Editorial

Feminism and its Effects on Society

            One of the advantages of being old is you have a much greater knowledge of history than most others. My mother ingrained in us five boys that we must always respect women. As an example her instructions for riding the city bus: If a woman got on the bus and had to stand, we were to stand and offer our seat. My familiarity with the feminist movement does not go back as far as the fight for the right for women to vote; however, I am familiar with the fight for equal wages and jobs. As a young married man, I attended a trade school in the daytime and worked on an assembly line in the evening to support my family. I worked on the same line with women putting together components to be installed in the old vacuum tube-type computers. This is when I learned that women, doing the same job as I were paid about 10 percent less than the men. What made it worse was the women did a better job, being more patient than the men. At that time it was also difficult for women to enter into the variety of jobs available to men.

Feminism, which began at the end of the 19th century, did need to correct these abuses. The history of the modern western feminist movement is divided into three periods. Each period dealt with different aspects of the same feminist issues. These periods are called “waves” by the historians and described in the following manner: The first wave comprised women's suffrage movements of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, i.e., promoting a women's right to vote. The second wave was associated with the ideas and actions of the women's liberation movement beginning in the 1960s. This period campaigned for legal and social equality for women. The third wave is a continuation of, and a reaction to, the perceived failures of the second wave of feminism. It began in the 1990s.

            The First-wave of feminism focused on the promotion of equal contract, marriage, parenting, and property rights for women. By the end of the 19th century, activism focused primarily on gaining political power, particularly the right of women's suffrage, although some feminists were active in campaigning for women's sexual, reproductive, and economic rights as well. In the U.S., notable leaders of this movement were influenced by the Quaker theology of spiritual equality, which asserts that men and women are equal under God. In the United States, first-wave feminism is considered to have ended with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1919), granting women the right to vote in all states.

Second-wave of feminism is a feminist movement beginning in the early 1960s and continuing to the present; as such, it now coexists with third-wave feminism. Second-wave feminism is largely concerned with issues of equality beyond suffrage, such as ending gender discrimination. Second-wave feminists see women's cultural and political inequalities as inextricably linked and encourage women to understand aspects of their personal lives as deeply politicized and as reflecting sexist power structures.

Third-wave of feminism began in the 1990s as a response to perceived failures of the second wave and to the backlash against initiatives and movements created by the second wave. Third-wave feminism distinguished itself from the second wave around issues of sexuality, challenging female heterosexuality and celebrating sexuality as a means of female empowerment. Third-wave feminism also seeks to challenge or avoid what it deems the second wave's essentialist definitions of femininity, which, they argue, over-emphasize the experiences of upper middle-class white women. Third-wave feminism also contains internal debates between different types of feminists i.e., those who believe there are important differences between the sexes and those who believe there are no inherent differences between the sexes and contend that gender roles are due to social conditioning.

Even before the 1990s one could see the harm the feminists were doing to women. They were making themselves very unpopular, not only with men, but with other women. Many did not accept the killing of babies by abortion. Thousands of women joined the pro-life fight against abortion on the sidewalks and opened Pregnancy Centers to help women who wanted to keep their children. Many did not agree women must do everything men could do, nor did they want to do everything men did. The majority of women believed the feminist movement had greatly harmed women.

For example, the law allows women to abort their babies up to actual birth. I have been retired for some time and have spent the last 10 years as a sidewalk counselor at an abortion clinic in Maryland. We have had over 450 women who changed their minds and kept their babies. Every day I am in front of the clinic I talk to women being pushed and dragged into the clinic by their boyfriends, husbands and even their parents. It is extremely disheartening to see a mother bringing her crying teenager to the clinic. In my estimation over two thirds of all women are forced into an abortion. Most of these women live a lifetime of regret for having aborted their child, and many suffer from drug abuse, grief, and guilt.

According to a very recent poll, only 18 percent of Americans consider themselves feminists, while 85 percent reported they believe in "equality for women."

Searching the Internet I found numerous articles on the number of ways feminism is destroying America. Phyllis Schlafly wrote that the 1960s "women's revolution" movement is ruining women and the country. Written with her niece, Suzanne Venker, The Flipside of Feminism, points out “Five Ways which Feminism Has Ruined America.” These are:

1. It hurts marriage. Women want to delay marriage so as to keep their identities longer, and men are finding easy sex, taking away a big reason for marriage.

2. It undermines child rearing. More children are in childcare where discipline is lax, resulting in an "epidemic" of bad kids, childhood obesity, and bullies.

3. There is a two-income trap. With both husband and wife working it's hard to live without life's luxuries.

4. It undermines college sports. Title IX has ended many male-only sports at some colleges.

5. It emasculates men. It's better to be a wuss than speak up or mouth off and face charges of harassment or chauvinism. In a truly thriving society, we shouldn’t need any feminists. Let’s all be humanists instead.

There are numerous other authors who give anywhere from two to ten reasons why feminism has ruined America.

 

It’s time for feminists to stop being oversensitive to potential victimization and start thinking about how women can help make the world better. Feminists are feeling sad and unloved. The world doesn’t seem to like them anymore, and they don’t know why.  Let’s suggest some changes.

First:  Feminist Should Stop Hating the Womb

Feminist seem to hate the womb. They’ll do anything to save a woman from her own fertility.

·         Feminists give her contraceptives, so she can have sterile sex to her heart’s content! They give no consideration to the negative effects of contraceptives.

·         Feminists make sure she is at liberty to kill her unborn children, at any time and for any reason she pleases!

·         If she chooses to give birth, feminists make sure governmental institutions free her from the burdens of being with the children more than absolutely necessary.

Society does not need to kill unborn children as demanded by feminism. Feminists seem to be terrified of natural sex. They feel babies are burdensome. They fail to see fertility as an important and defining element of womanhood. They do not seem to realize women are naturally life-giving beings.

Second: Feminist Should Stop Pushing Independence

Feminists don’t like to discuss the natural interdependence of the sexes. Feminists are so busy “empowering” women that it doesn’t occur to them to ask whether maybe they’ve ended up encouraging a lot of selfishness and entitlement.  The big problem is that women do need men. Men have an abundance of certain talents and abilities which are much rarer among women. Most women want protection and support from men, and especially from their fathers and the fathers of their children. Feminists fail to address this basic human reality.

Of course, this argument runs the other way, too. Men are healthier, happier and generally more productive when they have women in their lives. They want women to transform mere dwelling-places into real homes. They want them to love and nurture their children. Women also have the ability to civilize men, to bring them to God, to socialize them.

Women have obligations towards men and especially towards the particular men in their own lives. They need men and men need them. They should want to serve each other for their mutual benefit.

Summary:

The trouble with feminists is they seem to reject the entire paradigm of mutual support. Men and women are meant to be gifts to each other; to support one another and to try to bring out the best in one another--not opponents in some kind of war.  The concept of being gifts to each other is one of the main themes of JP II's Theology of the Body and his document on women, Mulieris dignitatis.

Feminism should spend less time searching for women who are being victimized and think a little more about how women can make society better; worry less about equality, and more about happiness; listen more closely when people of both sexes talk about what they actually want and need; and, most importantly, encourage both women and men to follow their faith.

Society has declined drastically in the last few decades and a good part of it is due to feminization of our society. Society needs manly men and womanly women. Society does not need to kill their unborn children as demanded by feminism. Abortion as used by countries to control population has been a complete failure and has caused many problems.

Abortion also increases suicide and breast cancer in women. It certainly does not increase their happiness or safety. Marital rates have declined. People are abandoning their faith. And the list goes on and on. Feminism has caused enumerable problems in society and is justifiably disliked.                  

Jim Fritz