Books: Second Thoughts: Not too crazy for you: Neil Lyndon wrote No More Sex War (Mandarin, pounds 4.99) in a blazing rage
Saturday 14 August 1993
When I look at the book now, I wonder at the explosive energy I was given in those weeks and at the blazing rage I contained. Some chapters read as if somebody else had written them, somebody I faintly know. This feeling reminds me of a line I once heard that Ralph Vaughan Williams said after a recital of one of his works: 'I'm not sure that I like it: but it is what I meant to say.'
It still is. The arguments I assembled and the case I advanced have survived the most pharisaical twisting and battering directed against any book or author in my memory. I am certain now that they are true. In the years of preparation for the writing, I suspected that the intellectual fabric of feminism was shoddy. I had not known that it was derelict. My book was a radical, egalitarian and libertarian philippic which assaulted the central, essential propositions and assumptions of modern feminism. Throughout an archaeological and literary dig, conducted largely with impersonal and abstract tools of language, I argued that feminism had fostered a poisonous and reactionary historical misprision of our age, especially of the changes which had occurred in the social position of women and of men's place in the family.
Of the hundred or so reviews and feature articles which were published about the book and me, fewer than 10 included any of my main arguments; fewer than five discussed the case which I had advanced as a whole. The keening and constant answer given by feminists and their followers was that I must be less than happy or incomplete as a man, a funny response from people who wish to do away with 'traditional gender stereotypes', as they say.
The memory of the honking Gadarene panic which the book started makes me laugh now. It is nice to have put the wind up the dowdy skirts of such a drab orthodoxy. My only regrets are that I never found a more teasing, more artful title; and that I was sometimes respectful in tone towards feminism. If ever that fire lit upon me again, I should not be so polite.
Art Somebody is going around telling people he's Banksy - but it isn't the street artist
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Phil Tufnell, Heather Mills and co take to the slopes
Costa Book Awards 2015: H is for Hawk named book of the year
New Ghostbusters movie lands all-female cast with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones
Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures