Feminists and History
I came across a blog which is about history and gender, it’s very interesting. I want to talk about a specific article on that blog which asks the question: “How long does it take for us to not be surprised that powerful women exist?” it asks this because the cultural narrative is that in history women never held significant power and when they did it is seen as if it was an exception. read the article: here
I left the following comment:
“The reason people are surprised at women in power in the past is because we have had radical feminists weaving the notion of women’s complete subjugation and oppression through all of history and all cultures and it has become rather accepted in modern society that what those radical feminists say about the history of ‘women’s oppression’ is true.”
now before I post the response I got to that let’s put up the evidence for my claim, to summarize my claim: radical feminists spread the idea of women’s total historical oppression which has invaded the cultural consciousness and made people see powerful women in history as an exception.
This theory is the center of ideological feminist rhetoric, it is often expressed in terms of “for thousands of years women were oppressed by the patriarchy and men were privileged by it”.
Many feminist talking points are an extension of patriarchy theory, they never miss a chance to talk about how historically(for thousands of years) women were kept out of power by patriarchy(men).
We see it come in another form as well, the common talking point of “if women ran the world there would be no war”, the implication being that since all of history is riddled with war women were never in power.
Through patriarchy theory the message that women throughout history were powerless is spread.
Feminists also spread several myths which suggest women’s lack of influence over any part of society:
The rule of thumb: this is a myth spread by second wave feminists that in English Common Law husbands were allowed to beat their wives with a rod no wider than their thumb. This is completely false, no such rule ever existed and wife beating was severely punished both by law and by vigilante justice.
Domestic Violence: the myth that before feminists came along domestic violence was accepted in society is pervasive to this day, however there are plenty of cases of domestic violence cases in courts as well as cases of wife beaters being murdered for their transgression.
Refer to: Unknown History of Misandry
How do these myths push the idea of women’s complete lack of influence in society? Well if women had influence why would such barbaric practices be acceptable? By saying that such things as rape and domestic violence were normal and legal in the past feminists spread the idea of total male domination and control.
The last thing I’m going to point out which is far from the last thing supporting my argument is feminists own lack of knowledge of history and the spreading of false historical claims:
Big Red from the protest at UofT aided by a list written by Lindy West a writer at Jezebel read the phrase:
“Feminists do not want you to lose custody of your children. The assumption that women are naturally better caregivers is part of patriarchy.”
Little do Lindy West a popular and successful feminist writer and Big Red a feminist activist know that it was and is feminism which pushed the practice of sole maternal custody into law and continues to advocate for it and against shared parenting. Feminist’s like Lindy West spread the false notion of patriarchal(male) dominance in history by labeling every negative thing as ‘patriarchy’, feminists like Lindy West spread the notion of women’s lack of any sort of historical power by calling all of history ‘patriarchy’ and talking about how men held women down in all kinds of ways for all of history. Not to mention the fact that I still see Lindy’s list where that phrase came from posted in comment threads dealing with anti-feminism and men’s rights showing that quite a number of feminists think it is accurate and the ideas expressed by Lindy West are accurate.
It is fairly evident that feminist theory spread the idea that women never held significant power throughout history, it is also evident that popular feminists in the public sphere spread this notion in their writing.
The response I got to my comment is from the author of the blog:
Um– no. Really really no.
There is a British word I have wanted to use and here goes: I am gobsmacked by this comment.
First, I should note I AM a “radical feminist”. We are quite diverse so I won’t say someone, some time, said something you can quote in support if your comment. But no. Really really no.
Point one: feminist theorists during what we now call second wave feminism documented and sought to explain historical patterns of exclusion of women from central roles in society, and even more pertinent, of denial of central roles women played in the past, including explaining away powerful women as “exceptions”.
Those exclusions and acts of oppression documented were real. No one made them up. And they were often ignored in mainstream history (and archaeology).
Point two: these feminist forerunners of mine faced enormous resistance from broader society that attempted to explain patterns of oppression as justified by supposed inherent lack (of mental capacity, drive, ambition) or handicaps (being irrational every month) that women couldn’t help and men sadly had to use to (deny the vote, not accept women as authorities) justify marginalization.
Feminists called attention to forgotten histories of powerful women.
People who continue to be amazed that powerful women exist have managed to ignore the feminist revolution in historical studies and are still like the scholars my predecessors criticized: seeing each powerful woman as a surprise because women inherently lack some capacity for leadership.
Blame the people, male and female, who decided not to pay attention to feminist scholars. Don’t try to justify ignorance by blaming the messenger who exposed the truth.”
First she talks about how ‘diverse’ feminists are, which is almost an admission that I’m right but since there is some feminist somewhere that isn’t what I described ALL the feminists I described don’t matter.
She says ‘feminist theorists’ as if it’s all inclusive, it isn’t. I will fully admit some feminist ‘theorists’… no not theorists but historians portrayed an accurate representation of women in history, they did this because they were historians interested in the history of women not because ‘feminist theory’. But I digress, SOME feminists somewhere somewhen talked about the true nature of the history of women, I just hope they weren’t treated like Erin Pizzey was when she talked about the true nature of domestic violence.
None of what these so called ‘feminist scholars’ did removes the fact that the central tenant of feminist dogma is patriarchy theory and I already described how that theory spreads false historic notions and how popular feminists who adhere to that theory spread false historical notions based on such dogma. These so called feminist scholars never penetrated the public consciousness, instead we have people like Eve Ensler with her ‘Vagina Monologues’ play being performed throughout American universities and people like Valerie Solanas with her ‘S.C.U.M. Manifesto’ being celebrated by thousands of feminists and performed as plays and performances in Sweden to school children and people like Lorena Bobbit being defended and celebrated by tens of thousands of feminists and the writers at places like Jezebel and Salon pushing their ‘patriarchy theory’ and the idea that men have ALWAYS kept women down. The feminists who have affected the cultural narrative and public consciousness, the feminists who have changed our school system and our laws, the feminists who have altered society are not the feminist scholars who accurately represented women’s place in history.
It’s really a sad thing that there are actually many feminists who are not misandric and who are quite intellectual, there are many feminists who did and do good but they have never been the core of the movement, they have been the cover, the veil to hide the rotten core and this is evident simply by looking around you and seeing the most hateful and bigoted of feminists being the most influential. The feminist scholars and the feminist do-gooders are not the ones who passed VAWA and threaten researchers who find things contrary to their theories, the feminist scholars are not the ones who worked at that place in Norway that the documentary “brainwashed” showed.
That Norwegian documentary is the perfect source to show what I’m talking about, he talks to the feminists and shows real interest in their theories and ideas, then he talks to scientists from around the world and shows them what the feminists are saying, gets their response and goes back to the feminists and shows them the response and then the feminists who are employed by the Norwegian government to spread their non-sense ignore all the scientific data and stick to their theories despite the evidence and absolutely refuse to even consider the evidence. That is true feminism and the ‘scholars’ who are not like that are used to point to and say “not all feminists are like that” by the feminists who are like that. Watch the documentary: here (it has English subtitles)
One last thing to the author of that blog who responded to me, you call yourself a radical feminist, and by doing so you attach yourself to that label and support the things done by radical feminists directly or indirectly. Here are some of the things you support by taking that label and not distancing yourself from these people:
The women at RadFemHub who are ‘radical feminists’ and support sex selective eugenics and abortion, they talk about reducing males to 10% of the population, they describe a toddler as a ‘little shit’ and a ‘future rapist’ and fantasize about throwing him through a window.
The feminists who attacked Erin Pizzey with bomb and death threats and killed her family dog all because Erin wanted to help all victims of domestic violence.
Valerie Solanas who wrote an absolute hateful manifesto and killed a guy while trying to kill another guy.
The feminists from UofT who have broken law after law after law all because someone dared to want to talk about the problems faced by men.
The feminists who supported Lorena Bobbit and made violent threats against men if she were to be convicted.
The feminists who despite statistics showing men experience DV at comparable rates refuse to acknowledge or help them.
I could go on and on and on, you support all of this and so much more by taking that label Ms. Rosemary A. Joyce.