“Modern feminism” “Third-Wave feminism” “Radical feminism” and “Progressive feminism” are not the problem.
Feminism itself is the problem.
Not women’s rights, or human rights, or the advocacy for women’s rights by way of human rights, but feminism as an ideological framework through which one sees and attempt to understand the world.
This assertion is not one that can be defended in one article. Indeed, I expect I could write dozens of articles on the topic. I hope to do so. In the meantime, please bear with me as I unravel the threads one by one.
If you ask any feminist if they believe that society is “set up” in some way to benefit men at the expense of women, both today and historically, the answer will be yes. I can count on one hand the number of prominent feminists I have ever heard of who dispute this. In fact, even among mainstream women who may not associate themselves with the movement (after all, not very many do), it is taken as an undisputed truth that women were disadvantaged throughout history while men were advantaged – often to the point where the words “women were oppressed” will be used.
Fortunately, most women do not seem to believe that women are oppressed today. The tide does seem to be turning on feminism as the dominant view of gender relations. With the rise of “social justice warrior” hysteria, we also have seen a groundswell of women who feel these ideologues do not represent them or their ideas. Feminism is losing the narrative in the present.
But is this really enough? Is it enough for the dominant discourse to move towards a general distaste for modern-day feminism, but with a caveat of how necessary feminism used to be (because of course women were oppressed)?
Though it is delicious to see the worst of feminist academia and celebrity begin to be seen as the man-hating, woman-demeaning, scientifically and logically illiterate harpy class that they are, I would argue that it’s not enough.
Not even close.
In 1984, George Orwell wrote: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
Prescient, that one.
Those of us who consider ourselves to be “red pilled” on feminism as it exists in the present day would do well to take this quote to heart. I find it deeply frustrating that even among those I consider to be well-informed on gender issues, there is this prevalent view of first-wave feminism as a wholly noble and benevolent undertaking, when the reality was far more complicated.
My core point is this: I would hope that most reading this piece will know that current feminism sucks. There’s a reason people actually use the #FeminismIsCancer hashtag, and it’s not because it pisses off feminists.
Well, maybe it’s that, too. Just a little!
But those of who don’t like feminism or “modern feminism” tend to really not like it.
We know that feminists refuse to face the actions of their movement which undermine not only the rights of men, but of women. We know they use fake statistics to further their political agenda. We know they deny basic biological and evolutionary truths. We know they push for things that are blatantly anti-equality. We know they are concerned with ever more trivial grievances as women achieve their goals. For example, sexist air conditioning. I am not kidding.
So knowing all of this, why in the world do we take at face value the rose-tinted view of the history that most of us have been raised to believe is true?
To be blunt, it is silly to denounce feminism today while simultaneously taking no interest in how we got to this point. Most may assume that feminism was good, and simply took a wrong turn, but those of us who have spent hours researching the topic, and particularly the history of women in the pre-feminist world, know that there is an untold story here. A deeply important one, which effects everything about how men and women view each other and in a lot of ways, how the very fabric of society and culture works.
And though I do not have time today to even attempt tell that story, all I ask is that we, as people who are disillusioned with feminism, consider that to let those we consider to be irrational ideologues control the way we learn and go on to teach the past is a dangerous stance to take.
I leave you with this thought:
If the ideological precepts of feminism are wrong (And I deeply believe that they are), we must examine these wrong ideas and correct them based on the evidence we have. The issue with feminism is that it does the opposite. The narrative is men as oppressors, women as oppressed. Always. If the data disproves this, it is the data that is wrong. If the vast majority of women disagree with this, the vast majority of women have “internalized misogyny”. If the sky is blue, it’s the eyes of the person observing this that are wrong.
When this is the sort of ideology that we are working with, it is not “going off the rails” to take this idea to its logical conclusion. It’s simply… logic.
I know, I put “logic” and “feminism” awfully close together in that paragraph. Scary!
The reason feminism today is terrible is because feminism before today was bad. And before that, it was at best a misguided narrative based upon a very shoddy foundation.
So I leave you with another quote:
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana
We’ve forgotten the past – but fortunately the past remains. We are not thousands of years out. There is time to look into the way things were just a few generations back. Let’s uncover the truth, honestly and boldly.
And no, that does not mean it was cool that women didn’t have the vote.