Not About Choice? What Is Feminism, Really?

Not About Choice? What Is Feminism, Really?

A long time ago, in a society far, far removed from our own, women really got the shaft.

The expectations for women during my grandparents' generation were relatively strict. They were allowed to get an education, even go to college. They were expected to hold down a job in their early adulthood- you have to pay the bills, after all. But once they found a nice, handsome man to marry, that all changed.

Women by and large were expected to get married, have kids, and become a stay at home mom. Now, as with everything else, that wasn't a hard and fast rule. There were plenty of married women holding down jobs- at times full-time jobs- but the general expectation was the same. And if a woman wasn't married by a certain age (namely thirty), she was branded with the worst stigma of all: being an old maid!

My grandmother, despite having a college degree and serving as a biochemist during WWII, was forced by her father to take a job as a Home Ec teacher until she got married. I often wonder what she could have accomplished, had her opportunities not been so restricted at the time. My grandmother was a shrewd, cunning, and brilliant woman, who raised five rambunctious kids (and a husband); she could have made a big impact in the scientific community.

Fast forward a few decades and we see things changing. During my parents' generation affirmative action happened, as well as the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Women were now empowered to pursue lifestyles previous generations couldn't imagine. The idea that the average women could hold a prominent career, instead of getting married and having kids, was now a reality.

While that did bring its own challenges and setbacks, it was clear that the goal at the time was to provide the same opportunities for women as men. If a man can decide to have a career, putting off marriage and family- why shouldn't a woman? If a woman wanted children instead, of course she was free to do that. If she wanted both? It would be hard, but dammit shouldn't she have that chance?

The sad irony is that things haven't gotten better since those tumultuous times in the 60's and 70's. Opportunity abounds for women in the Western world; some of the most prominent leaders, business owners, political figures, and influencers in our society are women. Young women aren't relegated to a small pool of careers like teaching or secretarial jobs; they can pursue whatever goals they desire, just as young men can. But there still seems to be a problem.

Is the problem economic opportunity? Some might say that today, women are still discriminated against in the workplace and have fewer job opportunities. But is that true? You'll be hard-pressed to find a college or university that prevents women from pursuing a certain major (in fact, none exist). Nor will you find a company that refuses to hire someone because of gender. The pay gap?  That seems to be largely misrepresented too.

With all the opportunity achieved by feminism over the last forty to fifty years, you'd think advocates for women's' rights would be celebrating. Today women in the West can enjoy the same opportunities as men. There are even laws protecting women from discrimination and sexual harassment.

Yet modern feminists still insist that serious, systemic problems exist. They'd be right, if they were referring to the deplorable conditions women face in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Surprisingly, American feminists aren't talking about how Muslim-majority countries treat women as second class citizens (in some places worse than that). Instead they focus on how President Trump is a big meany and focus on issues that seemingly don't exist.

As I see it, progressivism is doomed to defeat itself. It can't really exist unless there is a cause to fight for. When the cause is achieved, it's no longer needed. Yet people have devoted their lives to progressivism. What do they do once they've won? Settle down and enjoy the victories they've achieved? Of course not! They have to invent new reasons to complain, even if they are built around faulty logic at best.

Even if that means eroding the very virtues they once fought to secure.

Sarrah Le Marquand, a columnist for the Daily Telegraph in Australia, thinks that all stay at home mothers should be forced to work, by law.

“Only when the female half of the population is expected to hold down a job and earn money to pay the bills in the same way that men are routinely expected to do will we see things change for the better for either gender,” says Sarrah in her opinion piece for Rendezvous.

While using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) as a source, Sarrah argues that by law, stay at home mothers should be forced to work. (via Milo)

The bizarre, authoritarian undertones aside, this idea is staggeringly confusing. Women in Australia, much like in other democratic societies, enjoy the same rights as men. They can hold down good jobs and raise their kids, without society or out-dated customs preventing them from doing so. That also means that- should a woman decide to do it- she can be a stay-at-home mom.

(By the way only 29% of women are stay-at-home moms. It seems few can afford such a luxury.)

Yet that's not what Marquand wants. In her mind, until all women are forced to work, there will still be some perceived sense of inequality. That men will still be superior to women, because there are some women out there- damn them to hell- that would rather raise their kids than have a soul-crushing, shitty job.

But isn't feminism about choice? Not anymore.

She continues “Only when the tiresome and completely unfounded claim that “feminism is about choice” is dead and buried (it’s not about choice, it’s about equality) will we consign restrictive gender stereotypes to history.”

You know, it's pretty sad when a cartoon has more reason and logic than an actual feminist.

But this is a good example of modern leftist ideology. So determined are they to achieve some kind of goal of "equality" (so social justice), they don't mind stomping on a person's individual rights. Are you a woman who wants to stay at home to raise your kids? Too bad, we have a war to win. Get to work, you lazy slacker!

It's no different than radical racial activists. Most Americans want to live in peace with their neighbors. But black progressives continue to remind us of the evils of past generations, all to force a wedge between white and black Americans. Instead of fighting for harmony and respect, they instigate hatreds where none belong.

What is the end goal of modern feminism? Clearly it's not about providing equal opportunity for women so that they can make their own choices. Perhaps they truly are as Socialist as Stalin; they want to create a society where the people bow to their whims- men and women- rather than follow their own beliefs and values.

Perhaps it's true what the critics say: feminism is about denigrating men to the point where they have fewer rights than women. Perhaps my earlier assertion is correct: that although they've fought and won, progressives need to find a reason to exist. They can't enjoy what they've achieved. They've spent so many years fighting, they don't know what to do when the fight's been won. So, much like a soldier during peacetime, they look to start a new war. Or they refuse to believe the old war is over.

That could explain why feminists are so quick to jump on any perceived slight. In our day and age, people can't go about their own business without some social justice spin tainting everything.

Feminists on social media have flown into a fit of rage following news that United Airlines supposedly barred two female passengers from boarding a flight because they were wearing leggings...

Very quickly, other social media users decided to join in chastising United Airlines for their obvious act of sexism. (via Milo)

Oh the outrage! The sheer evils of this airline. Except, they have a strict dress code for employees flying for free. Yet today companies aren't allowed to create sensible rules that protect their business, because feminists will freak out on Twitter.

Then of course feminists are mad that Wonder Woman has shaved armpits. Because you know, when I'm watching a movie about the most iconic female superhero, I want to see shaggy hair under her arms. Because women.

Where will it end? Sadly it won't ever really end. As long as there are dumb people who get fired up over a made-up cause, we will continue to see progressives force their tired, illogical, and socially irresponsible rhetoric down our throats.

All the while are enjoying more freedoms than most women ever have.