Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I am woman, hear me whine

One of my favorite writers is Christina Hoff Sommers. She earned her high rank in my mental list when I had the pleasure of reading her wonderful book Who Stole Feminism? Hoff Sommers' point, which should be obvious to anyone with eyes, ears and a brain, is that the current feminist movement has nothing to do with equality, and everything to do with very unhappy women trying to elevate themselves by trumpeting their weaknesses (a weird strategy, but very successful on college campuses). Apparently feminism's British sisters in arms have fallen prey to precisely the same "I am victim -- elevate me" strategy. At least, that's the point of a marvelous Carol Sarler column in the Times Online. In an article triggered by the thirtieth anniversary of Britain's Sex Discrimination and Equal Pay Acts, Sarler points out that the act hasn't really succeeded (assuming its goal was to help create strong women who can be men's equals):

The overwhelming achievement of these three decades of feminism and its worker bees in the “women’s movement” has been to turn our triumph on its head. What was once about women’s strengths is now about their weaknesses; where once we celebrated what women can do, we are asked, now, only to make allowances for what they cannot. The purpose of the new law was to ensure what might loosely be called fair play; it beggars belief, looking back, that its proponents ever expected to see it invoked in so many cases that are, frankly, pathetic. Scarcely a week passes without some female high-flyer running to a tribunal with tales of men being beastly; in one memorable case this year a woman used in evidence the fact that her male colleagues often went to the pub without her. You might think that equality involves an equal chance of being disliked — she called it sex discrimination. (And prevailed.)
It seems that British military women are especially prone to complaining about problems arising from their gender. Or, as Sarler says:
Women in the Armed Forces seem especially attracted to this milch cow, with 2,400 of them last year complaining of harassment — in other words, the very women expected to produce superhuman effort under enemy fire cannot, apparently, be expected to produce a robust rebuttal of a smutty overture.
I might add that women joining the testosterone rich world of the military might, perhaps, expect that these are men who, well, act like men. And to try to feminize them, as the feminists are so clearly attempting to do, might, just might, affect their ability to do what a military is supposed to do: fight. Not fight in the courts, as the feminists do so well, but actually fight, real world style. But I digress.... Sarler also takes on the inequity inherent in the argument that a drunk man must be punished for imposing himself sexually on an equally drunk woman, on the ground that she couldn't be expected to defend herself (whereas the man, apparently, can be expected to control himself):
This season’s heated debate, for example, has concerned whether a woman’s consent to sexual intercourse is valid if she is drunk. Feministas are adamant that it is not, arguing that a man who “takes advantage” of a woman rendered compliant by a few pints of snakebite is a fully-fledged rapist; again, their argument weakens us. Allowing for the tautological assumption that “date rape” takes place on a date, and allowing therefore that both parties probably enjoyed several sherries before engaging in sex, what this means is that a man may be held responsible for his inebriated actions — but a woman need not be. A curious equality, is it not, that disallows an equal right to make our own mistakes?
Anyway, these are just pieces of a long, interesting article about the decline of true feminism. You would probably enjoy the article, as you would Hoff Sommer's book. Hat tip: A very special thank you to Kathryn, at Suitable for Mixed Company, who didn't think this quite fit the tone of her blog, and so gave me the heads up. And she asks me to thank Matt Rosenberg, who first put her onto this great Sarler article.