Wed, 24 Aug 1994

Feminism (2)

Normally I would dismiss Mr. Thomas' misogynistic ravings as another bored expatriate eager to generate some controversy surrounding his offensive opinions, yet in this case the prospect of a reader taking his tripe seriously was unsettling enough to prompt me to respond.

To set the record straight, modern feminism traces its roots directly to the words "All men are created equal". By refusing to be kept in ignorance or remaining completely dependent upon the goodwill of a man for survival, women struggle for a degree of control over their own minds, bodies and lives. The ultimate aim of the feminist movement is the freedom to pursue happiness unencumbered by social censure, sexual harassment or job discrimination. It is not, as Mr. Thomas purports, the result of lesbian urges, competition for male musculature or, for some absurdly shallow notion, that these women sought to become men.

Perhaps the emergence of educated and self-assured women may be threatening to Mr. Thomas. Her ability to say, "Hit the road Jack" when confronted with unbounded selfishness or abuse must be plain terrifying. It would be inaccurate to suggest that this detracts from her grace, feminity and many other fine qualities. To the contrary, a woman can now ensure that these are properly respected. And where's the disharmony? Clearly, liberated women find insecure macho bigotry as loathsome and undesirable as Mr. Thomas finds these women. There is absolutely no conflict of interest.

Mr. Thomas' attempts to link Marxism with feminism, in a country well known to be acutely and fervently anti-Marxist, is disgracefully self-serving. Were it not so alarming, I might have found the irony of a male expatriate condemning a commentary on female exploitation amusing. But in the end, I would like to thank Mr. Thomas for reminding me that there still exists men that deem women unfit for personality, that our advances may yet be undermined. Because of people like Mr. Thomas, feminism remains an on-going struggle.