In 1997, the Canadian birth rate fell to its lowest point in history, 1.6 children per woman. This figure, which represents the number of children a woman has in her lifetime, is a decline of 60% from 1960 when the rate was 3.9 children. The birth rate has declined 15% in the last five years alone.
The declining birth rate is mirrored by the falling rate of marriages and rising rate of divorce. The current marriage rate (5 per 1000 population) is lower now than in 1931 during the Great Depression. It is down 44% from 1970. The divorce rate is up 35% from 1970. (Canadian Social Trends, Statistics Canada, Spring 2000.)
In my opinion, these statistics reveal a rapid breakdown in male-female relations that is undermining society and causing untold personal misery. The reason is that millions of young men and women are confused about their sexual identity. The cause is feminism, which teaches the young that sex roles are merely the product of social conditioning and are oppressive by definition.
This influence was prevalent in 65 female students I taught in 1999-2000 at the University of Winnipeg. These mainly 18 and 19 year-old women saw divorce, not marriage, as the defining moment in a woman’s life. They believed marital breakup was inevitable and assumed they would have to support themselves and their children alone.
For example, they applauded Stella Kowalski for leaving Stanley in the movie version of A Streetcar Named Desire. Until then, they saw Stella, a pregnant housewife, as a "doormat" despite the fact that she was obviously very happy and in love.
These attitudes reflect the feminist orientation prevalent in society, especially in government, the media and education. For more than three decades, feminists have been teaching young women to make career their first priority. They are teaching them to see men as violent predators, and to reject traditional sex roles and gender division altogether.
Every human being is entitled to fulfill her career aspirations. It would be absurd to ask contemporary women to view marriage as their only route to economic wellbeing. The question is one of priority. Which is more important? Becoming a wife and mother? Or developing a career and becoming "independent"? A woman has to make one her priority because these paths tend to conflict, both practically and philosophically.
A woman can always get a career. The optimum time to marry and start a family is in her twenties. Nature has made young women most attractive to men and most capable of bearing and raising children. The statistics show that, thanks to the influence of feminism, thousands of women (and by extension, men) are missing the boat, with dire consequences for both them and society.
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In The Flight from Woman (1964), Dr. Karl Stern, a distinguished psychiatrist, defined the difference between the masculine and the feminine.
Dr. Stern’s ideas are a variation on the old adage, "The man makes the house, the woman makes the home." They are useful to understanding the feminist attack on traditional sex roles.
Dr. Stern says the essence of masculinity is "power" or mastery over the physical environment. Men are risk-takers, fixers, protectors and providers. Men are drawn to use reason and science to overcome the physical world.
The essence of femininity, Dr. Stern says, is "love": giving and receiving it. Unlike men, women do not stand outside of creation and relate by abstract ideas. They are part of creation, in tune with people, emotion, intuition and what Dr. Stern calls "poetic knowledge."
Unlike men, women do not do, they are. They do not go out to the physical world; they go in to the spiritual realm. Their power is their beauty, wisdom, grace and love. These qualities fit them for their role as nurturer and "home" maker.
Heterosexual marriage, in my view, involves a union of "love" and "power." Women give their worldly power to a man in trust, in exchange for love and security. Men do not abuse this power because they need women’s love. Thus, women have a great deal of power, based on love. On the other hand, men cannot love women who compete with them for worldly power.
In the past, women made men feel powerful. Men then devoted their power to the service of women (and children). The male quest for mastery and money is pretty empty by itself. Women provided a higher purpose. Men made the living. Women made life worth living.
Women have been selected by nature for a task far more important than anything men do. She creates life. She creates family, the only living thing, which succeeds us when we die, our only link to eternity. We can aspire to no higher achievement than a healthy loving family.
By putting her family first, a woman is the nucleus of a successful family. She starts the circuit of love, which inspires a man to take on the responsibilities of family. She creates the environment, which restores the man and nourishes and shapes the next generation.
"Equality" makes sense only as a marriage of these two different kinds of power. To form durable unions, women should cede male-style power to men. A man will do his best for a woman who respects his masculinity. Men and women were meant to specialize in different areas of the psyche. In marriage, we were meant to find psychic completion.
Feminism has taught women to seek male-style power for themselves and to compete for it with men. Dr. Stern describes them as "phallic women." But as they gain phallic power, such women are losing the source of their own uniquely female power. How can they love someone with whom they compete?
Teaching women to seek male-style power is the same as injecting them with testosterone. Taking this power from men and giving it to women is emasculating men. In short, power = penis. In heterosexual relationships, only one is necessary. Sexual identity is undermined, if not dissolved when women invade the masculine realm, and when men are asked to fill the vacuum left by women.
But this is exactly what the radical feminists want. They seek to erase gender altogether by incorporating male and female power in one person. Thus women are encouraged to be more like men and vice versa.
Their androgynous vision of society is proving to be a recipe for sexual and social suicide. Opposite attracts; same repels. Androgens don’t need anyone else. And they don’t reproduce, except with a test tube.
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The goal of equal economic and political status for womenhas largely been achieved. Today feminism has morphed into a virulent and pernicious social disease attacking the biological, moral and cultural foundations of society. It represents a raw hunger for power, a vicious hatred of men, and a shameful abdication and devaluation of the feminine.
Many radical feminist leaders are lesbians and believe lesbianism is the logical progression of feminism. Most lesbians are not so much attracted to other women as they fear/hate men while envying the male role. Feminists and homosexuals hide behind an image of being a persecuted minority seeking only tolerance and equality. In fact, they are using this demand for "equality" to attack and undermine heterosexuality. "Queer politics is no longer content to carve out a buffer zone for a minoritized and protected subculture," a gay manifesto Fear of a Queer Planet declares. Its goal is "to challenge the pervasive hetero-normativity of modern societies."
These radical feminists and homosexuals believe heterosexuality and the nuclear family are inherently evil. In the book, Feminist Politics and Human Nature , Alison Jagger writes that the nuclear family is "a cornerstone of woman’s oppression: it enforces women’s dependence on men, it enforces heterosexuality and it imposes the prevailing masculine and feminine character structures on the next generation."
Through their powerful influence in government, media and education, feminists are transforming society. Today, traditional sex roles are encouraged only if they are practiced by the reverse sex. Men who stay home with the kids are applauded. Women who are cops or mountain climbers are considered role models. But if the same roles are encouraged for the traditional sexes, suddenly they become "sexist". Men are taught to feel ashamed of their natural competitive or sexual drives. Women are stigmatized for wanting to be wives and mothers.
This kind of dogma is as dangerous as it is unnatural. Masculinity and femininity are hard wired into the brain of the fetus. (See Anne Moir and David Jessel: Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women,1992). For example, the testosterone level in males is ten times that of females. Culture elaborates and nuances these innate differences by way of sex roles. Male and female sex roles are essential to our development as individuals. To tell young people that male and female sexual identity has no basis in biology is dishonest. To discourage them from expressing their natural heterosexual inclinations is perverse.
The feminist attempt to erase gender strikes me as homosexual in character.
How else can we explain the concerted attempt to alienate young women from men, and from the institution of marriage? How else can we explain the attempt to characterize heterosexual sex as rape? And what about the fanatical refusal to allow anything positive to be said about traditional heterosexual roles?
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The main target of feminists is the white male who is accused of oppressing women as well as the poor and people of other races. Feminists believe all of western civilization is nothing but a rationalization for white male dominance. The solution: eliminate culture and replace it with the experience of the "oppressed." Use "human rights" and "preferential hiring" to place the "oppressed" mainly women and select minorities, in positions of power regardless of their ability. Thus our universities have become a joke and white men are often discriminated against in education and the work place.
The oppression of women by men is a myth. In the past, women have been discouraged from assuming the male role. This is not the same as being oppressed. In fact, women have always been exempted from war service and were often protected from hard manual labor. Even today, men make up 95% of work place fatalities. Only feminists think the female role is oppressive. The almost two million U.S., Canadian and British men who died in two World Wars might have preferred it.
In general, feminists have taken power through an effective campaign of demonizing men. Women are seen as helpless victims from heaven; men are violent predators from hell. Women’s Studies Departments at hundreds of universities, government programs, movies, TV and print all reinforce these stereotypes. The hysteria feminists are directing against men would not be tolerated against any other social group.
For example, men are said to be rapists. A much-quoted Ms. Magazine survey claimed that 25% of American women said they’d been raped by the time they reached college. It turns out, they defined "rape", as succumbing to a man’s "continual arguments and pressure." This is typical of the inflation of the vocabulary that has taken place.
In general, feminists extrapolate from a relatively small number of incidents to characterize all men as violent oppressors. Thus they have destroyed the trust which is the cornerstone of heterosexual relationships.
In the home, feminists have wrested power from men and given it to women by the widespread "zero tolerance" policy. A woman need only claim that a man has touched her, or uttered a threat, and he will be jailed for domestic assault without any proof. In fact, she can invent any charge she wants and she can do it months or even years later. Every year thousands of law-abiding men like myself are abused and then jailed simply for trying to maintain order and civility in our homes.
Under these circumstances, men are no more likely to marry than are women. The effect of this policy is to undermine marriage altogether. Imagine what would happen to the economy if business partners could throw each other into jail on the say-so of one.
Certainly some men abuse their power. But the police must be given back discretion to determine when a woman is in fact in danger.
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My contract to teach at the University of Winnipeg was not renewed because a few students slandered me. Again, this is a textbook example of how feminists take power from men. They convict men of "sexual harassment" which they define as anything that makes one female feel "unsafe or uncomfortable."
My real crime: offering intellectual respectability for traditional male and female sex roles illustrated by an analysis of DH Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover; Henry James, Wings of the Dove; Henrik Ibsen, Hedda Gabler and Anton Chekhov, The Sea Gull. The majority of my female students were happy to receive intellectual support for becoming a wife and mother. Some of them thanked me after class. But, in the university’s eyes, they don’t count.
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Radical feminists claim capitalism is an example of oppressive patriarchy. Ironically, feminism would not have succeeded if it didn’t fit the corporate agenda. Why pay a man enough to support a family when you can get his wife working for the same amount as well? Double the workforce, double productivity and keep a lid on wages.
Our corporate leaders have other reasons for encouraging feminism. One is to divide and conquer. Keep men and women at each other’s throats and they won’t question the direction of society. Who better to emasculate men than women? But it goes deeper than that. Keep us isolated and alone, sex starved and dysfunctional, and we will be better consumers.
Big business wants us to define our identity solely in terms of what we produce and consume. It doesn’t want us to get meaning from family roles that have nothing to do with the economy. Thus, mothers rush back to work six weeks after giving birth, leaving strangers earning minimum wage to raise their baby.
The traditional family is the last place where the father and mother can create a little world dedicated to something other than consumption. With the decline of the nation state, the family represents the last resistance to the corporate vision of life.
Steward Ewen, in his classic study of the advertising industry Captains of Consciousness (1976) cites advertising trade journals which talk about increasing consumption by undermining the traditional family. This is done by undermining the authority of men by empowering women and youths.
Have you noticed how many ads make women look smart and men look ridiculous? How many ads encourage sex role reversal? How many ads show people gaining happiness from consumer products instead of healthy male-female relationships?
Take the AT&T ad for example. The career woman comes home to an empty apartment. The warm glow from her computer greets her lovingly in masculine tones and says: "let’s order out for pizza." This woman is a success in corporate terms: she is a producer, a consumer and nothing else.
Or take the Herbal Essence shampoo ad. A woman is getting off by washing her hair in the service station bathroom. She sounds like she’s having an orgasm. The hapless young male trying to fix her engine is portrayed as impotent when the radiator "prematurely" spills over. She clearly doesn’t need him. She has the shampoo.
Politicians do the bidding of their corporate masters. In Canada the feminist movement is entirely funded by the government and would hardly exist otherwise. In 1980 the National Action Committee on the Status of Women which claims to represent 3 million women tried to raise some money from its membership. It raised $7,800. The same year, it received $4.1 million from the federal government. (I highly recommend Martin Loney’s The Pursuit of Division: Race Gender and Preferential Hiring in Canada, 1998. ) The President of NACSW was recently quoted as saying half her membership is lesbian. Thus .3% of the population claim to represent the women of Canada.
Women are victims of this unholy alliance between big business, big government and feminism. An NBC poll released June 22, 2000 states that only 14% of women work for personal satisfaction. The rest work for money. If they could, one third of American women said they would prefer to work just part-time. Nearly as many would stay home and care for their family. And even more would prefer volunteer work to a full-time career.
"I think women, more than any other group are beginning to feel betrayed by work," work historian Benjamin Hunnicut told ABC News June 7. "That what they seek at work, this identity, community, meaning, is not being found." Psychologist Mary Piper shares a similar point of view. "The world of work is organized in a way that makes it very difficult to both work and be a loving, committed member of a family at the same time. I don’t think women as a group are much happier now."
Are we Spartans who must draft all our women in the battle for more wealth?
As a society, are we so poor and greedy that we cannot free more of them to enrich their husbands and children?
Women have been tricked into abdicating their role as nurturers and mediators of spiritual values. Everyone — men, women and children — are suffering grievously from the deficiency of feminine values in the world. These qualities include grace, beauty, sweetness, intuition, tenderness and love.
Professor Ruth Wisse of Harvard University sums it up: "By defining relations between men and women in terms of power and competition instead of reciprocity and cooperation, the [women’s] movement tore apart the most basic and fragile contract in human society, the unit from which all other social institutions draw their strength."
At the beginning of the 21st Century, our major challenge is to restore the respect given to traditional sex roles, and to the traditional family.