Stop Calling Yourselves Feminists…Sheesh!

I have a “laissez-faire” attitude to “nice feminists” or equity feminists, or whatever they wish to call themselves. Fine. After all, you are entitled to self- identify as anything that best fits your own leanings.

But, just yesterday I read a thread on A Voice for Men, by AnCap called “An Interview with Wendy McElroy on feminism in America 10-07-2013, 10:22 PM, who referenced an interview with Wendy McElroy.

In the interview Ms McElroy stated:

Gender feminism has lost the debate. Various and irresistible backlashes against it are in motion and the PC straight jacket will be cast off. The backlash forces include equity and individualist feminism, the men’s and the father’s movements, libertarianism and conservatism… The imminent death of gender feminism may not be apparent because the ideology managed to institutionalize itself, especially within academia and within the political structure.” [1]

Fair enough, I kind of like Ms McElroy, and I have quite a lot of respect for Christina Hoff Sommers, but it is of course qualified – why for the love of all that is holy are ye both still calling yourselves feminists?

In the interview, Ms McElroy was directly asked this question, and after she had clearly stated that “gender feminism has lost the debate”.

Ms. McElroy’s answer bugged me, it irritated me, it stuck like a splinter trapped just out of reach, she said and I quote:

I persist in the label for a few reasons. First, I want the roots of American feminism to be recognized and acknowledged; those roots were profoundly individualist and grounded in the early 19th century abolitionist (anti-slavery) movement. Happily, this is happening. Individualist feminism was unheard of in academia when I started to write but it is now generally recognized. I hope I have contributed to this evolution. Second, I like being part of a tradition that dates back to the classical liberalism of Mary Wollstonecraft. Third, I’m stubborn. [2]

Mary Wollstonecraft [3]

Now of all the stupid reasons to hold onto a label that you yourself have derided, nicely, but derided all the same – stubbornness has to be the stupidest.  It is childish and immature, as a teenager I embraced all sorts of “causes” as you do, but as maturity and knowledge and a more critical way of thinking developed I changed my opinion, I cannot now imagine stubbornly holding onto the position that the Bay City Rollers are THE best band in the whole entire universe and anyone that says otherwise is just plain mad!

Ms McElroy of course justifies this rather bizarre reason for “stubbornly” holding onto the label “feminist” by citing Mary Wollstonecraft 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797, as her exemplar. There is just one huge glaring problem with this.

Wollstonecraft was not a feminist, neither she nor anyone at that time would have called her a feminist, the word itself did not come into being or use till circa 1837, in spite of the feverish attempts by modern feminists to create an unending link that stretches back through the mists of time to any number of women, Wollstonecraft being one of their favourites.

“The term “feminism” originated from the French word feminism, first used in 1837 by the French philosopher Charles Fourier. Fourier wanted to improve the status of women in society, but he did not advocate equality between the sexes. The first English definition of “feminism” appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1895: “advocacy of the rights of women (based on the theory of equality of the sexes).” [4]

Mary Wollstonecraft was, if she could be labelled anything a Women’s Rights Advocate/Activist, a WRA or a WHRA. In fact her most famous work is called, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792)

From a historical perspective I have no problem with Mary Wollstonecraft, females were denied the opportunity to receive an education, which was her main focus. Fair enough. All children, whether male or female should have the right to an education. [5]

So, back to Ms. McElroy, she stated that “gender feminism” had lost the debate as a device to distance herself from I suppose “bad” feminism, the thing is ALL feminism IS gendered, the clue my dear is in the name. Feminine – ism.

If you believe that in some instances the basic human rights of women are being violated, as they are no doubt in some places, then does it not make more sense to call yourself a Woman’s Rights Activist?

Perhaps some inspiration might come from the Men’s [Human] Rights Movement, so named because it is Men’s Human Rights that are under attack.

The issue of Human Rights is not contingent on the sex of an individual, but on the deprivation of those rights of a specific class of persons – in this instance MEN. While I concede that the human rights of females in some places, places that feminism now has its beady eye on, are being violated, it must also be noted that MALE human rights are also being violated, in possibly different ways.  In that case it would be more appropriate to campaign/lobby as a Human Rights Activist, would it not?

With one very obvious caveat – drop the ethnocentricity, the faulty and arrogant imposition of one’s own cultural perspective onto cultures and/or societies you claim you wish to “save” to “enlighten” to “rescue” show some bloody respect for other peoples history and culture.

In the western hemisphere, comprising the US, UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the EU, and anyone I have inadvertently left out, there is, and I can state this categorically, there is absolutely NO LAW, extant that deprives, minimises or violates ANY basic human right of women. NONE. Zilch. Zero. Quite the opposite in fact.

Therefore, not only has “gender feminism” lost the debate, but ALL feminism is redundant, unnecessary, flogging a dead horse, in fact feminism isn’t about “women’s rights” that battle is long over, it is about depriving MEN of the exact same rights, till men are comprehensively the most oppressed class of persons that have ever existed. In the western hemisphere that is.

So, call yourselves women’s rights activists, or human rights activists, even better, and campaign FOR Human Rights, for all human beings in those places where such activism is needed.

People like Wendy McElroy and Christina Hoff Sommers infuriate me, and invoke pity in me in almost equal proportions.  They have this bizarre belief that feminism can somehow be rehabilitated, if only it would go back to its historical roots. Hmmmm.

Why can they not see, or perhaps they can, and just cannot admit it, there is no “going back” there is nothing to go back too.

It’s a bit like a courtroom drama, where your witness has just dropped a big stinker and sunk your case, at the last minute an intrepid investigator rushes into court in a flurry, waving THE crucial piece of hitherto hidden “evidence” that saves the day!

Wendy, Christina, and all you other “nice feminists” wistfully gazing back through the mists of time at your heroines of “feminism” for goodness sake – ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

There is no new “evidence” there will be no rehabilitation, EVER. It. Is. Over.

Feminism is on life support now, a carcase being kept alive by artificial means, with the requisite greedy and avaricious relatives hovering over the body for the spoils. It time to pronounce ladies, pull the plug and bury it.  Forever.

By the way – feminism will die “intestate” so you all can spend the rest of your useless lives fighting over its “legacy”

Hint:  The legacy will turn out to be the biggest pile of…………………………….you ever saw! 🙂

Notes.

[1] Interview with Wendy McElroy on feminism in America Wendy McElroy · February 21,

http://lfb.org/today/interview-with-wendy-mcelroy-on-feminism-in-america/

[2] Interview with Wendy McElroy on feminism in America Wendy McElroy · February 21,

http://lfb.org/today/interview-with-wendy-mcelroy-on-feminism-in-america/

[3]Mary Wollstonecraft (/ˈwʊlstən.krɑːft/; 27 April 1759 – 10 September 1797) was an eighteenth-century British writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights. During her brief career, she wrote novels, treatises, a travel narrative, a history of the French Revolution, a conduct book, and a children’s book. Wollstonecraft is best known for A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), in which she argues that women are not naturally inferior to men, but appear to be only because they lack education. She suggests that both men and women should be treated as rational beings and imagines a social order founded on reason.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wollstonecraft

[4] Our favorite “f-word”: The misconceptions of feminism in Uni and mainstream culture.

http://www.uni.illinois.edu/og/opinions/2011/11/our-favorite-f-word-misconception

[5] It should be noted that Wollstonecraft was no philanthropist:

“Wollstonecraft addresses her text to the middle-class, which she describes as the “most natural state”, and in many ways the Rights of Woman is inflected by a bourgeois view of the world.[97] It encourages modesty and industry in its readers and attacks the uselessness of the aristocracy. But Wollstonecraft is not necessarily a friend to the poor; for example, in her national plan for education, she suggests that, after the age of nine, the poor, except for those who are brilliant, should be separated from the rich and taught in another school.[98]”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Wollstonecraft

© Anja Eriud 2013

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