Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice and often described as “The Godfather of Hipsterdom,” kicked a hornets nest this week by suggesting that modern feminism has been detrimental to women.
“We’ve trivialized childbirth and being domestic so much that women are forced to pretend to be men. They’re feigning this toughness. They’re miserable,” McInnes said in part during a contentious and expletive-laced exchange on a HuffPost Live panel on Monday.
McInnes received forceful push back from the panel, media and social media for his comments.
The founder of Street Carnage, however, explained in an interview with The Daily Caller that he has no regrets about what he said, and that his comments were in fact very pro-woman.
“I think the most interesting thing about this story is all the controversy it generated. I consider my comments pretty mundane and when I read them in context. I don’t regret anything,” he said. “Every time I see my words quoted I go ‘yeah!’
“That study that I cited was all over the news a year ago — Lou Dobbs covered it on CNN — it didn’t seem to generate that much controversy when it came out, and all I did was cite that study and say a lot of women in the workforce would be happier at home. What is wrong with that?” he asked.
McInnes said that the real reason his comments set off such a firestorm is that “deep down” women realize what he said is true.
“I think a lot of women smash through the ‘glass ceiling’ and get to where [men] are and they go, ‘wait a minute, I thought you guys had brandy and went to strip clubs, you’re going over expense reports?’ And they see their friends from their small town with 3 kids going to soccer practice and they think, ‘That looks kind of cool, actually.’
“So I think they know I am right and that is what is making everyone freak out. All I did was point to the elephant in the room, but as I made very clear in that interview — what made me fly off the handle, too — is I am not saying women should not be in the workforce. If you were meant to be there, by all means, be there, and when I work with a qualified woman who is driven, like a Barbara Corcoran type, I love it because I get the job done,” he said.
He said that overall his words have been twisted into being anti-woman, when in fact believes his comments to be empowering.
“I see a lot of women without kids, in their 40s, who are miserable and I see a lot of women after they have children saying, ‘what the fuck was I doing? Why was I doing fashion PR? I was doing seating plans for a fashion show telling what people sit in what chair. Now I’m shaping human life,’ he explained.
“And that is another thing maybe I didn’t get across, I see the housewife as a far superior vocation to mine, and to most,” McInnes continued. “I mean I make commercials, and funny videos, and T.V. shows or whatever, film projects that people will watch for ten minutes and go ‘heh’ and get on with their day. I essentially… make comic books. You flip through it and you’re done. My wife creates life from her vagina and then — that’s just the beginning — then she shapes this human life.”
McInnes explained how much more fulfilling his wife’s day — making memories with their children — than his, working on a “fuckin’” cheese commercial.
“Who is changing the world more?” he asked.
Of his home life, McInnes said his is a “traditional family” living in New York “an exaggeration of the liberal utopia.”
“I always describe New York as an elephant’s graveyard for ovaries,” he said. “All these unhappy women, and I am talking about 100 percent of my friends waiting too long and regretting it, and I’m not saying that you have to have babies and you have to stay in the kitchen and you can’t have a life. Nobody is saying that. That is a totally unreasonable thing to say. That is a fascist, communist thing to enforce. All I am saying is: Why are you trivializing such a miracle?”
McInnes explained that his children — ages 9 months, 5 years, and 7 years — made him believe in God and become pro-life.
“It made me religious. I was an atheist most of my life and now I am a God-fearing Catholic, because of the miracle of life. And I’m pro-life,” he said, noting that he used to be pro-choice and became pro-life with the birth of his first child.
“Amongst my peers abortion is cool,” he continued. ”It’s like, empowering, and they make jokes about it. Some of my best friends go, ‘I accept that it’s murder and I am pro-choice.’ That’s the world I live in.”
He recalled a recent party he was at, in which a pregnant woman, who was planning on having an abortion the following week, was on hallucinogenic mushrooms “and everyone was laughing at it. That’s my universe.”
According to McInnes, based on his personal experience, women who have had children are significantly less likely to have an abortion.
“I think once women experience it, they change their minds pretty quick — and that is my personal experience, you know, I cannot speak for everyone. But I am probably getting myself in more shit,” McInnes said.
“I’m sick of women who haven’t experienced [child birth] trivializing it,” he added.
On the flip side, McInnes said that men have become less masculine, ironically as a means to get more women.
“I think men are becoming beta males because feminists have told them to, but you’ll notice feminists don’t fuck those guys,” he said. “I think they are doing this and being submissive…because they are trying to get laid.
“If women said men who dress in clown costumes are hot and cool, then they would fuckin’ stick a red nose on.”
McInnes continued that he sees the anti-masculinity push as intrinsically anti-capitalist.
“There is a real latent anti-entrepreneurial ethos going on in America right now with the left and I don’t see it as annoying or unfashionable. I see it as a virus because it is ultimately anti-American.
“America is unique: it was built by entrepreneurs with grit, and when— what seems just like a bunch of pussies being beta-males and women are railing against people like me simply for defending traditional families, isn’t a small deal,” he said. “I think it’s a real latent anti-Americanism that, like a virus, starts small and can really hurt us,” he explained, adding that entrepreneurs should be seen as heroes.
He went on to lament the current trend in media, which finds sitcom father figures the idiot of the family.
“If it gets a laugh fine, but we all have to check ourselves and go: ‘How about some reverence, for a change?’ We revere single moms and we revere drug dealers like Jay Z — how about we revere the people who put on food on the table? Even that Huff Post Live thing — We are sitting there shitting on macho men while using their microphone that they invented and the infrastructure they created. Arianna Huffington is only rich because of her man entrepreneur husband.”
*An earlier version of this story misspelled Gavin McInnes’ last name and incorrectly listed the age of McInnes’ first child.