Not long ago, I received via email the text of a lecture, which I found quite interesting. It was called, "What's Wrong and What's Right with Contemporary Feminism?", by Christina Hoff Sommers. The fascinating part about it was that the author is a feminist, yet she found the integrity to point out that the modern "women's movement" has taken - the way she put it - "a wrong turn".
"First, today's movement takes a very dim view of men; second, it wildly overstates the victim status of American women; and third, it is dogmatically attached to the view that men and women are essentially the same."
Personally, I wouldn't waste my time thinking how to "fix" feminism. The entire movement was wrong from the beginning, heavily leaning on Marxism, a recipe for social disaster. The only way, in my eyes, to truly ensure women are treated the way they deserve, is to fight for fair treatment of women the way God commanded. Because what counters His Word, cannot possibly be right.
Obviously, I'm speaking from a Jewish point of view. If we lived in a community ruled by Jewish Law, women would be protected the way our Law commands. I would much rather live under this protection, rooted in eternal, God-given commandments, than under those who try to make up arbitrary rules that may very quickly spin out of control. But obviously, if women shun the obligations of the Law, they cannot demand to be protected by it.
I understand that feminism probably didn't grow out of nowhere. There must have been men who abused their power and their role of leadership, and mistreated their wives and daughters. There are still such men out there. The right answer, in my eyes, would have been to make those men behave the way they should. If each Jewish men was reminded that he is supposed to love his wife as himself, and respect her more than himself, there would be no need to "protect" women. But feminists preferred to cast off masculine leadership altogether - with the disastrous consequences of broken society, ruined homes and marriages, and children who don't know their fathers.
I fail to see why the fair treatment of women - indeed, of any human being - should be necessarily associated with trying to erase the differences between men and women, disregard traditional femininity, and downplay the importance of wifehood and motherhood as a vocation.
Today, the talk about "oppression" of women in the Western world seems quite ridiculous to me. Women can study whatever they want, work at whatever field they choose, and generally, do whatever they like. But somehow, "women's movements" continue to complain, complain, complain.
"The dominant philosophy of today's women's movement is not equity feminism - but victim feminism. Victim feminists don't want to hear about the ways in which women have succeeded. They want to focus on and often invent new ways and perspectives in which women can be regarded as oppressed and subordinated to men."
Why? That way, it's much easier to get all sorts of special treatment that is attempted to be passed off as "equal rights".
"In doing research for my books, I looked carefully at some standard feminist claims about women and violence, depression, eating disorders, pay equity and education. What I found is that most - not all - but most of the victim statistics are, at best, misleading - at worst, completely inaccurate."
It's much easier to bully employers into funding extended maternity leave, than to address real abuse and mistreatment of women around the world. I'm not sure if any of my readers live in a country which silently hosts barbaric practices, such as female genital mutilation and murder of women who refuse to marry the men their family chose for them. Such things, unfortunately, happen in certain Muslim communities in Israel - and the authorities, which are normally quick to deny a man the right to see his children if his ex-wife so much as hints at the possibility of mistreatment, more often than not remain twiddling their thumbs.
"The plight of women is not improved by sexual politics and exaggeration - no matter how well-intentioned. Misrepresentation almost always clouds the true causes of suffering and provides obstacles to genuine ways of preventing it."
"To sum up so far: Contemporary feminism can be faulted for its irrational hostility to men, its recklessness with facts and statistics, and its inability to take seriously the possibility that the sexes are equal - but different."
If you are interested, you can read the original text here. It took me a couple of days to get through it, but I think it was worth the time.