I recently had an online discussion with a couple of women who claim they are NOT feminists - they just happen to believe everything that feminists advocate. Okay, sure.
I asserted that such a posture is basically dishonest, and was then shouted out of the forum for being so rude and insensitive as to presume to notice such a peculiarity.
I had the temerity to point out some of the recent issues the feminists take exception to, that are based on fabrications and lies. Here's a few that I listed:
- Superbowl Sunday wife-beating myth
- "Rule of Thumb" for wife-beating hoax
- "Women-own-1%-of-world-property" myth
- NOW Apologetics for "March of Dimes birth defects" study myth
I started arguing with feminist advocates long ago, when I decided to investigate my own family history. The assertion was made somewhere that women's rights had been routinely abused in Colonial America, because it was supposedly not permitted for women to own property. As I researched this claim, I came across a legal document that settled the disposition of a remote ancestor in North Carolina at the death of her husband in the 18th century. She inherited all the property, including an extensive plantation estate, not to mention 20 slaves that went with it. It was after that discovery that I began to regard feminist assertions with scepticism and distrust.
The response was to offer me the assurance,
"...The fact that she's a widow is key here. Single women, particularly those in colonial North Carolina, were allowed to own property. But once she became a married woman, her property legally belonged to her husband."To substantiate this assertion, a link was given for a page on the Ehow site, written by an English teacher and a women's art critic, or something like that, that said essentially the same thing. These pages are basically user contributions, and are no more or less authoritative than a blog entry. No particular references were offered, so perhaps I am supposed to be convinced by these self-styled "experts" on 18th century culture. Why then don't I feel satisfied with that answer?
As I went further into following feminist philosophy, I read several books critical of feminism at the time, including Christina Hoff Sommers and Camile Paglia. I also looked at a number of pro-feminist blogs and web sites, including the home page of NOW. All left me with a bad feeling about the routine assumptions our liberal-minded society now accepts and embraces without question.
These women further asserted that Christina Hoff Sommers, from whom I garnered a couple of these links, claims to be a feminist herself. Not exactly sure what I'm supposed to take from the fact that feminists seem to be in a continual cat-fight amongst themselves about who gets to say what constitutes a real feminist. But I'm somewhat accustomed to dealing with cognitive dissonance, so I just forged ahead like the mind-numbed idiot I usually prove myself to be.
The discussion then transitioned into the assertion that women in the Bible are treated as property, which I took as yet another feminist argument fabricated out of thin air. Several links were ostensibly to demonstrate that assertion from Bible passages:
1. The Genesis passage mentions nothing even related to women being regarded as property. It asserts that childbearing is painful, and that women will be by nature inclined to see their husbands as "head of the household".
2. The first Exodus passage is an injunction against "coveting", in which we are warned against coveting things that are not ours. The neighbor's wife is included in the list, not necessarily implying that wives are property, but warning against the temptation to covet. More illuminating are the words of Jesus:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)3, 4. The next couple of Exodus passages are rules governing indentured servitude, which was common practice in Old Testament cultures. Regulating the practice of slavery was a cultural injunction, and had nothing in particular to do with religion or women. Men and children of both sexes were commonly involved in the slave trade. Slaves were regarded as the property and responsibility of the master. Though this is not a practice that is acceptable in the context of contemporary society, it was routine and accepted in most cultures of that day. The reasons for this were complicated, but suffice it to say that the Hebrew culture was at least governed by some more humane set of rules governing the practice. Other societies of the time had no such rules.
5. The Deuteronomy passage is an injunction governing practices of warfare. Once again, the idea of capturing slaves is foreign to contemporary US culture, but such practices were common during that time. And once again, the Hebrew culture was at least subject to some rules governing conduct, which other cultures lacked altogether.
The next link purports to be a reference to Biblical passages treating women as inferior to men. Just how you are inclined to regard this seems to be more of an issue of semantics to me, rather than a question of abusing women's rights. It is not settled today any more than it was in Biblical times. And that's okay with me, my mind is fairly clear about the perspective from which I view this issue. In any case, it has little bearing on the question of treating women as property of their husband, which was the original subject.
The thing that really bothers me about this is the picture I have in my mind, envisioning women who are inclined to such thinking. I wonder what interaction they might have with their spouse, whom they apparently regard routinely as abusive to all women. And what must such feminist women be teaching to their own children, boys and girls both. No wonder Christina Hoff Sommers sought to clarify thinking like this in her later book --
Perhaps the answer to this "sexist" assertion is that our society has simply become over-sexualized to the point of obsession. This is not only my own impression. Others have suggested it in even stronger terms.
And of course, the most laughable feminist myth with no substance: The continual gripe that women do all the housework. Apparently the feminist motto, the assertion that "men are pigs", is fairly well normalized in popular culture now. The fact is, men in families typically do more than their share of the domestic chores, and generally have few complaints about it.
This was a popular refrain of my former wife, who was often heard complaining, "Do I have to do everything around here?" Well, she ended up demanding to be divorced, and I presume that at least now she really does have to do everything for herself. I can only hope that she and others who bought into the feminist lies get some satisfaction from knowing this, because they certainly won't get anything else from me, ever again. My general impression is that women in this culture think better of themselves than reality reflects. I have written more about this on another page in this blog.
Narcissism in Contemporary Culture
Female Genetic Study
Of more general interest are the results of a female genetic study I reviewed on this blog some years ago, and the conclusions we can arrive at as a result. They tend to invalidate most of the feminist claims with solid evidence from biological sciences:
Female Genetic Study