I have been called many things in my life: awesome, hot, humble (ok, scrap that last one) but I have never been called a ‘real danger.’ But I like it, a real danger – I think I will use for my Twitter profile.
Nor has anyone wanted to ‘nip me in the bud,’ but then Victoria Bateman came along. She tried to do some nipping, against our push back against modern feminism, here. She failed.
There is a lot (of mumbo jumbo) in this piece but I’ll boil it down for you, buds and all.
The thesis seems to be: the economy and society are intertwined; feminism is about choice; and men are bad at ballroom dancing.
First, she noted how social and economic policies are interdependent. If we want to have a small state, we need strong families. It is a symbiotic relationship – the greater the family breakdown, the bigger the State. Further, strong families are a necessary if not sufficient condition for a successful economy.
Amen to that I say, and did say something similar-ish way back when, but boy did I receive some push back for it.
We are to believe that the Conservative Party is currently undergoing a ‘transformation’ and looking to strengthen families to shrink the State. Ah, the Conservative Party. They sure are into strong families, if you leave aside the ‘shagging flow charts’ necessary to follow the RoadTrip 2015 shenanigans. Still, the Conservative Party has always been more about ‘do as I say not as I do’ so we will move swiftly on, or back to basics, I can’t keep up.
We are also to believe that if we have more female economists, it will follow that the importance of care within families will be valued. That is a nice idea, but I see no evidence of it occurring. I also hazard a guess that if you are truly to appreciate the value of care given to young and old you have to live it – at least a little. Most high-status professional feminists to date have been interested in using their position to clamour for more out-sourced state-funded child-care and telling us all how important women are to the public sphere and not their kids.
Next we have the Real Housewives of Conservative Woman. Real Housewives – Real Danger! Note, if you will, the choice of the term, housewives over full-time mothers. Obviously using a term that implies I am married to a house over caring for my children is more accurate, or not, depending on your view.
Victoria throws us the whole, feminism is about choice, garbage. If you want to be traditional ‘there is no law against it.’ Feminism used to be about choice, true, but modern feminism is not.
I know this because modern feminists tell us it is not about choice and because they have set up the ‘parity paradigm.’
When feminists trash full-time mothers then they are not into choice.
When feminists take the time and trouble to write a book against ‘choice feminism’ and order women to “Get to Work” (and leave the kids in nursery – that bit is always left out) saying any woman who stays at home is choosing an ‘impoverished life’ you have got a problem.
Here Linda Hirshman argues that caring for children full-time is an ‘impoverished life’ as it “allows fewer opportunities for full human flourishing than public spheres like the market or the government. This less flourishing sphere is not the natural or moral responsibility only of women.”
When mainstream journalists in the paper of record call new mothers who take their full maternity leave entitlement to care for their infants ‘smug’, then it is not about choice or respect. It is about name-calling. Go fem-splain that one for me, Victoria.
The other big problem with modern feminism is the ‘parity paradigm.’ When feminists say that equality means we must have exact parity of pay cheque and professional position with men, then I am afraid it follows that if women choose to take even a short break from career to look after young children this will cost the equality spreadsheet dear. Therefore, choice and equality in the parity sense are mutually exclusive.
Women who choose to care for children themselves and not pay others to do it, often cannot or choose not to acquire seniority or the same pay with men in the public sphere. This will contribute to the pay gap, which impacts by definition upon the modern feminist idea of equality. As I have said before, the equality – parity of pay packet thing – was a classic bait and switch that few saw coming. Indeed, much of feminism is about telling other women what to do.
That is why modern feminism is not about choice or respect and it is “about turning women into men.”
Finally, comes the crux. It can be summed up with – men, it is all your fault!
There is a lot of comedy here but it goes something like this. Let us pretend in the magical, mystical world called femi-land that men can get pregnant, give birth and lactate. This way they can share the childcare duty equally with women. What is more it is good for men to do this, so stop keeping it to yourself, women.
Victoria tells us, “Like a ballroom dance, if women change their step and men stand firm, toes are hurt and the dance floor turns to chaos. If society has broken down, it is because adjustment has not been shared equally by men as well as women. When women enter the workplace, men need to do more outside of work to keep things moving.”
First up, no one does ballroom dancing anymore, Victoria, they swipe, often to the right. Something I also blame feminism for.
Secondly – and Belinda Brown has already explained this to you – men got married and went out to work not just for the sexy time but also for the status! The feminists got rid of the status so now many men are opting out. You can shout at them all you want, but that does not mean they will do as they are told.
Now, I know lots of families where the earning and caring responsibilities are shared. I know some families where Dad stays at home, although usually the children are older. And I say more power to them, I really do. This will happen in middle-class families because, as Victoria says, women have greater bargaining power. Although in the past I do think this occurred in working-class families also, but the feminists airbrushed it out of history.
This is the fault line however – we believe men (in general) are different to women. It is in our tag line – Vive la Difference!
We do believe women are better at caring for infants and young children on the whole, compared with men. Dads can do it if need be – of course. But it should primarily be Mum. It does not mean this is the only thing she has to do, but is her primary responsibility. Women are also better at keeping the ties that bind together; they are more social. I realise you cannot say this anymore but there, I have said it. I am a ‘real danger’ after all.
The Victoria Bateman grand plan seems to be “removing constraints all together” (really?) and after years of feminism trashing marriage and men, saying men were surplus to requirements as we have the big Daddy State, now we want men back but entirely on our terms and mainly to do the childcare? That is the plan? This is the negotiation technique? Ok, you go with that then and let me know how it turns out.
The fact is Victoria and I both know that middle-class woman are fine and will be fine and so will their children. It is working-class women and their children who will suffer from this. As documented, in Our Kids, which describes how working class women have few contributions either financially or in terms of care from the fathers of their children, the gap between the working-class and the middle-class in the US is growing and it is here. The State, which must pick up the pieces, is also growing.
Part of the legacy of the feminist revolution is male flight. Is this opt-out from responsibility by some men, right? No. Is it reality? Yes and since you got rid of the patriarchy by revolution and instead of reforming it, I don’t know of a system yet that will change it.