I crowd-sourced from my feminist friends, and came up with a list of things we wish you knew about us.
Sound of cracking knuckles
Well. Let’s get this party started. I could use a little rhetorical exercise.
1. First of all: there are many feminisms. What you learn about what feminist, or one feminist tradition, does not necessarily extend to cover all feminists or feminisms. So proceed with caution.
The author starts nicely with a pleading of plausible deniability. It’s the Hamas/Fatah model (or the motte-and-bailey, or the bait-and-switch): One feminist says or does something outrageous, destructive, or disruptive (men are evil! We must have gender quotas! We must have programs! And grants! And subsidies! The Patriarchy! Rape apologists!)
When called on their bullshit, Feminists retreat to “look in dictionary! Feminism means Equality! You’re not against equality, are you? You hate your mother, don’t you? I’m not like THOSE feminists!”
One feminist does the damage; the rest reap the rewards while pleading absolute ignorance to the harm done.
2. We don’t hate men. Hating men is nowhere written into any existing feminist tradition or text. Some of us like men quite a lot, to be honest – even if we loathe the patriarchy. Now, it is true that a particular feminist might be angry at men. If she is, it’s quite possibly because she has been a victim of abuse or rape. Her anger is personal – maybe even a self-defense mechanism – not a feminist statement. And we hope that instead of just saying “hey, I’m not like that!” – you’ll prove that you’re not like that, by listening to her when she speaks up about injustice.
“I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.” — Robin Morgan
“Rape is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.” — Susan Brownmiller
“Men who are unjustly accused of rape can sometimes gain from the experience.” –- Catherine Comins
“I have a great deal of difficulty with the idea of the ideal man. As far as I’m concerned, men are the product of a damaged gene.” — Germaine Greer
“To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.” — Valerie Solanas
“I want 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.” — Andrea Dworkin
Misandry is written into quite a bit of feminist text and tradition. But as the prophet Jeremiah wrote (this is a “Christian” feminist after all):
“Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear…”
Your “personal anger” means nothing to me. I have “personal anger.” Your cross is not bigger than mine, or heavier, or have more splinters. I would rather bear yours than you would bear mine.
But I don’t have the right to visit my “personal anger” on those who are not the cause of it, just as I don’t have the right to beat those who did not beat me, or rob those who did not rob me. A personal grievance is just that: personal. It is was caused by a person, and is held by another person. I will not stand still and be accused of things I did not do and I will not be an emotional punching bag for some feminist with a bug up her ass.
All have not sinned and fallen short of the glory of Woman.
3. We don’t particularly want to be like men – or at any rate, wanting to be like men is nowhere central to a feminist creed. Sure, some of us prefer a more androgynous or masculine aesthetic. I personally avoid wearing dresses and skirts, on the principle that you never know when you’ll have to climb out a window or jump on a horse and gallop away, but this is not due to any submerged penis-envy. Yes, we may do logic and manage money; we may fix cars or cut down trees or go hunting. None of these make us “like men.” They just make us women who are good at logic, or cutting down trees. In fact, many feminists specifically prefer to emphasize NOT being like men, with the idea that acting like men is harmful to the culture.
So…you don’t hate men…but “acting like men” is harmful to the culture…which is a Feminist position.
“Men” = “Harmful to the culture.”
“Women” = “Beneficial to the culture.”
Got it. Makes perfect sense.
4. We don’t love abortion. There are pro-life feminists. There are pro-life feminists. There are pro-life feminists (repetition, because I want it to sink in). Nearly all my feminist friends are prolife, as I am. But it’s also the case that pro-choice feminists do not think abortion is awesome, either. Even “shout your abortion” (a slogan that makes many of us deeply uncomfortable) is not intended to say “abortion is so awesome” – but, rather, to remove the stigma from talking about it.
I’ll just let the Jezzies take care of this:
There Is No Such Thing as a ‘Pro-Life Feminist’
And then we had the vanguard of feminism (Women’s March) unceremoniously exclude the “Pro-Life Feminists” from their hen party.
5. We don’t think women are superior to men. This is in fact, the opposite of the usual feminist view. There are certainly feminisms that argue for the superiority of a female worldview, but feminism tends to emphasize equality.
Are you back to pleading plausible deniability again?
“We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men.” — Elizabeth Cady Stanton
“It must be admitted that the lives of women are more useful to the race than the lives of men. — Op-ed, New York Times, April 19, 1912
“I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it. He’s just incapable of it.”– Congressman Barbara Jordan
6. You can be a feminist and be Christian. And being a Christian feminist, or a feminist theologian, doesn’t mean you’re some kind of dangerous heretic.
Since this is a “Christian” feminist argument, see Matthew 6:24: No man can serve two masters (maybe a woman can since she is of two-faces and two-minds) for either he will hate the one, and love the other.
Christian Feminist. Muslim Feminist. Jewish Feminist. Buddhist Feminist. Hindu Feminist. Who is the master they will hate? Who is the master they will love? I say it is Feminism and if two are ever in conflict, they will disregard the master they hate (religion) to serve the master they love (Feminism).
7. We don’t hate motherhood and marriage. Most of us are interested in the flourishing of families, in healthy marriages, and the well-being of children. Some feminists love being domestic, even. And while others may be happier not getting married and starting a family, this is simply because they are being true to themselves. And while yes, there are branches of feminism that are critical of the institution of marriage, when you look at the history of the institution of marriage, you can hardly blame them.
“The nuclear family must be destroyed… Whatever its ultimate meaning, the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process.” — Linda Gordon
“It is clear that the women’s movement must concentrate on attacking this marriage. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of that institution.” — Sheila Cronin
“Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession… The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn’t be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that.” — Vivian Gornick, feminist author, University of Illinois
“All sexual intercourse even consensual between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman.” — Catherine MacKinnon
The end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men…. All of history must be re-written in terms of oppression of women. (from “The Declaration of Feminism,” November, 1971).
It appears that some rather important feminists do hate motherhood and marriage and domesticity and are of the opinion that it should not be an option available to women. Imagine that, feminists trying to deprive people of the right to choose. I thought they were all on this “Pro-choice” trip.
But marriage is indeed a terrible thing. The institution wherein a man is legally obligated to subsidize a woman and her brood (law states that a man is responsible for children produced during the duration of a marriage, even if they are demonstrably not his offspring) and even if the marriage ends, his status as servant does not end as evidenced by his liabilities in the form of alimony and child support. This makes the marriage contract more akin to peonage or indentured servitude.
8. We’re not necessarily aligned with any political ideology or group. Feminists come in many political, as well as religious, flavors. And being feminist doesn’t, or shouldn’t mean neglecting other political or social issues. That’s what being “intersectional” means.
“Feminism, Socialism, and Communism are one in the same, and Socialist/Communist government is the goal of feminism.” – Catharine A. MacKinnon
Feminism was born from Socialism. The man who coined the term and originally devised the ideology (Charles Fourier) was a Socialist of the Communalist stripe. Feminism, from its inception, is aligned with a political ideology. Unlike the “Armed Doctrine” that emerged from the Paris Commune, Feminism could be described as the “Cancerous Doctrine” for the reasons the author states: It is a thing that can append itself to any other group, ideology, religion, or society, and convert it from its normal form and processes to abnormal form and processes that it cannot sustain. Feminism operates in much the same way, infiltrating, attacking, and converting healthy, non-feminist social organs and ideologies until they become feminist and ultimately die.
“Intersectionality” is merely a vector by which the disease of Feminism attacks the host.
9. Just because we’re angry about injustice, this doesn’t mean we aren’t happy and grateful for the good things in our lives.
“Injustice”, whatever your definition of that word might be, is not a license to act in whatever way you want without consequence.
10. Yes, men can be feminists. Okay, this one is up for some dispute, for various reasons: some feminists prefer to think of sympathetic men as allies. Some allies are wary about identifying as feminists, NOT because it will make them “less masculine” (massive eye-roll) – but because they have seen too many men claim to be feminist in order to try to take advantage. This strikes me as a pretty feminist perspective, actually, and I appreciate it. Personally, though, I believe men can be feminists – and should be feminists. This is not only because male support is valuable, but because entering into discourse with male feminists can add a lot to our understanding about how humans best relate and understand one another, what societal structures are harmful, and how best we can dismantle them in a way that is wholesome, not destructive.
“Male feminists” or “male allies” can be dumped into two categories: Quislings and Puppeteers. Some call quislings by other titles: White Knights, Eunuchs, Beta Males. In this instance, Quislings most closely captures the substance of the pathetic creature in question. In the quisling category are men who will gladly throw over another man for female approval. Some quislings hope that female approval will buy him access to vagina. That hope is as childish and short-sighted as the kid who spends 20 dollars buying tokens at Chuck E. Cheese to play games, and win enough tickets for a prize that retails at 2 dollars. Sex is cheaper to buy outright than win through games of chance or skill. The other quislings are men who put women on a pedestal as their goddess-victim. Woman, to this quisling, is at once more wise, and pure, and moral than men. At the same time she is ever in danger of being torn down from her lofty pedestal and ravaged by these inferior beings. Woman, to these quislings, is an idol made of glass: a god of his own imagination who cannot help him and cannot save herself.
On the other side, we have the puppeteers. The puppeteers are smart enough to use Feminism to their own ends while claiming the mantle of “feminist” or “ally.” The author, at the start of her article has a picture of First-wave feminist Doris Stevens, a member of the National Women’s Party. The National Women’s Party, for all of its proto-“GRRL POWER!” posturing and protesting, did not accomplish its goal of obtaining suffrage. That “honor” goes to Carrie Chapman Catt and the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Catt set aside her pacifist principles (proving they were not principles at all, but preferences) and threw the weight of her 2 million woman organization behind Woodrow Wilson’s war in Europe. Similarly in England, the Order of the White Feather, founded by Charles Fitzgerald and eagerly supported by the Pankhursts clan, shamed and cajoled men, many of whom could not vote themselves, to sign away their lives to the British Army. Once 100,000 American men and millions of other men were sacrificed on the altar to European stupidity, and a breach had been created that International Socialism and National Socialism, the Feminists of Britain and the United States were rewarded with the vote for their collaboration in sending thousands of men and boys to their deaths.
Get enough men killed, and you too can obtain the vote.
Back to Doris Stevens and the National Women’s Party. The NWP was headed by Alice Paul, a militant feminist and great admirer of the Pankhursts and their campaign of feminist terrorism in Britain (for example, see the attempted assassination of Prime Minister Harold Asquith). Alice Paul was a close friend and ally of Howard W. Smith, Democrat Representative for the state of Virginia. Smith was segregationist, but he was also a supporter of feminism. The reason? Alice Paul, like many feminists of the time, eagerly offered up “women’s rights” as a bulwark against blacks obtaining political power. The statements and speeches and quotes are numerous. I have reproduced them elsewhere and will not do so here. For 20 years, Smith annually sponsored the Equal Rights Amendment, the pet legislation of the NWP. In 1964, he sponsored an amendment to add “sex” to the list of protected classes in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, on the basis that “white women” would suffer greater discrimination than black men if not included.
The argument won the day.
These are just two examples of puppeteers using the unprincipled and amoral grasping for power of Feminists to further their own ends, whether it be for increased power for a totalitarian state or to advance white supremacy. It also demonstrates that the political power of feminists is wholly dependent on their relationship to powerful men and not any courage or virtue of their own. Put another way, Feminists in the hands of a puppeteer show that they would rather be the master’s most favored slave on a plantation than embrace freedom from being ruled and if they must sacrifice the lives and freedom of men, they will gladly do so.
And the causes of women are a seemingly bottomless chasm into which tax dollars may be poured, bureaucrats hired and deployed to study and write papers, a photo-op for disreputable politicians, and a talking point for propagandists and moral scolds to argue over whose heart has been broken into more pieces by the sight of female suffering.
Any man who espouses feminism, or the grievances of women as a class, is either an idiot or a manipulator.
Postscript: we really, really wish you would take a little time to educate yourself on the history of feminism, and on different feminist traditions, before making any magisterial statements about them – or us.
This whole thing was one long paean to NAWALT. What cupcake does not notice or care to address is that the exception, even if it exists, does not disprove the rule. And it smacks completely of insincerity given the history and practices of Feminism.
I understand Feminism all too well. That’s why I stand in opposition to it. I will not bow to a female supremacist movement.