Treating women like children is sexist. Or maybe it’s progressive? The line is blurred.
As Everyday Feminism puts it, chivalry “blankets itself as courtesy while concealing a dramatic assertion of inequality between the sexes. There’s no way around it – chivalry is about viewing women as fragile, delicate creatures”.
The Fatal Feminist writes that women “are real people who have the right to directly influence society”. But the post’s title, Get Me Off This Damn Pedestal, is in the passive voice. My response is: Get off your own damn pedestal. I will not do it for you. I will not act upon you. It is your responsibility, Fatal Feminist, to be the actor.
The pedestal treats women like children, but feminism can’t quite leave the pedestal behind. Upon the pedestal, one is blameless. Responsibility lies with those on the ground.
In her post Why Yes Can Mean No, Jordan Bosiljevac writes that even when a man has explicitly asked and a woman has explicitly said yes, even when there’s “no coercion, no imminent threat of violence, no inebriation (well, not a lot, anyway)”, still sex can be rape.
A woman cannot be held responsible for saying yes of her own free will, and thus a man can never truly know when consent has been given. (The issue of her getting his consent is never examined.)
Bosiljevac elaborates about “conclusions I have come to about what happened that night when I said yes, but meant no”. She continues, stating that “Consent is a privilege, and it was built for wealthy, heterosexual, cis, white, western, able-bodied masculinity”.
The logical conclusion here is that women, like children, are incapable of truly making adult decisions. The difference is that Bosiljevac doesn’t locate this deficiency within women themselves, but rather within society.
This is nothing more than the old fashion notion of men as actors and women as acted upon – with an Orwellian spin to make it palatable for progressives.
The issue of one’s responsibility to honestly give consent and to take ownership of the consent one has given is not examined. And to bring up the issue would no doubt be cited as an example of rape culture.
It is no longer good enough to be a victim. The quest for status (even if it means demeaning women who really have been raped) is about being a bigger victim than all the rest. And being devoid of all responsibility, with one’s own actions being the fault of others, is the ultimate victim identity.
Yet, if women really are such delicate flowers, then the idea that women, like children, need male guardians seems not so unreasonable. Saudi Arabia, anyone?
While not all feminists endorse this extreme version of victim culture, feminism in general does fail to challenge this nonsense for the sexism it is. And a significant subset within feminism actively encourages Bosiljevac’s avoidance of any and all adult responsibility.
Further, the Orwellian pedestal is seeping into mainstream society. A while back the New Yorker reported that male prisoners at the Baltimore City Detention Center have been sexually exploiting female prison guards. The female guards say they became involved with the male prisoners because, unlike the outside, the women had control over the men in prison.
Did I miss something? The female guards are victims, and they are in control, which makes sense because…
…victim culture puts women on pedestals.
Male prison guards who take advantage of female prisoners are rapists, but female prison guards who take advantage of male prisoners are victims. If this is true, it makes sense to ask whether women are competent enough to be prison guards.
The victim pedestal is a problem. Of course these women can handle having authority – because they’re not victims.
But the pedestal of women’s moral innocence, even to the point of bearing no personal responsibility for her own free will, is necessary to maintain the dichotomy of men as oppressors/women as oppressed.
That is, victim culture promotes misogyny and misandry at the same time, and calls itself feminism.