Celtic Riverside – The Online Journal of James Keenan

On Feminism and Equality

Some people are seizing upon individual terms and excerpts rather than my full position, so I will try one last time to summarise this concisely:
The United States and other Western nations formed under the legislation of white males, and the policies they enacted created hardships for women and other minorities. Some of these were borne of racism and misogyny, but some is simply a lack of incorporating other perspectives.
Today, we have problems with every group, including feminists. Men do not receive the same empathy and have higher rates of suicide. We have to accept male privilege before we can speak up about issues that do affect us. That is a problem.
What my posts have focused on is less the everyday sexism and racism of our society, and more the systemic nature of it. Which is where this point becomes so critical:
Because women and minorities are not represented in government and organisational leadership equally, the policies enacted that result in *systemic* problems are still primarily the doing of white males. That is a patriarchy.
White males are not the problem. The inequity in representation is, and that is a failure of everyone.
“Universities create these safe spaces where everyone has to check their privilege, these intangible, ill-defined things, and pretend that everyone is a snowflake”. That is a problem. You know who creates those policies at most universities? White males – because doing anything else became a political liability.
All of the problems of our history have caught up with us and there is now a period of over-correction back the other way. There is a shift in what is expected of men and women. That is a problem. We should not be expecting anything of anyone simply because they are a man or woman. Race should not dictate how a person behaves. Ethnicity should not dictate how a person behaves.
Without representation at policy levels though, we will not get to that place. This period of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter will end, and there will be a push back the other way from all of the people who feel disenfranchised by those movements. And you know what? That is fair.
Women have been facing gender-based violence for generations, and things like #MeToo are important for their rights. However, it created a culture where one false accusation can destroy a man’s life, and that is not okay either. We need to figure out how we prosecute these cases fairly so that victims feel they can come forward and have justice, but stopping short of summary executions for anyone accused.
This is not about equal outcomes for everyone either. People should rise to levels commensurate with their effort and skill, but for that to happen we need equality of opportunity and that does not currently exist. It does not exist because policies have created systemic issues that affect all groups, and those policies exist because representation does not fit with the will of the people or with logic. Representation is still largely white males trying to square political ambitions with the climate, and that climate will never be conducive to actual fairness. 
Having representation to reflects the makeup of the population is serves reduces that political liability and allows legislation to pursue policy that will create equality of opportunity.

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