In the following (short) article I will detail the recent phenomena of infantilizing Western women, which seems logically antithetical to the stated goal of “equality.” Now, the purpose of this essay is to draw a conclusion that, if we are to consider the modern feminist movement (and its allies) as “rational” actors, they are in-effect of their behavior and policy proposals actually pursuing non-equal status.
First, in order to escape the esoteric trap too many social scientists fall into, I will avoid overly-jargon-ridden speech, as well as define two key terms employed throughout this article: (1) Rational [choice], and (2) infant[ilizing].
The first of these terms, rational, is based upon rational choice theory. This is generally applicable to the world of economics, but has wide applicability to other social sciences. What this theory emphasizes at its core is that people are rational if: (1) they have a defined goal, (2) they undertake actions in a manner that would be most likely to obtain said goal. Now, this does not mean that their goal is rational, or even good, as such evaluations are beyond the scope of the theory; merely that a “rational” person has a goal, and is pursuing it in the most efficient way they perceive.
Second, in terms of infantilizing, this term is applicable to both a legal and social framework. Infantilizing, in the legal realm would entail an individual who does not have agency, i.e. one who does not have the capacity to enter into contracts (i.e. a formal agreement entailing both a right and duty). Contracts do not have to involve business associations per se, but if we take the example of statutory rape, the interaction (entailing simultaneously a right and duty, via agreement) is unlawful as one of the parties involved does not possess (an aspect of) agency. Generally speaking, contacts entered into by minors (“infants”) are voidable (i.e. they can opt out of them), based on the philosophical basis of a minor (i.e. an infant) not possessing the mental capacity necessary to enter into one.
As far as the social associations with “infantilizing,” these have a legal aspect (especially in the wake of #metoo) as well, but would generally entail treating the “infant” in a manner that does not recognize their autonomy, capacity, and “equal” status. Interactions between men and women are epitomized by, among other things, sexual relations. If we were to take the stated (i.e. sex positive) rhetoric of modern feminists, e.g. “what is good for the goose is good for the gander,” one would rationally come to believe that any sexual exchange between men and women is an exchange between two equivalent (substituting a synonym of equality) individuals. This is NOT what modern feminists have proposed in regard to such an exchange.
By utilizing the logic #metoo has employed, i.e. that any sexual relation between individuals of differing levels of power is a form of (at least potential) abuse, we must (if we are to remain consistent) apply the same logic in analyzing sexual relations between men and women who DON’T work together. Case in point: the “campus rape epidemic.” Reviewing the myriad of publicized cases of “campus rape” (e.g. Rolling Stone: A rape on campus) which typically entails a drunk man, and drunk woman, having sex, we don’t initially see the dynamics of power at play that we see in such cases as former President Bill Clinton, Matt Lauer, etc. unless we are to see the exchange as possessing an INHERENT POWER DIFFERENTIAL based upon nothing other than sex.
By asserting that men have an inherent, and inalienable power differential over women in ANY interaction (as an adult would a child), and any sexual exchange is- in a sense- a voidable contract (i.e. one which can be [re]defined as rape the next day, or thirty years later) modern feminists are not merely contradicting their atypical “sex positive” (so as to escape slut-shaming) stance (i.e. by claiming that such an interaction is horribly traumatic), but in effect establishing themselves as infants in sexual exchanges with men.
In the workplace
Women have come a long way since the days before Rosie the Riveter, and now comprise a lion’s share of not only college graduates, but also healthcare professionals (a coveted position that supplies prestige, status, and high-pay). Currently, for young adults, taking a study by Hired.com, women are offered 7% more than their male counterparts. This transcends industry, which is a lazy way to compare salaries; so, let’s delve into what positions gender differences elicit based on college major:
Women make up over 88% of the declared majors in Fashion, early childhood education, nursing, and special needs education, of which only nursing commands an average of/ or more than $60,000 per year. On the other hand, men make up over 90% of Marine engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mining engineering, and nuclear engineering majors; all of which command AT LEAST $60,000 (Georgetown University Study).
So, why are young women earning $1.07/$1.08 for every dollar a young guy makes? It’s due in large part to female preference in the hiring of administrative assistants, and clerical work (both considered solid entry level positions in a company). These types of positions number over 4 million (US Bureau Labor Stats), and women make up 96% of them (US Census). Therefore, women have an established dominance in entry level jobs in general business, and despite men choosing higher earning majors, women still out-earn men in general at this age, while at the same time decrying the “gender pay gap” and “wage discrimination.”
But if we still take all the jobs across all the industries, women earn less than guys do by-in-large because of: (1) career choice, and/ or (2) taking time off/ leaving the workforce for motherhood. So, it follows that if the demand by modern feminists is that women make the same across the entire labor force, this would entail two mandated outcomes: (1) women make up 50% of billionaires/ CEO’s/ super-high status positions, and (2) jobs that attract women make as much as jobs that attract men.
What this is, in effect, demanding is women be given a handicap, not just for motherhood, but for their own personal life choices; their own choices not to take risk (entrepreneurship); their own choices to choose working with kids as opposed to numbers; and their own choices to be less willing to work long hours, relocate, etc. When you have the stated aim that your own choices have no bearing on the outcome (so as to make the outcome equal), you have only one logical rationale: that the group in question is NOT equal to the other in contrast, that the group in question does NOT possess agency, and thereby cannot be treated equal.
Therefore, if modern feminists are pushing an agenda where they establish women as requiring a handicap/ subsidization in the work place, and a paradigm of women possessing an inherent (only corrected via government interference) negative power differential in any meaningful interaction with men, they are in effect declaring their infancy in relation to men (i.e. their non-equal status), and the only acceptable (to feminists) solution would entail governmental interference to “correct” for such discrepancy, thereby establishing themselves in law as non-equal beings.