Sunday, August 31, 2008

Feminism has failed

The women’s movement has failed women. They’ve spent decades telling us that
 Violence is not okay
 All women are okay, beautiful
 Empowerment of women is important
 The experiences of all women are of equal value and importance.
But nothing has changed.

I regularly visit the local pool, and find that women still mistrust each other. We are still afraid to wander around naked in front of other women. Statistics show that women are increasingly offending in the areas of domestic violence and sexual assault, and this can be seen in the way we fear each other.

Women are still victims of assault and violence by both men and other women. So much for all the talk of empowerment – we still get into violent relationships. Refuges tell us that any choice we make is valuable, even if it means that we return to violent partners with our kids.

Observing other women at the local pool, I see how little we hate and are ashamed of our bodies and our sexuality. We try to hide ourselves from others, fearing that we do not compare adequately with them. It seems we can’t value ourselves for our difference – instead we accept and follow the high beauty standards set by others. Where’s the empowerment and mutual support in this?

It does show that we’re equal with men in some areas. We have discovered the same right as men to abuse other women, and to set high standards for beauty. We have the freedom to return to violent partners, and in doing so put our children’s life and safety at risk

The women’s movement has been hijacked by a belief that some women are better than others. If you’re lesbian, maori, disabled, poor, or politically left-leaning – you get the jobs, the money, the kudos. Everyone else is abused, called names, marginalised.

No doubt I’ll be accused of being anti-women and blaming the victim. Name-calling like this is a good way to shut down debate – it’s worked for the left for generations. But they have yet to convince many people that all women are beautiful, valuable, empowered people.