Feminism was pioneered by truly exceptional women of the 19th and 20th century. Let that sink in for a moment. The key word here is “exceptional.” Is feminism for the exceptional feminist rather than for the ordinary women?
My Body, my Choice
Consider the feminist abortion slogan, “My body, my choice.” We may have a discussion of whose body they are ultimately making a choice over, but for the sake of argument let us grant the feminist the courtesy that they have a right to control their own body. Then, by consistency, surely the very same argument should apply equally strongly to prostitution.
We should be expecting feminists to march down the streets in defense of these entrepreneurial women, but quite the opposite is the case. Sex worker advocacy groups are regularly evicted from feminist marches with utmost hostility. What happened to “my body, my choice”?
We can make sense of this apparent inconsistency by considering the feminist as women with an exceptional psychology. Most women love children and by the time they hit thirty, the biological clock is ticking so strongly that fertility is their primary concern, not abortion.
Childhood and Chains
Some women truly do not care for children, however. They consider a child a chain around their ankle, something that is holding them back as a human being. Consider how feminist activists described children in the glorious 1960s. They referred to child rearing in purely mechanical terms as the drudge of changing diapers. The unique spiritual and psychological connection to child that the average woman feels was completely absent in their description.
Instead they framed the traditionally male activity of going to work in an office as the ultimate act of self-actualization. In the office environment, it was important to them to be viewed as a valuable office worker, not a sex object. Herein started the rejection of sex worker rights. Widespread prostitution reduced their chances of being respected in the office on par with men, they believed, and so they became highly adversarial to it.
The right to abortion and banning of prostitution came from the same underlying value: being a successful career woman in a traditionally male environment.
There is of course nothing wrong with a woman wanting a career rather than having children, but it is important to recognize that such women, by nature, are the exception; a small minority with unusual psychological characteristics. It is good to have a society that is sufficiently tolerant and flexible to allow for such unusual specimens to thrive and prosper, but feminism is an ideology for imposing the values of the exceptional onto the rest of womanhood who thoroughly reject these ideas of a good life.
If we go back through feminist history, we see that this is the one pattern that connects feminism in all its variants. The original feminists in the 19th century were exceptional women in every way. They were among the richest and most privileged people in human history. Being exceptionally intelligent, they were given education and opportunities that were unusual for both women and men in that age.
They were, however, also raised in what today would be characterized as dysfunctional families by psychologists. Rich families at the time had nannies from the lower classes who took care of the menial work of child rearing such as feeding, clothing, bathing, and changing diapers. They rarely saw their parents, who were busy doing what they were told were more refined things, far more important than child rearing.
Is it any wonder that these elitist women had contempt for traditional female values? That they grew resentful of their less intelligent male peers is understandable, because they were often given preference purely based on gender rather than merit.
The dysfunctional Victorian family structure of the exceptionally intelligent elitist women gave rise to the feminist movement, and although the issues have transmogrified over the decades, the elitism and dysfunction seems to be a unifying thread.
While we should have compassion for these extraordinary women, we should also recognize that they are the exception, not the norm. To impose an ideology devised for a tiny elite on womanhood could lead to a lot of unhappy women with empty careers.