Although I don’t like interest group politics, I accept that various defined groups have interests in opposition to the interests of those outside the group, so I understand why interest group politics makes sense.
But “women” are a special case, because their lives are much more intimately intertwined with the complementary group of “men” than is the case for groups not defined by gender. Thus feminism should not push for changes which, while making women better off, would make men comparably worse off, because women will find their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons negatively affected. This would be useless at best from the point of view of society as a whole, and women themselves would not find their overall lot improved (except maybe for unmarried childless women not living with their parents, which is why women should be especially concerned that the leaders of “feminist” groups tend to be lesbians). When the proposed change makes society as a whole worse off, and hurts men more than it helps women even prior to considering the collateral effects on women of harm to their fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons, then it is insane.
Insanity is not enough to stop the feminists though, as this story by Christina Hoff Sommers from The Weekly Standard shows:
The story begins:
A “man-cession.” That’s what some economists are starting to call it. Of the 5.7 million jobs Americans lost between December 2007 and May 2009, nearly 80 percent had been held by men. Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan, characterizes the recession as a “downturn” for women but a “catastrophe” for men.
Men are bearing the brunt of the current economic crisis because they predominate in manufacturing and construction, the hardest-hit sectors, which have lost more than 3 million jobs since December 2007. Women, by contrast, are a majority in recession-resistant fields such as education and health care, which gained 588,000 jobs during the same period. Rescuing hundreds of thousands of unemployed crane operators, welders, production line managers, and machine setters was never going to be easy. But the concerted opposition of several powerful women’s groups has made it all but impossible. Consider what just happened with the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
and all too predictably ends:
The administration (and Congress) must have been thinking that groups such as NOW and the Feminist Majority were crusading for social justice, when in fact they were lobbying for their share of the action, to the detriment of urgent necessities.
A Washington feminist establishment that celebrates the “happily-ever-after” story of its victory over burly men cannot represent the views and interests of many women. Those men are fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, and friends; if they are in serious trouble, so are the women who care about them and in many cases depend on them. But NOW and its sister organizations see the world differently. They see the workplace as a battlefront in a zero-sum struggle between men and women, where it is their job to side with women. Unless the Obama administration and Congress find the temerity to distance themselves from the new feminist lobby, the “man-cession” will deepen and further mischief will ensue.
The story is well summarized by the excerpts above, but to appreciate how appalling the details are read the whole thing. The author has written some good books and seems sensible, but I hope her reference to “social justice” in the penultimate paragraph was ironic, in my view anyone who puts those two words together and means something serious by it is a dangerous enemy.