Matthew Freeman asked:
I. INTRODUCTION & THESIS
Obviously an article with a title like this one is bound to stir up controversy and strong emotions from a lot of women–which is exactly what I want to do. I want women to get defensive of their cause, I want to stir them to critical thought and action; because I believe that women have been short-changed and fed an impoverished view of themselves by having bought into the precepts of feminism.
This is not to say that calling in to question feminism forces us to embrace an antiquated view of women. My thesis is simply this: the theory of feminism has given women a inadequate and impoverished answer to the question of, â€œWhat is the fullest and highest expression of a woman in modern society?â€
I believe an open and honest reading of the following critique of feminism will expose the ways in which it keeps them from being able to reach their full expression and to have the fullest impact on society. It is healthy for us to challenge and test our assumptions. So I invite women to examine with me, what I believe are the fallacies of this philosophy of bread crumbs.
There is one thing that we must bare in mind when considering the points below: this critique is not against the academic definitions and conceptualization of feminism in sterile classrooms and black and white writings. There have been countless philosophies, religious sects and political theories proposed throughout history that sought after an ideal, but when actualized proved to be an oppressive curse to people. This critique examines the actual impact of feminism on real people, in everyday life.
II. PROBLEMS PROPER
A. The Deconstruction of Women
It was a perfect evening to be outside, in Nashville, TN. The summer’s humidity broke and the cool breeze of fall was upon us. So I gathered together a group of friends to go enjoy the weather, on the patio of Mafiosa’z, in the heart of the city. Three of us, including a lady friend of mine sitting next to me, decided to order a bottle of wine together. As the drinks for the table were being delivered, the waitress also served her a cosmopolitan. She tried to hide the drink, to no avail. Then she looked at me with an expression of guilt and shame and said, “I always try to order my cosmo’s discretely. I feel embarrassed when people seeing me drinking such a girlie drink.”
This puzzled me and I responded, “But you are a girl. Why should you be ashamed of drinking a girlie drink?”
She couldn’t answer that question. And that’s when it hit me, “It’s feminism,” I responded. “Feminism has brainwashed women into hating their own natures and the expression of their feminine proclivities. It tells them that the highest state they can achieve is to be a man and anything feminine is base and shameful.”
She was mad that I would dare to challenge her right to feminism, but I was more mad that the philosophy of feminism has bread such shame into women and at the same time left them scrambling to become something that they are not.
The value of male traits are no better or worse than the value of female traits; but when a woman tries to attain traits that are not her own, those unnatural expressions will come from a false expression and will be of far less value than those natural to herself. It’s like a violin trying to make the sounds of a trumpet. Both instruments make beautiful music, but when one tries to act like the other, it loses the beauty of its’ song and the value of its’ being.
Thus, feminism does not liberate or elevate women, it turns them into someone forced to strive for what it is unnatural for them, having been taught to be ashamed of that which it is their own nature and perfectly natural. In short, feminism has elevated men as the ideal for all and has deconstructed the value of the proclivities and desires of women.
B. Testing the Deconstruction Theory
This theory I propose is a strong critique of feminism, and thus it must be tested. So I have and I do. Whenever the topic of feminism, women’s liberation or equality arises, I love asking feminists to describe the highest qualities they would want in a woman who would be a role model to them. They inevitably use words like confident, strong, successful and independent. Then I ask them to describe the highest qualities of a man. They stutter as they list the exact same qualities. Qualities that have been the benchmark of what is natural for a man to want to achieve, since the dawn of time.
Even worse, sometimes they add to those male qualities traits like sensitive, caring or gentle. These are traits and emotions that flow naturally in the chemical make-up of a woman. Estrogen produces feelings, emotions, kindness and caring. Feminists willingly ascribe those traits to men, who do not have that natural chemical system to produce those kinds of feelings in great amounts; but if you call a feminist those things, they often take it as insult–as though you were demeaning her ability to be a strong leader, in the likeness of men.
When I told this to the Cosmo Girl, she mockingly shook her head at me said, “Oh, and I suppose you’re going to tell me what a strong female is supposed to be like?!”
“Of course not. We don’t know,” I answered, “None of us do; and that is the crime.”
The lamentable reality is that feminism has effectively silenced the exploration of what it is to be a woman in full bloom. Instead of wooing them to lean in to the essence of their nature and urging them towards listening to the way in which they were created (so that they would discover the fullness of what they can offer to humanity as a whole); it has instead taught them to deny and discount their own beauty–not just physical beauty, but the fullness of their unique abilities.
So I am not here to tell women what they should be or how they should function in society. Only women can discover that. What I can do is point to four temptations that seek to trap women in the impoverished, feminist view of themselves. By exposing these, I believe it will help women avoid traps, as they journey towards discovering their own dignified image, apart from the image of man.
III. FOUR SOLUTIONS: Exposing Destructive Compulsions That Make Feminism Attractive
A. One Ring to Bind Them
In the lore of Tolkeinâ€™s Middle-Earth there were Rings of Power crafted, which gave real power to whomever attained them. They were attractive for that reason; but their hidden intent was to bind the bearer of that power in a trap. There is a strong undercurrent of defensiveness in a lot of women, worrying that they are not being respected for their abilities or are being passed over and held back from attaining positions of leadership and power, just because they are women. This defensiveness becomes the wooing voice that calls women to seek after a ring of power, at all costs.
But here is the problem, you cannot judge a personâ€™s honor and influence by the amount of power he or she possesses. No one would be foolish enough to judge the worth of a man, simply by his power. Some of the most powerful positions are held by men so un-respectable that those men diminish the power of the position through their lack of honor and influence. Itâ€™s the false notion that power equals attainment of the full self that becomes the wooing cry of the Ring of Feminism. Some of the greatest men and women in history had no societal power whatsoever. So the first piece of advice would be to let go of the compulsion to run towards power. Most of the time power will bind and confuse and trap itâ€™s bearer.
There is nothing wrong with a woman being in power; but I implore women (just as I would any man) to first come to an understanding of who she is, so that she can eventually lead out of her own giftings, instead of compulsively rushing towards the assumed respect that po
wer brings, abandoning the pursuit of herself, as the highest call.
OK ladies, itâ€™s time for a little tough love. I concede that there are things about women that men cannot emulate. Men don’t have the amazing instincts that women possess. I believe it to be a form of wisdom that surpasses anything that could be learned in a book. We don’t have the same form of deep emotion and compassion that women possess. The list goes on.
The same is true for women, vis-a-vie men. If we were to both ascend to positions of joint leadership (say on a leadership board of a Fortune 500 company or to the United States Senate), I will stipulate up-front that you are every bit as logical, intelligent, strong, forceful, vision-minded, intense, intimidating and influential as any man. Whatever traits that would go in to being successful in a position of power, I stipulate in full that women are equal to men in every way…save one.
The reason you (as an equally intelligent woman) sit across that table from me (the man) boils down to one simple fact: we let you. The truth is, we live in an artificial society that shields us from many of the realities of life: such as poverty, war, famine, etc. Another reality that we are shielded from is that at any given moment any man could decide to reach across the table, hit a woman so hard that it shatters her cheekbone (knocking her out before she has any chance to react) and then chain her up in his kitchen to be his cook-slave for the rest of her life (beating her into unconsciousness any time that she dares to refuse to serve him) or sell her on the open market as a sex-slave to be shipped to a far away country, where she would not know the language to be able to cry out for help.
That is a disgusting picture of what life is like for too many women around the world today; but I must paint the full reality of life, to help shake us out of our false sense of safety that we have in this society. We live in a society which has little reflection on what life has been like throughout history and is still like in countless nations of our world today.
Women feel as though they are completely independent and have no need of men. They believe that can do everything by themselves and that men are only there to take them out and satisfy their emotional needs. But that is a complete and total lie. Women are allowed to feel free only because we as men use our superior physiques to protect them. A woman is mortally vulnerable in the presence of every man she meets; a fact that is experientially understood in shocking and very real ways, throughout most societies.
The reality of life is that women need strong men to protect them from the strength of other men and other tribes. Women are no more free and independent than children are. Why would no one let their children walk the streets at night? Because of the danger of mentally ill men. It is the same with adult women. They are no more safe than a child, against the strength and power of a deranged male.
Women who live real lives in real societies where there is no safety net to turn life into a game, understand in full measure that they can never be independent of men; and those women who experientially understand the realities of life and the illusion of complete equality are immensely thankful for the men in their tribe who risk their lives in defense of the women they protect.
The point is this: while the tendency of feminist women is to see men as the enemy who would keep women down, it might prove more enlightening to consider the reserve of men.
Men have aggressively fought for a society in which women can become oblivious to the fact that in a crowd of 100 people, there are 50 men who (at any given moment) could use their superior strength to kill the woman, with little effort.
A feminist woman living the illusion of independence is like a child running through a pride of lions, slapping them and giggling as she pulls on their manes, completely oblivious to the extreme mortal danger that she faces at every given second. And you know, I like that. I want women to feel as safe as that child in the midst of blood-thirsty lions. But I also want her to respect the honor and reserve that men show towards them.
Women have a tough time even getting along with each other. I have reservations believing that if the physical power was reversed, women would be as magnanimous as men continue to be (without drawing any attention to their immense self-restraint) towards women.
So as a woman, I implore you to bury the ax of hatred for the ways you feel men have oppressed you and risk picking up an olive leaf of thankfulness towards men. For men have laid down their physical Ring of Power, to seek the betterment and equality of women. We deserve at least a sliver of recognition for the ways we constantly seek to share positions of power, that we have no physical mandate to share. We are not the enemy, nor are we the competition. In this, we have proven ourselves to be a greater ally to your cause than many of your fellow women have ever been to you.
We care about you and your equality, even in the face of feminist accusations to the contrary. In fact, the passion that birthed this article came from my own desire to see women freed from the guilt and shame with which feminist ideology binds them and attempts to keep them from exploring the full dignity of their divinely created natures.
C. The Sex in the City Woman
There is an ideal that has been given to women of a sophisticated, completely independent, city-savvy woman, who keeps men on the side, waiting to please her whims, with little commitment or emotional investment in those men. She is a full and free woman…or at least that is way they present her.
But the truth is, when gender is stripped away and the romanticism gives way to reality, the picture they try to allure you with is nothing more than a female version of the slime-ball guys who use women and seek to find their pleasures in showing off their money and their â€˜game.â€™ Real men and women alike are repulsed by those types of guys.
So ladies, why would you want to emulate the self-centered black holes of the world? Why would you accept the romanticism of treating men in the same dehumanizing manner for which you hate such a-moral guys? Again, this false ideal of what it is to be a full woman will keep women from examining their higher natures, apart from the influence of the images of men.
D. Towards Desire
The concept of attraction comes from a desire which is derived from feeling an attraction for something that is both attractive and completely other than oneself. When women sense the strength and confidence of a man who is passionate and has a purpose for his life (other than a woman), she is attracted to that strength. That attraction is healthy.
However, all that was once natural became unnatural when the fall occurred. The â€œcurseâ€ God gave women was actually Him explaining to her the consequences of an unnatural expression of her natural desire to be with a strong man. The â€œcurseâ€ is â€œactivatedâ€ when instead of seeing the strength of a man and wanting to be a helpmate to preserve and further his cause, she turns into one who wants to devour that strength and try to make it her own. Unfortunately, God says in the curse that she will seek to devour something that will end up ruling over her.
In essence, seeking to become equal to men in strength and power will end up binding women. They will become slaves to their unnatural pursuit. Which is exactly what happens when women buy in to feminism and begin to believe that they should seek to show themselves to be equal to men. They become bound by shame and guilt for desiring the upward call of their own natures. Being emotional is something to apologize for; ordering girlie drinks is a lower act than drinking like a man; desiring to find a strong man to cling to and lead her are thoughts that need
to be rejected. According to the philosophy of feminism it is a sin to ever thin
k such thoughts; which are the chains of slavery that feminism uses to bind women.
Being courageous enough to admit and reject the fallacies of feminism does not mean that a woman is embracing male oppression, nor does it mean that she is rejecting equal rights. It simply means that there was a problem that gave birth to feminism, but feminism was a flawed and impoverished solution.
So instead of a woman spending her life trying to put on the traits of manhood, she should rather seek to fully develop into the woman in full bloom that she has been designed to become.
Who is that woman? What does that woman look like and act like? What is her role in shaping society? No one knows. And that is the real crime. The birth of feminism killed the discussions of what it is to be a fully developed women in our rapidly advancing society.
So I would implore women to shake off the chains of shame, guilt and unnatural living that feminism binds you with, and let the real discussion begin: What is the highest expression of a woman, to have the greatest positive impact on society, and how can that best be expressed in our modern world?