Before I go any further, I do not dispute ‘decent’ ideas that feminists put forward, this is purely an opinion on those I feel are ‘half baked’ thinkers and miss the point.
Feminism should simply mean equality of opportunity regardless of your sex. We’ve more or less reached that now, but the hard Left feminists don’t seem to want equality, but special treatment.
Fortunately, one woman Dr Christina Hoff Sommers is doing the movement some serious justice with her own brand of sensible suffrage.
So why, in an age of trendy man-bashing, has she decided to swim upstream on our behalf? It’s not so much that I speak out in favor of men, but rather in favor of truth.
Sommers feels that her preference for “equity feminism” over “intersectional feminism” and her belief that today’s feminists and social justice activists have prioritised emotions and personal experiences over logic and truth.
So what is intersectional feminism and why is Sommers, a self-identified feminist, against it? Intersectional feminism, or third wave feminism, is the type of feminism that is championed in the current feminist movement. It is distinguishable from the first and second wave for its emphasis on not only gender, but race, class, and other identities that one may have. All women do not share the same struggles.
A wealthy white female celebrity may center her fight to have equal pay in Hollywood, but a low-income immigrant woman’s priority within the movement may be simply to advocate for a living wage for domestic workers.
Sommers attacks intersectional feminism, specifically for its inclusion on identity politics, and instead advocates for what she calls ‘equity feminism.’ She defines equity feminism as a concept that “stands for the moral, social, legal equality of the sexes, and the freedom of men and women to employ their equal status to pursue happiness as they choose.”
When explained further, the feminism she argues for denounces the existence of patriarchy, which is a system in which men hold more power in society and women are disadvantaged as a result. Women in the U.S. are not oppressed, she argues, pointing to the worse oppression that women in third world countries face.
While Sommers agrees that sexism and racism exist in our society, it is not the norm, therefore women are not oppressed. Sommers states that intersectional feminists should not focus on oppression, and should focus on liberation instead. I believe this is where Sommers goes against her argument. If she argues for women’s liberation, then what do women need to be liberated from? In order to be liberated, women would have to look at what is holding them back. Therein lies the need to examine patriarchal oppression.
Furthermore. American writer Andrea Dworkin once said she wanted ‘to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig’, while author Sally Miller Gearhart suggested that ‘the proportion of men be reduced to, and maintained at, 10 per cent of the human race’.
Even Jilly Cooper, queen of the bonkbuster, famously asserted that ‘the male is a domestic animal which, if treated with fairness, can be trained to do most things.’
Sadly, these cheery soundbytes can’t simply be written-off as historic gaffes. Jessica Valenti wrote an article for The Guardian entitled ‘Feminists don’t hate men… but it wouldn’t matter even if we did’. DEEP!
Hence why, as far as I’m concerned, men who support feminism are like turkeys voting for Christmas.
Women’s groups and the media tend to exaggerate women’s vulnerability and ignore the problems faced by men. If the reverse were true — if hundreds of advocacy groups, scholars, journalists and politicians were routinely repeating false statistics that put women in a bad light, or understated their special vulnerabilities, I would be protesting that.”
Frustratingly, the rights s long fought for are now being squandered chasing the wrong target. If feminists really gave a stuff about supporting women, they would address issues such as genital mutilation, gender discrimination of the fetus and Muslim dress but they don’t.
They demand *more* pay for the same job and demand they get special treatment when applying for high paying roles – regardless of ability.
That diminishes what was so hard fought for and that’s very sad.
It’s sometimes so much harder to see things from both perspectives, and you don’t often make many friends doing it as everyone wants you to polarize to their point of view. But Christina Hoff Sommers does it extremely thoughtfully and eloquently.
FYI You can also watch her YouTube videos’!