Feminism: No Longer about Equality

Posted By on June 1, 2010

Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women’s Forum always brings common sense to bear on issues the feminist movement holds out as beyond argument. Persistent victimology–the idea that women are constantly oppressed (even if they don’t know it)–is one of those issues. But, as Lukas demonstrates, the goal of radical feminism all along has never been to champion all women but to champion pet causes like abortion and gay marriage:

Feministing’s Jessica Valenti has a new op-ed in the Washington Post, and she has decreed that to qualify as a feminist one must believe that American women are oppressed…. Does Valenti think it’s best to try to convince women that they are all doomed to make three quarters of what a man makes, thanks to systemic discrimination? Isn’t it better to help women understand how their decisions — about job selection, work hours, and time out of the workforce — affect their earning power, so they can make more informed decisions?

Valenti glosses over these issues in favor of blanket statements about how those on the right “time again vote against women’s rights.” Yet the only policies that she references are abortion and gay marriage. Are positions on abortion and gay marriage the litmus test for the feminist movement?

Valenti may prefer to tar the Right as “anti-woman,” but she’s going to have a tough time winning many converts. There are a lot more women who look at the world as people and concerned citizens than as patriarchy-obsessed “feminists.”

This piece not only illustrates the intolerance of radical feminism but should demonstrate that feminism and true conservatism do not make good bedfellows. A lot of conservative women today are trying to co-opt the “feminist” label to appear relevant or to make a case for “taking feminism back,” but, as we’ve pointed out for years, the original feminist movement was founded in thoroughly Marxist, socialist notions of “equality” that just don’t bear out and shouldn’t be embraced by those of us who want to see marriage upheld, the family seen as the bedrock of healthy communities, and human sexuality valued and honored rather than cheapened.

Reading the early Enlightenment feminists and those who followed in the 1840s is helpful here. The “sexual revolution” of the 1960s wasn’t new at all; it grew out of the early roots of the free-love, anti-marriage women’s rights movement of the 1840s. We would do well to remember that and to continue to “look at the world as people and concerned citizens,” as Lukas writes, letting feminism die a natural death as women reject its victim mentality and embrace their unique strengths as feminine members of the human race.

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About The Author

Mrs. Chancey is the mother of 12 children, all of whom keep the household bubbling with life, learning, and levity. Jennie co-founded LAF in 2002 with Lydia Sherman and has been delighted to hear from women all over the world who enjoy their femininity and love to cultivate womanly virtues.

Comments

8 Responses to “Feminism: No Longer about Equality”

  1. ladyscott says:

    I know this is rather irrelavant to this post, but it did remind me of this (the part about the early feminists and sexual revolution.)

    In the movie “Cheaper By the Dozen” (The older version, NOT the Steve Martin version which I refuse to watch), I LOVE the part where the woman from Planned Parenthood comes to ask the wife to talk about birth control and instead she is introduced to their 12 children!

    Mrs. Gilbreth was certainly a far cry from the feminist’s idea of the oppressed wife and mother, even if she was “oppressed” by the number of children she had (and indeed, she wasn’t!) However, she was also the feminist’s ideal in that she was an intelligent, working woman. On the other hand, she worked alongside her husband, expanding his vision…isn’t that the feminist’s feared patriarchy? But on the other hand, she broke through glass ceilings after her husband’s death to continue his vision and life work in his honor and as a means of supporting the children. (For those who don’t know, the movie “Bells on Their Toes” is a sequal to the original movie “Cheaper By the Dozen”)

    These same feminists who want to “empower” me are also bascially telling me to sit down, shut up and go back to being barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen because I don’t completely fit their mold (nor do I want to.)

  2. Jessie says:

    It is so very sad. My heart breaks because I have fought such a battle against this way of thinking. Everyday it is a battle to know that me being at home is God’s true calling for my life. Being alone seems to be the worst. Being a trail blazer for my girls is something I would not have chosen for my self but here I am broken and weak and still He calls me to do this. He is able. My mother was a single mother and a pipe fitter in the ship yard for 20 years! So I have had to learn to summit, and learn to be feminine. Ladies I hope you know that you all are a rare group of women :0) Good but rare! It is hard to find women who are of the same mind. All the ladies well most are going to school around here to be in youth leadership and they have familes that need them. So it makes it hard to think God why do they get to that and here I am in the home trying to care for my own children and what they seem to be doing is more for you than what I am doing. *sigh* See it is still a struggle for me. I know what I am doing is right and good but still get caught up in that. I am talking about what the I am teaching my children and they are like we are doing this and that in youth and etc…. I feel like the werido and slacker in the things of God.

  3. zoestercoaster says:

    Nitpicking: Having had my mom, myself, and many of my friends be subject to workplace discrimination, I have a hard time believing women are equal at all.

    We made wise work choices; the men who decided to discriminate did not.

  4. ShalomHome says:

    The world’s version of feminism is blatant to many of us but the one that affected me the most was that of the church. The devaluation of marriage, family and home is far more subtle. I used to struggle with the preaching and teaching that. ..to be really useful for the kingdom, a woman must put her children in day care or leave them with daddy and join the woman’s Saturday morning prayer group and make use of Mom’s day out, and send your daughter away to bible college to do really important things. One of these prayer warriors would stay very late (2-3pm) after morning service with other women on Sunday while her good little (hungry)husband took a nap in the car. He didn’t dare say anything and appear less than *spiritual*. Yikes!
    My ministry IS serving my family at home….and we pray to be a blessing to others.

  5. Zoe, discrimination happens because we live in a fallen world and are sinners. Men are discriminated against as well. It’s not like all the men in the world have ganged up on all the women and targeted them for discrimination. As fellow members of the human race, we should be looking out for one another…but we don’t. It’s a sin problem; not an exclusively male problem. And, as far as it goes, some “discrimination” is helpful and useful — I speak of an employer using common sense and good judgment to discriminate between candidates for a job to choose who will best fit what is needed for that position. This kind of discrimination has now been lumped in with the ugly version to the point that employers are pressured to hire unqualified/under-prepared candidates just to fill politically correct hiring quotas. This ends up costing the employer more money (retraining, remedial education, etc.) and hurts the bottom line, which affects all the other employees.

    Looking to the court system, divorce and custody laws now absolutely discriminate against fathers to the point that there are entire legal organizations dedicated to helping fathers through the divorce process so that they do not lose all rights to their own children. Feminism has pushed so hard in this area that there is a definite “mother bias” in the family law system. I recommend Alec Baldwin’s book, A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce. This is an area where discrimination does serious damage to men and children.

    Discrimination isn’t a one-way street, but to hear the feminists talk, it’s all male against female. History and current events don’t bear that out.

  6. StormiS says:

    ( I know this is also off of the main-topic, but) I hear you Zoe. I am also flabbergasted when I hear people think that men and women have reached equality in the workplace.

    At my last position, I was earning 1/3 of the salary of the male counterpart of my position. The male counterpart did not have the experience (2 years in the field) or the education (BA in appropriate field) I had which was required for the position, but had gotten it because he was friends with one of our directors. When I asked my supervisor why I was earning so much less that the person I was now training, I was told that “A man with a wife and kids deserves the money”. When I filed a EEO complaint for sexual discrimination, I was retaliated against and fired for it. (They being fully aware, that though I lack a wife and kids, I do support myself and a disabled adult with my wages… not that that should matter; qualifications should be considered!)

    Now, I know some people don’t feel that women should need to support themselves, but historically, in my family, the females have been supporting ourselves since the 17th century (I’ve always viewed it as its economics, bearing little with the rights of women or anybody else… the poor have to do something to keep in house and home). The fact the system still supports a wage discrimination is ridiculous!

  7. pedsrn22 says:

    Very true Jennie. As an example, my husband works in law enforcement. He is a white male. They have “quotas” to fill, so people who are in certain minority groups-women included, within the dept (white males not being one of them) get promoted faster, despite lack of experience and qualifications. According to my husband, there are some folks that are now pretty high up just because of skin color or gender that are about as dumb as a box of rocks-reverse discrimination. It’s sickening.
    We joke that he should have gone into nursing and I should have gone into law enforcement and we’d have been better off financially. Though I’d have been a horrible detective and I can not imagine him as a nurse:) Jill

  8. Stormi, the whole point here is that total equality is a myth. Feminists keep promising a world that cannot exist. There will never be total “equality,” because human beings are not alike and do not live in identical situations. Socialism/Marxism has been promising to level society and create total equality for 160+ years, but all it has delivered is vast inequality, poverty, and even death. This is what history teaches us. Common sense should already show us that there’s no such thing as total equality. What we believe in is equal human dignity and worth, because all of us are created in the image of God. All have a right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as our Declaration states. Socialism takes this and twists it to mean that all have a right to happiness that is defined and delivered by the mechanisms of a benevolent government. This is never going to happen. Where there is real, serious discrimination, we should seek to uphold the Scriptural principal that “the laborer is worth of his hire” (I Tim. 5:18). But, by those same principals, we must understand that employers cannot employ people if they cannot turn a profit, so the bottom line does matter, no matter how much the socialists try to guilt-trip us that capitalism is evil and hurts workers. Employees and employers are two sides to a coin. You can’t have commerce without either. Christian principles need to be brought to bear on economics if we want to see real fairness.

    And that brings us back to where we look to find economic models that actually work–providing jobs for those who need them and caring for those who cannot work. The model we uphold as ideal is not one where women twiddle their thumbs and have no economic productivity. The household economic model laid out in Scripture shows us a world in which women are significant producers of real income (to the extent that they are even able to invest their earnings and produce a return on them, e.g. Proverbs 31). But they aren’t doing this in the context of a faceless corporation or for the benefit of an employer–they are doing within the household economy and for their own families (including the extended family). These women are the employers (and, it should be noted, their children can enjoy working within the family economy from the time they are able and express interest). Then the Old and New Testaments are filled with explicit instructions for caring for the needy, the widow, and the stranger. If we actually followed these instructions, we would not need the socialistic welfare state at all. We have a long, long way to go to get back to this model (which was last practiced in this country during the Colonial period before the Industrial Revolution began to separate work and home). But we need to move in this direction, particularly as we watch economies that have attempted total equality (socialism) begin to crumble (Greece is the first in a long line of dominoes here). I’m not sitting here to defend the way Christians have done business for the past 200 years and say everything is peachy keen. I’m saying that, when Christians stray from the Standard, poverty and true wage inequality are the results. When we stop living up to the Standard, the State will always step in to fill the gap. But the State cannot deliver on its promises to provide a totally “equal” society in which each person is just as prosperous as his neighbor. That utopia will never exist. Our job is to discover real, nitty-gritty ways to build an economic model that cares for the individual and the bottom line–because you can’t have one without the other.