Ms. Arab, you are very old school in your thinking. Radical Feminism took over back in the 70’s when they drummed Erin Pizzey, the woman who created refuge shelters for abused women, out of the movement and threatened her life. One of the reasons she was drummed out was her finding that many of the so-called abused women were also abusers.
Feminisim today is a toxic and Marxist movement to create entitlements for feminists, create propaganda that men are abusers and marriage is a form of slavery no woman should entertain. I have identified many flavours of this current feminism and one increasingly in favour is LifeBoat Feminism which invokes the dual term women and children. This is used to show women and children are victims of the patriarchy, when in fact, single moms are the largest single abuser of children, and is clearly shown in countries such as the USA and OZ who breakdown the information to clarify biological fathers are the least likely to harm children.
Feminism focuses on the LifeBoat. It states, as an example, men and women cannot share parenting after divorce because dad is an abuser, even if he is not. This is taught by your local DV shelter, strong subscribers to radical feminist privilege, and is often a first step for mom to ensure custody. Despite the fact DV affects a small percentage of the population 8% female, 7% male (StatsCan 2005) they would have you believe mom needs to be in the Lifeboat with the children and dad can only be a visitor who pays dearly financially and emotionally for his marginalization. What this achieves is not good for the children (see Kruk, 2009) and continues the impression feminism brings to the market that women are but children and cannot stand on their own.
Feminism today is the new "F" word for very good reason, none of it positive.
The Harper government's latest showdown with women's rights groups, suggests the time has come for Canadian women -- and men -- to reclaim the word feminist. Bring it back to its mainstream roots.
A day after Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth warned aid groups that they risk a backlash if they don't "shut the f---up," news reports revealed Status of Women funding for at least 14 women's groups wasn't renewed for the current fiscal year.
According to the government, these organizations are victims of limited resources, even though they do valuable work that advances the cause of women's health, rights and equality.
So what does feminism have to do with it?
If the word were used properly, there would be less of a divide that occurs when programs rightly or wrongly get cut. Feminism simply means a belief that all people are equal, regardless of gender.
Most voting Canadians are feminists, they just might not know it. Even many men are feminists by the true definition of the word. Anyone who believes it's wrong to discriminate against the opposite sex because of their gender, falls into this category, whether they want to admit it or not.
The great 20th century author Rebecca West once wrote: "I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute."
A decade or so after her death, universities had defined feminism. I was taught that there are three types of feminists: Most fall into the category of liberal feminists; those focused on equality. Marxist feminists believe equality can never be achieved in a capitalist society, without an overhaul of the economy. The smallest group goes to those, unfortunately, with the biggest mouths, the radical feminists, whose views are the most extreme. They include the wacky belief that women need to live in a society free of men, if patriarchy is to be truly transformed.
Yet, this small, radical view has become the mainstream definition in the past 10 years. The rise of the ultraconservative right has succeeded in turning feminism into a dirty, weak word.
Chris Hilton, a spokesman for Status of Women Minister Rona Ambrose, denies there is anything ideological about the funding decisions. "Unfortunately, not all projects that submit proposals can be accepted," he said Wednesday. True, but there is ample evidence feeding the perception.
At least two organizations in Alberta are among the casualties. Womanspace Lethbridge, a resource centre for women in southern Alberta, has since closed its office to clients, with a recorded message blaming "funding cuts."
Alberta Network of Immigrant Women is also on the wrong end of the funding decision. The network has championed a number of valuable projects geared at increasing the participation of women in all aspects of society. It's also been instrumental in building a system that addresses the recognition of internationally educated or trained professionals.
Perhaps denying access to Status of Women funding is nothing more than a case of too few resources, were it not for a pattern of such questionable, ideologically driven decisions.
In his first year in power, Prime Minister Stephen Harper cancelled the Liberal's promised universal child care program, and replaced it with an old-fashioned baby bonus system, payable to parents with children under six. The $100 per month supplement is purely a symbolic nod to the traditional nuclear family. That kind of money can only buy token babysitting services
No longer can those who feel they've been discriminated against seek financial assistance to launch significant court cases that guarantee equal rights under the constitution.
REAL Women cheered when the feds decimated the Status of Women, expressing hope it would be eliminated entirely "since it does not represent 'women' but only represents the ideology of feminists."
That's simply untrue. There's no "ideology" in working to improve the participation of women in all aspects of society, "putting particular emphasis on increasing women's economic security and eliminating violence against women," according to the organization's mandate.
For its part, the government insists the Conservatives are committed to improving the lives of Canadian girls and women. They want accountability, "less talk and more action," said Transport Minister John Baird.
Let's hold the Conservatives to that promise, by getting over the stigma of calling oneself a feminist, and ensuring the voice for gender equality is heard.