Feminism v. Equality

Feminists often use the word “equality” in a puzzling manner which reverses the original meaning. To feminists, and social justice warriors, “real” equality requires biasing society to advantage some people over others based on their gender, race, or other claimed oppression group. This idea that equality can only be achieved by treating people unequally reaches a level of stupidity that only feminism can attain.

“Substantive equality,” like most feminist terms, can be quite confusing for those who don’t defer to debauched dictionaries or champion corrupted concepts.

While free societies count on justice being blind, feminists were unhappy with the results of impartiality in the courts – namely, women were being convicted of more crimes. Under the guise of promoting equality, radical feminism has succeeded in bringing bias back into the legal system by arguing that women are, in fact, not equal to men and should not be treated as such under the law.

Despite some opposition from rational thinkers, “substantive” has trumped “formal” in the legal applications of equality.

“Formal” equality is the name given to what most of us think of when we hear the word equality. It’s the classic and extremely popular idea that all people should be treated as equals. The legal intention is summarized by the phrase “ equality before and under the law.” Laws are meant to be applied equally to all people and all people are expected to answer to the law equally. This principle is often visually depicted as a blindfold adorning the statues of Lady Justice which are common to court houses across the globe.

The popular idea that all people are equal and should be treated as such was written into the constitutional legislation of most modern countries, and there was much rejoicing.

But not for long.

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) explains how the founding mothers of feminism discovered that, to their dismay, the “Supreme Court of Canada rulings were determining that women were the ‘same before the law’ meaning that one woman would be treated the same as another woman.” This was somehow troubling to them.

LEAF took up the cause of implementing and shaping the discourse on substantive equality to ensure that Canadian women would cease to be treated the same as men or, indeed, each other in a court of law. They have had much success.

Writing for the National Post in March, 1999, George Jonas deftly explains, to no avail, the purpose behind the feminist ploy of splitting equality into two types. His article is worth reading in its entirety but the brilliantly worded opening is sufficient here.

Assume you’re a feminist. To further your political objective, which is to secure advantages for your group, you need to replace a liberal principle, namely equality, with an illiberal principle, to wit, inequality. It would be bad form for you to say so, of course, but that’s not all. In an essentially liberal society such as Canada, pushing inequality would be useless. It simply wouldn’t fly.

But what if you stuck an adjective — say, “formal” — in front of the word “equality”? Then you could contrast “formal equality” with a newly minted concept for inequality that sounded better — say, “substantive equality.” Now you’re on track. While you couldn’t sell the idea of replacing equality with inequality, replacing “formal equality” with “substantive equality” might have legs.

Presto, the feminist party line.

This corruption of equality “before and under the law” is not exclusive to Canada. The International Women’s Rights Action Watch outlines the agenda of the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, more conveniently called CEDAW.

The concept of equality is traditionally understood to mean “the right to be equal to men”. This becomes problematic when it is extended to the understanding that women must be treated exactly like men if they are to gain equality with men. It implies that women must be treated according to male standards, obscuring the ways in which women are different from men and how they will be disadvantaged because of these differences.

What are these “male standards” which are so problematic? A standard of excellence, perhaps?

Feminists insist that women are innately flawed in a way which handicaps them. They argue that women can not be held equally accountable both before and under the law by claiming a meaningful difference between the words “before” and “under”. If you get lost in the semantic debate here, you are not alone. Their argument attempts to win the debate by spinning in nonsensical circles for long enough that opponents get dizzy and stumble away.

With their usual abuse of the English language, feminism has adopted an “equality” theory (“substantive equality”) that remains controversial and which is certainly not accepted as either practical or attainable. Given that the construction of stable, sustainable communities is typically accomplished by men, feminists have thus far not needed to bother themselves with such details. They fight for what they want and let everyone else worry about how to make it work without destroying society.

Failing to explain how courts can be “patriarchal” while consistently and historically depicting Justice in the form of a woman since ancient Egypt’s Maat, feminists again fall flat in the face of equality when they claim that jails are not appropriate places for women.

In February of 2011, the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group for women in the penal system) wrote a heartfelt letter to the UK’s Ministry of Justice stating that women “have greater needs than the adult male prison population.” They made recommendations for how to treat women differently than men claiming that “the biggest single improvement government could make would entail a change of ethos.”

“Change of ethos” is just a fancy way of saying that the legal system should stop sending female criminals to jail as if they have equal responsibility before and under the law. Apparently, unlike men, going to jail makes women depressed.

No single group has fought longer or harder than feminists have to ensure women cease to be treated as equals within society. The same feminists who have so effectively stripped women of legal equality quickly accuse others of bigotry or misogyny whenever they are challenged. This silencing of reasoned voices has created a bizarre gynocentric tyranny in which some are more equal than others by virtue of their inequality.

It is, in fact, a truly cunning stunt of history.

  • Chris Wedge

    The more I learn about feminism, the more I get confused as to the why of it.

    But then I just say “fuck it, why doesn’t matter, it’s what they’re doing that’s the problem”

    • politicalcynic

      Actions are what matters-not words. ALL feminists will tell you “feminism is about equality” but what they do and advocate for proves otherwise.

    • politicalcynic

      Actions are what matters-not words. ALL feminists will tell you “feminism is about equality” but what they do and advocate for proves otherwise.

  • Mike Buchanan

    Diana, an insightful piece, as always. We’ll put up a link to it now. Your pieces always get plenty of hits when we link to them, as do those of all Honey Badgers.

    • Dagda Mór

      Don’t forget Kristal Garcia, Mike, a rising star among honey badgers with a positive focus on the needs of men, something sorely needed in a field where anger is often the first response. You can find one of her articles here at Mens Human Rights Ireland: http://www.menshumanrightsireland.org/index.php?n=61

      • Mike Buchanan

        Thanks Dagda, an interesting piece, I haven’t heard her name before. Does she live in Ireland?

        • Dagda Mór

          Kristal is a New Yowkah with Irish connections! Her Return of Femininity series on facebook is cool water to a thirsty man.

          • Mike Buchanan

            Ah OK, thanks!

  • politicalcynic

    Ah yes, the APPG. One of my favorites in the world of “feminism is good for men too”.

    Their theory of “good” amounts to “Women need help, social services, assistance and not to be put in jail. Men need to be put in jail”

    I suppose, due to my status as a “penised person” I am simply unable to comprehend how this is “good”, or, in fact, how this is even logically consistent coming from any group claiming to support “equality”.

    I guess I must just be suffering from that awful, “internalized patriarchy” thing again.

    As usual, outstanding, Diana. :)

  • travis perez

    Feminists don’t fight for equality they fight for privilege and exception.

    • John Narayan

      More they just want more.

    • Matthew Lane

      That’s because feminism is not an equality movement its a special interest group, for middle class white women. Its only interest is in fighting for the special interests of the in-group & so can never be about equality….. Since to fight for equality, it would have to disadvantage the in-group wherever the in-group is found to have an undue advantage.

    • Seele


      Basically they fight for all-access free passes, and zero responsibility.

  • crydiego

    Beautifully done Diana. Everyone should follow the link to LEAF, “much success” where you can read,
    “Women’s substantive equality… One case at a time
    Since 1985, LEAF has shaped the meaning of substantive equality and equality rights law in Canada. LEAF has helped law makers and the courts understand inequality from a feminist perspective. Since 1985, in over 150 cases, LEAF has exposed women’s realities in crucial areas…”

    Feminist are not fighting for equality, they are fighting to redefine words in law. They are pigs changing the words on the side of the barn, [Animal Farm]

    • Dagda Mór

      I think they really do believe they’re fighting for equality. Once you internalise and really start to believe the nonsensical patriarchal theory which sits at the core of feminism, the only conclusion is that women must be eternally raised above men and cosseted since they start out at a disadvantage as permanent victims. Looked at through such a lens, feminism’s actions are perfectly understandable.

      The equality feminism seeks is the same equality that the left/progressives are after which is not in fact equality but rather conformity and uniformity, a chronic case of tall poppy syndrome where equality of outcome is achieved not by equality of opportunity (which we already have) but by tilting the playing field against those with actual merit to “give a chance” to those with less.

      The grey formless mediocre sameness which must ultimately result from such policies is, whether they like it or not, the feminist/left/progressive paradise on earth, the fate that dare not speak its name.

      If the MHRM ever needed a slogan it should be “vive la différence”!

  • OldandNavy

    Great piece, Diana! I’m gonna pass this one around.

  • Pvblivs

    I take issue with one claim. It is not just feminism, but ANY organized dogma that can reach such levels of stupidity.

  • plasmacutter

    A very impressive article citing official sources and delving deeply into the subject at hand.

    But remember folks, according to wikipedia AVFM is not a “reliable source”, it’s just a person’s “self-published blog”!

    More “feminist equality”

  • John Anderson

    Wouldn’t “substantive equality.” require that men and women serve in aggregate equal time behind bars? So if more men are imprisoned shouldn’t they serve less time on average and shouldn’t women serve more time for similar offenses to “even out” the time served. Theoretically, maybe innocent women should serve some time to balance out the time served and if we included hysterical, I mean historical, discrimination that would be a lot of time to make up. I suppose alternatively they could simply stop imprisoning men for crimes until the time evens out.

    • Rob Holman

      “Wouldn’t “substantive equality.” require that men and women serve in aggregate equal time behind bars? ”

      Not to mention…in the Infantry?

  • Graham Strouse

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • Graham Strouse

    Justice may be blind, but it isn’t actually justice if it’s also deaf and dumb.

  • garyonthenet

    Cunning stunt.
    Oh what a low blow. 😛

  • JinnBottle

    “They fight for what they want and let everyone else worry about how to make it work without destroying society.”

    Pure gold, right there. That should be stamped in steel somewhere. 2nd best would be for it to go viral.

  • Druk

    I don’t think feminists are alone in this thinking. After all, Affirmative Action attempted to solve some racial inequality. But it was always meant to be a temporary measure, and recently has been scaled back somewhat as it actually achieves its goals.

    Feminism, on the other hand, does not have any measures in place to stop or even slow down when it reaches its goals. It just keeps going and going, so we end up with situations like the difference in college enrollment between men and women.

  • scanspeak

    A cunning stunt by stunning cunts.

  • fathers4fairness

    Thank-you DD for this wonderful journey into the heart of darkness (aka LEAF).

  • Sage Quinn

    And they keep squawking that us mean MRAs won’t meet feminists half way. To feminists, “half way” means expecting us to run across an 8-lane freeway, while they sit on the grassy verge chanting that men don’t get run over.

  • Guest

    women “have greater needs than the adult male prison population.”

  • Christopher Porozny

    lmao. what rubbish. this story was written by a man masquerading as a woman so his argument is better accepted by misogynists (men who hate women and the whole idea of equality).

    What is the difference between ‘substantive’ equality and ‘formal’ equality? Easy to understand, boys, if you only apply a little of your football acumen, or NASCAR knowledge, to this … the difference is simply equality with consideration for those differences in gender – physical strength and a requirements of a woman’s monthly fertility cycle …

    But some men see this as pretend equality, that women should be judged purely using the exact same standards as men … these men are not men, just pretenders whining like girls that life isn’t fair …

    • Astrokid

      Discussion on The Libertarian Republic
      R. Kelly faces jail for failing to pay $20K a month in child support
      Christopher Porozny 8 hours ago

      ‘Courts regularly penalize wealthy divorced men by requiring them to make payments dramatically higher than the actual cost raising a child.’

      yeah, so what? He has the money, his kids deserve the best he can provide. Stop whining like a f*cking debutante and man up …

      Man up bro..Man up LOL

    • Rob Holman

      “lmao. what rubbish. this story was written by a man masquerading as a woman so his argument is better accepted by misogynists”

      Prove it.

      And do let us know when you plan to get around to refuting logically a single thing the author said. Until then you are just another sad, self-hating sexist on the Interent.

  • dwwwww

    The other day in a class I was saying based on my own experience, women are naturally better at nurturing infants than men are (e.g. interacting with infants in prolonged period of time). And men have no problems doing other tasks that have clear defined goals, such as changing the diaper, feeding the infant, entertain the infant (e.g. playing), rocking the infant to sleep.

    Based on the reactions of my female classmates, I don’t think that was received well.