Feminist Brutalism

A couple weeks ago Jeff Tucker wrote a great (and controversial) article about Libertarian Brutalism. In architecture brutalism was:

An affectation, one that emerged from a theory robbed of context. It was a style adopted with conscious precision. It believed it was forcing us to look at unadorned realities, an apparatus barren of distractions, in order to make a didactic point.

Of course today brutalist buildings are nothing but eyesores.

In the same vein, libertarian brutalism:

Strips down the theory to its rawest and most fundamental parts and pushes the application of those parts to the foreground. It tests the limits of the idea by tossing out the finesse, the refinements, the grace, the decency, the accoutrements. It cares nothing for the larger cause of civility and the beauty of results. It is only interested in the pure functionality of the parts. It dares anyone to question the overall look and feel of the ideological apparatus, and shouts down people who do so as being insufficiently devoted to the core of the theory, which itself is asserted without context or regard for aesthetics.

We seen this is works like Defending the Undefendable. It’s sort of a celebration of the worst things one could do with their freedom.

I bring this up because I see a strong brustalist streak among modern feminists, especially in the libertarian movement.

Case and point is the latest controversy surrounding the porn star Belle Knox. She’s the one that attends Duke University and was “outed” as a porn star by her classmates creating national headlines.

The immediate reaction by the feminists was to rush to her defense. After all, this was a choice of hers and no one should be judgmental. Fair enough. But where they crossed the line into brutalist territory is when it came out that she more or less did rape porn. There’s a (censored) video of her out there being choked, gagged, and otherwise abused on camera.

Despite this people are still celebrating her as representing an “inclusive, sex-positive, bright outlook” for women. It’s “empowering”! That’s fairly shocking coming from a group that regularly lampoons the rape culture.

If a for-profit firm can persuade a confused young girl to consent to being violently brutalized on camera, it apparently isn’t rape culture, but progress. It’s a celebration of female sexuality!

And if you think that might be crossing the line, you’re just backwards, puritanical, and uptight about sex.

And note this isn’t just a call for live and let live. I don’t particularly care what Belle Knox does with herself. Her actions are put forward as something that all feminists (and apparently libertarians) should celebrate and embrace. And therein lies the brutalism. The most extreme form sex ― violent depictions of rape for the enjoyment of men ― is held up as a sort of litmus test in much the same way celebration of the discrimination rights of racial bigots might be for the libertarian brutalists.

And it isn’t just this one instance. I see it all the time. I’ve been called prude and uptight for expressing that I wouldn’t have much interest in dating a porn star.

I’ve said before I think feminists often raise good points that I agree with. But some (not all) proceed to take those points out to illogical extremes. I can’t think of a more appropriate term for these people than feminist brutalists.

One thought on “Feminist Brutalism

  1. Nicely said, Chris. We can often take things to extremes in order to make a point when the mainstream conversation is focused on homogenization, and then get lost in that extreme. Understanding and finesse go out the door. Kudos.

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