It’s not every day that one’s asked to stand up in front of a crowd and talk about why one chooses to be identified with a pro-family and pro-life organization such as R.E.A.L. Women of Canada. So I’m very happy to have been asked to speak to you on this very subject…particularly from the point of view of a young, single career woman.
Why, indeed, would someone such as myself reject the feminist line as professed by the National Action committee on the Status of Women and instead, opt for the R.E.A.L. Women view of things? There are many reasons for my rejection of the feminists, but I think all of these reasons can be summed up in one central idea – the fact that feminist ideology is based upon a severe distortion of reality. As far as I’m concerned, the feminists are completely out of touch with the true nature of things.
To begin with the feminist notion of equality is false. You and I (and other sensible people), have no trouble recognizing inherent differences between male and female along with their essential equality. However, the feminist sees no differences between the sexes, except for reproduction. To her, man and woman are the same and are to be treated as such her notion of equality is equivalence. Now if you follow through with such a false view of equality, you end up with some pretty dire results. Gender-free legislation which will treat us with the same severity as men in the law courts of Canada with no provision for femaleness whatsoever. A wife will no longer have the right to be supported by her husband; she will have no right to maternity leave, but she will gain the right to abort her own child on the grounds that to deny that right would be sexually discriminating.
This false notion of equality is also reflected in affirmative action- a concept based on the assumption that the sexes are the same and, therefore it is only natural to strive towards a more equal representation of both men and women in the working world. But both the premise and the deduction are simply not true. A woman is not equivalent to a man, and the imposition of mandatory hiring quotas to ensure a more equal representation in the workforce is one of the most unnatural things you can do. It is also unfair-unfair because it replaces the old idea of equality of opportunity with the new notion of equality of outcome. Equality of opportunity means freedom to choose whatever field you wish; equality of outcome means some external authority decides how many numbers of each sex should end up in various occupations. If that’s the case, both men and women are being discriminated against. Freedom to choose becomes coercion to fit in with a blueprint.
Obsession with equivalence
Another area, in which the false feminist view of equality and their fear of freedom is exhibited, is in the concept of “equal pay for work of equal value.” Again, they are not satisfied with the old idea of equal pay for equal work, but have to come up with a new notion, which to their minds is infinitely superior and more just. But upon examination, third new notion is infinitely inferior and most unjust. This feminist obsession with equivalence drives them to try at all cost to prove the equal value of differing jobs and functions. But who determines the equal value? No longer the free market but a government bureaucracy. When I hear that I become very uncomfortable. Bureaucratic intervention isn’t my idea of a free society.
One of the aspects of feminist ideology I find most repulsive and one in which they are doing an admirable job at distorting reality is their “politicization” of the relationship between man and woman. That relationship is one of the last areas in which you would expect to have to deal with the language of politics. Yet it’s so prevalent that most of the women I know can only think of a relationship in political terms. Man is the oppressor and woman the victim. Power has been in the male domain for far too long and it is up to women to fight and stand up for their rights. (You might as well be talking about the revolution in Nicaragua.) In fact, recently I picket up an agenda for International Women’s Week 1985 and was shocked by the terminology used-it was so blatantly revolutionary: phrased such as “chains on women” and “day of resistance.” Personally, I find such a state of affairs tragic. It sis so revealing of a total unfamiliarity with the world of personal relationships and the kind of love and trust between a man and woman that absolutely precludes any thought of political rights! However, I find a curious irony here.
Even in the man-woman relationship, they haven’t succeeded in identifying the true power that women have-simply being women. A power that is not political, but is infinitely more powerful. It is the power women have through being utterly female; the power in society to set the standards for moral behavior through personal relationships; and the power through that to alter the very direction of a society and nation-whether it be towards moral anarchy for decency; towards respect for life or its destruction; towards respect for the dignity of both men and women or towards a lack of respect. You may ask what I mean by this in practical terms.
By way of an example, it is my personal opinion that to the extent to which women have permitted promiscuous sexual activity before marriage, so too have they increased the incidence of physical violence against women. By permitting such behavior, you effectively are saying that you, the woman, have no respect for your own body. You put no barriers between the world and your physical availability and the result isn’t sexual freedom but sexual abuse. This, I admit, is a crude example but it’s only one of the many areas in which women have power through their actions to dictate what is acceptable and what isn’t. It stuns me sometimes what phenomenal power we have just by being women to alter so radically the whole ethos of a society. And I ask you the question: “How many women realize that?”
By way of a closing remark on the “politicization” of the man-woman relationship, allow me to share with you one of my favourite quotes. I hesitate slightly in using it, because it’s from one of Shakespeare’s plays and tends to sound very grandiose to a twentieth century ear. However, grandiose or not, it’s very apt. It comes at the very end of The Taming of the Shrew when Katherine has at last been softened into her feminine self and says: “I am ashamed that women are so simple that they should offer war, where they should kneel for peace.” Shakespeare hit it right on the head I this statement. For then, as for now, we can only be ashamed of the simple-mindedness of the feminists and their lack of intelligence which induces them to fight, rather than to be uniquely feminine agents for peace in all relationships. It took Katherine the shrew a while to learn that she was her most fulfilled by being a woman. We wonder how long it will take the feminists to come to the same conclusion.
When you get right down to it, the feminist line attacks not only the true nature of woman, but the nature of society itself. For most women, whether career-minded or not, the ultimate fulfillment of their lives is the role of wife and mother. Nothing in the world can replace the uniqueness of that position-not even a career-no matter how successful or fulfilling. However, the feminists would have us believe that any work outside the home is infinitely more rewarding, more valuable and even better for your mental health I cite the example of a survey done recently of hundreds of women across the county who were asked if working outside the home improved their marriages. The answer was an overwhelming “yes” –it was the best thing that ever happened to their marriages. In some cases I’m sure that was true, but I suspect that a vast majority of those women were not the dynamic homemakers with interesting lives that you and I know. Instead, many of them were probably the type of people who were bored and boring at home and id their husbands a great service by focusing outwards a little more.
The issue is not that work outside the home is superior; the issue is work. If you’re a dedicated wife and mother, chances are you will lead a far more interesting and varied life than someone fixed into a nine to five position with fifteen minute coffee breaks! So this type of survey and the way it’s presented is damaging to the extreme. It fosters and promotes the image of homemaker as bored, boring, unfulfilled and lacking in motivation. We know that simply isn’t true and tat in the twentieth century homemakers have the greatest opportunity they’ve ever had to be as professional at their role as they wish. So once again, the feminist line falls short of the truth in regards to women.
Murder is justified
For the true nature of woman, which the feminists have missed, is designed to serve and nurture. Instead, they stand for the opposite-selfishness and hedonism. Perhaps the ultimate expression of that is their support for reproductive choice-which usually means choosing after the conception of a child. In other words, to a feminist, her murder of her own child is justified on selfish grounds, as is her support of no-fault divorce and universal daycare. All of these things place her, the woman, above the the right to life of her own child; above the responsibility of keeping a marriage commitment and above the responsibility of bringing up her children. And all in the name of self-fulfillment!
An example of this extreme hedonism and “self-fulfillment” drive is the situation among a few Hollywood actresses who have now decided to have children, but willfully refuse to marry. Thankfully, they haven’t killed their children but the tragedy is that their attitude reveals “baby is for me…for my completion as a woman” and there is no thought for “baby” as a person in his or her own right who requires a secure home and family and identity I which to live! Having a baby has become an utterly selfish pursuit!
And so this attitude comes full circle to affect the family and society, not just woman, in affecting the family, the feminist line exacerbates the problem of lack of community-perhaps one of the most outstanding problems, particularly in Canada/ By saying to a woman there is nothing to being a wife, a other, or rearing a family-there is only the work world-you force her to make her life an economic exercise and in that shift of emphasis you bypass community, you bypass what it means to tea a nation. You take away the most singularly important component of our community-the wife and mother.
A little personal perspective at this point. At the moment I’m pursuing a career- it may come to fruition, it may not. But I can tell you the working world is no joy. It’s a hard, rough, tough place and I don’t believe most women are designed for it-physically, mentally or emotionally. You find yourself hardening and if you don’t monitor yourself at times you can begin to lose the femininity which makes our society far the richer. I know that I’ made for a home and when thee opportunity does eventually present itself, I’ll swallow it hook, line and sinker! I look forward to the freedom to organize my day as efficiently as I think best and to live in a world in which I set my own standards and am not beholden to the organization or the corporation.
All this being said, these are my reasons for being a part of R.E.A.L. Women of Canada.
This is the text of a speech given at the “Women in the 80’s Conference,” R.E.A.L. Women of Canada, Toronto, February 2, 1985