Thursday, June 16, 2016

We Have Failed Our Daughters. From the 2d Wave to the 3d Wave

I've been watching 3rd wave feminism and the havoc it has wreaked in the last few years with dismay. It reminds me of an out of control toddler.

It truly breaks my heart to see the issue of womens' rights, an issue that has always been very close to my heart, turned into one of shallow bigotry against men, hatred against anyone who disagrees, and whining, bitching and moaning over the most absurd of issues (manspreading? seriously?) like children running to the mommy / daddy state and begging for support. When the support doesn't come the usual temper tantrum ensues.

The 3rd wave doesn't understand the concept of rights, especially women's rights and the role that concept plays in society in general. They seem to see it as a means to brow beat and abuse those they don't like (especially if they're male) or to support self-serving goals/agendas. They also don't understand how to achieve rights.

It just makes me shake my head.

And then I realize, it's my fault. It's the fault of my generation of women's rights activists. The 2d wave.

We did this to our daughters because we didn't teach them the most important aspects of women's rights.

We didn't teach our daughters that:

1. Women's rights are directly connected to Human Rights, to Civil Rights. Our rights must exist within that context. They cannot exist independent of that or they become Special Rights, the rights of a privileged (or underprivileged) group. Gaining rights for ourselves by taking away the rights of others benefits the divide and rule game of the elites and not us. The 2d wave fought for women's rights as well as the rights of the disadvantaged, the poor, the children.

2. Men are our allies in our fight for women's rights. Not our enemies. They are not our problem. Any state/government which diminishes our rights and freedoms is the problem. We should be focusing our attention on them and the numerous ways that they are removing ALL of our rights as well as those rights specific to women such as the right to control our bodies.

3. a. Rights are not given to us not matter how much we beg, stomp our feet or scream about it. Protest, screaming out on the Internet, writing blogs, doing any of these things by themselves accomplishes little or sometimes it accomplishes the wrong things.

3. b. Rights are won. They are won through organized systematic community-based actions. They are won by organizing at the grass roots level (online and IRL), helping people to understand the issues and why they matter and winning their hearts and support. They are not won by brow-beating those potential allies into submission using trite PC phrases, irrational arguments and initiating hate campaigns and deceptions against them when they dare to disagree. Patience, tolerance, understanding the issues, having open rational discussions is what wins us allies.

4. As strong women, we must assert ourselves, assert our rights, and act to defend them in both the legal arena and society at large or, in the case of anarchists, in an appropriate way that fits into your belief system. I'm not an anarchist so I don't know what that would be. The main point, irrespective of belief systems, is that if we don't act, then any problems that result are on us. No-one else. We have to shoulder that responsibility. Passivity, going along, accepting discriminatory and harassing environments without taking action is what the 2d wave fought hard against. As women, we are not weak, passive creatures and victims of happenstance. We have to act and in order to do that we have to take our strength, assert it, and never back down when we are acting to defend our rights. The blame game is simply a means to avoid taking a stand and rationalizing our own inaction. It's a way of avoiding responsibility.

The job of the 3d wave was easy at the beginning of the new millennium. All you had to do was defend and protect the rights that the 2d wave fought for and won. You didn't do your job because we didn't teach you what needed to be done. We assumed you knew. Of course, as the old saying goes, assuming things makes an 'ass' out of you and me. It certainly has done that in spades.

Now, today, in 2016, thanks to our Whistleblowers, we are seeing terrible erosions of rights. Erosions that impact everyone including in the areas of women's rights. As women, we are losing the right to control our bodies such as weakening of or elimination of abortion laws. The laws such as sexual harassment as well as labor laws are becoming ineffective because people (men and women) are not asserting their rights. There are many reasons for this including the fact that it's gradually becoming more difficult to do. Especially for the poor who don't have the means or resources to hire lawyers and assert their rights in the courts.

We are ALL responsible for that. For taking our rights for granted and for not acting to defend them.