March 01, 2006

Count the anti-feminist tropes

The subject: This stupid essay on the IWF website (via feministing).

there are some people in this country who believe that every aspect of living, dying, working, resting, and general being must be equal for men and women.

1. The kind of equality feminists want is identity.

These are the people who, as children, spent most of their waking hours complaining that every situation they were faced with "wasn't fair." These were the children who heard one too many times that "life isn't fair."

2. Feminists are whiny children.

But life isn't fair. Men and women are not treated equally and I, for one, am quite pleased with this. In fact, if I were treated like a man, in most cases, I would be quite offended. I enjoy having doors held open for me. I do not like to be spit at or addressed as "dude" or "man" or consulted when it comes to the attractiveness of other women.

3. Equality means women turn into men. (In other words: feminists want to be gross, crude men who open their own doors.)

When it comes to the matter of equal pay -- sure, I think I should get paid at the same rate if I am doing the same job as a man. The exact same job. If a man and I were hired on the same day, have been working at the company for the same number of years, came in at the same time, left at the same time, and took the same exact number of sick days. But to be realistic, that's probably not going to happen for me or for most women because we like flexible schedules that allow us to spend time with our kids and our husbands. We generally like to be in a safe, clean office rather than a dangerous and dirty construction site and we would trade higher pay for better conditions. We can't have both. You know you can't have your cake and eat it too!

4. No two people have exactly the same job, therefore equal pay for equal work is a non-starter.
5. Women take more time off work to raise the kids. (And, I guess, go visit their husbands at work, or something.)
6. Men are not interested in taking more time off work to raise the kids or go visit their wives at work.
7. Women hate dangerous and dirty jobs.
8. Dangerous and dirty jobs pay more.
9. The author is able to making sweeping declarations of what (oops, almost -- see next quotation) all women want because of reasons.
10. There's nothing unjust about the expectation that women cannot have both successful career and children, even as this is precisely the opposite expectation for men.

I realize I don't speak for all women. There are some pretty tough gals out there who love construction, service as marines, and welding work. All I have to say to you is, "You go girl!" If we want those kinds of positions and that kind of pay, we can prove our qualifications and we can earn our rewards. We definitely don't need another affirmative-action-type program or an equal-rights amendment to get us there. The government boldly proclaiming that we women can't get there on our own, now that's insulting to my sex.

11. People work in fields such as construction and the military because that's their chosen profession, not because economic and social forces held that out as the only remotely lucrative option.
12. Rampant, systematic discrimination has nothing to do with the fact that these fields are overwhelmingly male.
13. Recognition of the history of discrimination is itself a form of discrimination.

I do believe feminism has reached a peak. In this day and age to be feminist doesn't mean to stand up for one's inherent and God-given rights, it means to change the natural order, to demand more than what can be given, and to totally abandon common sense.

14. The anti-feminist backlash era we live in means feminist has 'peaked' and is dying out. Much like it did in the '30s.
15. Today's feminists never ever talk about rights.
16. Feminism is a challenge to the natural social order, and hence is futile.
17. Sexism has played no role in characterising the current social order as 'natural'.
18. All of these tropes are common-sensical.

Thus I am not a feminist; I am feminine.

19. Being a feminist and being feminine are incompatible and jointly exhaustive of the possibilities for women.

Did I miss any?

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