Monday, January 9, 2023

The problem of an ism. . .

Feminism was begun with noble cause.  It pushed all the right buttons -- the right to vote, equal pay for equal work, the legitimacy of the woman's vocation outside as well as inside the home, equal access before the law and in the marketplace, and an honorable status within the population.  That does mean that I agreed with or still agree with every concern that fell once under the banner of feminism.  I don't.  But I see a more honest purpose in its beginnings than where it stands today.  Has feminism devolved into simply my body, my choice?

Today feminism is a movement in conflict.  All that push for rights and access have been quite successful but now are endangered by the pursuits of others who claim minority status and preferential treatment.  The push to be able to work in careers alongside men as equals has had the effect of detracting from and denigrating those women who choose to stay at home and be wives and mothers.  The workplace has become the only legitimate calling for women and the dollar the only value assigned to their gender now in the maturing of the feminist movement.  Marriage, family, and children have become enemies of the feminist pursuit for equality and are the less chosen path rather than an equal and equally noble path.

Feminism finds itself in conflict with the new definitions of men and women -- definitions which make it hard for some to even know or define what it means to be a man or woman.  Worse, girls are being encouraged to choose at ever younger ages between the gender assigned by their body and another that may be currently in vogue and the object of so much social media.  Rights that were hard fought for the legitimacy of women's sports are now being claimed by men whose bodies make them unfair competitors.  Reproductive rights have become less about health care and simply about the decision not to ever have children -- with the government to provide access and payment for that choice.  The military has become blind to gender not because others have achieved parity with men but because standards have been lowered and the branches of the armed services turned into places to social engineer the changes in society and culture.

Other self-identified minorities are infringing upon the gains of women now that women have run for President, become a Vice-President, controlled Congress, and sit on the Supreme Court.  What will feminism do?  Some women are pushing back against the alphabet soup of gender identity because they find this a threat against real feminism.  There are voices suggesting that the sexual revolution did not necessarily improve the status of women at all and may have done deep harm to the original cause.  The redefinition of family has not led to more happiness, contentment, or security for women as it was once heralded.  The freedom some feminists longed for has become a prison of relativity, change, and constant redefinition that threatens to make women as dreaded a force as the white male -- unless the women acquiesce to the values and purposes of the greater movement toward gender fluidity and choice and a sexual liberation in which the only enemies may be cysgendered men and women.  

Feminism will have to sort it out but without the privileged class it once enjoyed as the movement most akin to the work for civil rights since the 1960s.  Other isms will and have already replaced feminism at the forefront -- not the least of which is transgenderism.  Maybe Ferris Bueller was right.  

“Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people.”

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