Ten Things I hate about Feminism

I'm using feminism in this post to refer to the political movement as advocated and promoted by the National Organization of Women as well as others. I realize there are dozens of varieties of feminism and feminist theory, some sillier than others.

10. The popular belief that as a woman I must either agree with the underlying ideology promoted by feminists or that if I disagree, I am automatically a conservative.

The far more amusing assumption occurs when I do not state my gender in my criticisms of feminism. Obviously I must be a man, and probably one that’s had a few issue with family law/alimony in the past.

9. The modern feminists' tendency to attach themselves to the earlier and far more noteworthy women's rights movement.

If feminism were exclusively about the rights of women I wouldn't have a problem with this. The problem is that it's not. Check out the National Organization for Women's issues page if you do not believe me.

8. The stupid obscure nonsense that many feminist academics pass off as useful information.

I once heard an entire lecture about how artificial intelligence research had failed to create human level intelligence because of its use of gender-biased language. (i.e. mankind instead of humankind etc.) The professor presenting the lecture was in no way involved with A.I. research. She was a women's studies professor.

7. The very existence of women's studies courses in universities nationwide that promote a purely leftist political ideology and often have little to do with any objective scholarship regarding women.

If a Republican cannot pass your course, I doubt your course has much actual scholarship backing it up.

6. The illusion that since the word "feminism" contains the word "feminine" that it has something to do with celebrating the feminine.

Really the core of this issue is that anything that gets written about being feminine or celebrating being a woman is claimed by feminists to be a work of feminism. The problem is that this confounds the feminist political ideology with actual writings about women that have little or nothing to do with the ideology. I think that’s the point though. Feminists seem to like to claim kinship to any good idea spit out by a woman about women that has ever, or will ever exist.

5. That it defines itself by its advocating "equal rights" but then advocates and supports laws that create inequality by giving women legal advantages over men and/or special treatment.

Examples of this would be women and children first welfare programs, alimony laws, and quite a few family laws such as those that give preference to mothers over fathers in custody battles, among others.

4. That they claim to be for women's liberation and sexual freedom until that freedom involves prostitution, pornography, or erotic dancing.

That one is pretty self-explanatory. You can have all the sex you want with whomever you want, as long as it doesn't involve money, or cameras, or toys, or you enjoy it (particularly if you enjoy it with men). This is one of the big issues that paint feminists in my mind as conservative. Sure they are not your traditional bible-waving conservative, but they are more than willing to impose their own morality on everyone else via legislation in order to protect their own beliefs.

3. They have no desire to ultimately succeed, or in other words they do not want their job to ever be finished.

Those that have dared imply that the feminists job is over, (and I'm not saying it is, but in theory at some point they should succeed and thus not have a job anymore), get a backlash about all the doors feminists have opened for them. From now.org:

The Independent Women's Forum (IWF), a small circle of beltway conservatives, pronounces the women's movement dead -- or at the very least "irrelevant." According to this group of well-educated, wealthy professionals, there is no longer a need for feminism. Frankly, I was surprised to hear that women who have benefited so much from this movement would be gleeful about its alleged demise.

The 700 members of the IWF are high-profile attorneys, professors and executives -- all opportunities that were virtually nonexistent to them before the women's movement. As Patricia Ireland, president of National Organization for Women (NOW) said, "They are the women who walked through the doors of opportunity that (feminists) kicked open."

In other words, someone tells them that the women's rights movement has succeeded and thus may no longer be needed, and they get defensive. So what would happen if they succeeded in securing equal rights for men and women everywhere (this unlikely given that their own key issues contradict this goal)? I guess they would have to discover and invent new ways that women are being oppressed (perhaps by the oppressive bias of terminology such as "mankind" and "history"). Also note that they are claiming that "feminists" (which they happen to be) kicked open the door of opportunity for all of modern women. This leads me to my next issue.

2. The belief that most feminists have and promote that they are in fact just a new wave of the women's rights movement.

Mary Wollstonecraft (author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman) was not a feminist. The term did not even exist at the time she was alive. She did not call herself a feminist, she would not have agreed with many (probably all or most) of the issues advocated by the modern political ideology of feminism. For example she was opposed to abortion. This doesn't stop the feminists of NOW and others from claiming kinship with her among others of the early women's rights movement. Her work is often cited as one of the earliest works of feminism. If you define feminism as "the theory that men and women should be equal politically, economically and socially," then it is not wrong to call Mary Wollstonecraft and other early women's rights advocates feminists. The problem is that most branches of feminism do not adhere to this definition, and the political movement of feminism as typified by NOW in particular does not fit this definition. So either the early women's rights advocates who actually advocated equal rights for men and women were feminist and NOW is not, or vice versa. Since those early activists never called themselves feminists and the term was applied to them later by those who ultimately went on to create organizations such as NOW it makes more sense to me to apply it the other way around.

Now don't get me wrong there are those activists, academics, and organizations that have actually done great things, they've made great progress in the areas of reproductive rights and in raising the consciousness of our society to those issues. Some of them even called themselves feminists, and there are plenty of people today who actually advocate equal rights and also call themselves feminists. The issue I have is that some of them took real issues that needed to be addressed and mixed them up with a leftist political ideology that has nothing to do with women. This leads to the number one issue I have with feminism:

1. The inbuilt assumption that promoting and advocating a leftist political ideology will further the cause of equal rights and equal treatment for women.

From the earlier linked editorial at now.org:

To honor the choices of my sisters of the IWF, I am declaring tomorrow "Women's Inequality Day." It will be a day for women to return the rights they no longer want because these rights are associated with the feminist movement. Let's start by revoking their right to vote. This will be a
sacrifice for IWF members like Wendy Lee Gramm, wife of the senator from Texas, but there are plenty of other things a girl can do. If she's an attorney, physician or professor, tomorrow would be an ideal day to start looking for another job. An anti-feminist woman would surely never want to
take a spot in a firm, hospital or college that could be given to a man.

Retro-style newspaper classified sections should be printed for these gals, offering helpful divisions between jobs for men and women. Oh sure, they won't generate as much income as clerks as they would as professionals, but how much pin money does a girl need? Women who work to dismantle
affirmative action must realize that the fruit of their labor is the severe curtailment of their educational and economic opportunities.

Anti-feminist women should also return any credit cards, checks, property deeds, savings accounts, money market accounts, mutual funds and investments in their name. They can have them all back, mind you -- just as soon as they get their husbands' written permission.

On a more personal note, anti-feminist women should relinquish any birth-control pills or other contraceptives. A feminist plot to undermine the family, birth control -- even for married couples -- was illegal in the United States until the 1965 Supreme Court decision Griswold vs. Connecticut. If an anti-feminist woman is facing an unwanted pregnancy, she still has choices -- parenting, adoption or unsafe, back-alley abortion.

That’s right. You see, if I'm opposed to the leftist bullshit promoted by organizations such as NOW, that must mean that I, and others like me, want to roll back all the progress made by women's rights advocates (few of whom actually advocated the ideology labeled by the word "feminism") over the past 3 centuries. That’s like saying that if I am an opponent of the Democratic Party’s policies I must want to undo the Enlightenment. Never mind that the only thing in common between the two is that they both involved men. Likewise feminist activists like to claim as an accomplishment of feminism any political progress ever made by women, but the only ultimate commonality is gender.

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