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Besançon, France
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It's been a while now, I've heard a lot of complaints against feminists, and so called feminazis. I've read about how women are a horrible, priviledged gender posing as victims to manipulate, confuse and shame men. I've read this all over the internet, but this always comes as a bit of a surprise to me. It's something I almost never hear in real life. I gather the reason is because people who behave like that see themselves as anti-conformists. They'd probably expect violent reactions if they were to state such opinions to their classmates and co-workers. Which probably reinforces their feeling that they are denied freedom of speech. In the end it really had me wondering, so I decided to find out more.

I started researching about feminazism, because I had no idea where that came from. And I think a fair amount of those who use it have no clue either. So, Rush Limbaugh, whom I never heard of, being French, was the one to make the term popular. He's apparently well known for his conservatist views.Let's quote him:

"Tom Hazlett, a good friend who is an esteemed and highly regarded professor of economics at the University of California at Davis, coined the term to describe any female who is intolerant of any point of view that challenges militant feminism. I often use it to describe women who are obsessed with perpetuating a modern-day holocaust: abortion. There are 1.5 million abortions a year, and some feminists almost seem to celebrate that figure. There are not many of them, but they deserve to be called feminazis.

A feminazi is a woman to whom the most important thing in life is seeing to it that as many abortions as possible are performed. Their unspoken reasoning is quite simple. Abortion is the single greatest avenue for militant women to exercise their quest for power and advance their belief that men aren't necessary. They don't need men in order to be happy. They certainly don't want males to be able to exercise any control over them. Abortion is the ultimate symbol of women's emancipation from the power and influence of men."

So. Here we go. That's a good start. So, feminazism applies to women who actively advocate for the right to get abortions. I must agree with Rush (who has all my sympathy for the silly first name he was given at birth) there. Abortion is, in many regards, the symbol of women's emancipation. For many centuries, a woman's womb and the children coming out of it were the property of the man who married that womb...er, I mean, woman. So, dear Rush calls the million and half abortions a year a "modern-day holocaust". Holocaust is a rather ugly word (it was the "sacrifice of a hundred bullocks" in great ancient Greek religious celebrations) that refers to the genocide of European Jews. So, a genocide is perpetrated with the intent to wipe a group of people from the surface of the Earth. So, basically, what Rush is implying is that militant feminists want to get rid of babies. Done with the babies. No more babies please. Off with the babies. 

As ridiculous as this may sounds, our good friend Rush has grasped the horror of the situation: with abortion being legal, women only breed if they want to. If no woman wanted to, no more babies. Which indeed means that men have no right whatsoever on a fetus. Which, in turn, means that women are theoretically the ones in charge of keeping the demographics up. That's a rather great responsibility. But being afraid of that power (because it IS one) is ludicrous and totally disconnected from real life.

My mother is seven years younger than Rush. She was a feminist. She had an abortion when she was about my age. Obviously, she still became a mother... Later. When she felt ready. I'm more than ready to bet that most of these feminists (oops, feminazis, sorry I forget) had one or several kids. Hence the accusation of genocide is invalid. Feminists do not want the babies dead. 

One sentence that really has me wondering is this one : "They don't need men in order to be happy".
I find this to perhaps be the chore of the insecurities of people like dear old Rushie. I've got a question. Would you, Rush darling, say that you NEED a woman in order to be happy? I've been reading a few of your quotes by now. I've been reading a few blogs from people who wholeheartedly agree with you. None of them led me to think that their personnal belief what that they needed women in order to be happy. They needed women to need them, rather. Because I would have sympathised, folks. I would have patted you on the shoulder if any of you anti feminists had expressed, no, not even expressed, IMPLIED that you guys need women and it'd pain you and scare you if the reverse wasn't true. But women don't need men in order to be happy. And the reason is that we, as a gender, haven't been needed either. We've been used. And I don't mean in middle ages or ancient times, no. These times were actually not the worst in the history of womanhood. I mean last century. From the 19th century to the end of WWII, women have been kept under tight control. You want women to need you when you don't need them, you just feel entitled to one or several women. 

The most militant feminist I ever knew was my grandpa. He was a communist, he was a factory worker, he was a very smart man, dear Rush. About twenty years older than you. He told me the world wasn't good to women. He told me some men thought they were much better. He told me I'd have to be "brilliant" to get the same thing as a "smart" guy. He told me I would not be forgiven for making the exact same mistakes my male co worker would get away with. The last year of his life, my grandpa spent a lot of time sitting in his armchair, looking out of the window. He told me:

"I think young women have become much better than young men. Everyday I see a lot of women exercising, and I see them going to work, walking fast, being all well-dressed and pretty. Then they get the groceries on the way home, they're always in a hurry, it seems. But they don't seem unhappy, from what I can see. And what do I see, when I look at men? Bums, mostly. These guys who walk slow, smoking their cigarettes, buying beers, dressing like they don't care... Yes, you girls, you do very well. Just be careful you don't end up with one of these good for nothing, uneducated and cowardly idiots. Pick a brave one. You'd be better off alone than with a dead weight, you don't need a man to tell you how to live."

I checked. In my grandpa's city, women's unemployment rates are still higher than men's. Among those who have no qualifications in this small, poor industrial town, women are still the majority, since they make up 56% of that group. But... among those with degrees, women a majority as well, in about the same rates: 57%. Except among those with "long courses" degrees (PhDs) where women were 44% of the population. Women are not doing better, and men are not losing anything. My grandpa was actually wrong. In that city, women are 52% of the overall population. They're a majority, that obey to social class determinisms: unqualified poors stay unemployed, and a bunch of women manage to graduate more than men... Except their numbers drop drastically when it comes to embracing long studies. And even if they graduate more from Bachelor's degree, overall unemployement of women is still higher than men's. 

So why was my grandpa misled by what he saw out of the window? 

It's probably a state of mind. Women might have come to the realization that, they sure need a job, money to pay the rent, they need to look nice, they need to keep active, they need to fight breast cancer, they need many things. But not a man. Rather than hoping to be picked, women have really become those who chose their partner. Women are no longer grateful for finding a man that understands them and so on. They demand one. And though, statistically, since there are slightly more women than men, the situation is unexpected, men aren't assured that they will be successful when looking for a partner. And if they do, this partner might tell them "don't take me for granted".

 

There's nothing to be afraid of, Rush. Statistics show that women aren't competing with men. They're barely running behind, trying to catch up. If this is a race then it's clearly rigged. The only power "over men" we've earned so far is abortion and it's actually a power over our own bodies. We don't hate men, we just don't chose partners out of necessity. 

Maybe some women hate men. I never met any. But maybe they do. But I can't fathom how they could hate men more than anti-feminists hate women. Since, to these guys, a woman who lives a happy, fulfilling life without kids and without a husband is pretty much a monster and a criminal whose way of life advocates for mass murder of babies and metaphorical castration of men. 

This all seems very sexual. Basically anti-feminists are saying "how dare you forget you're a womb!". I'm not very worried about sex. I'm not very worried about "women" as a concept either.

I'm worried about poor women and working-class women. Everyone in these social classes has it hard, but women have it even harder. Poor people have no voice. They don't have representatives, they don't have spokesmen, they don't have newspapers or radio programs. They only answer questions they're asked, when someone suddenly remembers they exist. Poor women statistically don't get offered long-term jobs as much as men. They get lower wages, and unstable living conditions. Though girls in the countryside do better than boys in school, they rarely chose to get a degree, when boys do. If they marry a farmer and help him on the farm, they will have no wage, and no pension when she retires. Social workers report that in poor households, even when their husband is unemployed too, it is women who go get food and clothing supplies from charity organisations, thus demonstrating that women are often doing what men would regard as humiliating. In poor social classes, though they have lesser access to employment and typically lower incomes when they do work, women are expected to be, and probably believe they ought to be the problem-solvers of their household. In France, the typical profile of the poorest person among the poor is a woman, with one child or more, who is single. Half single women getting welfare help from the state are single mothers. Only 3% of single parents are men. Single dads are two times less likely to find themselves in a situation of extreme poverty than single moms. 96% of convicts in France are men. I asked the guards, once, if they thought women were not punished as harshly. Their answer was "It's easier for a man to find illegal ways of making money. If a woman decides to turn to illegal ways of earning her life, she won't be offered many jobs beyond prostitution and she won't be trusted with any responsibility." The guards were men. 

I don't think women are oppressed as a gender. I think poor women are discriminated against. So are poor men. But poor women are also humiliated. Because they are the ones confronted to welfare institutions, charity organisations and the manipulations of statistics by many a politician. Poor men are discriminated against as potentially dangerous, and poor women as useless. Judged, evaluated, reviewed and controlled by social workers who cannot help them out of misery, poor women are shamed as much as they're rejected from stable jobs. While it is often perceived that it is poor men's reponsibility to provide money for the household, it is women who deal with the most humiliating aspects of their economical situation day-to-day. 

I've seen statistics use by those claiming men are oppressed. All I've seen is that poor men are.

90% of workplace deaths are men. Now I don't suppose these deaths have a lot of accountants and sales managers and teachers among them, do they? They are probably factory workers, miners, jobs involving chemicals and soldiers. Dangerous jobs, worked by people from rather humble social backgrounds who need money before safety.

The majority of homeless are men, have I read. Which means that social isolation targets more men. Now I don't suppose the wealthy guys are the most lonely. 

In Western countries, men commit suicide more often than women (in China it's the other way round), I only have the French studies. People who commit suicide are a majority of men living in the countryside rather than in an urban environment, they are typically employees, labourers, and unemployed people. 

Military schools and early enrollment in the army are often solutions chosen by boys and families of poor social background with low opportunities of employment in their hometowns. 

(If you read this far even though you're a NG member, you're clearly amazing. PM me to claim your medal.)

Guys, you're mistaken. It's not the feminazis who oppress men. It's poor men who are oppressed, like poor women are, by systems that won't allow them to improve their living conditions. You picked the wrong struggle... Wealthy guys have no right to claim they're oppressed on the ground of statistics that are actually saying something about poverty, not gender. Like wealthy women have no right to claim they defend the interests of all women when clearly it's not the case. 

I have nothing to say to conservatist men who make too much money stating their opinion on the radio and think abortion is genocide, like I have nothing to say to women from high society thinking being empowered means posing  glamourously on  Vogue's cover. Except maybe "what do you want, what do you need that you don't have already?". Guys, girls, if you can't see these people can't be part of your struggle, because they have virtually nothing left to fight for, then it's time to wake up. 

 

 


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