20 Mar The Best and the Worst of Feminism: A comparison of UN Events
Friends of the UN believe international government is too good to be true and desire the most effective institutions. Opponents fear the UN is too true to be good and hope for an ineffective global power structure. However, both groups should consider the effect that feminism has on the UN, where numerous viewpoints are exchanged by nearly two-hundred nations. Currently, feminism is a philosophy for the empowerment of women and the absolute, leveling equality of political standing, gender roles, and societal function. If one attends different Side-Events at the Commission on the Status of Women, one realizes the advantages and disadvantages of the feminist voice.
Feminism at its Best: an Ineffective Servant
A Side-Event devoted to the “Safety of Women Journalists” reveals the feminist perspective at its best. The opening remarks from Austrian minister Martin Sajdik introduced the subject of violence against journalists as especially pertinent to women. The attending minister from Costa- Rica concurred, adding that the past year marked a 33% increase in journalist killings, reaching a historical all-time high. Recorded violence against women was especially prevalent, and the report highlighted increased instances of intimidation, threats, detainment, torture, rape, and killing.
The subject of women became a hangnail in a larger discussion about violence against journalists. The first panel speaker, Lauren Wolfe, stressed that this is not a women’s issue but a journalists’ issue. Men and women are targeted and attacked in different ways. Females are frequently raped in mobs, but males are often detained by authorities and imprisoned in foreign countries. Another journalist claimed that violence against women is not significantly worse, but different. Of the four panelists, one of the journalists insisted that women were especially under siege, while the other three identified a larger problem and exhorted governments to rescue journalists from a growing international danger.
Violence against journalists is a growing threat, but the tools of feminism are too narrow and specific to assist in a legitimate international problem. When a good question demands a feminist answer, the result is unhelpful because feminism provides an incomplete cross-section of society, packaged with a distorted philosophy. At its best, the feminist solutions for empowerment and equality prove ineffective in the face of important global concerns.
Opponents of the United Nations should recognize that feminism provides a skewed worldview for addressing questions far outside its reach. It paralyzes legitimate discussion on important issues by seeking to fulfill a specialized agenda. Lovers of the United Nations should recognize that feminism is not a holistic philosophy, but an incomplete methodology. If anything, feminism should restrain itself to the questions it is designed to answer.
Feminism at its Worst: a Terrible Master
When the feminist agenda leads discussions at the United Nations, it becomes worse than unhelpful. The movement defines all inequality as “Violence against Women.” Anything short of equality is violent. Thus, contemporary feminists focus on social development, re-engineering, and re-education. For example, Norway hosted a Side Event titled, “Gender-Based Violence Prevention as a Human Right and a Legally Binding State Obligation.”
The minister from Norway opened with an exhortation for leveling gender roles and power imbalances between the sexes. Norway had already achieved policies that encouraged men to become “caregivers,” thereby making them more empathetic, docile, and nonviolent. The minister also promoted new scientific developments such as “electronic tagging,” setting apart violent male threats from the rest of society.
In addition, Norway boasts feminist- operated rehabilitation clinics for aggressive men. The “state” has taken the feminine gender and the role of the nanny. Inequality is violence against women, which in turn is violence against children, and violence against children is violence against society and the future. Therefore, it is in the best interest of society for the state to provide caregivers for children who experience violence in the home, whether physical or psychological. To do so, however, the state must first deconstruct existing power structures, namely, the traditional family.
The minister from South Africa added that one out of every three women is raped in her lifetime. She argued that the state must develop methods of intervention, protection, empowerment, and prosecution. Society must intervene by redefining masculinity, protecting victims, and empowering women. In addition, South Africa is testing new court-systems that are exclusively devoted to sexual crimes, based on the idea that men cannot be trusted alone with the court system.
Jody Williams, a Nobel Prize winner and activist since Vietnam, argued that the patriarchal system is inherently evil. She advocated a dismantling effort at the grassroots level. Gary Barker, another panelist, countered that men have deep-seated empathy and nonviolence that needs reawakening. Governments must pass laws promoting equality, but campaigns should cater to men in nuanced media approaches that offer positive messages on the proper treatment of women while promoting empathy and the virtues of caregiving. Men need to participate in this process.
When the floor opened for questions, a woman stood and introduced herself as Thomas. She declared that feminists should give up on men and focus entirely on controlling the education of the young. Thomas voiced the disgust of the female audience and panelists. For them it seemed obvious that men were to blame for societal ills, and they were the heroes who would liberate society from itself.
With the entire feminist agenda in view, it’s devastating implications are clear. Equality means the dismantling of the family, the leveling of the military, and the destruction of any institution with gender-specific roles. The state becomes the coercive equalizer by redefining gender roles and engineering a new concept of masculinity. Men and children must be controlled by the state; only such a society could satisfy the insatiable libertine desires of the feminist agenda.
Evidently, the feminist perspective is most useful when it is limited to a supportive role and unique perspective in a larger analysis. It exacerbates problems when it maintains a radical agenda and narrow worldview. It is inimical to stable governing bodies because it swears allegiance to social-leveling politics by promising a common purpose and injecting viral ideologies into the bloodstream of slow-moving politics.
Ethan Foster is a student of Political Theory at Patrick Henry College. His interests include reading, writing, debating, playing the piano, and beekeeping. Ethan plans on going to law school and hopes to become a political activist on behalf of family values.