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backwards_feminism_005

While I more or less stand by my previous writings on feminism and its destructive modern excesses, I must report that I now consider myself to be a kind of feminist. More specifically I self-identify as an ‘equity feminist’ – a distinction with which I was until recently only passingly familiar.

As you’ll probably know already, equity feminism, as a category, was originally proposed by feminist author Christina Hoff Sommers in her controversial 1994 bestseller “Who Stole Feminism? – How Women have Betrayed Women”. In that book, Sommer promotes equity feminism as a positive alternative to ‘gender feminism’.

Gender feminism refers to feminism as I have previously criticised it – the loud, obnoxious, tribalist and divisive man-hating variety beloved by the users of Tumblr. This label arguably subsumes all of modern academic feminism as well as a large (and growing) portion of popular feminism.

Equity feminism, by pleasing contrast, is simply the belief that women are being devalued, over-sexualised and dehumanised by the lower forms of male culture. Equity feminists propose that women are the equals of men, deserving of the same rights, respect, responsibilities and opportunities. They, I might now say ‘we’, promote the idea that women have as much to say about global and business affairs as men do; that women should enjoy the same access to power and wealth (dependent upon ability) as men enjoy, and so on.

Equity Feminism is the feminism gender feminists claim as their own when they are in a corner. It is the real deal, the credible argument for equality and against misogyny. It is the only feminism that can possibly work and the only variety that will ever be accepted by both sexes.

Not that it is immediately relevant, but equity feminism is also the ideal stick with which to beat the Muslim world. No Muslim country, not even the most professedly ‘liberal’ state, offers anything approaching real sexual equality. In Tunisia, Shia Lebanon, Iran and Turkey, women are still viewed as being the property or child of the husband. This is no surprise of course, since the Koran itself explicitly forbids the idea of equality between the sexes, saying “Men have authority over women because men are superior to women”. Equity feminism is thus by its own nature fundamentally opposed to the Islamic conception of society.

What about Western counter-arguments? I have looked for intelligent objections to Equity feminism all week and have found nothing that can stand up under scrutiny. To be sure, there are still Western men, like Anders Breivik, who believe the primary role of women is to reproduce and be submissive to men, but these folk are being buried by passing time. Naked or ‘primitive’ patriarchy is a stone-age attitude and one that is completely at odds with our valued modernity. The idea that women are ‘inferior’ injures whichever society it takes hold of. It retards the economy, bankrupts democracy, and even halts human evolution (the primitive character of patriarchal cultures is itself partly a consequence of patriarchy – since disallowing women social agency interferes with sexual – and thus natural – selection). 

I now believe Feminism can (and should) be rescued from itself. If it can get back on a more sensible track, men stand to profit from it every bit as much as women. The equality of the sexes is one of the cornerstones of Western civilisation. It is worth defending.

D, LDN.