The folly of feminism

November 8, 2012 7:00 pm

The methods of debate in the battle for gender equality seem to be a little archaic.

Feminism: a counterproductive movement?

I can tell you straight away, it is no easy task debating a movement so well reinforced by the intellectual community. Certainly, it is a subject that upon first glance has many a chauvinist office boss chuckling into his lady-made coffee and many a female scholar donning sword and crossbow. And yet here we are, in an academic environment, still debating equality between man and woman. Cricket posters across campus vandalized in feminist red and images of bodacious models used to promote the hip-hop society. Surely this is a matter that should have been put to bed in the roman era, and yet it lingers on like the Antonine plague.

The first thing to make clear is that masculism (for those unaware, that’s the male equivalent of feminism) is, in my personal view, just as or more idiotic a concept as feminism. I hate the idea of both. In fact, the very foundation for this counter-argument stems from the belief that gender rights should be fought for equally. The term ‘feminism’ suggests a one-sided campaign for the rights of women. It proposes that gender equality is on a scale and upon this scale women are outweighed. One can hardly believe that the matter is as black and white as that.

If you happen to be an excited chauvie right now, I’d suggest you sit back down because it is absolutely undeniable that within aspects of our own society, women are often discriminated against. The urban workplace is a joke. In our own context, studies found recently that 78% of front-page articles are written by men. Then, of course, there are the behemoth issues of sex trafficking and who can forget dehumanization of women within religion? Does this make the gender-rights scale imbalanced? Yes. No. You see, it all comes down to perspective.

For most if not all people, the romantic aspects of life are hugely important. It is within the arena of love that men have also found themselves with the rather short end of a rather painful stick. Romantically, we still follow a medieval format. One which sees men having to approach women, consequently facing the brunt of their rejections, paying for meals, days out and then finally fishing out for expensive rocks only so they have clearance to go down on one knee and hopefully win the approval of their partner. In the life that follows, if we were to believe stereotypes, the man then becomes his family’s breadwinner. Yes, I struggle to believe that every last member of the fair gender would rather do 9-5 in an office than spend quality time with their children. Again. Perspective.

In terms of education, at tertiary level, there are more women than men entering full-time undergraduate courses: indeed, 54 percent of new undergraduates in 2006 were women. Health and safety wise, 94% of deaths within the workplace happen to men. In terms of body exploitation, while women are indeed often portrayed as objects, men are represented in pornography not as people but only as a large penis (some would argue a worse fate).

I have on various occasions seen the new wave of feminism compared to Martin Luther King’s civil rights movement in America. I would argue, in terms of principles, it is more similar to Huey Newton’s Black Panther organization. One that campaigns a side of an argument and not the other. Why are we so obtuse that we cannot strive for equal gender rights, to better ourselves by making androgyny socially acceptable and offer freedom outside of current sex restrictions for both sexes, entirely? We can call it ‘masculism-and-feminism-are-a-waste-of-everyone’s-time-ism’. I personally do not believe good can come from a political endeavor that discriminates itself, whether positively or not.

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