Equity vs. Gender Feminism
It’s useful, I think, to clarify that there are now at least two major schools of feminist thought. The group that is most often courted by the politically correct media are the gender feminists. This is a particularly humorless group that has no room for open debate. The label gender feminist is appropriate because they are obsessed with three fundamental theories.
First, they believe that there are no real differences between the sexes. This is why they have pushed the term “gender” on us. Gender is actually something that is assigned, not innate. So, according to their theory, society and culture have assigned the male and female “genders”. In other words, if it weren’t for the evils of our culture, we would all be walking around as eunuchs.
The second belief that characterizes gender feminists is their obsession with a nebulas concept called “the patriarchy.” The patriarchy, according to gender feminists, is a conspiracy of all men to victimize women. What’s worse, they believe that all men are innately violent due to their socialization within the patriarchy. Thus, they believe that the patriarchy needs to be destroyed at all costs, even if that means converting our government to a totalitarian form of socialism that rewrites the supposed gender script and throws the Constitution out the window.
Finally, gender feminists believe that the most important characteristic of all women is their shared victimhood. All government policies should therefore be oriented around alleviating the victim status of women. This, of course, is principally achieved through attacking the patriarchy.
The orthodoxy of gender feminism is represented by NOW. At one time, NOW was a legitimate leader in fighting for opportunities for women. In the past couple of decades, however, it has become the center-piece of the feminist victim cult. You will also find this brand of feminism on most college campuses, including the University of Washington.
Gender feminists exist in a solipsistic vacuum in which any suggestion of a world view that contradicts their own is considered heresy. Thankfully, however, there is another school of developing thought among feminists. The women in this group call themselves equity feminists. Their interest is in advancing and protecting the opportunities that women have fought for over the decades since World War II. But, they have a decidedly more optimistic view of the world.
Equity feminists are a more balanced group. They believe that the revolution of opportunities for women has been successful. But, at the same time, family and motherhood are not something to be skeptical about. It is an honorable and fulfilling option for them, not a conspiracy of the patriarchy.
Equity feminists believe in an open debate of ideas. There is no orthodoxy among this group. They believe that our country was founded on important principals that should not be taken lightly. Their view of men is generally positive and they do not subscribe to the idea that there is a patriarchy. Most importantly, they believe that there are innate differences between the sexes and they expressly revel in those differences.
Some great examples of equity feminist organizations include the Independent Women’s Forum and iFeminists. Individual leaders include Tammy Bruce, Wendy McElroy, and Christina Hoff Sommers. Not surprisingly, the gender feminist mob consider these brave and independent women to be traitors.
NOW and their gloomy band of gender feminists like to represent themselves as THE voice for women. But, as you can see, there are other increasingly powerful voices for women as well. I think it is important for Silly Seattle to point this out in order to put some of the columns we post into perspective. We are not anti-feminist, but rather appalled by victim obsessed feminism.
Where is the future of feminism? Plenty of damage has been done by the gender feminists, not the least of which is to women themselves, who are learning how they have been betrayed. But, optimism usually prevails in our country and so I wouldn’t bet against the equity feminists.