Monday, January 26, 2015

The Problem with Feminism

In some of my past posts (see here and here), I have pointed out some of the problems with feminism in passing. I keep getting comments that I’m wrong about feminism and that it’s just about equality and rights for women. However, I think many of those who call themselves feminists don’t realize what the movement has become. They haven’t kept up with the times.

Feminism may have started out as a movement to secure equal rights for women, but it has gone far beyond that today. People wanted to keep the movement going, even though equality has already been achieved, so they had to invent new horrors to rally people around their cause.

Thus, modern feminism does indeed see mothers being at home with their children as archaic, patriarchal, and oppressive. They elevate women in the workforce as being "strong women" while pointedly never referring to stay at home moms as such. They subtly (or not-so-subtly) tell women that stay home that they're weaker or being controlled in some way.

In the realm of sex, some of the more radical feminist leaders view any and all sex with a man as rape. Yes, they have actually said that. Even short of that, the very idea that a man must beg and cajole his wife for sex and she has all the power to say yes or no - widely passed off as normal in media of all kinds and praised as "equality" by feminists - is completely emasculating and degrading to men.

Even worse, feminists are now framing the "equality" debate in terms of access to abortion. They speak of abortion as a "women's rights issue" and tell us that those who oppose abortion want to keep women in subjection. Apparently, they think women cannot be equal to men unless they can kill their children in the womb and thus avoid the uniquely female consequences of sex.

Feminists today are pushing for special, not merely equal, treatment for women. The schools are now biased against boys - with assignments and topics that girls are more interested in, an intolerance for rough play that boys prefer, long periods of inactivity that girls can handle better than boys, an emphasis on feelings that girls find more comfortable, and better grades assigned to girls. This isn't just me saying this. It's been widely documented.

The push is not for equality of the law any more. The push now is for women and girls to be considered the gold standard and men and boys to be considered as defective females. They're also pushing for equality of outcome, instead of equality of opportunity.

What's more, feminists of today love to point out the many duties of men (such as getting a job) while denying that women have any duties. They pretend that a woman's greater empathy and emotional bent is an unqualified good that men are simply deficient in (while saying that men are better than women at anything is widely considered taboo). They insinuate (if not outright say) that women are more spiritual and more naturally good, and so on. It's everywhere. Our society is full of mostly subtle, and sometimes blatant, knocks against men while elevating women. Today's feminists not only praise this as an accomplishment, but are pushing for more.

In the workforce, for example, feminists are often up in arms that women are "underrepresented" in fields like engineering and pretend that this is due to some secret and subtle bias against women. In reality, the difference is due to the different choices of women. The same is true for the "gender wage gap" that everyone keeps bringing up. The truth is that women choose less strenuous, more flexible jobs and work fewer hours - mainly because they value their time with their children more than men do. When you control for these lifestyle choices, the gender wage gap disappears.

There is no systematic bias against women. If anything, we now have the reverse. Many engineering programs, for example, are biased towards women - selecting women applicants over equally or better qualified men - and yet the women are still present in lower numbers. The workforce is similar, with many, many companies preferring women.

Feminism pretends that women always want the same things as men and fusses about differences in numbers, which means they aren't allowing women to make their own choices, but are trying to push them to be like men. That's not okay.

It's not okay to suggest that women freely choosing to spend more time with their children is somehow a social problem that needs to be fixed. It's not okay to suggest that men are defective and women are better. It's not okay to point out men's flaws while pretending women don't have them too. It's not okay to allow jokes that portray men as idiots and buffoons (which are very common today) while being up in arms when the shoe is on the other foot. It's not okay to give a woman all the sexual power in a marriage relationship and force her husband to beg for consideration.

Today's feminism is not okay. It's not balanced. It's not fair. And thus I will not call myself a feminist. I'm an equalist. I believe that men and women are equally valuable and have equal rights. But I don't believe that men and women are exactly alike, that they have all the same strengths and weaknesses and priorities, or that women can do everything that men can do just as well or vice versa. I won't bash men for being different than women and I won't pretend that females are better. I'm really tired of the modern feminist agenda and the feminization of society. It hasn't done anyone any good.


  1. Hi, Lindsay

    "The push is not for equality of the law any more. The push now is for women and girls to be considered the gold standard and men and boys to be considered as defective females."

    A few months ago, in a comment on another blog (Edward Feser's), someone contributed the following quote from a book written in the 1870s. (It was too 'spot-on' for me not to save.) :-) The author of the quote was applying it to different circumstances (false teaching in the Church), but his general observations about the three stages can be applied to many areas (heterodox doctrine, abortion, homosexuality/gay marriage, etc.). I think I may have mentioned it in one of Wintery Knight's threads, but in any case, it seems fitting here as well. It falls in line with your own comments about feminism. :-)

    "When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three.

    It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of others. The church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we ask only for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions.

    Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights. Truth and error are two balancing forces. The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality. It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth. We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship. What the friends of truth and error hold in common is fundamental. Anything on which they differ is ipso facto non-essential. Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church. Truth and error are two co-ordinate powers and the great secret of church-statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them.

    From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy. Truth started with tolerating, it comes to be merely tolerated, and that only for a time. Error claims a preference for its judgments on all disputed points. It puts men into positions, not as at first in spite of their departure from the Church’s faith, but in consequence of it. Their recommendation is that they repudiate that faith, and position is given them to teach others to repudiate it, and to make them skilful in combating it".


  2. My favorite thing about married men: Watching them drown in desperation and despair, their futures destroyed through divorce, after years of telling other men that being married was so wonderful.

    My favorite thing about players: Most are nursing an incurable STD, hoping it doesn't move to their lips or eyes. That and the amount of money they paid chasing that incurable STD.

    My favorite thing about white knights: Watching them go through the eventual disillusionment and disenchantment that comes with divorce and being cheated on by their spouse or girlfriend. That and them having to pay the X wife to sleep with other men. Watching them go to jail for getting behind on child support/alimony is also much fun.

    My favorite thing about feminists: Watching them lose their sons to alcoholism, drugs, poverty, homelessness and suicide after another feminist destroys their son's life.

    MGHOW for life.

    1. My favorite thing about cynics is how they're so depressed about everything EXCEPT bad things happening to other people.

      I do not rejoice about these things. They are terrible things that ought not to happen.

      We need to find a solution for the dysfunction that plagues our society. One thing that definitely has to be part of any recovery is the dismantling of feminism. It is one of the main roots of our problems as a society.

    2. You're going to lose. Your kind represent an end. Why do you think God put the apple out there? He knew your kind would bite. He knew your kind would tempt. Women represent the collapse of human kind.

      Power is corrupting. Absolute power is annihilation. I'm not judging you. We all go down together. It takes a man to bite.

    3. No, women aren't to blame. Bad ideology is to blame. Women who fall for bad ideology and harm their families are to blame. Mothers and fathers who don't live right and raise their children with the right values are to blame. But not women in general.

      As for the fall of man, you really should get your theology straight. God didn't place the forbidden fruit out there so that mankind would fall. He placed it there so that mankind would have a choice. Obedience with no choice is not obedience, it's being a robot.

      As for "my kind," I assume you are talking about women. Do you think we're a foreign species or something? I'm the same kind as you. Men and women are two halves of humanity and stand or fall together.

      The problem isn't the existence of women. It's the failure of men and women to have correct ideology and to form lasting marriages and to raise their children right. Neither men nor women can survive without the other. We have to learn to work together or we'll all fail. Feminism is a problem because it interferes with the proper relationships that men and women are meant to have. It's not because women are inferior. It's because people - men and women - have accepted a lie.

  3. Feminism is about hard power for women, and ultimately about female supremacy. Women all around the world, and traditionally in the west, exercise(d) soft power: via influence through and persuasion of their men. The vote for women was the first foray into hard power--driven mainly by ugly women without even soft power--and all else followed. See this: Feminism is for Ugly Women.

    Thus, if you want to cut out feminism, and roll it back all the way, reject the vote for women. Plus, you'll smoke out all the feminists among your friends.

  4. Using extreme fringe examples ("the more radical feminists view...") is not a logical argument against feminism in general. I am a Christian and I cringe when people use this type of argument to try to make Christians look like wacko extremists. I have heard people equate Christianity with Westboro Baptist, for example. They may call themselves "Christian", but they don't speak for me---or for most Christians. The same goes with feminism.

    I want people to quit telling girls that their real life starts when they get married and become moms, because that may not be what God has planned for them. If He has something else for them, then that will be just as great, not a shadowy second-best. I want my daughters to have the same opportunity to use God's gifts throughout their lives that their brothers have.Whenever companies market fashion design kits to girls and car design kits to boys (like the Crayola Virtual Design Pro kits) they are saying, "stick with looking pretty, machines are for boys" and this does shape their later choices. I also don't want jobs that are typically filled by women to pay horribly because "they can have their husband support them so they don't need it", or, even worse, "anyone can do it." I guess this makes me a feminist, possibly somewhat radical in your eyes.

    I want my daughters to see that their church expects them to be students of the Bible and thoughtful young adults and I want them to sometimes have female youth pastors, not two male youth pastors and unpaid female "assistants" who do the same work on top of their "real" jobs. I think this also makes me a feminist, not a radical feminist, just a regular one.

    I want my husband to be caring enough to decide that he can skip having sex if I'm just not feeling it, just as I may be willing to have sex just to please him when I am not particularly in the mood. It's reciprocity and choice that makes each of these options an act of love and I am so glad that this is the kind of husband I have! He doesn't "have to beg or cajole", but he shows me the kind of everyday love that makes me feel wooed and that does not diminish him as a man. Take away my choice to say no and I become an object, not a person--he would not want that for me because he loves me. Honestly, I don't think this has much bearing on whether or not I am a feminist. It is more an issue of my worth and basic dignity as a human being and a child of God. By the way, I have also been a homeschooling stay at home mom, now much older than you are. I hope that with age, comes wisdom.

    1. I have never said that woman has no ability to say no to sex or that her husband's desires always win. My recommendation, speaking to women, is to say yes sometimes, even if you aren't already in the mood, in order to take your husband's desires into account. Neither spouse should be dictating frequency to the other while the other has no say.

  5. No, and I didn't say that you said a woman has no ability to say no. You said that when a woman "... has all the power to say yes or no completely emasculating and degrading to men." I am simply saying that me saying no to my husband is not at all emasculating or degrading. If I don't have "all the power to say yes or no" (and he has that same power), than there is really no saying "yes" (that whole free will thing that is woven through the Bible). By your caveat of "sometimes", I think we are agreeing about what a marriage should be like in practice. When I say "yes" when I don't feel like sex, I am saying that I choose to do something really nice for him, because that's what we try to do, both of us, as much as we can. Duty doesn't much enter into it, but joy sure does. And I am a feminist so at least some feminists have sex with their husbands when they personally are not particularly in the mood--and my husband does not have to cajole or beg, either.

    An even more interesting point is that you focused on the sex rather than the opening remarks of not judging feminism by the extremes, or the point that jobs traditionally held by women pay badly. My girls assume that they can grow up to be anything, I was able to go back to grad school when my kids got older. In my mom's day, that was very uncommon, but my husband and kids pitched in to make it possible. The feminists of the 1900s, 1940s and 1960s paved the way and I thank them for it. Some of them have taken stances that I disagree with, but they still have done a lot of good work. When I was a young mom and my life revolved around caring for my kids, I didn't spend much time thinking about these things, especially because I was surrounded by women whose lives were just like mine. You may find you views will change over time. My hope is that my comments will make you and your readers think a bit more, not necessarily change your minds.

    1. "When I was a young mom and my life revolved around caring for my kids, I didn't spend much time thinking about these things, especially because I was surrounded by women whose lives were just like mine. You may find you views will change over time. My hope is that my comments will make you and your readers think a bit more, not necessarily change your minds."

      If you're suggesting that I haven't thought about these issues because I'm a young stay at home mom, you're wrong. I spent several years at a secular college. I earned a master's degree in biology and held a full time teaching job at a community college. I had the makings of a good career. I was good at it. I loved it. But because I have looked at both sides and because I have studied the needs of children and because I have seen the damage done to families when the wife focuses on a career, I chose to give up a career and stay home with my children. It's not that I haven't considered the other side, but that I have considered it and rejected it because I have seen that women being at home is better.

      You have to realize that many of the things you have mentioned to me aren't feminist positions, even though feminists like to pretend the ideas were theirs. While there might be a few wacko groups who think women, in general, are inferior to men and should only ever be in the kitchen cooking or doing laundry, that's not the norm. In arguing against that position, you aren't arguing against my position. I'm not a feminist, but neither am I a masculinist (is that even a word?). I don't deny that women are capable of doing great things. I'm not against women having jobs. I'm in favor of equal pay for equal work. Feminists may also be in favor of those things, but those aren't unique to feminism.

      Where I differ from feminists is that I don't consider female behaviors to be the norm and male behaviors as flawed and I don't consider it a good thing when mothers leave their children in order to pursue a career.

      I realize that men and women have different strengths - that men are more naturally suited for rough jobs and danger while women are more naturally suited to nurturing and emotional connection. We aren't interchangeable. We're different and those differences are put to their most efficient use by specialization within the family and within society. Women don't need to prove they are as tough as a man and men don't need to prove they have emotions and can nurture too. We have our different strengths and denying that these differences exist or trying to eliminate them in society or trying to flout our design by doing things we aren't as well suited for is not helpful for anyone.

      So, can a female do anything she sets her mind to and hold any job she pleases? For the most part yes. Is that a good idea for her to do so? Not necessarily - either for her or for her children.

      Should society make laws to prevent a woman from holding certain jobs? No. But should society try to advocate that women should make up an equal percentage in every field and encourage women to leave their families to work? No. Should we be upset if women aren't very common in engineering or the military? No. If anything, we should be encouraging women to take care of their children first because children need the care of their mothers, especially when they're young. We should be making it easier for families to live on one income so that mothers have a choice to stay home rather than assuming that more women in the workforce is a good thing.

      That's the difference between the equalist position and feminism. I wouldn't tell my daughters that they are incapable of being an engineer or a soldier or having a good career, but I would tell them that it's more important that they be the ones to raise their children and that a wife and mother at home is not only a better use of her strengths, but important for the kindgom of God.

  6. Hey Lindsay. This isn't related to your feminism article per say, but I wanted you to see it so I commented on your most recent article. It has elements of feminism involved, so it is somewhat relevant I suppose.

    Earlier you mention men being "feminized" by society and women needing masculinity in the bedroom, or that they should be submissive or whatever.
    What exactly do you mean by feminized?
    I'm what I like to call a "Pretty Boy". Kind of like Leo DiCaprio in Titanic, cheesy I know. Do I fall under your umbrella term "feminized"? Or is it more of how men act, and how they behave?
    I think I'm pretty courageous and headstrong, and I'm not afraid to take charge and speak my mind. (Well... that's what I'm doing now) I like to be a leader. And yes, before you ask, I like to do that in bed as well. I'm not exactly keen on tying a girl up or anything, but I'd be a little rough and take charge. But that might be TMI, so I'll move on.

    The point is, does my feminine appearance have anything to do with what you mentioned earlier? I'd argue it doesn't, but I'd like to hear what you'd have to say about it.

    Also I guess I should mention my voice isn't feminine either.

    1. Feminization refers to behavior and perhaps clothing, but not to the genetic appearance of a man. You can't help your genes. Any man, whether rugged or "pretty boy" or anything in between can be a masculine man if he behaves like one.

      When I speak of feminization, I'm talking about things like the push for men to be sensitive and in touch with their feelings (as if these predominantly feminine traits are somehow superior and men should strive to emulate them). I'm talking about considering a child who sits very still and reads quietly in school to be better behaved than one who fidgets a bit. In general, fidgeting is normal boy behavior and boys learn better when they can move. It also shows up when schools read fairy tale books, but avoid books on fighting and the slaying of monsters. They also allow peaceful group activities on the playground like building sandcastles that girls like, but won't allow active games like dodge ball or tag that boys tend to prefer. In so many areas, girls are treated as the gold standard of behavior while perfectly normal boy behaviors are punished or discouraged.

      When males accept that normal, healthy male behaviors (like taking charge, being more aggressive, being more active, being protectors, caring more about outcomes than feelings, etc.) are somehow flawed and endeavor to be more like women in these areas, they have become feminized.

  7. You gonna get a lot of comments from both extremes on this topic. Instead of reading WHAT you wrote, many read INTO what you wrote. I have a lot to learn about relationships but I am sure the success for marriage relationships are not found in the feminist philosophy you are dealing with. One man/one woman vow for life has become unusual in our society. Feminism (as you describe) has tried to "fix" chauvinism ("masculinism") by overcompensating. It is not just putting guys in their place, it is moving women to the point of not needing men at all. God created us to need each other. Feminism is against the very nature that God created in us. Some feminism as it is being played out today seems to end in lesbianism.

  8. It is so sad what feminism has done to our culture, and really the only way to combat it is to: be a godly wife, have lots of children if at all possible, and teach them what is right. Raise up that next Godly generation. And write great blog posts. :-)