Reading Mr. Lewis’ essay of ‘appreciation‘ of Mr. Peterson’s ’12 Rules for Life’, the reader is struck by this observation.
‘Not since William Buckley threatened Gore Vidal has intellectual pugilism been so accessible to the masses.’
One is taken aback by this, as the more apt comparison would be, for the historically aware, Gore Vidal’s continuing conversation/debate, if that is the right set of descriptors, for his engagement with Mailer on the ‘Prisoner of Sex’ anti-feminist manifesto !
See this review of Patriarchal Attitudes by Eva Figes in the July 22, 1971 New York Review of Books, by Gore Vidal titled ‘In Another Country’ : (behind a pay wall)
Or see page 583 of Gore Vidal’s Collected Essays 1952-1992. Titled ‘Women’s Liberation: Feminism and Its Discontents’
Also see Vidal and Mailer ‘debate’ the issue of ‘Feminism‘ and other pressing matters on The Dick Cavett Show:
Mr. Lewis should not exhibit his historical ignorance as demonstrative of a kind knowledge, not available to the reader. Journalism in America is predicated on the notion of the ‘Expert’, as an almost exclusively masculine descriptor. But the readership of The Daily Beast will find this reference adds a certain cashet , to Mr. Lewis’ enthusiasm for Mr. Peterson’s re-invigoration of the cult of masculine dominance, in the political present. Also elided from his Daily Beast essay is any mention of Manliness by Harvey C. Mansfield, in which he almost calls Mrs. Thatcher manly!
If the baiting of Mr. Mishra by Mr. Peterson in his ‘ “And you call me a fascist? You sanctimonious prick. If you were in my room at the moment, I’d slap you happily.” Shouldn’t a macho man say punch rather that slap? But waste no time in reading Mr. Mishra’s devastating unmasking of Mr. Peterson’s claim to a masculine privilege, in its many and varied historical iterations.
That is not simply waning, but is under concerted attack from not just women, but people of color, Hispanics, as the Mestizos attacking Anglo-Protestant virtue,as argued in Huntington’s racist tract ‘Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity, and the whole of the LGBTI community.
Not to forget in all this male dominated opining the pioneering work of Kate Millet:
And the indispensable work of Betty Friedan:
Mr. Peterson and Mr. Lewis, and other assorted retrograde apologists for The Patriarchy, seek in their unrelenting vociferousness, of their near hysteric self-apologetics/advocacy, to reify their claim, to a natural right to rule over the lesser beings of this planet. The Other: women who need the constant tutelage of men, to overcome their inadequate nature!