Women in the West are exposed to the narrative of feminism more than any other group of women on earth.
From the fight for the right of women to vote, to the right of women to have abortions, to the political dynamics of women in politics and their impact on elections, to equal pay within the workplace; feminism has been forced upon us from all angles of reasoning. It is no wonder that most of the women that I interact with have such strong views on so many issues – and there seems to be no end in sight.
Feminism has indeed opened the doors of conversation and opinion regarding women’s rights and where females find themselves in society. However, these conversations have lead to much debate among women and men alike, with varying views being expressed that have lead me to a single conclusion:
I don’t like nor do I support feminism.
Yes, I am a woman. Yes, I believe in women having certain rights. And yes, I STILL dislike feminism.
Why do I have so much antagonism for feminism? Well three major reasons have dictated my opposition for the movement.
- The destruction of the nuclear family.
Gender roles is a topic for most feminists, with many distinguishing ‘sex’ as the differentiation of male and female (biological), while gender is being either a man or woman (socially constructed). You can read more about this here.
They imply that gender is based on traditional, cultural and social components. This distinction as small as some may think, created a clear path for the determination that certain “roles” were thrust upon women because of the influences of culture and traditions. This lead to feminists attacking the role of homemakers and housewives and arguing against the submissive behaviour that was deemed acceptable of women and girls, while males were deemed supercilious.
Women were being “liberated” in droves, shrugging off the burdensome weight of running the household, and caring for their husbands and children no longer became a priority, as they were not to be limited by having families. They were now to be viewed as the same ambitious go-getters as their other halves, and their male partners were now expected to have and command a 50/50 share of household responsibilities. This was the age of the dismantlement of the nuclear family, and the era of equality.
The problem with this is whether they admit it or not, women do have a role within a family. The housewife/homemaker was the anchor of the family doing what needed to be done so that everyone and everything was in order (yes, there is an order within the family – 1 Corinthians 11:3 and Colossians 3:18-21). Yes, women can work and be homemakers, but this has been proven to be a system of juggling which some are successfully able to do and others do not. See here and here.
In this tug-o-war for equality, many families have been disrupted and so too the perception of the role of a woman systematically challenged. So, is feminism a benefit to some and a detriment to others?
- The falsehood of equality.
Let’s look at the definition of feminism from a few sources:
All of these definitions have one main thing in common – equality. I however, am of the belief that some equality between men and women does and will not exist. Having said that, I believe that if men and women are working the same job or have the same career path they should be paid equally. Therefore, the kind of equality I speak of regarding men and women is not economic or political but of a social nature.
How society views and treats men is inherently different from how they view and treat women. Why? Because men and women are different (and not just physiologically). For example – a man can sleep with as many women as he pleases and not be judged harshly by society, however if a woman sleeps with just as many men she is ultimately labelled as a slew of egregious nouns with some lewd adjectives for emphasis. Though it may not be thought of as “fair”, it is what it is and these views aren’t changing anytime soon and is proof of the fact that men and women are not thought of as equal in certain spheres.
It is my view that men and women were meant to be different and were not supposed to be equal. The two should not be competing against each other but rather should complement each other. This is because the skill set of a man is totally different from that of a woman, but both can be used meaningfully to accomplish great things.
So, the main question is: can the feminist movement actually attain the “equality” they are so ardently seeking after?
A second question would be: why are women fighting so hard for the right to be thought of as the same as men? I understand fighting against rape culture and the apathetic attitude that the men in-charge have regarding it. I understand wanting to fight against cat calling and women being viewed as sexual objects. A lot of what feminists are fighting for I wholeheartedly agree with. But what I don’t understand is why some of them want to stand in the same place and be viewed the same as men. Isn’t womanhood and femininity special and wholly ours? Why make it about them?
Feminists have been vocal supporters not only of women’s rights, but also of LGBTQ rights, mental health support and human rights, environmental issues, health issues and so much more. However, when racism gets thrown in the mix, many feminists grow achingly silent.
Yes, there are black feminists and white feminists. In fact, feminists come from all racial, ethnic, economic, social and cultural backgrounds. But if feminists are fighting so hard for equality, then regardless of their race/ethnicity; being against racism should also be a priority since the systems of oppression associated with racism are in direct opposition to the feminist ideal of equality.
Indeed, a black feminist and a white feminist may deceive themselves into thinking they are fighting for the same things – but consider this. A white feminist may be working at a company and her male counterparts earn more than her despite doing the same job and having the same duties, and she would be against this and fight for equal pay. A black feminist however, will have a Bachelor’s and two Master’s degrees and a ton of experience to boot, but will still have to fight to be hired and be a part of that corporation. Why would the black feminist have to fight to be hired? Because unlike the white feminist the black feminist has been born with two things working against her – her sex/gender and her skin colour.
Many feminists claim to be for women’s rights, but how can they honestly say this if they are not fighting for the rights of ALL women and furthermore are silent on the treatment of people in general based on their race.
Feminism has many positive things going for it, but many get caught up and don’t seem to realise the negative attributes as well. With any movement there will always be extremists and feminism is no different. Nonetheless, before people jump on the bandwagons of these movements, a suggestion would be to analyse the actions, motives and history of them too. Some things reveal themselves to those that seek knowledge and wisdom.