Remember the days when feminists were campaigning for a woman’s right to make her own choices? Apparently those days are gone, and today’s axe-crazy feminists are too busy looking for dragons to slay. That is to say that, despite the movement having accomplished the goal of establishing equality between the sexes, they’re hell bent on eliminating every last spec of “sexism”, and they see it everywhere. An easy example of this is can be found in a video produced by The Guardian, featuring the noted radical feminist Julie Bindel.
The video itself has been doing the rounds online for about a month, and since then it’s pretty much been trashed by nearly everyone on the Internet, and rightly so because you need only to watch it in order to see how bad the premise is. Bindel basically argues that marriage “can never be a feminist act” because she sees it as an institution that has “curtailed women’s freedom” for centuries. First of all, why does marriage have to be feminist, or is it merely a matter of whether or not it is compatible with the feminist gospel? Second of all, I would argue that marriage is only oppressive if you feel it to be that way. If the feminist views marriage as inherently bad, then she must have had a bad opinion of it, whether through experiencing a loveless marriage (which can and does happen), or through hearing of several accounts of abusive marriages in this country or elsewhere.
I find Bindel’s assertion of marriage as a purely patriarchal institution to be laughable. If marriage worked in men’s favour, why is it that a woman gets to take half your belongings and your house when you split up? I’m sure Ms. Bindel is bereft of an answer to this question, but it’s a real phenomenon. If marriage favoured men why do women win custody over the children more often than men do? Also, why does marriage have to be about equality or about male privilege? It’s got nothing to do with either. Isn’t marriage supposed to be about love? Isn’t that why men don’t marry until they find a woman they truly love?
She then goes on about how marriage supposedly devalues women as property through two nonsensical arguments. First, she asserts that the tradition of a bride being given away by her father is supposedly symbolic of the bride being “her father’s and then her husband’s property”. I have never heard that idea until now, and it’s completely false too. People don’t think of it in terms of property. It’s just a romantic tradition that people have kept over the centuries. I suppose the whole “property” bullshit is related to the idea that a man has to get his girlfriend’s parents’ approval to see or marry her. It’s a very old idea, but I doubt that it’s remotely necessary. If a man wants to have this tradition, then more power to him. As for the idea of “property” in the context of Mary Wallstonecraft’s claim that marriage is a “legal state of prostitution”, that’s also false. I hope there aren’t people around today who still think marriage is basically prostitution, and if there are, they probably support the government paying for free birth control products. You can’t condemn marriage as prostitution while simultaneously prostituting your birth control rights to the government, and having the taxpayer pay for it.
Secondly, she asserts that there’s a bias in favour of brides being virgins, and claiming that the mere idea of brides being virgins before marriage is “insulting to women”. It’s because we don’t view women as property that we don’t expect women to be virgins before we marry them. If all men were fussy enough that they will only marry virgins, then they’d only be alienating themselves from potential partners, and we all know that finding a partner who is a virgin will become more difficult as you get older, because it’s generally safe to assume that nearly everyone over 35 is no longer a virgin. Also, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to marry a virgin as long as she’s not forced to be a virgin, and I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with marrying a non-virgin.
I’ve written before about how virginity isn’t a bad thing, but I think it in today’s post-feminist world, virginity has become frowned upon by young people. In the old days, virginity was more highly valued, and even today men do tend to seek out virgins, not because of any “patriarchal traditions”, but because heterosexual men are biologically driven to find a partner who, to their knowledge, is a virgin. That’s still sort of true today, but nowadays, while a lot of men still like the idea of having sex with a virgin, it generally doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a virgin. Ultimately, straight men like myself want to marry a woman whose nice, caring, trustworthy, honest, and one who’ll raise a family with us. That’s the reason why promiscuous women are frowned upon in society, because anyone who’s promiscuous can’t be trusted to commit to a relationship with you, and certainly can’t be trusted to raise a family with you. It’s got nothing to do with sexism, and everything to do with trust.
Ms. Bindel also appears to have confused our society with the Islamic world, where women are treated like cattle, and are expected to be virgins until they’re married. In fact, later on in the video she states that it’s still legal for a man to rape his wife in 47 countries. What she won’t mention is that in the vast majority of those countries are either Islamic countries, or African nations where Christianity is the main religion, with some exceptions. Most of those countries are third world nations with retrograde cultural values, and many of those countries have a terrible human rights record anyway. The minute you look at those facts, the idea of marriage running counter to human rights falls apart quickly. Yes, there are countries that still allow forced marriages, arranged marriages, child brides and what have you, and that’s awful, but we don’t allow that precisely because we understand that it’s immoral.
I won’t go through the rest of her argument, since it basically falls apart on its own, but her overall message seems to be about convincing women that marriage cannot be a feminist act. Here’s my question – why should marriage be a feminist act? Marriage shouldn’t be about politics, or ideology, or equality, or power, or anything else other than love between two people. The fact that neofeminists like Julie Bindel are incapable of grasping that tells you everything you need to know about their ideology. They assume the worst of every choice you make. When the feminists see a married couple, they see a sex slave controlled by a man. When the feminists see an independent woman dressing lightly because she feels like it, they see a woman dressing to gain the attention of a man. Even innocuous conversations between a man and a woman can be interpreted by feminists as a man harassing a woman. The feminist worldview in this case is a very bleak and ugly worldview where the agency of a woman is always in doubt. This and other logical fallacies are why I find feminism and progressivism so abhorrent.
I think that feminists, along the SJW’s and their allies in the left-wing media, just want to abolish the institution of marriage altogether because they are ideologically opposed to it, so they’ll use any argument they can to try and repel young people away from marriage, and in America at least they’re succeeding. A growing number of American men are giving up on marriage, with just 26% of millennials choosing to get married compared to 48% of baby boomers. Meanwhile, monogamy itself has come to be seen as uncool, old-fashioned and naive, and I personally blame the feminists and the progressives in the mainstream media for it. They’ve created the myth that marriage is like a prison, and they’ve convinced men to despise marriage by convincing them that they’ll be spending their married lives with a wife metaphorically pulling him on leash, when in reality, there is no evidence to support that narrative.
I also find it very hypocritical that the mainstream media will denigrate straight marriage at every possible opportunity, while celebrating gay marriage all day long. If marriage is supposed to be about love between two people, then isn’t love universal? Why value the love of one couple over another because of their sexual orientation? Isn’t that the very same kind of bias that the progressives are supposed to be fighting against? It’s not just marriage that leftists are against. They want to destroy the traditional institutions of Western civilisation so that their distorted worldview can be translated into reality, because reality will almost always contradict the social justice leftists of the world. That’s why they want to silence speech that disagrees with them, to avoid being defeated intellectually by a more rational argument.
The ideas that the older generation grew up with – the idea of free speech, the desire for a happy marriage and a family, the right to self-defence – those are ideas that I admire, and the feminists, Marxists, SJW’s and Guardianistas want to destroy them. I imagine that the idea of little children going “Mommy I’m glad you’re home” is like nails on a chalkboard to them, but I don’t think most people actually believe the feminist narrative. Am I supposed to believe that Julie Bindel is happier than the average feminine-looking woman who has a devoted husband and children who are happy to see her?
Of course, marriage is by no means perfect, but I personally feel that a marriage is only as good or bad as the people who marry, and that a marriage only survives when both partners commit to it. A good and stable marriage requires both partners to attend to each other’s needs and care for each other, and I guess that’s too much work for marriage-bashing SJW’s like Julie Bindel. Whether or not you want to get married, it’s perfectly fine, but I feel there’s a reason that both men and women want to get married. They’re attracted to the idea of being together with someone who they love and trust, and when I have kids, I would rather they grow up in loving married family than in a single-parent household with them glued to the TV.