Once upon a time, some women were sometimes discriminated against. In 1792 a few frustrated women organized to protest and eliminate ideas, laws, and practices perceived to be adverse to women. Later came Susan B. Anthony, the godmother of modern Feminism. They had a few male supporters. In 1906 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle founded the Divorce Law Reform Union in England to protect women (in those days, the pendulum of power in domestic relations favored men). Husbands or inheritances usually provided the leisure and funds to pursue their goals, turning some into literal professionals. One might say they were biting the hand that fed them. That thesis which helped inspire the early Feminist movement, John Stuart Mill’s 1869 book The Subjugation of Women, despite its fallacies, could be reprinted today with little more than interchanging the words “men” and “women,” certainly that portion of it concerning domestic relations; and it would be almost as accurate and contemporary as when published.
Picayunish railings and distortions were paramount in their platform; several considered homemaking wives to be parasites, proclaiming “Housework is shitwork.” Theodore Roosevelt termed most of them “fools.” Actually, in view of the advantages women had by virtue of chivalry, any disadvantages were of minor consequence; the sole exception being voting rights (and a damn good argument to the contrary has been made there). Back in 1831 the Frenchman, Alexis de Tocqueville, warned Americans that the new Feminist movement would result in the manufacture of “weak men and disorderly women.” His words have proven prophetic.
Like a tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the ‘postmodern’ Feminist ascendancy has swept over the western world. With no adult supervision Feminists get into all sorts of mischief, throwing giant jamborees in Mexican and African fever swamps. Here’s a listing of the present day outfits I’ve been able to dig up just in the US: Catholics for a Free Choice, Center for Reproductive Rights, Center for the Advancement of Women, Center For Women's Policy Studies, Feminist Majority Foundation, Freedom Socialist Party, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, League of Women Voters, Malia – Collective of Italian-American Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America (National Abortion Rights Action League), National Abortion Federation, National Council for Research on Women, National Council of Women's Organizations, National Organization for Women (NOW, the Feminist’s attack dog), National Women's Law Center, National Women's Political Caucus, Older Women’s League, Peace and Freedom Party, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Radical Women, Veteran Feminists of America, Women's Policy Inc., Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA). There are probably more here and certainly more in other countries.
Partially as a result of this phenomenon and partially due to the forces of modernism, the gender situation changed drastically. Their inordinate worldwide influence is akin to the tail wagging the dog. As with a pendulum, the momentum carried sexual dominance to the opposite extreme, to an almost pathologically anti-male position. Through a barrage of demonstrations, speeches, and publications, this juggernaut has become a veritable religion, widely and blindly accepted, much to the detriment of individuals, society and industry. It is altering the male kinship system, largely explaining the social and sexual chaos of present society.
George Orwell wrote that some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals could believe them. Intellectually, the Feminist movement is largely a façade; pull back the rhetorical curtain and there is little behind it. It is driven by non-rational, often anti-rational, sentiments and impulses. The essence is that gender is “socially constructed” by the patriarchy. The commonly accepted notion, the basic premise has long been that discrimination against women is greater than that against men. This is more than fashionable nonsense; it is a bizarre hoax. Indeed, a good case can be made that western women are the most pampered creatures on earth, sacred cows.
Feminism is a spectrum, ranging from the delusional, pursuing various schemes and fantasies, to the rational, if misguided – all advocating under the veil of rights for women. I reject the artificial distinction between “gender Feminists” and “equity Feminists” as an attempt to rationalize the latter, but admit a difference in degree (All Muslims aren’t radicals either, but too many of the gentler persuasions in both groupings fail to denounce their radicals). With Feminists, Teddy Roosevelt’s description “lunatic fringe” is reversed. The sane are the fringe. Writer David Usher says:
The relatively small (but growing) cohort of equalitarian feminists (such as Kate O’Bierne, Christina Hoff Sommers, Wendy McElroy, Kathleen Parker, and Erin Pizzey) are the legitimate followers of suffragettes. They still seek reasonable social equality between the sexes, and strongly oppose the egregious destruction of marriage and men’s social rights caused by second-wave feminists. The prevailing second-wave feminist movement, steered by the National Organization for Women, predominantly applies ideological and statistical machinations to achieve women’s supremacy targets. It sees equalitarians as “anti-feminist” enemies and is constantly at battle with them for control at the helm of feminism.
Feminists want what it pleases them to call “abortion rights” on demand, divorce on demand, child custody on demand, and Lord knows what other demands. Some demands sound reasonable; but closer examination reveals that they want privilege upon privilege. When it suits their purposes, Feminists consider the sexes both identical, e.g., in employment, and different, e.g., in child custody – a classic “have their cake and eat it too” situation. They want access to men’s clubs and organizations. Men-only clubs and lounges are considered sexist, but women-only clubs and lounges like the one at Boalt Hall and the law school of the University of California-Berkeley are “empowering.” They clamor for fifty women in the Senate, but not fifty percent of women in the cells of prisons and not fifty percent of military casualties or industrial accidents.
The Feminist position is that divorce should benefit the woman equally as does marriage. This makes divorce attractive for women. Ponder this passage from the Declaration of Feminism: “The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands…” (November, 1971).
Feminists claim that it is discrimination that poor women can’t afford abortions, and government agrees. The Feminist catechism, while it rewrites and profanes church doctrine, has made abortion a sacrament, helping to convince mothers to slaughter 41 million of our babies since 1970. One is tempted to wish their mothers had opted to pursue the freedom-to-choose of which they are such hearty advocates.
Railing against their feminine nature as if it were a congenital defect, the sisterhood seems to have a running argument with life itself. They preach that women’s accomplishments lie in rivaling males in creativity and external accomplishments. They would meld us into a unisex society by eliminating sexual distinctions and traditional functions based upon them. In one cause du jour, Barbara Mapes, former student senate vice president, and Sally Hughes, former student senator, and others at the Minneapolis Metropolitan Community College, demanded access to men’s toilets.
Feminists’ complaints about male dominance and about imaginary grievances, like getting fewer Nobel Prizes or less subsidization for women’s athletic teams, are fodder for lucrative lawsuits. Low seniority employees are traditionally sent on errands such as to get coffee. When it happens to women, the libbers cry “discrimination.” They’re strangely silent about men being sent to shovel snow, unload trucks and do other heavy or dirty work, work more undesirable than making coffee. Connecticut libbers, still in diapers, threw fits when the state canine license carried the shape of a miniature fire hydrant. They felt it discriminated against female dogs. The Cleveland Chapter of NOW. “Girlcotted” Cleveland Indian baseball games because there were no “bat girls.” Has anyone else noticed that many women drivers seem obliged to pass every male driver on the road? (I believe that suggestion appears on page 3 of the N.O.W. Assertiveness Manual.)
Libbers are often shocked – shocked! – about the “exploitation” of women in nudie magazines, claiming it reduces women to sex symbols. Such complaints are wrongly directed at men, obviously realizing the futility in expecting women to have the good sense and decency to keep their clothes on. Voyeurism is at least as attributable to the exhibitionists as it is to the opportunists. Since brainless men commenced posing nude for women’s magazines, one doesn’t hear these complaints as often. And they hate beauty contests. Little wonder – no one would hire them to jump out of a cake.
It is those women not placed on pedestals who complain so bitterly about the idea of pedestals for ladies. Most of those who would sacrifice the pedestals of all for their own imagined advantage, and who would push their way in where they aren’t invited, have suspect motives. Some are misanthropes, female chauvinist pigs — to hurl a horribly-overworked epithet back across the fence, usually rejected-in-romance or lesbian (Kate Millet confesses to be a “queer.” Her own mother and cousins tried to have her committed for psychiatric care). It seems the term “rape” is open to definition; lesbian Feminists consider all heterosexual intercourse to be rape (In point of fact, less than 2% of the male population commits 100% of the actual male-on-female rapes in America). That women’s lib members are largely lesbian can be verified by identifying the targets of classified ads in Ms. Magazine. Feminist books have about as much credibility as the Da Vinci Code.
Feminists have mounted a massive and insidious campaign to propagandize children, and have subverted almost the entire school and public TV systems into espousing their “philosophy.” Many other public institutions provide facilities for the dissemination of their gibberish and accommodation of their huddlings. In the early 1970’s, the Ford Foundation granted the Women’s Action Alliance $95,370 to develop a nonsexist curriculum for preschool children in child care centers.
Max Friedman, a Liberator writer from Brooklyn, says “A fifth-grade test … had been expunged, under Feminist pressure, of such names as Bach, Napoleon and Mozart to make room for the likes of Phyllis Wheatley” (Don’t be embarrassed; I never heard of her, either). In addition to eliminating books depicting sex roles, there is a concentrated effort by this faction to eliminate differentiated boys’ toys and girls’ toys. It has also made many inroads into the Girl Scouts (Betty Friedan has been named honorary member to the National Board of Girl Scouts — with voting privileges).
Feminist intellectuals (the term itself is an oxymoron) educated beyond their capacity, regurgitate Feminist agitprop “herstory” and advocate female “empowerment” to vacuous college students at many institutional sand boxes throughout the country. Instead of being unceremoniously dumped, these hate-mongers get grants and raises to pursue their “courageous” and “important” research.”
Phyllis Schlafly says, “College textbooks portray marriage as especially bleak and dreary for women. Assigned readings are preoccupied with domestic violence, battering, abuse, marital rape, and divorce.” Duke University Chaplin Robert Young and his students attempted to rewrite the Bible, eliminating references to gender. U.S. News & World Report Editor John Leo called these courses “part therapy group, part training grounds for Feminist cadres to fight the patriarchy.” These courses give new meaning to the expression “theater of the absurd.”
Strident Feminists are marching across campuses chanting obscene words and selling reproductive organ shaped lollipops to students. Feminist Students United (FSU) of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill scheduled a sex party for November 10th, 2005 to include "pin the finger on the clitoris" and “locate the g-spot” games followed by contests to see how quickly and properly people of both sexes can put condoms on bananas, with “lots of information on masturbation, orgasm and contraception, orgasm – how to have better ones, or how to help your girlfriend.”
Libbers decry pornography, hypocritically ignoring that their own literature is among the most foul and pornographic. Their idea of high art/drama seems to be “The Vagina Monologues.” V-Day has now replaced Valentine’s Day on more than 500 college campuses (including Catholic ones), while some of these same institutions ban the Bible. When College Republicans at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island rained on the celebrations of V-Day with a reductio ad absurdum by inaugurating Penis Day and staging a satire called The Penis Monologues, the official reaction was horror. Participants were ordered to cease and desist.
In Academe, anti-male orthodoxy is rampant and, despite proclamations of diversity, diverse opinion is not countenanced. To paraphrase Ann Coulter, feminists are constantly rushing in with their rule book about what can and cannot be said. Camille Paglia, Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, is of like mind. Christina Hoff Sommers describes the intellectual climate of today’s candy-curricula academy: “Rigid social constructionism so remains the dominant dogma in American humanities and social-sciences departments that to question it even an iota brings the thought police out in shrieking mobs to your door.”
Obvious differences between the sexes are like an elephant in the living room. But nobody dares notice it or their careers are in danger. The low estate of intellectual freedom on campus was highlighted in the 1/18/05 Boston Globe. The story reported that Lawrence H. Summers, president of Harvard University and former Treasury Secretary who once adjudicated questions of the world’s financial system affecting billions on the planet, suggested at an economic conference that innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers.
Feminists who didn’t have fainting spells tantrumed at the blasphemy. Political correctness ran amok. The galvanized Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Standing Committee on Women sent Summers a sharp letter of censure; alumnae threatened to suspend donations; students mobilized and Summers was barraged by protests from distraught Harvard co-eds who say they felt betrayed and diminished by his words. Writer Amity Shlaes said it was enough to bring the entire educational establishment down upon Mr. Summers’ head. MIT biology professor Nancy Hopkins developed a case of the vapors. Upon hearing Summers, she “felt I was going to be sick. My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow.” And, “I just couldn’t breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill.” She said that if she had not bolted from the room, “I would’ve either blacked out or thrown up.” Evidently this hysteric isn’t the typical tough broad most Feminists like to portray themselves as. She’d have one helluva time in combat!
Columnist Suzanne Fields likened the hullabaloo to the abuse that Galileo took in the 17th century when he questioned the notion, politically correct for his day, that the earth was the center of the universe. Christina Hoff Sommers defended Summers thusly, “It could explain why there are more men at the extremes of success and failure, more male CEOs, more males in maximum-security prisons.” Nancy Pftotenhauer, president of the Independent Women’s Forum , also defended Summers.
Attempting to demonstrate his meaning, Summers said “The data will, I am confident, reveal that Catholics are substantially underrepresented in investment banking…that white men are very substantially underrepresented in the National Basketball Association, and that Jews are very substantially underrepresented in farming.” Nevertheless, because he sinned against ideological conformity, Summers was forced to drink the hemlock, to grovel and apologize not once but three times. He later resigned.
Academic reformer David Horowitz has devised an Academic Bill of Rights intended to introduce more politically rational and diverse thinking and hiring into academe. He has garnered 36 Congressional sponsors so far. More power to him!
Spokeswomen profess to seek equality but these are largely head-fakes. They demand the advantages men have earned without the disadvantages, like having to earn them. They want equal employment with men, and equal pay for not necessarily equal ability or equal work. They demand equal representation in the boardrooms of industry, but not in the grubby jobs or among the burned out inhabitants of skid row. They consider women too fragile to be pinched in an office, but tough enough to engage in combat. That’s like wanting a one sided coin. Someone, I forget who, said “The historical fact of women clamoring for the right to give orders to draftees (a.k.a. men) by virtue of being West Point graduates coupled with the absence of concomitant clamoring that they be draftees themselves leads me to conclude that well ... yeah, women pretty much demand and expect special privilege.”
Modern Feminists have piggy-backed their cause onto that of the much more legitimate civil rights movement, as subsequently did the homosexual element. Their propagandists employ clever reversals of reality. They cruise in with claims of comparable grievance, which are positively obscene from the perspective of slavery and segregation. The situation of straight males is more nearly comparable.
Feminist lobbyists, amateur and professional, are literally swarming in state capitols across the nation, influencing government policy and spewing anti-male messages before Congressional committees. These gender warriors have enormous political power. Government and philanthropic organizations throw vast sums of money at their crock-pot of programs and office holders. For example, “Battered women’s” shelters serve as headquarters primarily to pursue Feminist agendas and only secondarily to help these alleged victims.
Every state has generously funded a network of commissions on the status of women, despite the fact women in general are financially as well off as men. In times of shortage, government budget cuts are imposed, but funding for Feminist programs are sacrosanct; no one dares challenge them. Even though the current levels of funding provide women's advocacy programs nearly a billion dollars per year, NOW is instructing their members to ask for still more programs.
Women’s lib is a ‘ladies’ auxiliary of the anti-American left. The hard core embraces Marxism, although Gloria Steinem will admit only to being socialist. James Bowman said, “Ideological Feminism… adapted Marxist class analysis to the domestic sphere and so interpreted love and loyalty in terms of power relationships.” Prime purposes of Feminism are to establish a lesbian-socialist republic and to dismantle the family unit.” Someone else said Feminism as we know it is the direct ideological and political descendant of the Women’s Ku Klux Klan (WKKK).
Their strange theories, empirically falsifiable claims and Oprah-land pity-parties percolate in a narrow leftist culture where they are reinforced through repetition by like-minded persons, with all the thoughtfulness of a rap message. Maybe you can’t fool all the people all the time as Lincoln said, but you can fool enough of them with lopsided factoids to ruin a country. This is explained by a founder of modern psychology, William James, who noted that, “There is nothing so absurd that, if it is repeated often enough, will not become accepted.” Josef Goebbels, the infamous propaganda minister of the Nazis, well understood this truism.
Hear Paul Craig Roberts: “Feminism is the intellectual organization of gender hatred, just as Marxism was the intellectual organization of class hatred. The feminist aim is to overthrow ‘patriarchal tyranny.’ In this undertaking, the male’s civil rights count for no more than those of the bourgeoisie in Soviet Russia or the Jews in National Socialist Germany.”
Leftist Feminists are pinning their hope now on forcing the U.S. to sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) treaty and promoting the new Millennium Declaration goals as a means of slipping in their pet causes. They are turning to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) to “promote political, economic and social empowerment of women.” In Sweden, there is talk of establishing a Feminist political party. Headed by Gudrun Schyman, it seems to be gaining traction.
Feminist-inspired politics are not only nonsensical, they can be positively dangerous. An anecdote from Robert Baer’s, memoir, See No Evil illustrates the problem. When W. Baer was the CIA station chief in Tajikstan in 1994, he asked CIA headquarters to send him officers who spoke Dari and Pashtun, the principal languages of Afghanistan, so they could interview the thousands of refugees pouring across the border. Mr. Baer was told no Dari or Pashtun linguists were available, but Langley would send out a four-member team to brief on the CIA’s new sexual harassment policy.
Feminists begrudge veterans’ benefits, conveniently ignoring the sacrifices of veterans, including the thousands of acres of graves of men killed defending the very existence of this country. They are alive while many of their contemporary men are dead – killed in wars defending them. Their wild demands would not be possible without these sacrifices. Too many of our fighting men have been killed and injured in battle protecting our way of life to lose that way of life in outlandish pursuits.
Writer Jeffrey Jackson tells us that we are now seeing post-feminist “domestic divas” who seek the advantages of both the feminist and traditionalist worlds, as depicted in Desperate Housewives, i.e. the total equality feminism demands without the “drudgery” of housework. While pockets of bias against women may remain, their straight-faced clamor for equality comes from an overall already superior position, even if artificially so. May whatever gods there be grant the descent they clamor for. But the price must be paid. Further demands must topple existing favoritism.
In another context, Dr. Thomas Sowell put it best when he said, “In reality, the crusade for civil rights ended years ago. The scramble for special privilege, for turf, and for image is what continues today under that banner and with that rhetoric...” The tumor of Feminism is shrinking. I think their party is about over, that we will soon enter a post-feminist world. Feminist Maureen Dowd admits that Feminism has “curdled.” Perhaps N.O.W. should change its title to T.H.E.N.
By defining between men and women in terms of power and competition instead of reciprocity and cooperation, the movement tore apart the most basic and fragile contract in human society. This distorts the true perspective of male/female relationships and upsets the laws of nature with undesirable consequences.
The term “Feminism” is a misnomer because essentially the zeitgeist is to destroy all traces of femininity. The term properly belongs in quotes, but that is ponderous. It is difficult to know what to call members of this movement. They object to the title “ladies” (appropriately so). The term “women’s lib” has pretty much gone out of style. Hitting the bull in the eye, Stu Miller says: “If feminism was really about ‘equality and creating a better world for everyone,’ why is it called ‘feminism’ and not ‘equalism?’ (It is probably for the same reason the Violence Against Women Act is not called the ‘Domestic Violence Prevention Act’).” Calling them “anti-feminists” would be more accurate.
In all fairness, one must admit that many “equity Feminists” are motivated by legitimate concern. Feeling they are under-contributing, they want alternatives. Many are prepared to give up women’s privileges for men’s privileges. Some are honestly making an effort to ensure equal rights for both men and women. Sincere equity Feminists could be our allies. Because women may be discriminated against in some areas and men definitely are in others, the rational elements of men’s lib and women’s lib have more in common than in contention. If this is accepted, the only significant difference lies in the question of degree — who is discriminated against more — men or women? Certainly, this shouldn’t prevent cooperation for mutual assistance. (Rumor has it that Betty Friedan may even have been driven in her later years into this camp by a faction of man-hating upstarts.) The sincerity of women’s libbers can be determined with one nitty-gritty question: Would you advocate fathers actually having equal rights to custody of their children in divorce? They can prove their sincerity by changing their demands from “equal rights for women” to “equal rights for both sexes.” If they do and mean it, this writer for one will be out in the streets with them.
Trying to argue rationally with radical gender feminists is
like giving a bobcat a prostate exam. You can’t do it. Because of their utter
lack of logic, they usually refuse debate. It’s not that they would lose the
argument; they have none. Disagree libbers? I’ll put up a team of three
masculinists against any three of yours. Make my day!