Feminism is good
Feminism is the belief in woman’s social, political, and economic rights in terms of equality of the sexes.i In the year 2022 few would argue against equality of the two sexesii and as such the role of feminism has been a positive one in our society. Equality is a good.
But what happens when the pendulum swings from one extreme to another. Today “Fewer men go… to college… fewer men on pathways to economic prosperity. College-educated men earn a median $900,000 more over their lifetimes than those who only graduated from high school. And that has implications for their prospects of forming meaningful relationships. Boys also face unique threats which have been getting more ominous in recent years — and they are ill prepared for these challenges by a culture that conflates masculinity with toxicity and aggression with strength. …[one of the results is that] Men are twice as likely to overdose, three and a half times more likely to commit suicide and are more than nine times more likely to be incarcerated.”iii
Your still feathering a nest
What happens to career feminists with university pensions when more women are in university than meniv, when women make the same or more than menv and equality is achieved. Most get on with their lives, but a few re brand and try to pivot the movement, in the process they lose direction, lacks popular support, becomes less effective and the evangelicals and those opposed to equality, opposed to feminist values can push their agenda. This is the story of 3rd and 4th wave feminism
First Wave Feminism
The first wave of feminism occurred during the late 19th century, in Europe and North America. It did not occur in Africa, Asia, the Middle east or India. The comparison is fascinating and very culturally specific. In the protestant “West”, countries influenced by enlightenment thinkers, Canada, the United States, Britain and Europe it was about the right to vote and clearly that idea came after the reformation and enlightenment. It could not have been otherwise.
Women in Upper Canada had the right to vote in 1810
The inability to vote affected 95% of the population, including men and women. Only Men and Women with land and who met an income requirement could vote in Upper Canada in 1810.vi For a history of voting in Canada go here. (Summary in the works: A history of the vote in Canada Published by Minister of public works and government services 1997 For the Chief Electoral officer of Canada) The issue of the women s right to vote was entangled in the rights of men, the landless, the working poor and anyone on the government payroll. Indians, judges, teachers, anyone paid by the public purse wwas not eligible / entitled to vote.
The women s movement at that time was appealing to most of the population who wanted the vote. The success was also assisted by large numbers of men being killed in the first world war leading to a shortage of labour and the rise of popular movements, the end of the monarchiesvii and the rise of communismviii around the world. The ruling class made concessions on threat of more violent revolution. So women, men without land and government employees were eventually over a 40 year period all given the right to vote.
A white women’s struggle
First wave feminism was a white women s struggle because in Canada in 1900 white women made up 49% of the population, white men made up 49 % and visible minorities less than 2%.ix Canada pre 1960 was for all intents and purposes built by White Europeans so naturally the struggles were for and about White Europeans. Perhaps a revisionist history would suggest that 98% of the work was done by this 2% who were slaves, serfs and chained in dungeons but that is not the case and no amount of inter sectional analysis can change history.
Later Marxists feminists like Sharon Smith complain about the whiteness of the feminist movement without acknowledging the obvious fact that Canada was a white country. “Black feminism has a long and complex history, based on the recognition that the system of chattel slavery and, since then, modern racism and racial segregation have caused Black women to suffer in ways that are never experienced by white women.x A claim that in a Canadian context is patently absurd.
All cultures have experiences with slavery, feudalism, serfdom, racial segregation and public executions. It is the story of all societies thru all time. The only thing unique about slavery in North America is that it was banned while it continues in large parts of Africa, the Middle east and Asia today. The rise of this false narrative is the part of the reason for the fall of the feminist movement and one of the reason conservatives are passing anti abortion regulations with little resistance todayxi.
I see any analysis based on gender, race or envy as being fraught with oversight. First wave feminism succeeded because it was just and fair for all the population but most importantly it fit in with the plans of the corporate industrialist. The filters in the media and tax law all encourage the commodification of our lives.
The business case for Feminism
The first wave of feminism appealed to the corporate class. By taking women out of the home commodifying a previously relation based structure with an economic one that could be exploited and put them into industry thus driving down the price of labour as the pool of available workers just doubled in number. While the change was just; it happened in an environment of active wage suppression and feminism was a very convenient aspect, albeit a small aspect of that suppression.
Contributors to wage suppression 1960 to 2020
1) suppressing of wages thru employer concentrationxii
3) suppression of wages thru women entering the workforce
4) continued commodification of our families and lifestylesxv
5) Devaluation of labour thru growth in world population <3 Billion 1960; >8 Billion 2020
Why widespread support and success?
First wave feminism was fair and just and was supported by 95% of the population because it was relevant to 95% of the population.
i Definition of feminism https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism
iiThere are only two sexes
- There is a no sex “spectrum,” where people can choose “to identify as male or female,”
- This is irrational and has “no basis in reality,” biologists claim.
- “It is false at every conceivable scale of resolution.”
- “In humans, as in most animals or plants, an organism’s biological sex corresponds to one of two distinct types of reproductive anatomy that develop for the production of small or large sex cells—sperm and eggs, respectively—and associated biological functions in sexual reproduction.”
iiiBoys perform worse than girls: by Scott Galloway is a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a writer and podcast host. His new streaming show No Mercy, No Malice https://lite.cnn.com/en/article/h_1c99cbdc05a1143373ba49883ed95988
ivMore women in colleges than men 2022
The article explains:
- Since the 1990s, women have earned college degrees at higher rates than men.
- Women outpace men in college graduation and enrollment rates.
- Women account for 60% of all college students by the end of the 2020-2021 academic year.
- Women’s rise is explained by the passage of Title IX in 1972, the promotion of gender equality in education
- Mens dwindling numbers in education is clearly the result of quotas for women.
vWomen make more than men
- Pew Research Center analyzed the pay gap for young workers in 250 metro areas.
- In 22 metros, young women made as much, if not more, than their male peers.
- In 20% of the analysis women under 30 had the same median annual earnings as men.
- The pay gap…narrowest [until] one takes maternity leave.
vi Election Proclamation 1810 Men and Women “who met the property and income qualifications would have been eligible to vote in Lower Canada. Everyone who wished to vote gathered in one place and declared thier choice before the assembled crowd of voters.” From Text Box Introduction page XV A history of the vote in Canada Published by Minister of public works and government services 1997 For the Chief Electoral officer of Canada
viiEnd of the monarchies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abolition_of_monarchy
viiiRed scare article in Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Scare
ixChange in percentage of “visible minorities” In 2011, the percentage of “visible minorities” was 19.1%. 50 years earlier in 1960 it was just 2%. By 2031, that number is expected to grow to 30.6%. Vancouver and Toronto are expected to become “majority-minority” cities with 60% belonging to a “visible minority” group by then.
Have Canada’s changing demographics made it time to retire the concept of ‘visible minority’?. June 27, 2014 6:25 PM ET. National Post.
x Sharon Smith, A Marxist Case For Intersectionality (August 1, 2017), Socialist Worker https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Black_feminism
xiPeople support a womens right to choose, the laws do not https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/3271762-americas-views-on-abortion-remain-steady-its-laws-are-a-different-story/
xiiExcellent article on suppression of wages due to employer concentration. In a town with one walmart vs a town with 10 small stores, wage competition will be greater in the town with 10 small stores. Employer concentration was often thought to be a niche issue, confined to a few factory towns or rural hospitals. But, in more recent years, a number of researchers have documented higher-than-expected employer concentration across large swathes of the U.S. labor market.
xiiiStudies find that immigration affects low-waged workers the most negatively.
xivThe Bank of England found that a 10% increase in the proportion of foreign born workers in lower paid service jobs was associated with a near 2% fall in average pay for those jobs, when focusing on particular regions.https://fullfact.org/immigration/does-immigration-reduce-wages/
xvNotes about commodifactaion from Wikipedia
- To understand our corporate system is to understand the commidification of every aspect of our lives, make a buck any way and where you can. How much do you charge? As much as you can. The social impact of this attitude was described by Marx as “commodity fetishism”
- Prior to being turned into a commodity, people exist as a community and do not exchange money for service, nor barter for service, but rather make deposits in a sort of social bank account making deposits when you can and withdrawals when needed. This is how man existed for all ages. After our relationships became a commodity, we fell from the garden. Considerations such as kindness, care, morality, social value, environmental impact,virtue, love, conscience and aesthetic appeal are obsolete in a commodified ecomomy.
- Commodifications of humans exists as wage slavery, surrogacy, human organ trade, human trafficking, people are commodified or ‘turned into objects’ when selling their labour on the market to an employer.