Modern feminism tends to conflate gender equality with gender interchangeability, insisting that women aren’t truly free until they’re indistinguishable from men. In the process, the movement has pitted itself against both science, which finds sexual differences throughout the animal kingdom, and women themselves, who tend to be quite comfortable with the arrangement.
I recently wrote an op-ed for the Washington Times on this subject, and explore several areas in which dogmatic feminism ended up opposed to the well-being of women:
- A recent survey of undergraduates at UC-Santa Cruz found that no one, not a single man or woman, preferred for the woman to propose marriage. The study’s authors suggested this unanimity was the result of “the role that hidden power may play in many heterosexual romantic relationships,” and Jezebel’s Laura Beck called it “benevolent sexism.”
- According to a 2007 Pew Research survey of families with minor children, 79% of mothers described their ideal situation as one in which they worked part-time or not at all, while 72% of fathers preferred to work full-time. As a result, fathers tend to work more than mothers. As the Manhattan Institute’s Kay Hymowitz has explained, this “gender-hours gap” (a situation both sexes appear to prefer) is the primary cause of the so-called “gender-wage gap” that modern feminists hold in such derision.
- One of the gender gaps feminists have been slow to acknowledge relates to military deaths: despite making up nearly 15% of active soldiers, women make up less than 0.02% of U.S. military fatalities in Operation Enduring Freedom. Surely, feminists wouldn’t really claim that this is sexist against women? Actually, the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) claims just that, decrying the exclusion of women from the front lines as “a blatant act of gender discrimination.”
- Speaking of gender gaps, sex-selective abortion and infanticide is an unparalleled threat for females around the globe, and is the chief reason that 160,000,000 women and girls are “missing” from Asia’s population, a figure referring only to those girls whose lives were snuffed out on account of their sex. Yet groups like Planned Parenthood continue to perform sex-selective abortions, except where prohibited by laws forbidding the ghastly practice (laws which they have adamantly opposed).
In each of these case, the feminist insistence upon equality-as-interchangeability demonstrably harms women, and I suggested in the article that we might understand this as the true “war on women,” particularly considering that the number of girls killed in sex-selective abortion is larger than the entire female population of the United States.