all, illiberalism has survived and even thrived in the most liberal of political cultures, and even when it is marginalized it has a habit of roaring back to life at a moment’s notice.


A Conscientious Objector to the Gender War. Wendy McElroy, FoxNews.Com, June 17, 2003.

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