Professional provocateur Bryan Caplan has put up excerpts of the title essay from his new book, Don't Be a Feminist. It is written as a letter to his daughter.
My quick comments:
>And since I am your father, you know I’m not evil.
WTF? Most evil people are fathers. Is this Bryan's level of logic / persuasion? "Defer to me because I impregnated your mother."
>To start, what is “feminism”? Many casually define it as “the view that men and women should be treated equally” or even “the radical notion that women are people.” However, virtually all non-feminists in the United States believe exactly the same thing. In this careful 2016 survey, for example, only 33% of men said they were feminists, yet 94% of men agreed that “men and women should be social, political, and economic equals.”
Just because people say something doesn't mean it is true. Most people say they aren't racist, but tons of people are.
One example of reality vs claims: My wife, a brilliant and award-winning teacher, was told by several men (not at her university) that she only got the job at Carnegie Mellon because she is a woman. Given that they said this to her face, just imagine how many men thought that.
And I'm sure every one of those sexist men says they agree “men and women should be social, political, and economic equals.” But in reality, they resent women who succeed.
This is what women face today.
This is why we need feminism.
Within my lifetime, women in the US were NOT able to:
- Get a credit card in their own name.
- Be guaranteed that they would not get fired for being pregnant.
- Serve on a jury everywhere.
- Fight on the front lines.
- Go to any Ivy League school.
- Take legal action against workplace sexual harassment.
- Decide not to have sex with their husband.
- Marry whomever they chose.
- Take the birth control pill regardless of where they lived.
This discrimination and oppression were part of the very structure of our society just a short while ago. For nearly all of human history, men and women were not social, political, and economic equals. The leading conservative jurist on our current Supreme Court wants to go back to at least some of this.
This is why we need feminism.
But no. The real problem, in Bryan's eyes, is that some women and men want to actually improve our society, rather than just pay lip service. For Bryan, lip service is enough. Feminism has gone too far because some women dared to be mean to him on Twitter.
"Dear daughter, don't you dare be uppity to us wise professors!"
These "loud" feminists will continue to be opposed by deeply angry, resentful men who read Bryan as an ally in their hatred of "uppity" women.
As represented in the excerpts, this "Don't Be a Feminist" essay is such whiny, self-pitying, and self-righteous garbage it literally pains me. Moreso, it is shockingly blind to the realities in our world -- the facts faced by his kid and my kid.
Here is just one example of many. It shows the structural reasons women aren't in computer science. It isn't, as Bryan would have us believe, simply because men are manly mathletes. More. (More, by center-right Tyler Cowen.)
This is the world his daughter lives in. This is why we need feminism.
Defer to the wise white man who knows better?
No thanks, Daddy.