An anti-feminist and a feminist die-hard: two dialogues on feminism
Martin van Creveld is an historian in the field of military strategy and the history of equality. Justine van Beek is the co-founder of the Dutch online platform Stellingdames: an initiative that tries to improve the perception of feminism.
The Submariner interviewed them to find out their stances on feminism. They could not be further apart.
Submariner: What do you see as the greatest problems with feminism?
Martin van Creveld: In my view feminism is the worst thing that has ever happened to women. Let me emphasize three problems in particular.
First, the wish for a career has caused the age at which women marry and have their first child to rise to a historical height; with the outcome that many of them must either turn to the fertility clinics and adoption agencies or else remain childless.
Second, there is the famous double burden, which has caused countless women to work much harder than they can or should.
Third, coming as the direct result of the second, is the fact that, over the last few decades, the gap in life expectancy between men and women, which since 1800 had been steadily growing, has begun to shrink again.
Feminism, in other words, is quite literally killing women.
Submariner: What do you think of this theory?
Justine van de Beek: Maybe it works that women used to die less in wars. But there is also domestic violence that feminism addresses, or sexual abuse… This is the phenomenon of men oppressing women. Same goes for unequal wages, differences in achievable functions…
I can agree that since women started working more, they have a double burden: both their careers and managing the household, taking care of the children. Men did not start helping women more in the household (in heterosexual couples).
However, this is not a problem of women, or of feminism: the old gender-roles prohibit women from combining careers and family life. So we would actually need more feminism to overcome this!
Submariner: Do you ever get negative feedback on your initiative?
Justine van de Beek: Our own audience is very nice, our homepage feels like a safe environment. However, when we send out tweets and they get a lot of re-tweets, we get called whores, and whining bitches, yes. This is mostly done by internet trolls.
Submariner: Why do you think this happens?
Justine van de Beek: I think because certain people think we should not discuss feminism, and when we do, it is seen as complaining.
When a socially subordinated group calls out a dominant group about inequalities, the dominant group will think they want to be better then they are, because they would be afraid to lose their positions. I think they feel threatened.
But we do not want to be better, we want to have the same rights as men.
What do you think — do we need less or more feminism? Please let us know below.