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There are two types of feminism:

  1. The sociopolitical movement that seeks full gender equality in all fields of society, with both genders having the exact same rights and privileges, and being the exact same before the law, and with discrimination based on gender being outlawed and punished both de jure and de facto.
  2. The ideology that "The Patriarchy" of past centuries is still in full force in the industrialized world, just hidden behind the facade of faux equality, sexism is rampant behind the scenes, and women are still being repressed, oppressed and discriminated in horrible ways even to this day, and while in theory women are equal before the law, in practice "The Patriarchy" still makes sure that they have less rights.

The feminist movement has already succeeded in all of its major goals in the industrialized world: Women have the exact same rights as men (one of the most prominent and important ones being suffrage), they are equal before the law, and discrimination against women is punishable by law in theory and practice. About the only thing that is still left is changing people's attitudes. While sexist attitudes have been successfully relegated to be held only by a relatively small minority, that small minority can sometimes be quite vocal and egregious, and cause real harm.

For some reason, however, many feminists do not want to accept this. It may be some kind of need to preserve a victim status. They still want to be victims, they still want for there to exist a patriarchy where women are oppressed and discriminated against. They don't want to let go of the idea.

According to the ideology, any real or perceived inferior status that women might have in the modern society must be because of sexism and discrimination. No other explanations are even considered.

A very good example is the gender distribution of corporate CEO's: According to studies, only something like 10 to 20 percent of CEO's are female. This, according to feminists, is naturally caused by "The Patriarchy" and sexist discrimination. You see this argument repeated over and over. It's repeated so often that even most men believe it.

However, there is a rather different explanation to this which I think is much more plausible, and it's that only 10 to 20 percent of CEO's are women by their own choice.

A good majority of women want to be mothers at some point. This is not a sexist stereotype. It's just so. You can ask any woman about this, and the majority will agree.

Likewise most mothers will choose family over work: They will prefer spending time with their children than with a corporation. Being a CEO and being a mother are not mutually exclusive things, of course, but one will inevitably take time from the other, and most mothers will choose their children over a company any day.

Most women become mothers approximately at the same time, or before, the average person becomes a CEO. This means that most women who could become CEOs will be mothers at that point. Becoming a CEO usually means spending less time with her children. There is a choice to make here, and most women will choose their children.

Men, on the other hand, usually do not have such concerns. On the contrary, many men feel that they need to work hard in order to support their families. Becoming a CEO means increased income, which means that they can support their families better, so it's a natural progression.

Of course there are cases where this is reversed, and it's the father who stays at home while the mother runs the company. However, this is very rare, and it's usually by the mother's own choice.

This has nothing to do with discrimination or the mythical "Patriarchy". If a woman chooses not to become a CEO and instead prefers being a mother, it's her right. Are feminists going to go tell that mother that she should spend less time with her children and aspire to become a CEO in the name of feminism?

So which is more likely? The minority of CEO's are female because of hidden (and illegal) sexist discrimination (that never gets to court), or because many women choose to be with their children instead of becoming CEO's?

Yet you see this CEO statistic (among many, many other similar statistics) repeated over and over by feminists (both female and male ones), as if it somehow proves that "The Patriarchy" is still in full effect.

A fundamentalist feminist will never accept this alternative explanation, no matter how much sense it makes. It's the exact same thing as with conspiracy theories.

(Yes, I have been repeating that magic term "The Patriarchy" here. You see that term used again and again in the feminist discourse. It's part of the mythos.)

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that there aren't things wrong in the industrialized world with respect to the attitudes towards women. For example, there are certain places (especially in some parts of the United States, but also other countries) where, for example, a woman cannot walk alone on the street without some male pickup truck drivers and passersby slowing down and shouting sexist slurs at her (and this can sometimes be just the mildest form of harassment that a woman can suffer in these places). This kind of male culture really is egregious.

However, my problem is that many feminists go well beyond complaining about this kind of behavior. A line is crossed when they start defending a mythical "patriarchy" based on false or misinterpreted statistics, and even invented facts. A real problem does not justify inventing and distorting facts in order to magnify the severity of the problem.

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