The New Barbarians


When we think of the term "barbarians", we usually think of those from another culture, less civilized, attacking all the progress made by our civilization. We think Huns at the gates of Rome. In fact, that's a false image: the barbarians in any culture are first and foremost those who destroy it from within. First and foremost, the new barbarians are our children, which is a highly sobering thought.

Raised within the civilization, they turn on it, kill it, and then in the terms of one commentator, they "wear the skin of the civilization they have killed." The civilization limps on in this guise only. It's already dead in terms fo the things that really matter.

I've been thinking lately about this, especially in terms of the rise of gender ideology amongst us. When we've reduced one of the most accomplished jurists in the nation to incoherence when asked the simple question, "what is a woman?", you know your civilization is in trouble.

Edie Wyatt, in a recent essay, expresses it this way:

"How do you know if you too are a barbarian? If you hound women out of university positions for saying males donít belong in womenís prisons you are a barbarian; if you silence an Indigenous woman while she is speaking about male violence in her own community, you are a barbarian, If you throw a milkshake at a politician or a lesbian protesting violence, you are a barbarian; if you call for crowd rather than legislative justice, you are a barbarian; if you attempt to corrupt our liberal democracy, you are a barbarian . . . The barbarians are not at the gates, they are sitting on committees, they are at universities, they are in press offices, they walk among us wearing the opinions distributed by our national broadcaster to cloak the power they hold and the responsibilities they skirt."

I sometimes cannot wrap my mind around the fact that the society I was raised in has reached the point where it is controversial to suggest that biological males should not be placed in women's prisons, or that they should not compete in women's sports. (BTW, kudos to Utah's legislature for overriding Cox's veto!) The vast, vast majority of Americans think both of these things are wrong, but that has not stopped our new barbarians in positions of power and influence from intimidating those who speak out against this.

And why does "this" matter? While first and foremost it is the most male supremacist move ever imagined--erase women and you can mistreat them any way you want because there's no words left to complain with--it's also something so much more. Here's how Jane Clare Jones describes it:

"[Concerning gender ideology], materialist politics, and religion, and democratic calues, and the sheer staggering regressive anti-feminism, and the hatred of totalitarianism is all very significant for me. But maybe above all that even, is just the fact that the sbsolute mind shattering bullshittery of it all offends me on such a deep level. There is simply no excuse for believing such an incoherent, disingenuous, reality twisting, history trashing pile of absolute made-up gibberish. It's an act of violence against the very fabric of human thought and sense making. Nothing about it is true."

Our society is now teetering between surrendering to the new barbarians and rejecting their assertion of power. It is heartening to see 13 states now have laws against male participation in women's sports, with another 8 states moving towards that point. But unfortunately, the new barbarians currently control the executive branch. There are new federal regulations promulgated by the Biden Administration that will enforce the placement of males in women's prisons, for example.

I am on several femiinist message boards where even hard-core leftist feminists openly state they will not vote for Democrats in the fall elections. They won't vote for Republicans, either--they will simply sit on their hands and not support the party that intends to erase them as a sex class. Do the Democrats even care that women plan to abandon them? One good thing about a democracy is that there is, actually, a chance to elect those who more closely represent one's views. It will be very interesting to see what November brings.

In the meantime, courage calls to courage. There are so many who are standing up and saying things that resonate with common sense--and enforcing their legal right to say it: Maya Forstater, JK Rowling, Kathleen Stock, Jo Phoenix, Kara Dansky, Abigail Shrier, and many others. Courage calls to courage in our darkening times. But we are left with the tearful question, "The days have gone down in the West . . . How did it come to this?"