Radical individualism is at the heart of gender theory

Mar 8, 2017 by

by Michael Cook, MercatorNet:

The love that dared not speak its name in 1894 has become the love that cannot stop gabbling on in 2017. How did this come about? Is there a thread connecting Oscar Wilde, the Stonewall Riots, same-sex marriage, Caitlin Jenner and North Caroline bathrooms?

One of clearest recent explorations of the history of changing notions of sexuality comes in an issue of the journal Communio,. In “Gender Ideology and the HumanumMargaret H. McCarthy, an American academic, sketches out the tortured path of contemporary gender theory. It is long and dense but rewarding.

Gender ideology has been simmering for centuries, perhaps ever since the French philosopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650) conceived of man as a ghost in a machine, a mind imprisoned inside a body. His dualism shattered the ancient and mediaeval conception of man as a unity of body and soul and set the stage for a modern framework in which the mind is the master builder and the body is a just a quarry of resources.

McCarthy’s Exhibit A in her precis of recent developments is Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), the immensely influential French feminist philosopher. In her book The Second Sex, de Beauvoir argued that women have always been defined by their relations to men and will therefore always have subordinate roles. McCarthy summarises this critique as follows:

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