Feminism has gone beyond equal pay and equal rights. In the United States (and other liberal democracies) there have been three waves of feminism that have influenced our governments and legal systems.
In the U.S., the first wave came after the civil war, where through the passage of the 19th amendment, women were given the right to vote and an equal voice in the government. Other laws of the Constitution also provided women equal rights but were shaped through the application of the 14th Amendment in Supreme Court decisions. The 14th Amendment states:
“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
It was the passage of the 14th Amendment and “due process” and “equal protection” which expanded the court’s ability to legalize abortion and expand protections for women and minorities through the passage of Civil Rights reform.
The second wave of feminism came with the passage of the Civil Rights Acts in the 1960’s. Under the Civil Rights Act, discrimination on the basis of sex, color, religion or national origin became illegal in areas such as public housing, employment and schools.
This sparked a new level of legal activism through civil rights lawsuits, many of which went to the Supreme Court and expanded women’s rights in virtually every area of society. States followed the federal government and passed state wide laws banning discrimination on the basis of sex and gender.
The third wave of feminism hit at sometime in the 1990’s and caught Men completely off guard. This was the time we saw the OJ Simpson case and how domestic violence and murder became synonymous terms. The media outrage over that case led to passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which was first written to include only women as victims of domestic violence. In was also during this time that Bill Clinton was nearly impeached for his sexual adventures while holding government office and Clarence Thomas, a Supreme Court justice was accused of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings.
States also revised their laws during this period, expanding the definition of rape to include sex with an intoxicated person and including spouses as victims of rape and abuse. Sexual assault laws were revised to remove the statute of limitations and in some states now carry a minimum of 3 years in prison.
Domestic Violence laws were also expanded to include casual dating partners and fights between boyfriends, girlfriends and roommates.
Employment discrimination and fair wage suits brought by women skyrocketed in this new era.
It is during this third wave of feminism that rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence, and discrimination became loaded and politicized buzz words drawing the angry attention of the media. Mob hysteria fueled by feminist elites and their client politicians fed the feminist angst. Criminal prosecution and civil litigation have become the new norm – a means for domesticating and subjugating men. Not a day goes by without another prominent actor or politician being lynched for sexual harassment and alleged abuse.
Meanwhile, female displays of anger, sexual aggression, promiscuity and even physical violence, are completely tolerated and encouraged in modern society. Should a Man display any of these traits, they will be deemed antisocial and illegal.
The third wave of feminism has paved the way for a new “democratic” system that is anything but equal. Family laws, domestic violence laws and sexual assault laws highly favor women both on their face and in their enforcement. Women are rarely prosecuted for domestic violence and when a Man uses any force, even in the heat of self defense or a mutual fight, it is deemed abuse and prosecuted under the full extent of the law.
While many men remain jobless and unable to gain decent wages or promotions at work, even the slightest offense taken by a woman at the workforce or any other context creates the basis for a harassment claim, employment discrimination or unequal wage claim. Dating and relationships gone wrong at the workforce also provide women with an upper hand to argue that a male employee or supervisor abused his position of power in the inevitable sexual harassment claim that follows. Any sexual advances, gestures or remarks towards women in the workforce now qualify as “sexual harassment” even under the most liberal standards.
The reality is that there is a premium being paid in civil litigation for settlement of employment discrimination, sexual harassment/assault, unequal pay, rape and other claims specifically targeting male behavior. Even the threat of a colorable claim provides significant leverage to a woman and her lawyers seeking to target a man with any means or money.
And how did we get here? I would argue that well-meaning “equality” and “protection” laws have gone beyond their fair limit and have become highly irrational, both in their development and enforcement. This has been encouraged by the media and institutions (political, legal and economic) that seek to capitalize on feminism. After all, feminism is a profitable institution. It provides lawyers and feminist advocates/special interests (and there a lot of them) means to exploit the gripes the women have in general, and turn them into lucrative lawsuits against men. Just pick up the paper and read about the latest wave of sexual assault and abuse allegations against Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, C.K. Louis, Bill Cosby, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, and the list goes on.
Divorce and exploitation of family laws has been a boon for lawyers and women. Community property laws that were originally intended when women had unequal earning power and opportunities (forced to be homemakers) are now used by women to extract vast sums of money from their spouses over their lifetimes. Several high profile divorces such as the McCourt’s put the Dodger’s baseball team at the center of a community property debate and an untangling of Frank McCourt’s post-nuptial agreement, costing him and the team hundreds of millions of dollars. Allegations of abuse are liberally levied by women in divorce and child custody proceedings to deprive husbands and fathers of their rights to be with their children. Even Angelina Jolie made dubious claims that Brad Pitt abused his children in order to argue for full custody.
Civil lawsuits for sexual harassment and unequal pay are disproportionately exploited by women to extract multimillion dollar settlements. Gretchen Carlson a Fox News media correspondent, quietly settled her civil claims with Fox News for $20 million without even having to bring suit. She claimed that Robert Ailes made improper advances on her and other women over the span of their careers. He has since left Fox News. In a prominent employment case in Silicon Valley, Ellen Pao, a venture capitalist carried on a consensual affair with a male partner and then sued the firm for sex discrimination, claiming that she was denied opportunities that other male partners had. Although she lost the case, it cost the firm millions of dollars in legal fees to defend.
Countless other such cases are brought every day by disgruntled women who have ample professional opportunities but can now conjure up “sexual harassment” or “sex discrimination” allegations get a quick pay day. In contrast, male workers rarely bring such claims and would be mocked if they attempted to sue their companies or female bosses or coworkers for discrimination or sexual harassment.
Criminal prosecution of celebrities and famous men also makes the careers of ambitious district attorneys and keeps the state funding mechanisms alive. Bill Cosby is criminally prosecuted and sued by a dozen women after over alleged acts of sexual assault that happened over 30 years ago (the victims claiming they were either too drunk or intoxicated to consent). Derrick Rose, a prominent NBA player was embroiled in civil litigation over claims that he “raped” a woman who engaged in group sex with him and other basketball players. She also claims that she was too drunk to consent, a flavor of rape that no longer requires proof of forcible penetration. A very similar claim was made against a prominent footballer, Ched Evans, in the UK, who went through two lengthy trials (spanning 5 years) and spent two and half years in jail before a court of appeal quashed the original verdict. He was found innocent in a second trial only after the court admitted evidence of the alleged victim’s history of unusual sexual activity (evidence which is normally permitted in a rape case to protect the victim).
You do not need to turn celebrity gossip to find these stories. You probably know of a lot of men who have been ruined by divorce, or the female co-worker who made a sexual harassment or unequal pay claim to save their jobs and climb the corporate ladder. The media capitalizes on this because feminism is profitable.
We are seeing this in our presidential politics as well. Donald Trump has now been accused of sexual assault by over eleven women making claims that he “groped” them over 20 years ago. These types of allegations would have never been brought 30 or 40 years ago, simply because they are not credible and both men and women engaged in that culture. However, the media and legal culture now encourages even the most dubious claims by female “victims” because it is profitable, newsworthy and allows society to blame men for their problems. Who cares if it ruins the lives of a bunch of men who became successful. As the theory goes, if you have enjoyed any sort of success and have displayed any dominant male characteristics, chances are you will get snared by the third wave of feminism.