Why I am no longer a feminist…

Featured image by svklimkin. Follow the link for more of this artist’s work.

I used to consider myself a feminist. I believed, at the time, that the entire goal of feminism was to create equality under the law for men and women. I had heard about the gender pay gap, and believed who were telling the story at face value. I believed that the messaging was about the empowerment of women, and that they could do anything that men could do, and that it was an entirely noble movement.

As I grew older, that notion began to break. I saw the feminist movement “leave behind,” women who wished to be homemakers, who were “conservative,” and who typically identified as Republican. My mother fell into several of those groups. It had become a movement, like many of the modern progressive movements, to codify what it meant to be a “woman,” and that diversity of thought, or breaks from this increasingly rigid dogma were less and less tolerated. In order to be a woman, or even a feminist, you had to believe certain tenants, much like an organized religion, in order to be accepted into the club. You had to believe that you were oppressed, that you were a perpetual victim, and that no matter what you did, you would never break out of that mold. You had to believe that the gender pay gap was a real thing, and that women earned 77 cents on the dollar for every job, regardless of any other possible explanation. You had to believe that you had to choose between a career and a family. You had to believe that if you stayed at home that you were lesser than other women who chose their careers. You had to believe that women could be just as promiscuous, and that it was a virtue to do so. You had to believe that a woman could abort a child for any reason. You had to repeat the mantra of “My body, my choice.”

I began to see that feminism had changed, that it was no longer about the empowerment of the female, but rather, the exchange of the traditional man for the government. It was the sluffing off of any sense of responsibility in exchange for perpetual victimhood, and a sense of entitlement. Women could choose who they wanted to “love,” marry, or have sex with. The power that women had was weaponized, and the general them shifted from “women are strong, independent, and still feminine,” to “Men are trash, and women should be just like men.”

YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are rife with messages echoing this shift in perspective. WAP, the Cardi B song, glorifies being a “hoe,” and now, the feminist movement has been mixed into the LGBTQIA+ movement. The Sun reports that a transgender “woman,” was seen “exposing his penis in the “women’s only” section of the Wi Spa in Los Angeles. The video, seen below, is of a customer complaining about the exposure.

This viral video sparked protest, and subsequently violence, at the Wi Spa, as people protesting on behalf of the women, and on behalf of the transgendered person, clashed. SoCal Antifa, part of the “mythical” idea known as Antifa, came to support “trans lives,” and were reported to spray other demonstrators with unknown substances, push, and curse at other protestors. Members of those protesting the spa engaged in similar behaviors.

The current feminist movement has aligned itself with the LGBTQIA+ movement, and women are the losers. If Trans-women are equal to women, and are allowed in the same areas as cis-gendered women without the need to have even similar looking genitalia, then incidents like the Wi Spa are going to be just the beginning.

Let me be very clear here. I don’t care what you identify as. If you identifying as a woman helps you to be more aligned with your inner self, then go for it. But we are in a period of such rapidly shifting paradigms that our culture is changing faster than our laws, and the speed at which our society is shifting is far faster than many can tolerate. The boiling frog analogy is very apropos in this circumstance.

We have gone from recognizing gay marriage to demanding that biological men who identify as women have equal access to biological female spaces in the course of less than ten years. Let that sink in for a moment. Our society, that many on the authoritarian left view as oppressive, is fighting over letting trans women compete in cis-women sports, with little in the way of protection to cis-women. Many in the feminist movement are in full support of a male showing off his junk to females in a female-only space, and don’t wish to do any sort of digging into whether this person really is a trans person, or whether he/she identified as a woman just to gain access.

Women are awesome. Women are powerful. They have the ability to take what you give them and make it better. As Erick S. Gray wrote,

But when a movement that proclaims that gender is on a spectrum seems to default back to the binary choices of “man” and “woman,” I take pause. There are costs to this line of thinking. Women’s spaces become less safe. Men with ill-intentions can abuse it. And another area of common ground in our country is lost. The divisions get wider, and we continue to balkanize. If this reality is the “utopia” that the feminist movement wants, then count me out. I firmly believe that all people, regardless of race, gender, sex, creed, religion, and so on are equal, and deserve equal protections under the law.

It seems that the modern feminist movement is willing to sacrifice women for power. I don’t know about you, but when the concept of “acceptable losses,” comes into play, then I don’t want that group to succeed. It becomes too easy to turn anyone who doesn’t fit into a sacrificial piece.

8 thoughts on “Why I am no longer a feminist…

  1. Why is the statement “Women could chose who they wanted to “love”, marry, or have sex with” implied to be a negative statement in the middle of a paragraph about your objections on the direction of feminism? Also, why did you put the word “love” in quotation marks?

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    1. That statement wasn’t meant to be negative, though I can see where you’re coming from. When paired with the next line, that this power was weaponized, does the meaning take on a more negative tone. Women, having the freedom to choose whom they would love, marry, and have sex with is a very empowering thing considering how historically women were used as a sort of bargaining chip to improve social standing, or were paid for via bride price.

      As for your second question, love means different things to different people. Some view love as merely transactional, seeking monetary or material value as the basis for the relationship. Others view it as a romantic connection, while others may view it in terms of camaraderie, friendship, and so on and so on.

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      1. “This power was weaponized” Meaning…exercised in her own best interest? Please clarify; are you proposing an alternative situation where women do NOT choose with whom to spend their lives? That’s just forced marriage if not some dark incel filth. No one should have the join the rest of their lives to someone they don’t love out of destitution and economic necessity; that’s what feminism brought us. Financial independence = the ability to say no, and thank God for that. Men have always had to earn the right to have a woman in their lives by demonstrating the ability to make her life better, and that’s a noble, natural, beautiful and attainable goal. You sound interested in getting to the bottom of the statistics on the gender pay gap! Here’s a helpful website full of statistics. https://www.payscale.com/data/gender-pay-gap

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      2. First, thank you for the link. I will look into it when I have more time.

        The power was weaponized, meaning, used to “other” women who did not comply with the value set that was being redefined by third and fourth wave feminists. I certainly agree that women being able to choose their romantic partners is a good thing. The empowerment of women during the first and second waves of feminism are noble, as you said.

        I will ask you politely not to use ad hominem attacks when offering commentary. I have made no such notions of your character, and do not wish to stop the conversation over petty character attacks like incel. That being said, I do not wish to return to a world in which women have no say. I rather like the idea that women getting to choose their husbands, and continue to try to make myself into a person worthy of someone’s affection and love. But as I continued writing, this power of decision was turned against other women, and to a lesser extent men. This is why I used the term weaponized. When you exclude, degrade, or other a woman because her values and choices differ from the collective tenants of “feminism,” then I lose my desire to support that movement. My mother chose to work, and have a husband and kids. She has conservative values, and believes in individual responsibility, but would be considered by many in the feminist movement either less than, or not at all a woman, because she is against abortion, and believes that it’s okay to be a homemaker or stay at home parent.

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      3. Thanks for clarifying your remarks; I have a better understanding of where you’re coming from now. My mother has always believed the same as yours; her dream was to be a mom and she had similar objections to feminism. I now realize that feminism exists not to defend or protect the right of women to be homemakers – they always have that right under any system. Feminism exists to make other options possible. Frankly, in the current economy, a single income household is a pipe dream for many American families. Staying out of the workforce has never really been an option for women in poverty anyway. To say “I’m living the life I want (traditional – which is great, by the way!), therefore I won’t help you fight for the one you want because that leaves me out” strikes me as an unintentionally selfish sounding argument. I know plenty of women like this and they’re wonderful people but I also have met many more women who benefit and need feminism in the lives they’re trying to lead. I will never again say that because people like my mom aren’t currently in the workforce and may have been snubbed a few times for it that I will refuse to support women who are in the workforce and are getting passed over for promotions or not paid their fair share. Feminism as every woman I know understands it is about making it possible for every woman, including our mothers, to live life on their own terms and have full economic, political, and social equality in society. That remains a worthy, necessary goal regardless of the fact that none of us is ever going to agree with every thing that is ever said and done in the name of the movement.

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      4. I am glad we’re closer on this. My concern is when feminist are willing to reject other women for choosing to be homemakers or focusing on raising a family instead of pursuing being a CEO, for example. Any movement that makes someone out to be lesser than another person is not something I can really get behind. If the underlying principle is equality, then that must include those who wish to adopt more traditional roles.

        I did have a chance to look at the site you sent, and it had some very interesting information. I do think that there are still some factors that aren’t considered between when it comes to the 0.98 to 1.00 differential after other factors are removed. But much of that can come from either individual agreeableness or initiative. There is an article from the Atlantic that highlights some of what I am talking about.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2018/08/gender-personality-big-five-psychology/568087/

        It is several years old, but it is some of the most contemporary research that I have seen.

        The gist is that there may be certain aspects of personality on a macro scale that could result in that remaining pay gap. While it may not be present for an individual, women tend to be more agreeable. This personality trait may cause women to take a lower rate of pay, or, less innocuously, not advocate for higher pay, than their male counterparts. That is a possibility that is not based upon a discriminatory premise, but that could still result in the same outcome. Food for thought. I don’t intend to dismiss that idea that women can be discriminated against, it certainly does happen. I just think that it is a gross oversimplification to assume that any discrepancy is inherently based upon discrimination.

        Thank you again for your continued feedback. I appreciate the back and forth with you and enjoy hearing your opinion and experience. It makes writing this blog worthwhile.

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      5. Patrick, I appreciate your tone and well-thought out words. You will be happy to know that feminism has always advocated for the rights and equality of those who embrace traditional gender roles, but it does not exist to specifically reinforce those (as no movement for that is needed anyway). There will always be individuals who are less than accepting of others’ lifestyles that are different from their own, but hopefully that is never sufficient justification to entirely abandon a much-needed movement for equality for half of the population. Regarding your take on the gender pay gap, no one should have to haggle for equal pay, period. If they do, that’s management’s fault, not a “personality trait”. Blaming their lower wages on their not speaking up is almost indistinguishable from victim blaming. In many companies, peers do not know how much their peers make, which keeps people in the dark about what their worth could be. Underpaying women because they are agreeable = underpaying women. That’s not an individual trait, that’s a macro level problem, and you’re absolutely right – macro or micro discrimination problems don’t have to be intentional! For example, female teachers as well as male teachers almost always make the mistake of calling more frequently on boys because the girls are being quieter. Rooting out unconscious biases of any kind is a long, tricky road for every single one of us.

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      6. Thank you again for the reply. I will disagree with you somewhat on a few areas, though I appreciate your continued dialogue. And even in our areas of disagreement, I believe it is more of degree than kind, if that makes sense.

        The general tone of the modern feminist movement has become hostile to women who have conservative beliefs, a telling example would be Amy Coney Barrett, and the show that many in the media made with the handmaid’s tale insinuations, though I suppose that is anecdotal, along with the example of how many in the feminist movement treat women like my mother. For a movement to claim to stand for the equality of women and be less than tolerant to women who embrace traditional roles is at best hypocritical.

        As far as the gender pay gap goes, I have a few thoughts:
        First, my supposition wasn’t intended as a justification of the pay gap’s existence, but rather another possible explanation as to why it may exist other than gender discrimination.

        Second, I agree with you that employees should actively discuss their wages. My regular work does involve payroll, and I do see the business side of the argument when it comes to that kind of talk during work hours. In every job, there is politicking and cliques that form, which could result in a more toxic work environment. I for one always try to be professional when it comes to my work regardless of whether my coworkers make more or less than I do.

        I disagree with you that workers should not advocate for themselves (haggle for equal pay). The adage is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. I have fallen into both categories during my career in the grocery industry. I have been passed over for promotions for others because I didn’t make it plain to management that I wanted the job. I had to advocate for pay raises, and have had to change jobs to get the money that I believe I am worth. I am an ardent believer in personal responsibility, that at the end of the day, you are the only one who can change your circumstances.

        When I had mentioned the agreeableness trait, the study mentioned that an individual’s level varies from person to person. Some women have that A-type personality and are better able to advocate for themselves (are less agreeable) than their male counterparts. The problem arises at the macro level, when we have to generalize about larger groups. If women “tend” to be more agreeable than their male counterparts, then they are more likely to accept a lower wage so as not to be rocking the boat. If boys “tend” to be more aggressive in the classroom, then they tend to be called on more. I do agree with you that teachers need to be more mindful, but my thought is that they should call on different students each time, and not play favorites.

        I also disagree with you about victim blaming. Businesses are profit motivated. They have to manage expenses, overhead, and personnel. As much as I would love for my bosses to be paying me more, I also understand that those cost go into running the business. Being able to make a profit allows for companies to reinvest in their equipment, give people raises, hire new employees, offer benefits, and yes, pay their shareholders, officers, etc… I certainly support private employee owned business and co-ops where the employees have a stake in ownership, and would love to hear more of your thoughts on that as well.

        Again, I appreciate your thoughts. You have a very engaging mind and look forward to our continued conversations.

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