Feminists often use the word “equality” in a puzzling manner which reverses the original meaning. To feminists, and social justice warriors, “real” equality requires biasing society to advantage some people over others based on their gender, race, or other claimed oppression group. This idea that equality can only be achieved by treating people unequally reaches a level of stupidity that only feminism can attain.
“Substantive equality,” like most feminist terms, can be quite confusing for those who don’t defer to debauched dictionaries or champion corrupted concepts.
While free societies count on justice being blind, feminists were unhappy with the results of impartiality in the courts – namely, women were being convicted of more crimes. Under the guise of promoting equality, radical feminism has succeeded in bringing bias back into the legal system by arguing that women are, in fact, not equal to men and should not be treated as such under the law.
Despite some opposition from rational thinkers, “substantive” has trumped “formal” in the legal applications of equality.
“Formal” equality is the name given to what most of us think of when we hear the word equality. It’s the classic and extremely popular idea that all people should be treated as equals. The legal intention is summarized by the phrase “ equality before and under the law.” Laws are meant to be applied equally to all people and all people are expected to answer to the law equally. This principle is often visually depicted as a blindfold adorning the statues of Lady Justice which are common to court houses across the globe.
The popular idea that all people are equal and should be treated as such was written into the constitutional legislation of most modern countries, and there was much rejoicing.
But not for long.
The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) explains how the founding mothers of feminism discovered that, to their dismay, the “Supreme Court of Canada rulings were determining that women were the ‘same before the law’ meaning that one woman would be treated the same as another woman.” This was somehow troubling to them.
LEAF took up the cause of implementing and shaping the discourse on substantive equality to ensure that Canadian women would cease to be treated the same as men or, indeed, each other in a court of law. They have had much success.
Writing for the National Post in March, 1999, George Jonas deftly explains, to no avail, the purpose behind the feminist ploy of splitting equality into two types. His article is worth reading in its entirety but the brilliantly worded opening is sufficient here.
Assume you’re a feminist. To further your political objective, which is to secure advantages for your group, you need to replace a liberal principle, namely equality, with an illiberal principle, to wit, inequality. It would be bad form for you to say so, of course, but that’s not all. In an essentially liberal society such as Canada, pushing inequality would be useless. It simply wouldn’t fly.
But what if you stuck an adjective — say, “formal” — in front of the word “equality”? Then you could contrast “formal equality” with a newly minted concept for inequality that sounded better — say, “substantive equality.” Now you’re on track. While you couldn’t sell the idea of replacing equality with inequality, replacing “formal equality” with “substantive equality” might have legs.
Presto, the feminist party line.
This corruption of equality “before and under the law” is not exclusive to Canada. The International Women’s Rights Action Watch outlines the agenda of the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, more conveniently called CEDAW.
The concept of equality is traditionally understood to mean “the right to be equal to men”. This becomes problematic when it is extended to the understanding that women must be treated exactly like men if they are to gain equality with men. It implies that women must be treated according to male standards, obscuring the ways in which women are different from men and how they will be disadvantaged because of these differences.
What are these “male standards” which are so problematic? A standard of excellence, perhaps?
Feminists insist that women are innately flawed in a way which handicaps them. They argue that women can not be held equally accountable both before and under the law by claiming a meaningful difference between the words “before” and “under”. If you get lost in the semantic debate here, you are not alone. Their argument attempts to win the debate by spinning in nonsensical circles for long enough that opponents get dizzy and stumble away.
With their usual abuse of the English language, feminism has adopted an “equality” theory (“substantive equality”) that remains controversial and which is certainly not accepted as either practical or attainable. Given that the construction of stable, sustainable communities is typically accomplished by men, feminists have thus far not needed to bother themselves with such details. They fight for what they want and let everyone else worry about how to make it work without destroying society.
Failing to explain how courts can be “patriarchal” while consistently and historically depicting Justice in the form of a woman since ancient Egypt’s Maat, feminists again fall flat in the face of equality when they claim that jails are not appropriate places for women.
In February of 2011, the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group for women in the penal system) wrote a heartfelt letter to the UK’s Ministry of Justice stating that women “have greater needs than the adult male prison population.” They made recommendations for how to treat women differently than men claiming that “the biggest single improvement government could make would entail a change of ethos.”
“Change of ethos” is just a fancy way of saying that the legal system should stop sending female criminals to jail as if they have equal responsibility before and under the law. Apparently, unlike men, going to jail makes women depressed.
No single group has fought longer or harder than feminists have to ensure women cease to be treated as equals within society. The same feminists who have so effectively stripped women of legal equality quickly accuse others of bigotry or misogyny whenever they are challenged. This silencing of reasoned voices has created a bizarre gynocentric tyranny in which some are more equal than others by virtue of their inequality.
It is, in fact, a truly cunning stunt of history.