By: Cody, aka @Post_1776
First Wave Feminism in America is dated back to 1878 when the Women’s Conference met in Seneca Falls, New York. Women were not equal, they were treated as second best, and inferior. Women were truly oppressed, with their only real purpose was to serve as Homemakers. The Suffragettes brought an amendment in 1878 to Congress, which failed. Their support continued to grow with more women coming out to join the First Wave Feminists. The Suffragettes really got the ball rolling in 1920. They then had another amendment, proposed to Congress which finally passed. The famous Nineteenth Amendment, taught in schools to this day. Women finally gained the right to vote and gained real independence. Women became equal once and for all. However, obviously the average American males held their personal bias for some time. Women persisted and fought for their true freedom, both in society and in Congress. Second Wave Feminism began in the 1960’s. They brought to attention issues such as: sexuality, the workplace, family, reproductive rights, de facto inequalities, and official legal inequalities. Second-wave feminism also drew attention to domestic violence and marital rape issues, establishment of rape crisis and battered women’s shelters, and changes in custody and divorce law. Feminist-owned businesses such as bookstores, credit unions, and restaurants were among the key meeting spaces and economic engines of the movement. Many laws for equality have passed since then, especially pertaining to Civil Rights and discrimination. The term “Third Wave Feminism” was coined by Rebecca Walker in her article “Becoming the Third Wave” in 1992. This is the feminism that persists today. This form of feminism is absolutely needed in today’s society, however, it absolutely is not in America.
Evidence of this can be found in things as simple as institutionalized law. Many Third Wave Feminists in America, or what some call Modern Feminists, claim that this country hasn’t done anything for them since 1920 and that is incorrect. One example is the Fair Labor Standards Act 1938 stating workers must be paid minimum wage and overtime pay must be one-and-a-half times regular pay. Children under eighteen cannot do certain dangerous jobs, and children under the age of sixteen cannot work during school hours. This guaranteed women a right to be paid the same as men due to a minimum wage. Another example, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 which prohibited discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce. Another example, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a landmark civil rights and US labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Another example is The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2005 to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. It provides more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes. Another example is The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 that recognizes the “reality of wage discrimination” and restores “bedrock principles of American law.” Particularly important for the victims of discrimination, the Act contains an explicit retroactivity provision. If a Modern Feminist still believes they have not benefited from any of those, then they’d really hate to see what America would be like without those laws. Women aren’t being oppressed, all the laws act for equality. There is not one single law in America saying you can discriminate against women.
That being said, one of the most controversial topics of debate is the Gender Wage Gap. Modern Feminists are certain that “data” shows that women make seventy-seven cents to every dollar a male makes per hour. That statistic is largely misleading, while it is factually true, the context is incorrect and deceiving. That statistic factors all males and all females for all occupations nationwide. However, you will never find a woman and a man working the same job for the same hours and them receiving different pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70,567,000 men over 16 years old were working full time in 2016, while there were only 53,194,000 women over 16 working full time. A difference of over 10 million people, so it’s obvious when you factor this into the American total full-time workers, males make more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, employed people worked an average of 7.8 hours on the days they worked. More hours were worked, on average, on weekdays than on weekend days—8.1 hours compared with 5.7 hours. On the days they worked, employed men worked 52 minutes more than employed women. This difference partly reflects women’s greater likelihood of working part-time. However, even among full-time workers (those usually working 35 hours or more per week), men worked longer than women—8.4 hours compared with 7.8 hours. So obviously again, you can see that if you factored hours worked into it, men make more because they work more. Also, facts aside, thinking with simply with logic we can understand this “Gap”. More women are choosing to be nurses than doctors. More women are choosing to be elementary school teachers instead of becoming professors. More women become secretaries than CEOs. These choices are made entirely by women, no-one is forcing them to become more or less. If women wanted to be paid more, they can choose a different education/employment path, and do it. Women legally have every right and opportunity a man does. A woman can do anything a man can do, the choice is theirs what they do with their life.
Culture today is very different from when Feminism started in 1878. Modern Feminism isn’t about equality anymore. It’s about finding an excuse to any scenario that doesn’t end in their favor. As previously stated, women have every right men do. If Modern Feminism was about equality, then why aren’t women protesting the fact that women aren’t registered for the draft at age 18? If Modern Feminism was about true equality, why aren’t women protesting that men get 63% longer jail sentences for the same crime, on average? Why aren’t they protesting that men commit suicide 3.57x more than women? Point is, you will never see a Modern Feminist protest any injustice or bad thing for men. If you saw men protesting for men’s rights, they’d get labeled as sexist, but when women do it for women, it is encouraged. Sexism goes both ways, women can be sexist too. Modern Feminists only care about any bad statistics for women, not the men. True Feminism, First and Second Wave were about real equality while Third Wave Feminism is all about pretending women are severely oppressed. Women have every opportunity men do. So, what is left to resist? Why are women still protesting? Speaking of protesting, how ironic that Modern Feminists protest these “issues” by spending money on signs and not working so they can stand out in public and wave them. Standing on a street corner with a sign won’t solve any “problems”. If Feminists want to make changes they should go into politics and make them, not just complain about them. The perks of Democracy allow people to vote, get into politics, and change the country bit by bit. For instance, a woman won the popular vote for President just over a year ago in the 2016 Presidential election, so Feminists can’t say its impossible to change Government. There are women in the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. Again, women have every opportunity men do.
One specific aspect of culture is the “apparent rape culture” Modern Feminists claim exists in America. Modern Feminists give the impression that all men are aggressive and that women are always the victim. While it is true that most sexual assault instances are men forcing themselves onto women, not all men are this way. America does not have a rape culture, rape culture is the glorification of rape, places where it is unpunished or tolerated. Countries like Iran have a rape culture. Women actually have no rights there, they literally can be beaten and jailed for removing their Hijab. They leave rapists unpunished and it’s acceptable and frequent. There is no rape culture in America, you won’t find any cases of rape found acceptable in all of Western Civilization. In America, it is never accepted when a rape occurs, and it is never brushed off or unaddressed by the law. If rape is proven, there is always a consequence. Modern Feminists should spend more time teaching self-defense and practicing it if they want to stop this “rape culture” they claim exists in America.
Shifting gears to the topic of divorce and children in America. In custody decisions, mothers are more likely to receive custody than fathers. Although in the past decade there has been an increase in equal residential custody, mothers are still much more likely to be awarded primary residential care. According to Robert Hughs, Jr., Professor of Human Development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a wide range of jurisdictions the estimates are that mothers receive primary custody 68-88% of the time, fathers receive primary custody 8-14%, and equal residential custody is awarded in only 2-6% of the cases. If Modern Feminism was about equality why aren’t women protesting those staggering statistics?
Another area Modern Feminists are protesting is the “sexist” American Athletics. This is absurd. The first woman to compete in the Olympics, for example, was 1900. However, the 2012 Olympic Games, just 6 years ago, were the first Olympic Games to have a woman competing from every participating country. The Modern Feminist would site the 2012 statistic claiming the system is sexist against women. They won’t share with you the fact that women have been competing in it since 1900, before they even got the right to vote in 1920. Another example, the NBA, National Basketball Association started in 1947, 27 years after women suffrage. The WNBA, Women’s National Basketball Association, first had a game in 1999. Men have been participating in Athletics longer, sports were started by men and watched by men for decades before women started competing. Also, biologically, men are more competitive, with testosterone and a more muscular tone naturally, athletic attractions are dominated by men. This is not because men hate women or that women are oppressed. It’s simply because of length of existence, and the basic biology. Women have every right to compete in any sport that men do, including the famous Olympics. They are just upset because women’s sports aren’t viewed or discussed as often, which is almost impossible to fix. Modern Feminists once again making excuses, that is the core of their movement.
In conclusion, Modern Feminism is not about true equality anymore. Its a flagrant misuse of the title of a once respectable movement. Now, “Feminism” is the term used to protest anything not supporting women, and “sexist” is the term used to anyone who opposes them. Modern Feminists will never do anything for men exclusively. Modern Feminists will take for granted their true equality. They will not protest the injustices to women in Iran. They will not protest the fact that they don’t get drafted, or that they get the kids in a divorce 68-88% of the time. Modern Feminists will never quote you all the institutionalized laws requiring equality and banning discrimination. Modern Feminism is Pro-Women, not Pro-Equality.
Photo credit: The Telegraph