Feminism and the Oobleck

(c) 2012, Davd

Dr. Seuss wrote the best young-children’s stories of his time, i believe, because he wrote fables. His stories were not only entertaining and amusing—they were instructive and archetypal. Green Eggs and Ham was about prejudice—not mean-spirited or vicious prejudice even, just prejudice based in a vague distaste for the unknown. (If it had been me, i do believe i would have said, “I’ll taste a little of the egg, very cautiously, thanks; and if that’s really ham, i’m sure i’ll like it.”) The Cat in the Hat was about living too much in the moment, about getting caught-up in fun and flash, about show-offs, about imprudence—but with a sudden miraculous happy ending that real-life doesn’t always provide.

Aesop and the Brothers Grimm didn’t use the childish sing-song repetition that Seuss did, but like him, they told archetypal tales which, from those archetypes, had recognition and resonance—and memorability. Millions of people who don’t know The Fox and the Grapes know the summary phrase, “sour grapes”. Millions of people who don’t know Icarus know the summary phrase, “flying too high.”

Those of us who read it to our children, remember Bartholomew and the Oobleck because its archetype, the proud and heedless demand to have something new and spectacularly different, is all around us, and the cost of folly, while not a certainty, is common enough to give the tale that basic fable recognition and resonance. There is a false note, though: As when Little Cat Zee [Zed in real-English] takes off his hat and Voom! everything gets cleaned up and tidied, the oobleck just melts away in the sunshine when the King finally cries a little and says he’s sorry. That, children and men, is false to the fable. The tale of Icarus’ wax wings melting and his consequent fall, is more valid. Hubris typically brings consequences that mere apology cannot forestall.

(Has anyone else noticed that nuclear technology and genetic engineering are plausibly Ooblecks? and that “saying I’m Sorry” may not be much remedy?)

The King who ordered-up oobleck, wanted something to come from the sky that never had come before, to have some weather in his kingdom that no other king had. Feminists—not all, perhaps, but too many—seem to have demanded a life-course that earlier women seldom if ever1 could have: Promiscuous sexual indulgence with free abortions when desired, until sometime in their thirties, followed by childbearing if they felt like it or more abortions if they did not, with the State and sire supporting the children while they enjoyed a career better than their male equivalents. Two sticky aspects of the modern situation, seem to be that marriage is not so easy to achieve after promiscuity, and many women look to marry, only when their looks and their fertility are beginning to fail. A third—that men won’t collaborate in being abused once we realize how badly “marriage” has been altered—is just coming into being in the form of marriage-avoidance, including by men who would gladly have married in the circumstances of two generations ago.

“Saying I’m Sorry” nearly always2 fails to reverse infertility. Feminist careerism and competitiveness, and the marriage avoidance and sexual license that have accompanied Feminism, have led to a very low birth rate among Feminists and their daughters. An Indo-American blogger who goes by the names “Futurist” and TFH3, in his famous “Misandry Bubble” essay, advocates that childless women be responsible for their own retirement costs: “I believe a woman should get to decide how many children she bears, or even whether or not to have any children at all. However, a childless old woman should not then be able to extract resources from the children of other women. Fair is fair, and the obligation of working-age people to support the elderly should not be socialized in order to subsidize women who chose not to reproduce.” He has a point that is often missed these days: Extended families are socially efficient; and a feeble old grandmother who lives in a 7-bedroom house with her kin costs far less in money and trouble to care for, than a childless woman of the same age and state of health, living alone in an apartment whether “assisted living” or not. What’s more, the extended-family grandmother tends to be happier than her childless counterpart.

A table from the essay shows the demographic future of extreme sexual hedonism:

 Urban Feminist  Rural Conservative    Devout Muslim [or Hutterite]
 Age 20  Single Single  Single
 Age 30  Single  Married, 1 child  Married, 3 children
 Age 40  Single  Married, 2 children  Married, 4 children
 Age 60  0 grandchildren   4 grandchildren   12 grandchildren

Even the near future”, he summarizes, “belongs to those who show up.”

Very recently, “The Spearhead”s W. F. Price has made much the same point: “By pushing down the fertility rate of an enormous cohort of Western women and aborting untold numbers of children, feminists may have successfully marginalized and all but assured the extermination of a particular group of Americans: themselves.”

Dr. Seuss never did tell his readers what Oobleck was made of, nor much about its properties beyond a pale green colour and a sticky consistency. He described its “production” as a group of royal magicians, circling a fire and throwing in a haphazard-looking set of mundane and disgusting things:

So feed the fire with wet mouse-hair.
Burn an onion, burn a chair.
Burn a whisker from your chin
and burn a long, sour lizard skin.
Make magic smoke, green, thick and hot.
(It sure smells dreadful, does it not?)
That means the smoke is now just right….”

The Feminist transmogrification of marriage and the family, is variously described as decadent (often by reference to Glubb, 1978, or to the decline of various specific empires cf. “Elusive Wapiti”, 2011); as Marxist-Leninist, as the work of self-serving divorce lawyers, of politicians pandering to the women’s vote, and i doubt i have listed them all. These causal claims are not usually mutually exclusive; and i mention them here because taken together, they do somewhat resemble the magicians making Oobleck: A variety of motives and intentions have combined to produce a very sticky situation, whose causes can to some extent be named but (since we cannot repeat history, much less with experimental control over any of the putative causes) cannot be separated-out with any precision.

As i write this, the day after All Fools Day, 2012, men are more aware than last year, of the folly of treating Feminist-lobbied “marriage” as if the traditional promises—often still spoken ceremonially—were true or enforceable. Some have gone so far as to say or write that “I won’t marry a woman under the new rules unless she’s wealthier than I am.” Some have rejected marriage completely. When the Costa Concordia was wrecked, the old British rule “women and children first” did not get the respect it got in the much worse Titanic disaster. Feminism may have made fools of men for a generation, to the advantage of middle-class women; but it seems unlikely to manage for the next one.

Are the pro-divorce, pro-abortion, man-blaming Feminists the April Fools after all?

At the end of Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the foolish King, having learned the lesson of hubris, proclaims a day in honour of the four good things that come from the sky: Rain, sunshine, snow, and fog. It is time, has been time for a while, for us all to proclaim anew that we recognize the goodness of equal treatment, fatherhood, fidelity, and the unborn… not to insist that only four classic goods may have been forgotten or falsely devalued, in the folly that is hubris.

(several others are cited in hyperlinks)

http://www.avoiceformen.com/mission-and-values/about Lists several Feminist allegations that are false, several social disadvantages men experience, and several benefits of fatherhood.

“The Futurist”, 2010, “The Misandry Bubble.” Considerable additional documentation is cited in this long essay.

Gibbon, Edward. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Reviewed by “Elusive Wapiti” on November 5, 2011 http://www.the-spearhead.com/2011/11/05/book-review-decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire/

Glubb, John Bagot, 1978. The Fate of Empires. Edinburgh: William Blackwood & Sons Ltd. ISBN 0 85158 127 7

Seuss, Dr.”, Bartholomew and the Oobleck. Excerpt typed from memory; i probably read it 50 or more times to several children, five of them “mine”.


1 Imaginably, the most beautiful of temple prostitutes in a Goddess-worshipping society could follow some such career by ending their years of “sacred whoring” by marrying a high-ranking man in time to bear him a few children. Temple prostitutes seem to have enjoyed an exemption from the usual prostitutes’-stigma.

2. I won’t write “always” because my faith leaves me open to the possibility of miracles; but miracles are by their nature very, very rare.

3. I seem to recall the initials represent “The Fifth Horseman”.

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About Davd

Davd Martin (Ph.D., 1966, Sociology) has been a professor, a single parent on a low income from a small commercial herb garden, and editor of _Ecoforestry_. His men's-interest essays and blogs have appeared on "The Spearhead" "A Voice for Men", and "False Rape Society", as well as this site.
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