Feminism, left and right
0 comment Wednesday, October 29, 2014 |
There is an interesting post and discussion thread at Chronicles, in which Thomas Fleming discusses how feminism has undermined, to the point of destruction, our most basic social institution, marriage and family.
He notes how there are now few defenders, even among ''conservatives'', of the ''patriarchy'', as feminists have labeled our former traditions.
''The recent decision to deploy women on submarines has been hailed as a victory in the continuing struggle to liberate women from the oppression of the domineering male sex. Conservatives have generally deplored the move, citing the inevitable sexual tensions and lowering of morale that will result from putting young males and females in such close quarters for long periods of time. (And, think of all those poor male homosexuals who find the submarine service so attractive because of the lack of female competition!). Some conservatives even go so far as to declare their opposition to women serving in any military capacity, but they are a species on the endangered list: Even the great nemesis of women in uniform, James Webb, has backed off, proving once again, that no honest man can be a US senator.''
It is a worthwhile piece, and the discussion following is also good. I recommend reading it.
This piece particularly caught my interest, especially the first paragraph, which I have quoted above. In a recent post titled 'A little leaven', I mentioned the degree to which feminism (as well as leftism in all its manifestations) has captured 'conservatives', especially Republicans. Women in the military seems to be one idea which conservatives, despite strong opposition in the early days of feminism's propaganda onslaught, have now embraced.
As I mentioned in that earlier blog entry, those ''conservatives'' who argue for a co-ed military and women in combat, often do so on the basis that there are patriotic women who want to fight for our country, and they should not only be permitted to do so, but applauded and praised for it.
If one counters that women are simply not the equals of men in the realm of physical size, strength, and aggressiveness, the feminist 'conservatives' fall back on the old familiar liberal response: they will cite some exception which supposedly disproves the rule. Example: "I know a young woman who is as fit and strong as most young men, and she can fight alongside any man. Would you forbid her from doing her part to defend her country?"
The fact that women like the one described above are pretty rare does not deter these people from making a broad generalization that women can be the equals of men in battle, just because there are a few isolated examples of strong, brave, tough women.
Never mind, also, the fact that there is more than one way to ''serve one's country'', as in previous World Wars when women had auxiliary groups and occupied support roles, rather than going into combat in co-ed units with the men.
The other large faction of 'conservatives' who argue for women in combat and for a co-ed military is a group that seems to be mostly men, who argue from an egalitarian perspective: ''If women want to be equal, let 'em be 100 percent equal, and pull their own weight. Draft 'em. Make 'em serve. Make 'em fight and die just like the men. It's unfair to send only males out to fight and die for their country.''
I've heard that one more than a few times, and true to form, someone on the Chronicles thread says something similar.
Let's look at that argument. In a way, it's a concession to feminism. It posits that men and women are, or should be, for fairness' sake, equals in all things, and that women can just toughen up and take it like men, never mind that most women would be not fit nor willing to go into combat.
Now, is that the case because women are too cowardly or too lazy or too privileged to want to go to war, or because women are not fitted for such roles?
Should 'conservatives' be arguing from egalitarian principles like 'equality' and 'fairness'? Do those arguing these things actually believe the sexes are equal in ability to fight and in the aggressive traits needed to be an effective warrior? Do they believe that women and men can actually share living quarters, with little privacy or room for modesty, without problematic situations arising?
Do these egalitarians really believe that, or is their profession of belief in equality disingenuous? I think, obviously, that they believe no such thing; their arguments exhibit a desire to punish women, or feminists at least, by forcing them to endure the hardships of combat.
I can concede that the anger towards women is legitimate and justified. Feminism is and has always been a hostile, misandrist movement, which on its part has had punitive instincts toward males. So it is understandable that many men respond in kind.
But to go as far as to argue for women in the military and in combat just out of spite is going a little far. Firstly, does the conservative who makes these arguments believe that the presence of women in military roles in co-ed situations does not have a deleterious effect on male bonding and camaraderie, which is a big part of the effectiveness of the soldier and the military generally?
The presence of women in these situations generates sexual tension, sometimes jealousy and squabbling amongst the men. Men also feel the need to tone down their normal male group behavior because of the presence of females. Women, too, probably develop rivalries and squabbles with other women in the group, who may be romantic/sexual competition for them.
It's an established fact that pregnancies in the co-ed military are a problem, which anybody with common sense could have foreseen.
There is also the possibility during warfare for captured female soldiers to be raped, which possibility most of us who have daughters would take very seriously. But the hard-nosed egalitarian 'conservative' says ''so what? Men get raped too, why are women considered too delicate to risk that? Don't we value our sons just as much as our daughters?"
I tend to doubt that male prisoners are as likely to be raped by captors, although I could be wrong about that.
To return to the question of differences in muscular strength, stamina, and plain old grit, can the average female offer fellow male soldiers the same kind of physical back-up in a combat situation as another male would? To say 'yes' is being unrealistic, I think.
A while back, I mentioned a fire we had here at home, and the fact that one of the firefighters was a young woman who looked to be all of 5'3'' and rather small-framed. There is no way she could perform on the same level as her fellow firefighters who were all young men in their prime, most of them well over 6 feet tall, and solidly built. Sorry, but I want the strong young men here in the case of emergency, and if that hurts the girls' feelings, so be it.
I have heard that the physical requisites for these jobs have been lowered so as to give women a 'fairer' chance to qualify, and that in itself is wrong. It's the same with our military.
Women and men are not equals in all respects, certainly not in strength and size. To even have to say that is ridiculous; it used to be a given, something that even young children could see.
While acknowledging that there are no doubt some women who acquit themselves pretty well in the military, I still believe that these rare exceptions do not disprove the rule.
It does seem as though there is a fairly large group of people on the right who seem to think the idea of female soldiers is perfectly acceptable, whether through cynicism or because they have simply bought the egalitarian, leftist thinking that argues for overturning traditional male-female roles. It's ''progress'', or ''things are just different now; nothing stays the same forever''.
The larger question here, though, is why have so many conservatives bought into the egalitarianism of the left? Just as in the earlier blog entry I wrote, I will say that even some of us stubborn right-wingers have succumbed to the propaganda and to that old devil, peer pressure. These ideas are popular, and nobody wants to be an old fogey or a 'reactionary' or the dread 'sexist.'
That's the real issue that must be dealt with: how do we discourage or avert this insidious leftism, and once having found it, how do we excise it from our midst?

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