(TW: Sexual assault/spousal abuse statistics)
Today's idiot is Patrice Lewis, an ignorant gobshite who felt compelled to advertize her ignorance and stupidity in a column on WND, entitled, "Why I am not a feminist." The short answer to that question is, "because I have the analytical skills of a plastic bag," but read on for the long answer.
Long ago during my college years in the early '80s, I remember reading an incident in a women's magazine that made me proud to be a woman.
It seems a businesswoman was running late for her plane flight, so she was dashing through the airport toward the gate. The gate agent told her, "Better get your buns in gear, honey, the plane's about to leave" or something similarly shocking and sexist.
Immediately the businesswoman skidded to a stop and snapped, "I want that plane held up and I want to talk to your supervisor NOW!" Ooooh, was I impressed!... Of course, I didn't give a thought to the hundreds of people held up on the plane so this strong and powerful woman could chew out the lowlife scumbag's supervisor.
It seems to me that the airline could have made the following announcement:
We apologize for the delay of flight <whatever>. This is due to our corporate policy, which encourages the hiring of prejudiced, sexist jackasses. Our sensitivity training is so appalling that our employees feel free to blurt out offensive and prejudiced comments at members of the public, while acting as ambassadors for our company. We regret that one of our passengers did something that none of you had the moral conviction or courage to do, which has caused a temporary delay as we endeavour to remind her that her place is in the kitchen. Thank you for flying Misogynair!
Of course, I now realize that the businesswoman who demanded the plane be held up for HER whim was merely epitomizing the essence of feminism: IT'S ALL ABOUT ME. It didn't matter how many other people on that plane missed their connections or were late for critical appointments.
Yes, how selfish. How heartless of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement to disrupt the Montgomery bus service. What a jerk Mahatma Gandhi was to throw salt and textile workers into unemployment by encouraging Indians to make those things themselves, rather than be exploited by the British crown. How very self-absorbed and thoughtless of the French Resistance to disrupt train timetables for French workers by blowing up train tracks that would have carried Nazi troop trains.
Now, obviously this apocryphal businesswoman was not the Rosa Parks of the 1980s. But what sort of idiot insists that justice take a backseat to convenience? What sort of social change can be brought about if your campaign is never allowed to have any real impact on another human being?
Who cares how many are inconvenienced as long as her desires are met?... The needs of others – of husbands and children – are paramount to a healthy and balanced family.
Argh! I'm being swarmed by the stupid! GETITOFFME GETITOFFME!!!
Firstly, I know we're not playing Logical Fallacies here, but this is your classic false dilemma fallacy. There's no reason why the needs of men and women cannot both be met. The only reason that their wants may not coincide is because the relationship is exploitative. For example, it's perfectly possible for the needs of white and black persons to be met at the same time. However, it is not possible for the wants of slave and slaveowner to be met at the same time.
Secondly, this conception of "the family" comes from what, in sociology, is called the Functionalist School: an old and long-discredited school of thought which has become the laughing-stock of the academic community, but for some reason still carries great currency with morons in the general public, including morons such as the one I'm FJM'ing right now.
The Functionalist School holds that the "natural" family is the nuclear family, with a cohabiting, legally married mother and father, and their biological children. The problem is that this was actually the dominant form of the family for a few years in the 1950s, and it has never been before or again. The most common family form in Western society is the single-parent family (predominantly single-mother). So, when you know that most families don't actually have a husband in them, asking about the needs of the husband is what sociologists call fucking stupid. In the USA, there are as many families with a husband (source) as there are with a cat (source). Do we need to take the needs of the cat into account in every American family, including the three-quarters of them that don't even have a fucking cat?
Thirdly, while I'm not saying that Lewis is a racist xenophobe who is ignorant of all cultures other than her own, is there another explanation as to why she is ignorant of family forms outside of her own culture? I assume she's just unaware of cultures where children are raised in a collective of females that contain no males, and where the identity of the father of any particular child is unknown, for example? This works. It's worked a lot longer than our idea of the nuclear family has been around.
But getting married and having children are voluntary actions. Presumably no one held a gun to a feminist's head and forced her to get pregnant. I'm very big on the concept that if you voluntarily take on an important commitment, you'd better be prepared to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to bring that commitment to fruition.
Unfortunately, it's a biological fact that females necessarily go through pregnancy and labour. Then, it is a social fact that women are basically responsible for raising the child afterward, either with the token presence of a male (in the "traditional" nuclear family) or with no help at all (in the most common, single-parent, family form). This argument is a version of, "You can stand there if you want. But I'm going to walk towards you while punching the air, and if you get hit, it's your own fault."
The reason this subject is on my mind is because I'm reading a superb book by Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly called "The Flipside of Feminism."
Oh great ceiling cat! Not the Phyllis Schlafly? Phyllis "Global Warming is a Marxist conspiracy for One World Government" Schlafly? Say it ain't so! I have such respect for Phyllis Schlafly as an intellectual. Did I say "respect?" I meant "vomit."
I'm only about a quarter of the way through, but it's fabulous.
Oh, well please, don't bother to read the whole thing before you post! I realize your brain has the cerebral equivalent of irritable bowel syndrome, and your hands/keyboard are basically a spastic colon/sphincter for the raw bread dough that is standing in for your mind, but please, put on your mental adult diaper before you prematurely spew diarrhetic mental raw sewage onto the Interwebs!
Unless they are contaminated with propaganda from a feminist mother or teachers, most women instinctively understand their role and place in society.
I'm beginning to think this column might be a joke. Really. It could just be a tongue-in-cheek lampooning of anti-feminist ignorance.
However, I should probably assume that it isn't (although that assumption really saps my faith in humanity) and press on. I really like how feminist mothers and teachers "contaminate" women with "propaganda." Don't you think you're taking your hyperbole a little too seriously?
Regardless, this is more functionalist claptrap. You see, the argument works both ways. Since we know now that family, femininity, gender, sexuality, etc. are social constructs (and we do. Really. We do. Believing otherwise, academically, is like believing the Earth is flat), it's also equally valid to say that propaganda disseminated through other social agents will condition women to accept a certain role and place in society, unless corrected by a feminist mother or teachers.
It's not instinctive at all. You can tell this by looking around the world and throughout history, and seeing how extremely varied the social roles and places of women were in various societies. If a behaviour varies widely across a species, odds are it ain't instinctual. Fight-or-flight is instinct. Housework is not.
But women know that children require care, and the best care is usually provided by mom.
Seriously, this column is giving me a twitch now. I only read to a point somewhere above this before I decided that it had to be FJM'ed and started writing, but with each successive sentence I read, it's like there's a giant church bell in my mind, clanging "WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!"
It seems obvious because our society is constructed that way, and Lewis has never bothered to investigate societies before ours, or societies that exist in other parts of the world, so she is completely ignorant of them. It's called "self-selection bias;" basically, you have selected your own culture as the only example for study, and then your study "reveals" that your culture is typical, normal, the only possible model, etc.
Other than lactating, there is nothing inherent in womanhood that automatically makes them the "best" caregivers. It's basically a self-perpetuating social cycle: a generation of women is raised to believe that it is their role to care for children, and those children are raised in exactly the same atmosphere. A caring or nurturing nature is a complex trait, and complex traits are not heritable.
If you're going to have children, then you have the responsibility to raise them.
What about if you're going to father children? No responsibility? That's somebody else's problem?
Shoving babies in day care for 50 hours a week so you can continue your career uninterrupted does not constitute "raising."
But shoving babies into the care of their mother so their father can work 50 hours a week to continue his career uninterrupted does constitute "raising?"
If a woman wants to be free of the demands of children, then she should remain celibate (or get sterilized) to avoid the responsibility of motherhood.
Yeah! There's "choice" for you! Women don't have the right to have sex without babies! Only men have that right!
Women can "have it all" when it comes to career and family – but just not in the ways feminists would have us believe. Endless numbers of stay-at-home moms have started cottage industries and contributed greatly to the family's finances. Other moms waited until their children were grown and gone before launching their careers.
Women can have equality! 496 of the Fortune 500 companies are headed by men. But it's OK, because women can sell Beanie Babies on eBay at home, or join the workforce 18 years (at least) after the males in their cohort, with a massive, massive shortfall in experience and earning power.
And career is supreme. Working at home doesn't "count."
It certainly doesn't. Not in the eyes of the state and society, at least, which has collectively deemed that the multi-billion-dollar housework industry shall be wholly unpaid. If you work nine hours a day designing vapid websites, that's a career, and you get the benefit of labour legislation, wages, benefits and more! But if you work nine hours a day cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, ferrying kids around, helping with homework, etc., that's not a career, and you get the benefit of nothing. However, if you actually did any of these tasks for strangers, you would have a career as a cook, a maid, a cleaner, a chauffeur, a tutor, a personal assistant, etc. and would get the benefit of labour legislation, wages and benefits.
But seriously. It's not work when teh wimminz do it.
Of course, millions of secure and satisfied women disagree with the feminist agenda and are pleased with their careers as homemakers first and breadwinners second.
Kapo: (noun) a Nazi concentration camp prisoner who was given privileges in return for supervising prisoner work gangs: often a common criminal and frequently brutal to fellow inmates.
Just because you can find victims who cooperate in their own victimization and the victimization of their fellows doesn't change their status as a victim.
These women give feminists the creeps.
Secure and satisfied women know, as Venker and Schlafly point out, that men are really much nicer than feminists want us to believe. They're not there to oppress us; they're there to protect us.
1 in 6 American women will be raped in their lifetime, and 98% of those rapes will be committed either by a current or a former intimate partner, a friend, or an acquaintance (94% of the rapists won't spend a day in jail). Almost 1 in 3 Canadian women have been violently assaulted by an intimate partner. Half of them suffered an injury, and about 1 in 8 needed medical attention. With "protection" like this, just what are women being protected from? Presumably themselves.
But don't let the inconvenience of facts stop you.
This is an hilarious YouTube clip. It doesn't show in Google Reader for some reason, so if you can't see it, click here.
That's pretty much the end of the article. It's a long, rambling series of popular misconceptions, prejudice, sexism, ignorance, and eurocentrism. The basic tone of it is that feminists are selfish jerks, and if women could only accept their natural position as inferior members of the species, they would be happy. The basic tone of my response is, I fucking beg to differ.