Reading through the bounteous infopackz now – am I being patently chauvinistic or does everyone agree that feminism isn’t making sense? I may be persuaded to buy some of the feminists’ self-patronising arguments (that they don’t lack _______ / what they lack in _______ they make up for in _______ / they got the breastmilk (okay that’s not really a feminist argument, I made it up to labour my point)) – but they’re not making their cause any easier to swallow with feeble hypothetical attempts at turning the tables:
Why focus on physical aggression though? As Angier notes, and any survivor of the sixth-grade clique wars knows firsthand, the female arsenal includes more insults and snubs than sticks and stones. (…) [Men] may simply have the more poorly developed verbal skills.
Earlier in the article:
Since 1964, women’s marathon running times have dropped 32%, compared with only 4.2% for men. If the trend continues, female marathoners could be leaving men in the dust sometime in the next century.
Wait, what? It becomes apparent that Barbara Ehrenreich is not a H2 Economics student, for if she were she would have learnt of the Law of Diminishing Returns (which incidentally is also offered as a module in H2 Common Sense, and H1 Grey Matter Iz Fun!: Exercising Your Brain In 101 Ways). Obviously the marginal propensity to improve gets lower as the timings get faster, so perhaps the argument could be for a lessened difference in running times rather than a turning of the tables.
Moreover it’s not clear where she’s going with her article. Is she propounding that the physical differences between the sexes are less pronounced than society perceives them to be, or that said differences don’t matter? A little of both, it seems. She’s battling the feminist cause on all fronts, with mixed results. I think it can be said that her internal struggle characterises to some extent the struggle of the feminist movement, which seems to be divided over a) their aims, and b) their grouses to begin with. It has to be said that some grouses are fully justified (like wage disparity, participation in sports or something else that they cannot change and are justified in wanting to change) but surely the feminist thingy has evolved into a sprawling movement with different aims and wants that more often than not happen to be antithetical to one another (since gender equality and absolute female superiority aren’t exactly aims that can both be simultaneously achieved).
My conclusion: there are some legitimate calls for gender equality but the feminist movement hasn’t proven to be very legitimate. Maybe for starters they can convene around a round table (which would have to be a very large round table) and concur as to what they want to achieve and how they want to achieve it.