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Has Matriarchy Made the Sexes Equal?
May 24, 2006
by Carey Roberts

A number of years ago someone came up with the idea that Patriarchy was the cause of untold misery and hardship of women. So why not let the ladies run the show for awhile and see if they can clean up the mess?

That idea began to take root, and on January 20, 1993, the Matriarchy came into power. That's the day the Rodham-Clinton co-presidency checked into the White House.

After thirteen years of social engineering designed to advance the feminist agenda, we can ask, Are we now closer to the long-awaited gender utopia?

To answer that question, we might first note that despite its widely-publicized shortcomings, the Patriarchy had at least a few redeeming features. Women have long enjoyed special consideration by chivalrous lawmakers. For example, women were exempted from the military draft and spared from the most hazardous occupations.

Because of their longer life spans, females were favored by government programs such as Social Security and Medicare. The eligibility criteria for welfare programs such as Medicaid gave preference to custodial parents, another nod to mothers.

Such multi-billion dollar programs, we might note, were largely conceived, enacted, and paid for by those linear-thinking patriarchs.

Like socialism, Matriarchy avers to be an enlightened and egalitarian form of social order. Let's probe that claim.

We'll start with abortion. When feminists pushed to legalize the procedure, did they envision that fathers and pregnant women would be equal in their decision-making? Hardly. The feminists' harsh refrain was "our bodies, ourselves."

When Carol Gilligan and her comrades pushed for the 1994 Gender Equity in Education Act -- a law that cast the spotlight on the needs of schoolgirls -- did they mention that boys had always lagged on tests of reading achievement? Not to my recollection.

When president Bill Clinton named hard-Left feminist Norma Cantu as director of the Department of Education civil rights office, she became obsessed about the under-representation of girls in college sports programs. But did she ever worry about the under-representation of boys on dean's lists and honor societies? Not on your life!

When Hillary Clinton lobbied behind the scenes for the Violence against Women Act, did she ever muse about the well-known fact that men, too, are often victims of domestic violence? Nope.

And when the former First Lady advocated for women's health, did she ever comment on the odd fact that men were dying 6 years earlier than women? Well, I guess I missed that speech.

Not to pile on HRC too much, but when she stumps for her Paycheck Fairness Act, does she ever mention the glass ceiling that keeps men from working fewer hours, accepting less stressful jobs, and retiring at an earlier age, as their wives often do? Ditto on that one.

When the Lavender Ladies lobbied to stiffen penalties for non-payment of child support, did they ever address the problem of custodial moms who blocked their ex's from seeing their own kids? Answer in the negative.

When feminists speak about child custody, do they espouse the rhetoric of equality and fairness? Not in New York, at least, where last month feminists lobbied ferociously against a bill that would have allowed an equal presumption of joint custody.

So despite all the feminist hoopla about gender equality, it is difficult to find even a single example where reality measures up to rhetoric.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a political thinker who charted the early stirrings of socialism in the years following the French Revolution. Tocqueville sagely noted,

"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

In 1831 Tocqueville journeyed to the United States to study our nascent democracy. Noting similar socialistic yearnings in America, he made this prescient observation:

"There are people in Europe who, confounding together the different characteristics of the sexes, would make man and woman into beings not only equal but alike. They would give to both the same functions, impose on both the same duties, and grant to both the same rights; they would mix them in all things-their occupations, their pleasures, their business. It may readily be conceived that by thus attempting to make one sex equal to the other, both are degraded, and from so preposterous a medley of the works of nature nothing could ever result but weak men and disorderly women."

Weak men and disorderly women - an apt description of how things stand in America, circa 2006.

Carey Roberts has been published frequently in the Washington Times, Townhall.com, LewRockwell.com, ifeminists.net, Intellectual Conservative, and elsewhere. He is a staff reporter for the New Media Alliance.

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