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Jane Fonda Speaks Again, and Feminist Projection
February 25, 2004
by K. C. Wilson

Jane Fonda is writing her memoirs. The world holds its breath.

Has she learned some discretion since her foray to Hanoi? Will she reveal a hidden intelligence? Now in her 60's, can she impart old woman wisdom? Will she simply be coherent?

If her speech to the National Women's Leadership Summit is any indication, the answer to all the above is no. She continues to be a dreadfully ordinary example of a not-too-bright, adolescent feminist.

But as a stereotype, her, what one might call thinking, is useful for insights into the phenomenon of projection. Typical from her speech is: "The Male Belief System, that compartmentalized, hierarchical, ejaculatory, androcentric power structure that is Patriarchy, is fatal to the hearts of men, to empathy and relationship."

I have no idea what ejaculatory or androcentric are, but they seem to be male so must be bad. While the logic is obscure, the emotion is clear.

Ms. Fonda may have discovered that women orient to relationships and men to facts and logic, though she mistakes these for Beliefs. While it is wonderful if she values being a woman, her verbal ejaculations go well beyond the usual female desire to turn men into women (which corresponds to the male one for women to think like men), to a conviction that women are inherently superior, with men, poor dears, incapable of anything human so long as they cling to being male. She gives no reason for this conclusion, only monotonously extols it, commonly called a prejudice.

Ms Fonda is full of hatred. She cannot abide anyone different from herself. It is her own ugliness she projects onto men, to justify its expression from her.

This is not new. Neither Jane nor feminism nor women hold a monopoly on projecting one's evil onto others. Few are not sometimes guilty to some degree. (That driver didn't signal! He's not proper, like me.) Righteousness has long been a preoccupation of our culture, but promoted to a cult it is a social pathology. Yesterday's Temperance Movement and KKK -- both driven by righteous superiority -- are today's zero-tolerance of drugs or crime, smoking, alleged dead-beat dads, and even masculinity. It is our own evil we project onto others, to justify the brutality we direct at them.

A male Black doctor who grew up in Atlanta in the 1960s recently said that he does not believe the amount of prejudice in society has reduced. It simply finds new targets with changing fashion.

"Male hierarchy" is another projection. For decades I was never sure what feminists were referring to. I thought it may simply be that men orient themselves by structure (as with maps), while women orient by relationships (as with landmarks). Making this a moral issue is highly curious.

But having read "Queen Bees and Wannabes" and "Odd Girl Out," I finally understand. The female hierarchy is far more extensive and compelling to women than anything in the male world, so this is projection, too. It is projection of both the significance and meaning of the female hierarchy for women, and its confining nature. Projected onto others, you don't have to face yourself.

It's like blaming men for the contortions to which women subject themselves for physical beauty when the pressure for that comes from women. Or those sneery allusions to male competition when it's nothing to that of women, feminist demeaning of anything male a fine example.

So the next time you're treated to one of these feminist diatribes, don't just sit there in pain. Look for the projections -- of evil, hierarchy, and matriarchic control -- and consider. It's not men they hate. It's themselves.

Copyright © 2004 K.C.Wilson. K.C. Wilson writes a weekly column for MenStuff.org and is author of several books on family and social issues, including Co-prenting for Everyone and Where's Daddy. See his e-books at http://wheres-daddy.com.

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