the real war on women – or the 2 wars on women
For readers outside of the US, we provide some needed background and context. During the 2012 US presidential campaign, a relatively young, unmarried woman at Georgetown University Law Center, Sandra Fluke, complained that her birth control was not covered under her student health plan and was very upset over that. She was given much national news media attention and her remarks were viewed many times on YouTube. This quickly evolved or morphed into a campaign slogan that actually had a powerful effect. “The War on Women” that the opposition party, the Republicans, were waging or would wage if elected motivated millions of single, young women to vote for the re-election of Barack Obama (despite the high unemployment rate among young women). One could argue that this was the difference in the re-election of President Obama. (We actually wrote about this prior to the election of 2012 in our essay, US election: single women hold the key).
Whether the lack of health insurance (financial) coverage for birth control pills, regimens, devices, etc. constitutes a “war on women” or not is left to the individual reader to decide for herself/himself.
Now, let us consider what we see as 2 more substantive wars on women occurring concurrently in our world today.
in the developed Western world
The assault on true femininity. And, it is a war on the dignity of women as women.
You have not noticed this over the past few decades?
Equity feminism is a good and necessary thing, but gender or radical feminism is not helpful to women (or to men) as radical feminism gives rise to enmity between the sexes. Equity feminism was hijacked in the 1960s by some women, who appear to have had much personal bitterness from failed personal relationships and marriages in their own lives. (Some of these women admit as much in their biographies.) Bitterness does motivate some individuals to actions they would not otherwise undertake. The demands for preferential treatment, the condescending attitudes towards men, the idea that men do not play an important role in a family as a husband and father and are largely unnecessary (thus the rise in single parent households), the view that women who wish to be “stay at home” mothers are wasting their talents and not fulfilling their potential, the reduced respect for child-bearing (inside or outside of wedlock), the adamant insistence on abortion rights are some of the bitter fruits of gender (or what may be more accurately termed “radical”) feminism.
Guess what? This is not new. It actually goes back to Engels’ writings (in the 1800s) on the family and the social fabric of society. The bitter poisons of Marx and Engels are still with us today, and these remain very potent in their destructive potential.
In my view, when women are led to believe they have to adopt the habits, the attitudes, the personality characteristics of men to be equal to men, these women have done injury to themselves, to the dignity of their true natures. Equality does not mean “being the same as” or “exactly conforming to one model of behavior”.
As I noted last week in an essay, while at university, I made the conscious choice that I would not bother dating a “feminist”. Forgive me for being blunt here. I did not want to eventually marry a male personality in a woman’s body. I believe in equity feminism and in the equal dignity of women and men. The way to address and remedy past injustices is not through going to the other extreme and visiting similar injustices or injuries on to men.
(My wife of many years believes strongly in equity feminism and has attained to career success through her own efforts and hard work over many years. She rejects gender/radical feminism.)
in the non-Western world
Reader discretion is advised for this section.
In the non-Western world, a war against women continues that has real world casualties. This war is not so abstract.
In the Muslim world, women are treated as chattels and have no real rights. What goes on in these countries? In some of these countries, women and girls do not have the right to bodily integrity, and the horrific, barbaric, immoral practice of female genital mutilation continues in the year 2014. Women and girls are not educated in many Muslim nations. They are not allowed to drive a car in some of these nations. They endure a strict dress code that is dehumanizing. They do not have equal standing before the law. In some Muslim countries, women have no property rights. You get the idea. And, if a woman is raped in many a Muslim country she will be blamed for her assault. Taken together, I think there is a true war on women going on in the Muslim world.
In mainland (communist) China, there is a continuing genocide of female babies. This must not be trivialized! (We could have posted this essay under the tag of “human rights”, but all we see under that tag are essays on politically correct “rights”. The God-given right to life is not politically correct in these times.) Here is what is going on in China today because of its official one child policy (since 1979). Female infanticide. (Caution: Here we cite a graphic example. A terrible case we read of 2 or 3 years ago is that of a baby girl (called Mei) who was born with a minor birth defect. This girl needed a very simple surgical procedure to open her rectum to allow for normal elimination. This baby girl was denied the simple surgery (because of her sex) that would have corrected her birth defect and allowed her to live a normal, healthy life. She was allowed to die a painful death.) The killing of baby girls occurs every day and in large numbers as China has a very large population of people in their reproductive years. Sex selection abortions and forced abortions also are performed daily in China. Sterilizations of women are also performed without their consent. Contrary to UN propaganda, China has not backed away from rigid and coercive enforcement of its one child policy.
Even in India, the historical home of much deep and profound spiritual wisdom and insights, women are today at a disadvantage. This is not a de jure disadvantage inherent in modern Indian law and legal statutes, but is a de facto disadvantage due to long-standing cultural habits and attitudes. (Sadly, there is also some female infanticide in India.)
Similarly, in sub-Saharan Africa women do not enjoy equality in many nations due to cultural habits and social customs. And, female genital mutilation is practiced in some countries of the region.
Much of the world does not respect and value women and girls as women and girls. In many countries, both those considered advanced and developed and those less developed, women and girls do not enjoy equal dignity, equal rights and respect in society.
All of us, women and men, need to work together to correct this. We need to work to end the injustices. Here equity feminism is helpful. But, the excesses and extremes that we see in gender (radical) feminism do not help.
The sad irony is that so many self-proclaimed women’s rights advocacy groups ignore this assault on the value of women as women. I do not recall hearing any criticism or condemnation from these women’s groups of the genocide directed at baby girls in China, or of the harsh, coercive treatment of women (through forced sterilizations and forced abortions).
Copyright 2014 – larrysmusings.com
The below image is by kind courtesy of a woman friend.
Thanks for reading.