The fact is that a woman’s perspective is different from a man’s, not worse or better, just different. Although there are significant differences among feminists, there is a consensus that issues of gender, gender and identity, and gendered power relations are important.
The historical lack of equal gender representation in executive, legislative, and judicial matters has led to laws and regulations that lack consideration of gender. Furthermore, many societies have entrenched patriarchal narratives for so long that overcoming the default male-centric mindset will require extreme reform efforts.
If the subjects of knowledge are exclusively male, that is, if the subjects of female expertise are excluded from the process of knowledge, there is inevitably a distortion of reality.
Disinterest in gender issues is in itself an example of value engagement and in itself a political act. Due to their specific place in society, where they are partly familiar with the official discourse and somewhat limited to the marginalized sphere, female subjects of knowledge can better understand reality and create a complete picture of it.
Without continued efforts to embrace diverse perspectives, there will be persistent instances of not only widespread gender inequality, but also the failure to prosecute grave injustices committed against oppressed populations. Drawing attention to the lack of diverse perspectives in governance and law should be a dominant priority in our progressive global world.
The fundamental current of contemporary feminism reveals the deeper roots of this most significant and most resistant form of discrimination in the patriarchal structure of our civilization, which ghettoizes women in the Oikos and excludes them from the public sphere and political life as an exclusively male club.
The insufficient representation of women represents a severe democratic deficit that undermines the legitimacy of the modern democratic ideal. Parity democracy implies the equal representation of women and men in decision-making positions. It goes a step further than quotas because it is based on the idea that women are not a minority, they represent more than half of the world’s population.
Men make up 63 percent of the current European Parliament. That’s almost 200 more male representatives than females. In 10 member states of the European Union – Bulgaria, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Ireland, Hungary, Malta, Romania, and Slovakia – men make up at least 80 percent of the national parliament. Until 2015, only three women were presidents of states in the EU: in Croatia, Lithuania and Malta. Furthermore, in 10 EU member states, all major political parties are led by men and even 85 percent of mayors are also men.
The country, as a legal monopoly of armed force in society, represents the central bulwark of patriarchy’s defense and thus comes into the focus of feminist criticism of modern society.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but also a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. In recent decades, significant progress has been made – more and more girls go to school, fewer girls are forced into early marriage, more women work in parliament and leadership positions, and laws are being reformed to improve gender equality.
Despite this, many challenges remain – discriminatory laws and social norms are still ubiquitous and women are still underrepresented at all levels of political leadership.
There was always a place for pro-liberty ideas in feminism, especially associated with second-wave feminism. Individualist feminism is a libertarian feminism tradition that emphasizes individual rights and personal autonomy and it dismisses the relevance of any ‘natural’ difference between sexes. As I already stated, significant progress has been made but women’s voices aren’t heard enough and I believe that we still have a place for improvement.
Today, we can say that we are entering the fourth wave of feminism and I believe that libertarian feminists can play an important role in redirecting the movement toward individual rights and the freedom of everyone.
Women need to raise their voices because there are still a wide range of issues that confront modern women – sex, abortion, family, economic well-being, politics, etc. We should stay aware of how much effort and time was put into changing the ideas surrounding women’s rights so we could be prepared to fight to keep those rights that could be easily taken away.
For more content on related issues, be sure to check out our Free Society video playlist by clicking on the button below.
This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.