Friday, May 08, 2015

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Modern feminism

16th May 2019:

After seeing our topic “Modern feminism” (May 2015) Jane asked me if I would share a guide for women with you on “…women’s safety online” which you can find here . This is quite serendipitous since in my essay I do mention that the jungle today includes the internet and social media.

Dear friends,

This Sunday we are discussing: Modern feminism.

In my very few words on the topic I question whether the feminist
movement in their justifiable pursuit of high profile victories in
women's rights, are failing to address the key philosophical issues in
women's rights. In the meantime Ruel has sent us the link to his essay:

Hello Lawrence,
Here's the link to the short essay I wrote on Sunday's topic:
Can't say a lot on the issue coz I'm no expert at all on its most
current developments.

All the best,


Modern feminism

We have to be clear between feminism as a collection of movements
advocating and promoting equal rights for women and feminism as a
concept that women shouldn't be discriminated in society. I am more
inclined to think in terms of the concept rather than the movements. We
can disagree about the means to achieve equal rights for women but we
must agree that discrimination on gender grounds is unacceptable.

The reality is that the majority of women today still live in societies
who by default or by design practice discrimination against women. We
can demonstrate and prove this by taking any yardstick or data available
from around the world, but for me the situation is best established, for
none other reason that it's a few days old, by these words (published 28
April 2015) from the National Women's Law Center report in the US about
the state of health cover by insurance companies there:

"Denying Women This Coverage Has a Very Real Impact
These violations mean that women enrolled in these plans may pay more
than they should for covered services, may be without coverage for
health needs that issuers are required to cover by law, and may end up
going without the care they need, even though they have health
insurance." (28 April 2015

Apart from the absurdity of covering health care with an insurance,
health care is the single most important characteristic that identifies
women as a unique patient with unique health care needs. Many of the
violations mentioned in the report have to do with child bearing and
child caring needs of women. What matters is that there is a set of
health care needs that are specific to women and therefore failure to
provide this care is straight forward discrimination.

And the reason, in my opinion, for the mentioned violations is because
the relevant legislation is its self biased; no doubt women probably
hardly had a say it creating the act. For example the legislation
instead of stipulating that certain care is free it could have mandated
insurance companies to provide this care for free when needed otherwise
the licence to offer health insurance will be revoked. It's not a
question of being free but failure to provide this care for free means
you are not a health care insurance company.

And part of the problem must be the feminist movement for giving the
impression that they are pushing an agenda that keeps a score on public
image victories. What do I mean by this? What matters for female
equality is not so much how many female board members are women nor
maternity leave per se but rather equal pay for equal work, child care
programmes where women can incorporate their maternal duties with their
career instead of maternity leave which is today, with the exception of
a minority cases, used to downgrade the career prospects of a women
rather than promote them. Aspects regarding education are also relevant
here since the achievements and progress made by women in education
tends to grind down to a halt in their career because of the family
penalty I mentioned above.

It's all well and good to have women as CEO or front line fighter pilots
but these people are by definition some of the smartest people in our
society and that they can achieve anything under any adverse conditions;
and they have. The problem is that not everyone can be a fighter pilot
or CEO. Who is fighting the fight for the average mother to have a real
flexi timetable at work to enable to look after her family; and ditto
for her partner if she has one?

The other biggest problem for women's rights is that even their male
partners (unless she has a female partner which would make a difficult
life even worse) are being discriminated against in society and the work
place. The man must put in the time at work and be one of lads otherwise
they are not a team player and hence not leadership material. Men are
expected to have a wife and kids and provide for the family, whereas
women are expected to get married and have children. What on Earth is it
anyone's business whether someone gets married or not?

And although there are many women who work hard to fight against this
discrimination the problem is an uphill task for the simple reason that
people mistakenly speak of women's rights rather than a person's rights.
A woman is a person first. Women's rights are person's rights first and
no one can object against this moreover we can universalize this principle.

Hence if a woman goes home and tells her husband that she was not
promoted because she did not have the length of time in the job, thanks
to the maternity stop gap, that is no less discrimination against the
woman as it is against her partner be it a male or female partner.
Discrimination against women is also discrimination against their
partners, their family, their community, and humanity in general.

What modern feminism needs to consider today is whether they are engaged
in a public relations campaign and counting victories that feel good or
are they perusing what it takes to address the real needs of half of the
population for them to be treated as a human being? Women's rights, like
any other rights, are not a gift but a human characteristic.

Maybe we can describe women's rights as a balance sheet account of
whether half the members of the population of the world have what they
need to be a human being.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813 <>
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every
From: January 15 at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h

16th May 2019:

After seeing our topic “Modern feminism” (May 2015) Jane asked me if I would share a guide for women with you on “…women’s safety online” which you can find here . This is quite serendipitous since in my essay I do mention that the jungle today includes the internet and social media.

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: Modern feminism


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