Although much of modern, fourth-wave feminism is misinformed at best and harmful at worst, feminism is not the wound itself.
Feminism, in all of its forms, from the Suffrage Movement to #BelieveAllWomen, is an outgrowth of historic injustice against women. Whether a woman despises or embraces feminism, we can agree that women have been historically oppressed and, in many cases around the world, continue to be oppressed. The problem with modern feminism is that it does not seek to heal the wounds of historic oppression. In fact, when it comes to ongoing oppression, such as sex slavery, it even ignores it outright. Instead, it’s salt on a bloody, tender wound.
Modern Feminism Pretends To Be the Answer
Modern feminism presents itself as a pathway forward, as a light out of the darkness of historical injustice, while cutting us off at the knees and creating division instead of unity. It’s one thing to call for unity, for men to support women, and quite another, in the same breath, to derail all men as operatives of an evil patriarchy that must be dismantled. This doesn't achieve healing or unity, but it certainly breeds mistrust between the sexes.
Feminism doesn’t achieve healing or unity; it breeds mistrust between the sexes.
Much of radical feminist dogma revolves around an "us versus them" mantra, predicated on the idea that men and women can’t get along because the patriarchy runs too deep within men, and that the only way they can get along is for men to unlearn toxic masculinity. Men are often characterized as a homogenous group of oppressors.
Indulging in Divisive Rhetoric
Popularizing feminist quotes, such as "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle," only divides and embitters the genders against one another, rather than seeking to work together. Feminism remains ignorant, or willfully oblivious, to the fact that when men and women are pitted against one another we create a breeding ground for social ills to flourish.
Congress’ removal and exclusion of gendered family terms such as “grandmother” and “father” are reflective of a culturally sanctioned subversion of the family and gender roles cloaked in the language of tolerance. While this might seem innocent enough (after all, they’re just words), words matter, as do their symbolic value. This is but one example of recent efforts to denigrate the nuclear family and its importance. Another example is a recently published piece by Julia Naftulin outlining why “Heterosexual Relationships Are So Bad For Us.” Such rhetoric is poison for gender relations, never mind we’re a sexually reproducing species.
Feminism Seems To Be an Angry Reaction to Biological Realities
While modern feminism directs much of its anger at men, what feminism seems to be most often mad at are biological realities. Hidden within the pro-choice movement seems an unbridled anger at the biological reality that women are the only sex who can become pregnant and the seeming unfairness of that. Likewise, the sexual liberation movement, while cloaked in language against social norms and male double standards, seems to be a revolt against sex-based differences between men and women and their differing responses to sexual activity. When feminists complain about a lack of fairness, it seems that most often the unfairness they speak of is the innate biological reality that men and women are different.
Hookup culture is the direct manifestation of years of increasing resentment between the sexes.
In many ways, hookup culture is the direct manifestation of years of increasing tensions and resentment between the sexes. While many feminist publications might tell us that hookup culture and casual sex are methods of empowerment and solutions to historic female oppression, hookup culture is often a form of performative revenge against the opposite gender, which is neither empowering nor unifying. If commitment is a unifying act between men and women, then the direct denial or even aversion to commitment, as seen through casual intimacy, is a direct rebuke of unity between genders.
The culture of casual sex is salt in an open wound that inhibits both genders from seeking harmony and social cohesion. How can we expect men and women to come together when hookup culture continues to reinforce negative attitudes about the opposite sex such as "women are sluts" and "men are liars”?
Ignoring Issues Facing Men Isn’t a Solution
Society faces something called the "male disposability theory" which asserts that male lives aren't as valued as female lives. This theory may provide an explanation for why society doesn't seem to care that men are disproportionately more likely to be homeless, commit suicide, and die from on-the-job accidents. Meanwhile, there’s an incessant outpouring of concern that every company board have an equal number of women as men.
Our society seems to be far more concerned with success and performance rates among women, while completely ignoring the many ways in which men are falling behind. While feminists might claim this to be part of a necessary change towards equity, or a function of fairness in light of historic disadvantages that women faced, this sounds far more like a plot for vengeance and retribution – neither of which will bring about healing and unity between men and women.
The male disposability theory asserts that male lives aren't as valued as female lives.
The divisive rhetoric against men correlates with movements such as MGTOW, increased porn addiction, increased social isolation, drug addiction/overdoses, more than 60% of the homeless are male, increased crime, more children growing up without fathers, and boys falling farther behind in school. Of course, correlation is not causation, but shouldn’t we be concerned about the many ways in which men are falling behind without much public alarm or even notice? If we truly cared about unity and equality, wouldn’t we want to seek solutions and root out what the problems are?
The Problem with Subverting the Nuclear Family
When women and men cease to value marriage or believe that they can build a life together, fewer intact families will exist. And without strong family units, we can expect the many social ills that feminists claim to care about, such as domestic violence, poverty, and incarceration, to prevail. Without a father in the home, children are more likely to be abused, 5 times more likely to live in poverty, 9 times more likely to commit crimes and drop out of school, and 20 times more likely to go to jail.
It’s fundamentally incompatible to simultaneously champion the divisive language of feminism – including the subversion of the family – and social crusades such as poverty, incarceration, crime, and school dropout rates. The root of most social ills is the breakdown of the nuclear family, therefore the gender wars are an easily distinguishable precursor to social unrest.
Feminism Doesn’t Provide Solutions to Current or Historic Oppression
For most of human history, women retained almost no rights, couldn’t own property, couldn't retain custody of their own children, couldn’t spend their own money without male permission, could be raped without penalty by their husbands, couldn’t hold employment, couldn’t seek an education, couldn’t vote, and couldn’t marry for love.
Today, there are millions of women all over the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water and who live in fear of sex slavery, genital mutilation, and rape. There are millions of children who will be sold as child brides, used in child pornography, and abused without consequences. There are millions of women and children who don’t have social media with which to air their grievances – they don't have a voice at all.
Feminism must keep inventing new levels of victimhood to stay relevant.
The wounds run deep, but feminism offers few solutions to many of today's human rights violations all around the world. Instead, feminism offers inflammatory and divisive language that seeks to build resentment between genders rather than build social cohesion.
Much of Western culture has acknowledged and addressed many of the systemic oppressions that historically faced women, but today, it seems that feminism must keep inventing new levels of victimhood so as to revive old narratives about sexism. The goal of feminism is to stay relevant, not healing.
If we truly want to heal the wounds of the past, we need to reject the divisive language of feminism, restore the importance of the nuclear family, and fight oppression around the world. Both masculinity and femininity need encouragement to flourish, but a climate of resentment and hostility is not a fertile ground for either gender to succeed. The future isn't female, the future is for all.