What does feminism really mean? Is feminism compatible with traditional marriage?
Well, take a look at this post from the Vancouver Sun.
A Queen’s University law professor says that polygamy should be legal in Canada.
Queen’s issued a news release on the day that a polygamy reference opened in British Columbia, where the government is seeking a legal opinion on whether Canada’s 128-year-old ban on multiple marriage violates the freedom of religion guarantees in the Charter of Rights.
Bev Baines, head of the Department of Gender Studies and a constitutional law expert, argues that Canada is a multicultural country and it is therefore unconstitutional to criminalize people for their marital relationships.
“The law achieves nothing,” Baines said in the release. “We’ve had the law on the books since 1892 and we had no prosecutions in the last 60 years aside from a failed attempt last January. We don’t stop polygamy by having a law.”
Who is this person? Let’s read her faculty web page:
Head of the Department, Undergraduate Chair
Professor Baines is one of the founders of feminist legal studies in Canada.
She recently published The Gender of Constitutional Jurisprudence (Cambridge University Press, 2004, with Ruth Rubio-Marin) in which the contributors examine constitutional cases pertaining to women in twelve countries to explain how constitutions shape and are shaped by women’s lives.
More generally, her research interests include Charter rights, human rights and judicial review. She was involved in the movement to entrench women’s equality rights in the Canadian Charter of Rights; and she continues to be a strong advocate for equity issues in Canadian universities and society.
After co-coordinating the Women’s Studies Program in the Faculty of Arts and Science between 1991 and 1993, she served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Law from 1994 until 1997. She has also taught Law and Public Policy in the School of Policy Studies, and is now Head of the Department of Gender Studies.
This person is teaching the next generation of students her views, and is being paid to do it, (and to travel around the world), at taxpayer expense. Her research, which changes the laws of the land, is taxpayer-funded. I’m sure she means well, but I am not sure that polygamy is as good as traditional marriage is for children. And I don’t think that it’s fair to women either – women need an exclusive, life-long romantic commitment.
In Canada, polygamous Muslims can already collect multiple welfare checks for their multiple wives.
Hundreds of [Greater Toronto Area] Muslim men in polygamous marriages — some with a harem of wives — are receiving welfare and social benefits for each of their spouses, thanks to the city and province, Muslim leaders say.
Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, said wives in polygamous marriages are recognized as spouses under the Ontario Family Law Act, providing they were legally married under Muslim laws abroad.
“Polygamy is a regular part of life for many Muslims,” Ali said yesterday. “Ontario recognizes religious marriages for Muslims and others.”
He estimates “several hundred” GTA husbands in polygamous marriages are receiving benefits. Under Islamic law, a Muslim man is permitted to have up to four spouses.
However, city and provincial officials said legally a welfare applicant can claim only one spouse. Other adults living in the same household can apply for welfare independently.
The average recipient with a child can receive about $1,500 monthly, city officials said.
Why do feminists want that?
I think the reason why feminists support polgamy is because they are hostile to traditional marriage.
In 1974, the outcry grew still harsher. Ti-Grace Atkinson, a member of The Feminists and author of Amazon Odyssey, called married women “hostages.”29 Atkinson concluded:
The price of clinging to the enemy [a man] is your life. To enter into a relationship with a man who has divested himself as completely and publicly from the male role as much as possible would still be a risk. But to relate to a man who has done any less is suicide…. I, personally, have taken the position that I will not appear with any man publicly, where it could possibly be interpreted that we were friends.30
Feminism’s shrill animosity toward the married family continued beyond the 1970s. In 1981, radical feminist author Vivian Gornick, a tenured professor at the University of Arizona, proclaimed that “Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession…. The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn’t be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that.”31
Some influential feminists asserted that marriage was akin to prostitution. In 1983, radical feminist author Andrea Dworkin declared, “Like prostitution, marriage is an institution that is extremely oppressive and dangerous for women.”32 In 1991, Catherine MacKinnon, a professor of law at both the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Chicago Law School, added, “Feminism stresses the indistinguishability of prostitution, marriage, and sexual harassment.”33
Read the quotes in that article… feminists don’t like marriage!
So what would happen if people who believe in feminism wrote the laws of the land? Would they encourage people to get married and have children? Or would they pass laws and policies that encouraged people not to marry (no-fault divorce) and not to have children (high tax rates) and to make them incapable of staying married (sex education, pre-marital sex)? Is the decline of marriage, which is caused by feminism, good for children? Does it make them happy, prosperous and safe?
Is there a backlash against feminism by normal women who want husbands, marriage and children? Are they thinking hard about how to encourage men to marry and stay married? Are they heads of Gender Studies departments, writing and researching pro-marriage and pro-child laws? Do normal women vote overwhelmingly for smaller government, lower taxes, pro-male and pro-marriage policies? Are they informed about these issues? Should they be informed? Whose job is it to inform them? I guess I would like to see traditional women informing themselves and voting for limited government, and fewer research grants for feminists and other non-scientific ideologues.
(By feminism, I mean third-wave feminism)