April is the crudest month, according to Mr. Eliot. But I believe March is crueller. For March is Women’s History Month, and from out of every crevice and dark hole, like Orcs scurrying from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Minas Morgul, come she-things swinging their war-axes, craving blood and ideological battle. Behold, the wrath of Mordor.
Feminism is no longer an option; in this, the Fourth Age of Middle Earth, it is a mandatory torture. It is in our textbooks, in our libraries, in our media, in our churches, in our businesses. We all must suffer through it. And now, unfortunately, we must pass through a secular Feast of the Feminist Obsession on a yearly basis. We must intone our solidarity; worry about the statistical anomaly of the 70 cents each woman makes to each man’s dollar; and strike our breasts (not theirs) and repent of the sins of patriarchy and male oppression.
Ladies’ History Month is important to the gals. Somehow, they have developed this incredible inferiority complex and think recounting the exploits of various females of the species for one month will even things up against the patriarchal prigs who have dominated human history. Men, after all, have had this incredible habit of working, inventing, writing, battling, composing, building, destroying, and otherwise shaping the facades of society from time immemorial.
Women, on the other hand, have traditionally been responsible only for bringing human beings into existence and nurturing all that is good at the family hearth, not important things like having careers as sewage treatment specialists. But the Ma and Pa Cleaver era is over, and new gods have conquered old. Yaweh must move over for the goddess within, while New Order Womyn make their covenant with death, as Isaiah says; “You burn with lust among the oaks . . . and you sacrifice your children in the ravines . . . you uncovered your bed, you climbed into it and opened it wide . . . you descended to the grave itself.”
The liberal churches long ago gave in to the demand for a Gender Inclusive Divinity. They pray to the Ground of Being and worship the Sacred It. This is a malady of modernism that only recently has affected the more conservative branches of Christendom: Catholicism and Evangelicalism. Yet even as we write, the Fell Darkness is Rising: Black Riders, like circuit preachers from the Pit, straddling side-saddle, preach the New Gospel of Unisex Deity. A Catholic bishop in the Northeast announces a new gender-inclusive liturgy, while Evangelical organizations dedicated to removing the last remnants of male headship in church and family gain ground. Human egalitarianism has replaced the summum bonum of the Gloria Dei, and religious colleges press on toward the New Order by adopting inclusive language guidelines. Says one; “For many persons, both male and female, Jesus’ address of God as ‘my/our Father’ has a meaning which transcends the otherwise limiting male image. For others, the designation of God as ‘Father’ has such distinct masculine dimensions that the more inclusive designation of God as ‘parent’ expresses their understanding of God’s care more appropriately.” Meanwhile, one of the lesbians in residence at our institution passes out a local homosexual newsrag, informing us of AIDS and lesbian safe-sex practices. Where feminism is, can sodomy be far behind?
One local art display commemorating Women’s History Month last year consisted of the following “works of art”: “Transference”—two man-shaped targets set behind broken windowpanes; “Magic Isn’t Always an Illusion,” depicting a brightly colored collection of perversely ornamented children’s toys—blocks with nails through them, a little doll chopped up and put in a metal box; “Addicted to Pain” continues the broken window and chopped-up doll motif; “It’s all in her head 11” contains a dim shadow-figure impaling a woman—all overlaid with chains, wire mesh, and a little figurine hanging by the neck. Delightful, isn’t it? But there’s more. “I Can’t Wake Up” displays a woman being crushed under some strange device of torture—yellow, black, and blood-red images are overlaid with torn lace. Nails are driven into the creature’s heart while Nazgul-like Shades lurk behind. In “Has Anyone Seen This Child” is a hint of incest, a montage that provokes despair as one sees the repeated picture and note of a child saying: “I am a good little girl worthy of love. I am not responsible for the bad things that happened. I am telling the truth.” Yes, it is powerful feminist art, but it is also sick. Broken-brained. It’s all in her head and she can’t wake up. It is womanhood turned into itself; a cancer of the uterus, imaginative hysteria, a snake pit.
Compared to this, Tolkien’s utterly masculine literary dreams seem almost delicate and feminine: his touching displays of friendship, loyalty; of Sam Gamgee holding Frodo Baggins’ hand (nothing hobbit-erotic here); of domestic life and self-sacrifice, of duty and Elvish beauty. Nor does the modern woman-mind reflect those three Tolkien images of the feminine: Galadriel, Elven queen, awesome incarnation of otherworldliness; Eowyn of Rohan, Rider of the Mark, a brave Joan of Arc figure who slays the King of the Ringwraiths but is herself conquered by the love of Faramir, a Warrior; the Entwives, creatures who love the domestic. “For the Entwives desired order, and plenty, and peace (by which they meant that things should remain where they had set them). So the Entwives made gardens to live in. But [the] Ents went on wandering.”
Modern feminism expresses something more tangibly sad: the almost physical emanation of the female mind ripped apart by a dark vision. Ore thinking. Anger. Hatred. Loathing of Nature. Necromancy. Revulsion au natural order. Lesbianism. Disgust at the maternal. Rape. Madness. Night. Dismembered babies. Emptiness. As Ben Browne points out in Kiss of Eve—Kiss of Death, “The affinity of the feminist spirit for death . . . is almost uncanny. . . . Feminism, as intoned and acted out in the culture of the Western World, is the bearer of a hostile spirit inherently inimical to the spirit of life.”
Feminists are not happy people. But happiness is possible, as Tolkien has shown, in romance. Only the fairy-tale world can reconstruct mental order and imaginative peace. In this sterile modern world, like a dream sent from the Dark Lord, men and women are trapped in Two Towers, separated from each other and in need of a holy, and terrible, adventure called family life. Feminism is a spell, a bane, a curse. Women are like queens who have come under its poison sway. Men need to be heroes and fight back, to lead, to woo. Dragons die when knights appear. The War of the Sexes awaits the return of the King. The battle of the marriage bed awaits the Fellowship of the Ring.