Society and Culture

Take the test: Feminist shenanigans or satire?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Below are five stories about feminist antics. One is pure invention, the others are true. Can you tell which one is false?

1. In a Letter to the Editor, the University of Southern California Women’s Action Collective (WAC) objects to the Trojan imagery “inscribed on the helmets” of USC football players:

 Not only does the imagery invoke violent conquest–the culture of the warrior and conqueror, but also the hegemonic masculinity of batterers and rapists … Football itself both valorizes and sustains a masculine narrative inflected by dominance, exploitation and femicide….


2. Observation by a feminist musicologist concerning rape and sexual abuse themes in Beethoven’s last symphony:

The point of recapitulation in the first movement of the Ninth is one of the most horrifying moments in music, as the carefully prepared cadence is frustrated, damming up energy which finally explodes in the throttling, murderous rage of a rapist incapable of attaining release.

3. Feminist article deploring the valorization of “male mascots” such as Tony the Tiger and Captain Crunch on children’s cereal boxes:

The cereal aisle is one big, festering example of a seemingly innocuous strain of gender inequality . . . It’s an easy boy’s club to ignore because it seems so goofy and insignificant. …Breakfast cereal mascots carry a kind of cultural authority, just the same as athletes, pop singers, or Saturday morning cartoon characters. ..The trouble with a boys’ club of cereal pitchmen is that they accustom kids to only ever seeing men in positions of authority. Maybe that authority doesn’t carry a lot of weight … but it contributes to creating an adult world where men are seen as the only true authority figures.

4. Feminist astronomer on CNN explaining how sexually suggestive descriptions of cosmic events create a hostile climate for aspiring female astronomers:

The Big Bang Theory [is] off-putting to young women”.

5. The University of Connecticut recently changed its logo from this:


To this:


UConn basketball coach Geno Auriemma welcomed the new insignia: “It is looking right through you and saying, ‘Do not mess with me.’” But an undergraduate named Carolyn found the new logo “horrifying” and suggestive of sexual assault. For her, the coach’s praise was “terrifying.” In her letter of protest to UConn president Susan Herbst, she wrote:

I know what it feels like to have a real life Husky look straight through you and to feel powerless, and to wonder if even the administration cannot ‘mess with them.’ And I know I am not alone.



The quote about rape themes in Beethoven’s Ninth is real. It is from a 1987 article by feminist musicologist Susan McClary that appeared in the Minnesota Composers Forum Newsletter. McClary, formerly a provost at UCLA, is now professor of musicology and feminist music criticism at Case Western Reserve.

Astronomer Meg Urry made the comments about the Big Bang theory on CNN in 1993. Urry is now the director of the Yale Astronomy and Astrophysics Center where her research focuses on, ahem, “actively accreting supermassive black holes.”

If you guessed that the article deploring the sexism of cereal box mascots is a fiction, you would be wrong. It appeared on the feminist website Jezebel just a few weeks ago, under the provocative title “Ever Notice That There Aren’t Any Female Breakfast Cereal Mascots?” Many readers were moved by the article and had high praise for the author. A few wondered if it was a parody placed by a wily men’s rights activist posing as a feminist blogger — trying to put Jezebel feminists in a bad light. In fact, the author is listed on the masthead as a regular contributor.

The protest letter against the UConn husky logo is genuine, too. According to the letter writer’s bio: “Carolyn is a senior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Spanish and minoring in Latino/a Studies. She is involved in various different feminist groups and violence against women prevention efforts on campus and has particular interest in global feminisms and anti-imperial anti-colonial feminisms.” Put another way: Carolyn has so overdosed on feminist theory classes she sees misogynist aggression everywhere and is incapable of making obvious distinctions.

The faux story is number 1 — about the USC Trojan image and its social construction of “hegemonic masculinity.” I made it up. It’s pure jibberish. I don’t think a “narrative” can be “inflected” by femicide. The tip-off: in my invention, the Trojan, unlike the UCONN husky, is looking sideways, rather than “right through you.” The USC logo is just too friendly-looking to inspire protest or feelings of terror and powerlessness in women.

Or maybe I’m being insensitive: perhaps there is something hyper-masculine, cocky, and entitled about his smile — and Trojan does have that other brand-name meaning. The USC-WAC should take notice!

Follow me on Twitter: @chsommers

USC and UConn

49 thoughts on “Take the test: Feminist shenanigans or satire?

  1. I figured it was a trick question, and that at the end, you’d let us know that all five were actual complaints by womyn. It should be pointed out that NONE of these statements would be made by a conservative woman, only Leftists.

    • Dead wrong. ‘Conservative’ women are quite willing to use feminist laws to profit from destroying their own families.

      Read this : the most Abominable Christian Wife on the Internet.

      Given that most ‘conservative’ women agree with what Jenny Erikson has done, and most US churches are just centers of female-glorification that outright violates the Bible, it is hard to say that Republican women are any better than Dem women.

  2. As a woman, I am quite embarrassed every time I hear about feminists trying to claim victimhood whenever they see the slightest opening. It is in our nature to be women (birth children, nurture, feel attracted to men who can protect us when there’s a shit storm). It is in men’s nature to be men (challenge themselves to become better protectors of their mate, reproduce, and provide). No woman or man can escape these “instincts” and should not try to.


    Stop begging for “equality”. That’s NOT what you want. You simply want to take away power from men because you need to prove that they are not dominant. Well, they are! Be a woman, the way your instincts are telling you to be and stop trying to change human nature.

    • > Number 1 seemed so realistic.

      That should’ve been your tip-off. Although, like Diggs, I personally had my money on trick question.

  3. That’s funny, you got me. I thought that the diatribe about Beethoven was the phony.

    An excellent way of demonstrating just how far “feminism” has devolved so far into unwitting self-parody that nobody on the outside looking in can tell what they take themselves seriously for, and what’s a joke.

    • Yet they have passed many brutal laws that not only violate the constitution of any first-world country, but have resulted in the imprisonment, death, and impoverishment of men and children.

      Men and children have died from feminism
      Men are being jailed in debtor’s prison due to feminsim
      Men are being enslaved due to feminism
      Children are losing their fathers, against the will of either father or child, due to feminism.

      Brush off the idiocy of feminism if you will, they are to most powerful political force in America today (given how both Dems and Repubs both grovel to them).

      Read The Misandry Bubble. It is the foremost article on the logical flaws of feminism.

    • Women who see ‘male aggression’ and ‘patriarchy’ and ‘rape culture’ everywhere tend to be women that get no attention from men.

      You will never see a woman higher than a 7 in looks seeing these imaginary things anywhere…

  4. I get that McClary’s analysis of Beethoven’s Ninth is pretty unconventional. However, I had her at UCLA for Intro to Baroque and Classical Opera, and she is truly a wonderful teacher. It was one of the best courses I took during my tenure there. Philosophically, I’m a staunch capitalist and champion for individual rights, and I never felt like she was trying to “indoctrinate” us. The music was beautiful and she helped us understand it in historical context and from a modern perspective.

  5. I thought the fake was #4, the Big Bang Theory. My reasoning was that any theory that could be construed as being at odds with the idea that there is a God would be appealing to feminists, ergo, they wouldn’t complain. My mistake was to use reasoning in the first place.

    • I thought the fake was #4, the Big Bang Theory. My reasoning was that any theory that could be construed as being at odds with the idea that there is a God would be appealing to feminists, ergo, they wouldn’t complain.

      Atheists denied the theory to which they gave the derisive name “Big Bang” because a creation event implies a Creator. Atheists dismissed the theory that was developed early on by Georges Lemaître saying, “Of course he’d say that the universe has a beginning, he’s a Catholic priest!” Early 20th century atheists much preferred the Greek pagan theory propounded by Aristotle that the universe was uncreated, always had been, and always would be.

      I laugh when 21st century (born yesterday?) atheists presume that the Big Bang theory somehow disproves the existence of God.

      Feminists, foolish creatures that they are, resent Big Bang physics because “Ooh, that’s violent!” Wait a few years and other feminists will be telling you that the Big Bang theory proves something about the superiority of females that feminists allege because giving birth is traumatic blah blah blah.

      • Errata:

        (1) As Fred Hoyle was only one person, it is inaccurate to refer to him as “atheists”.

        (2) I’ve never seen an atheist claiming that “the Big Bang theory somehow disproves the existence of God”. I’ve seen a lot of *creationists* claiming that the Big Bang is at odds with the existence of God. This is ‘cos they’re nuts.

  6. This merely demonstrates that ‘Feminism’, far from helping women, has instead exposed the full extent of female inferiority (moral, mental, civic, economic, spiritual, parental) far more visibly than was ever possible before feminism.

    Traditional customs benefited women more than men, as they served to package women up into something much better than they were, so that they could be fobbed off onto heavily deceived grooms….

    Now, we see the reasons why every successful society that ever existed, restricted women tightly….

  7. “The faux story is number 1 — about the USC Trojan image and its social construction of “hegemonic masculinity.” I made it up. It’s pure jibberish. I don’t think a “narrative” can be “inflected” by femicide.”

    don’t speak too soon.

  8. My Go…uh, Gaia, er, Sophia. That was my absolute last choice. The least ridiculous one was the fake. Radical feminists, of course, should be humiliated. But of course, they won’t be, and will instead accuse the authors and publishers of “violence against women” by even putting this article out. Which is why every rational person rolls their eyes when they open their mouths.

  9. Somewhere there’s surely a university-tenured feminist who is certain that the Trojan War as recounted in Homer’s Illiad is all about violence against females blah blah blah.

    I don’t believe Dr. Sommers searched hard enough to rule out case #1.

  10. I am reminded of the time the Trojans played the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in football. The Cocks won unexpectedly. An enterprising person produced a saucy bumper sticker to celebrate the victory.

  11. Feminism promised to protect our young women.

    Instead, US moved from a 5% abuse rate to over 30% abuse of our young women and over 15% abuse of our young men.

    The experiment failed. We need to heal the problems not continue this crazy experiment.


  12. I always found McClary’s assessment of Beethoven’s Ninth the most revealing, not only of (gender) feminism, but of the entire Leftist project.

    LvB’s Ninth is a glorious paen to humanity. In fact, it is one of the highest of all high humanist statements. It is perfectly balanced in its praise of man, as well as man’s relationship to the eternal (God, Prime Mover, First Cause, and so forth).

    McClary’s complaints represent the Left’s hatred of Western culture in general, and its desire to destroy and obliterate each and every pillar that has sustained our great civilization for the past 3000 years.

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