How political feminism demeans 50% of women

worf and dax

Well, this is what came up when I searched “traditional Catholic wedding.” Now that I think of it, for people who live in a very traditional society, Klingon women don’t seem very oppressed.

So Mike Pence won’t eat alone with any woman besides his wife. Liberals find this upsetting, because they interpret it as an objectification of women. Isn’t he saying that women are nothing but temptations, and if he was sitting next to a pretty one, he couldn’t be responsible for his actions? Nobody’s wondering what his wife thinks about it. The focus is the conservative man’s attitude toward women, marriage and sex; but nobody’s looking too closely into the conservative woman’s mindset. Maybe Karen Pence agrees with his rule; maybe she doesn’t. But let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she understands and respects where he’s coming from. In fact, let’s assume it’s possible for a conservative woman to have a modern marriage.

Let’s face it: this stereotype of conservatives is our fault for electing Trump. But when feminists assume that all conservatives are as misogynistic as he is, or have old-fashioned, patriarchal views of marriage, they’re including conservative women, too. After all, 42% of all women voted for Trump. Are they masochists who like to be oppressed? Are they deluded dupes who never heard of feminism? Are they too stupid or cowardly to stand up for themselves? Whichever it is, it’s not very respectful of women, is it? Feminists are, by default, assuming that all women who espouse conservative views of marriage, relationships, and sex aren’t worth listening to. They’re assuming that we needn’t take conservative social views seriously, even if women hold them. They’re assuming that you can discount the experiences of 42% of the women in America, just because of their vote. That flies in the face of everything liberalism stands for.

I’m a conservative, but I didn’t vote for Trump. Every time I start to sympathize with feminists, though, they drive me away by their disrespect for my beliefs. Feminism, which claims to speak for all women, seems to be increasingly driving away all but a small, radical group of them. At the Women’s March, many white women felt unwelcome because the organizers were so focused on marching for minority rights that they downplayed white women’s concerns with Trump and the direction America is taking. Similarly, feminist women who were pro-life were officially disinvited from the Women’s March.

Let’s return to Karen and Mike Pence. It’s possible, of course, that she is oppressed or stupid. It’s certainly possible that she’s wrong. It’s even possible that she’s a misogynist. But are you willing to say the same of every woman who believes that abortion is wrong, or that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund contraception, or that marriage is only between a man and a woman? Is every conservative woman not only wrong, but also stupid, evil, or helpless? What an insult to women! If you think we’re wrong, fine; but at least pay us the courtesy of assuming that we’re smart, modern women who’ve thought things through.

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Feminism Won in All the Wrong Ways

Betty Boop, Lady, Female, Woman, Girl, Sexy, Cartoon

Respect me! I’m wearing a Betty Boop t-shirt!

The other day I took my 4-year-old son and my 3-year-old daughter underwear shopping.  My son had all kinds of cool options: superheros!  Pixar movies!  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! sports! Paw Patrol! My daughter’s choices, on the other hand, were (a) flowers and birds (b) Minnie Mouse and (c) My Little Pony.  And I’m thinking–where’s feminism when you need it?  So maybe they figure that girls are less interested in the darker, more masculine heroes like Batman, or traditionally “boy” things like cars and sports.  But since when is Finding Nemo, or The Incredibles, unsuitable for girls?  So maybe they figure girls prefer female characters.  Since when does that rule out puppies, or cars, or fish, or cowgirls?  Seriously, feminists, do you really want your daughter idolizing Minnie Mouse?  I’m all for traditional gender roles, but gosh, clothes and toys for girls are so boring.  Girls get cute animals, cooking, shopping, make-up, and princesses.  Boys get cool animals, sports, superheroes, rescue workers, building, vehicles, engineering, science, outdoor toys, and everything else.  It’s like products for kids haven’t changed since the 50’s.

I’m mostly joking here; my daughter could actually use a little nudging toward feminine things, and she can always borrow her brother’s underwear.  But the fact that the feminists haven’t made any headway in this area just adds insult to the injury that is their complete failure to transform adult women’s culture, either.  Feminists did a wonderful job in making the objectification and stereotyping of women unacceptable; but then they turned right around and objectified and stereotyped themselves.  It’s (supposedly) no longer okay for men to view women as sex objects; but it’s perfectly okay for women to read magazines about how important it is to be SEXY ALL THE TIME. Here’s an article from Cosmopolitan Magazine about how awful it is that a producer hired an actress just for her looks; and (warning, racy pictures ahead) here’s an article from the same magazine (by a man!) that’s entirely about one model’s sexy butt.  It’s (supposedly) no longer okay for men to value women only for their sexiness; but it’s empowering for women who don’t fit the usual definitions of sexy–plus-sized women, older women, disabled women–to show how valuable they are by…looking sexy.  I’m getting mixed messages.

Inner Beauty on the Runway

This is a bit of a sensitive topic, and I hope I won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.  I have a lot of respect for the women I wrote this post about, and I don’t mean to demean them; but I think their stories are an important indicator of a lot that’s wrong with our society.

Oh boy.  Am I the only one who found that viral article about the aspiring model with Down Syndrome…kind of disturbing?  The girl is lovely, and her courage and intentions to fight discrimination are admirable; but I feel like she is really not helping the situation.  Her mother says “she really wants to change the way people discriminate against disability,” and “it is time people realized that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful.”  Is becoming a fashion model really the way to go about that?  I kind of doubt that anyone impressed by her portfolio is suddenly going to see the inner beauty in every other person with Down Syndrome, including the less fit and stylish ones.  I’d expect more of a voyeuristic response, along the lines of one headline: “She lost weight so she could become a model.  Wait till you see her ‘after’ photos!”

I have a similar reaction to the size 22 model who made the cover of People Magazine.  I’m not sure if she’s really changing people’s opinion about the beauty of overweight women so much as she’s changing people’s opinion about the beauty of beautiful, fashionable, make-up-plastered overweight women.  Her slogan is “eff your beauty standards,” but I don’t see how she’s really doing that.  She may be widening the beauty standards a bit, but not enough to include the majority of us, who don’t have a strikingly beautiful face and a lot of cosmetic talent.

Does inner beauty count more than outer beauty?  Of course.  Are people with Down Syndrome or fat people often seen as inferior?   Yes.  But I really don’t see how these women are going to change people’s beauty standards by conforming to them.  Instead of protesting the culture that values nothing but sexiness, which is the culture that idolizes the modern fashion model,

File:Lencería femenina de Andrés Sardá.jpg

Hey! My inner beauty is up here!

these women are looking for acceptance by joining that culture.  In effect, they’re saying, “I object to the idea that only beautiful, sexy, fashionable women are valuable.  And I’m protesting by making myself as sexy and fashionable as possible.”  If the girl with Down Syndrome were to share just her “before” photo, no modeling agencies would be interested in her inner beauty.  So why is she playing by their rules?