Women should not be treated equally to men but women definitely are of equal value to men. Actually the whole idea that treating women differently from men implies an insult against women or a suggestion that women are of less value than men is a feminist invention. In traditional society, in a patriarchal context, there was never any idea that women were “less than” men or inferior to men.
If men really truly treated women just as they treated men, treating women as equals like the feminists pretend that they want, then that would be treating and viewing women as inferiors and be highly abusive to women. This is because such a gender equality set up ignores the reality of male superiority in a number of areas of life. The man who pretends he is not superior in areas he is actually superior in is placing the woman at a disadvantage to himself; he is neglecting the woman’s true and actual needs.
Because of the clear injustice of men treating women equally to themselves what feminists demand in practice is gender equality in the masculine realm and female supremacy in the feminine realm; feminists demand equality in fields that men generally excel in and they demand special treatment in areas more closely associated with feminine strengths and feminine roles. In other words since gender equality is clearly abusive to women what “gender equality” feminist style means in practice is female supremacy; equality between men and women in the masculine realm combined with female superiority in the feminine realm.
What traditional patriarchy is based on is acknowledging and supporting the natural strengths of men and at the same time acknowledging and supporting the natural strengths of women so that both men and women can function at their best and be treated fairly and have their respective needs as men and women met. Under patriarchy men are treated better in some ways consistent with supporting the man’s role as a man and women are treated better in other ways consistent with supporting the woman’s role as a woman. Under patriarchy men and women are of equal value but definitely women are discriminated against in the masculine realm while men are discriminated against in the feminine realm.
In practice feminism is abusive against both men and women and in particular against children because the woman becomes focused on how she is being treated “unfairly” where it is claimed to be “unfair” whenever a woman is denied what she wants; in this way the woman placing herself above the man and being abusive against the man. Similarly the man views it as being “unfair” when he is expected to shoulder an extra burden on behalf of the woman or is expected to take on responsibilities while being denied power; the man reacting to this abuse against him, both real and imagined, by withdrawing from his responsibilities on behalf of the woman; this being abusive against the woman. Finally both the man and the woman involved in this mutual abuse against each other harms the children based on neglect of the child’s needs and interests and the bad relationship modeling involved.
Related to this subject I wish to respond to some things Crystal said in a comment recently at this site:
“As an egalitarian I believe biology is our only main difference and it should be respected and acknowledged because it is natural, and all others are societal and therefore arbitrary. No one is arguing with the fact that men and women are different biologically. What we’re arguing with is that the other differences (and sometimes the biological ones) are used to hold women back constantly from pursuits they want to follow and purposes they want for their lives.”
First off differences between men and women are natural, patriarchy is what is natural. If Crystal supports what is natural then certainly she should support patriarchy and traditional gender roles. Egalitarianism or feminism is what is an artificial social construct. Crystal however seems to be suggesting that only the plumbing of men and women is different; that all other differences between men and women are “societal and therefore arbitrary.”
This is an interesting claim to make, that what is societal is necessarily arbitrary as if society can just declare any kind of social arrangement it wishes as an act of will. The thing is that society decided upon traditional gender roles in the past precisely because traditional gender roles worked and produced good results. The cultural values of the past were not just based on an act of will; they were based on aligning societal values and expectations with human nature and the natural strengths and inclinations of men and women.
Crystal further said “What we’re arguing with is that the other differences (and sometimes the biological ones) are used to hold women back constantly from pursuits they want to follow and purposes they want for their lives.” This is perhaps the most important point. The feminist doesn’t want to be held back from “pursuits they want to follow and purposes they want for their lives.” In other words the feminist wants to do whatever they want, being supported by men in whatever it is they want to be doing, regardless of how it harms others and regardless of what their responsibilities and duties towards others are. This attitude that women are entitled to do whatever they want is the woman placing herself above the man and placing herself above children; it is a female supremacist attitude.
In addition Crystal asked:
“[D]o you think we have neurological and other such functional differences as well?”
Yes, there are functional differences between men and women besides plumbing and who has the ability to become pregnant. There are significant skill differences between men and women and significantly different ways of thinking and processing and interpreting information and different drives and ambitions and areas of focus and differences in what one finds attractive and desirable in the opposite sex. Men are better at things associated with the masculine realm while women are better at things in the feminine realm and the man is looking for femininity in the woman while the woman is looking for masculinity in the man. It is this generalized widespread difference between men and women that leads to the functionality of patriarchy and the dysfunctionality of all alternative social arrangements.
Crystal furthermore stated:
“[A] woman should be valued for her humanity first and foremost, and supposing a woman contributes something to society that is not traditionally feminine? Such a definition has the potential to exclude not only the trans community but also cis women who don’t match up to the “traditional woman” model.”
Women should be valued for their humanity first and foremost you say? This is a strange request to make. When I think about a woman I think of her as being a woman; I do not see how I can separate a woman’s femaleness from her humanity. To me it seems that her femaleness is part of her humanity or her femaleness is how her humanity expresses itself. I am not sure she is either a female first and a human second or a human first and a female second; instead she is a human female, both female and human at the same time.
What if a woman contributes something to society that is not traditionally feminine? In that case the great majority of the time what she is contributing to society is of inferior value and likely is downright disruptive and destructive of how society is supposed to operate. The traditional woman is the gold standard of the greatest contribution a woman can offer to society; other forms of female contribution being of lesser value or downright harmful due to the woman either operating in her area of weakness or worse directly attacking and undermining men’s area of strength.
Crystal then said:
“I would just say that women need to be treated both as equals and as people with equal value from now on.”
I am suspicious of this statement, it seems like female supremacy to me. It is the claim that women should be treated both as equal and as superior at the same time; treating women “as equals” seeming to mean that men and women should be treated the same in the masculine realm while treating women as having “equal value” means women should be treated preferentially or as superior in the feminine realm. Instead I would say that women should be treated as having equal value, not that men and women should be treated “as equals” because clearly men and women are not equal to each other, instead men and women are different.
Lastly Crystal made the comment:
“Third-wave feminism embraces homemakers IF they choose this path for themselves. This is an area where second-wave feminism erred greatly, I admit. Which is why I don’t buy into the “all women must have a job” dogmatism, because the traditional role of homemaker is just as meaningful as anything else you do.”
The traditional role of homemaker has greater value than the career woman role and this is true whether a particular woman wants to be a homemaker or not. The moral value of the traditional woman role is superior as an objective reality, it is not about whether a particular woman prefers that role or not. The idea that the woman has the right to choose whether to be a homemaker or not simply based on her own preference is again a manifestation of a female supremacist mentality; that the man should support the woman in whatever the woman decides to do and that the interests of the children don’t matter, that only what the woman wants matters. Instead it is an objective reality that women are SUPPOSED TO fulfill their traditional roles and obligations as women and men are OBLIGATED TO support and enable women in their traditional roles as women. This is what men and women owe to each other as men and women and it is also what adults owe to their children.