Globe and Mail

Death of gender feminism

Saturday, February 13, 1999
letter from Mark Parent
The Globe and Mail

Sackville, N.B. -- Re Life After The Clinton Affair (editorial -- Feb. 12):

The real casualty in this debacle is not, as The Globe says, the Republican party, Kenneth Starr or Bill Clinton himself. The real victim is the wing of feminism known as gender feminism.

Gender feminists are not interested in just reforming society in order to provide equal opportunity and equal pay. Instead they claim society is irredeemably patriarchical, that this is the cause of most of social ills and that women need to be given power in order to reform religion, education and society at large.

In this they have been extremely influential. The reversal of rulings in sexual harassment cases, the support for preferential hiring practices, the abandonment of university courses that teach Western civilization, the negative portrayals of the Christian church in Canada, all can be attributed to the power of gender feminism.

Now, the refusal of gender feminists to condemn Mr. Clinton has robbed them of their moral suasion. They have been unmasked as a special-interest group out for power rather than a moral-reform group.

This is too bad as I had hoped that key elements of gender feminism might provide a new vision for our decaying society.

Mark Parent
Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies,
Mount Allison University

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