The Legacy of Feminism 3 - Conclusion

What men and women both need is love, not the anger of feminism.

Editor's Note: This series of articles was originally a speech delivered fifteen years ago.  It's interesting to note what has changed since then, and what hasn't.  This is the final section.

Well, like it or lump it, feminism is here, and it is powerful.  Not only do the feminists in many ways run this country—just look at our president [ed - Hillary and Bill Clinton] and her husband--but their beliefs have filtered all through society.

And this brings us to the true legacy of feminism, my friends: It’s the same philosophy that drives all of liberalism, and that is so opposed to the traditional Judeo-Christian culture that built this country.

It’s the entitlement philosophy: I have my rights!  They owe it to me!

Feminists are no different: We have our rights!  We have the right to be heard!  We have the right to have power, and prestige, and money, and so on, and on, and on.  And they forget about the responsibilities.

If everyone is concerned only about their own desires, their own rights, their own wants, then no wonder this world is so full of strife.

Here’s what feminism has done, folks: It has caused a change in our culture: a lack of respect for people of the opposite gender, and that lack of respect has caused a willingness to exploit people of the opposite gender.  So the important question is, how has it affected us here?

To answer this question, we need look no further than at relationships.  It’s been said that a relationship is not a 50-50 proposition; it requires 100% from both parties.  And I think that all of you here that are married will agree with that.

The problem is, so many people today don’t know how to do that, or can no longer give 100%.

I don’t know about you, but I love to watch people.  There’s a lot that can be learned from watching people.  It’s fun, and educational.

But one thing that I’ve seen: it seems to me that people are hurt a lot worse than they used to be.  There’s a great lack of respect for other people’s feelings, or spirits; a willingness to exploit someone else’s heart to your own advantage or for your own moment of pleasure.

I read a lot; I love to read old books.  You can tell a lot about cultures of the past from reading the literature of the past.

Read books by O. Henry sometime, or Booth Tarkington, or other writers of the end of the last century.  These are romance stories; but they’re somehow different from what we have today.

People are hurt, true; there’s always the story of unrequited love, of chasing someone that doesn’t care about you.  That’s been around since time immemorial; and having a crush on someone that doesn’t like you is part of growing up.

We all know this; we’ve all experienced it; we all laugh at the little teens and their relationships that seem so serious at the time, but we know that when they are older they’ll look back on them and laugh too.

Except—is this really true?  Is this always true?  Is there no harm done?  Is all as it has always been?  I say, No.

Emotions have always been hurt; hearts have always been broken; but I think today that there’s a large number of people that are torn apart, devastated, exploited, squeezed dry of every drop of their feelings, then cast aside by insensitive man-eaters and woman-eaters.

And it’s a cycle that repeats itself, a vicious circle that I’ve seen time and again.  A good, open, honest, loving, caring person, exploited mercilessly by someone with little or no heart, that tears them apart.  And then maybe the victim no longer feels able to love as fully as once they did; feels threatened by a close relationship; defends themselves from further hurt by a distance, by not loving with all their heart.

And eventually some come to care so little, to guard their heart so closely, that they are doing to others what once was done to them: they’ve become an emotional vampire, sucking the love out of others, and leaving them empty, to do it to others yet again.  And the cycle goes on.

And that’s the legacy of feminism, my friends: a self-centeredness, a concern only for one’s own pleasure or one’s own rights, at the expense of everyone else.

Again let me say: Feminism has caused a lack of respect for persons of the opposite gender, and that lack of respect for the opposite gender has caused a willingness to exploit others.  And this harms not just women, or just men, but both.

With feminism, it manifests itself as women cease to care for their husbands as they have for centuries; as they abandon their children to daycare or government workers; as they say in their hearts, We have been exploited by men all these years, by abusers and Don Juans and wandering eyes, and now it’s time to return the favor.

Well, I’m sorry, but two wrongs don’t make a right.  And the relentless pursuit of rights won’t lead to happiness.

What’s Christian love?  Giving without demanding a return.  See, love is not a quid pro quo; it’s not a business deal; it’s selflessly giving to others and caring for them, not tallying up each tit for tat.

If all of us can be like this, and not just in dating relationships, but in all relationships, then the legacy of feminism will end: for what feminist is happy, never caring for anyone, any more than Scrooge was happy, always gathering money to himself and never giving out.  And, of course, that’s just as true of chauvinism, for feminism and chauvinism are two sides of the same coin.

The right response for both is summarized in the collected wisdom of millennia known as the Bible.

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

 - Titus 2:4-5

This verse, I think, encapsulates the answer to feminism.  Feminists are not feminine; they want to be masculine.  They want to do all the things men do.  And that’s wrong.

In fact, the Greek word that we have translated as obedient to their husbands is the same word used elsewhere when telling servants to be subject to their masters.

But I’m not saying women are to be men’s slaves.  Absolutely not.  Any man who wants to marry a girl so he can be served by her is not worthy of her, and is a true chauvinist.  The Biblical writers had plenty to say about men’s relations with their wives:

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

 - Ephesians 5:25

Remember, folks, according to Christian beliefs, Christ died for the church, and the early Christian writers compared the husband’s responsibility to this selfless act of sacrifice.  If anything, that is a greater constraint and a more dire responsibility than the wife has.

The point is, both men and women are to serve each other.  The husband and wife are to love and serve each other.  Not to put what they want first, but the other’s needs.

The husband ought not to demand that his wife serve him, but he should not have to.  She should willingly submit to his leadership.

And likewise, the wife should not have to nag or wheedle or plead to get the husband to take out the trash or fix the leaky sink or whatever.  He should gladly do it, in a spirit of service, recognizing how blessed he is to have her in his life.

The right response to feminism is the opposite of both feminism and chauvinism.  Instead of being self-centered, be others-centered.

Instead of demanding your own rights, help others with theirs.  Instead of avoiding responsibility for your own actions, accept it and live up to it.  And, most importantly, instead of having a spirit of hate and of anger, have a spirit of love.

For the men, we need to recognize that women are not lesser, weaker men; they are different with their own strengths. And correspondingly, if a woman is better at something than you, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t being a man.  Some women excel, are great, skilled, famous, whatever, and that doesn’t diminish the man’s leadership in and of itself.

And for women who choose the be Christians, the fact is, according to their own holy book the home should have the priority over the career.  Contributing to the social, spiritual, and academic growth of the family is more important, more lasting, and can be more rewarding than the fleeting financial gain and personal gratification of the business world.

Now, I’m not saying women should never work, should be penned up in the kitchen all the time, no, no, no.  But there should be a priority, a precedence of family over job.

Why must women be like men?  Why do feminists want women to be masculine, to fight the same fights, to share the same goals, to march to the same drummer, as men?  

Here’s what the feminists want.  Everything the same.  Everyone exactly the same.  Or if there is a difference between men and women, they want it like this.  That’s worse if anything, it seems to me.

But they’re wrong.  Women are different from men, and men are different from women, and you can’t change that.  And as the French say, Vive la difference!  Long live the difference!

The legacy of feminism is clear in our country today: broken homes, broken hearts, families doomed before they even start.

The feminists accuse men of warring on them; but in truth feminism is warring on men, and on families, and on love, and on all that’s good.  What we need is old-fashioned Christian charity, love one for another, regardless of differences.

And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.

 - 1 Thessalonians 3:12

The feminist does not love; the feminist cannot love; for to love someone would be to infringe upon her own rights.

Our Christian heritage commands us to love; not just those that love us, but all men.  And if we all do this, then we will return to the stability, the order, the civility and the concern for others, that has been lost now for almost fifty years.

Condensed from a speech delivered in the mid-90s.  Read other articles by Guest Editorial or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

Interesting series. The author has a lot right, but a fair amount wrong as well. Also interesting is the lack of comments.

I think most people (even most people who call themselves feminists) know that feminism is unfortunately associated with man-hating; fewer are aware of the manipulation or even fabrication of statistics.

But people don't actually TALK about it much.

Why is this? In my mind, there are two possibilities.

The first, and this is most commonly associated with times when feminists are on the warpath against atrocities such as rape and battering, is that most normal people abhor and are enraged by such crimes. We don't really care if those who oppose them have less than perfect statistics; in fact, we don't really care if they are acting like a pack of rabid hyenas, because while the law might prohibit actually throwing a rapist or a man guilty of beating his wife to death to a real pack of rabid hyenas, we wouldn't really shed any tears if it actually happened. "That shouldn't have happened, but the bastard got what he deserved," most of us would think, and then move on.

The second reason people do not generally discuss the flaws of feminism is that they know what will happen to them if they do. They will be perceived (and if they attain a high enough profile, there will be those who actively paint them) as being in defense of the vilest of the people that feminists oppose -- rapists, wife-batterers, even child killers.

Who wants to deal with that? What is the reward for taking the risk? Right now, the "reward" is the good feeling of knowing that you've striven to bring honesty to the table regarding issues that feminists are angry about. And for the vast majority of us, that's just not enough.

However, things are changing. More and more men are being ensnared and abused by the grotesquely gender-biased "family" courts, for example, and they are starting to organize. More and more WOMEN are starting to see how the men in their lives have been abused by the system perpetrated by the "family" courts, which has really more to do with money than feminism.

Most activist organizations start with pure intentions. However, once their initial goals are met, they rarely just dismantle themselves (at the very least choosing to stick around "to make sure we don't lose what we worked so hard to gain"), and it is that after-time that corruption and a willingness to abuse can slip in virtually unnoticed even by organization members. This has happened to modern feminism. We have women who almost every woman who calls herself a "feminist" would consider to be feminists speaking out against the actions of feminist organizations. Consider the words of television's Judge Judy Scheindlin (who once ran an entire "family" court system) on the indefensible bias against fathers in our modern "family" courts. Consider the words of Erin Pizzey, who founded the first womens' shelter in the world, on the dangerous lies and manipulations of modern feminists associated with the politics of domestic violence (and what happened to her as a result of her speaking out). Things have gone too far; they cannot remain as they are forever.

January 12, 2011 10:15 AM

The observation that feminists trash people who disagree with them so people get intimidated is the same thing that special interests all use - they focus. Sugar growers trash the taxpayers because the lobby fiercely to keep tariffs high so we pay way over world prices for sugar. Ethanol is worse - they get subsidies AND high import tariffs AND we are required to put that low-milage junk in our gas tanks. They care more about than we do, so we do not lobby as much.

January 12, 2011 7:12 PM

Very true, Julia -- but where the "family" courts are concerned, we are in a society where fewer and fewer people are NOT in some way at least connected to a father who has been abused by the grotesquely gender-biased "family" court system. The CHILDREN of such fathers are growing up and beginning to get vocal about the situation. Things are going to change -- at a glacial pace, but change they will.

January 12, 2011 7:18 PM

The first and most important change that needs to happen, by the way, is for a rebuttable presumption of equal joint placement in child custody cases. That means that unless there is proven reason to do otherwise, the court will presume that children will spend equal time with both parents. This is in contrast to today's "winner takes all" presumption where custody is more or less rubber stamped to mothers.

January 12, 2011 7:21 PM

I understand the merits of your argument, Werebat. However, is it really good for kids to bounce back and forth between two different homes? In all seriousness, how is it possible for children to actually spend equal time with both parents, particularly if they reside in two different school districts? The logistics would be appalling.

The right solution is for people to stay married in the first place, or to not have kids. Easy to say, I know, and hard to do; but perhaps "no-fault divorce" is what needs to go. And once that's done, then by definition a divorce would include a legal finding of fault based on the standard rules of evidence, which would make allocating the children rather easier.

January 12, 2011 8:41 PM

I think I saw an article someplace here that says it's easier to get out of being married than to get out of paying for a refrigerator. Marriage ought to mean something! Feminism didn't destroy marriage so much as deprive it of any and all meaning.

January 12, 2011 8:59 PM


My oldest son "bounces back and forth" and he has yet to complain about it. If you were to ask him if he'd prefer to spend all of his time with his mother, what answer do you think he'd give?

His mother and I reside in two different school districts; we simply picked the better of the two to send him to. No real fuss there at all.

The only "appalling logistics" are those that the "family" court presents when trying to shoehorn everyone into a "winner takes all" mentality rather than doing what's right for the kids in the situation. Rubber stamping full custody to mothers certainly doesn't help the kids.

It's true that it's best for the kids if their parents are married; however, life doesn't always allow for the best of all possible situations, and the "family" courts are designed to deal with the times when things are not ideal.

Many arguments against a rebuttable presumption of joint physical placement are in fact thinly veiled examples of the first attitude I outlined in my original response, with the underlying assumption that all divorce is the fault of the man. "Sure, the current situation isn't fair, but those rat bastard divorced fathers deserve whatever the courts can throw at them, so it's no concern of mine." Divorce is not always the man's fault, and using the welfare of the children against fathers in a misguided attempt to try to "make society learn to stay married" is just... sick.

January 12, 2011 9:58 PM

The above is better stated, "sacrificing the welfare of the children in a misguided attempt to 'make society learn to stay married'". Again, the underlying assumption being that it's OK to abuse divorced men (even if it means hurting their children, too) because their divorces were probably their fault, and if we treat divorced men badly enough then there will be fewer divorces because married men will stop wanting them.

This assumption sort of falls on its face when confronted with the fact that 70% of modern divorces are initiated by women.

January 12, 2011 10:03 PM

That's only an issue if there is no-fault divorce. Historically, you could not just "get divorced" - there had to be a reason, like adultery or abandonment. In such a case, obviously the adulterer or abandoner would be "at fault", and it would be clearly just for them to have unequal rights - but the fault had to be proven in court under the rules of evidence.

Without a proven fault, there would be no divorce permitted, so the situation you describe would not arise.

January 12, 2011 10:25 PM

You present the almost smarmy attitude I'm used to seeing from social conservatives on this issue; as if making things miserable for divorced fathers is somehow going to prompt a "fix" for anything.

We divorced fathers get it -- you people don't like divorce. We're just asking you to please stop sitting on US over it. "No fault" or not, we seem to be the ones being blamed and punished; us and our kids. Please stop.

And if you won't help to overcome the grotesque bias against us in the "family" courts, at least please get out of our way while we do.

January 13, 2011 3:37 AM

Werebat, I'm truly sorry for your misfortunes and hurt. I definitely don't agree with injustice being done to anyone, and pre-judging fathers to be presumptively "at fault" is clearly unjust. As you say, that grotesque bias needs to be overcome.

So how, exactly, would reforming the divorce laws to eliminate "no-fault" divorce make things miserable for divorced fathers? You could certainly argue that it wouldn't help, as there are always unintended consequences; but in what way would it make things worse?

January 13, 2011 8:45 AM

Patience, I apologize for my outburst... After reading what you wrote more carefully, I can see that what I responded to was not a non-sequitur but was in fact connected to an earlier argument.

In response to your question, advocating a shift of attention away from remedying the very real problems of divorced fathers to the even more incredible task of outlawing no-fault divorce hurts fathers by hijacking attention, for one.

Beyond that, in the current social climate, demanding a finding of fault for a divorce to be granted would most likely result in fault being found with men, most likely for "cruelty" due to "emotional abuse" or some such. Similarly vague charges are already used as grounds for forcing the status quo of full custody to the mother every day. This would set fathers back, not help them.

And I doubt it would really bring the divorce rate down, either. I went through a divorce, and believe me, if fault had been necessary, fault would have been found one way or another, even if it had required collusion between myself and my ex.

What WILL bring the divorce rate down would be making it a less attractive option to BOTH parties, not just men. Remember that 70% of modern divorces are initiated by women, and the most common reason given is a feeling of "emotional distance". Right now, divorce is a pretty attractive option for the woman who is simply feeling "emotionally distant" from (or simply bored with) her spouse. If it were less so (for example, she were not virtually guaranteed full custody of the kids), we would expect the divorce rate to go down.

And indeed, in those few areas that have instituted a policy of rebuttable presumption of joint physical placement, the divorce rates HAVE gone down.

January 13, 2011 9:09 AM

As an aside -- we sometimes hear that it is good to make divorce easy on women because it will help prevent abused women from feeling that they need to stay with their abusers in order to protect their children. This may have been a valid point once, but that day has passed. Today abused MEN, or simply men trapped in marriages with wives who abuse their kids, are the ones who feel intimidated into remaining in marriages that put themselves (and certainly their kids) in physical danger from abusive women. The father who witnesses his wife severely beating the kids is afraid to even call the police for fear that he'll be the one hauled off. He certainly isn't going to take the matter to "family" court, as he knows he'll essentially be abandoning the kids to their monstrous mother because the courts will NEVER award custody to him.

January 13, 2011 9:14 AM

Up until the 1850's, children were ALWAYS awarded to the husband in case of a divorce. Then an inventive judge invented the "tender years" doctrine which said that a child of tender years ought to be with the mother. No longer at risk of losing their kids, women divorced in greater and greater numbers. Google "tender years" and see what you find.

January 13, 2011 7:06 PM

It's gone pretty far. in Eek! A Male! WSJ wrote

Last week, the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, Timothy Murray, noticed smoke coming out of a minivan in his hometown of Worcester. He raced over and pulled out two small children, moments before the van's tire exploded into flames. At which point, according to the AP account, the kids' grandmother, who had been driving, nearly punched our hero in the face.


Mr. Murray said she told him she thought he might be a kidnapper.


Last February, a woman followed a man around at a store berating him for clutching a pile of girls' panties. "I can't believe this! You're disgusting. This is a public place, you pervert!" she said—until the guy, who posted about the episode on a website, fished out his ID. He was a clerk restocking the underwear department.


And that's not the worst. In England in 2006, BBC News reported the story of a bricklayer who spotted a toddler at the side of the road. As he later testified at a hearing, he didn't stop to help for fear he'd be accused of trying to abduct her. You know: A man driving around with a little girl in his car? She ended up at a pond and drowned.

We think we're protecting our kids by treating all men as potential predators. But that's not a society that's safe. Just sick.

January 13, 2011 7:10 PM


You are correct. There was a time when men had every advantage in divorce court, and being human beings they abused those advantages. Today, we have things the other way 'round (women being human beings too).

It is important to understand the role of finance in the current mess that is the "family" court system. Reagan, on realizing that his war on welfare would become a political nightmare as it opened him up to being accused of taking food from the mouths of innocent children, sort of gave up on coming after welfare mothers and instead instituted a policy that was intended to get states to get off their butts when it came to the collection of child support (since welfare money comes from the Federal treasury, states had little interest in following up on collecting child support in welfare cases because the money was just going to go to repay the Federal government). His plan was to give states a percentage of the CS money they collected; that would give them a reason to get involved.

Decades later, we see the results. CS awards have skyrocketed, with it being in the best interest of the state to see to it that winner-takes-all custody is the norm; that's the best way to maximize the amount of money that one parent is paying the other, which in turn maximizes state profit from the whole enterprise. Add in a dose of "it's for the children" and you have quite the scam going on.

States have no interest in making a rebuttable presumption of joint physical placement the norm; in fact they have hijacked the less unwieldy term "joint custody" to mean "joint legal custody" so that they can smoothly claim that almost all child custody cases end up being "joint custody", so what are those fathers so upset about? Probably just trying to shirk their CS obligations...

Our "family" courts have a clear pecking order of who they serve; the state first, women second, kids third, and men... Well, it's OK to abuse divorced fathers; after all, they aren't PEOPLE, like us...

January 13, 2011 7:44 PM
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