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Column: Several fatal flaws mar the feminist movement

Perspectives on Feminism

By Walter Block
On March 1, 2012

  • Walter Block On the Record. The Maroon

It seems that everyone and his uncle (Would it be more politically correct to say "aunt" here, instead? Yes. Tough.) are now feminists. This, alone, would constitute good reason if not to reject this stance outright, then at least to be highly suspicious of it. Most people — how shall I say this delicately — have an IQ akin to comfortable room temperature. If they favor something — anything — it is probably immoral, fallacious and wrong-headed. In the case of feminism, this is true in spades.

Let us start off with a minor annoyance foisted upon us by these harridans: their attack on the English language. It is no longer allowed in polite society to refer to a woman as "Miss" or "Mrs." Now, it would appear, we are all required to utilize the horrid word "Ms." But the first two convey important information: marital status. Why should we jettison knowledge about a woman's status in this regard just to satisfy a bunch of loud-mouthed people? And don't even get me started on "he or she," "she and he," "she" alone, or "s/he." Normal people can no longer read the language without constantly having their noses thrust into this sort of imbecility.

Now for some more serious concerns.

Feminists are typically socialists, communists, liberals or, ugh, "progressives." This is pretty downright despicable since these attacks on economic freedom create the very poverty against which they presume to inveigh. Have we learned nothing from the natural experiments of East and West Germany? North and South Korea? Why do these people want to condemn us to lives of penury?

They learn nothing from our history, which bears eloquent testimony to the fact that socialism simply does not work. Socialism ruins whatever it touches, not only abroad, but domestically too, as in the cases of socialized medicine, the welfare system (which breaks up families) and social "security" (which reduces intergenerational ties). Feminists are invincibly ignorant, too, regarding the economic functioning of minimum wage laws, unionism, rent control, tariffs, taxes, central planning, etc.

Feminists oppose arming women. When confronted with the scourge of rape and molestation, feminists respond by holding "Take Back the Night" marches, whining about how horrid these attacks are. Of course they are! But why not encourage young women to avail themselves of their Second Amendment rights to bear arms? The gun is the great equalizer. Face it: unarmed women are at a disadvantage vis-a-vis rapists, who are usually bigger, stronger and heavier than they are. With a pistol in their pocketbooks (sorry, I can't help my stereotyping; I relish it) they confront their attackers on an equal basis.

There is a wealth of empirical evidence, as well as common sense, attesting women known to be well armed are safer. Pistol and rifle target shooting is an Olympic event. Why don't universities have girls' (there I go again) teams in these sports? But wait: there is one benefit to "Take Back the Night" marches, and I do want to be fair: whenever rapists contemplate these events, they keel over in laughter. They are laughing so uproariously that at least during these times they are incapable of raping anyone.

In the view of most feminists, capitalism is to blame for the wage gap of some 25 to 30 percent. They claim that "sexism" is responsible for the fact that men earn more than women on average. Not at all. This is due in large part, instead, to the economic doctrine of alternative costs: whenever you do anything, you do it at the cost of not being able to do something else as well as you otherwise might have been able to do. Women bear a disproportionate share of housework. Stipulating that they are otherwise equally productive to men, this alone would account for a large share of the so-called wage "gap."

Feminists will undoubtedly interpret the foregoing as evidence that I hate women. Nonsense. Some of my best friends are women. I admire many women. I do not at all mean to put down the distaff side; very much the opposite. I wish to rid our better halves of this virus that inflicts them: feminism.

Walter Block is an economics professor. He can be reached at wblock@loyno.edu

On the Record is a weekly column open to any member of Loyola's faculty and staff. Those interested in contributing can contact letter@loyno.edu


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