From The D.C. Writeup;-
Feminists everywhere, rejoice! Your day has finally come! The groundwork laid by the Suffragettes, sown by the bra-burning flower womyn of the 60s, fertilized by the sexual liberation of the 70s, and watered by Roe v. Wade has finally borne fruit! The glass ceiling is shattered! Women are finally in a position to … sexually harass other women? Women are finally in a position to … find their husbands (or fathers … or brothers) without jobs?
In two honest-to-goodness, not-making-this-stuff-up stories this week, the USA Today and the legal blog Above the Law have covered two stories that should make feminists cringe, not rejoice. But rejoice is exactly what they’re doing.
In a story that makes normal people blush, but has made some bloggers a little *ahem* hot-and-bothered, a Delaware law firm has been hit with a sexual harassment suit after they failed to deal with creatively titled “girl-on-girl sexual harassment.” In this case, a female partner allegedly sexually harassed a female associate in the firm, telling her sexually explicit things that I don’t really feel comfortable repeating here. Some commentators admitted that this illustrates that “women can be just as creepy as men” and “just as capable of creating a threatening work environment” at the same time. Others have used the story to show that career women are finally in a position to “break from the stereotypical harassment situation of a female victim going up against an old boys’ network.” Depicting this story as a boon for the women’s movement disgusts me.
The other story is less perverse, but no less disheartening. In a banner week for feminists, the USA Today also reports that the recession has hit men the hardest, where of the 6.4 million jobs lost this year, 26% of those jobs were lost by women and a whopping 74% of those jobs were lost by men. The story cites to the fact that a lot of the jobs “typically” performed by men, such as construction and manufacturing, are part of industries hardest hit by the recession, whereas “women’s jobs,” like health care, education and local government, are being laid off less (some even seeing growth) and are receiving the most stimulus money.
Instead of raising the concern that perhaps these women are now going to have to work two jobs to support their family or considering the psychological effects this may have on men (and the negative impact these statistics may have on women because of their husbands’ unemployed status), feminists see this as a good thing. The President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (as a side note – is there an Institute for Men’s Policy Research?) actually stated, “It was a long historical slog to get to this point.” Another woman, who wrote a book often used in feminist study classes entitled Creating Rosie the Riveter, was cited as saying that “the image that the man has to be the breadwinner has changed.”
So congratulations, feminists, you now have equality. But equality at what expense?
This is really another example of people who are trying to “help” or trying to “represent the voiceless” completely losing touch with reality. Is having the equal opportunity to harass another human being really a boon for the feminist movement? Is having males lose more jobs than females really the equal opportunity that the Suffragettes imagined? Neither of these stories are good situations for anyone. These are things you wouldn’t wish on humanity in general, let alone on an entire gender. They shouldn’t be seen as a boon to the women’s equality movement, they should be seen for exactly what they are: tragic events that affect and damage everyone together. That’s equality.
“How will the family unit be destroyed? …[T]he demand alone will throw the whole ideology of the family into question, so that women can begin establishing a community of work with each other and we can fight collectively. Women will feel freer to leave their husbands and become economically independent, either through a job or welfare.”
Roxanne Dunbar (1969) Female Liberation As The Basis For Social Revolution
“Sexual harassment law is very important. But I think it would be a mistake if the sexual harassment law movement is the only way in which feminism is known in the media.”
Judith Butler (2001) LOLApress Magazine No. 2