I swear, sometimes I wonder if the entire Men’s Rights Movement is an elaborate hoax. Our old friend Fidelbogen weighs in today with a typically pompous post on the cutting-edge issue of women’s suffrage, posted with the almost-too-good-to-be-true headline: Women Couldn’t Vote.That Was “Oppression?” If I didn’t know better, I’d be tempted to dismiss it as half-baked satire – except that FB is serious, deadly serious. (And deadly dull, too, most of the time, but I’ll try to keep this snappy.)
It annoys me to hear the feminists say that women were “oppressed” because they didn’t have the voting franchise in olden days. Excuse me. . . oppressed? I would take exception to the semantics in this case, for is not a bit clear to me that what was happening ought to be called by such a heinous name.
While most people are either for or against women having the right to vote – though I’ve never met any of the latter group outside of MRA blogs – FB bravely declares himself “a third way thinker upon this subject.”
Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen, because Fidelbogen is going to get all philosophical on us:
I would submit that women’s historical lack of voting rights was neither a good thing nor a bad thing. Rather, it was a morally indifferent state of affairs, based on a cultural consensus that was shared by men and women alike in the past.
Hey, it was the olden days. People wore silly hats and watched silent movies and no one had iPhones.
Our ancestors lived in a very, very different world than we do, and their cultural norms were very, very different from ours, yet undoubtedly befitting to their world — a world mysterious and unknown to us nowadays. Who are we to judge?
I mean, really, how dare we offer any sort of moral judgment of anything that happened in the past. The Holocaust? Stalin’s purges? Hey, it was the mid-twentieth century – people were just into that shit back then.
Well, FB doesn’t mention either Hitler or Stalin, but he definitely considers women’s former lack of voting rights to be just one of those things that, hey, people were into back then:
[W]as it really, inherently, such a horrible thing after all, that women could not vote? … Why should it even matter? Did the average woman in those days honestly feel that voting was “all that”? Seriously. . . who are we to judge the men and women of past times for their very different way of life which we can no longer entirely fathom?
And besides, most men had been denied the vote earlier, so even if it matters and it totally doesn’t, what’s the big deal if the dudes in charge decided to deny the vote to the ladies for a while longer? As FB puts it:
[W]as it really such an unspeakable crime that the female population couldn’t always go to the polls during that comparatively trifling span of years?
Or is that entire concept nothing but feminist historiography, meant to wring pathos out of history for present-day political purposes by the device of retrojection? That would certainly conform to standard feminist tricknology, wouldn’t it?
Seriously. Those feminologicalnists are totally retrojecting the fuck out of the pastological period using their standard sneakyfulogicalnistic tricknology.
And besides, even though we’re not supposed to judge the past, and even thought that whole denying-the-ladies-the-vote thing was totally a “morally indifferent thing which ought to concern us very little,” FB thinks that maybe it was actually sort of, you know, cool.
I believe a case might be constructed that it was a positive good in the context of those times.
FB decides to leave that case unmade, and returns to the whole “who the fuck cares” argument.
Once upon a time, women didn’t have the voting franchise because societal norms found nothing amiss about such an arrangement. Then times changed, norms changed, and women were admitted to the franchise. That’s all. And women were never, at any point along that general story-line, “oppressed.”
Besides, the whole idea of “rights” is, well, just like, an opinion, man.
Furthermore, women were never at any time deprived of any rights. You see, women’s “right” to vote simply did not exist in the first place — or not during the period when the so-called deprivation occurred. I mean that “rights” are only a figment. Only a mentation. Only a notion. Only a construct. Rights do not exist in their own right. They are not some mystical pure essence which hangs in the air all by itself — they must be conjured into existence by a strictly human will-to-power, and fixed by law or custom.
And so, if the dudes of the world denied the ladies these “rights,” well, uh, it was “morally indifferent” yet also probably good for some reason.
In conclusion, shut your pie holes, ladies:
So in conclusion, I wish that second and third-wave feminists would shut the hell up with their dishonest, self-laudatory rhetoric about “the vote”. They need to quit tooting on that rusty old horn. It is getting really, really old.
Well, unless they’re this lady. She’s actually pretty good at tooting a horn.