Thursday, September 17, 2015

Now THAT is feminism on the level of the original movement!

The ladies who began the feminist movement, way back in the eighteenth century, faced danger.  Physical danger.  They faced being jailed and beaten by the authorities.  They faced being beaten by their fathers and husbands, and occasionally, by strangers.  They knew the danger existed, and faced it with courage and dignity, protesting despite the dangers, demanding equal protection under the law, the right to own their own property, and demanding the right to be acknowledged as having an existence separate from their fathers or husbands.  Or sons.

Yes, at one point it really was that bad: women did not legally exist in their own right.  Their protection under the law was nil.  Their existence was solely as property of the men in their lives.

They won their battles.  Women do have equal protection under the law, judging by some arguments--looking at facts, it can be argued that women now have greater protection under the law than men do.

At least in America.

Yet the feminist movement has not quietly stepped back in triumph, waiting to see whether those changes are sufficient--they've kept attacking.  They have, in this country, begun to attack their own: other women who do not want a career outside the home; children, for having the temerity to need their mothers; men, for having the temerity not to roll over and be dominated by feminism while trying to protect their families.

They do this despite the fact that not all women everywhere enjoy the same protections that American women enjoy.

American feminists behave this way for one reason, and one reason only.

American feminists are cowards.

There is another feminist movement overseas that I do admire.  The women in Russia, and in the Middle East, and in Eastern Europe do not have the same rights and protections that we American women have.  They do not have the same guarantee of safety.  They face beatings, incarceration, mutilation with acid, and even murder when they demand the same protections before the laws that men have, demand the same rights.

Yet, despite the very real physical danger that they know they face by protesting their treatment and making demands for fairer treatment, they protest anyway.

I admire that.  I admire that deeply.

And I regret, just as deeply, that I once, many years ago in my early college years, considered myself an American feminist.

I am not that kind of a coward.

2 comments:

  1. Somehow, I doubt you were kind of feminist.

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    1. No. But that kind of feminist gives feminism a bad name, and I was, and am, still embarrassed to have been associated with that bunch.

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