Feminism needs rethinking

Matthew White

It might be my boorish Midwestern roots speaking, but the theories espoused by feminists seem to miss the point of male-female equality.

Some of these theories bring to mind images of rogue-citizen vigilantes rising up and instituting “equality” through force. For example, Mary Daly, a self-proclaimed radical feminist, used the power of her position to do just that.

In 1998, Daly refused to admit male students into her Boston College classes. When challenged, she took the position that she would rather resign than admit the students. Later, after her employment was terminated, she filed a lawsuit.

Judge Martha Sosman, who presided over the case, said, “Indeed there is no question that the school has adequate cause to terminate Daly if for some reason her promise to resign turns out to be unenforceable.”

In short, Daly’s actions, a result of her flawed notion of equality, were enough of a reason to fire her.

Not all theories of feminism require such separate-but-equal tactics, but they are equally troublesome. For instance, other feminists largely view the criminalization of prostitution to be an act of male dominance. Now, sensible people realize that prostitution is illegal because it’s harmful to society and to the individuals who engage in the practice.

However, these feminists believe someone in high office wants to keep women down. This is an example of ignoring the best interests for society in pursuit of a narrow, misguided agenda.

Theories like those espoused by Daly and other feminists simply miss the point that true male-female equality comes from a sex-neutral society. Overly intellectual feminist theories are great for academic settings, but are largely impractical and fail when held up to objective standards of justice.

A better definition of feminism would be equal rights for equal responsibilities, such as what exists now under the law.

Women deserve equal treatment in the social, professional and academic worlds. But, they also deserve equal responsibilities. Women pay the same taxes and have the same Constitutional rights as men, and because of that, they deserve exactly the same circumstances.

For example, women serving our nation in the military are given a defacto, second-class status because there are activities they’re not allowed to do, such as serving on the front lines. If the true spirit of equality were carried forth from our Constitution, then this practice would be ended.

To end sexist discrimination, we need to change opinions, and the best way to do that is to remind one another of the sensible approach already adopted into law.

Matthew White is a senior magazine journalism major and point/counterpoint columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].