Friday, August 26, 2022

The Battle of the Sexes: Patriarchy versus Feminism

Simone de Beauvoir

By using the facts of world history, between 1800 and 1990, it is possible to argue that patriarchy can coexist with democracy, that it can facilitate rapid technological progress and economic growth, and that it can inspire good art. But every argument has a counterargument—when you posit that the world was patriarchal between 1800 and 1990, you will have to acknowledge the existence of the counterargument for patriarchy: feminism.  

Women are not an endangered minority, like the Jews in the Middle East. In all nations, there are as many women as men. In a democratic society, every citizen has one vote—this should grant men and woman an equal stake in the political system, and make both patriarchy and feminism irrelevant. But Neo-Marxist and Neo-liberal thinkers (like Simone de Beauvoir and Toni Morrison) were successful in making the case that patriarchy was authoritarian and violent, and feminism liberal and peaceful. After 1950, patriarchy started declining and there was growth in feminism. 

Can feminism coexist with democracy? Can feminism facilitate the kind of technological progress, economic growth, and artistic trends that the world has seen between 1800 and 1990? In the twenty-first century, feminism has conquered the political centerstage in all advanced democracies. It seems that patriarchy has been permanently discarded into the dustbin of history—but this has led to economic stagnation, and fall in technological and artistic standards. Also, there is no lessening in authoritarianism; people continue to be unequal and unfree.

The experience of the twenty-first century shows that feminism is as authoritarian as patriarchy. Feminism does not empower women; it does lead to gender equality; it does not strengthen democracy; it does not lead to technological progress and prosperity. Feminism is not conducive for happiness; feminist communities face the problem of drug abuse and depression. The biggest drawback of feminism (from my point of view) is that it inspires abysmal art (feminist books, paintings, music, movies are abysmal).

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