Already Equal To Men: Avoiding the Fallacies of Femisogynists

As the right strives to reclaim feminism from the faux feminists on the left, we would do well to learn from their manifold mistakes. As Lori Ziganto reminds us, women “already are equal to men.” Feminists on the right understand that our rights, and our equality, do not come  from man or from the government.  Leftist feminists or, to use Lori’s apt term, femisogynists have long held and hard hammered the belief that women are somehow less than men, that we need to stress our similarities while hiding our differences, preferably under shapeless tops, baggy trousers, butch haircuts, and strident rhetoric.  They’ve formulated their concept of “equality” and subsequently tried to force it on society, most significantly on women, cramming all women, especially those who do not fit their idea of what makes a powerful woman, into a one-size-fits-all pigeonhole.

We see this constantly in the continual barrage of nastiness aimed at prominent conservative women from Sarah Palin, to Michele Bachmann, and now to their new target Sharron Angle.  These women, because they are conservative and successful, don’t fit the femisogynists’ narrow stereotype of what a woman should be, so they are subjected to unrelenting ridicule and often-bizarre scrutiny.  They are decried as women whose very existence threatens to throw us back into the dark ages before women’s suffrage.  Obviously, to conservative women this is patently absurd, but the leftist “feminists” are invested in difference, in ensuring that women embrace their “perpetual victim-hood.”  When we reject that meme in favor of one in which women are already equal, we threaten the very foundation of leftist feminist “thought.”

The leftist tendency to infringe on the rights and freedoms of American women in favor of embracing and adopting the restrictive practices of other cultures is an ominous one (as in the case of female genital mutilation being permissible in “revised” form as “nicking”). We have won the right to our own bodies and to reject these barbaric, misogynist practices, and that is not a right that I intend to cede.  When you see everything through the prism of gender and multiculturalism, you will naturally get a skewed picture, even an incorrect one (we see this also in the leftist insistence on seeing everything through the prism of race).

The danger occurs for us when we slip into tactics and logical fallacies that have long plagued leftist feminists.  We do this somewhat unconsciously because, however much we dislike it,  we are all products of, if not proponents of or participants in, leftist feminist discourse.  In a recent NewsReal Blog post, Christine Williams writes eloquently and passionately about the Canadian case in which a Muslim woman is being asked to remove her niqab in court, to face the men she is accusing of sexual assault.  Like Williams, I see this as a legal, not a “religious freedom,” question and reject the left’s use of this as a political “opportunity” to entrench the wearing of Muslim garb by women who have emigrated to the West.  

I worry, however, that conflating issues of immigration, law, and assimilation with feminism makes murky something that is not, and really should not be, a matter of women’s rights.  Faux feminists have long done this and to their detriment.  For example, as a woman, I think women should wear whatever they please; however, as an American, I think that immigrants should be encouraged to assimilate into our culture and society, adapting to their new home and adopting its socio-cultural customs.

Just as we in the Western world defend our right as women to be stay-at-home moms (embracing that bane of faux feminists: the image of a woman in the home) or to embrace our beauty and sexuality by not “masculinizing” our appearance (as is all but demanded by femisogynists), shouldn’t we also defend Muslim women’s right to be who they are . . . even if that includes wearing garb that we deem insulting to women, misogynistic, and oppressive?  Shouldn’t we avoid dictating women’s choices, avoid cramming women into a pigeonhole, albeit a different one than the faux feminists favor? Encouragement to assimilate will do what no law or court order can: enable women to see and embrace the fact that they already are equal to men.

Update: Cross-posted at NewsReal Blog (yay!)

19 thoughts on “Already Equal To Men: Avoiding the Fallacies of Femisogynists

  1. I have learned so much this year. I used to think we had rights granted in the Bill of Rights. But now I know that our rights are given from God, and the government “shall not infringe”. It is a whole other way of thinking.

    And taking as a starting point that women ARE equal is great. Not identical, but equal. This is the type of equality lefty gals fear. And I don't know why, except that it makes them and their brand obsolete.

  2. I am no fan of the growing influence Islam, but this court case and the recent laws in Holland of banning Burkas makes me nervous. No government should infringe on an individuals rights in such a way. Sure a lot of women are forced to wear the Burka, but some actually want to wear it. Who are we to tell them what they can and can not wear? What will be next, punishing Amish women?

  3. Great post, Fuzzy. We on the Right have always understood the difference between true equality and “the equality of victimhood” the Left perpetuates. I find myself particularly disturbed by certain situations where the “femisogynists” (LOVE that term) are silent over certain issues…..the Presidential Oval Office Intern Sex, for example. Or their willingness to turn a blind eye to abuses of women under Islam and Socialism.

    @Opus…glad you understand where your Rights come from. I am shocked at how many believe as you once did.

    @Trestin…I agree mostly. If Amish women strapped explosives to themselves and detonated them around innocent people, we would treat them differently, too. Contrary to the propaganda, profiling isn't wrong. It's smart.

  4. @ Opus, I know what you mean, it really is an eye-opening realization. Freeing, as well. 🙂 They definitely cannot tolerate any threat to the victimhood status of women, this is something I saw often in higher ed.

    @ Trestin, I'm not really advocating banning the burka in this post, though I do support France in wanting to do (that and two dollars will buy you a cup of coffee). Sadly, we already have intelligence that shows terrorists will be using women in their attacks, so I think it's time that we stopped catering to every culture who comes here and started encouraging assimilation again. That works. Split communities, with different languages and customs, particularly those that vie for power will lead us to where Belgium is. Essentially two countries, one socialist and “foreign” sucking the resources of the free market Belgium side. They're stuck now, not sure what to do next, but it's looking like they'll actually split and become two separate nations. One successful, one will fail under the weight of its welfare state.

    @ Deekaman, thanks so much 🙂 I am seriously in love with Lori's “femisogynists” term, too. It's spot on. As far as Opus and rights coming from the Bill of Rights, I think that it's rather normal to think that, or it was pre-BO. I remember getting irritated as heck watching liberals whine about how it's their “right” to wear what they want an airplane or to drive a car. That's what happens when you think that government is the granter, rather than the protector, of our rights. Good point about the Amish not running around the globe blowing people up, that does change things. And it should.

    @ Tammy, aw, thanks! 🙂

  5. Fuzzy,

    Where else would women get their equality but from God! It certainly can't be granted from any man or government.

    I believe any muslim woman has the right to wear what she feels comfortable with. What I have a problem with is when they are forced to wear the burka by a muslim man whether husband or cleric!

    This is a free country and that is that! What we really need to watch out for is the coming thought that as muslims in America they have the right to Sharia Law! Not here, not now, not ever!

    Lock & Load!!!

    Sons & Daughters of Liberty Unite!!

  6. Great post…

    I'm old enough to remember when “MOM” wasn't prefaced with “stay at home”, or “working” she was “MOM” and there was no need to qualify or pigeonhole…

    The femanist movement has done more to harm women than any potential strides in the so called eqaulity of the sexes…

    If I wanted a woman that looked like a man, I would probably have to seriously question my own sexuality… Thank God that has never been a problem in my life, it's been far more of an issue in my life that I adore women, just ask (L)… I guess we all have our crosses to bear…

  7. Great Post, Fuzzy! Women who wish to be true feminists must avoid being Feminazis. Big Government and condoning and promoting murdering innocent unborn babies is not a healthy prerequisite for a feminist.

  8. Wow, a lot in this post, Fuzzy.

    Gotta echo Trestin Meahcam's view on the burka issue.

    Fuzzy, you say: “For example, as a woman, I think women should wear whatever they please; however, as an American, I think that immigrants should be encouraged to assimilate into our culture and society, adapting to their new home and adopting its socio-cultural customs.”

    Are you saying the US govt. should encourage assimilation? How do you propose the US should go about encouraging this? By passing laws? When have social engineering laws like that worked in the US or elsewhere? No, the Civil Rights Act does not count, that was disallowing the legal discrimination and repression of a racial group already within the society, not an attempt to forcibly integrate a racial group into the society. I mean, you do discount court orders and laws, but what does US encouragement mean beyond policy?

    If not laws, then are you suggesting that we as Americans should manipulate women within a certain religion to go against their beliefs to reflect our sense of feminism? Should we encourage Hindi women to cook during their menses? Should we encourage Roman Catholic nuns to not wear their habits? Encourage Russian Orthodox women to not wear their headscarves and encourage them to wear pants?

    Then in your comment you say “I'm not really advocating banning the burka in this post, though I do support France in wanting to do.”

    Well, which is it? You support France's efforts to force Muslim women to subscribe to French norms? How is this essentially different from the Left forcing women to subscribe to Leftists' sense of femininity and feminism?

    Yes, you say that assimilation is preferable, but France's laws are not designed to assimilate people. France has no interest in the assimilation of its Islamic people. The French define themselves racially (unlike current Americans) so that national identity and racial identity is intertwined. Yes, historically it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but that's what they do. The anti-burka laws are aimed at pleasing the French's narrow sense of feminism (a sense which they impose on Muslims in France) and not to assimilate Muslims into their society or national identity. There's very little interest in that.

    I think perhaps you should mention the need to differentiate between the political and social aspects of feminism. Big government moved into the feminist movement in the 1960s (and before to some extent) as a means to legislate that movement into actuality (although that never works). Feminism soon became a tract of Leftist thought indistinguishable from politics, and no longer a social movement (this is Marxist where a class struggle is necessarily a political struggle and not a social struggle). Now feminism is, too a degree, a purely political and partisan moevement.

    I think this is one of the main reasons why Palin, Bachmann, and Angle are singled out. It is no coincidence that only women of great political influence or significance within conservatism are singled out for this sort of uber-scrutiny. If it merely stemmed from a need to re-affirm the victimologist state of women, any successful woman not sufficiently entrenched in Leftist thought would do. I'm not arguing that feminism has not adopted a victimologist stance (look at the Olympics of Suffering competition during the Obama/Clinton primary), but these specific women are singled out because of their political opposition to the Left's agendas, and not their opposition to Leftist feminism.

    There's a lot more in your interesting post (and I don't mean that sacastically or negatively– you seem to interpret me that way sometimes) to talk about– such as a woman not prettying herself up as being masculanizing– but this comment is already very long.

    By all means…

  9. @ L, exactly, we get our rights from God. 🙂 That's the problem, I think, with foregoing any attempts at assimilation, sooner or later cultural practices that are misogynist or otherwise incompatible with our own culture and law get forced on us (witness the Islamization of Europe . . . we're not far behind).

    @ Born Again American, thanks my friend! 🙂 Early waves of feminism did make a lot of progress, but sometime in the 70's and into the 80's, it went waaaay off track.

    @ Matt, exactly. And thanks 🙂

    @ Teresa, thanks so much 🙂

    @ Yukio, wow, long comment! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment at such length. I always appreciate hearing your perspective. By all means . . .

    @ Kid, lol, I somehow thought you did. :p

  10. Great post!
    I'm a reformed one issue liberal and it's taken a long time for me to get over the feeling that I *should* be doing something else. Feminism drilled into my head that raising my children wasn't worthy and that I must leave the home to have any standing in this world. I'm mom with 4 young daughters. Though our finances are unbelievably tight, I'm very happy that I'm home when they walk in the door at the end of the day. In fact, when I bake cookies in the afternoon, I'm positively giddy because I know the aroma will hit their little faces and make them smile as soon as they enter the house.

  11. I would make a comment about the article, but I'm far too distracted by adjoining picture to say much of anything coherent.

  12. @ Madeline, thank you. 🙂 I'm a reformed liberal, too, so I know just what you mean. There is nothing wrong with making the choice to stay home with your daughters (and certainly not with making yummy cookies for them and being giddy about it!). That's one of the horrors of the faux feminist movement and exactly why Lori Ziglanto's “femisogynist” is such a great term. There is an undercurrent of misogyny in leftist feminist “thought,” a thread the seems to say, you're not good enough unless you, Hillary Clinton put it, “do something else” besides “staying home and baking cookies.” Well, hmph! Some women do want to stay home and bake cookies, and that doesn't make them any less of a woman–or any less of a feminist–than a woman who doesn't.

    @ kingshamus, lol, that's okay, I guess the Xena thing is a bit . . . much. 🙂

  13. I will agree that I don't want the government telling me what I may or may not wear, even if that is a burqua. However, refusing to take off the mask to be photographed for a drivers' license or to board an airplane is taking it too far.

    The femi-nazi's brand of feminism ignores our genders' God-given differences. Yes, I have the same rights as a man, but I will never think like a man, be a strong as a man, have the depth-perception or (God help me) be as hairy as a man.

    God made men and woman different and no amount of feminism will change that.

  14. LOL, Kristin, yeah, I'm pretty okay with not being as hairy as a man, too. You're right, of course, we are different, and that is something to celebrate and revel in, not hide, deny, and pretend otherwise.

  15. It's interesting to note the differences between so-called feminism in the U.S. and feminism in Japan. Since ancient times, there has been a general sense in Japan that women can be both strong AND feminine, and that a woman does not need to become like a man to be strong. In fact, the strength of women has been viewed as having its source specifically in their femininity. In ancient folk religions in Japan, women and girls were believed to have special powers that came from their nature as women.

    A common stereotype of Japanese women is that they are somehow oppressed and powerless. Well, anyone that has spent much time in Japan knows that, in general, that is an absurd assertion. In most homes in Japan, it is the wife that makes most of the economic decisions, for example. The greatest social and economic mobility is found in single women in their 20s, and the ability of women to change jobs or careers is so far above that of men in Japan that comparison is nearly impossible. Those are just a few examples.

    I believe that much of the stereotype comes from a misinterpretation of the combination of strength and femininity that seems to be much more common in Japan, resulting in a view that such softness and refinement is weakness. I think this combination of strength and femininity is something that used to be more common in the U.S., but the crude and overbearing brand of “feminism” has marginalized it.

    As for burkas, I don't care if women wear them or not, but I do often wish that my students would wear SOMEthing. Professor Bastiatarian is getting a sore neck from having to avert his eyes while he's trying to teach. (Maybe it's my own fault for agreeing to teach summer courses.)

    “Sorry young lady, but your cleavage is not going to get you a better grade. And by the way, does your father know that you go outside half naked?”

  16. Good points, Bastiatarian, and I agree that the crude attempts of the femisogynists to masculinize strength and power is a problem.

    And your comment about your students made me laugh. I had a student once show up to class in what I could have sworn was a tabletop doily she borrowed from her grandmother's side table and attached to her torso with bits of yarn from granny's knitting box. I had no trouble with this, but my male students were definitely struggling to focus on our discussion.

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