This is my brief critique of modern feminism in which I list the pros and cons of the movement and explain my reasoning for each.
**Disclaimer**: If you’re one of those feminists, I am a white male so you may disregard this as you please.
-Abortion Rights: Perhaps the primary reason why feminism is still relevant in the West, feminists campaign heavily for their right to be able to have an abortion. This right should be available because (A.) legal abortions are safer for women who will get their abortions no matter what than illegal abortions, (B.) the right saves the taxpayer substantial sums of money each year because women have the option to abort when they are financially unstable, and (C.) the right saves an otherwise unwanted child from leading a miserable life that often ends in criminality and untimely death.
-Encouraging Women to Explore Their Options: Feminism has done a tremendous job in encouraging women into fields they typically shied away from. In just the last few decades, a female doctor went from a rarity to somewhat commonplace. Even now, feminists are continuing to urge women into mathematics, coding, and engineering.
-International Outreach: In locations of the world where women hold the status of second-class citizen, feminists encourage brave women to get educated, start businesses, and defy those patriarchal norms still present in their respective cultures.
-Stigmatizing Motherhood: While I don’t have any problems with feminists encouraging women to explore life choices different from the traditional, I do take issue when they look down on those that decide they’re content with being a mom. Being a *good* mother is really fucking hard. Creating life and molding the next generation of life into good people is really fucking hard. Even my own mother gets caught in this trap, calling my sister’s college degree ‘wasted’ because she decided to be a stay-at-home mom instead of working and paying some strangers to raise her kids for her. No one should be discouraged for doing what they love so long as it doesn’t harm others.
-Patriarchy Theory: ‘Patriarchy’ arguably continues to be a core concept within modern feminism. While Patriarchy is a difficult beast to pin down with a definition, the typical train of thought goes like this — men (i.e. The Patriarchy) have been collectively oppressing women since the beginning of time, treating them as second-class citizens and limiting their scope of influence to the household. I have 2 problems with this thought train. (1). This definition conflates suppression and idolization. Historically, politics were considered nasty; war was considered nasty; physical labor was considered nasty. The oppression was a consequence of a deep-seated desire to keep women safe from these ills of the world. This doesn’t make what men did okay by any means, but it wasn’t out of purely ill intent, either. There’s some nuance here. (2.) This definition implicitly undermines what influence a woman can have from the household. In raising children, shaping the beliefs and behaviors of generations, women were and still are the cultural cornerstone of society. Sure, they didn’t typically get their names on plaques directly, but having a successful son or husband would reflect positively on them. The men in her life was her trophy or lack thereof.
-Quotas: In combination with encouraging women to join professions where women lack, many feminists also insist on using quotas. I oppose quotas on the principle that they just aren’t necessary. First off, the pressure for women to join STEM fields has only just begun. Like with the doctor example from one of the pros above, this sort of encouragement takes time. Secondly, these quotas shine doubt on the woman’s ability to do the job which otherwise wouldn’t have existed. ‘Does she have this job/experience because she’s qualified, or because HR was trying to fill their monthly woman quota?’. Why give capable women another reason for idiots to doubt them? Thirdly, quotas force companies to ignore more qualified candidates, which hurts the economy as a whole in the long run.
-Wage Gap Misinformation: Feminists insist that a woman is paid 77 cents for every dollar a man is paid. While true, the problem here is that these feminists don’t usually elaborate on why it is that this figure is true. It is NOT because companies intentionally withhold some pay from their employee because they have a hoo-haa. It IS because of a myriad of factors, many of which are still unknown, including women’s tendency to take more time off, to be less combative when it comes to promotions and raises, to take maternity leave if necessary, to occupy less life-threatening positions, etc.
-Stigmatizing or Ignoring Men’s Groups/Issues: While I won’t deny that men’s groups harass feminists more than they should and they really need to knock it off, feminists need to let men have a platform on certain issues as well. Men DO face spousal abuse, and there are little-to-no men’s shelters. When these men call police, THEY rather than the abuser will be the one taken to prison. Courts are heavily biased towards women in nearly every arena; A woman WILL get less time for the same crime. Male circumcision is still commonplace whereas female circumcision is abhorred. Society faces a male suicide epidemic. Men falsely accused of rape will continue to face scorn despite being acquitted. Women’s organizations, instead of trying to correct these inequities, either ignore them or attempt to widen them. In the case of courts, these organization will posit that mothers should be given lighter sentencing due to the effect on their kids with no thought given to the father who is just as necessary in the household and will be in jail for a longer period of time.
-Objectification: Feminists typically suggest that it is wrong to sexually objectify a person because the thinking leads to an insensitivity toward sexual abuse. My issue here is that this is a slippery slope fallacy. Most people have and continue to sexually objectify people on the daily. We are a sexual species and it’s only natural that we think someone has a nice ass or whatever. Most people aren’t sexual predators. It is not the objectification itself that is the problem. The problem is when someone cannot fathom that their fellow human beings aren’t anything but objects that it becomes a problem. That’s a psychopath problem, not an objectification problem.
-Islamophilia: Many feminists of the intersectional variety have no problem with Islam. This is ridiculous for the following reasons: (1) Islam dictates that women wear the Hijab. They are forced. (2) Women are considered second-class citizens under the religion. Her word as a witness to a crime is not equal to that of a man’s. (3) If you want to include gays, lesbians, and transexuals under the intersectional umbrella, you have a problem because Islam dictates that these people be tossed off of the nearest tall building. Need I say more?