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Feminism: Challenging inequality or pernicious social engineering?

Feminism is nothing but a subversive blaming mechanism setting women against men and it does not adequately address gender inequalities

By

The Oxford dictionary defines Feminism as the following: “The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes.” I define Feminism as the following: “The advocacy of a vitriolic rodomontade on men, blaming societal maladies on the artificially constructed and nonsensical patriarchy.” Which of these two definitions is correct?

Well, one of them in coruscating fashion alludes to the notion that equality of the sexes is not going to be achieved by focusing on the rights of one sex over the other; to capriciously assign blame to the other sex whilst simultaneously claiming to be an all-encompassing movement is not being an all-encompassing movement. I am here to argue that Feminism is a dated, obsolete movement that needs urgent renovation to hold credibility, or to forever lose itself to societal critique as an extremist movement.

Feminist ideological thought finds its axis at a concept known as the Patriarchy. The Patriarchy stands as the pernicious, acrimonious enemy of which all men consciously or otherwise form a part. In common parlance; men stand with an advantage in today’s society. Feminists frequently perpetuate the “Gender-wage pay gap” myth to elucidate this point of conjecture. Yet, this is an incorrect and dated argument, and here’s why.

First, the Equal Pay Act of 1970 (superseded by the Equality Act of 2012) clearly states as law that “the right to equal pay for equal work” is one that must be maintained in any workplace. This, by definition renders any “but two of my friends are both lawyers and B earns X and G earns Y” arguments null. There has to be another explanation for any disparity between our good friends B and G, and there are a multitude of possibilities for this, instead of simply blaming ubiquitous sexism: B could have simply been more aggressive in the wage negotiations, a simple clause in his contract stating that he would be paid X amount, which just so happened to be more than G agreed to.

A recent inquiry into the Gender-wage pay gap highlights the real reasons behind any correlation that may be found of men earning a higher wage. Career expert Marty Nemko analyses the reasons behind any gap that may be found, and offers the following as suitable alternatives. First, there is a tendency for men to work more hours than their female counterparts, that is to say 15% longer than the average fulltime working woman.

Second, Men are far more likely to take work in uncomfortable, isolated and undesirable locations that pay more. This explication serves to propound the primary difference in motivation for men and women: for men, it is certainly money, whereas women place a higher premium on shorter work weeks, close proximity to their primary habitation, fulfilment, autonomy, and safety, according to Nemko.

This holds true in the business world as well, in which female business owners make less than half of what their male business owner counterparts make. Before we jump on the allegorical patriarchal band wagon, let us examine that claim for a moment. As a business owner, they have no boss, meaning it is independent of discrimination. Again, this can be attributed to the difference in motivation.

Now that you and I, dear reader, have debunked the most pernicious of all feminist myths, let us examine the nature of the patriarchal evil that feminists so vehemently promulgate. Feminism is right to recognise that women suffer in today’s society, and of course, I want equality for women as much as the next man does, but, this is not to be brought about by assigning blame to the other half of society, claiming disadvantage in relation to men’s advantaged position; equality is not a zero-sum game, one does not gain while the other loses. Men suffer just as much from the ‘patriarchy’ as women do, albeit in different ways. If we are going to play the skewered statistics game, consider that:

1. Men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. The reason? The gender role men have been forced into by societal pressures. A real man: stoic, unemotional and uncompromised. All a recipe for a emotional explosion of repressed feeling.
2. Women are in 84% of cases the winner of custody. This is important, as custody is traditionally decided on who as the ability to take care of the child (care is defined as the ability to provide for the needs of the child: food, water, a safe home), which, given that we are in a ‘patriarchal’ system, logically follows that men should have more custody…
3. 97% of combat deaths are men. This statistic maintains the argument that men are more willing to work in dangerous locations etc.

To conclude, it is clear to see that feminism is wholly right in highlighting the inequality that women suffer, the issue of contention lies in its subversive blaming mechanism which fails to appreciate the extent to which society pressures both of the sexes. Thus, I would argue for a movement away from feminism, and assigning blame to society’s matrix as a whole, rather than attributing it to a certain sex within the matrix.

There is a term for this, known as the Kyriarchy. It was coined by Elisabeth Fiorenza, a feminist, in 1992 to enunciate her theory of interconnected systems within society: it stands as a social system or connecting social systems built around domination, oppression and submission. It goes beyond gender when addressing the issue of subordination of one person or group to another, and therefore in my eyes is a far more suitable starting point when addressing the issue of inequality.

  • hippecampre

    nice.

  • Anon

    Dan Smith,

    Stating that you feel feminism is ‘focusing on the rights of one sex over the other’ whilst assigning ‘blame to the other sex’ is a completely misinformed view of the feminist movement.

    Feminism appreciates the damaging gender stereotypes that imprison both men and women, as there would be no real freedom for women from these stereotypes if it weren’t also for the freeing of men.

    You quote stereotyping ‘analyses’ that for men, motivation is ‘certainly money’ whereas for women, it is ‘proximity to their primary habitation’, ‘fulfillment’ and ‘shorter work weeks’. How can society, as you suggest, look beyond gender when addressing the issue of subordination of the sexes, if studies like this are used to disprove inequality?

    If you understand the feminist movement as much as you say you do, and care about change then you might have read Emma Watson’s HeForShe speech on feminism at the UN.

    “Men, I would like to take this opportunity to extend your formal invitation. Gender equality is your issue, too. Because to date, I’ve seen my father’s role as a parent being valued less by society, despite my need of his presence as a child, as much as my mother’s. I’ve seen young men suffering from mental illness, unable to ask for help for fear it would make them less of a man. In fact, in the UK, suicide is the biggest killer of men between 20 to 49, eclipsing road accidents, cancer and coronary heart disease. I’ve seen men made fragile and insecure by a distorted sense of what constitutes male success. Men don’t have the benefits of equality, either. It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals.”

    I think most people would agree that we can attribute a huge part of the blame for inequality of the sexes, but your suggestion that feminism is outdated and fails to be all-encompassing is futile only further serves to divide the sexes which seems to contradict what you, and feminism, wants to achieve.

    • Ben.J

      nice.

    • John Suni

      How exactly does “HeForShe” disprove the notion that feminists think they can solve problems for both genders by focusing solely on only one gender?

      In my estimation you precisely proved his point. Ignorance and arrogance is a dangerous combination, and I see it in feminist opinions like yours all the time.

  • John

    Erm, wtf is this sub-sixth form hot garbage and why is the Mancunion publishing it please?

    • Charlie Spargo

      It’s our aim to publish as many contributions as we can regardless of style or content. Many articles have input from our editors, and editing in terms of structure and grammar does regularly happen, but if somebody wishes to have their opinion published with us, it is not our place to turn them away.

      • John

        You mean you don’t turn away anyone, no matter how uninformed? No one except Dan Smith offered you an opinion all week? You don’t exercise any editorial control over whose opinion makes it into your paper?

        • Steve

          Just because you don’t agree with an article doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be published.

          • John

            Thanks for the lesson in Liberalism, Steeeeeeve.

            • James Mc

              To be fair, you needed it.

        • Charlie Spargo

          If there were other similar newspapers available to Manchester students with clearly defined views different to ours, like, for example, The Telegraph and Guardian, maybe the situation would be different. As long as it’s a coherent argument and doesn’t break any laws in regards to inciting hatred or committing libel, I see no reason why we shouldn’t allow articles like this on the website.

        • John Suni

          Please enunciate the reasons you believe this article is uninformed.

  • Hannah

    Thia article is highly offensive to many groups of women still struggling for liberation in a global oppressive neoliberal system. For example, if not men, then who should victims of female genital mutilation hold responsible? Instead of blaming men, shall women forcibly mutilate men’s penises to rebalance ‘society’s matrix’? Dan Smith, you are an ignorant, misogynistic, oppressive shit, I hope I never meet you period.

    • John

      Whilst this article has, admittedly, not put its points forward in the most effective fashion, it’s trying to highlight that there is not only inequality on the female side of things. Your offensive, ad hominem attacks only serve to perpetuate a society in which feminism is an intractable and thus deeply flawed movement. Please consider that the strength of a movement relies on its ability to be critiqued, changed and improved. When this becomes impossible because those within it and those supporting it believe their views too perfect and complete to be critiqued the movement loses value, support and eventually purpose.

    • James Mc

      He probably sits next to you in lectures. Just saying.

    • johnny

      Hi Hannah you raised an interesting point, however, in context to FGM and women’s’ oppression in places like Saudi Arabia, feminist keep quiet.
      I agree many feminists, especially in the past, cultivated a monumental cause for equality and achieved some amazing things. However, modern radical feminists, that have pushed the liberal and more marginal elements of feminism to the peripheries, have a far more surreptitious and nefarious axiom of social engineering.
      Self proclaimed crusaders of 3rd or 4th wave of feminism, like Jessica valenti consolidate on intangible and rather nonsensical issues, by making insulting straw-women articles, ad feminem on white, cis males, in context of privilege and the patriarchy .
      Actual, tangible issues such as the FGM in Africa, honour killings, women’s rights in many Arab countries, and the Rochdale rapes, are simply sidelined, or are entirely ignored. Why?
      Is it because it deviates from their manifesto of deriving the patriarchy, the construct as white, cis, males being the evil opressors? Furthermore , it serves little for the endeavour of white, female, privelesge; that some feminist have spearheaded the movement into.
      As a gay Asian male, I find this hypocrisy deplorable.

      If the current iteration of the feminist movement was about equality, then why are these YouTube and tumblr feminists not taking issues such as the Rochdale rapes and FGM more seriously. Instead we get the perpetual cycling of articles and whining about the patriarchy and white, cis, male privilege.

      Finally, just because somebody has a differing opinion from that vultivated in the echo chamber of a feminist, does not make them hate females and does not make them a misogynists.

    • michaelsavell

      Hannah,I always understood that FGM was overwhelmingly used by elders
      of tribes who were women,not men and supposedly had their own reasons for their actions.

  • Vman

    Excellent article. I would make one small clarification. There is no ‘patriarchy’. If any one sex is more oppressed in the western world than the other it is men. Men have less rights than women for example.

    In fact, through history the vast majority of men were sacrificed for the protection and comfort of women. This is the great historical oppression feminism calls the patriarchy.

    In addition, feminism fights directly against gender equality. Large and influential feminist organisations have opposed equality in family law for 4 decades in almost every western country. To cite just one example.

    Thank you for helping to expose this pernicious ideology.