A Pox on Both Their Houses


Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy never pulls any punches, so I was very interested to see her latest essay entitled, "It's Time for Feminists to Stop Falling for the 'Good Guys.'" What she means by 'good guys' are woke men. According to Murphy, "Woke men have always viewed feminists as enemies . . . woke men are no more our natural allies than anyone else."

Gosh, you don't see that assertion every day, do you? It's very much worthy of investigation. Murphy gives some damning examples of how woke men have betrayed women. First up is 'sex work':

"They [woke, progressive men] have long fought to legalize the sex trade, arguing that pimps, johns, and brothel owners be allowed to operate with impunity, as women and girls must have the “choice” to sell sex acts to strange men. Feminists who have pushed to decriminalize women in prostitution, but wish to stop the exploitation and abuse of those working in the trade — most of whom are there for lack of choice — have been labelled “SWERFs” (sex work exclusionary radical feminists). The very men who wish to exploit these women and girls — who delude themselves into believing these women and girls want them, rather than revile them — pit us against women in the sex trade, claiming we “hate” prostitutes [when they are] the ones who insist they love and respect women, but also respect your local sex worker by paying her for a blow job."

Of course, the second big issue is how the 'good, woke guys' have embraced the supremacy of transsexual rights over the rights of females:

"They have made it very clear that the rights of males who wish to “identify” as women take precedence over actual women. . . In 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emphatically supported the passing of Bill C-16, Canada’s gender identity legislation, the effect of which was to ensure all spaces previously designated for women and girls became accessible to males who identified as transwomen. His oh-so-woke Liberal Party, alongside the even more progressive NDP, refused to engage or acknowledge women with concerns, and today exactly what was predicted has come to fruition, as violent men are housed with female inmates in prison, and transition houses protecting women from male violence are threatened with defunding if they reject males. One might think that protecting vulnerable women from potentially dangerous men would be the priority of a proud feminist, but it’s 2021, and doublethink dictates that supporting women’s rights means supporting men’s narcissistic desires . . . Biden, like so many Good Guys, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing . . . [consider] Biden’s eager and immediate decision to sign an executive order that dictates that “sex” should now include sexual orientation and gender identity."

But what astounds Murphy--and should astound all of us--is how willing women are to vote for the very men who, when elected, betray us:

"[Many] feminists continue to hitch themselves desperately to the left. So much so that it has torn the women’s movement apart. No longer are women siding with women, so much as they are pledging allegiance to political parties and woke mantras, and rejecting the majority of women who really don’t want anything to do with political debates so much as they want to be able to live their lives with peace and dignity and feed their kids. In other words, feminism is failing women in the same way the left is failing regular, working class people. We are caught up in words and theory, and losing women in the process.

"Endless infighting among feminists has pitted those who reject the left/right binary against those who insist any woman who doesn’t vote Democrat should be labelled a traitor and banned from the movement. Feminists online seem more invested in purging the politically impure from the women’s movement than finding ways for women to band together and affect change. The hatred women spew at women deemed traitors to the Party has become more intense and more destructive than anything that comes from men who simply believe they don’t like feminism. (Who even knows what that word means anymore.)

"I myself spent many years insisting feminism was inherently a leftist movement, and couldn’t imagine engaging any man (or woman, for that matter) who didn’t identify with the progressive end of the political spectrum. But I finally came to terms with the fact that women’s rights are non-partisan, and that woke men are no more our natural allies than anyone else. Now, I work with, speak to, and engage with anyone who is respectful and open to conversation — an approach many feminists and leftists view as treason."

So Murphy is cutting herself free from the left/right stratjacket: "I am no longer making compromises for politicians who pretend they don’t know what an adult human female is . . . I no longer care about the left or the right — I don’t care what you are called, I don’t care what you call yourself. I care about doing what is right, rational, and strategic. And sometimes that is more complicated than your party affiliation. No politician is perfect — we have to pick and choose, in terms of issues and impacts that matter to us. But in both the long and short term, continuing to support those who attach themselves to woke mantras or progressive causes, at the expense of our rights, protections, freedoms, and dignity, is bad strategy. Choosing “left” simply because of the label is over simplistic and naive in this day and age."

Murphy is on to something important here, I think. The AEROW Manifesto also points out that women cannot support some of the positions of the left, nor some of the positions for the right. Here's a pertinent excerpt:

VII. In taking our stand, we are prepared to stand against any, whether of the right or the left, whether male or female, of whatever ethnicity or whatever religion, that would wink at or support/facilitate the erasure, replacement, and alienation of women:

   VII-A. We oppose certain liberal stances, such as those that elevate gender performance as being more important than sex, or imply that sex is not real, or those who advocate a post-sex society, or those who would do away with women-only places of safety and retreat, or any who make common cause with those seeking to erase, replace, or alienate women.

   VII-B. We oppose certain conservative stances, such as those who would ban abortion regardless of circumstances such as rape or incest, or who would advocate a draft for women, such as former senator Jeff Sessions did, or who would legalize surrogacy or enforce surrogacy contracts.

I am glad that voices like Murphy's are being raised. There is as much to critique on the left as there is to critique on the right when it comes to women's sex-based rights, and the sooner we women realize that, the more we can bring pressure to bear on both sides of the aisle to respect those rights.