IN RESPONSE: Feminism – it’s for our own good

Feminist demands of today are quite different from those in the 1960s and ‘70s. Most of us would agree that women are people, but should special consideration be given to those with more responsibilities? I certainly think so.

This is a response to Erin Cardone’s Feminism gone too far in Canada.

Feminist demands of today are quite different from those in the 1960s and ‘70s.  Most of us would agree that women are people, but should special consideration be given to those with more responsibilities? I certainly think so.

Cardone claims that “…feminism is partly responsible for a contingent of overworked, overburdened and overachieving – therefore very unhappy –young women today.”

If I asked you how your day was, and you say ‘terrible,’ I highly doubt your answer was heavily based on one event.  Similarly, feminism should not be blamed for making women unhappy. Women are not the only ones working harder.  According to Statistics Canada, both men and women are working longer hours than they previously did.

We can fantasize about the day when men and women do equal amounts of housework, but until that day comes, women still do more unpaid labour than men (ie, child care). I do appreciate the trend towards higher rates of housework by men. If men are not ready to manage work and family responsibility, how capable are they of caring for their children? There is a reason why women get full custody of their children.

This is not unfair in any way. If women demonstrate they can balance work and family life, children are better off with their mothers. An unequal share of responsibilities in the household also extends to the financial realm. Women spend more of their income on their children than men.

Although women have made some progress in income, men doing similar jobs still earn more. How fair is it to give half of a woman’s income to a man that makes more than her and spends less on his kids?

Our society is far from perfect to forget about feminism and gender. Feminism has made significant contributions to our society, especially the right to get a divorce. It would be a shame to forget about feminism now – we’ve made it this far.

Feminism does not aim to give women more rights than men. Instead, it allows all people to receive equal treatment. As a society that credits itself for being quite democratic, forgetting feminism would be a step in the wrong direction.

Feminism has redefined the idea of an unhappy marriage. Previously, women were not given the choice to leave their abusive husbands. Divorces are a lot more common than they were years ago, but not all divorces today are filed by women. Has feminism caused men to divorce their wives or vice versa? I highly doubt it. Divorces in general were stigmatized back then. Over the years, society has become more accepting of new ideas. A good example of this would be the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians.

Feminism continues to strive for equality among all people, not just women. Ignorance is not bliss. Feminism has made many great contributions to our society, and we’re not sure where it will lead us. Fear of women gaining more rights than men shows how misunderstood feminism is.

Our society needs feminism – it’s for our own good!

Christeen Young,University of Victoria student.