“Feminism is a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians (Pat Robertson, from a 1992 Iowa fundraising letter to solicit funds to stop the Iowa equal-rights amendment). ”
The word “feminism” is uttered derisively on the lips of evangelicals and misogynists, but even in mainstream society, feminism has negative connotations. Feminists are viewed as aggressive, bra-burning, lesbian, man-hating radicals, a picture painted by those who seek to undermine the real objectives of the feminist movement.
“It appears that America’s anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men’s movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening (Jerry Falwell). ”
Falwell’s message is loud and clear. His vision of a “Christ-centered” world is one in which men are in control. Falwell and those like him spew an ideology that spans thousands of years and is still expressed widely across the globe by those who seek to denigrate, suppress, violate and undermine women and feminine archetypal values. Below are some examples of societies based on Pat Robertson’s and Jerry Falwell’s ideals:
In Afghanistan, where 87% of the female population is illiterate, every 30 minutes a woman dies in childbirth. Girls are often assaulted or killed for trying to go to school. Even today with U.S. occupation, only 30% of Afghan girls have access to education. 1 in 3 women are physically, emotionally or sexually abused on an ongoing basis and 70-80% are forced into unwanted marriages. The average life expectancy for an Afghan woman is 44 years.
Trillions of dollars in oil revenues bleed from the United States every year to Saudi Arabia where women are still treated like chattel. Many of the activities western women take for granted are illegal in Saudi Arabia. It is a crime for women to drive or even leave their homes without a male chaperone. A woman who is raped is subject to criminal prosecution (for tempting her rapist). Women cannot vote or even represent themselves in court. Women are not allowed to work. If a woman causes her family shame (by working for example) her murder in the name of family honor is condoned. A man can have four wives of his choosing, but a woman almost never has a say as to who will be her husband. Culturally and legally, women are viewed as inferior to men.
The Islamic world is not alone in hate crimes against the female gender. In India, female infanticide and selective abortion of female fetuses is rampant resulting in a gender gap of 926 females for every 1,000 males. Rural families literally cannot afford to keep girl babies. Males, as bread winners, are viewed as future retirement plans by parents. On the other hand, families are expected to pay extortionate dowries for their daughters upon marriage. Bride burning is a common way to dispose of a disagreeable woman acquired through an arranged marriage, particularly if the dowry wasn’t high enough. Little girls in rural Indian villages are also fed and educated less than boys.
In China, where the birth of a daughter is considered inauspicious, a long tradition of female infanticide goes back centuries. In the late 1800’s one missionary noted that as many as 50% of girl children were killed in infancy or neglected to death. The establishment of the People’s Republic in 1949 outlawed the practice of female genocide, but in the 1980’s with the incorporation of China’s one child policy, baby girls are again conspicuously absent in the population demographic with as many as 118 boys born for every 100 girls. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 50 million girls are “missing” as a result of China’s one child policy and cultural bias against the female gender. This statistic may represent the largest commission of genocide in human history.
“Feminism was created to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream (Rush Limbaugh). ”
Western society has certainly come a long way in terms of women’s rights. The Declaration of Independence, a document which could be considered the founding text of the United States, explicitly states that “all men are created equal.” In 1776, that phrase definitely meant all men. The founding fathers were all men of exceptional learning and writing abilities, and if they meant “all people,” they would have said so. They also didn’t mean “all males,” since they believed that people of African heritage were barely human. Less than 100 years ago, and 144 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, on August 18th, 1920, Constitutional Amendment 19 was ratified, giving American women the right to vote.
But gender bias continues to pervade Western society. Women now account for a full 57% of U.S. college attendees, but fully employed women still make only 77% of the incomes of their male counterparts. Women who chose to stay at home with their children, engaging in the invaluable service of preparing the next generation for entry into society, are entirely unpaid. Incessant media bombards women with a constant cultural message that they have no value unless they are young and beautiful. And, the rules of our society are still male rules. A woman can succeed in America if she is aggressive, dominant and objective. If she chooses to live her life based on the feminine values of nurturance, intuition and relatedness, she will either be poorly paid (teacher, nurse, childcare worker, housewife) or at the mercy of others in her life for support.
The goal of feminism is not to impose a race of Amazonian, domineering, man-hating females on the globe. Real feminism seeks to exalt the feminine values that have been repressed for millennia back to their correct and equal status in society. Gun-toting, moose-hunting, women who seek to go back to the days of controlling women’s reproductive freedom are feminist imposters who unwittingly advance the patriarchal domination of society.
When a woman who raises wonderful, well-balanced children is revered as much as a CEO (which is essentially what a stay at home mom is), when all women on Earth are honored and respected for their femininity rather than their ability to adapt to the patriarchal world, when nurturance has at least equal power to domination in our treatment of Planet Earth, when all the women and girls on Earth are free from abuse, genocide and suppression, and when a cure for breast cancer is as eagerly sought as a cure for erectile dysfunction, then the goals of feminism will be achieved.