Dawn Picken in the Bay of Plenty Times wrote an article called ‘The F word’ (another version exists also with a longer title). Here is our response to her:
We were interested in your article about ‘the F word’ published 27/01/17 and we believe a number of your assertions deserve critique. It would appear that you haven’t come across any of the substantial body of sound, rational consideration of your feminist claims, or if you have then you have chosen to disregard it and to maintain your allegiance to feminism, in which case the following will be a futile exercise other than as a catharsis for the writers.
“I subscribe to the definition of feminism that says everyone, male and female, should have equal political, economic and social rights.”
We would also support a movement with that definition. Unfortunately, although from the outset some defined feminism as seeking gender equality for all, feminists have never operated according to that definition; they have never shown any significant interest in true gender equality. In practice they have only been concerned to promote the interests of women and to ensure that women aren’t disadvantaged in any way. When it comes to the many ways in which males are disadvantaged or discriminated against, feminists have been conspicuously silent and/or have kept their heads firmly in the sand. Your article is a case in point.
“In many societies, including this one, women still aren’t paid on par with male counterparts…Statistics New Zealand figures show women earn 12 per cent less than men in full and part-time work.”
It may be correct that women are earn 12% less on average across all the jobs they do compared to all the jobs men do, but that doesn’t mean women are paid less than ‘their counterparts’. That claim is misleading and dishonest, implying that employers are widely discriminating against women regarding pay rates for equivalent roles and skills. NZ has laws that prohibit employers from paying differently on the basis of gender, and any female who is being paid less than a male with the same qualifications and experience for the same job need only go to the authorities where she will be reimbursed plus extra for humiliation etc. Such cases are rare and we would challenge you to find a woman being paid less for the same job when she has the same qualifications and experience. What you and other feminists are demanding is that women are paid as much or more than men on average across all the jobs they do, regardless of the nature of the jobs, regardless of comparative qualifications and experience between the genders, regardless of market forces, and regardless of the risk and conditions involved in those jobs.
There are many reasons for the approximate 12% gender pay gap (even assuming this measurement is valid), but gender discrimination isn’t a significant one. For example, it’s more difficult to fill many of the jobs that men do because of the physical demands and personal cost of those jobs. Men work in jobs that are on average more physically damaging, dirty, uncomfortable and unpleasant. Around 100 men die in their work roles for every 2 or so women each year; i.e. the gender job death gap is around five thousand percent. When one considers this, endless feminist complaining about a 12% pay difference seems churlish. Your article’s failure to mention this shows how little you really care about gender equality. Women are simply not lining up for the jobs that are so likely to kill or maim them, that involve such tasks as crawling around in dirty, tight rat-infested basements and ceilings or balancing on high ladders dealing with lethal power lines. The loss of personnel due to injury in those jobs contributes to the supply and demand forces resulting in somewhat higher wages.
“Women in Saudi Arabia can’t drive; women in El Salvador are jailed for suffering miscarriages; women in Yemen can’t leave home without their husbands’ permission…”
Well yes, but in such countries men are also discriminated against and treated harshly; the issue is different attitudes from ours to concepts of justice and human rights. Men but not women in many countries are subjected to military conscription. Men are much more often executed by governments who operate a death penalty. Men are expected to take full responsibility for providing economically for their wives and are socially and legally punished for any failure in that regard. Men are held legally responsible for their wives’ behaviour in many cases. Your list of injustice towards females in other countries without any mention of the injustice, indeed greater injustice overall towards males again highlights how little you actually apply your fancied definition of feminism.
“The NZ Ministry of Justice says 24 per cent of women have experienced at least one sexual offence during their lives. That figure was 6 per cent for men.”
These figures arise from self-report research with unknown reliability and/or advocacy research designed to obtain predetermined results. Also, definitions of sexual offending have been expanded progressively due to feminist demands, so these figures will reflect many instances that historically (and reasonably) would have been seen simply as, for example, benign attempts by teenage boys to commence petting in the hope that their dates may have similar ideas, that stop quickly and respectfully if the girl indicates she doesn’t want it. Males are still largely expected to initiate such sexual activity and to risk rejection in doing so. If a teenage boy or indeed an older man (with an older woman) doesn’t initiate petting, or if he seems unconfident in doing so or creates an uncomfortable situation by trying to talk about it first, he is likely to find his date moves on to a more confident male. Feminist ideas of ‘informed consent for every step’ and ‘new age sensitive men’ are unrealistic, and men who try to conform to these claimed ideals are generally treated as nice but not of sexual interest. Bad boys and alpha males are still the ones whom females make themselves available to. Let’s be fair here.
Nevertheless, it is true that females are more often subjected to sexual violence however one might define it. Our laws provide for harsher punishments for sexual offences than for almost any other violence or offending. What you failed to mention is that males are more often subjected to other forms of violence including homicide. Again, it’s surprising that homicide inequality was of no interest to someone who does focus on sexual violence inequality and who claims to follow an ideology “that says everyone, male and female, should have equal political, economic and social rights”. Regardless of who commits the homicides in what proportion, surely an interest in ‘equal rights’ would include some attention to how we might enhance the right of men to be protected from the high rate of serious violence directed at them.
“I struggle to explain more nuanced parts of sexism – parts so deeply woven into society, men and women alike may not recognise them. …What’s more insidious is time and money spent chasing the feminine ideal of youthful slenderness. Females represent 90 per cent of eating disorders; 85 to 90 per cent of cosmetic surgeries in the US are performed on women versus men.”
What definition of ‘sexism’ are you using to imply that these are examples of it?! Men aren’t forcing women to focus on their appearance any more than women are forcing men to be well groomed or to prioritize their careers. Sure, men and women will select each other based on such things and men and women will compete in such ways for more desirable mates, but it’s a stretch to blame this on sexism or indeed to suggest that any such sexism is more pronounced in either direction. Women are the limited resource in the sociobiological reproductive stakes and have more sexual power. They are exercising their right and privilege to enhance this power by indulging in their appearance and to spend much more than men in doing so. Your wording that cosmetic surgeries ‘are performed on’ women is manipulative, implying that women are somehow the victims (again) whereas in fact women demand those services and choose to spend a great deal of money on it. Don’t blame men for this; many men have little respect for female self-indulgence and vanity. It may be a worthwhile aim of feminism to reduce such female traits; good luck there.
If it’s a matter of deformity girls and women will be prioritized in having this changed or covered up to appear more normal. Any sexism involved there is against males whose problems in this regard will be seen as much less important or deserving of compassion and investment. Men are shown much less compassion and caring than women are in most areas. For example, men in NZ and many other countries are sentenced more harshly for the same crimes and shown less understanding regarding their behaviour than women are. That is another inequality that feminists routinely ignore, again discrediting any definition of feminism as ‘seeking gender equality’ other than advantage for females.
“Our vocabularies are filled with words implying men are stronger than women. When’s the last time you heard someone say, “Woman up” or “Grow a pair” [of breasts]? If you’re seen as weak, you might be called a “pussy”…”
Well, men are physically stronger than women as shown by sports statistics; is that sexism too? The term ‘man up’ means different things to different people but if one is to consider any sexism in that term it would be more discriminatory against males than females. It places expectations on men to conform to male stereotypes of responsibility for their significant others and their society, of stoicism in the face of hardship, and so forth. It diminishes the social worth of men who don’t aren’t conforming to the expected male mould. The fact that people don’t use the term ‘woman up’ to manipulate other women to conform to feminine stereotypes is actually an advantage and a freedom for them.
Your reference to gendered terms is selective and unbalanced and your implication that women are discriminated against more than men by such terms is self-serving nonsense often touted by feminists. What about terms such as ‘prick’, ‘soft-cock’, ‘neanderthal’, ‘wanker’, ‘wimp’, ‘cad’ and ‘sleazeball’? Feminists ignore a balanced consideration of gendered terms in their efforts to find evidence for female victimhood.
“Call me a feminist. It’s the least I can do for my daughter, my son – and for the future of their communities.”
We call it ‘femaleism’. It’s an ideology that prioritizes the rights and wishes of females over males and over the welfare of society generally. Feminism/femaleism may have advanced women’s interests in some ways and it certainly removed a range of unjustified restrictions on women’s choices and freedoms, but it has also produced many undesirable consequences. It has seriously eroded respect and gratitude towards men and their contribution, and brought about widespread intolerance and injustice towards men. It has promoted women to positions on the basis of their gender rather than their qualifications or experience, and has continually demanded equal representation in positions of power and wealth but never in the sewers or rubbish trucks. It has tolerated all areas of inequality disadvantaging men and often encouraged greater such inequality by, for example, driving men out of teaching through suspicion, allegations and general demonization of male characteristics (with hate-speech terms such as ‘toxic masculinity’). It has contributed to a male suicide rate that now exceeds the total road toll each year. It has eroded masculinity so that when male aggression and bravery are required in future there won’t be much of it available, and many men simply won’t be prepared to put themselves out for a society that has so maligned them. It has resulted in irrational mistrust towards males by everyone from young children upward and this has caused destabilizing division in our society. It has seriously damaged the concept of family and has resulted in more than half of our children being subjected to the trauma of family break-ups, deprived of the stability and security of a stable, biological family unit and raised with inadequate role modeling in the absence of one gender. It has resulted in hundreds of thousands of our children having their relationships with their fathers seriously damaged or discontinued.
Feminism is one of the most dishonest ideologies to befall humanity. It is based almost entirely on false propaganda, invented statistics, selective and unbalanced observations and scientifically poor research.
So, by all means, keep reassuring yourself that being a femaleist is somehow right and proper and that you will help your children and their society by indoctrinating them with it. But that won’t make it true.