Thoughts on Feminism
June 15, 2013 § 2 Comments
There are three types of feminism. The first form of feminism calls for equality under the law. The second type calls for equality of results. And the third form of feminism is primarily characterized as a hate for men. For those feminists in the third group, anything that a woman finds disagreeable about society can inevitably be blamed upon a society controlled by misogynistic pigs.
One of the main issues with critiquing something as broad as “feminism” is that many fall into the trap of assuming all feminists are the same. Of course, most feminists in group three also believe in equality under the law and equality of results. And I’m sure most feminists in group two believe in equality under the law and may even hate men. Perhaps the best way to understand feminism is to picture an onion. The thick, rough, outer layer is the third form of feminism. It’s vulgar, coarse, and the most visible. Peel away the outer layer and you get closer to the good stuff, but there’s still some nasty residue lingering. Then, finally, you get to the heart and soul of feminism – the call for equality before the law – it’s the hidden beauty which is always hiding behind its hideous outer layers.
Okay, enough corny [or onion-y] metaphors.
There are two reasons for my seemingly arbitrary distinctions. The first is to isolate the one form of feminism with which I find myself in complete agreement. That is, those who believe in equality before the law. The second reason is to provide a paradigm through which I can more easily analyze feminism as a whole. I’m sure that some readers are inevitably going to condemn this critique as a misogynistic and male chauvinistic attempt to criticize female ideas. If you were thinking this—congrats! You are a part of group three, and you’re precisely the type of person who should read the rest of this post.
I will now examine each group in descending order. You will notice that I’m conducting my critique in a very logical, linear, and orderly fashion. How characteristically male of me. [Yes, I’ve had a feminist tell me that linear thinking is a distinctly male phenomenon…as if it were some type of curse…].
The third group is perhaps the most interesting type of feminists. Every individual arrives at their ideas differently, so I can’t say what exactly it is which makes some women hate men so much. Perhaps many of these women would deny actually hating men (I’m sure some wouldn’t!). Regardless, if you find yourself constantly referring to all men as “chauvinistic pigs”, then I’m sorry, but you hate men. What’s most interesting about this type of feminism is that it’s essentially a form of reverse misogyny. In other words, it’s as if peace activists tried to end war by forming an armed rebellion and fought to the death in the name of peace. Unfortunately, this is the most vulgar, caricature-esque, and popular form of feminism today. It places emphasis on blaming individual men for the social issues which are perpetuated by a society at large.
The second type of feminist trips up on a very common leftist logical misstep; the call for equality of results. Equality of results is one of those all too common egalitarian dreams which run contrary to human nature. For biological reasons, there are certain issues that woman are faced with which men will never encounter (and vise versa). Somehow, this group of feminists believes that the differences in results are necessarily sexist.
Perhaps the best recent example of this form of feminism is the recent complaints that women whose careers are set back due to maternity leave are subject to “discrimination”. Studies show that women receive lower pay than their male counterparts due to the years of experience they miss out on due to child bearing. One woman was actually quoted as saying the following:
“Women choose to have babies; they don’t choose the discrimination that goes along with it,”
What does this quote suggest? Should the government require women with less experience due to pregnancy be paid the same as their male colleagues? Can it apply to other aspects of life? For instance, I chose to go to college but I didn’t choose to wait four years before I could make money. The fact of the matter is that the choices we make as individuals have repercussions. There is no magical remedy for this issue. The fact that some choices have negative consequences doesn’t change this fact of life. Time and resources are scarce for everyone on earth. Male, female, rich, poor, etc. are faced with the same harsh reality. There is no magical cure for the ailments of human life.
Lastly, and most importantly, there’s the first form of feminism. This was the original feminist movement before it morphed into the caricature of equality which it has come to represent today. This is the form of feminism which calls for equality before the law. There was a time when a woman couldn’t own property, couldn’t vote, and couldn’t do most of the things which we associate with being a free individual in modern society. The law — in other words, the state — prohibited women from enjoying life to the same extent that men could. In as far as feminism is a rejection of these imbecile rules against the freedom and liberty of women, I am a feminist.
In the end I find the use of arbitrary groups like sex, race, ethnicity, etc. useless such a group is being persecuted on the basis of such a distinction. Arbitrary “rights” such as women’s rights, minority rights, etc seem odd to me. We are all individuals, and what are most important are individual rights. If individual rights exist, then there is no need to specify rights specific to some arbitrary group. These random “rights” groups evolved during a time when certain groups were being stripped of their rights by the law. At the time, “women’s rights” made sense. Today, “women’s rights” is used to mean a whole plethora of random demands which would more appropriately defined at benefits, not rights.
In any case, to the extent that any group is still experiencing inequality before the law, I will support their “rights”, but only to the point at which they have rights on par with the rest of society as a whole.