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November 12th 2012 print

Philippa Martyr

A deluded feminism’s real damage

My Quadrant Online colleague Steve Kates is in the crosshairs for daring to note that modern feminism has produced a bitter harvest. Those screams of outrage? Sometimes the truth hurts


I’m with Steven Kates. He’s absolutely right when he says:

"The confluence of the mendicants, the envious, the abortion lobby, what I call the cohort of damaged women, and the social-sciences know-nothings has proven a formidable combination."


I agreed with him when I read this on Catallaxy, and I still agree with it now, principally because it’s a brief but accurate summary of our current Federal cabinet. (Kates left out "corrupt unionists", but perhaps we can group them under ‘mendicants’.)

It’s an axiom of politics that he who robs Peter to pay Paul can count on Paul’s vote. That’s fine if your main purpose in life is to retain government at all costs, but it does nothing for the nation you plunder.

The politics of envy has brought nothing but misery to the human race. It’s light-years away from genuine values like healthy competition, freedom and the reward of real achievement. These values build up an economy and a society, whereas envy, stifling dissent and rewarding incompetence and laziness all tear it down.

The "cohort of damaged women" is real, and it is huge, and they have been damaged by real sexism, not by Steve Kates. They fell for a sales pitch that has reduced them to a pair of open legs: an airbrushed porn image that can’t answer back, has no mind, no soul, and importantly, no opinions on anything outside "reproductive rights".

Porn images also don’t get pregnant, which is why pretty much every adult woman in Australia has either had, or knows someone who’s had, an abortion. Legalised abortion and access to effective contraception were supposed to make abortion rare, but it’s actually now at plague proportions.

Most adult women in Australia also know someone who regrets having an abortion. Many of us also know the women with the mystery breast cancers, the women who now can’t have children, the women who are on substantial doses of antidepressants and have attempted suicide, the women who cry on certain hidden "anniversaries" they won’t talk about. 

How can anyone think that this is a good thing? Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century feminists argued that abortion was a quintessentially male solution to a problem that didn’t exist, except in the panic-stricken male mind. They argued for and tried to envision a future where every child would be welcomed, regardless of its origin. Yet every day women continue to climb up obediently on to the abortionist’s couch in the name of maintaining the status quo. How is this freedom of choice?

That just leaves the social-science know-nothings, who were the drivers behind these changes. Themselves almost entirely of the male persuasion, they fought bravely to remove censorship of any kind so that they could access porn whenever they wanted; they made sure women had access to abortions so that they wouldn’t be troubled by any expensive little nuisances; they ensured easy divorce so that they could get rid of unwanted wives with a minimum of fuss. These are also the people who are leading the charge for safe, convenient euthanasia on demand. 

I have noticed that these public-minded citizens tend to live in affluent suburbs with excellent home security, and are rarely threatened with the consequences of their social reforms: bashing, rape, theft and being spat upon by the products of a disintegrating society with no respect for human life. They are really the least of our problems now, except that they continue to chant away in the background like a Greek chorus and absorb large quantities of government funding. 

All the groups identified by Kates exist, and they are a formidable combination, to the point of completely changing the social landscape of our country in a short time. You’d think they’d be pleased to be identified and their contribution noted in this way. So really, what did Kates say that was so wrong?

Philippa Martyr (and yes, this is her real name) blogs at Transverse City