Hannah and Papa J

Hannah and Papa J

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Are women as good as men?

Dear Hannah,

At this point it can very safely be said that feminism from its inception was practically a bait-and-switch.   We know this because from the beginning feminists were telling us they were as good as men, and now the arguments from feminists center around the fact that they aren't.


The whole idea of a woman entering the work force was that she was equally efficient doing a man's job, and to our surprise women have now admitted they are unaware of the meaning of efficiency.  Nobody warned us, when women started working in jobs traditionally held by men, not only that we would be forced to hire women for jobs we would rather have a man for, but that we would continue to hire her even when she wasn't working.  This is the argument used by even Republicans for mandatory paid maternity leave: not that a woman in a man's position can do a man's job, but that to make her do what's expected of a man is cruel (which in this case it is).  The burden, of course, if not borne by a willing employer (which is morally acceptable and generally praiseworthy), is borne by an unwilling employer or a taxpayer (which is not); and when paid by a country which is deeply in debt, ultimately funded by people who haven't even had a say in the matter, because they haven't even begun to exist.

Aside from her insisting that the sexes are immutably and thankfully different, another thing I love about Virginia Woolf is her advising that great writers be childless.  The whole point of A Room of One's Own, in fact, may be boiled down to the fact that if a woman wants to get anything done she had better do it without children around; and preferably without having children at all.  Schopenhauer could be very easily said to hate women, but his essay On Silence proves that even in enmity misogynists and feminists can find some kind of agreement.  If you want to write a book, both Schopenhauer and Woolf agree you have to be left alone.  If you want to do whatever you want, you should probably avoid having children -- an option which feminists claim was given to them by contraception, but are apparently incapable of using to prove equality with men.

The whole concept of reason itself may be boiled down to the issue of choice, in fact; an idea of which the modern feminists, in addition to the concept of efficiency, are apparently unaware.  They never really realized that the brains which God has gifted us have given us desires, and the finite nature of our bodies requires that we choose some desires to the exclusion of others.  Virginia Woolf knew that if you wanted to be a great writer like George Eliot and the Brontes and Jane Austen, you would probably have to go childless like they did.  The modern feminist wants to be a writer and have children, but because she didn't realize the she was making a decision by having children, she now wants to force you to take care of her children so she can write; a position which is just as irresponsible as it is immoral.  

The problem (aside from treating women like children and telling them they aren't responsible for their choices) is we've convinced ourselves, almost getting the cart before the horse, that women are as good as men without first asking what she is good for.  And the problem goes deeper than feminism.  It goes back to our deepest theology; that somewhere out there exists a good man and a bad man, and that even beyond these lies a being we know as a good God.  Perhaps owing most to the left-sided thinking of the male brain, the abstraction known as goodness has permeated our thinking without making us wonder, first and foremost, if anyone can really be good for everything.  The answer, of course, is that we can't.  The very fact of being an individual means that there are things that you do and things that you don't; that there are things that you can and things that you can't; and going deeper than this, to the depths of your uniqueness and the core of what makes you really you, there are things that you will and things that you won't.

Where women fit into this is easily explained.  Feminists have decided that women are equally good as men; and because of the abstraction of goodness and their love of an equally abstract equality, they have forced us out of terror to agree with them, when the truth is that each woman will not only have to be assessed individually, but that we must judge her for what she can bring to the table.  If she's beautiful, then we love her for the way she makes us feel.  If she's good at business, then we want her for business.  If she's a great mother, then we love her for what she does with our children.  If she's a homemaker, then we love her for what she does with our home.  If she's a communist or a traitor, then we hate her for threatening our country.  If she's selfish and irresponsible, then we dislike her for having other men's children and then demanding that we pay for them.

Every woman, in the end, is such a mixture of positives and negatives, that we must be given the liberty to act in our interests and make judgments for ourselves about whether we like them or need them or want them; just as we give women the liberty to think about men.  And feminism, almost bypassing all of this in favor of an unfair abstraction, demands almost the opposite: that we not only say something men would never believe about men (for instance that they are all equally good as women in general), but that we would never ask ourselves what a woman is good for.

If feminists were good self-respecting thinkers, as Joan Didion once wrote in her essay On Self-Respect, they would know what a choice means and live with their choices.  If they were good citizens, they would respect the property of their neighbors and in childbirth rely on their husbands.  If they and men were equally good workers, women would never demand to be paid extra for not working.  The fact that they have chosen the opposite paths while claiming an unfair assessment proves that feminists are not good at any of these.  And it is men's fault because in the first place we have given them the wrong idea of goodness, and then without applying any kind of masculine judgment, agreed that women were equally good.

Your father,
-J

PS: Coming at this issue from another perspective, Pope Francis once said he knew many good Communists, when the truth is that there aren't any good Communists.  There are nice men with good intentions who support horrible things.  But men are not only intentions.  They are also the sum of their effects and possibilities; and like the Catholics before Francis were so used to saying, prudence, the knowledge of man and the hatred of anything as historically horrible as communism was just as important as whether you were chaste.  Now we believe that anyone can be "good" so long as he's nice.  We've forgotten that con-men are nice, and that the devastating things known as cowardice and naivety can be easily mistaken for kindness.  There is only One who is good -- that is, God, is something the Catholics should have taken more literally. But instead they pretended men can be good when their goodness can land you in a gulag.

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