If you peruse YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Imgur, or just about any other form of open social media forum, there is a substantial likelihood that you have encountered off-chutes and manifestations of an already nuanced contemporary movement. I refer here to third-wave feminism, an entity which had gained significant traction between the late 70s through mid 90s as well as throughout the 00s to a lesser extent. Third-wave feminism, a purported derivative but suspiciously philosophically opposed and politically alternative movement to that of prior iterations of feminism, has oscillated between periods of stark salience and complete withdrawal from the public forum. With the advent of social media, however, it has made not only comeback but has reinvented itself in a further aberrant manner. It has been transmuted into an all-encompassing basis for humor, jokes, political ideology, ambiguous agenda, ideals, et cetra. As is has come to manifest over the last few years, particularly on-line, it has abetted in or may be directly implicated in the formation of an expansive amount of derivative social phenomena, critiques, and quasi-movements. An example of this is the “check your privilege” fad which I do not believe would have permeated society at large, let alone become a fad, prior to the Internet and the community coming to have develop the way it has. I hesitate to say “blogosphere” since that would be an inadequate term to describe the way in which the movement observed has taken flight; and, further, because the Internet and society have left the blogosphere era behind, thereby allowing said movement to have flourished.
For those who are unfamiliar, third wave feminism essentially admonishes that the highest and final (or at least current) step of gender equality is predicated upon boundless exploration and indulgence of sexual endeavors. The way in which it has taken root in the interwebs is manifold. Amongst the most salient vehicles is that of “slut movements” where adherents deem themselves to be engaging in a socially progressive movement by flipping the traditional notions and connotations of certain acts, constructs, and phenomena; offering, in their place, a substitute that is substantively aberrant or which aims to modify some component of the item of interest. In “slut pride”, for example, there is a worldwide phenomenon known as the “Slut Walk” wherein proponents congregate in order to exhibit their lack of shame pursuant their sexuality. It is a display with which to impose and levy against purported opposition their indifference to negative connotations associated with their behavior. Such opposition may be constructed in the form of institutions and individuals who would disprove of their ways. In solidarity, they parade or champion, contingent upon how noble you perceive their mission to be, their lifestyle interests in a manner that seeks to assert the primary principle of third wave feminism. These gatherings have become commonplace in big cities the world over.
With that clarified, I proceed into brief observations of the following: a) the flaws of modern feminism, as well as illuminate why they are self-damaging; b) why modern feminism is derivative and simply overly constructed bits of hyperintellectualization rather than offering insight into reality; c) the state of gender politics as well as inaccurate gender perceptions which are relevant to law, public policy, and society as it pertains to civil rights and liberties in the Western world; d) comparative analysis of the West as opposed to the “Global South”, notably of the Islamic world.
While I had originally intended to type up analyses for each of these components in arguing a broader picture all at once, I think it would be a tad exhaustive to myself as well as to you, dear reader, to sift through and consider all of that information at one sitting. I shall instead make it a four-part sub-series in articulating each perspective, with a concluding post thereafter on broader implications. I believe it would also do a disservice to marginalize these issue sets as something secondary; something which is compact or which may be compartmentalized to such ends that they are but a sidebar. While they are a sidebar of sorts in articulating a bigger picture, they are each significant on their own merits; to such ends that they must be reviewed in-depth and separately.
Moving on, I proceed to sub-topic a: the flaws of modern feminism, and why they are self-damaging. Modern feminism is, as stated before, an induction to hedonism under the ruse of equality. Less overtly, it is the guise of passionate and unabated pursuit of conferred liberties under the veil of condescension, displaced anger, adversary, of illusory shareholder games, and a desire to supersede. It is a conscription into a state of animosity which promises enlightenment and happiness.
In the years that modern feminism has pervaded and come to engulf the public, what manner of change has there been in ebbing the strength and enmity that adherents would give? If we were to assume that change has taken place as a result of their efforts, the sole justifiable cause thereof, why have the scope of feminist acts simply magnified over the continuum of the last 30 years as opposed to ceding? It does not make sense that a movement should strengthen in stature, size, or degree should change have accrued. Likewise, it does not follow that a movement would become so massive were it restricted politically. “The movement” at large is a large mass of ill-gotten anger that forgets its roots and seeks a reason to be and remain mobilized as opposed to having come upon a cause that should rally its adherents.
Or is it that change is never to come, or never in sufficient amount? If we are to permit that the advent of new avenues of which are of equal if not greater passion than in the past are to survive under the premise that change has been and continues to be insufficient, we must ask ourselves why such movements would continue in pursuit of a futility of the utmost. Based upon these two alternative propositions, we may find ourselves with widely varying answers. The state of institutions, however, do not vary. The interpretation thereof may, but analysis thereof is static save those whose ears would shy away from hearing such.
The truth is that the degree of sympathy afforded females has become so stark in the present, it has come to instill itself as a fixture as opposed to a being an oppositional movement which struggles to find life. From the indoctrination you see in college classrooms of professors offering feminist-dominant theory as classroom instruction to widespread personal accounts of individuals who are lambasted en masse by their peers for diverging from these points, a macro shift may be seen in the communal as well as the institutional level; the former and latter reciprocating one another, depending on the happenstance and social strata. These days, it seems it does not only not pay to be opposed modern feminism, but that even having no opinion on the matter is indicative of something worthy of the utmost acrimony. It is truly distressing. All the worse is made of the situation were one to consider that the statistics, further, indicate favorable outcomes for women in education, paygrade, jobs, scholarships/other opportunities, et cetra. There is, in essence, a mass opposition which has become internalized as standard in favor of a viewpoint which has become archaic upon on its own merits, but which survives and thrives owing to some form of ill-gotten guilt on the part of some, of forced induction on the part of others, and of an unabated pursuit of self from others yet.
It is, in this vein, paradoxical why modern feminism continues to linger. Notice that I have not taken a moral standpoint upon the issue, that is, of detriment to family or society; of the vaunted slippery slope that *all* sides enjoy employing at their benefit; of what may become of our children or “us”, whatever that may entail and to whatever ends. The morality for abating the tendencies of modern feminism and its ramifications are strong, but presenting and levying morality as an argument against modern feminism, however inherently immoral it may be, is insufficient to stand against it upon its own devices. I instead wish to, through writing of my thoughts, bid you as well as myself to consider the philosophical uselessness of this movement, and the substantive inequities it presents in the form of deconstructing society in the name and pursuit of an ambition which has presumably been satisfied but is nonetheless ambiguous.
Modern feminism, sadly, does not fall within idiom of “too much of a good thing is a great thing” regardless of what its proponents may aver. The belief of non-belief; that is, a perpetual dissatisfaction and inability to discern that progress may ensue, instead of opting for a specific movement which has a set of goals or a set of core principles which are applicable in the mundane of everyday life, seem to oscillate between philosophically esoteric goals which are abstract and twisted beyond all recognition (see: modern feminist literature), and mass outcry which is ambiguous, undirected, and only serves to further severe the public good from the public; the public good being an illusory point at which, all things being either held equal or in their “premium”, a label I prefer to use instead of optimum as it denotes that one’s image of optimal status is subjective and may or may not be truly objective, conditions for society at large will be rendered worse on account of this sole variant. I prescribe this to be the case on account of the constant sympathy within social circles as well as within institutions that individuals are expected to offer, even if against their own ends or regards.
A textbook example of how the unabated thirst for betterment under the deception of equality has harmed society is in scholarships; particularly in fields which are both dominated by females as well as those by men. The former refers to the social sciences whereas the latter may refer to science, math, engineering, and other “hard sciences”. The former is a field which has been and continues to be dominated in large swathes by females. I thus do not see the facilitating need for additional assistance specific to sex which does not engender merit-based performance. Likewise, the latter concentrations are fields which men have traditionally dominated, but to that, I ask what the exact issue is. Is it that our issue is gender imbalance, or that we want to play guinea pig with our society and see, in a given scenario, which gender may come out on top, should we manipulate a few variables?– or rather, would it be purveyed that a few seek to bring about a constant shift of incentives and positive outcomes solely on the basis for sex for females owing to a distorted perception of perpetual inequity? Between these three, the first tends to be voiced as the guiding necessity for these actions. However, it seems but a ruse given the two stronger explanations. There are numerous studies to show that a large amount of minority-based scholarships do not tend to, on the whole, and this is barring those stunning exceptions who would not apply as they would qualify for funding and prestige based upon their own merits, contribute to performance in or out of school. In other words, depriving others of a benefit on the basis of sex and creating and contributing to a culture of imbalance is fruitless. It is a seemingly positive endeavor if the logic tree from which it is plucked yields ripe fruit. But it does not. Scholarship aside, as well, there are a large number of female entrants in the hard sciences who end up dropping out. While greater in-depth explanation as to why this occurs would be of interest, it does not negate the primary point that simply entering a field with no basis of merit, especially when that is constituted upon an arbitrary trait for the individual which is politically twisted as a means of operation, leads to bad outcomes for the individual as well as, ostensibly, for those who would fund that individual. I would feel the need to press the interest of the male candidates who are begrudged here, but that would not be necessary to get my point across.
Modern feminism runs counter to its own goals. By seeking so desperately to form an antagonist set of fractures within society while creating the image that institutional assistance should be conferred to certain segments of the population, it is plausible that the mentality espoused by this movement will sour an equally significant amount of the population. Instead of enlisting a more positive view of females, should that indeed be a goal, it will likely lead to alternative scenarios in which new-found or stronger negativity is broached. On the more substantive end, see the above example of scholarships and collegiate education.
Despite there being an endless amount of other tangents I may use, I would be remiss to not that amongst the chief paradoxes of modern feminism is that feminism seems innately opposed to feminist goals (if we take feminism, as a basic proposition, is a movement in pursuit of purview of equality and liberty, devoid of any valence or favor which may be garnered or manipulated by and all parties, bereft or for the benefit in any and all events where cause for such consideration may follow). It seems counterproductive that a movement would openly promote sex as a vehicle for benefit if feminism is supposed to be a proposition devoid of sexual valence for the explicit purpose of sex-neutral equity. Using sex to validate oneself as well as an object of bargaining or political play, as it has come to pass and which has been, if one but peruses the social mediums mentioned at the beginning of this post, highly visible and ostensibly common, is a sign that feminism, if at least in its current form, has been a monumental failure.
Actually, I beg your pardon. A failure would denote that a lack of what has been sought to have been pursued has been yielded. In this case, a philosophical failure seems to have reared itself as has substantive loss to society at large in the form of bad policy and perverse incentives begotten of exceptional and mundane dealings which tilt in favor of a party on less than meritorious counts. A substantive victory may be deemed to exist, though, as nowadays, all we see is pandering to an illusory victim. If we take the purported goals of the movement upon face value, though, then any and all hitherto gains must be questioned.