Posted by: minnow | February 3, 2009

The Trouble With Feminists

Thirty-two years ago I was one of the most liberal minded people my college friends had ever met. (Hope College* in Holland, Michigan, was considerably conservative). My friends though it was quite humorous that I was going to argue the negative side of the topic: “How has the Equal Right’s Amendment effected today’s woman?” during the annual Nykerk Cup Competition. I thought it would be great fun and crafted my speech to be an indictment against the feminist movement in general rather than against the Equal Rights Amendment in particular.
I began by saying, “Women belong in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.” Needless to say that got my audience’s attention. I followed the first statement up with:

Burn your bras girls; join the cause. The two extremes. But, which is more harmful to today’s woman? While the Equal Rights Amendment supports equality for both men and women, the Women’s Liberation Movement has managed to denigrate the housewife, undermine marriages, and support the annihilation of the family unit as a center for learning.”

Little did I know, thirty-two years later, I would actually believe more of what I said in that speech than I did at the time I gave it.
Our nation recently witnessed the inauguration of a new president. In addition to being our first African-American president, President Obama is possibly the most liberal democrats our nation has ever had at the helm. For some, this fact is a breath of fresh air. For others, it is a serious cause for concern. Most “feminists” are rejoicing. Yet other women, women who are not quite sure what to call themselves, wonder if they will ever have a voice. I am among those women.
During the election campaign I heard a comment from Geraldine Ferraro that caused me to take a critical look at the “progress” made by the feminist movement over the last thirty years. Ms Ferraro’s comment was praise for her fellow feminists and their fight to maintain a woman’s right to choose. Yet, despite Governor Palin’s success in breaking the glass ceiling for the women of Alaska by becoming its first female governor, and her status as a working mother, Ms Ferraro refused to call her a feminist. Why? Because Governor Palin does not support the right for women to have an abortion!
I guess I should not be surprised since the only “progress” the feminist movement as a group can honestly point to in the last forty years is Roe vs Wade. Thanks to the feminist movement pregnant women (actually the doctors of pregnant women) are the only group of people who can legally commit murder. They do so to the tune of a million-plus babies a year. And to the feminists out there, before you get your panties in a snit and start making comments about rape and the mother’s health, according to the Center for Disease Control only 1 percent of the abortions committed annually are due to rape and incest, another 1 percent are due to fetal abnormalities, and 3 percent are due to the mother’s health.

The statistics concerning gender equality are horrendous. According to NOW the wage gap between men and women has only narrowed by ½ of a penny per year since 1963. According to the Department of Labor women are paid less than men in every job classification for which data is available. In fact, even men working in female dominated jobs receive 20 percent more than their female counterparts. The truth is if we insisted on pay equity it would increase the pay for women in general by 18 percent. Even though women hold 92 percent of the RN jobs they make 8 percent less then the men holding those same jobs. And, while they hold 82 percent of the elementary and middle school teaching jobs they make 10 percent less than men holding those same jobs. Further more female surgeons make 39 percent less than male surgeons, female college and university teachers make 21 percent less than male professors, and female lawyers make 22 percent less than male lawyers. Women with high school diplomas make 33 percent less than men with high school degrees. Woman with BAs make 36 percent less than men with bachelor’s degrees. Women with master’s degrees make 32 percent less than men with the same degree. Women with professional degrees make 42 percent less than men with professional degrees. And, women with doctorates make 27 percent less than men with doctorates.

Pay is only one issue that directly impacts women. In 2004 28 percent of America’s children lived in single parent homes. In 83 percent of these homes women were the primary caregiver. Of the 7 million families headed by a single mother 36 percent lived below the poverty line. Sadly, childcare for these families can add up to as much as 37 percent of the single parent’s income. Families across the country are crying out for work force policies that include family leave, flex hours, and help with childcare. But what concerns the feminists? What is the focus of most of their conversations? How do they think they have best represented the interests of women worldwide? Their primary concern, focus and claim to fame is their fight for abortion rights.

I for one am tired of being told I do not care about what is important to women because I stand on the “wrong” side of the abortion issue. Women across the country care about the economy, the environment, and world peace. They are also passionate about those issues that directly impact families. And believe it or not, some of us, perhaps even most of us, think murder is wrong, even when it is disguised by language about choice and privacy.

* In the interest of full disclosure I did not actually graduate from Hope, but that is a whole other story.

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Responses

  1. This is sooo awesome Minnow!! Needs to be submitted to some news channel or something. yes yes yes! i’m so glad u shared this! 🙂

  2. Hi Minnow,
    I have not been able to find time to get to your blog. I am sorry. My work is messing with scheduals. It is now 11:20pm and I came in from work at around 11pm. I’ll try and read your blog tomorrow. I must also tell you that the office has six calls lined up tomorrow that they need help with. So, I’m not certain when I will be able to get to blogging.
    I know I don’t owe you this explaination. I just want you to know what my intentions are.
    Blessings,
    Jim

  3. Hi Minnow,
    I finally had the chance to sit down and read your blog.

    Hmm, where to begin?

    As I was reading your post, I could not really come to any conclussions regarding pay differential for men and woman of the same medical positions. A weak excuse is that men tend to be more physically able than woman. But, I have no stats to back that opinion up.

    The cost of living has been driven sky high. In part, it is because of the number of people in the work force. If we could somehow find ourselves back in a time when woman did stay home and the husbands went out to work, the work force would demand the cost of living be much lower. This, again, is just my logic.

    On the other hand, I am pleased that my wife desires to go out and work. I enjoy the fact that she feels accomplished at the end of the day. And, we share the housework.

    Only because you wrote on this subject, do I have an opinion. It really is not something I have given much consideration up to now.

    Have a great evening Minnow.
    Jim


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