Quote of the Day:
Many people assume that it is modern feminism, not the Constitution, that has secured freedom and political equality for women. In reality, the Constitution has always been compatible with women’s equal political rights and provides a framework for the expansion of those rights.
–Christina Villegas in "Modern Feminism and the Rejection of Constitutional Government"
The above quote is from Christina Villegas' important new study, "Modern Feminism and the Rejection of Constitutional Government," which is published by the Heritage Foundation.
She does a good job of setting forth the goal of contemporary feminism, which is more all inclusive than the goals of mere equality and opportunity:
Modern feminism, however, has strayed from this narrow mission, embracing instead a far more radical agenda. In the name of promoting “equality,” it has become a movement that seeks to promote women’s full autonomy by eliminating gender distinctions and forcing gender parity (statistical proportionality of males and females) in every area of academic, economic, social, and political life.
Achieving these ends requires the vast expansion of centralized government, the redefinition of freedom, and the preferential application of the law to women based on their identity as a specially protected class.
On these grounds, the modern feminist movement is interested in fundamental social transformation rather than the mere protection of individual freedom and opportunity. Its agenda is openly hostile to the American constitutional system, which is based on limiting the scope and character of the law in order to protect the individual rights and equal opportunity of both men and women.
. . .
Contemporary feminism, an ideological outgrowth of the second wave [feminism], has largely adopted the belief that constitutional forms, which pledge an objective application of the law without regard to sex and limit government power with a view to protecting individual rights, are patriarchal in nature and
In an email, my friend Edward Bartlett has highlighted a particular ramification of feminism's new, anti-constitutional perspective. It shows why modern feminists eschew having the criminal justice system handle campus rape accusations and instead prefer tribunals that erode the right of due process for accused. Edward quotes this sentence:
The charge that sexual violence is pandemic and that such violence is a primary mechanism of male social control motivates a feminist response to violence that is rooted in social and legal transformation as opposed to a constitutional system of legal equality that seeks to punish individual perpetrators of violence.
It is a long and fascinating essay that traces the development of feminist thought, pointing out how very much more radical today's movement is than it was when Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique in 1963.