Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Call a spade a spade

When is some public commentator point out the difference between feminism and female chauvinism? There IS a difference, and it can be serious intellectual dishonesty to deny it. Feminism, I understand, is the entirely legitimate claim that the female human is equal in principle to the male. A woman is not inferior to a man, and should not be treated as a subordinate part of the race. Women should have the same rights to beliefs, conscience, chosen life style and employment as men. It seems outrageous to suggest that women should not have the right to vote, or a married woman the right to own her own property. That is feminism, and I don't see what objection could be raised to that except by someone who also had racist views, and believed in things like denying the vote to non Europeans. So feminism simply insists on the upholding of natural justice and humane treatment of all. But to insist that women are superior to men is not feminism: it is female chauvinism. The logic of language, that words have meanings, tells you that claiming one gender is superior to the other is gender chauvinism, and female chauvinism if argued from a female point of view. Some feminists may not acutally claim that men can do everything better than women, but theydenigrate men, thereby implying that women are of better humanity. To say that all men are rapists is a contemptible slander, just like saying all women are gold diggers or child killers. Obviously SOME men commit barbaric acts against women. Just as obviously, some women have murdered their helpless children and some women will let themselves be had in marriage only if the man has enough money to satisfy them. But it is grossly slanderous to make it a generalization.
Remember "The Truman Show"? If there was such a record of my life, it would prove that given the chance to force myself on a woman I declined to do so, out of respect for what was right. And that was even before I became a Christian. I would not claim to be abnormally good. Millions of men will not violate a woman, just a millions of women will not harm children, or men for that matter.
It is unfortunate that some hard line feminists, or female chauvinists, think that being equal with men is to be just like them. Pursuant of that notion, they imitate the worst sort of behaviour shown by men at their worst: ruthless disregard for others in their determination to get what they want. When men behave like rampant careerists, unrestrained by conscience, their behaviour degenerates to the point where it is hard to see the difference between them and animals. Technologically sophisticated or not, surrounded by the trappings of wealth or not, they behave without moral restraint, just as a crocodile or a tiger simply kills and eats without compassion. It does not have the faculty of conscience to restrain it. So it is with humans when they behave without regard for others. And if the female of the human species emulates the worst sort of male behaviour, then she proves that women are equal to men in that they are just as bad as them.
That being said, I should add: I've found that women can make just as good friends as men. This is not an attack on women. It is only my little home-grown polemic against the pretension that women are superior. Since feminism in its true form is an entirely respectable thing, then it insults feminism to call female chauvisnism by the same name.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

The term "female chauvinist" should get more recognition, as I am tired of hearing the term "militant feminist" or "feminazi". Because like you said, feminism simply means equality which is something everyone should be concerned about.
Female chauvinists irritate me. I think the vehemency and almost theatrical nature of all of those uber-"empowered" women make legitimate concerns look laughable simply by way of their delivery.