The real enemies of feminism

Behind Enemy Lines

rudra_reddy_online

On International Women’s Day, large numbers of feminists at UC Berkeley were motivated to take part in the “Day Without a Woman” protests. The protests across the country looked like a melting pot of misplaced anger and unmitigated insanity. What was even more shocking was that this protest was a fundamental affront to the goals of the original feminist movement, which were aimed at equality of opportunity for both sexes. It also explained why an increasing number of people now hesitate to associate themselves with the label of “feminist.”

I write this column because I sincerely believe that there still exists a need for a grassroots feminist movement, especially at colleges like UC Berkeley. I have seen a culture back in India where politicians protest anti-rape bills on the grounds that they would disrupt the natural process of love, where pregnant women pray to God that they do not bear a female child and where women are kept as broodmares for the family, devoid of any other ambition for their lives. Trust me, Western feminism is a force that does need to pervade several backward cultures across the world, and it is my hope that women who are privileged enough to attend college in the United States would stand up for their sisters in the Middle East who are not permitted, in several societies, to attain any education at all. There are areas around the world where it is acceptable to throw rocks and acid at the faces of women who do not conform to societal norms. Fighting that institutionalized misogyny is a cause all women can and should unite behind.

But that is not what this movement is about.

A couple of days before the protest, the organizers took to the Guardian to publish an op-ed outlining both the goals of and inspirations for the protest. In it, the organizers repeatedly claimed that women are victims of violence, which they define as “the violence of the market, of debt, of capitalist property relations, and of the state … and the institutional violence against women’s bodies through abortion bans and lack of access to free healthcare and free abortion.”

This provided the first hint that this movement had nothing to do with unity — far from it. The organizers’ intention was to divide society into victim groups to which they could then attach political agendas. It takes a kind of mental gymnastics to argue that the lack of socialist health care and state-funded abortions can be termed as “institutional violence against women’s bodies.” This, to me, is a frankly repulsive attempt to use the façade of female unity to push leftist policies and vilify the opponents of those policies as enemies of womankind. It is a cynical tactic that assumes all women are united behind those policies, and as a result, opposing those policies implies a hostility toward all women.

It is also worth noting that the organizers of the march display no interest in grasping simple economic realities, choosing instead to disseminate propaganda. In the world that exists in the minds of the radical feminists who organized this protest, “the market” and “capitalist property relations” may seem to be predatory institutions that victimize women, but in the real world, the free market and capitalism have been sources of tremendous wealth generation and have been responsible, in large part, for slashing the global poverty rate to less than one-third of what it was 25 years ago. The following question then arises: These feminists can’t possibly be against people, including women, lifting themselves out of poverty, can they? Or would they say anything to fit their political agenda?

Another argument for these protests that gets thrown around with no regard for economic facts is the existence of the mythical gender wage gap. How often do you hear that women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar? A study from Georgetown University, however, showed that out of the five highest-paying college majors, four were dominated by men, while women dominated four out of five of the lowest-paying majors. This imbalance may have sinister implications and merits further analysis. But it doesn’t point to discrimination on the part of the employer. Even the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that, after controlling for variables such as education and career choices, the wage gap shrinks dramatically. The residual gap is inexplicable, because no study is able to account for every variable that drives wages. For instance, few studies account for jobs with hazardous work conditions in which men are overrepresented. Think about it this way: If a U.S. employer could pay a female employee lower wages for the same work, wouldn’t it be profitable for him or her to employ an entirely female workforce?

The mantle of “female unity” is one that is inherently noble and elicits emotions of sincere passion from hundreds of women. My only recommendation to the feminist movement would be to prevent those emotions from being exploited by activists with political ends. The fight for women’s equality has significant hurdles ahead, and we need a unified, bipartisan front to confront them. Somewhere close to 90 women will be raped in India today alone, and it will be interesting to see if the American feminist stands up for them.

Rudra Reddy writes the Monday column on resisting indoctrination. Contact him at [email protected].

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  • Jacob

    You make interesting points, however your writing is horrendous. I also have some questions. Bernie Sanders champions the healthcare you’re criticizing here, weren’t you a supporter of his at some point in time? My other question is, what makes you qualified to discuss this subject? I get the impression that you have done next to nothing to help women in developing countries so I am curious as to what your level of involvement is

    • FreedomFirst

      His writing is better than 99% of his lieberal competitors because cogent. And what the blank does helping women in developing countries have to do with his qualifications to write about feminism. That’s like saying that men can’t write about the world’s most officially coddled anti-male hate movement because we are men.

    • Marc

      Having a brain qualifies anyone to talk about anything when they use basic logic Jacob. I am not an expert on modern slavery in Africa but I know it to be bad and I can explain to myself and others why I hold this opinion. I have also done “next to nothing” to free said slaves, and I am not ‘involved,’ yet I still find the practice of slavery in Africa abhorrent and strongly oppose it.

      His writing is not horrendous, it’s very good. He should be complimented for not being afraid to be marginalized and blacklisted by his fellow colleagues at this paper for having different ideas than them. Reddy is using common sense and basic knowledge that anyone can attain by picking up a real newspaper now an then.

  • roccolore

    Feminazis are hypocrites: “We hate men! Daddy, pay my tuition, please.”

  • Susie Greer

    And so says the man…

    • Jack Spencer

      Which if written by a woman would make sense also.

    • Reindert Daniels

      So you dismiss what was written because it was written by a male.
      Just like dismissing something because it was written by a female would have your statement makes you a bigot.

    • Nunya Beeswax

      There are a number of points in Reddy’s column that could have been addressed with intelligent counter-arguments. How unfortunate that you chose the most lazy, gender-essentialist way to be dismissive instead.

    • TNT

      If I write that your comment commits the genetic fallacy does that make my comment misogynistic?

  • FreedomFirst

    Thanks for bringing sanity to feminist insanity. Now please view Ten Male ‘Privileges’ on YouTube…and begin using your cogent horsepower to address the urgent needs your invisible and silenced brothers have in terms of violence and rape….especially at Berkeley which seems willing to happily burn itself down rather than allow anti-feminists free speech.

  • lspanker

    Rudra makes an excellent point. The Gen 3 feminists that populate our college campuses these day aren’t interested in addressing the real discrimination, misogyny and brutality faced by women in many parts of the world even today, but ranting and railing against a society that has made its own women the most privileged group of individuals in human history. That’s because so-called “feminism” in America these days has little or nothing to do with actually advancing the well-being of women, but is merely a tool of the cultural Marxists to drive yet another wedge in American society.

    • Susie Greer

      Huh?

      • sven holmes

        too woke for u

      • FreedomFirst

        Misandry researchers Paul Nathanson and Katherine Young can help you with your ‘huh’ by providing you a deeper look into the foundation of your favorite fascist ideology.

  • RobMyers

    “The following question then arises: These feminists can’t possibly be against people, including women, lifting themselves out of poverty, can they? Or would they say anything to fit their political agenda?”

    Bravo. I can’t imagine how much your fellow writers must hate you. That city is a seething cauldron of marxism yearning to destroy the awesome force of capitalism which they ironically benefit from.

    For many on the left, the ends surely justify the means; If you have to pretend that lack of free, on-demand abortions is “violence” in order to recruit another dummy to the cause, so be it. See you at our next secret Patriarchy meeting!

  • TNT

    Another cogent article. Keep them coming.

    There indeed are places in the world were women suffer insurmountable repression, which makes it all the more astounding that a few, left-leaning first worlders complain about make-believe”violence of the market.”

  • crydiego

    Feminism is a political tool to garner votes and is paid for by funding bloated programs that look like they protect women and girls. Meanwhile life goes on with men doing most of the firty and dangerous jobs, because patriarchy gives them privilege.

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