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First, the Equal Pay Act of 1970 (superseded by the Equality Act of 2012) clearly states as law that “the right to equal pay for equal work” is one that must be maintained in any workplace.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.
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