freedom, and the excesses of “feminism”
A “two-fer” – 2 essays tonight.
Perhaps, the majority among us does not really want to be free. There are 2 principal costs to true freedom: (1) constant, ongoing vigilance as there are foreign and domestic enemies of our freedom, and (2) responsibility – personal and individual. Many people do not want to take responsibility for their actions, for their lives, and they prefer licentiousness to true freedom. (Such individuals do not think carefully about the future and they are not concerned with the bigger picture. Their focus is solely on their own lives with a near term time horizon.) Let government do everything for us. But, the price (cost) of that is eventual government control over our lives, and the loss of true freedom.
Update: There have been recent (conflicting) reports that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS, a federal agency under the executive branch) has not acquired 1.5 billion bullets in the past year or so, but is only ordering more than one billion shells to be delivered to it over the next few years. (We had said in a recent essay “we are assuming . . . reports . . . are accurate”) Some folks speculate that DHS is trying to drive up the price of ammunition for law-abiding gun owners. With so much misinformation, it is hard to get at the truth. However, one thing is clear. The federal government is encroaching more and more upon our constitutional rights as individual citizens with each passing month. This inexorable government drive for power needs to be checked, much sooner than later.
the excesses of “feminism”
Caution: reader discretion is advised.
John Stuart Mill, a nineteenth century British philosopher, wrote a book called The Subjection of Women. In it, he decries the abuses of women in 19th century British society. Equity feminism, in the 20th century, has largely corrected and eliminated these abuses. Women now have equal rights to men in most if not all areas of life. There is no need for a litany of the things women can do (and are free to do) in modern Western societies. Of course, even today in many non Western countries, women are still denied equal rights to men.
(FYI – In the US, female children have legal protection (under federal law) from genital mutilation. Sadly, male children in the US do not have such legal protection and many baby boys are routinely circumcised with the approval of unthinking parents for no legitimate reasons shortly after birth. It is a money maker for the doctors and interns. Only in America. Advantage to the girls. But, no equality for the boys as the superstitious practice persists in 2013.)
Also in the 19th century, Friedrich Engels, of Marx and Engels fame (or infamy), gave us the socialist critique of families. Engels claimed that the nuclear family of a husband/father and wife/mother and children was by its nature oppressive to women. (Read The Gender Agenda: Redefining Equality, by Dale O’Leary (link to her book at bottom) for an interesting expose of radical feminism and the impact of Engels’ thinking.) Men and women have equal dignity but we cannot ignore nor alter biological reality. Women bear the children. Men do not as they cannot. “Equality” in that sense can never be realized.
Equity feminism was and is a positive and constructive position, or movement if you like. It seeks equity and justice for women. However, radical or gender feminism (note: I use these terms because they are used by others in various books and public talks in the past 15 years or more) does tend to go to non-productive extremes in various ways. True equality has been replaced in the minds of many so-called feminists with a desire for preferential treatment. As well, many so-called feminists harbor a very condescending, if not antagonistic view of men.
Women and men need not be perpetual adversaries locked in a continual zero sum game of conflict and competition. Men and women complement each other as each has strengths the other needs! (You can read our much earlier essay titled Brain Sex for more on this.) The home ought not be a battle field!
Single parent families or households are a very difficult proposition. For the single mother trying to raise teenage boys, the task is herculean. Teenage boys need a very firm hand so to speak to check or curb their naturally impulsive and reckless behavior. (We have a very nasty example of such teenage boy behavior down the street and the very dysfunctional “family” is without a father.) Similarly, it is very difficult for a single father to successfully raise and relate to teenage daughters. Gender feminism asserts that husbands and fathers are not really necessary. Adult males are needed as sperm donors (to bring forth children), and not really for much else. The collective experience of mankind refutes this assertion. There is value and worth and dignity in being a stay at home mother if you choose to be one. (Gender feminism disagrees.) We do need to show more appreciation of such mothers and give them more support.
The truth, as unpopular or “politically incorrect” as it may be, is that women are not somehow more angelic or pure of spirit, or of superior character than men are. Women and men are of equal human dignity. But, both men and women have equally flawed human natures. Women can be, and are at times, every bit as selfish (or self-absorbed, if you prefer) as men can be and are. Women can engage in self-destructive behavior as men do. (They abuse drugs, contract STIs through promiscuous sex, etc. just as men do.)
Recently, I heard on the radio (on a religious station) a great talk by a Christian woman who had been into feminism for many years. She echoed these views that women and men are of equal dignity in God’s eyes. But, women are not more innately spiritually advanced nor more – by their nature – virtuous than men. An uncomfortable, unpleasant truth for some to accept. Honesty and objectivity are necessary here.
It seems to me, when reflecting on some of the extreme proponents of militant feminism encountered over the years, that some women may, albeit subconsciously, hate the fact that they were born female. This is sad, but I think it is true for some women. As a counter point, one woman on an Internet discussion forum wrote that she accepted all her womanhood required of her. She accepted the uncomfortable and inconvenient menstruation as part of being a woman. She accepted the man’s sexual climax inside her as being a natural part of her womanhood. And, childbearing came with the territory so to speak.
As to a final and personal observation . . . .I have not encountered many self-identifying feminists over the years that struck me as being particularly feminine. Now, this could be me having a poor set of experiences, and it is true that I have not had the best experiences in my life. As well, it could be my mindset that does not view a desire for “in your face” confrontation, excessive competitiveness, and needless conflict as being truly feminine characteristics.
Here is the link to the book, cited above, on Amazon.com.