I don’t understand feminism. Really I don’t. Although I’ve had it explained to me a number of times, I still don’t get it. Oh, I’m making progress, but it’s slow.
I was impressed when feminists said that women who serve in combat have to risk their lives for strangers. But I was puzzled when they said that women who conceive don’t have to risk their lives for their unborn children.
I didn’t realize we were supposed to put strangers ahead of kin. I thought charity began at home. Maybe because strangers are harder to love it’s more charitable to favour them.
This, I guess, is why feminists support women who nurture other peoples’ handicapped children in institutions but fracture their own in the womb. I suspect it’s a kind of preferential option for the unfamiliar. If so, it explains feminist approval of parents who choose outsiders over relatives for daycare. It also makes sense of feminist support for mothers who work fulltime in the service industry, waiting on customers they don’t know, rather than family members they love.
Apparently, a lot of deep thought went into the feminist position on discrimination. As far as I can tell, feminists oppose discrimination on all the popular grounds except residence. Although not racists, feminists are placists. They support eviction from the womb, the place where the unborn reside.
But they support it inclusively. When practicing placial discrimination, they evict all colours and both sexes. It’s a commitment to racial and sexual equality of which they’re quite proud.
Don’t ask me to explain their commitment to the environment. Feminist wisdom on the subject is too complex for me to unravel. On the one hand, they promote natural over chemical methods of controlling weeds and insect pests. On the other hand, they promote chemical over natural methods of controlling human fertility.
Via birth control pills, feminists encourage women to consume and discharge synthetic hormones in huge quantities, and they don’t seem to worry about pollution. Maybe they’ve discovered that Mother Nature needs hormone replacement therapy, and they want to help.
They also don’t seem to mind when women use artificial beauty aids. Although naturally more attractive than men, women apply cosmetics more liberally, more extensively and more often. Does this make sense to you? It doesn’t to me, cosmetically or ecologically. Eventually all creams, lotions, pastes, powders, dyes, thickeners, extenders, implants, and what not end up in the environment. Maybe Mother Nature needs a makeover, too.
When I first noticed them, feminists were scolding men for turning women into sex objects. Bravo, I thought, it’s a cause worth fighting for. But as female styles and lifestyles became more provocative, I didn’t notice many feminists scolding women for turning themselves into sex objects. The feminists were uncharacteristically silent.
Eventually, though, I figured out why. Unlike male ogling, female provocation isn’t negative, apparently. On the contrary, it’s affirmative action aimed at helping women reach equality with men in sex-object turning.
Equality seems an obsession with feminists. It’s the thing about them I understand least. I thought they favoured female advancement. Apparently they don’t. Otherwise, why would they want women to be equal when in so many ways they’re superior? It’s as though they favoured female decline.
Even feminists acknowledge that women are more nurturant than men and better at relationships and communication. So it’s a mystery to me why they’d want to give up such desirable advantages. I guess I underestimated feminist humility.
They even downplay motherhood. Oh, they know that it’s unique and irreplaceable. Feminists aren’t stupid. Yet they still devalue it. The best reason I can think of is that they feel sorry for men because women absolutely outclass them in this respect. I guess I underestimated feminist compassion.
Maybe I have difficulty with feminism because I take it too seriously. If I took it humorously, the contradictions might be easier to digest. Humour thrives on contradictions. Just as sticks skillfully rubbed produce fire, contradictions artfully arranged induce laughter.
No matter how old, paradoxical jokes still amuse me. I especially enjoy the one about the student who aced his ethics exam by cheating, or the other one about the commercial sign that declared, “We repair anything,” above a hand written note that said, “Please knock. The bell is out of order.”
I don’t mean to suggest that feminism is a joke. I mean, rather, that it would make more sense, and be a lot more fun, if feminists were clowns.