Mon, 16 Feb 2009, Rina Mackereth wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org on the subject of “The definition of sexism”.
To Fathers for Life,
The definition of feminism according to one of the great feminists, Bell Hooks, is:
“feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression”.
Is Fathers for Life pro sexism? You want discrimination against men, women and all people to increase? Do you want to increase sexist exploitation, such as lesbians tricking men into getting them pregnant and ten not telling him of the event? Is Fathers for Life for oppression? Racism, classism, ableism, slavery, governmental abuses and the continuing raping of countries and lands?
Feminists’ goal is to make life better for everybody. Men and children included.
Women’s Studies student at The Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
Rina, I find it to be odd that you, while studying at The Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, rely on a definition by one feminist, Bell Hooks, to interpret the nature of the ideology that is being promoted at your school in the name of another feminist after whom your school is named.
You can do better than that. In defining what feminism is, let’s not use the camouflage provided by Bell Hooks, but let’s use the raw, honest and unmistakeable language employed by the patron-saint of your school, Simone de Beauvoir, in trying to understand what socialism in the form of radical feminism is all about:
- Many feminists are particularly host to the traditional family. Martha Nussbaum, a much-touted classical scholar, writes:
It would be foolish to deny that there is some truth in Nussbaum’s argument, though it is inaccurate to depict the family as denying women equal opportunities to outside work and education. The question is what to do about the problems she describes, particularly those arising from the altruism of marriage. Feminists have cooperated in creating the problem by establishing no-fault divorce, and, in their celebration of female autonomy, can hardly agree to make divorce difficult once more. This is one instance of many where feminists have done damage to women. There is no apparent solution to the problems of divorce and widowhood other than denying women the right to choose a traditional family role. The feminist solution is: All women must work.
That was the position taken by the ur-feminist Simone de Beauvoir in her interview with Betty Friedan: “No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.” (17) Feminism is not about giving women freedom to choose; it is about taking away choices of which feminists disapprove. And one choice they disapprove is participation in a conventional family. (Robert H. Bork, in Slouching Towards Gomorrah, pp. 203 – 204)
- ….At that time [during the pre-emergence of the 1960s student movement] we unruly and restless youth sat all night long in groups and grouplets, discussed and agitated. Some peacefully, others radically. Most «objected», even though they weren’t always clear on what they actually objected to. And those «revolootioners» that stemmed from the educated, well-situated high-society families of the medical professions, -jurists, -magnates of industry, -professors and teachers, or those whose grandfathers and fathers didn’t come to terms with rank and name acquired in the Second World War, kept pace most passionately.One of the compulsory subjects was the «feminist bible» by Simone de Beauvoir, the student and life partner of Jean-Paul Sartres, that had been published in Germany in 1951 under the global name of «The other sex». As if it were a written version of the Oswald-Kolle movies about man «the unknown being», some reached for it and hoped to find therein fundamental truths about «relationship boxes». Others devoured it as a new doctrine of healing and a sign-post to the true meaning of life, something that the doctrines of the Church seemed to guarantee no longer.Carried by the idea that every mensch is the product of his own achievements, Simone de Beauvoir announced the self-realization of the mensch through the total rejection of all constraints as well as [through] the total engagement in work based on performance. How that was to function she demonstrated by means of the example of men. They appeared to her as «complete human», because as absolute individuals they were in the position to liberate themselves from the constraints of fatherhood and family, by concentrating on their total performance and thereby «transcended» into a higher state of consciousness.
It seemed to Simone de Beauvoir that women were on account of their role as mother and housewife estranged from this desirable state of «becoming human». Motherhood and family-work were deemed to be instruments of the oppression of woman. A woman who wanted to «transcend» and find self-realization had to extricate herself from such constraints, through abortion if necessary. In the ideal case she had to become like a man.
Whether Simone de Beauvoir, who passed away in Paris in 1986, considered herself to be a pioneer in a merciless war of the sexes with the goal of the oppression of men or more likely interested in true equalization is open to debate. It is a fact that she defended the liberation of women from the constraints of motherhood as one of it’s strongest champions and actively participated in abortion campaigns together with ladies from high society who were inspired by her.
Many women of the generation of ’68 let themselves be convinced through the lectures in her work «The other sex» and from thereon divided the world, here into liberated men who had found self-realization, and there into women who are oppressed by men and hampered in their self-realization through their children and families. Particularly into women whose life-goal it had to be to shake off that yoke and to experience the true meaning of existence by self-realization through achievement. The most important mile stones on this path that were proclaimed were the right of the woman to her own belly, to a career, and to the upbringing of the children by the State.
The second compulsory subject of ’68 was deemed to be Friedrich Engels’ 1884 paper in which «The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State» is rolled out.
Hardly anyone from the younger generations still knows Friedrich Engels. Even the older ones almost forgot or never knew him…. (Karin Jaeckel, Ph.D., in Germany devours its children Families today: Exploited and burned out, pp. 137 – 138
Rina, there is a simple means by which to test the validity of any social hypothesis. One only needs to ask what would happen if everyone were to follow and adopt the proposition. The self-realization of all women through casting off the chains of motherhood, as proposed by Simone de Beauvoir would within one generation bring about the extinction of humanity.
It is hardly a practical solution to humanity’s troubles to equalize everyone by depriving them of children, the only real means of survival for humanity.
As to the barrage of questions you asked about Fathers for Life (…is it pro sexism?… You want discrimination against men, women and all people to increase?…Do you want to increase sexist exploitation, such as lesbians tricking men into getting them pregnant and ten not telling him of the event?…Is Fathers for Life for oppression? Racism, classism, ableism, slavery, governmental abuses and the continuing raping of countries and lands?), you obviously got your mind already made up about all of those questions. I won’t bother to answer them, other than to observe that their English grammar is sub-standard, but I will respond with another question:
Why is it that, when anyone does not toe their party line, feminists accuse them of long litanies of invented transgressions?
Let’s face it Rina, Canadian women, with their so-much-greater average life expectancies are not the oppressed sex in Canada. Why don’t you just stay in your corner of the sandbox and leave men and women alone? Both do quite well without you.