This past weekend, in the wake of Trump’s inauguration, around half of a million people, mostly women, marched on the capital to protest Trump’s presidency as well as stand up for Women’s rights. Yes, these women liken themselves to Susan B. Anthony and other famous feminist icons who struggled in the fight for Women’s suffrage. Adorned in pink pussy hats, toting signs that say “pussy grabs back” and other meaningless slogans, these women marched on the capital to deliver the clear message that… hmm, this one is a bit of a mystery.
Unlike their counterparts in the suffrage movement, the women who attended the ‘Women’s Mach’ really seem to have no idea what they are out there for other than a vague complaint that the patriarchy is oppressing them. Let’s do an exercise called “Are you oppressed?”. It’s a simple questionnaire.
Did you have to be accompanied by a male counterpart to leave your house to attend the march, like women in Saudi Arabia have to? Are you, by law, prohibited from obtaining financial independence? Are you prohibited from obtaining an education? Are you prohibited from making your own decisions in regards to marriage? Are you prohibited from voicing your opinions? When you are abused, attacked, or raped by a man do you face honor killings in order to protect your family’s reputation? Are you denied employment on the basis of being a woman? Is there anything that you are legally prohibited from doing that a man can?
If you answered no to the questions above I have some great news for you: You are not oppressed! The women who participated in the ‘Women’s March’, though they have no clear and direct message, all seem to agree that something needs to be done about ‘women’s rights’, because apparently they still don’t have them.
So what exactly are these women protesting for when they ask for ‘women’s rights’? This medium article seems to offer some insight into how these women feel. From the article;
You still have to pay taxes for your basic sanitary needs… You still have to carry mace when walking alone at night… You still don’t have paid (or even unpaid) maternity leave… You are still objectified. You are still catcalled. You are still sexualized… You are still being abused by your husband, by your boyfriend… You are not equal. Your daughters are not equal. You are still systemically oppressed.
Oh lord, I guess we might as well just dive in. First of all, if this march is supposed to be about having equal rights I am unclear how having to ‘pay taxes for sanitary needs’ somehow makes you unequal to men. The tax this woman is referring to is the ‘Tampon Tax’, and as a Libertarian I do agree with the author that the tax should be removed but we have different reasons for believing the tax should be removed. The Tampon Tax in California amounts to women paying an extra $7 a month for their hygiene products. Talk about oppression, right? Never mind policies that actually discriminate on the basis of gender, like selective service which only makes men sign up to be drafted, let’s focus on the fact that tampons should be a little cheaper.
To her second point, about having to carry mace at night, I have a shocker for all the women out there: it is unsafe for men to walk around in bad areas of town at night as well! As a former Austin Texas resident, a handful of times I had to make the 50 minute walk back from 6th street to my apartment on 28th when no Ubers were around to drive me, and guess what? It is still a scary walk even if you are a guy. I have a torn ligament in my shoulder which makes my right arm fairly useless in a fighting situation. Punching something full force at the right angle will almost certainly dislocate it. At 3 in the morning, on abandoned downtown streets, I, as a man, do not feel safe. You do not have a right to ‘feel safe’, this is a ludicrous and unobtainable goal to ask of your government. You have a right to actually be safe but you do not have a right to feel a certain way, and that is why there are laws against assault, both sexual and non sexual. I have no idea how feeling unsafe at night makes you ‘unequal’ because there are millions of men who have the same feeling.
Regarding maternity leave, the author states that “United States has no policy requiring maternity leave” which is blatantly false as women are awarded 12 weeks by law, albeit unpaid. What is interesting is that in the quest for being equal this author has given no mention to paternity leave for new fathers. If this march was about being ‘equal’ shouldn’t these women be arguing for the same rights for men and women? The answer to that question is of course yes, but what these women want isn’t about being ‘equal’ it’s about being elevated to a status above men.
To her point regarding being sexualized: Please, I implore you to go live in a country that practices sharia law, since the leader of the women’s march thinks it’s so great, where you will not have any men sexualizing you behind your burka. As a women in the United States you posses more freedom than women in nearly every other country in the world, and one of those freedoms is that you are allowed to dress provocatively, but you do not have the freedom to not be looked when you wear something that is obviously attempting to draw attention to yourself. You have the right to not be sexually assaulted, raped, or harassed, but you don’t have the right to not be looked at. If I decide to go out on the street wearing nothing but a Speedo and a tank top I am aware that I will draw attention to myself. When men wear revealing clothing they are looked at too. You are not facing systemic oppression from the patriarchy because some man you don’t find attractive is ogling you when you decide to go out wearing a crop top and shorts that let your ass hang out.
Lastly, regarding abuse, there are an infinite number of resources available to women who are in abusive relationships. Domestic violence is illegal in the United States, and the vast majority of the time the law only protects women. Men can be victims of domestic violence too, yet their stories are never heard and I see no one standing up for these abused souls. If you think that you are oppressed as a women in the United States I beg you to go to a country like Pakistan where you can be murdered for being raped. Things do not always go right, like the Brock Turner case, and I am part of the crowd that believes justice was not served in that instance, but to claim that women in America are abused to the point of being oppressed is absolutely ludicrous considering the protections offered here which are laughed at in other parts of the world.
Dear women of the United States, stop crying about oppression and the patriarchy. You have the freedom to do absolutely anything you want to do in this country, and there is quite literally nothing holding you back. You are no longer in a fight for ‘equality’, you are in a fight for government benefits. You want more maternity leave, you want taxes to be eliminated on products only designed for women, you want to ‘feel safe’ at night and not have to carry mace, you want to be able to wear provocative outfits without being ogled, and these are not endeavors of equality but rather an endeavor of elevating your status.
If you were really in a fight for ‘equality’ you would be standing up for paternity leave, you would be fighting to get women included in the draft, you would stand up for the rights of male rape victims and male domestic abuse victims, you would fight for the rights of good fathers who lose custody over their children in divorce simply because they are men, but you aren’t in the fight for equality. You are in the fight for feeling like you’re doing something. You are in the fight for ‘pussy pride’ and other meaningless slogans. You are a disgrace to the real women who stood up against actual oppression and not micro-aggressions. The world does not owe you anything, and in this country you are awarded quite literally every freedom that a man has. Your fight has ceased to be a fight for equality, and thus has lost all legitimacy.