Flat White

Why modern-day feminism is inherently sexist

28 March 2018

4:23 PM

28 March 2018

4:23 PM

Despite the protest from Magda Szubanski that the golden statuette awarded at the Oscars needs to be more “non-binary”, I think it’s a great symbol for what modern feminists think the perfect man should be. Just think about it: he’s rich, never says anything, keeps his hands firmly to himself  but — most of all — has no testicles. As Jimmy Kimmel joked at this year’s opening ceremony, “He is truly a statue of limitations”.

An increasing number of women—such as Miranda Devine’s, “The real cost of empowering women”, Bettina Arndt’s recent interview with Augusto Zimmerman, as well as the many excellent articles by Corinne Barraclough and Daisy Cousens—are starting to challenge the inherent sexism undergirding so much of modern-day feminism. As Cousens said on The Bolt Report:

I’ve been dreading International Women’s Day to be honest, because I knew it would just be this victim… back-scratching… circle of this petty… #MeToo… #TimesUp… Western feminism, that bears no resemblance to what the movement really was initially. And I’ve gone past the point actually where I can poke fun at it and laugh at it. Now I just find it irritating and a little bit embarrassing.

It’s not like Australia is lagging behind the rest of world in terms of women’s rights. As the following infographic shows, Australia was one of the first countries in the world to give women the right to vote in 1902 (South Australia adopted it in 1894), just behind New Zealand in 1893, and, ironically, the Isle of Man in 1881 (although as a “self-governing British Crown dependency”, there is some debate as to whether or not it actually qualifies as being a ‘country’).

But at The National Press Club recently, Tanya Plibersek used feminism as a political stratagem against two male journalists who had the audacity to ask her a question about the economy, and in particular the Adani Coal Mine that her leader, Bill Shorten, seems to be saying contradictory things regarding.

Plibersek deftly changed the emphasis to the progressive agenda of identity politics and away from the proverbial elephant in the room. But then, after a second journalist—unfortunately for him, he was also a male—tried to bring her back to the $17.3 billion-dollar question at hand, “girl power” was in full swing and commenced weaponising their Twitter feeds.

It’s all incredibly sexist really. Because the highest compliment you can pay to someone of the opposite sex when you are discussing an issue with them is to completely look past their gender, which is precisely what the two male journalists did. As Corrine Barraclough commented in The Spectator:

Just because Plibersek is a woman doesn’t mean she can only talk about women. She is also well versed in other issues beyond that. And, gasp, other women viewing might even be interested to hear her views on Adani.

R.J. Rushdoony, in his book, The Institutes of Biblical Law, argues that the current battle between the sexes was created by the secular humanism which arose primarily out of the enlightenment. As Rushdoony explains:

The Age of Reason saw man as reason incarnate, and woman as emotion and will, and therefore inferior. The thesis of the Age of Reason has been that the government of all things should be committed to reason. The Age of Reason opposed the Age of Faith self-consciously. Religion was deemed to be woman’s business, and, the more the Enlightenment spread, the more church life came to be the domain of women and children. The more pronounced therefore the triumph of the Age of Reason in any culture, the more reduced the role of women became. Just as religion came to be regarded as a useless but sometimes charming ornament, so too women were similarly regarded.

Rushdoony’s cultural and philosophical insight here is as perceptive as it is profound. Because in contrast, Christianity teaches that men and women are equal in essence, and yet, at the same time, different in purpose. (see Genesis 1:26-28) For if the intention were to make the woman exactly the same as the man, then why was she created her from a rib and not just another piece of dust? It’s not like the ground was in short supply!

Writing as far back as the seventeenth century, the great theologian and churchman Matthew Henry gives the following reasoning:

The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam;

not made out of his head to rule over him,

nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him,

but out of his side to be equal with him,

under his arm to be protected,

and near his heart to be beloved.

Now I am fully aware that some people, like Magda Szubanski, might have a problem with that. But I think it speaks of the beautiful and profound complementarity that exists between the genders, and that ultimately transcends the inherent sexism that is modern-day feminism.

Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.

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