Women’s March on Washington

NATIONAL REVIEW notes the following: “The Women’s March on Washington has removed the pro-life group New Wave Feminists from its list of official event sponsors after backlash from feminists arguing that pro-life women are not welcome in the feminist movement. One of the most prominent of such responses”:

  • Intersectional feminism does not include a pro-life agenda. That’s not how it works! The right to choose is a fundamental part of feminism.

Christina Hoff Sommers (Camille Paglia) explains intersectional feminism is:

INDEPENDENT WOMEN’S FORUM goes further to note they exclude MANY women:

Alexandra DeSanctis wrote here yesterday that leaders of the “Women’s March on Washington” have disinvited the pro-life group that had sought to take part in the effort.   

It’s really no surprise that March organizers and hard left feminists like Jessica Valenti would reject support from a woman’s group that differs with them on an issue like this.  This March – like the progressive feminist movement – isn’t about supporting women, so much as it is supporting a specific, far-left progressive agenda.    

The March’s website claims to be inclusive – “recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country” – but they really aren’t interested in diversity of thought or belief.  As I wrote recently for Acculturated, the Left has long been able to get away with claiming to speak for “women” while ignoring any woman who has different views or beliefs: 

Just as the Women’s Centers on nearly every university campus in America provide an entirely liberal vision of women’s issues and marginalize any student with conservative leanings, these march organizers felt free to call it “The Women’s March on Washington,” not “progressive women” even though that’s what it is in fact, and leave out conservatives or anyone with different perspectives. They can rest safe in the knowledge that the sympathetic press would never challenge their presumption to speak for all women….

Professor Sommers continues on with some noted “cliches”

Gender scholar bell hooks* once complained that audiences laugh when she describes the United States an “imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy.” That laughter, she said, was a “weapon of patriarchal terrorism.” But that was 14 years ago. Today, at least on the college campus, the terrorizing laughter has subsided.

hooks is 23rd on TIME’s 2016 list of the “Hundred Most-Read Female Writers in College Classes.” And her assessment of the U.S. is foundational to “intersectional feminism.” This theory—now official doctrine in gender studies– portrays American society as a “matrix of domination and oppression.” And the list of oppressions keeps growing. Actress Laverne Cox, a frequent campus lecturer, expanded hooks’ formulation in a 2015 tweet: “Actually its cisnormative heteronormative imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.” Others have added ageist, able-ist, lookist, pro-natalist, and size-ist to the matrix. At the risk of sounding like a weapon of patriarchal terrorism, I don’t see progress here. I see a descent into madness.

Proliferating “ists” and “isms” are turning many of our campuses into hostile environments for sanity. Students are organizing themselves into aggrieved little tribes that police and bully one another for imagined slights and micro-invalidations.

[….]

It’s hard to know how our institutions of higher learning will find their way back to truth, mutual understanding, and common humanity. But interrogating the founding principle of intersectionality––Professor hooks’ claim about the U.S. being an imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy––is a good place to start.

First, “imperialist.” America is certainly an economic, military, and cultural superpower. Yet it wields this power—in the words of historian Niall Ferguson, “to spread free markets, to entrench the rule of law . . . and to pave the way for representative government.” This is in sharp contrast to empires from Persia to Rome to Napoleonic France, Imperial Japan, and the Soviet Union—who invaded, conquered, and plundered in order to enrich themselves. Even when the U.S. has invaded other countries, like Japan, Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan, it has done so for a specific purpose, usually defensive—and it did not colonize them or plunder. When hostilities ceased, the U.S. always attempted, with varying levels of success, to create independent democracies, usually at great expense to the motherland. Our record is not spotless. But a menacing imperialist power, we are not.

White-supremacist? The U.S. has a shameful history of racism. But we also have a long and honorable history of fighting it, from abolishing slavery to trying to overcome its legacy. A recent study of racial tolerance by two Swedish economists found the U.S. to be among the world’s “most tolerant” societies. (India and Jordan were among the least tolerant.) Intersectional feminists claim that even if most Americans are tolerant, the white population still maintains supremacy through a rigid set of political, economic, and cultural structures. If so, it doesn’t seem to be succeeding. Latino girls are now more likely to go to college than white boys. And the most successful demographic group in the US in terms of income, education, and life-expectancy is not whites but Asians. Racism remains a problem, but anyone who calls the U.S. a white supremacist society is distorting reality.

What about “Capitalist”? True as charged. The United States is a capitalist country—in other words, it is a country with economic liberty. And economic liberty is essential to human well-being. Without it, societies are miserable, poor, and oppressive. Look at Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea. Compare life in Eastern Europe before and after free enterprise. Economic freedom, like all freedoms, can be abused. In the U.S., we are constantly looking for ways to prevent that. We don’t always succeed. But the free enterprise system has alleviated more human poverty and misery, and broken down more systems of oppression, than any other force in history.

Finally, patriarchy. A patriarchy is a system in which men hold the power and women do not. Women do hold power in the United States—they lead major universities, giant corporations, and the nation’s powerful central bank. A woman almost won the presidency. (Of course, a Slate intersectionalists quickly declared Electoral College to be Is an Instrument of White Supremacy and Sexism.” In fact, the Electoral College is an instrument of our federal, representative democracy American women, especially college women, are among the freest and most self-determining human beings in human history. Are things perfect for women? No. But they are not perfect for men, either. To refer to the U.S. as a patriarchy is absurd. It’s 2017, not 1950.

With all due respect to Professor hooks, Ms. Cox, and intersectional feminists everywhere, the United States is not a matrix of oppression. It’s a matrix of freedom, opportunity, and happiness. The country has many flaws—few will dispute that. But it is also one of the most successful, diverse, tolerant, and open societies the world has ever seen. Why pretend otherwise?….

Here is an example of the type of radical speeches at the women’s march in Washington:

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