Nothing is more quintessentially American than self-ownership.
This precept guides conservative and libertarian ideology, and served as the fundamental tenet of the original women’s movement in the United States. It is no surprise that the high ideal of personal liberty resonates so strongly with our youth today, though it has been reshaped to serve the aims of collectivists. Feminists today dangle personal liberty away from women, as if it is something to achieve instead of their natural right. Through dishonest scholarship and the politics of envy, modern feminists have perverted a movement about the dignity of self-ownership into a hysterical mob.
By creating a false, hostile version of reality, gender feminists’ institutionalized victim mentality and pathologically unhealthy views of masculinity are what actually hold their largely middle-class constituency back—moreso than any “structural barrier” or “social construct.” These wolves in sheep’s clothing are determined to cede women’s agency to the state and “experts” in the ivory tower. Feminists purport to care for women’s health and autonomy but peddle propaganda that undermines both. Feminist mothers are stricken attempting to reconcile toxic dogma with love of their sons, pained to bring up their male children under the assumption that they are “raising the enemy.”
Feminist theory, pervasive in public education and universities, parts young women from their power by fostering dependence on protected classing and keeping them beholden to the ultimate authoritarian: Leviathan. Given the eerily dogmatic tone of feminists today, this is a happy marriage. Feminists continue to widen their net to claim increasingly finer areas of our private lives, such as characterizing interactions between women and men as negotiations of power differentials. Microaggressions: can the “oppression” of women get any more molecular?
Rather than admit that American women are the freest of any women in the long, bloody struggle for Western civilization, today’s indoctrinated cadets and their demagogues prefer to lead off with self-righteous fits over the dangers of being a woman in the United States. Real oppression is not self-consciousness; it is a 10-year-old Afghan girl, raped by a 45-year-old mullah, being faced with an honor killing.
But narcissistic American feminists still yearn for their war. Instead of attempting to specialize in a lucrative, in-demand field and make the most of their freedom to advance, many young women will martyr themselves in gender studies and social work, proclaiming the barbarism of the status quo. They will self-select out of the competitive fray and bemoan their persecution, apparently not connecting causes and effects.
Nothing impedes women from standing on their own two feet like today’s protectionist gendersphere. Feminists have supplanted the patriarchy. Modern feminists and their relationship to the philosophical concept of agency is illustrative. In philosophy, that fever dream of dead white males, an “agent” is an entity that acts in the world. An action by an agent is usually described as a decision followed by the production of bodily movements in service of the decision. How can the locus of control be external for an individual’s physical behavior? Feminists would have you believe that society is responsible for intentional behavioral choices of females that result in undesirable outcomes.
By denying female agency, today’s feminists corrupt true equity. Asymmetrical sympathy for female criminals and whitewashing women as non-violent (casting men with the opposite aspersion) is a common example. When I volunteered at a women’s shelter, our trainer carefully emphasized that we not assign responsibility to women for remaining in abusive situations. I asked, “But what if there are children involved? Aren’t they dependent on their mother to save them from domestic abuse?” She maintained that even when children were involved, no blame should be assigned to the woman for continuing to expose her children to abuse. This woman’s opinions are not an anomaly; she is a seasoned veteran of the DV/SV community.
Feminist activists separate women’s behavior from their intentions, and thus infantilize them. The would-be powerful refrain of pro-abortion activists, “My body, my choice!,” puts the cart before the horse. Its irrational selective responsibility demands we defer to the protester’s judgment, while their predicament is a result of their poor judgment. This holds water, unless we subscribe to victimhood myths that women are not responsible for their behavior due to their “social conditioning.” The conditioning of inferiority is reinforced more by tenured feminist academics and grievance-mongering journalists than it is in the real world. Feminist academics define human struggles in the language of gender, leading their young adherents to explain their life problems through a misleading lens.
Assuming that women’s intentions do not determine their outcomes should be offensive to anyone who believes women are rational. The facility of judgment is asexual. Women are actors; they are not acted upon. Women are not apples in a barrel laid bare to the appetites of bobbing men. This deterministic passivity and learned helplessness is part and parcel of victimhood, integral to the psychology of captivity and eulogized by feminists as a woman’s unique plight.
Those living in fear under third-wave feminism are the victims of feminist scholars, politicians, and shills. Sadly, the freest women in the history of mankind are being groomed into a victim-class. They believe they are caught in the vise grip of a hostile, conspiratorial, and specifically misogynist force. In their sense of dire persecution, they fail to realize that their identity politics erode their freedom as self-governing agents.
It’s a despicable, self-fulfilling prophecy, and its hypocritical architects should be held to account. Young women are often simply experiencing the normal insecurity of early adulthood. They don’t need bitter women with an axe to grind hijacking their anxiety in order to enlist them as Junior Trauma Officers.
Any ideology that denies your agency cannot be a loving one: it wants to use you.
It gains control through dependence. The key for young women, depressed by their sense of powerlessness, is to step away from the victim paradigm and exult in the freedom to shape their own lives.
Editorial note: This item originally published on Pocket Full of Liberty. —DE