The Fading of the Feminist Fad

I’m a nasty woman,” Ashley Judd 2017

Three years ago – the Saturday after Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in Washington – a million women gathered to protest in what became known as “the Women’s March on Washington”. Predictably, this highly organized public demonstration was fuelled by all the usual ‘isms’, proclaiming yet again that women have the ‘right’ to murder their children in the womb and that taxpayers must pay for it.

At least as proclaimed by actress and activist Ashley Judd, who raged incoherently. She was joined Scarlett Johansson, Amy Schumer, Charlize Theron, Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Julia Roberts and ‘Madonna’- Louise Ciccone – who belted out the F-word more than anyone in recorded history. Wearing vagina-shaped hats and thrusting their middle fingers in the air by the thousands, this was one revolting parade. A parade of revolution, actually, this was in truth a massive parade against Christian morality. And against Donald Trump because of his pro-life policies which they cannot bear, because their own consciences fill them with anxiety, confirming yet again that the current political climate in the West is a war between two camps: those who believe in God and His immutable natural law and those who don’t.

Women’s March 2020

Now fast forward to the Women’s March of 2020 and the new picture begins to emerge.

This year, despite the promise that at least 100,000 people would attend the event, fewer than 10,000 participants actually showed up. Moreover, countless other planned marches across the U.S. were cancelled due to lack of attendance. The official explanation was that the huge decline did not represent a collapse in women’s activism or in feminism. Rather, it was described as a “channelling of the energy of the 2017 Women’s March into more tangible causes” at the state and local levels.

“I see the Women’s March from 2017 as a very public statement,” said Hilary Levey Friedman, president of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW). “But that doesn’t mean that power and interest has dissipated. It just means that people are learning to harness it on specific things.”

Such as?

Such as passing ever more barbaric abortion legislation in State legislatures where, in 2019, more bills “to protect abortion rights” were passed than in the previous ten years combined. Even in Rhode Island, the country’s most Catholic state, which last June passed a new bill guaranteeing the right to an abortion … in case Roe v. Wade is struck down.

Last year alone, nine states — Illinois, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, California, Nevada, New Jersey, and Hawaii — passed major legislation to protect or expand abortion rights. In total, these states passed 36 new laws protecting abortion access while New York and Virginia legalized abortion right up to live birth. This while State legislatures across the U.S. expanded the scope of sex education to provide information on sexual consent, include LGBTQ students, and promote “healthy and violence-free relationships.”

Yet while all this “liberalizing” was going on, far more states were enacting abortion restrictions than protections, a trend which has progressive politicians worried they might actually be on the losing side of the abortion battle after all.

This too while the popularity of Pro-Life Marches rises across the West which — given Donald Trump’s attendance at this year’s event in Washington (the first ever by an American president) and his de-funding of Planned Parenthood— is signalling a new direction and a new confidence in humanity’s fight for life against all the diabolical forces arrayed against it.

So what are we to make of these two opposing forces?

The truth is that the failure of this year’s women’s march had little to do with its focus on four core issues — reproductive rights, immigration, gender-based violence and climate change. Nor did it have to do with squabbles among organizers over anti-Semitism. Nor was it based on questions over whether the original march represented real activism or just dissatisfaction with Trump’s election and his policies reversing the funding of Planned Parenthood nationally and internationally.

No, the progressive politicians are instinctively closer to the truth. The cultural winds are changing and they feel them, getting ever stronger. Thus the need to pass ever more barbaric abortion and sex-related legislation while they still can. Because even they sense that Roe v Wade, the ruling that opened the door to all the resulting barbarity, may soon be overturned.

A Sea-Change underway?

Yes, a sea change does appear to be underway. In a phrase, feminism appears to be fading. Despite all media claims to the contrary, feminism is becoming unfashionable. This long-standing trend is now waning and losing power for both superficial and profound reasons.

Reason One: No part of feminism and its claims and promises has made women happy for long, their contrary claims notwithstanding. And women are only now coming around to understanding this reality that has so blighted their lives — and the lives of their mothers and daughters — en masse for well over half a century.

Despite all the ballyhooing in the media over women breaking ever more glass ceilings as ‘meaningful’ events in contemporary social engineering, women are feeling cheated. Even as straight white men are warned not to apply for directorships on the boards of companies making IPOs on Wall Street where nowadays only female or otherwise ‘diverse’ candidates need apply.

Reason Two: The so-called ‘victories’ of feminists over education, employment and sexual freedom over their own bodies have turned out to be hollow and phoney. As it turns out, life is not a Rom-Com. And none of Gloria Steinhem’s feminist prescriptions are turning power-seeking feminists into Renee Zellwegers who, onscreen, gets to marry her Tom Cruise in the end.

Reason Three: All the phoney congratulations over career promotions to assistant director to the chairman of the board, or even the chairman of the board, have not delivered the satisfaction, the recognition or the importance they were expecting. Such fleeting ‘achievements’ don’t actually make anyone happy for longer than a day, least of all those claiming ‘victory’ like it mattered. Which it doesn’t. Not even the next day. Nor will it ever. Except for the personal damage it may have cost, of which more later.

Why Feminism fails

So what’s really going on here? What’s the real reason attendance at the latest women’s rally was so dramatically reduced? The truth is that feminism’s promises are still failing to deliver. Just as its icons have led sad, often unrequited lives. Such as Simone de Beauvoir who died a thwarted intellectual slave to her unfaithful lover Jean-Paul Sartre, who never bothered to marry her. And Coco Chanel who died alone in her 80s from a morphine injection. She too was bored and unfulfilled.

Just as today’s highly educated, high achieving feminist is bored and unfulfilled. Bored because feminism has failed to deliver, all protestations notwithstanding. And unfulfilled, dissatisfied and ever in search of new distractions while her entire being informs her daily in myriad ways that she’s missed the happiness boat. The boat called Real Life, which has always been based on family and on God’s immutable natural law where life’s real satisfactions are located and found. What’s more, feminism has always been the family’s enemy and woman’s enemy, generating the multiple miseries resulting every time a woman rejects her own God-given vocation and all its natural tasks and skills designed to meet the true needs of the family the Lord God may have wanted to bless her with. In addition, feminism – the ideology – is still promoting its load of false me-centred promises to the next and upcoming generations. Unless the women around them wise up!

Call this the Second Temptation of Eve. Of which the tempter remains the same. As do the lies that lead her to ruin in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

The results? They’ve been disastrous at all levels. Decades of feminist carping about toxic masculinity and devaluing fathers while relentlessly assaulting the traditional preserves of boyhood (from gender integration of school sports to the ritual destruction of every male institution they’ve targeted) have made it difficult for boys to find their way to confident maturity. Add to that half a century of intense focus on the needs and concerns of girls and women and it’s no mystery why boys have become confused, particularly sexually, and hostile to women. And all this has been further aggravated by the daily onslaught of insulting TV commericals that invariably portray ‘smart women’ talking down to their obviously stupid husbands – correction, ‘partners’ – about the right laundry detergent they should be using. Though no one ever questions what ‘smart women’ are doing with such dopes.

Yet, with the persistent anti-family messages bouncing daily off our screens, how could the results be otherwise? How could the entire West become anything but a fractured society whose most important social institution – the family – has been transformed beyond recognition?

Saint Paul’s relevance

Not that this is new. Two thousand years ago, St. Paul identified woman’s potential for moral weakness and waywardness in his Second Letter to Timothy when he warned about certain kinds of men (and ideas) that worm their way into households and captivate vulnerable women weighed down with sin and led astray by various passions. Women he described as “always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

The apostle goes on to warn: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires. So they will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

Today, St Paul’s teachings are as challenging to contemporary views of women as they are against any teaching that doesn’t genuflect to the altar of political correctness. And like the natural laws of God, they are consistent and unchanging and in general teach an equality between the sexes that is expressed through the way in which they complete each other, as opposed to a gender neutrality that would obliterate distinctive male and female roles. Which is exactly the central and destructive thrust of Feminism which deliberately confuses and rejects the natural role of female submission.

Submission is not aberrant. It exists in nature and there are many kinds of it. Submission to the Divine authority of God, submission to man-made laws. And also submission to the pervasive pressure of a secular culture which rejects Scripture’s authority when it finds itself in disagreement with biblical teaching. The latter can be spiritually fatal. Which is why the Lord God inspired St.Paul in Romans 12 to warn Christians: “Do not conform yourselves to the standard of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.”

Otherwise, the resulting discontent will produce such beasts as those now ravaging our contemporary culture, just as the late American historian, Gertrude Himmelfard observed: “The beasts of modernism have mutated into the beasts of postmodernism — relativism into nihilism, amorality into immorality, irrationality into insanity, sexual deviancy into polymorphous perversity. And since then, generations of intelligent students under the guidance of their enlightened professors have looked into the abyss, have contemplated those beasts, and have said, “How interesting, how exciting.”

Statistics of Misery

Here are some of the unhappy statistics bearing this out:

Between 1946 and 2006, the suicide rate for males in the U.S. alone quadrupled and doubled for females the same age.

In the 1980s, two decades after feminism began its greatest onslaught so far, there were 32 mass public shootings (incidents in which four or more are killed with guns within 24 hours) and in the 1990s, there were 42. And in the first decade of this century, there were 28. In the entire 1950s, there was one and fifty years before that, in the 1900s, there were none.

In 2019, Reuters Health reported that according to a nationwide study, suicidal thinking, severe depression and rates of self-injury among U.S. college students more than doubled over less than a decade. Said study co-author Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University: “It suggests that something is seriously wrong in the lives of young people.”

Nor is the data applicable Americans alone. As social commentator Kay Hymowitz wrote in City Journal last year: “Loneliness, public-health experts tell us, is killing as many people as obesity and smoking. Germans are lonely, the bon vivant French are lonely, and even the Scandinavians — the happiest people in the world, according to the U.N.’s World Happiness Report — are lonely.” Consider Japan as well, a country in the throes of an epidemic of kodokushi — lonely deaths. Local Japanese papers regularly publish stories about kinless elderly whose deaths go unnoticed until the telltale smell of maggot-eaten flesh alerts neighbours.”

This, despite the fact that people around the world have more money, better health care, better health, better housing, and more education, and live longer than at any time in history. Yet today, they are unhappier than at any time since data collection began. Especially young people.

Why?

Increased use of illicit drugs and prescription drug abuse, and less human interaction because of constant cellphone use are two widely offered explanations. Less convincing explanations include competition, grades anxiety, capitalism and income inequality. Then there are young people’s fears based on their indoctrination over climate change, which leaves them frightened and believing they have a bleak, and perhaps no future. But these are symptomatic rather than causal reasons for their deep unhappiness.

Underlying Causes

Sociologists will say the underlying cause of all the above misery is an almost complete loss of meaning and related values in the post-World War II era.

But the cause of widespread depression and crippling anxiety is simpler and deeper. It is based almost totally on the absence of God and family order in their lives. Add to that the cultural pressure to indulge in supposedly consequent-free sex, together with the insistent push of feminism – which may have shattered their families – and little wonder so many cannot cope.

Nor should it be the least surprising that their deprived souls and psyches might shatter completely when denied what was once the routine happiness of family life. Due to the fact that one in five young people today have no contact with their fathers and that so many are born to unmarried mothers. And that so many of these devastated children will never marry, or will abort their children or marry so late they will have no children at all. All of which is being aided and abetted by secular socialistic governments supplanting the roles once reserved for family and substituting traditional religion – and the order it brings – with secularism shaped by Leftist ideology. Which, by definition, can never bring happiness to any of its adherents.

But nor will Leftism – aka Progressivism and all its progeny, of which Feminism is one – ever stop its relentless, humanity-hating, humanity-destroying quest. Step by lying step, the latest of which has been the proliferation of transgender theory now being enshrined in our ever more dysfunctional culture. This while feminism continues to be defended as a ‘good’ – a position I regard as indefensible – even in Catholic newspapers recently extolling St.Marguerite Bourgeoys as Canada’s ‘feminist saint’. St.Marguerite was no feminist. As a French-born nun who founded the Congregation of Notre Dame of Montreal in New France, now Quebec, and who educated young girls, the poor and children of First Nations, she was a servant of God. Which is what all women are called to be. A servant of servants, like Jesus Christ.

But what narcisisstic feminist who has a first child, like he was a Hermes bag, at age 47 with artificial assistance, will see this? Or come to see the truth of womanhood and its natural vocation?

What is woman? She is Mother. She is Home. Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, who more than anyone else helped exalt and glorify womanhood in every daughter, wife, and mother as a cherished gift of inestimable worth.

Given that truth of human existence, is there any mystery left surrounding homelessness and its lonely wretchedness and why we have so much of it?

Today, too many women are not home, not dedicated mothers, not centres of warmth, consolation, guidance, food, clothing, clean sheets and safe spaces.

And don’t kid yourself. All this feminist ideology couldn’t produce a single spontaneous glass of chocolate milk for an 8-year-old racing home from school at 3:30pm. What does he care about glass ceilings? Nor will he ever, whether he admits it or not. But in this culture, without a true home, it’s equally possible he’ll end up on the streets alone like so many other victims of this accursed ideology.

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Paula Adamick is founding editor of The Canada Post, the newspaper serving the Canadian expat community in the United Kingdom (about 200,000 of us) from 1997 to 2012. With a BA in English and Journalism and a UK Masters degree in International Journalism, Adamick has also served as arts correspondent for The Scotsman and as a frequent contributor to The Evening Standard, and The Daily Mail (all UK) as well as to Canadian publications such as Challenge and Catholic Insight.