Saturday, May 20, 2006

On "The Legacy of Feminism"

Brian at Anno Domini has an interesting piece up called "The Legacy of Feminism." I think that he's dead on with his analysis, but I would like to add a thought or two to it.

Feminism was on the right path towards strong acheivements until the 1960's and 1970's. At that time, two things happened. First, the focus of feminism changed. Oh, the focus was still equality, but it equality is a big idea. Whereas previously, the movement had been about the equality of opportunity, during this time frame it became about equality of results. Equality of opportunity allows everyone to become a high achiever if they leverage their talents and work their tails off. Equality of opportunity is about not throwing unnecessary road blocks in front of anybody. Equality of results is different, though. Equality of results is not about opportunity, but about making sure that everyone is at the same station of life. In order for that to be accomplished, some people must be held back, while others are given a boost. What we are now seeing with the achievement gap is the result of the Feminist movement's shift to equality of results, just like Brian says in his post.

The other thing that happened during the 1960's and 1970's was that the Feminist movement finally had an equal seat at the table of political power. This was a major achievement for women. Yes, today our political leaders are still largely men, but political influence and the opportunity to achieve elected office are equal for women. At the point this was accomplished, the Feminist movement began to act like the men who had held power for hundreds, even thousands of years. Their main goal when from advocating a worthy cause to consolidating and maximizing political power. No movement will ever let itself die when on the cusp of achieving its goals, and the Feminist movement is no different. It mimmicked what men had done for years, and it began to create problems or blow out of proportion small issues that were not really big problems. I'm thinking of you, Title IX, as a prime example. This advocacy for feminist causes at a time when women had achieve parity with men, began the process (which is still ongoing) of turning the tables in favor of women.

The good news is that we've begun to see that boys are being hurt by this, and there is hope that we can stop the slide for boys before it gets out of hand. The bad news is that your average feminist still thinks, or just wants you to think, that we still live in the stone age, and will likely fight any attempt to close the achievement gap or to stem the trends in poor (aka, boy like) behavior by girls.

No comments: