Mr. Rebates

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Modern feminism: an evaluation

Most people agree that men and women are of equal worth and should be treated with dignity. If you support gender equality the assumption is that you should support feminism. However an increasing number of feminists, including Erin Pizzey, Christina Hoff Sommers and Camille Paglia, are expressing alarm at the direction that modern feminism is taking... 


This presents information regarding feminism in practice rather than feminism in theory, and focuses on feminism since the 1960s rather than a history of the women's movement. It draws mainly upon quality media sources (e.g. The Times, the BBC) and academic sources. Most of the sources are hyperlinked so that the reader can verify the credibility of the sources quickly and easily.
The term 'modern feminism' is used here to describe the general direction of the feminist movement since1963, when Betty Friedan, the 'mother of modern feminism' wrote The Feminine Mystique and created a new type of feminist movement. This new movement became known as 'the second wave' of feminism. Evidence suggests that although this second wave has become less radical on the surface it has gathered strength and pace and has expanded it's power base internationally, sometimes showing surprising degrees of radicalism in government and the legal system.
In this you will find information regarding the activities of the feminist movement.
1/ Feminism: theory and practice
2/ The feminist view of men
3/ Feminist research (stats versus facts)
4/ Domestic violence
5/ Feminism and the family
6/ Feminists in government
7/  What is the future for the feminist movement?
8/ Reading list
Appendix 1.  'Waves' of feminism? 

1/ Feminism: theory and practice

 If you look in a dictionary, you will find 'feminism' defined something like:
Main Entry: fem·i·nism
Pronunciation: \ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\
        1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests
The first definition is feminism in theory, and most reasonable people support equality for women. Note however that the second definition allows for some ambiguity regarding feminism and equality in practice; women's rights and interests are not necessarily going to coincide with men's rights and interests any more than a couple's interest in a duvet is going to coincide on a cold night. This is an important point, because this double meaning at the very heart of the definition of feminism allows feminists to both claim to be merely seeking equality (definition 1), yet simultaneously actively seek only those things that are in women's interests (definition 2). It is easy to argue that there is a serious contradiction at the heart of feminism, because fighting for the rights of one side does not necessarily entail fighting for things that bring equality to both sides.
There is also the issue of whether women having an equal opportunity to do a job (e.g. engineering) means that 50% of engineers need to be women. In other words, should equal opportunity mean equal outcome? This issue leads to discrimination against men in the workforce, but this type of discrimination is "positive discrimination" as far as modern feminism is concerned
Though the term feminism has been used to describe the women's movement since 1882, the real feminist movement - what become rebranded as 'the first wave' - ended in the 1920s, having achieved it's goals. The 'feminist' movement that exists today is very different, and is many ways very disconnected from the original movement. In fact in the decades that separate the original (or real) feminist movement from the modern version, many things have changed, and it is questionable whether the original feminists would want to be part of the modern feminist movement.
Although many feminist academics categorize the feminist movement into various waves and subgroups, they usually ignore the most obvious distinction in feminism - the contrast between the egalitarian goals of first wave feminism and the unequal demands of modern feminism. 
The original feminists wanted equality for women; they did not want extra rights for women, nor to take rights away from men. In the eyes of a growing number of people, modern feminism has taken the banner of equality, and used it as a smokescreen for  radical activities. 
If feminism was about equality, then feminists would not want more rights than men, because equal rights implies that both men and women have equivalent rights. However feminism in practice is not always about equality because it often ignores the rights of men. For example, if women have the right not to suffer domestic violence, equality entails that men have the same right. However in practice feminism has not only ignored a man's right not to be beaten by their wife, but has actively eroded a man's  right not to suffer domestic violence from a woman. An example of feminism in practice was captured on video at a public forum on male victims of domestic violence:
Question: If men had disrupted a forum by battered women, what would you think was the men's attitude towards women's rights? 
Question: Does the behaviour of the feminists disrupting the forum demonstrate that they wanted equality i.e. the same rights to non-violence for men and women? Or do you think that they wanted the right for women not to be beaten, but did not want men to even discuss the right not to be beaten? 

Thus we see that the practice of modern feminism is very different to the theory. The theory is equality, but the practice is inequality; this has become the hallmark of modern feminism. Did the radicals of the 1970s simply disappear? No. Many now occupy positions at the very top of fields such as law, the media, academia, and government. They don't call themselves radical feminists anymore, but they can be seen to implement gender inequality just the same. For example, the British government has a feminist Equality Minister, Harriet Harman, who has publicly requested employers to hire women in preference to White men if both job candidates are equally qualified
The previous Equality Minister, Patricia Hewitt, was found guilty of breaching the Sex Discrimination Act by "overlooking a strong male candidate for a job in favour of a weaker female applicant" 
These are just two examples of feminists using government positions to preach equality but practice inequality. (Other examples are described in section 6). Harman and Hewitt are part of a shadowy group of women within the UK government who call themselves the Volupts  But this covert group within the government is probably all just a bit of harmless fun...?

Question: Does the term 'equality' mean the same thing in feminism as it does in other areas of life?

2/ The feminist view of men

There is no mystery about what the modern feminist movement thinks of men; the leaders and prominent members of the  feminist movement have been very clear about it, for example:
  •  "God knows how many women already have no use for their men, who are all too often idle and incompetent both as wage-earners and around the house, uninterested in the children and hopeless in bed" Germaine Greer, Independent (London), Dec 8, 2001.
  • "All men are rapists and that's all they are" - Words of the feminist character Val in Marilyn French's (1977) novel 'The Women's Room'. These words encapsulate similar sentiments expressed by many influential feminists e.g. the following quote...
  • "Intercourse is the pure, sterile, formal expression of men's contempt for women" Andrea Dworkin (1987)
  • "Men are the enemies of women" – Professor Ann Oakley (1984) in 'Taking It Like a Woman'.
  • "I believe that women are the more spiritually advanced sex" Erica Jong, Washington Post, December 6, 1992
But perhaps feminists are becoming less outspoken in their beliefs, as the following quote suggests:

  • “If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males. People are afraid to say that kind of stuff anymore" - Professor Mary Daly, from a 2001 interview with What Is Enlightenment magazine [referencing] Mary Daly, Quintessence...Realizing the Archaic Future: A Radical Elemental Feminist Manifesto, Beacon Press, 1998.

Whatever their feelings for women, it doesn't sound like feminists have much love for men. The attitude is perhaps summed up best by the popular feminist slogan:
  •  "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle".

Little wonder then that so many women choose to remain single these days,,2273247,00.html
Exercise: It is interesting how easily many people dismiss the above quotes as innoffensive, or just a bit of hyperbole. However if these statements were made about any other group of people e.g. women, Blacks, Jews etc there would be a public outcry.
For example:
"All Blacks are rapists and that's all they are"
"Jews are the enemy of women"
"I believe that Whites are the more spiritually advanced race".
Suddenly the degree of prejudice expressed by Greer and colleagues becomes all too clear.

3/ Feminist research (stats versus facts)

Stats and facts can be powerful weapons of argument, but unless the facts and stats are accurate, these weapons make for a pretty dirty war. Most people never stop to question whether the things said in the media (e.g. the gender wage gap) are true, and simply accept these things as the pronouncements of experts in the field. However it is dangerous to believe everything you hear without checking the facts for yourself, as the following examples show clearly.

(a) The gender wage gap is caused by sexism.
 If you worked 35 hours per week as an administrative assistant, would you expect to get paid as much as the surgeon who works 60 hours per week? Most people would agree that the person who has more skills or works longer hours should have their training and labour rewarded. However when it comes to gender issues we tend to have a collective blind spot, and all too readily jump to the conclusion that women are being exploited. Thus when we hear that the average woman gets paid less than the average man, many people immediately presume this is caused by sexism. However, this is what the UK governmental department of statistics says:  
"Women's weekly earnings, including overtime, were lower than men's. This was partly because they worked fewer paid hours per week. ...Although median hourly pay provides a useful comparison between the earnings of men and women, it does not necessarily indicate differences in rates of pay for comparable jobs. Pay medians are affected by the different work patterns of men and women, such as the proportions in different occupations and their length of time in jobs" i.e. women get paid less on average because on average they work fewer hours or in less well-paid occupations.
As you can see it really isn't difficult to figure out the reason for the gender wage gap, but the issue gets promoted in the media as evidence of sexism. Ironically, female statisticians earn more than men (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, cited here and it's easy to find examples of jobs where women are being paid more than men e.g. “Young women in New York and several of the nation’s other largest cities who work full time have forged ahead of men in wages”
Or: “Female directors in corporate America earned median compensation of $120,000, based on the most recently available pay data, compared with $104,375 for male board members, research group The Corporate Library said"
In fact if you look at specific demographics you will see that  single men and male part-time workers are worse off than their female counterparts e.g. "weekly median gross earnings for a woman working part-time are £145.60; for a man [working part-time] £137.80"

If anything, the evidence shows that men are losing out in the jobmarket today: "According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now hold 51.4 percent of managerial and professional jobs... 54 percent of all accountants and hold about half of all banking and insurance jobs"

In a very unusual turn of events, in November 2009 the UK government's department of statistics publicly requested that Hariet Harman, government minister for Women and Equality, refrain from misrepresenting the wage gap issue

Feminists are used to getting away with playing fast and loose with facts and figures, so it is refreshing to see them being asked to try to read off the same page as everyone else.
(b) Men don't suffer from domestic violence by women.
We usually think that women are the only victims of domestic violence, but several studies have shown that the rate is about 50/50 men/women i.e. women engage in domestic violence against men at about the same rate that men do against women. The main difference is that women get hurt more unless a weapon is used, in which case the injury severity is about 50/50. This excellent paper (from Professor Linda Kelly of University of Indionapolis School of Law) explains the stats in detail
Prof Kelly's paper also describes the extremes that some feminists have gone to in order to prevent research evidence being made public, including killing a researcher's family pet, a bomb threat to a university, and numerous other threats and pickets.
(There is more information on domestic violence in section 4 below). 

(c) 1 in 4 women are raped
Part of the general 'all men are rapists' attitude. The Independent Women's Forum maintains that this statistic is a myth: "based on a fallacious feminist study commissioned by Ms. magazine. The researcher, Mary Koss, hand-picked by hard-line feminist Gloria Steinem, acknowledges that 73 percent of the young women she counted as rape victims were not aware they had been raped. Forty-three percent of them were dating their 'attacker' again"
The general tactic has been to expand the definition of rape so as to make it seem more prevalent: "…even verbal coercion or manipulation constitutes rape” (Roiphe, 1993, pp. 66–67) and “with such a sweeping definition of rape, I wonder how many people there are, male or female, who haven’t been date-raped at one point or another” (Roiphe, 1993, p. 79).  Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers observes: "Dr. Andrea Parrot, chair of the Cornell University Coalition Advocating Rape Education and author of Sexual Assault on Campus, begins her date rape prevention manual with the words, "Any sexual intercourse without mutual desire is a form of rape"
Incredibly, when one feminist spokeswoman was challenged on the '1 in 4' statistic, she responded: "The statistics don't really matter... We're just trying to focus on the real issue here... not bicker about numbers"
It is usual for feminists to exaggerate the conviction rate for rape too e.g. feminist government minister Harriet Harman claims the rate is 6%, a shockingly low figure. However a report by Professor Cheryl Thomas of University College London has found that the rate is 55%, a much higher figure than for other types of serious crime
One wonders how feminists constantly come up with such abysmally inaccurate figures, and one suspects that an epidemic of feminist-specific maths-dyslexic isn't a reasonable explanation. 

Question: The above distortions of truth all have in common that they put men in a bad light. There are laws against incitement of prejudice against women and ethnic groups; should there be laws against incitement to promote prejudice against men? Or laws to prevent feminists covering up research that would help male victims of domestic violence?
Question: Do the media (e.g. BBC news) have an obligation to present information in a fair and balanced way, or is it ok for them to present only the story that the feminist movement wants us to hear?

4/ Domestic violence

As stated above, this is normally portrayed as a problem for women, not men. This view is a result of the strident efforts of feminists to portray domestic violence in this way. There is a lot of research showing that men are as often the victims as women, but this research has been vigorously shouted down by feminism e.g. "In an attempt to keep me from speaking... at an American Civil Liberties Union conference... [the ACLU] were told if they allowed me to speak the place would be bombed" (Cook 1997, p.112). Another of the authors of this particular study was the victim of a sustained hate campaign. 
It could be that this issue is particularly important to the feminist movement because it encapsulates their theory that men are brutes and women are always innocent victims. We can be certain that they are not interested in merely helping victims of domestic violence, because half the victims are men. As a result there is no provision for male victims of domestic violence in the UK, and battered husbands can expect only ridicule (or arrest) if they complain that their wife beats them  “We have spoken to men who have been laid out with iron bars, had glass put in their food and been set upon with a knife... Discussion of violence towards men has long been regarded as a social taboo with victims offered little support, charities say

Naturally many men are very reluctant to hit a woman, even in self defence, because it is considered very unmanly. In fact this is something that many violent women depend upon, as shown in this study: "Women [who hit their husband or boyfriend] stated that they expressed aggression toward their male partners in part because they wished to engage their partner's attention, particularly emotionally. Also assaultive women did not believe that their male victims would be seriously injured or would retaliate”. "Deeper reasons endorsed for initiating aggressive behaviour" included "I believe if women truly are equal to men then women should be able to physically express anger at men" and "I feel personally empowered when I behave aggressively against my partner"

In fact "when it comes to nonreciprocal violence between intimate partners, women are more often the perpetrators". In fact women were found to be the perpetrator 70.7% of the time. 
Once again we find that the truth about domestic violence is very different from the public perception, and it seems that many men simply refuse to hit their partner back. You can be sure that these same men will be even less likely to report the assault to the police.

The feminist movement has turned domestic violence against women into a worldwide crusade, and the result of this has been the promotion of laws that amount to what can be described as revenge legislation. For example, in the US the notorious Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a 176 page document that until 2005 was weighted totally in favour of women, in that every example of violence specified women as the victim.  Although the updated 2005 version includes a token mention of 'nonexclusivity' to women (i.e. it theoretically applies to men too)  the way this law has been promoted, originally worded (including the present title), and is currently enforced makes it extremely clear that women are presumed to be the only real victims of domestic violence. Moreover, men are mentioned specifically as victims only twice, whereas only women are mentioned as victims when statistics about domestic violence are cited. Also the gender neutral wording of the updated VAWA does not, for some reason, apply to immigrants, elderly, disabled, or Indian victims, all of whom apparently are female only. (No doubt feminists will point disingenuously to the 'nonexclusivity' clause to try to explain away this last issue). You can check these details for yourself

VAWA has a 'must arrest' clause, which means that in several US states if a woman complains her male partner has hit her the police must arrest him whether there is evidence of assault or not: All fifty states now allow police to make warrantless arrests of those accused of domestic violence offenses… In addition, several states make arrest in domestic violence cases mandatory” (Gruber 2007, p.760) 

But the words that frame this law are only part of the problem because even the definition of domestic violence has been distorted. In the US today the term 'domestic violence' has been expanded to include simply being "afraid" or "fearful" of harm from your partner. Two thirds of US states include in their definition "psychological distress" and a third include "harassment". Can you imagine a man insisting that his wife is arrested because he says she is harassing him? There is a good chance that he will be arrested instead, as happens to about 20% of male domestic violence victims who seek help from the police in the UK  In the real world this definition of domestic violence only works when the accusation is made by a woman. In the opinion of Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusttes Bar Association,  because the definition is so wide, it is wide open to abuse: "In many cases, allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage".

Despite the fact that domestic violence by women against men has been increasing worldwide (e.g. by 25% in Australia,25197,23262390-12377,00.html2377,00.html)
...we are seeing an increase in ludicrously strict laws aimed against men across the world. Indeed a billion US dollars is to be spent on spreading VAWA to up to 20 countries worldwide
As usual for feminism, this money will come from the taxpayer. The National Organization for Women is urging all women to petition their Senators to support women who are victims of domestic violence, but of course women are in effect being asked to campaign for the spread of laws designed to persecute men. But VAWA is far from being the only anti-male law in the world...

Mexican men who display extreme jealousy or avoid sex with their wives could be tried in court and punished under a new law”

Since Oct 2006 "men who beat, threaten or even shout at their wives or live-in partners or could be jailed for up to a year and fined... it includes verbal and emotional abuse, such as insults or name-calling... the Act covers not only wives and live-in partners, but sisters, mothers, mothers-in-law or any other female relation"
See for yourself how the feminist minister who helped push the Indian law through accuses an interviewer of domestic violence because of his interviewing style The 'assault' happens at 3 mins 22 seconds

It's worth noting that India is a huge country, so these laws affect some 350 million adult men. 

 According to the UK government the following are legitimate grounds to prosecute for domestic violence:
- "Persistent verbal abuse e.g. constant unreasonable criticism".
- "Excessive contact e.g. numerous telephone calls to check
someone’s whereabouts” (

Note that all of these laws have in common the stretching of the term 'violence' to the point where it becomes all-inclusive e.g. insulting your sister is considered by law  to be 'violent'.

Court rulings in the past few years have led to speculation that the Australian legal system has an unofficial 'licence to kill' policy for women who claim to have suffered "battered woman syndrome"

Where are we going with these anti-male laws? Well the feminist movement is determined to make sure that stringent laws are applied worldwide, and are very active in doing so, and
the number of countries that have new or revised domestic violence laws has increased from 45 in 2003 to 89 in 2006

What can be done? Perhaps the UN should be sent into these countries? After all part of its purpose is:
"to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women ...and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, to practice tolerance and live together in
peace with one another..."

Many people will be shocked that not only do governments support the sexist domestic violence laws, but the United Nations too. For example, the feminist branch of the UN - United Nation Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) - is making sure that the new Indian Domestic Violence Act is fully enforced: 
"The Lawyers Collective, one of the groups that led the campaign [to create the 2006 domestic violence laws] will now use a grant by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women to help the Indian legal system adjust the ways it handles domestic abuse cases"

In fact UNIFEM gets funding for promoting and supporting laws like these from the governments that are members of the UN Here is a list of those countries:
If your country is on this list, then some of your money - paid in taxes - goes towards supporting UNIFEM's domestic violence laws.

Getting away with murder? 
 Perhaps the final irony is that while campaigning so vigorously for laws that will unjustly send so many men to jail, British feminists have been busily convincing the government that all women's prisons should be closed and reopened as men's prisons
 Incredibly, the British government were going to concede...
... and women's prisons were due to be closed by 2017

The plan has been shelved, but only because of a lack of government funding...
... and when the government has more money to spend we might not only see women's prisons disappear, but a new law reducing the penalty for women murdering men if the woman feels sufficiently insulted
Whether you think these changes will bring about equality doesn't really matter, because the changes are being supported by feminists in positions of high power and influence, including Solicitor General Vera Baird QC
It's difficult not to see this as just another erosion of equality that feminists are creating, and another mess they will refuse to clean up when it all goes wrong

Is the normal function of the UN being fulfilled in the case of domestic violence laws? 
Is it wise to not only take civil liberties away from men, but put so much power in the hands of women? 
Should people be allowed to choose whether their taxes go to support domestic violence laws such as those seen in India? 

 5/ Feminism and the family
Feminism does not have a history of being family-friendly, though the reasons for this seem to be more psychologically motivated than socially. By this I mean is that despite there being no real reason why women can only have equality through the destruction of the traditional family unit (Mother, Father, children) feminists have been forceful in rejecting a life in the traditional family as a choice for women. Here are some of the things said by feminists re the family and traditional family roles:
 "Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession... being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn't be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that". Vivian Gornick, The Daily Illini (Urbana), 25 April 1981.
Greer's words are worth repeating in this context: "God knows how many women already have no use for their men, who are all too often idle and incompetent both as wage-earners and around the house, uninterested in the children and hopeless in bed…" Germaine Greer (2001)
"In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them." Dr. Mary Jo Bane, feminist and assistant professor of education at Wellesley College and associate director of the school's Center for Research on Woman (Source: Quoted by Dolores Barclay, Associate Press writer, Tulsa World, August 21, 1977.)

These views have a strong history in feminism, from Betty Friedan's (1963) 'The Feminine Mystique' to Greer's anti-male anti-family bestseller 'The Female Eunuch' (1970) and beyond. Friedan dismisses the role of stay-at-home mother ('SAHM') as an easy and trivial job and even blames SAHMs for divorce, homosexuality, child abuse and juvenile delinquency.
There seems to be a special resentment of the role of the father in feminism, and it has been suggested that this resentment was part of the reason for the wave of false child sex abuse allegation in the 1980s based on false memories of abuse ('false memory syndrome'). Guilliatt (1996a) implicates feminist groups "with an anti-male attitude that promotes an image of the inevitable male-parental hurt of female children, and that wishes to punish all men, especially the father figure"
Perhaps these feminist groups took Professor Catherine McKinnon's statistics on incest at face value. McKinnon has suggested, for example, that the rate of sexual abuse of girls under the age of 18 within the family is 43% (McKinnon 1987, p.49). However the feminist definition of sexual abuse can include such activities as allowing a minor (under 18 years old) to be present when pornography was on TV, so the feminist presumption that fathers are sexual monsters to be feared is based on very questionable foundations. 
The truth about abuse is more complex: while it's true that men sexually abuse young children at a greater rate than women, women sexually abuse older boys (12-17 years old) at a greater rate than men (11 times more in cases of unforced rape according to data from the US 2000 National Incident-Based Reporting System (McCloskey & Raphael 2005, p.16).  Also mothers beat their children more than fathers (34.6% Vs 26.8%) 

Some prominent feminists (e.g. Andrea Dworkin) have talked openly of the childhood abuse at the hands of their fathers; could this explain the deep and seemingly endless feminist animosity to the family, and an apparent distrust of men in general? Who can ever know for sure, but the extent of the damage done to society by the feminist movement's undermining of the family unit is a subject far beyond the scope of this article. One thing is for sure, the devastating affects of family breakdown are many and well documented

Perhaps the main victims of feminism are children. On a BBC documentary shown in May 2009, Rosie Boycott (founder of the feminist magazine Spare Rib) admitted that she and other feminists had failed to think through the effect that feminism would have on children
On the same documentary, child development expert Prof Jay Belsky discusses years of research evidence leading to the conclusion that childcare makes children more aggressive and disobedient in the short and longer term (Belsky et al, 2007).

Are children the primary victims of feminism? 

6/ Feminists in Government
If feminism were simply about equality, then who would object to a feminist government? In the UK, 73% of the women in the ruling New Labour government are feminists but why should that concern us? The reason for concern is that by now you will be aware that feminism is not really about equality, and feminists in government predictably make laws that discriminate against men and generally disseminate prejudice about men. Here are some examples:
The most senior feminist minister, Harriet Harman, wants businesses to hire women preferentially over White men
Another prominent feminist in government - Patricia Hewitt - suggests that men can't be trusted to care for children because of the risk of molestation:
"...if we want fathers to play a full role in their children's lives, then we need to bring men into the playgroups and nurseries and the schools. And here, of course, we hit the immediate difficulty of whether we can trust men with children." (From the book 'Transforming Men' by G. Dench, 1995).
Yet another New Labour feminist - Baroness Jean Corston - almost succeed in closing all women's prisons by 2017
Should we worry that Harman, Hewitt, and other feminists are part of a unofficial group of women within the government known as the Volupts?
The minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chaudhary has promoted and defended the blatantly anti-male Domestic Violence Act, a law under which a man can be jailed for insulting any female relative. Other anti-male laws are also promoted in India by feminist officials.
Despite her extreme views on violence against women (see section 4 above), Choudhary has ironically been very successful in beating a charge of her violence against a policeman who she is alleged to have punched and kicked when he stopped her car from driving down a road closed for the Indian Prime Minister's motorcade

Sweden is one of the most politically correct (PC) countries in the world, so it's not surprising that the influence of feminism is strong there. They even have a party - Feminist Initiative - that promotes the feminist ideology e.g. the abolition of marriage, and a special 'man tax' to pay for the cost of domestic violence against women. Given what we know about domestic violence against men, to tax men only for domestic violence is extremely insulting and has contributed to a slide in popularity of Feminist Initiative, even in such a feminist-friendly country
Chairperson of the Swedish goverment's women's shelters, Ireen von Wachenfeldt, stated in a television documentary that men are animals. Furthermore, von Wachenfeldt uses the women's shelters to promote the rabidly anti-male SCUM manifesto, a tract which calls the for the killing of men

Elected in 2009, the lesbian feminist prime minister Johanna Sigurdardottir has vowed to “end of the Age of Testosterone”
Only time will tell exactly what this means, but banning strip clubs is apparently the first step

Given Rwanda's tragic history is is perhaps not surprising that this country offers the most shocking example of a government feminist abusing her power.
Minister of Family and Women's Affairs Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, gave lectures on female empowerment and child care but as a member of the Tutsi community showed no mercy for Hutu women. During the war in 1994 she announced to the Hutus that there was food and medical aid in a stadium in the town of Butare. "It was a trap. Instead of receiving food and shelter, the thousands of refugees were surrounded by militia. She told the leader of her militia: "'Before you kill the women, you need to rape them.'' In fact she "had led the soldiers to see rape as a reward"
There is no doubt that war can bring out the very worst in human nature, but the story of Pauline Nyiramasuhuko demonstrates that being a feminist is no guarantee of equality, or even the most basic humanity.

Perhaps one of the most sinister aspects of feminism in power is the way that the UN influences non-Western cultures who are deemed not to be living up to their obligations as a UN member to promote gender equality. One method to force-feed feminism to countries such as India, China, Tanzania, Sudan, Mexico, and the Philippians, is through the mandatory broadcasting of soap operas to make viewers adopt feminist views. For example, India's longest running soap opera, Hum Log, was:
"...designed to promote women's status in Indian society. ...Results [of research] indicated that... Viewers who were more aware of "Hum Log's" prosocial content had stronger beliefs in women's freedom of choice and family planning". (Brown & Cody 2006, p.114). 
This tactic might sound like brainwashing to the average person, yet psychologists in the US are winning prizes for designing this sort of material
This has been going on for years, but most people have never heard about it and would think you had been reading too much George Orwell if you told them. However its hard to deny information published by the National Institutes of Health such as:
 “This article presents the impact of soap operas and social marketing efforts, developed by Population Communications International (PCI), on changing the attitude and behavior of individuals toward family planning, health, women empowerment, and pro-social issues.... During the two conferences organized by PCI, three American production organizations initiated new storylines based on the issues discussed"

Concluding comment: Most countries have laws against people using government positions to promote discrimination, yet feminism has slipped under the radar in every case. 

When the Suffragettes won the vote for women, do you think they anticipated that one day female politicians would be proud to openly promote anti-male sentiments and laws?
If all political parties were as open as the Swedish Feminist Initiative party about the degree to which they promote feminism, would this affect their chances of being elected?
Is 'revenge legislation' (like the Indian Domestic Violence Act or the UK's proposals for employment practice) ever justified? In other words, can we compensate for a perceived injustice of the past by enforcing a mirror of that perceived injustice in the present?
In India, where a man can be jailed for insulting any female relative, is it wise to further encourage anti-male feelings by stirring up pro-feminist views in US-designed and UN-promoted soap operas? 

7/ What is the future for the feminist movement?
The feminist movement have claimed that women have been oppressed by patriarchal systems throughout history. This type of system by implication advantages men over women, but really - what is the evidence for this?  Nathanson and Young (2006) describe this 'patriarchal oppression' view as the feminist conspiracy theory of history, and if you spend a few moments to think about the traditional roles of men and women you can see why:
 Women traditionally have had to:
1/ Clean the home, which is repetitive, low skilled.
2/ Bring up the children. Taking care of infants can be stressful.
3/ Accept that expressing emotions is ok (e.g. cry etc) but not expressing opinions on politics etc
4/ Have had crafts (e.g. embroidery or music) instead of education.

Men traditionally have had to:
1/ Go out to work in dangerous or stressful jobs e.g. coal mine.
2/ Been drafted to fight wars, unless already a professional soldier.
3/ Not had much chance to be with their children as they grow up.
4/ Emotions have been discouraged ('boys don't cry' etc) e.g. men can be shot for cowardice in wartime.
5/ Education for some in the privileged classes (exam pressure, 'exciting' library books etc)
 6/ Lets not forget men's traditional household duties too i.e. DIY jobs (unblocking the drain etc).

Can it be so easily said that women have been slaves and men their oppressors? Or would it be more reasonable to say that they both have roles that oppress them in different ways? 
It is difficult to say what 40 years of feminism has achieved for men or women in the West. Research has found that since the mid 1970s women's happiness has decreased
Women can now work in almost all jobs, though not military service for the most part, and in many cases there is discrimination in their favour e.g. when seeking work
Certainly women have been voting in some parts of the US since 1869 (Wyoming) i.e. years before the term feminism was even invented (in 1882 by Hubertine Auclert. Source: Historical Dictionary of Feminism: Second Edition. By Janet K. Boles, Diane Long Hoeveler).
Women have voted all over the US since 1920, in New Zealand in 1893, in Finland in 1906, and in the UK 1928, but it is worth noting that many men (of colour, or non-landowners for example) were barred from voting in times past too.
It might be asked whether there is still a need for feminism when women have achieved equality, not to mention some advantages (e.g. positive discrimination, domestic violence laws etc). Maybe there is a need for feminism outside the West? Not long ago I would have said yes, but after seeing how robust feminism is in countries like India I honestly doubt that women need much rescuing. However if there are places where human rights abuses exist, we should all be fully in favour of making sure these problems are corrected. 
But perhaps more than anything there is a psychological need for feminism, for example the need for troubled people like Andrea Dworkin to exact revenge in whatever way they can. While any reasonable person would have sympathy for the victims of abuse, do we really want social policy to be dictated by vendetta?
Perhaps there is really only as much need for feminism today as feminists tell us there is for men today i.e. none
8/  Conclusion
Despite what we have been told for 40 years, men are not all bad and women are not all good. Despite what feminists like Anne Oakley have told us, if women ruled the world it would not automatically be a utopia; leaders like Margaret Thatcher and criminals like Rose West should be evidence enough of that. We are all human beings struggling to survive in an imperfect world. Men have been given a bad name in the past 40 years, and no doubt some men will feel resentful that they have suffered unjustly because of this. The voices of normal everyday women often get left out of discussions on feminism, but it might be fair to say that:
Those who want feminism don't really want equality, and those who want equality really don't want feminism.
But I will leave my closing words to a quote from someone who never had anything bad to say about women or feminism, Bill Hicks:
"The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one" (from the biography Love all the People).
Maybe if we can have a feminism that sees us all with the eyes of love, the 21st century will be a better experience for us all.
Reading list & references
Brown & Cody (2006). Effects of a Prosocial Television Soap Opera in Promoting Women's Status. Human Communication Research, 18, 1, 114 – 144.
Cook, P.W. (1997). ‘Abused Men'. Westport: Prasger. In Nathansan & Young (2006). 'Legalzing Misandry'. McGill-Queen's University Press. 
Gruber, A. (2007) The Feminist War on Crime. Iowa Law Review, Vol 92, p.741
Guilliatt, R. (1996a). Talk of the devil. Melbourne: Text.
I-VAWA (International Violence Against Women Act, 2008)
Kammer, J. 'If men have all the power how come women make all the rules'. [Comment: a readable non-academic analysis of feminism]
Kelly, L (1992). Disabusing the definition of domestic abuse: How women batter men and the role of the feminist state, Florida state University Law Review, Vol. 30:791 [Comment: An excellent insight into the feminist movement by a well respected Professor of law]
Lyndon, N. (1993). No more sex war. Mandarin. [Comment: An intelligent and insightful book, but the angry reaction from feminists ended Lyndon's journalistic career]
Nathanson, P. and Young, K. (2006). Legalizing Misandry. McGill-Queen's University Press. [Comment: Excellent review of the changes the feminist movement have made in  law and academia in the US and Canada] 8
McKinnon, C.A.  (1987). Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Harvard University Press
Roiphe, K (1993). The morning after: Sex, fear and feminism on campus. Boston: Little, Brown.
VAWA (Violence Against Women Act, 2005)


‘Waves’ of feminism?

Instead of acknowledging the obvious differences between the original feminists of the nineteenth century and the revivalist feminist movement that has existed since the late 1960s, some feminists prefer to divide feminism into four categories, or 'waves': 

First wave (late 19th-early 20th century): Seeking equal rights for women, exemplified by the Suffragettes who sought the vote for women and were against abortion. Ended in the 1920s having achieved their aims. 

Second wave feminism (1960s to present day). This revivalist movement focussed on what it saw as a multitude of inequalities and oppressions suffered by women at the hands either of individual men or ‘the patriarchy’. The slogan ‘the personal is political’ typified this view of every aspect of a woman’s life being subject to some kind of oppression by men. This movement has campaigned on a huge number of issues, including abortion, sexuality, and special rights for women. 

Post-feminism (1980s to present): a movement focussing on women’s issues that acknowledges that modern feminism has achieved its goals. ‘Voices of the Post-Feminist Generation’ by Susan Bolotin in 1982 gave a platform for women who agreed with equality but could not identify with modern feminism.

Third wave (early 1990s): Really an offshoot of modern feminism that gave a voice to feminists who felt unrepresented by what were seen as the White, middle-class leaders of feminism. 

Does the ‘4 waves’ notion help us to understand feminism? Not really. The fact that chronologically the third wave comes after post-feminism says a lot about the validity of the waves hypothesis. The most important distinction of feminism – the fight for equality Vs the fight for supremacy – has a clear boundary in the 1960s, and from the 1960s onwards the 'second wave' has been the only aspect of feminism that has had any power or influence in the world. Indeed the other waves have had virtually no influence outside of feminist circles in academia. If anyone is in any doubt that the ‘second wave’ is the only real wave in modern feminism, they only need to look at when the most significant anti-male legislation has been created: in the 1990s and up to the present day. For example, the notorious VAWA was introduced in 1994, a decade after the supposed ascendance of post-feminism. Other such revenge legislation continues to be implemented in a growing number of countries to this day. Clearly the ‘second wave’ view of men as inherently oppressive and violent is thriving.

In conclusion, the waves view of feminism gives the comforting impression that feminism was only a problem during the 1970s and ignores the fact that the ‘second wave’ protesters of the 1970s are the professors, media pundits, lawyers, judges and government officials of today who do so much to influence all of our lives. 

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