All ideologues like to think they speak for all mankind, while in reality they usually just speak only for their own little clique. The feminist movement is a case in point. Feminists claim that they are the voice of all women, and they exist to help all women.
But not every woman is convinced. Indeed, a number of women have penned devastating critiques of feminism. These include Midge Decter, Carolyn Graglia, Christina Hoff Sommers and Phyllis Schlafly. They have all protested that feminism is far from representative of all women and that it in fact is quite narrow and limited in who it actually represents.
A junior from Ohio University agrees. Ashley Herzog says that feminists do not simply want to advance the interests of women. Writing on townhall.com (May 29, 2007), she argues that the opposite is in fact the case: “Contrary to popular perception, the modern feminist movement is not a movement to promote freedom and equality for all women. It is a rigid ideology dictating what women should think and how they should live. Women who don’t parrot the views of NARAL Pro-Choice America – especially conservative and religious women – are shunned from the feminist clique.”
She discovered very quickly as a college freshman that feminism was a very selective movement indeed. “I realized about five minutes into my first women’s studies class that [being strong and independent] wasn’t enough. To the contrary, the feminist clique had a litany of complaints against me and other non-liberal women. We didn’t brand ourselves ‘Vagina Warriors’ or chant obscenities in a crowded auditorium (see the feminist play ‘The Vagina Monologues’ for details). We weren’t offended by suggestions that men and women are innately different. And, perhaps most egregiously of all, we didn’t consider the ‘right’ to butcher unborn children essential to our liberty. The message from feminists was clear: accept our dogma, or remain permanently on the outs.”
She should have known better. “I wouldn’t have been surprised by their behavior if I had known the history of the feminist movement since the 1960s. Except for their slightly greater enthusiasm for abortion, the policy agenda of feminist groups like the National Organization for Women is indistinguishable from that of the Democratic National Committee. The self-appointed ‘women’s advocates’ are only interested in advocating for leftist women. In fact, most feminists don’t even include conservatives in the ‘woman’ category. The godmother of the women’s movement, Gloria Steinem, famously called Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson a ‘female impersonator’ and said, ‘having someone who looks like us but thinks like them is worse than having no one at all’.”
In truth, feminism has been about a radical political agenda, one that usually only leftists, and often only secularists, would want to embrace. Those who do not buy the party line are simply treated with the same contempt that men are often treated with.
Concludes Herzog, “With few exceptions, most self-described ‘women’s rights activists’ have no intention of encouraging women to think for themselves. Instead, they aim to mold all women into loyal, obedient liberals who demean dissidents as ‘female impersonators.’ I don’t particularly care if feminists hate me. I don’t even care if they want to promote only fellow liberals. Just don’t tell me they’re fighting for ‘my’ rights.”
Quite right. It is a scary world out there, especially on our university campuses. Radical feminism is just one of many activists groups working overtime to push hardcore agendas on to the entire student body. Fortunately, not every student will willingly submit, and many are standing up for what they believe in, including Ashley Herzog. May her courage inspire many others to do likewise.