Sunday, December 21, 2008

Feminist mythology

Kathy Shaidle levels her aim at the myth that the "women's movement" was necessary because discrimination prevented women from pursuing careers. This myth allows feminists to take credit for all achievement by women, suggesting that if you are a woman today who isn't barefoot, pregnant and doing some guy's laundry, you owe a debt of gratitude to Ti-Grace Atkinson, Mary Daly, et al.

Some people really need to read Domestic Tranquility by Carolyn Graglia, who was a lawyer before anybody outside the world of Communist fellow-travelers ever heard of Betty Friedan. A gendered world -- where certain careers are viewed as "men's jobs" -- does not necessarily equate to discrimination. Consider the career field of long-haul trucking. Very nearly all semi-truck drivers are male. Does this mean trucking companies discriminate again women? No, it just means that very few women are interested in driving trucks for a living.

To the egalitarian mind, inequality can only be explained in terms of injustice. If immigrants from Fiji and their descendants are 0.01% of the U.S. population, and there is some career field -- say, for example, biomedical technology -- in which Fiji-Americans are less than 0.01% of the workforce, the egalitarian mind deduces that the biomedical technology industry is animated by anti-Fijian bias. And don't you dare deny it, buddy!

The "diversity" rationale embodies this kind of mental rigidity. When I lived in Georgia, some student columnist at Berry College wrote a hand-wringing column bemoaning the lack of "diversity" at the school. Now, Berry is a private liberal arts school where tuition, room and board amount to $30,000 a year. And Georgia not only has a very robust state university system, but it also has a number of famed historically black colleges like Morehouse, Morris Brown and Clark-Atlanta. So the fact that 89% of Berry students are white doesn't suggest any discrimination on the part of Berry, it merely reflects the reality of the situation. A minority student with a 1,200 SAT has many other options, and there is only so much a small liberal arts school can offer in the way of inducements.

Why, then, was that Berry student wringing his hands? Because, to the egalitarian mind, it is not sufficient that minority students have opportunities for education, or that 11% of Berry's students are "diverse." No, all institutions must be equally diverse, and if Berry is less diverse than other institutions, something has gone horribly wrong.

And so, back to feminism's absurd mythology. It's the Kara Hultgreen syndrome. Kara Hultgreen died in 1994 because the Navy was trying to push her into becoming America's first female combat fighter pilot. She was allowed to continue training after repeatedly committing errors that would have caused any male trainee to be washed out of the program. And then she committed the error that killed her, and the Navy engaged in a cover-up to hide the reality.

Why? Because the egalitarian mind assumed there was some kind of injustice involved in the previously all-male status of the Navy's fighter-pilot cadre, and therefore having a female fighter pilot would represent "progress" toward equality. It's the same mentality that got Larry Summers purged at Harvard. I'm not against female pilots or female research scientists, I just can't understand why institutions tie themselves in knots trying to eliminate statistical disparities that don't actually involve unjust discrimination.

This is especially true because there is no substantial evidence that radical egalitarianism actually improves the quality of life for the "victims" it professes to help, while forcing society into artificial patterns that don't work as well as traditional, voluntary ways of life:
Believe me sir, those who attempt to level, never equalize. In all societies, consisting of various descriptions of citizens, some description must be uppermost. The levelers, therefore, only change and pervert the natural order of things; they load the edifice of society by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground.
Truth is a most durable commodity.

UPDATE: Little Miss Attila is mad at me. But it's OK. What kind of feminist goes for Mary Kay?


  1. That 'mythology of egalitarianism' also happened to be the (unstated) premise behind GWB's push for "everybody own a home!!!"...

    Worked there, too, right?

  2. "...GWB's push for "everybody own a home..."

    GWB's push?

  3. Uh, hey there, Dad29. Is it that you haven't been paying attention? Or is it that you are just stupid? You've obviously set reality aside if you believe that Bush is solely to blame for this financial meltdown. Better dig a little deeper. Moron.