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It turns out that the people of Afghanistan don’t actually want Gender Studies Symposia. They didn’t actually buy the idea that men can become pregnant. They thought that was ridiculous. They don’t hate their own masculinity. They don’t think it’s toxic. They like the patriarchy. Some of their women like it, too.

So now they’re getting it all back. So maybe it is possible that we failed in Afghanistan because the entire neoliberal program is grotesque. It’s a joke. It’s contrary to human nature. It answers none of our deepest human desires. It is merely a performance staged for the performer. It’s not even supposed to improve your life.

It’s ridiculous, and ideas that ridiculous can only be imposed by force, only with armed men at gunpoint. The moment these ideas are not mandatory, the second the troops withdraw, in fact, people tend to revert to the lives that they prefer to live. That may be the real lesson of Afghanistan. Let’s hope our leaders notice it.


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