What the new feminist talking points state is these international situations keep the fires burning for the Sisterhood at home even though we Sisters outshine males on nearly every social indicator in Canada. We must have the international state of affairs as constant reminders (and indeed to keep the tax dollars flowing) that we are still victims.
I note you avoid the DV numbers on the home front which are pretty much equal yet studies show females are more likely to initiate physical abuse against their male partner and Lesbians have a much higher rate. Might I remind you they are both female. Why do females initiate at a greater rate than men. Simply because of people like you telling them they can from an early age onward. They will reduce their injury rate by not initiating.
Please do not try to equate the situation in western democracies with countries ruled by theocrats pretending to be democrats in a largely illiterate Islamiscist fundamentalist region.
If feminists were so interested in helping these people why don't you recruit them in your missionary work and get them on the ground working with the Afghan women and government officials. I suggest they would not last a week and would be on the way home very soon or if they persisted in their stridency to impose western values on illiterate peasants would probably end up in jail or worse.
You are beating a dead horse as many other missionaries have done in the past. How far has Africa progressed after more than a century of missionary work? Not overly far. Your solutions are not the answer in the 3rd world and will not see success.
You are obviously a fully indoctrinated feminist or pro-feminist spokesperson, however. Hopefully you don't have a son currently enrolled in K12 whose odds of getting into University are decreasing and if you ever hope to be a grandfather pray your son doesn't get divorced as his ex wife will get physical custody (90% chance unless she is a proven drug addict) and may act as a gatekeeper over access. You may never see your grandchild and because of people like you this will continue to be the status quo.
You show all the signs of a highly feminized male who may not know what is like to be masculine. Its a pity.
If you truly believe in equality push for equal shared parenting for fit partners after marriage. That is the real test of egalitarians. Eighty percent of Canadians think it should be the case. Do you?
Another poster who is also a feminist retorts:
@nichD The best way to insult a man supporting women studies is to try and slag him as being feminine.
I was trapped — surrounded by feminists. Ordinarily, being the lone man in a room full of women would be a dream come true, but the first day of my women’s studies class I was distinctly aware that I might be considered an interloper, a foreign agent — the enemy. I wanted to learn, though, and was prepared to face hostility if I had to.
Feminist thought intrigued me. I had learned about feminist economist Marilyn Waring who suggested what sounded like radical common sense to me. Waring proposed economics ignored much of the most important activity in the world — raising children, caring for the sick or elderly, the enormous energy and time required to maintain a home. She felt it should be accounted for. I agreed — and wondered what other bright ideas might be found in the feminist camp.
There were plenty – and most of them felt like the same radical common sense. That the lower rates of female participation in a variety of domains — from business to politics — might represent something other than a lack of talented or interested women, and be squandering enormous talent. That sexual and domestic violence disproportionately affect women and need to be stopped. That equal work deserves equal pay.
Other ideas struck me as less convincing — I didn’t find the Spice Girls’ advocating Girl Power in lipstick and mini-skirts inconsistent or troublesome as some did. Fortunately feminism itself was split on such issues, as were my fellow students. What was described as a homogeneous philosophy by outside critics was dynamic, fragmented and alive inside the classroom.
Even more powerful for me though, was that when that gender analysis was taken to the international stage the disparity moved from disturbing to appalling. Sexual slavery, female circumcision, lack of property rights, denial of health care, the murder of female babies and ritual burning of widows. The lectures opened my eyes to numerous tragedies which feminists were sounding alarms about, rigorously analyzing and crafting solutions for.
While I learned that feminists led the charge on such critical issues around the world, early on in my women’s studies class most students resisted the feminist label as though it was a contemporary scarlet letter — a badge of shame. The incongruence between the laudable accomplishments of feminism and my classmates’ hesitation to celebrate those accomplishments highlighted a strange outcome of the cultural clash over women’s rights.
Feminism won its major battles, and seems in the process of winning the rest. Voting rights and equality are enshrined in law, women are swelling the ranks of law and medicine and outnumbering men in many university programs, and Sex in the City is reconciling women’s desire for femininity with their career ambitions. Even motherhood and homemaking are making comebacks with maternity leave nationally mandated. All of which suggests that feminism has won the culture war so completely that it may well be the most successful social movement of the modern era.
Yet feminists are often still characterized as shrill, strident, man-haters. It was never shrill or strident to call for voting rights, equality of opportunity, an end to sexual violence, or the opportunity for women to pursue a career. It was actually boorish and ignorant to criticize these advances. The myth of the strident feminist persists anyway, a bitter echo of opposition from debates feminism long ago settled and won.
History is normally written by the winners, but in feminism’s case the sore losers kept the pen. This is tragic because around the world feminist progress remains critical. Much work needs to be done to empower women and girls — and to get it done we need people to know that feminism and women’s rights are important and interesting areas to study and work in.
And it is important and interesting work. Feminists fight to protect girls from violence encountered seeking education in regions where education is freely given to boys; battle the injustice of sexual slavery; protect helpless mothers denied property rights in spite of local laws; and more. All of this work makes our world a safer and more just place.
The attacks I was prepared for on my first day of class never came. I was never crucified for the real or imagined sins of my gender. Instead I learned feminists weren’t the bogeywomen they were portrayed as — they were resented for being consistently ahead of their time, but undaunted in continuing their important contributions to human progress.
Mike Bowerman works in financial consulting and supports girls’ education in Afghanistan through The Canadian International Learning Foundation, www.canilf.org, and the Central Asia Institute, www.ikat.org