Thursday, June 30, 2016

Do Militant Feminists Speak for All Women?

Probably the most frustrating thing I have discovered while dealing with militant feminists is their terrible attitude that, just because they are female, they speak for all other women; and that, just because I am male, I have nothing useful to say on the subject of man-woman relationships.

I am a man, but at no point have I claimed that I speak for all men. My opinions are my own, not those of David Duke, Osama Bin Laden or Joseph Stalin. That they are women, does not mean that they speak for all women any more than does that I am a man mean that I speak for all men.

The only people who think that all women are the same are the actual misogynists, and I've known plenty of those. In fact women differ from one another as much as do men. A woman can mean anything from Marie Curie to Britney Spears; and for the militant feminists to claim that they speak for all women is ridiculous.

The militant feminists are different from most women. Most women will want to have children. Most women will want to have families. Most women will want to look nice. In no way are these things incompatible with intelligence, strength or integrity. Russian women are smart and strong enough; and most are attractive and family-oriented.

And I keep hearing from these strong, intelligent, frequently professionally successful, women the same line: That Western feminism has gone too far.

There will always be women who will want to be unattached, and they should be able to live that way without encountering harassment or discrimination. But they will never be the majority of women. The world's Catherine McKinnons do not speak for women; they speak for themselves. And there are plenty of women unaffiliated with feminism – women such as Ayn Rand, Ann Coulter and Michelle Bachmann – who also speak for themselves and are doing an excellent job of it.

By no means is all feminism bad. For as long as there are men who bear ill will toward women, there will be a need for one kind of feminism or another. As a father of a gifted daughter I certainly want her to have a fulfilling life outside the home and a safe life inside the home. And, yes, I would be more upset if she wound up with an Eminem or an Islamist than if she were to become lesbian.

Most women will want to have children and families; and if feminists really want to benefit their fellow women they will do a much better job of it by making this a better experience for the women than they would by attacking family life. Bad cultural habits such as incest and violence against women have to go. There will be a need for a lot of feminist attention to these matters, and the feminists who really want to benefit women will be paying attention to these things.

As for the women who see mothers as “breeders,” family as a patriarchial institution or heterosexual sex as rape or exploitation of women: You owe your life to the things that you are attacking. Such attitudes are not life-sustaining, nor are they beneficial to most women. Most women will want to be with men; most women will want to have families; and the rightful task of feminism is to support these women instead of attacking beauty, child-bearing or family life.


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