What do you mean by equality?

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Ilya Shambat

May 12, 2022, 9:06:03 PMMay 12
There are any number of women who say that they want equality. They however fail to state what equality means.

If they want equality of power, they have always had it. I have heard it said by a feminist graduate student that women in “traditional” cultures had more power than do women now, as they were in control of reproduction and sex. I have heard it said by a feminist University of Chicago professor that women have always been the stronger gender. I have heard it said by a highly intelligent women that women have men by the nuts psychologically, since they are their mothers. As a Chinese leader once said, “There have been always mothers, and mothers have sons.”

If they want equality of value, then they also have it already, especially in the West. There was a conservative Christian priest in a church I attended who said that men and women are “equal in value, different in roles.” I have a daughter; but I value her as much – if not more – than I would value a son.

If they want equality in relationships, in many cases that would work against them. If a man is in love with a woman, she has more power in the relationship than does he. I have had a fairly equal relationship with my former wife, but that is not the relationship that I remember the most. The relationship that I do remember the most was one in which I completely loved the woman, and she had all the real power. She was a very good woman, and she used it for right things. I have known similar situations in which the woman was not such a good woman and used that power for wrong things.

If they want economic and political equality, they will need to understand what that means. Men aren't all that good to one another, and a woman who wants economic or political equality with men will have to deal with a lot of crap. She will have to endure market competition. She will have to deal with all sorts of scumbags. In some cases, she will have to go to war.

If they want equality in treatment, they will also need to understand the implications. Treatment is based upon a person's qualities. With equal treatment, people – both men and women – would treat others – both men and women – based on who they are. It would then make sense to be good to people – women and men – because they are good people. It would make no sense at all to be good to Third Wave feminists, who by and large are horrible human beings – much worse so than most men, especially the liberal men they like to attack the most.

A still bigger problem with the idea of equality in treatment is that, by its own logic, it justifies violence against women. If a man comes up to another man talking trash, the usual response is punching him in the face. Which means that a woman who talks trash to a man - and wants equality at the same time - stands to be beaten. I doubt that this is a conclusion with which feminists are going to be comfortable. Nor is this a state of affairs that stands to benefit women.

A popular sticker in 1990s was “feminism is a radical idea that women are human beings.” What it fails to specify is what that means. There was a human being named Joseph Stalin who treated other 60 million human beings by killing them. Expect to be treated like a human being. Expect to be killed.

I have known any number of women who are successful professionals, and even many of them take objection to Third Wave feminism. What they say, again and again, is that feminism has gone too far. They accept the parts of feminism that give them the right to work, but they reject the parts of feminism that tells them that they can't have children or families or that they can't be kind and pretty. Many of these women are strong and intelligent people. If a feminist would not take this from me, she should take it from them. Most of them are stronger than the feminists, but they are too gentle to confront them. At which point the task falls to less gentle people like me.

There are any number of other women who have no use for feminism period. They would rather be with a working man and stay at home with children. If feminists really believe in women's rights, they will respect these women's rights to their choices. These are choices made in an informed way. And if they do not respect these women's rights to their choices, then they can't claim to be in favor of women's rights.

I will anticipate different women choosing to act in a different manner. Some will want careers; some will want family life; some will want both. All should have the right to either choice. This is the true meaning of liberty. And a person who actually believes in liberty – conservative, liberal or libertarian – will accept the right of women, including ones in their families or their communities, to either choice.

I have no idea which path my daughter will want to choose, and I neither push nor discourage her in either direction. I however will seek to protect her from – or teach her to fight – the villains on either side. I do not want her to end up a punching bag for some idiot. Nor do I want her to get abused by feminism-influenced women in the academia or the marketplace for being kind and pretty. Instead I will prepare her to deal with both sets of people, so that she can know how to protect herself from both sides in the gender war. In the meanwhile I will do what is in my power to reduce the influence of both sides in the gender war in society. I recommend that other loving parents – both men and women – do the same.

She did not choose this set of conditions, and I did not choose this set of conditions. Nastiness, stupidity and worse among both women and men have created the gender war. There are however workable solutions. The most workable solution of all is for men and women to come together in goodwill and create good relationships and a family life. This will refute the claim made by both sides in the gender war – that either women or men are evil, or that a woman who is good to a man is selling out fellow women, or that a man who is good to a woman is not being a real man. It will disempower the usurpers among both women and men who take legitimate sentiments and turn them into hideousness. It will show the leaders on both sides of the gender war that, no, they do not speak for 50% of humanity, nor do they have the right to claim that they speak for 50% of humanity. And it will empower the rest of us: the men – and the women – who are willing to treat their partners right.

I would not dream of attempting to stand in the way of the choice of a woman to either lifestyle. However she will have to make that choice knowingly. There are dangers in both situations. A woman who is economically dependent on a man may be in a bad way if the man chooses to act like a bastard. However she would likewise be dealing with many bastards if she were to have a career.

If feminism really seeks to benefit women, it would work to make both career life and family life a better experience for women. It would fight potentials for abuses both at home and at work. There are potentials for both; there always will be potentials for both. A woman who chooses either one – or both – will have to do so knowingly. And the world in general, and feminists in particular, will have to respect that choice.

Ilya Shambat
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