Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A radical notion

We are constantly being hit over the head with the soundbite, "feminism is the radical notion that women are actually human beings." But what ordinary, fair-minded human being - i.e. not a republican or christian theocrat - says that they aren't? This is such a dishonest strawman.

On the other hand, I find it very telling that the worst insult radfems can hurl at a man is to call him an MRA - "Men's Rights Activist". I guess it's a radical notion in today's world (as opposed to the 19th century when the above soundbite originated) to say that men have rights.

I'm not involved in the MRM (another TLA - this one means "Men's Rights Movement".) I've checked it out online and find some of its members just as scary as any Rebecca Watson or Andrea Dworkin. On the other hand, they make a very good case that society, the workplace and the legal system are increasingly stacking the deck against men, and criminalizing maleness. And forget what you've heard about the pay gap - when you compare apples to apples, women often earn more than men for the same work. In so far is there is a pay gap, it almost always arises from women exercising options that men don't have - putting in fewer hours at work and being less productive so that they can spend more time with their children, have a shorter commute, etc.

Unfortunately, although radical feminism is a small and extreme fringe, it is a very vocal one that dominates academia and has a disproportionate influence in government policy and the legal system. The root impulse of radfem is to control both men and women by preaching ad nauseum that the latter are helpless victims, unable to do anything for themselves to better their situation, and their only hope is for Big Brother to step in and not only tilt the playing field in their favor, but fix the final score.

In a nutshell, radfem criminalizes men, infantilizes women, and hurts both.

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