“If you use their words, you will end up thinking their thoughts”
February 25, 2014 § 46 Comments
A couple of possibilities:
1. Suppose there really are innate differences between men and women, so that most men are now and always will be better suited for the traditional male role and most women for the traditional female role. Now suppose a society abolished the traditional female role and provided that the functions formerly performed by wives and mothers would be carried out by functionally rational hierarchical organizations of the sort men tend to act through. (For example, childcare would be provided by daycare centers rather than by Mom, who would be a fulltime paid worker like everyone else.) Then it would make sense to say that the society is unfair to women because of their sex, because the roles established by the society don’t give most women the opportunity to make use of their special capacities. (Compare Plato’s _Republic_, in which male and female Guardians had the same role — war, government and philosophy — but the men were usually better at it; contrast the matrilineal societies Loren Petrich recently mentioned, in which women are more prominent than in most societies because there is very little need for the activities belonging to the public sphere.)
2. Suppose most men and most women would be happiest in a society that had appropriately-defined sex roles, but some would not. Then a society with no sex roles would be unfair to the majority with respect to sex roles, because it would sacrifice the interests of the majority in favor of that of a minority.
Feminism is simply another strand of the subjectivism which characterises all modern philosophies and which was so roundly condemned in the Encyclical Humani Generis by Pope Pius XII in August 1950. It is of the character of all modern philosophy to deny that we can know natures and to assert that there are only collections of individuals which are similar. The only unity it will allow is a nominal one [nominalism]. In its efforts to force the populace to accept its so called “inclusive” language, feminism seeks to demonstrate that there is no such thing as the nature of man: there are only men; there are only women.
In the same way is feminism a false philosophy and its terminology a false terminology. And it is important that we should make a point of declining to use this false terminology because of the false presuppositions contained in it. The aphorism that Cardinal Mindszenty used against the Communists is appropriate here: “If you use their words, you will end up thinking their thoughts.” Therefore the correct answer to make to those who accuse us of being “sexist” or “paternalistic” or of “practising sex discrimination” is to say to them that their expressions are meaningless to anyone except those who accept their theories and that they contain no valid criticisms.