I have a problem with feminists. Gee, what a surprise.
Feminists believe that women should have equal political, social, intellectual and economic rights as men. On the surface these sound like noble causes with which few can argue.
But feminists are selective in their advocacy. They hate femininity (which they see as weakness) and loath women who choose traditional roles (try voicing support of housewives in any college women’s studies course and see what happens). Stay-at-home moms are seen as traitors to the Cause.
When I was in college, I was a good liberal and embraced feminism with fervor and self-righteousness. I collected signatures for Planned Parenthood. I marched in rallies. I did all the stuff I was told would “advance” the cause of women.
At the time I didn’t know that, contrary to their claim to speak for all women, feminists sure as heck didn’t speak for the strong, self-confident women of Flyover Country.
Modern feminism has become little more than collective whining from women who never are, and never can be, satisfied until … I dunno, they have world domination or something.
Feminists, like all liberals, claim they want and respect diversity – though the only “diversity” they tolerate is that which advances their agenda. True diversity is antithetical to the feminist mentality. If you don’t believe me, try mentioning “traditional” and “values” in the same sentence to any professor of women’s studies at any university and watch her metaphorically spit on your shoes for uttering such heresy. And God forbid a woman should express admiration or respect for masculinity. Yuck, pitooey.
Feminists are taking the true inequalities of the past and using them to trap women in perpetual victimhood. They use the bullwhip of guilt and the sledgehammer of lawsuits to force society to adhere to unreasonable and unsustainable standards of “equality.” (I don’t care what they say, a 115-lb female firefighter can’t carry an unconscious 200-lb man out of a burning building.) And if you’re female, don’t even think about getting married, having a baby and staying home (particularly in that order), because pregnancy is tantamount to slavery.
Obviously there are isolated examples of true pay inequity in violation of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (and I expect irate feminists will drown me in gleeful examples of these violations after reading this column), but feminists might be aghast to learn they’ve actually succeeded in their goal of equal pay. Aghast, because it removes the motivation behind their eternal victim status. Let’s look at a few concepts.
First of all, there are some professions in which women are vastly under-represented. Feminists, of course, ascribe this to discrimination without considering that most women have no interest in being construction workers or air conditioning technicians.
Secondly, if women are paid 75 percent of what men get for the same job, then it would make sound economic sense for employers to hire women because hey, they could cut their payroll by 25 percent. What a deal!
Thirdly, feminists who point out the supposed glass ceiling that precludes women from achieving, say, partnerships in law firms forget one simple, significant factor: Most women aren’t willing or able to put in the exaggerated work hours needed to attain such a position. Women have a funny desire to see their children or husband occasionally, and maybe even darken their doorways for more than an abbreviated night’s sleep.
In other words, women who achieve the highest levels within their professions often do so to the detriment of their families. Men are freer to pursue career success because their priorities between career and family are different than most women. But feminists don’t believe family life should distract a woman from her career track.
According to Kate O’Beirne in Women Who Make the World Worse, “In 1991 [please note, 18 years ago!], women without children earned 95 percent of men’s salaries when other factors like education levels and experience were taken into account, but mothers, on average, made 75 percent of men’s wages. Numerous other studies also find that although marriage didn’t lower earnings, having children did. Being a woman is not in conflict with having a demanding career, but being the kind of devoted wife and mother many women choose to be is.” [Bracketed comment mine.]
In other words, many women are pleased to heed their natural calling to be wives and mothers and bypass a demanding outside career for an equally demanding at-home career. It’s only feminists who deny this biological reality.
In a 1998 Washington Times article, Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Christine Rosen note, “One of the greatest harms that the feminist movement inflicted on American women was to send the message that women are only fulfilled if their salaries are equal to men’s and that a preference for more time at home is somehow flawed.” Duh.
Above all, feminists are angry. Nothing is ever good enough. It’s not good enough for a woman to be the governor of Alaska – she should be a liberal too. It’s not good enough for a black woman to be secretary of state – she should be a member of NOW as well. Feminists see inequality and gender bias in everything regardless of whether or not women have the slightest interest in giving up calm, happy family lives for stressful careers. And few women are interested in being plumbers and miners even if those jobs pay well.
Feminists do not just want equal opportunity, which already exists. They want equal outcome – equal numbers of men and women in all fields, most especially the male-dominated, high-paying fields such as engineering, mathematics and the physical sciences. (I don’t see them clamoring for equal representation in such dangerous fields as mining, logging, taxi driving, or even farming.) No, only a high status career – as defined by feminists – will do, thank you.
My gripes with feminism are too numerous to do justice here; and to my way of thinking, feminists have a lot to answer for in trashing traditional values in this country.
Now bring it on. I promise to post the best snarks on my blog.