The other day I saw an ad for an incumbent Democrat congressional candidate here in Maryland. As you can imagine, it was pretty inspiring. It used important words like "bold" and "leadership" and "effective" and "jobs" and other sweet-nothings that focus groups like to have whispered in their ears. It promised us that the candidate would defend the environment, take away the scary guns, "grow jobs" (whatever that means), protect entitlements, and fight for women's rights.
Of course we've heard all of these things a million times from a million politicians. Still, I couldn't help but stop and reflect upon the absurdity of it, especially the last part. "Fight for women's rights"? Why is that listed as an issue distinct from the others? Why is it listed at all? The matter of "women's rights" was settled a long time ago in this country. Women have rights. Where has this person been for the past century?
That's a rhetorical question. I know "women's rights" is an effectively meaningless phrase in modern American society, used by feminists to reinforce a fantasy of patriarchal oppression and systematic man-on-woman victimization. The left relies heavily, almost exclusively, on false narratives, and the contemporary "fight for women's rights" is perhaps the greatest and falsest of all.
The left talks about "women's rights" as a thing yet to be fully achieved; women in America are "second-class citizens," they breathlessly insist. Therefore, they say, the struggle for "women's rights" is not only a political issue, but one of the biggest political issues we face, which is a bit like saying smallpox is one of the biggest health issues we face.
It's worth noting that women aren't the only ones locked in an imaginary battle to secure equal legal protections they already have. The same could be said of gays and racial minorities and, to a certain extent, anyone who isn't a straight, white, Christian male.
These days, everyone has their own brand of rights (except for the unborn), and those rights are always under siege by some villainous phantom force, usually comprised of Republicans, talk radio, and white men who vote for Republicans and listen to talk radio. Liberals conjure up hip and trendy new categories of rights about once a week, with recent additions like "transgender rights," "obese rights," "vegan rights," "air traveler rights," and "demisexual genderqueer transpecies Wiccan rights" added to the list. Everyone's engaged in a mythological campaign for rights in modern America -- again, with the exception of the ones who can be legally decapitated and sold for parts. They don't count, remember.
But of all these categories, none result in more screaming, screeching, complaining, and hashtagging than "women's rights" (well, second only to "gay rights"). This is particularly ironic, considering women -- the born ones, anyway -- not only fare perfectly well in our society, but in many cases do quite a bit better than anyone else. While feminists prattle on about their alleged inequality in America, women continue to benefit from profound legal privileges like affirmative action and Title IX and lighter sentences for the same crimes in federal court.
It's clear that, far from not having rights, women have more than almost anyone else. Notably, women (and their hired hitmen) are the sole authorities empowered to be judge, jury, and executioner of children. That's certainly not an entitlement I envy or desire, but it is an unprecedented legal power not granted to men. At no point in America's allegedly sexist past have things gotten so sexist that any man could go around murdering babies without facing legal repercussions.
Disclaimer: I'm talking here about western society in North America and Europe. I'm aware that women in other parts of the world -- Muslim countries, mostly -- are still very often deprived of dignity and liberty. But, because I'm sort of a stickler for logic, I have to point out that even Saudi Arabia doesn't have a "women's rights" issue, per se. It has a human rights issue. It's reductive to look at the exploits of Arab dictators or terrorist groups and accuse them of infringing simply on "women's rights." They dehumanize women, clearly, but the problem stretches far beyond that.
In the Middle East, wherever women are subjugated, so too are Christians of both sexes, Muslims of the wrong variety, people of lower social classes, and basically any other group that isn't favored by those in power. I dare say Islamic State treats Muslim women (of the right branch) comparatively better than they treat Christian men. So we could break it down and categorize each type of right desecrated by Muslim barbarians -- non-Muslim women's rights, Christian rights, gay rights, ethnic minority rights, etc -- or we could just say that Islamic State has a problem with human rights, period. They may infringe on it differently depending on who you are (women are raped, men are cooked alive), but the only ones granted "rights" at all are those who fit into the narrow category prescribed by whoever happens to be holding the gun at any particular moment.
In any case, when the left talks about fighting for women's rights, they usually aren't referring to the Middle East anyway. Even though I think the very term "women's rights" is philosophically problematic, I would have no qualms at all if feminists went to Muslim lands to concentrate all their efforts there. But they do no such thing, which makes the "feminist movement" all the more pointless and intellectually dishonest.
Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton tout their devotion to "women's rights" on their campaign websites, and neither make any specific mention of the women being sexually brutalized and murdered by Islamists overseas. Instead, they vow to fight for women's "equal rights" and "equal opportunity" here in America, despite the rather relevant detail that women already have equal rights and equal opportunity here in America. Clinton and Sanders might as well start organizing rallies to repeal nationwide alcohol prohibition and the Fugitive Slave Act while they're at it.
Of course, liberals will claim women are still deprived of rights because of the "wage gap" and "rape culture" and alleged conservative assaults on "reproductive health," but even if these were legitimate issues, they wouldn't have anything at all to do with equal rights. Yes, women are victims of violence in this country (so are men, in fact the vast majority of murder victims are male), but none of the violence is legal. When a woman is raped, her legal rights have not been violated by the State. So even if there were a veritable "rape epidemic" in our society, it wouldn't be at all an issue of women possessing unequal legal rights or protections.
As it happens, though, while rape is obviously a real and terrible phenomenon, the so-called American "rape epidemic" is a dangerous fable concocted by the left. In fact, rape is another area where women possess more legal rights than men. Many colleges have rape tribunals set up allowing women to make anonymous rape accusations against men, who will then face severe penalties even if no evidence was ever presented against them. Worse still, if two drunk people have sex on a college campus, the man can be accused of rape the next day on the basis that even a consenting drunk person cannot give consent.
By that logic, women should frequently find themselves expelled or in prison for drunk hook-ups as well, but that never happens. Men are the only ones who can be accused of rape simply because the woman regrets what she did the next day. If "rape culture" creates unequal legal protections for anyone, it's men.
Likewise, the "wage gap" is a faulty basis to prove that women still lack for rights in this country. This "gap" is not something instituted by the government, or by anyone, actually, because it's a work of fiction. Not only does the wage gap not exist, but there's already been a law passed to alleviate the non-existent problem. It's a fake problem that's been fake-solved by bad laws and dumb regulations. Yet, because the "women's rights" narrative must be supported, we still hear about it. Liberals are never satisfied, even when they get exactly what they want to address an issue they fabricated out of thin air.
When I criticized the "women's rights" narrative on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, a number of angry feminists informed me that, aside from the wage gap and the rape crisis, women still don't have equal rights because they "aren't allowed to control their own bodies." This is almost always a reference to abortion, but abortion has nothing at all to do with what a woman "does with her body."
She can control her body all she wants -- indeed, if a little more self-control had been exercised to begin with she probably wouldn't be in this situation -- but the question is whether she should be able to exercise god-like control over the body and life of her child. The law says yes, giving her totalitarian authority over two lives. Still, to the feminist, this is not enough. She can legally kill a person, and still this is not enough "control" in her mind. Perhaps she thinks she ought to be able to blow up a preschool while she's at it. I don't know.
It's becoming more and more apparent that feminists are selective anarchists. They want the law tailored to bestow unlimited entitlements upon them, but they do not think the law should restrict their choices at all, ever, to any extent. We've learned this lesson time and again throughout history. When you fight against oppression and win, but you've become so addicted to the fight that you can't stop even after the war is over, you will quickly become the oppressor yourself. That is modern feminism in a nutshell.
The left's crusade for "women's rights" is an obnoxious, insidious farce; a lie designed to drive a wedge between the sexes and sow seeds of division and suspicion. Liberal feminists will say they don't hate men, but in truth, their "women's rights" narrative is fueled only by hatred. They envy men, resent children, and detest themselves. Modern feminism hates everything and everyone.
[sharequote align="center"]They envy men, resent children and detest themselves. Modern feminism hates everything and everyone.[/sharequote]
A feminist will say women are not "equal" in America, and she'll try to prove her point by making up these various systematic anti-woman tyrannies, but really, when it comes down to it, she means women are not equal to men simply because they are not men. That's her real beef. She does not want women to have equal protection under the law -- as we've seen, she wants, and has, greater protection -- what she really desires is sameness.
The feminist loathes her own nature. She wants to be as men are, and wants men to stop being as they are and become as she is. Feminism presents masculinity as the ideal while also tearing it down. It hates men because they're men, and women because they aren't. It is, in short, an insane and delusional philosophy. But because it cannot be brought to actual fruition, the feminist demands we all cooperate with -- and submit to -- the delusion.
We saw an example of this when the Marine Corps commissioned a lengthy study designed to observe how women perform in combat operations. The results were published a few weeks ago, and they weren't pretty. It found that women, among other things, are slower than men, less accurate with their weapons, and more than twice as likely to sustain injuries. In other words, it proved they are, as a gender, unequal to men in the realm of ground combat. Not legally unequal; biologically unequal.
Naturally, progressives and feminists, including the Secretary of the Navy, summarily dismissed the findings, concluding that it was a sexist conspiracy against women. Notice this, though: feminists contend that we all ought pretend they are just as strong and agile and aggressive as men, but they do not wish to be given the responsibility that comes with it. Liberals rather conspicuously never argue that women should be forced to sign up for the draft. They also complain of men getting paid more, yet rarely do they volunteer to do the dangerous, hard jobs that rightfully earn higher incomes. Over 90 percent of workplace fatalities are male. Feminists want what those men earn, but they certainly don't want to risk the same fate.
Personally, I'm fine with men being disproportionately saddled with these sorts of duties and dangers. Yes, it's unfair, but I don't expect total fairness because I don't expect total sameness because I know men and women are not the same. We are equal in worth and dignity -- and the laws ought to reflect that -- but we are not identical in our function, our purpose, our skills, our strengths, or our weaknesses. And the law, like the one governing who can serve in combat positions in the military, ought to reflect that, too.
With all of this said, there are a few areas where, admittedly, our culture particularly degrades women. These are not "women's rights" issues, but they are human issues that seem to especially impact the fairer sex. For example, the evil, repugnant pornography industry primarily trades in the debasement and objectification of women and children.
For another example, femininity in our culture is constantly cheapened by "transgenders" who insist they can "become women" by slicing up their penises and putting on make up. Womanhood is a great, powerful, beautiful, natural thing, and it's absolutely outrageous that men are allowed to arrogantly barge into the female ranks and declare themselves members. Women who speak out against this offensive nonsense, even liberal feminist women, are shouted down and silenced.
For a final example, women are victimized by the abortion industry. Not just because girls are often targeted for sex-selective execution, but because women are lied to and taken advantage of, told to deny the gift of motherhood, reject the child in their womb, and embrace a life of emptiness and regret.
Pornography, "transgenderism," abortion. These are the real enemies of women in our culture. They defile everything that makes a woman unique, beautiful, and true. But you'll notice that feminists, with rare exception, are not referring to these areas when they talk about "women's rights." On the contrary, they claim these are avenues of female empowerment.
The feminist discussion of "women's right's" is not meant to help women. At best, it's a meaningless and frivolous concept in modern America, intended only to justify the continued existence of feminism, and at worst, it denigrates men, oppresses children, and provides cover to those who harm women.
Women have equal rights and then some in this country, but they still face their own struggles. Those struggles need to be met head on, but feminism isn't up the task. It's too busy fighting battles it already won last century.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.