A Feminist Primer for Men

By: hawkgrrrl
April 16, 2013

Why does this look like a baby rattle?

Feminism makes some men very nervous.  They are afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing and being labelled a sexist.  They may feel like outsiders, unclear of their own standing as these conversations unfold.  Men and women alike may not be sure what feminism entails, but it can seem like a daunting list, one they may not fully support.

I would like to create an environment in which our budding male feminists feel comfortable supporting equality and can avoid stepping into landmines of their own making.  Or, conversely, reading this overview of feminist concepts may make you feel completely hopeless because those clever feminists are onto all your tricks before you are!

I’m an optimist at heart.  I have a hard time imagining there are people who don’t believe in equal treatment for men and women in this day and age.  If you’ve never self-identified as a feminist, maybe you will now.  Let me caveat that there may be better definitions for these terms out there, and this list is by no means exhaustive (although it may be exhausting!).  Feel free to add to or discuss the definitions and terms in the comments.

FEMINIST HISTORY

Let me start by briefly explaining the 4 waves of feminism:

First Wave.  From late 1800s to WW2.  The aims were to eliminate legally mandated sexism, granting women the right to vote, to own property, marital rights, access to education and unemployment benefits.

Second Wave.  Post WW2 to the 1980s.  The movement was most active from the 1960s when Betty Friedan published the Feminine Mystique.  The aims were to eliminate unofficial equalities:  wage gaps, roles in families, education gaps, and reproductive rights.  When the ERA failed to pass in the 1980s, many said the Second Wave failed.  Some women began to refer to themselves as Post-Feminists, claiming the Second Wave succeeded because it addressed issues faced by most white middle class women.  Third Wave Feminists criticize post-feminism as a position of privilege.  Feminists also split on the issue of sex-positivism and anti-pornography.

Anti-Pornography Feminists.  Oppose objectification in all forms.  They believe in restricting aggressive male sexual behaviors to prevent women being exploited.  My definition:  Restrict male sexuality to create equality.

Sex-Positive Feminists.  Object to the vilification of male sexuality.  They believe in maximizing sexual freedom and choice for women as the path to equality.  Some even support the legalization of prostitution to ensure rights for sex workers.  My definition:  Empower female sexuality on par with male sexuality.

Third Wave.  Began in the 1990s.  This movement was concerned about issues faced by subgroups and about things not addressed in previous waves:  LGBT rights, ageism, liberal policy changes and social justice.  The “Grrrl” power feminists are from this wave.

Fourth Wave.  This term is less commonly used and refers specifically to internet feminism.

There are a few feminist sub-categories I’ll mention:

  • Liberal Feminism.  Focus is on equal rights through policy changes, not cultural issues.
  • Radical Feminism.  Seeks the abolition of gender.
  • Cultural Feminism.  Seeks to establish competing female power structures, traditions and norms.

Just where do you think you’re going to pin that?

GENERAL TERMS

Whew, that’s a lot of information.  Now to the lexicon.

Patriarchy.  A system which puts men in power over women and children and favors male traits.

Rape Culture.  A culture in which sexual violence is glorified, encouraged, or normalized.  For example, teenage boys high fiving each other after intentionally mowing down prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto.  Rape culture also exists when men are encouraged to be sexually aggressive toward women or when male sexual aggression is portrayed as sexy or rape is viewed as a compliment (e.g. a woman is irresistible; therefore a man couldn’t control himself).  Using terms of sexual dominance (e.g. “making someone your b*tch”) is another example of rape culture.  Rape culture is also evident when girls are told how to dress, behave or speak in a way to avoid exciting male sexual aggression.

Three behaviors are usually associated:  victim blaming, sexual objectification, and trivializing rape.

Wage Gap.  This is the gap between what men and women are paid.  It is sometimes evaluated between like positions (smaller gap) or between all paid work (larger gap).  The larger gap is partly explained by women choosing or being encouraged to go into less lucrative fields, or conversely that fields dominated by women, such as nursing and teaching, are often undervalued by society.

Leaky Pipeline.  Women exiting careers, particularly in male dominated fields like tech, because of disincentives to stay or policy inflexibility.

Glass Ceiling.  The unseen barrier that prevents females and minorities from making it to the top levels of organizations.  For example, there are only 20 female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

Bechdel Test.  A method to determine if female characters in a movie, play or book are fully developed.  The criteria are:  1) there are more than two female characters, 2) that talk to each other (not just the male characters), and 3) the conversation is about something other than a man.  Examples of failing the Bechdel test:  The Book of Mormon, General Conference, and many of the district meetings I attended as a missionary.

Male Gaze.  A film technique which sexualizes females by zooming in on parts of their bodies as if the audience is viewing her from a heterosexual male’s perspective.  (Also a blogger here who enjoys getting his ass kicked by visiting feminists.)

MEN VS. FEMINISM

Only available in women’s sizes, unfortunately.

Unexamined Privilege.  When males are unaware of how the world skews to their benefit (e.g. most high level executives are male, men are less often sexually harassed or assaulted, nobody questions a man’s parenting skills if he has children and a career, in most religions deity is male, etc.).

Reverse Sexism.  A claim often used when men feel their privilege has eroded through advances in opportunity for women.  Sexism can affect men as well as women, particularly when men are discouraged from being nurturing, from expressing emotions, or are shamed by their culture.  This is not reverse sexism, though; it’s just sexism.

Mansplain.  When a man explains something to a woman who actually knows more about the topic than he does.

Straw Feminist.  An exaggerated caricature of a feminist used to create a counter-argument rather than to engage in rational debate.  For example, “These feminists want to be men,” or “These feminists are all on a power grab.”

Silencing.  Techniques to shut women up who complain about mistreatment or to dismiss those complaints as trivial.  Ironically, pointing out these techniques could be seen as another form of silencing.  Some include:

  • Lived Experience.  First hand experiences and impressions of a minority or oppressed group are often dismissed as mere anecdotes by those with privilege.
    • Male Experience Trump Card.  A man declaring that because he hasn’t experienced what a woman claims, that it didn’t happen and that his (male) experience is typical and hers is not.  For example, in one company, 80% of women said they had been sexually harassed, but only 20% of men agreed that women had been sexually harassed.
  • Concern Trolls.  Individuals who express concern that the view of the poster may land them in trouble with authority.
  • Tone Argument.  This is an attempt to dismiss the argument on the basis of tone, not content.  If only the opposing argument would “say it nicely,” then people would listen.
  • Victim Blaming.  In situations of sexual aggression, saying “she was asking for it.”  Whenever women are blamed for mistreatment or harassment they receive because of their dress or behavior.  Likewise, in internet debates, a woman may be dismissed as being irrational or “too emotional” as a way to marginalize her viewpoint.  For example, watch any episode of Mad Men.
  • Many Bad Things in the World.  This argument trivializes female concerns compared to larger world issues.  Surely we can walk and chew gum at the same time, right?
  • Moff’s Law.  An attempt to silence the opposition (particularly in the internet) by saying “Why can’t you just enjoy it for what it is?” implying that the other person is overanalyzing a situation or making a mountain out of a molehill.

Nowadays, these hats would be reversed. That’s progress!

MEN FOR FEMINISM

Being a pro-feminist man doesn’t get you off the hook either.  Here are some terms that could apply:

Trying to Score.  This charge may be made, particularly by men toward other men, that the man who is speaking out against sexism is only doing so for sexual gain.

Nice Guy.  A man who complains that women only like bad boys or men who treat them poorly, not “nice guys” like him.  He then tries to parlay this “whining” into pity sex.  As I recall, Male Gaze was accused of this one.  Ouch.

Magical Man Sparkles.  The inexplicable power that must be at play when a woman is continually ignored, and then a man says the same thing and is immediately heard.

Feminist Cookie.  Men expecting a reward for treating women equally.  An example, we had a work dinner scheduled, and one of the male managers could not attend because he was “babysitting.”  When I asked whose kids he was babysitting, I was told they were his own kids.  As I pointed out, that’s not babysitting; it’s parenting.  Nobody says a woman is “babysitting” her own kids.  There should be no extra credit for caring for one’s own offspring.

WOMEN VS. FEMINISM

Must be all the uncomfortable underwear.

Internalized Sexism.  When women have internalized the cultural messages given to them to the point of defending actions that are harmful or limiting to their own sex.  For example, pretty much anything written by Kathryn Skaggs.

Not My Nigel.  A reply by some women to dismiss charges of sexism by disclaiming their own son’s / husband’s / father’s involvement.

In summary, I’ll end with one more term that tipped the scales for me in deciding to participate in Wear Pants to Church Day.  Personally, I even wear skirts to work; it’s hotter than blazes where I live and twice as humid.  But when I saw the comments from so-called faithful members calling feminists all sorts of names, making death threats, and telling them to quit the church if they didn’t like it, I felt compelled to join.

Lewis’s Law.  The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.

Discuss.

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70 Responses to A Feminist Primer for Men

  1. mark on April 16, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    A question about the feminist view of single-parenting; that the husband/father is unnecessary to a home environment (which may be in the radical feminism group). This does not include those who are single moms through no choice of their own.

    If a son is being raised, does he grow up being told by word or action that he is unnecessary to a home? I see examples of this attitude, actual and fictionalized, but no one thinks about the flip-side.

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  2. Brian on April 16, 2013 at 7:30 AM

    Given all of the above, why do you think the 15 were against the ERA, setting aside all their public arguments?

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  3. hawkgrrrl on April 16, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    mark: There is no single feminist view on what you are saying. Many 3rd wave feminists want social justice for all, regardless of gender. They also want all types of families to be supported and accepted in society. They may lobby for SAHF support and paternity leaves. I have a friend who has been in a monogamous lesbian marriage for 30+ years. She and her wife have raised a son to adulthood, and they are as devoted to him as any parent would be. I suspect that many women who choose single motherhood consider it a better alternative to marriage for a variety of reasons: economic (some men are a bad bet), personal freedom, or they have a strong support network without a partner. That doesn’t necessarily mean they undervalue men, although some may. Some feminists would think this is a good idea, their own choice; others would see it as a disadvantageous choice.

    Brian: I suspect it was because of the ERA’s association with abortion and reproductive rights. Also, Sonia Johnson went too far when she threatened to sue the church. I suspect it also had to do with women working; there was a lot of rhetoric at that time and for the next 10 years stating mothers should not work. I also think there is something to the context of time. The 1980s were much closer to the sexual revolution and free love / hippie era that so rocked religious institutions. I suspect there was a lot of emotion fueling the opposition to equal rights.

    As a girl growing up during that time, I just assumed the church would side with equality for women. I was very shocked when they came down hard on the other side. My immediate feeling was betrayal and confusion.

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  4. Male Gaze on April 16, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    (Also a blogger here who enjoys getting his ass kicked by visiting feminists.)

    Guilty as charged! I think I can honestly say I’ve committed just about every one of those infractions. But I think I could a better job of utilizing the techniques in the “Men for Feminism” section. Of course I’ll still be guilty of being sexist, but with a positive twist!!

    On a serious note, I hear plenty of people admit that sexism affects both women AND men negatively…and I’ve harped on that myself. But I think for many this is just an obligatory theoretical exercise…that most feminist don’t REALLY want to discuss how this stuff affects men. When a man DOES try to discuss how he is affected negatively by sexism you simply apply one of the many labels from above and self-righteously walk away.

    On the other hand, I continue to be amazed by the many feminists I know who actually DO care and DO WANT to hear how it affects BOTH men and women, and want to discuss it. Of course I suppose such feminists have simply “internalized sexism.”

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  5. Brian on April 16, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    I remember the ET Benson talk about women working as the only GA talk roundly criticized on a grass roots level. I live in CA. I view the opposition to the amendment as old men being unable to see beyond the one cookie cutter world view of what life should be—me warrior, you squaw.

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  6. Jeff Spector on April 16, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    In addition to what Hawk said about ERA, there was general uncertainty,rightly or wrongly, that those simple words has a number of potential unintended consequences. Many of which have happened in spite of no ERA.

    So, was it really required? or was it merely a political statement for the time.

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  7. Jacob on April 16, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Would you say that this primer is specifically written for men in a way that would not apply to women who self-identify as anti-feminist? Or would you write a a different primer for such women?

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  8. hawkgrrrl on April 16, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Jacob: I’m not sure women who self-identify as anti-feminist visit W&T, but if they do, they can certainly say whether this post speaks to them. I would probably write a different primer for them because I think they are the hardest to reach. They are the people who give up the most in opposing feminism.

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  9. SteveS on April 16, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    love. this. post.

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  10. jmb275 on April 16, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Re Jacob and hawk
    Another demographic is women who don’t identify as anti-feminist, but not as feminist either (which I think probably covers *most* LDS women). Though I think they probably are almost as equally hard to reach as anti-feminists.

    But this is where I think perhaps the feminist movement oversteps its bounds. Is there room in the movement for women who truly are happy in the patriarchal, sexist system we have and don’t want it to change (regardless of the reason)? Or do we just say they have “internalized sexism”? I suppose on one level I have an admiration for such women as they seem to be able to make lemonade out of lemons. Finding happiness in life despite circumstances is truly a gift.

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  11. Jacob on April 16, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Yes, agreed, those I imagine that making lemonade is not what these women are doing. They don’t think life is handing them these particular lemons in the first place, no? The status quo is not burdensome but normative; no creativity is needed to make a bad situation into something better since the situation is divinely ordained in the first place. Anti-feminist might be too strong, but it seems we’re splitting hairs when say one is not a feminist but not anti-feminist either, especially since today there are many different kinds of feminism.

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  12. hawkgrrrl on April 16, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    jmb275: I get what you are saying. My guess is that some would be 3rd Wavers who believe SAHM is a choice – families of all types should be supported, even traditional ones, and women should be free to choose what they want to do. For example, they may feel equal pay for equal work is important yet choose not to work personally. Just a guess. You know my situation, so maybe I’m not the authority on that. However, there are probably a majority of women in the church who’ve internalized sexism or put it on a shelf or not given it much thought or whatever. Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In also points to the phenomenon of women choosing to settle for less than their full potential or giving up their dreams because it’s so much easier when they’ve been told their whole lives that they don’t have to compete or achieve.

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  13. rwj on April 16, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    hawkgrrrl, I’d interested to hear your response to this: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/04/its_not_women_who_should_lean.html

    Also, thanks for all the fascinating history and information.

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  14. dankrist on April 16, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Love this.

    Except your definition of radical feminism. Radical feminism doesn’t seek to abolish gender. Radical feminism seeks to deconstruct and remove privilege from gender. Gender as identity and expression isn’t the problem.

    Also, maybe add Marxist/socialist feminism? Not deeply important to a US context, but very much so to a global one. Marxist feminists situate the locus on women’s oppression in class issues.

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  15. DeepThink on April 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    I think I fit into the “normative” woman that is being discussed. I see the issues but don’t feel them for myself. But perhaps I am an outlier: never married, no children, MBA, have large divisions of Fortune 150 companies, now run my own business, RS President, etc. I am very used to leading and when I sit in council with men have no problem being heard and have no problem poking at issues that I haven’t been invited to discuss, in and outside of meetings. I have been the catalyst for several changes, large and small, in my ward and stake that affect all members, but I don’t consider myself a feminist, and the reason is, quite frankly, that I have never once in my life felt stopped by anything more than myself, and then not often. That said, I wept when the first female said the prayer in GC because I know of so many who felt the need for this. I’ll name it empathic feminism. I hope that counts.

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  16. Casey on April 16, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    jmb275′s comment reminds me of something a friend said a while back: I forget what we were talking about but at some point in the conversation she prefaced a remark with, “I’m not a feminist, but”… and then proceeded to say something very, well, feminist. I think the word itself has enough negative connotations that it scares a lot of people away from examining or engaging with its ideas, which is too bad. There are too many people for whom all feminism is “radical” or “extreme” feminism, with all the straw arguments and misunderstanding that generally entails. I guess half the battle is convincing people that feminism really isn’t a bad word, promise.

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  17. Andrew S on April 16, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Great post, hawkgrrrl. I haven’t had time to read all the comments, but I’ll say a few things.

    like dankrist wrote in 14, I would definitely say that socialist/Marxist feminism should be included in the discussion.

    I saw that Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” was mentioned earlier, and an article was pointed out too. One thing I would say about this book and that mindset is that at a basic level, it assumes something sort of like, “The problem is that women don’t appear to be participating to their fullest capacity in the status quo social/economic system. What can be done to get more women to participate?”

    Whereas one response might be to point out: what if the social/economic system itself is problematic?

    Like, a lot of articles I read talk about how tough it is for women (especially in executive level, high-octane careers) to “have it all”. But instead of saying, “OK, something has to give — career or family,” why not ask why it should be reasonable for ANYONE to have to choose between the two? Like, why is the expectation that a man can work 2394028349324 hours a week (because of course, his wife will be at home with the kids) OK?

    Shouldn’t we ultimately be challenging the idea of *anyone* working 2394028349324 hours a week rather than encouraging more women to sign up for that?

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  18. DeepThink on April 16, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Casey:

    Perhaps it is time for a name change. After all, Liberals have become Progressives, to shake off some of the history and extremism that no longer fits and which pushes away moderates. Perhaps it can be a source of inclusive feminism if we created new language for ideas that resonate.

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  19. M Miles on April 16, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    Knocked it out of the park, Angela.

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  20. KMB on April 16, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Obviously, the word “feminism” itself means different things to different people, anywhere from “Women Are People Too” feminism to “Marriage Is Bondage, Men Are All Rapists” feminism. Hence the “I’m not a feminist, but…” phenomenon.

    The question becomes: does feminism (in general) work towards the principle of “equality”, or towards the principle of “whatever benefits women”?

    Sometimes these goals are one and the same, but not always. What about these real-world scenarios?

    1) Currently women have streaked ahead of men in terms of college attendance and college graduation, and this trend looks to continue into the foreseeable future.

    Would feminists support an “affirmative action” plan for male college applicants, perhaps lowering the admissions standards to allow for a more equitable mix between genders? Would feminists support this even though it would likely result in qualified female applicants being passed over for male applicants solely on gender?

    2) Even though feminists insist women have greater talents and abilities than simply bearing and raising children, women in custody disputes still receive custody of their children via the courts the vast majority of the time.

    Would feminists support measures to eliminate this ‘bias’, even though this will result in more women losing custody of their children after a divorce?

    3) Currently women can abort their child anytime before he/she is born, and if the child is born, the father is obligated to provide support. Basically, the man’s obligation to his child and ability to choose whether to be a father ends at conception and cannot be altered, whereas the mother’s does not.

    Would feminists support a new law that allows men to legally sever their fatherhood rights and responsibilities at any time before the child is born? (Even though this will create a larger burden for women who decide to go through with having a child?)

    I suspect the answers to these will be “some will, and some will not”, and the exact ratio will be interesting to see as these questions become a reality. Women (and men) will likely one day have to choose whether their paradigm of “feminism” truly means equality between the genders in all circumstances (even in those where women are favored), or simply “female empowerment”.

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  21. Katie L on April 16, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    This is brilliant. Thanks, Hawkgrrl. :)

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  22. Jeff Spector on April 16, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    As usual, we find ourselves in a no win situation. Actually, you can win by just agreeing, even if you don’t.

    Since no one is really equal, how do we measure real equality?

    If women get complete choice over their lives, do men?

    In other words, does a man who makes a baby and chooses to skip out because it does not meet his life choice any worse then a woman who chooses to raise a child alone?

    Even if you take the historical view that men have always had an advantage, is that still true and should that idea still be clung to, if it is mostly no longer true.

    If women are stuck in roles, are men?

    Finally, if someone holds a view based on religious idea that men and women have specific roles and responsibilities based on gender and do not adhere to the secularized view of lack of specific roles, does that automatically make you a bad person?

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  23. LovelyLauren on April 16, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    I’m a feminist, but I’ll defend the “tone argument.”

    I think it’s worthwhile to say things in the most accessible way possible. I’ve read feminist writings that are downright vitriolic without any reason. I do think it’s a good idea to phrase ideas in a way that is friendly and reasonable. Obviously, the definition of “friendly and reasonable” is going to be drawn in different places, but I have no sympathy for feminists who are downright mean and then complain that no one is listening to them.

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  24. Kevin Barney on April 16, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    A very helpful primer, Hawk, thanks.

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  25. LDS Anarchist on April 16, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Rape culture is also evident when girls are told how to dress, behave or speak in a way to avoid exciting male sexual aggression.

    How in the world can someone dress to excite male sexual aggression? There are ways to dress to excite male sexual desire, but how does one excite sexual aggression through clothing, behavior and speech? Is this referring to BDSM and dressing or acting like a sex slave?

    Tone Argument gets used on me all the time, by both men and women, but mostly by women. Not sure this applies specifically to feminism as I’ve seen this applied to women by women and men, and to men by women and men.

    Magical Man Sparkles. I’d just call this Magical Sparkles because I’ve seen this on both sexes done by both sexes.

    Both Tone Argument and Magical Sparkles appear to be describing human conditions, not sexist conditions.

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  26. LDS Anarchist on April 16, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Lewis’s Law. The comments on any article about feminism justify feminism.

    From that linked page,

    Sentient wrote:

    Lewis’ Law sounds like a convenient way to attempt to legitimize your cause. Every cause has dissenters, and people who downright make fun of it. By Lewis’ Law then all causes are justified, even those that feminism opposes. What a useless concept!

    Stacey Goguen responded:

    @Sentient – You seem to be misinterpreting Lewis’ Law as meaning, “Comments disagreeing with feminism prove that we need feminism.”

    Lewis’ Law means, “The sheer amount of misogyny–things like threats of sexual violence, pure condescension, mansplaining (technical term), and assumptions of incompetence–found in the comments of articles on feminism are the very things we need feminism for to dismantle and stop normalizing them.’”

    But um, thank you for that useful comment, where you interpreted Lewis’ Law as something that would be patently silly?

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  27. KT on April 16, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    #17 Andrew S,

    “why not ask why it should be reasonable for ANYONE to have to choose between the two? Like, why is the expectation that a man can work 2394028349324 hours a week (because of course, his wife will be at home with the kids) OK?
    Shouldn’t we ultimately be challenging the idea of *anyone* working 2394028349324 hours a week rather than encouraging more women to sign up for that?”

    I completely agree with you and am glad you said it!

    #13 rwj posted a link to an article that touches on this issue of men also having regretted all the hours they spent at work and missing out on kids/family time.

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  28. KT on April 16, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    #22 Jeff Spector

    “Since no one is really equal, how do we measure real equality?”

    True, no person is really exactly the same. It’s not just men and women aren’t exactly the same, it’s NO PERSON is exactly the same.
    There may be one man and one woman who would do things more similarly than that same man and another man.
    In my opinion, ‘equality’ comes from having equal opportunity.
    Also, as Andrew S discusses – I think it’s ‘the system’ itself that needs an overhaul. The system needs to change, and that would be better for both sexes in allowing neither sex to ‘be stuck in their roles’ in my opinion.

    Sometimes when I say the word feminism, or call myself a feminist, I literally feel like I am calling myself a four letter word, and this is in company that is not even LDS. I think the term ‘feminism’ has quite the connotation associated with it, especially amongst Church members. This is really unfortunate because I think if more people realized what it actually is, there might be more support.

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  29. hawkgrrrl on April 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    rwj: Thanks for the HBR link. It made me think of something Ursula Burns (black female CEO of Xerox) said last year in a conference I attended. She said women are leaving vacancies behind, and for whatever reason men are not filling those vacancies. I interpreted that to mean that women shouldn’t be willing to become irresponsible parents in the process, and yet, I’m torn on that idea. Men don’t usually wring their hands over how their career choices will impact the family adversely. They should. As a female boss, I have observed what Sandberg describes about women being less likely to go to bat for themselves over pay or work arrangements, but I would also add two more observations (again, as a female boss): 1) whenever a male employee demands a raise, I immediately evaluate the pay of my whole team and so far this has always resulted in giving women raises they didn’t ask for, and 2) having more female leaders should bring advocacy for flexible work arrangements women and men want.

    Deep Think: “I don’t consider myself a feminist, and the reason is, quite frankly, that I have never once in my life felt stopped by anything more than myself, and then not often.” Actually, I think you’ve described me as well. From reading up on it, though, I would say that just makes us 2nd Wave feminists (or possibly Post Feminist). We have benefited from the work done by those who came before us and that’s why we don’t work in the environment portrayed in Mad Men. I suspect that’s Sheryl Sandberg, too. Women like us who are currently very successful in business don’t spend all day sitting around thinking about how unfair life is for us as women.

    Jeff: Nobody gets full freedom of choice in their lives. As you point out, men can be just as hamstrung by roles as women. I would also argue that the concept of gender roles is not religious at all – it’s societal. The idea that gender is a social construct is not secular – it’s a sociological observation. Most feminists I know are equally interested in how these roles adversely affect men as well as women. There is plenty of discussion about the stigmatization of male nurturing and expressing emotions. Within the church, crying is rewarded, so that part doesn’t usually happen, but there are certainly expectations within the priesthood about advancement within the ranks of leadership and whether SAHDs are treated like real men or not.

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  30. hawkgrrrl on April 16, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    KMB: You raised 3 questions (2 of them legal), so I wanted to take your comment separately.

    1) Education. You point out the fact that more women than men are getting admittance to colleges. I do hear feminists talking about this as well. When it comes to education, I think there are many complex causes that need to be addressed: boys aren’t doing as well as girls in pre-college schooling (are we not catering to a male learning style?), girls are admitted more to colleges, men still graduate college at a higher rate (esp at BYU where many women don’t finish), more men go on to use their degrees in the workplace, and women tend to choose less lucrative fields when they do use their degrees. I’m sure some would support affirmative action on admittance. Personally, I think we have to address the issues in public schooling that are leaving our boys behind. But I’m no educator and don’t really know educational theory.

    2) Custody laws. This varies from country to country and state to state. Here in Singapore, there was an article in the paper about expats divorcing because the husband (who is often the employment pass holder) has an affair. On divorcing, the wife’s dependent pass is revoked, she is deported, and the unfaithful husband gets default custody of the kids. When it comes to custody laws, most states in the US seem to be moving toward joint custody agreements and restricting both parents from taking the children away from the other parent. I’ve also seen lots of cases where the wife has no means to support herself because she was a SAHM with no job experience or education, and the divorcing spouse has some obligation to help her achieve education and financial independence. Each divorce is different. The laws should focus on what’s best for the kids. It seems to me that most states are getting better, not worse, at pushing for equality on this front.

    3) Paternity obligations / rights. You raise an interesting question. I haven’t ever seen that particular idea discussed, but it’s a legitimate question if you ask me. My guess is that anti-pornography feminists would say you’re crazy, the man needs to pay up. I’m a sex-positive type, and I would say if she chooses to go through with the pregnancy, he should have the option to relinquish his paternal obligations (and all rights as well) before the child is born. It’s a fair point. But many feminists are anti-pornography (restricting male freedoms on par with female limitations), and certainly within the church, that’s more common.

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  31. hawkgrrrl on April 16, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Andrew S: I haven’t finished her book, yet, but you asked the question why should we focus on women “leaning in” rather than on fixing the system. If you look at these waves of feminism, they’ve addressed quite a bit so far: basic rights to vote, own property, get an education, have equal opportunity for jobs, equal pay (theoretically). The next things that have to happen to create more equality have to do with changing how both men and women create work cultures and family dynamics. Those changes are somewhere between 2nd and 3rd wave aims. To me, that doesn’t happen from outside in. When women are participating in these systems, the systems change because the women can point out why they don’t work and can effect change because they have decision making power and financial freedom. There are still legislative changes that could be made, but when it comes to the workplace, flexible policies are more likely when women as well as men are in those discussions. Also men begin to advocate more because they see what it will take to retain the top female talent. It becomes imperative. That’s my observation as a businesswoman anyway.

    I do totally agree though that women adopting male values isn’t the best outcome. There are plenty of men and women who are toiling in obscurity doing work they don’t care about while they miss out on their family time. That’s not good for anyone. I blogged about it over on Doves & Serpents for those who want to see my story: http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2013/03/parenthood-juggle-how-i-became-a-mormon-female-executive/

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  32. Andrew S. on April 16, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    re 31

    hawkgrrrl,

    When women are participating in these systems, the systems change because the women can point out why they don’t work and can effect change because they have decision making power and financial freedom. There are still legislative changes that could be made, but when it comes to the workplace, flexible policies are more likely when women as well as men are in those discussions.

    In theory, yes. Unless the women in question who are in those discussion have basically adopted the status quo as their own values. I’m thinking of Marissa Mayer’s call to ban working from home within Yahoo…but as for herself, she had a nursery built next to the office. [And I am aware that the decision to ban working from home could have had other business applications, but on the surface, it just doesn't smell good.]

    I haven’t read “Lean In” yet, but the reviews don’t really suggest that Sandberg has all that more of a positive policy outlook.

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  33. hawkgrrrl on April 17, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Andrew S: Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of Marissa Mayer’s decision (I should caveat that many companies’ work at home policies restrict it as a way of avoiding childcare, and her decision affected ALL employees, not just women). Her view is arguable on its own merits. She felt that the type of work they do, including a lot of tech innovation, requires face to face brainstorming on a daily basis. Personally, I’ve been a huge proponent of working from home in my career, but it may not work in all types of jobs equally.

    The criticisms of Sandberg seem to me to be similar to the criticisms of any successful female executive. Because we’ve been successful in the system before the system is completely fixed, we may be viewed as collaborators, particularly by third wavers, many of whom aren’t old enough to be that far along in their careers. Fine, but the alternative of choosing not to participate isn’t going to effect change either. The HBR link’s criticism was that she was letting men off the hook. Men who sacrifice their personal lives for work will reap what they sow, just as women will. Women who sacrifice their personal ambitions for family will too.

    What I think is so important about her book and others like it is that it opens the discussion. We are now free to agree or disagree on the various perspectives she puts forward. Business people are engaging in these debates very openly in response to her book.

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  34. hawkgrrrl on April 17, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    Sorry – one more specific example from Sandberg’s book. She talks about having been pregnant and having to park very far from the building. After painfully waddling all the way across the parking lot and into the building, she went straight to her male boss’s office and said that maternity parking was needed as other companies had. But she confesses openly that it only occurred to her because it specifically happened to her; before she was pregnant, she never really gave it any thought. The parking spaces were added by the next day. But that’s why she’s saying more women in charge will change policies in meaningful ways. More women = more diversity of female input.

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  35. Jeff Spector on April 17, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    KT,

    “In my opinion, ‘equality’ comes from having equal opportunity.”

    Ah, that leads us into another direction. How does society, even a religious one promote equal opportunity when even that does not exist.

    In some cases, opportunity is had by a number of factors which are not in our control, no matter what gender you are.

    It may be economic, social, visual, educational, a number of other factor, which have nothing to do with ability.

    And it cannot be segmented by the old adage, “Well, you could be, I can’t.”

    For example, I will never the President of the Church. Sure, I potentially could be, because I’m male, hold the priesthood, etc. But, the fact of the matter is that I am no more likely Church president than you are.

    Having said that, I had a situation at work where a woman who was hired after I was rose to the level of an Executive VP of the company and now sits on the board of Directors. Very smart, but had help of two VPs early in her career. I did not. So, was that equal opportunity?

    So, my bottom line is that nothing can be truly equal, so why keeping trying to make it that way? Just respect the fact that there are differences and deal with that reality.

    Seems to me, we’ve come a long way.

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  36. Will on April 17, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    I have always like the term feminazi; and the corresponding slogan “feminazi, bringing you hate since 1968”. It is fitting a perfect description of the overall movement.

    Why someone would oppose motherhood and the corresponding role it represents is beyond me — staying at home and raising kids that contribute positively to society. The proper role and functions of a mother will either make or break a society. Since the feminazi’s, it seems to be breaking our society.

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  37. hawkgrrrl on April 17, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Will, I think you must not have read any of the actual post. Feminists don’t oppose motherhood. In fact, many 3rd wave feminists choose to be SAHMs. I see your Straw Feminist argument.

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  38. Jeff Spector on April 17, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    I, for one, would never stoop to use any terminology championed by Rush Limbaugh.
    it ruins even a rational discussion.

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  39. Will on April 17, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Hawk,

    You missed my point.

    If the Godly role for women (SAHM) were upheld, there would be no need for discussions about equal access at work, or equal pay or any of that as mothers would be at home.

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  40. Will on April 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Jeff,

    Not sure where I heard the term, but if it was Rush good for him as it fits what is happening.

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  41. Stephen M (Ethesis) on April 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    You left out the claim that feminism is a tool of class oppression whereby upper class WASP women do not share in the WASP slice of the pie but instead take from other groups and deny men and women in those groups advancement.

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  42. KT on April 17, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Jeff Spector,

    While I agree with you that no two people have the same opportunity, I want to highlight once again that it’s no two PEOPLE. Why is it necessary to divide that along gender lines? Not only that, but I think by doing so, you are limiting what could be significant contributions to society as a whole. You never know who, or what gender is going to come up with the next great idea, or the whatever… Why not just let everyone have the opportunity and come what may?
    Have you never known a man who was more nurturing than his wife? Have you never known a man more able to ‘run a household’? Have you never known a woman more driven, more intelligent, more apt for a particular career than her husband? What say ye to that?
    I read hawkgrrrl’s post on doves and serpents and it seems to me that pushing people into certain roles benefits no one, whereas letting people gravitate toward their natural abilities benefits everyone. And it just isn’t the case that ‘all women are meant to be SAHMs and all men are meant to be ‘provide for the family’.

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  43. Frank Pellett on April 17, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Will,

    There would still be need for discussions about equal pay, since it’s not only mothers who are effected by this. Yes, part of the difficulty in equal pay is women taking time away from work to raise children, but even for those who have the same schooling and experience, with no break in work, as their male counterparts, there is still a pay disparity.

    Unless, of course, you’re saying that all women, mothers or not, should stay at home, and then we have another problem. :)

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  44. Jeff Spector on April 17, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    KT,

    “Why is it necessary to divide that along gender lines?”

    I think that is what the post is about. Gender.

    but I purposely pointed to other designations, not just gender. Social, economic, race, class, etc.

    However, what seems lost in all these discussions is indisputable facts associated with gender. And the natural inclinations that follow that. Sometimes, those inclinations are broken.

    But do we organize society around the exceptions or the rule? Some wish to call that societal, but are they really societal or the natural inclinations traditionally supported by society.

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  45. Will on April 17, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    “Why is it necessary to divide that along gender lines”

    I side with God on this one

    ” And it just isn’t the case that ‘all women are meant to be SAHMs and all men are meant to be ‘provide for the family’”

    Baloney

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  46. rwj on April 17, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    Jeff, #44, I’ve been reading alot about that point lately. One place it comes up often is on this blog. Here’s one post that was fascinating to me in which she says:

    “The Center for Policy reports that only one in eight mothers wants to work full-time. So you’d think there would be a massive push in the media to help mothers drop out of the workforce and take care of their kids. But instead, everyone is fawning over Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, which help mothers win top corporate spots with 100-hour work weeks.”

    http://homeschooling.penelopetrunk.com/2013/03/15/mainstream-media-is-delusional-about-homeschooling/

    So many of her posts on her career blog are of the same vein.

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  47. LDS Anarchist on April 17, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Will #45,

    The scripture says that “women have claim on their husbands for their support,” but what of all the unmarried, childless women? Who will support them? They can’t be a SAHM, since they aren’t married or have children. So, if they are not to work, what is to be done?

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  48. KT on April 17, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Jeff,

    My point being, it doesn’t NEED to be a social and cultural construct to divide along gender lines. I believe that people can figure it out for themselves and work it out amongst themselves as a couple or individually. In other words, it’s not for ‘the organization’ to imply, teach, admonish, and/or coerce,it’s for the individual to decide.

    You must not have known individual men and women who defy these stereotypes, or I don’t think you’d call it baloney. I wonder what reason you would put forth for why some individuals don’t fit their SAHM or provider stereotypes then…?

    I don’t know what the ‘studies’ say, but the majority of women I’ve talked to would prefer a part-time position and/or work from home type of position which allows them more time with their kids/family, but also allows them to grow themself in a different way outside the home and idependent of their family. And in fact, I do know men as well who would prefer something more similar to this, rather than being forced into 50+ hour work weeks in order to provide for a family they never see.

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  49. hawkgrrrl on April 17, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    “You left out the claim that feminism is a tool of class oppression whereby upper class WASP women do not share in the WASP slice of the pie but instead take from other groups and deny men and women in those groups advancement.” This sounds a lot like the claim of 3rd Wavers against 2nd Wavers. That 2nd Wavers “got theirs” and now don’t care about social justice. To some extent, I think this is true.

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  50. Douglas on April 17, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    EGAD. “Feminism” is the biggest load of crapola ever foisted on the American public, started by a bunch of over-educated, over-privleged Jewish women with nothing better to do than run wild with their weird fantasies. It utterly amazes me that our women have bought into any of it, or that we men have lacked the fortitude to tolerate any of it. Of course, just as poor management makes labor unions possible, so likewise do poor husbands probably make feminism even remotely viable. It’s an understandable reaction when women turn to these nutty ideas, when the men in their lives (husbands, fathers, etc.) refuse to shoulder their burden…SOMEONE has to wear the pants!

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  51. hawkgrrrl on April 17, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    An interesting article about Prof. David Benatar’s observations of sexism against men: http://www.thejanedough.com/sexism-men/

    Some of his salient points:
    - feminists lobby for women to be able to choose to serve in military, but men are conscripted through the draft.
    - men are most often the victims of murder and non-sexual violent crime (I hasten to add they are more often the perpetrators also)
    - far more men are homeless
    - male shaming for nurturing men

    I agree with him on this point: “First, women care about their fathers, brothers, husbands and sons. Second, anti-female and anti-male discrimination have common sources. The former is unlikely to be eliminated entirely unless attention is also given to the latter.”

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  52. Naismith on April 17, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    hawkgrrrl, I applaud your bravery in trying to condense a wide movement into a blog post. But you have indeed skipped over some crucial details.

    A lot of those who refuse to self-dentify as “feminist” do not make that choice out of fear or ignorance, but out of an understanding and active decision to not want to embrace current thinking. I am not the only second-waver to drop out of the f-thing. I know so many people–indeed, I met Stephanie Koontz in the last year, and she says she no longer actively promotes that word because the meaning is so unclear and there are some aspects that she doesn’t embrace.

    And the reality is that some of the loudest voices to claim the f-word are decidely anti-family and anti-motherhood, along the lines of Linda Hirschman, Leslie Bennetts, etc.

    Also, a lot of us have been burned at the hands of feminists just as some women have had negative experiences with priesthood leaders. Women bosses who complained about taking time off for family things, after they said that it would be fine in the job interview. Ugh, my blood pressure would go up if I went on with all the stories…

    I fervently want equality, but my definition differs from some. I want the term “working mother” to go away, because we all work, and that terminology just divides us. I want homemaking to be accepted as valid work that one could put on a resume. And I want future employers to understand the time management and budgeting skills that alumni of such a career learn. And so on.

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  53. Jeff Spector on April 17, 2013 at 8:28 PM

    KT,

    “My point being, it doesn’t NEED to be a social and cultural construct to divide along gender lines.”

    Things are divided along a number of lines as I tried to point out, not just gender. You talked about equal opportunity.

    I am saying that opportunity cannot be equal anymore than full equality is possibly.

    For equal opportunity for gender to be possible, it has to be possible along social, economic, educational, racial, political lines as well.

    “You must not have known individual men and women who defy these stereotypes, or I don’t think you’d call it baloney. ”

    Never called it baloney or any other unknown meat product.

    I pointed out that defying so-called stereotypes or natural roles as it might more correctly be stated is an exception rather than the rule. Do we want to organize society around the exceptions or the normative behavior?

    I am not saying that we should not allow the exceptions, but why organize around them?

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  54. Douglas on April 17, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    #51 – Thanks for pointing out the obvious that ALL women who have family responsibilities, irrespective of gainful employment outside the home, are “WORKING” mothers..indeed, I think of two of my sis-in-laws, both have largely been the SAHM, and yet both work their ever-loving fannies off. Now…how about the appealation WORKING FATHER? You see, I could claim as much “kudos”, if kudos were what I was in it for, for having been a single dad for two different stints…working a demanding job AND keeping the adolescents in line largely w/o their respective mothers’ help! I don’t see any activist groups advocating my cause! And good riddance…because I’ve simply done whatever I had to do to take care of my own, as the scriptures direct. Both my lads having waxed large (one big enough to try out for Defensive Tackle in college ball…) should be proof enough that I could master the culinary arts.
    I’m hoping that most of the shrill young “feminazis”, having been filled full of commie tripe at Vassar and Wellesley, have put in a few years in the real world and have realized that a “man’s world” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As one of Val Bagley’s editorial cartoons put it some thirty years ago when the ERA was a big issue, “Why any (woman) would want to be equal to you (she’s staring at her big dumb dork of a husband, glassy-eyed stare at the boob tube) I’ll NEVER know.”

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  55. hawkgrrrl on April 17, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    KT – Jeff didn’t say Baloney. That was Will.

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  56. hawkgrrrl on April 17, 2013 at 9:07 PM

    Jeff – I don’t know what you are saying is the exception and what is the rule. And if it’s 55% the “rule” and 45% the exception, but society doesn’t support the 45%, is that the right construct?

    Here’s an example. My mother’s parents didn’t send her to college because she was a woman, so what was the point? She got a job in a steno pool after high school, where she was very efficient and worked hard. She had the best shorthand and typing of all the secretaries. But there was no upward potential because she was a woman. When she met my dad, he was on the GI Bill which was paying for him to go to college to become a well-paid engineer. It was far more lucrative for her to get married. Without marriage she had no way to support herself. Now, my dad’s a great guy: totally faithful, they joined the church and he quit drinking and smoking, had a very great steady source of income his whole life, and they are still married 65 years later.

    What if this story had gone differently and he left her, he abused her, he was killed, she never got married, or she could not have children? Where would she be in a society built only around a SAHM model? What about women whose kids have left home? Women with no ability to support themselves economically are hopelessly lost in a model based on the assumption that some man will protect them.

    Perhaps that’s not what you are saying (Will definitely is saying that). Maybe you can clarify what you mean about society being constructed based on historical norms.

    Which aims would you not support: right to vote, right to own property, access to education, equal pay for equal work, reproductive rights?

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  57. KT on April 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    hawkgrrrl,

    Thanks for pointing that out! Got a little excited there…!

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  58. KT on April 17, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    For those of you who do not believe in ‘Feminism’, please explain something for me (not being trite)just a little bewildered…

    Naismith: Would you label yourself, and if so, what? Are there other women who think and feel as you do? Is there any sort of organization or movement to it?

    Douglas, Will, Jeff: What would you propose? Would you just propose that we accept a 1950′s model of gender roles and all try to be happy and content with that? Do you feel that would make for better families? Do you feel that it would make for happier individuals? Happier marriages? Better society? Better businesses?
    Are you saying whether or not a man wants to/is inclined to be a ‘provider’, he should just buck up and do it and whether or not a woman wants to/is inclined to be a SAHM, she should just buck up and do it?

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  59. Douglas on April 18, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    KT…and WHAT, pray tell, is so bloody wrong with the “fifties”? Where the woman’s primary focus is upon being a homemaker, caring for the needs of her husband and children (in that order). It’s the age-old division of labor. Ideally, where the husband’s income suffices to provide for what the family NEEDS (but does not necessarily pay for everything they’d like), the woman’s efforts, though not necessarily documented (or taxed) via a W-2, still pay tremendous indirect economic benefits, as well as social and spiritual. Now, in the real world, all is not necessarily “ideal”, hence why we have brains as well as hearts. Plus, there are some women who simply would not be fulfilled sans pursuits outside the home, and their legitimate and righteous desires need not be circumscribed by prophetic fiat. Look, I’ve raised daughters as well as sons, and though certainly I want them to be “mothers in Zion”, I also want them educated and capable of gainful employment, come what may. Who can say what life will throw at us? Death of the wage earning husband, or disability, or his unfaithfulness? I would not say to my daughters, “let your fate be dictated by choice of mate”.
    What I “say”, given “choices”, is for man and woman to decide upon division of labor, guided by the Spirit and what they believe in good faith is the best decision, and just do it and don’t worry about what “they” say…because “they” don’t raise their kids or pay their bills! Some women will pursue employment outside the home, in some cases because it beats living under a bridge. Others will do so rather than remain a caged tigress. I would not presume to judge, merely lend friendly advice and support WHEN ASKED. (ergo, there is a time to butt out too…)
    Again, all this feminazi crap about “choices” is largely that, crap that stinks up the ability that we all have to receive personal revelation for what we want to know. Got news for you all, my dear sisters…we brethren have all along “balanced” the family time versus career thing, and most of us get that annoying, self-righteous “cat’s in the cradle” routine. Excuse me for supporting my family to the best of my ability! So pardon me if I guffaw at this pointless ranting. You sisters have no less brains and access to the Holy Spirit to render these decisions, use them and make no apologies, but kwitcherbellyachin….

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  60. hawkgrrrl on April 18, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Well, again, I would ask Douglas, Jeff and Will – which of these aims do you not support for women: right to vote, right to own property, access to education, equal pay for equal work, reproductive rights?

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  61. Henry on April 18, 2013 at 2:52 AM

    Lets call ourselves equaliists. It sounds ridiculous for a man to call himself a feminist. How many feminists call themselves masculists? Feminism does not advocate for men’s causes hence the term feminism.

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  62. Hedgehog on April 18, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    #59 Douglas
    Even in the 1950s an SAHM was a position of privilege, for the upper middle classes. My parents were children in the 50s. All my grandparents worked.

    I’m with you on the personal revelation thing, but you don’t seem to see that the usual rhetoric we hear from church when it comes to making those choices (a word you seem to dislike, with or without the spirit a choice is made however)that the 1950s model is the one most often presented. But then, you won’t have sat through those YW or RS lessons…

    I don’t think anyone would be protesting if what was generally taught is for the couple to work it out between themselves as guided by the spirit.

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  63. Stephen R. Marsh on April 18, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    ” That 2nd Wavers “got theirs” and now don’t care about social justice. To some extent, I think this is true.”

    Part of what is going on is that I deal with groups, such as Greeks, who graduate fewer per capita from college than Blacks. When opportunity opens up, it is not taken away from upper class men, it is taken away from groups that had little to begin with.

    I grew up in trailer parks. I am aware of class issues and how displacement occurs and have watched it with interest.

    Anyway, interesting to watch.

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  64. Douglas on April 18, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    #60 – (Quoting a faux Rush Limbaugh from “The Critic”, an animated great from the decade that rocked Animation!) – “I accept your challenge, you liberal creampuff! Ummm…liberal creampuffs….” (Neither Rush nor I look like we enjoy them as much as we once did, though)
    Right to Vote – at least in the US, I ask precisely HOW did this country improve since the Nineteenth Amendment? Nevertheless, I’d be almost a century out of touch, so I’m leaving this one alone.
    Right to own property – depends upon the alimony, child support decree and property division. Basically, once a man says “I do, he is DONE.”
    Access to education – girls make up a far higher percentage of high school and college graduates right now as it is. Of course, for those that actually result in gainful employment (engineering, IT, science, business), males still predominate but women have made significant gains. The issue is not “education” so much as “employability”
    Equal Pay for Equal Work – a garbage argument on its face. Give me a situation where I can employ mostly females for cheaper labor and I will absolutely clean up. If women do earn less, it is NOT because they are automatically “second class”, occupation for occupation. Those that pursue a lifelong career akin to most men do at least as well, and likely better since they are likely prioritizing same. The labor market rewards productivity, contrary to this feminist red herring. Now, naturally, OF COURSE there ought to be no pay discrimination IAW gender, especially in the public sector. But equality of opportunity never can or should guarantee equality of result, and this is where the feminist arguments about pay and job equality utterly falls apart. Finally, if you approach your professional peers and supervisors with that chip on your shoulder, you’ll be shown the door in short order, regardless of your talents.

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  65. hawkgrrrl on April 18, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Douglas: Your comments about equal pay actually don’t ring true for my experience. I have found on the whole that the men in my employ have been overpaid compared to their contribution and their female peers, yet they demand more pay and want to talk about advancement. They also demand more up front when I have hired them externally. Many of my female employees, on the other hand, say things like “I’m just happy to help the team.” They don’t ask (never demand) and (their pay histories show that they) don’t get.

    I’d love to see more of them get what they really deserve – which is why I do my best to make sure pay is commensurate with contribution. But I’m rectifying what others (often men) have done before me.

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  66. Naismith on April 19, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    “Naismith: Would you label yourself, and if so, what? Are there other women who think and feel as you do? Is there any sort of organization or movement to it?”

    I don’t feel any need to label myself. I am happy to work with feminists and feminist organizations on issues of common concern.

    I think there are a lot of women like me, who are disillusioned with feminism and are not comfortable using that label because of the loud voices from Hirschman, etc. who are not family-oriented. Most of us still believe every word in the FEMININE MYSTIQUE.

    More formalized examples of those would be Shannon Hayes and the RADICAL HOMEMAKING movement, as well as Ann Crittenden’s THE PRICE OF MOTHERHOOD. But most of the women I know who fit that category do not actively join a group, or consider themselves anti-feminist.

    For those women who want to be involved in issues that make the lives of women better but not under the feminist banner per se, there are lots of great groups, including Junior League, Federated Women’s Clubs, League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women, etc. I’m actively involved in one of those groups, and we partner with feminist groups on a regular basis on issues where we share an interest.

    I have no interest in returning to the 1950s. The problem with the 50s was that men were in charge, and women and their work was considered less. By the time I joined the church in the 1970s, President Kimball was preaching about equal partnership in marriage. That was very appealing.

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  67. hawkgrrrl on April 19, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    Douglas – in the 1950s, the Steubenville rape case would never have been brought to justice, for one thing. It wouldn’t have been considered rape. The community would have rallied around the perpetrators and called it boys being boys, and said the unconscious girl was asking for it. Even in the 1960s when my sister was raped she was asked what she did to entice her attacker. Those are basic human rights issues. It wasn’t considered rape if a couple was married. And women had no means to support themselves financially if they were abused, so they were often forced to stay with their abusers. I don’t idealize the 1950s. Father Knows Best was a TV show, not reality.

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  68. kramer on April 21, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    The picture of Obama is hilarious! Quick, name a woman on his cabinet. George Bush did a better job.

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  69. Douglas on April 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    #67 – Ah, how typical when the “commie lib” loses the argument…change the subject or employ a red herring. You didn’t attempt to counter any of my points regarding gender equality in the workplace. Changing the subject to shrill feminist dogma about the terrible crime of rape, which was is some states considered a capital offense. You don’t know how law enforcement would have treated the rape of a developmentally disabled girl (it’s not PC to say ‘retarded’ irrespective of their ability to comprehend offense) with as much evidence as the idiotic louts conveniently provided via social media (a phenomenon of our time). I somehow doubt such a vicious attack would have been summarily dismissed as “boys will be boys” even 50-60 years ago. Of course, this is a reason WHY we coddled our daughters, we didn’t want them to be preyed upon. Rape is unfortunately not a recent social disease…just ask any German girl unlucky enough to live through the “Red Storm on the Reich” in 1945! Nor would a legal travesty such as the Duke Lacrosse rape case have taken place, thanks to spineless politicians kowtowing to shrill feminism and throwing hundreds of years of jurisprudence out the window where rape, instead of being treated as a crime, is treated as a political matter. I’m sorry for the experience that your sister went through, no girl should ever have to face that. Still, if evidence in a rape allegation makes possible a situation of consent, then it has to be investigated. Else, we render every male vulnerable to a specious rape charge, even under circumstances that the Church considers legit. That CANNOT possibly uphold ‘civil rights nor be considered sound public policy.

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  70. Douglas on April 21, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Of course, I suppose it would be bad form to remind folks of the mnemonic for resistor band code: (B)lack (B)oys (R)ape (O)ur (Y)oung (G)irls, (B)ut (V)iolent (G)ives (W)illingly, (G)et (S)ome (N)ow! At least as I remember it from my class in Electric Circuits at Fresno State, ca. 1979.
    Nowadays say THAT in a University setting and you’ll be pilloried. And I wish I knew a zippy one that was less colorful. The biggest gripe I have about PC, especially feminism, is that it’s promulgated by the humorless.

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