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Vagina Politics: How Feminism Turned into Populism

By: Priscila Guinovart - @PrisUY - Jul 8, 2016, 11:01 pm
In the 80s, the originally the well meant feminism was twisted and became the collectivist movement it is now, with its deep populist strokes. (Sofía)
Vagina politics: how feminism turned into populism after the idea of equal rights yielded to privileges. (Sofía)

EspañolIt is through chance that I, like 49 percent of the world’s population according 2015 demographic data, was born a women. It’s through luck, nothing more than random luck, that we weren’t born male.

In the last 25 years, however, some women bear a certain resentment towards this luck. They talk about the 50.4 percent of males as if they were evil, concentrating power and privilege. This is the Oxfam version of feminism.

In its beginnings in the middle of the 19th century, different feminist movements claimed, quite fairly, that men and women should have the same rights, obligations, and opportunities.

However, in the 1980’s, the originally well-meaning feminist movement twisted and turned into a brand of collectivism, with the deep populist streaks we see today. Feminists began to focus on payback. In truth, they don’t intend to do away with male privilege. They rather seek to hand over these privileges exclusively to women.

These so-called feminists would like to have a government made up exclusively of women, from the president on down. They pay little heed to the skills, abilities, and experience of each possible candidate. The only factor that matters is that they have ovaries. They defend anything that benefits the “female” group, leaving the the individual completely aside. Isn’t this a supremacist desire?

Few people have managed to handle this angle better than US Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In her speeches and those of her followers the slogan “it’s time for a woman to lead this country” appears time and again.  They suggest that Hillary should be voted in only because of her sex. If her political career is tainted or if her affair with Wall Street can compromise her government, it isn’t relevant. It’s her gender that matters, the feminists say, not her policies.

It may seem trivial and even exaggerated, but this is precisely the criteria employed by those who create today’s gender quota laws.

It’s our responsibility as members of a civilized society to be active and firm in our beliefs. Those who lead parliaments, companies and state agencies should be the most qualified for such jobs and tasks independent of their gender, race, socioeconomic origin, or their religion.

To say that one group of people (women, the poor, native Americans) will perform better just because they belong to a group is not only fallacious, it also ends in another form of discrimination. Can’t a rich, white male be discriminated against too?

Michelle Bachelet, Dilma Rousseff, and Cristina Kirchner have caused disasters in Chile, Brazil and Argentina. Pepe Mujica, supposedly “the world’s poorest president,” headed the worst government in the history of Uruguay. Evo Morales has torn Bolivia apart. Does this overwhelming evidence not prove that the only determining factor that qualifies someone for high office is individual merit?

“Inclusion” ends up being not very inclusive when it’s enforced by the state. Inclusion will be successful when it arises from agreements among individuals.

Feminism is a form of populism. The left promotes tailored rights for each group that demands special privileges. The right keeps quiet. Perhaps many don’t believe that men and women, homosexuals and heterosexuals, blacks, whites and indians should have the same rights simply because we’re all human beings.

In the case of Uruguay, feminist “inclusion” forced upon the people by the government has even broken the Spanish language. President Tabaré Vázquez insists on addressing  citizens as “todos y todas”, or “uruguayos y uruguayas”, when the Royal Spanish Academy has clarified that this as incorrect. Uruguayans are simply called “uruguayos”.

In the feminist surge, even violence seems less violent when the victim isn’t a woman. It seems to matter less. “Not one person less” will never be a successful hashtag. There will never be manifestations for men who are victims of violence, whoever it comes from. All violence is damnable, but it doesn’t sell much.

Some of us are tired of being used for political ends because of our female sex. Left-wingers have been as harmful as the most conservative right-winger. Both left and right have failed to see us as individuals and to judge us according to our talents and abilities.

If progressives really cared about women, they wouldn’t use them to advance their ambitions. And if the so-called feminists were interested in the success of each individual, they wouldn’t allow themselves to be used either. Their political complicity is undeniable.

Priscila Guinovart Priscila Guinovart

Priscila Guinovart is an Uruguayan teacher and writer. She has written for outlets in Latin America, the U.S., and Europe. While in London, she wrote her book La cabeza de Dios. Follow her: @PrisUY.