July 20, 2017

An Unholy Alliance

Muslim women in Kuwait City.jpg

When the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) was trying to censor heavy metal music in the 1980s, who empowered them? They were highly influential women, so-called "Washington wives," with the sort of impressive connections that allowed them to weild real power. But it was not like they had the idea to go after metal out of nowhere. At least in part, they were responding to grassroots pressure. And what was the source of this pressure?

Not surprisingly, evangelical fundamentalist Christians were a big part of it. They are the ones most of us remember stirring up much of the drive to go after metal. Who else played a major role in this nonsense? Feminists.

Several years later, there were similar efforts aimed at gangsta rap. Once again, much of the pressure came from a combination of evangelical fundamentalist Christians and feminists. Both groups opposed both types of music (albeit for somewhat different reasons) and sought to limit the access the rest of us had to it. That is to say, they were confident that they knew what you should be listening to better than you did.

Many liberal atheists have expressed confusion over why so many modern feminists ally themselves with radical Islam and hurl accusations of "Islamophobia" at anyone brave enough to criticize Islam. But we have seen this sort of unholy alliance before. And though we are right to point out how antithetical Islam appears to be with feminism, the same could be said for evangelical fundamentalist Christianity. Perhaps authoritarianism is sufficient to forge such bizarre alliances.

Obviously, not all feminists in the 1980s and 1990s worked to silence music they did not like. And it is equally obvious that not all feminists today defend the worst aspects of Islam. But there were (and are) enough that did (and do) that something is going on. I suspect that something has to do with authoritarianism. It seems to me that one of the things many feminists have in common with many religious conservatives is a desire to exert social control, bend the rest of society to their will, and implement punitive measures against those who deviate from their wishes.

Might this help to explain why we keep seeing these puzzling alliances between feminists and religious conservatives who oppose almost everything feminists claim to value? What do you think?

Photo credit: SSgt. Derrick C. Goode - http://hq.afnews.af.mil; exact source, Public Domain, Link