“One is not born, but rather becomes, woman.” This is perhaps one of the most quoted lines from Simone de Beauvoir’s work; she is one of the first feminists to claim that gender is a social construct. Since then, the popularization of the “social construction of gender” has mushroomed. Denying that gender is a product of culture can get you branded as “sexist” or “misogynistic.”
Jack Parkos | Laissez_Faire76
For many, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) may seem like the perfect choice for a libertarian like myself. Indeed, they have some good viewpoints with which I agree with. The ACLU heavily opposes the methods of the drug war while supporting free speech and privacy. Furthermore, they take aggressive stances against torture and many other cruel cases of abuse of rights. While I may not agree with the ACLU on everything, I would be able to agree to disagree on some minor issues, however, one issue makes my hesitation towards this organization extreme.
By Osh | USA
Before you all start screaming at me in the comments about how women have the same rights as men and the wage gap is a myth, etc. I think I should clarify is that I am completely aware that feminism has basically almost completed its goals that can be achieved through legislation in the developed world. But what about the developing world?
When you hear the word “feminist,” what do the majority of you picture? You probably picture an obese woman with dyed hair screaming about the patriarchy and that men are pigs. What if I were to tell you that was not the case in the majority of instances? What if your entire perception of feminism and feminists became skewed because of a loud extremist minority? The vast majority just wish for men and women to be equal. And while we may have achieved as much equality as we can, there are still several nations in the world where women are oppressed and treated as second-class citizens.
In various nations in Africa, women suffer through intense abuse by their society and culture. According to the World Health Organization, in Ethiopia, 74% of women have gone through some form of female circumcision. In Mali, the number is even higher at 89%. Female circumcision offers zero health benefits to the woman and could, in fact, be quite harmful. Their governments, however, offer no services and no laws to help protect them.
Probably one of the most glaring examples of feminism still needing to exist is in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, women must cover their faces with a burqa, whether they want to or not. In fact, women were not even allowed to drive cars for the longest time. It was not until late 2017 that the Saudi government announced that starting June 2018, women will be allowed to drive. Bus companies in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s biggest cities, do not allow women at all on their buses. Women also can not own property.
It is quite obvious that feminism is still very much needed in these places. The developing world lags far behind in female rights. They are denied the right to live their life as they please, they are denied liberty, and in most nations, they can not even own property. They are denied the three basic rights of humans, and as Libertarians, we should not stand for this.
Image from the Japan Times.
By Austin Anderholt | USA
In recent weeks, feminists, other leftists, and other general Americans have been praising “#MeToo” movement, the two-word hashtag to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual violence against women in America. The movement has disguised itself as “showing empathy and solidarity with sexually mistreated women” when in reality it is a cancerous plague of media sensation and mob rule.
A few weeks ago, Babe.net released a story about a woman with the pseudonym Grace, who felt she was sexually mistreated by actor, Aziz Ansari. His crime? Absolutely nothing. In some points of the article, Grace seems to be annoyed that she didn’t get to “choose her wine”, or that Mr. Ansari ignored her “cues that she was uncomfortable.”
Obviously, the definition of “consent” has changed over the years. It used to be, that if someone willingly goes to your house after a date, willingly has sex with you, that was “consent”. Now, someone can have sex they don’t like, wait for a month, and say they “felt violated”. This new age process where you can just publicly accuse anyone you don’t like of rape and ruin their lives without due process with one simple hashtag is disgusting.
In American law, according to the sixth amendment, the suspect of a case must face the supposed victim. With the outbreak of this #metoo disease, anyone (including the “Grace” character mentioned above) can just anonymously say that they were violated and not have to face the criticism and public eye that their supposed violators have to go through.
The single thing that disgusts me the most about the #MeToo movement is that people think that the media, or someone on social media is now the arbiter or sexual assault and rape cases. We no longer live in an “innocent until proven guilty” society. We live in the “If you don’t believe the victim you’re a sexist!” If someone simply SAYS they were sexually violated, then we have feminists with torches and pitchforks destroying the lives and reputations of illegally innocent people. This is absolutely disgusting.
The third and final reason that makes the “MeToo” movement so repulsive is that it is again not about “equality and voice” for women at all. I can point you out so many examples of a woman doing something that would land any man in prison or be detrimental to their career. For example, if a woman gave a man an unwanted hug, kiss, or any other similar touching, a judge would simply laugh at him if he tried going to court.
In conclusion, the #MeToo movement is an anti-male attack disguised as an egalitarian message. Do not be fooled.
By Addie Mae Villas | USA
Feminism, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is 1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and 2: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests. Feminism was Merriam-Webster’s Word of the year due to the number of searches as well as the increase in feminist actions, but often times, modern-day feminists only organize on behalf of the people who side with them. In a poll done by the Washington Post, 43% of women consider themselves feminists while 30% do not consider themselves to be feminists at all. Due to the actions of modern feminists, there’s no doubt that so many women turn from the word.
Over the span of the past year, there have been numerous times that the so-called champions of equality have torn down their own just because they have a different opinion. Chelsea Handler, a proclaimed feminist, has always been quick to tear down those she disagrees with by making attacks against their looks. Sure, one may not agree with the stances of someone, but in no way is it in anyone’s interest to degrade another person. Even with that, feminists of the left often forget about all the accomplishments of women that are being made across the aisle. Nancy Pelosi interrupted a White House dinner with the statement “Does anybody listen to women when they speak around here?” and when news of that broke, so many applauded the bold statement. Yet, they seem to conveniently forget that Nikki Haley is the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is one of the three female White House Press Secretaries in history, Kellyanne Conway is the first female to successfully manage a US presidential campaign, and Hope Hicks is currently serving as the White House Communications Director. With so many strong women making their mark in history, it’s time that feminists put down their feud with the right and acknowledge the strides being made.
Feminists in America are so adamantly fighting for equality in the workplace, stating that men are paid more than their female counterparts. Although the wage gap has been proven wrong, and legislation has been put in place to ensure equal pay, they still insist that more needs to be done. Since equality is already created, what more do they want? Living in the United States, women see liberties that are not prevalent elsewhere. But the hypocrisy of the leftist feminists is that they never fight for equal opportunity or the best interests of the ones that truly need feminism. Looking at what’s happening in Tehran, women all over are fighting the government for their freedoms. The events in Iran should be cheered from women all over, especially the feminists of America. But, what makes the whole situation worse is that women in America play the victim card of being a woman as a cop-out when situations are not ideal to their circumstances.
My final qualm with modern day feminism is the image that comes along with it. As stated before, the feminists of today have given themselves an image of degrading women and acting out. With the Women’s March, we saw around four million people march in D.C. to advocate for women’s rights. But, of course, the feminists were not fully inclusive. They disregarded a pro-life group that was also feminist. Of course in the modern day version of feminism, one must completely comply with the leftist agenda. Besides the fact that by banning the group they embraced the very hypocrisy they claim to fight, forgetting that the group simply wanted their own form of equality. Personally, I believe the Women’s March was a wasted opportunity. They gave a negative connotation to the feminist movement with their explicit hats and toxic masculinity mantra. They also missed entirely the mark as to why the march was occurring. By creating a platform that strictly followed the agenda of modern day liberalism, organizers made it increasingly difficult for women across the aisle to participate, despite fully believing in equality.
When addressing the problem of modern-day feminism it comes down to being a victim, or moving past the identity politics and being more than one’s gender. Stephen Covey once said “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” By not allowing things such as gender or race to get in the way of success, real progress would be made.