Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Vaginal Issues

In an excellent essay by Wendy McElroy, she investigates the latest slogan used by today's feminists: "Vaginas vote, chicks rock." As Ms. McElroy points out, we are now defining women yet again by their genitalia, something women have traditionally fought against being defined by. She has several mind-tingling observations on the original goal of feminism:
The theory underlying the "Vote Your Vagina" assumption is that women have a shared political interest. The theory has many labels, but it is commonly referred to as "identity politics." A fairly standard definition of the term is: "Identity politics is the politics of group-based movements claiming to represent the interests and identity of a particular group, rather than policy issues relating to all members of the community. The group identity may be based on ethnicity, class, religion, sex, sexuality or other criteria." Identity politics divides society into distinct political classes and declares them to be antagonistic to each other's interests: blacks against whites, women against men, gays against heterosexuals. The focus is on the "rights" of the specific group -- that is, those things the group claims to deserve and wishes to acquire by law. The "rights" are commonly based on the existence of historical oppression. Identity politics is a sharp departure from the traditionally American ideal that rights are universal, not particular. That is, that all human beings possess the same rights, which are not determined by differences such as sex or race.... ....Only if you advocate group rights and reject individual ones does it make sense to cry out for sexual solidarity in voting. Ironically, such a call reverses the political trend that secured the vote to women in the first place. Namely, the demand for inclusion in human rights. The demand by women to have their rights equally recognized so they were no longer in a separate legal category "with lunatics, idiots and criminals." The early feminists who fought for true equality did not speak of "special interests." They spoke of human rights. The call for women to "step into their vaginas" dishonors the brave women who refused to define themselves as body parts and longed, instead, to participate fully in the richness of a broader humanity.
I doubt today's feminists would even understand it. Another note of interest: further examination of the "V-day" website turned up this: "V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. V-Day is a palpable energy, a fierce catalyst that promotes creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence organizations." Doesn't that sound like a hard-hitting, intelligent, thinking organization. I am sure they don't manipulate emotions just to get donations and support. They have a a large group of performers that are part of the "Vulva Choir." Apparently these performers take part in "V-day" events. Here's what gets me. "Violence against women and girls is widespread - one woman in three will experience violence during her lifetime, most often at the hands of someone she knows." Now supposedly this is a global organization which is trying to stop violence around the world - a noble cause. But their push right now is in the U.S. to get women to get out and vote, and to vote as a united block. They are saying women need to do this to help stop violence against girls and women. Now read that quote again. Putting children aside for obvious reasons, why are they fighting violence "against" women - why aren't they trying to help women to get a backbone, better judgment, and to start picking partners who won't abuse them? Why are women painted in a weak light? As I'm writing this, I realize this is reaching a much bigger point which I hit on yesterday. Women are being portrayed as weak. That is what is comes down to: we can't possibly take care of ourselves, so these organizations must force the rest of the world to take care of us. Women don't have the judgment and ability to choose to be around decent partners (read: men), so the world must come down on men. Women don't have the intelligence to vote based on issues, logic, and intelligence - they need these advocacy groups to tell them for whom to vote. Women are being lessened in society....By the most unlikely source: ourselves. We are hiding behind bureaucracy, emotionalism, and violence. We are not standing up for ourselves - we are standing up against those who would force us to be responsible. Rather than demanding that we be stronger, making women be more responsible and make healthier choices, we are becoming our own "lose weight while you sleep" pill. Don't make any changes, do everything like you always do, and we'll eliminate the consequences of your behaviors. Am I alone in this observation?