Feminist movement now actively harmful to women
Friday, February 20, 2015
By Beth Cody, Writers’ Group member
Iowa City Press-Citizen


Joseph Dobrian’s article certainly inflamed readers last week. Disclosure: I count Joseph among my friends and nearly always agree with what he writes, as we share the same deeply-held libertarian principles.

His op-ed about the unacceptable turn that the modern feminist movement has taken is absolutely right. I wouldn’t have used the graphic images he did to make his point, but I don’t blame him for his anger over feminism’s unqualified support for unjust persecution of men regardless of evidence.

It is clear to me that the feminist movement is now actively harmful to women. Modern feminism seems to focus on two things:

  • Emphasizing that women are victims
  • Trying to pass laws that weaken women by making them dependent on government and preferential treatment.

I want nothing to do with either of those schemes.

Feminism seems to focus on the victimization of women at a time when we have never enjoyed more advantages:

  • *modern American women can choose whether, whom and when to marry, and we do not give up our civil rights upon marriage.
  • *We can own property and work in nearly any job in any industry.
  • *We can choose whether to have children – and no longer do one in four of us die in childbirth.
  • *Most of us are free to pursue any level of education that we qualify ourselves for.
  • *We enjoy a level of health, comfort, freedom and ease that our grandmothers couldn’t dream of

Yes, there are still people who think women can’t do things as well as men, but who cares what they think? We need to be more thick-skinned and confident. However, feminism’s constant message that women are easy victims of men does not engender confidence.

Feminism should be about encouraging women to fear less, not be fearful, shrinking violets. To be successful, women must take risks and be tough.

Feminists should encourage women to shrug off insensitive comments, not to be Victorian hot-house flowers, wilting at perceived “micro-aggressions” that the political correctness police must protect us from.

Instead, modern feminism casts women as perpetual helpless victims, and advocates policies that encourage dependence, not independence:

  • *Demanding special laws to protect us from market forces: If a company doesn’t want to hire women, why would I want to work for that company? I should work for one that values me, or even better: start my own company. Not hiring women shouldn’t be a crime, merely an unwise decision that ultimately penalizes a company in the market. Laws mandating that I be hired are legal proof that I’m not as good as a man (otherwise, why would the law be necessary?).
  • *Welfare policy that pays single women to have children without a father is a recipe for mass poverty and lifelong dependence for women.
  • *Promoting “gender studies” degrees that perpetuate victimhood and are worth little in the job market
  • *And, Joseph’s point: Feminism’s insistence that it’s too humiliating to require that a woman show some proof that a man has assaulted her before we ruin his life on her say-so is an illiberal abomination. Perverting our “blind” system of justice is not the goal of any thinking woman.

And feminists seem to be wholly anti-business. Market cooperation has been the single most beneficial institution in the history of womankind. Capitalism – not government – has eliminated most of the miseries and restrictions women faced throughout history.

But the higher taxation and anti-business regulations that most feminists demand only impoverish women by wasting the money that would otherwise be invested in companies that would hire more women or be owned by them.

Feminism long ago went off the rails and no longer advances the wellbeing of women. Victimhood, dependence on government, freedom without responsibility: these are the wrong path. Why do we still pay attention to these foolish ideas?