Feminism as a “movement” in America is largely played out. The work here is mostly done.
Uh-oh, Jonah Goldberg is going to make some people angry. That’s his lead in a piece posted on National Review today. U.S. “movement” feminists aren’t going to like what Jonah has to say because, rather than rejoicing at the achievements of American women, they’d rather demand ever more from government largesse.
Movement feminists prefer soft targets (male legislators on Capitol Hill) over, say, less tractable Middle Eastern tyrants. But for genuine believers in the intrinsic value of women’s contributions to society, Jonah had some great ideas for new directions:
The good news for those who want to continue the fight for women is that there is plenty of work left to do – abroad.
The plight of women in other countries is not only dire, it’s central to global poverty and the war on terrorism. Jihadism is largely a male problem. This shouldn’t be a surprise, given that jihadis commit mass murder in pursuit of a virgin bonus in the afterlife.
Islamist extremism and oppression of women go hand in hand. And while the correlation between poverty and terrorism is often overstated, the correlation between prosperity and women’s liberation is profound. Female education is tightly linked with GDP growth, lower birthrates, and even higher agricultural yields.
It’s also tightly linked with human freedom and decency, which is why no Islamic “spring” is possible without a feminist revolution. Countless Islamist countries practice gender apartheid and countenance wife-beating, honor killings, and female genital mutilation. Islamist radicals have thrown acid in the faces of young girls for trying to go to school.
American feminists have been slow to move on this. I think part of the hesitation is admitting that women in the US have achieved parity. We don’t need the help of feminists. But there are millions of women who do.