Women can be just as complacent in wrongdoings as men

Karla Homolka via CBC
Karla Homolka via CBC

Feminism does not mean women are perfect beings

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor

There is a specific odd breed of feminism often perpetuated by well-meaning men. It involves suggesting males are primarily responsible for all the horrible things that have ever gone on in the world, and that women have been exclusively innocent victims in the carnage. Due to the patriarchy, on some levels, this is true. Treating women as second-class citizens leads to many of their accomplishments being ignored, for better or for worse. It contributes to erasing their actions from history and discouraging their very presence.

Recently, liberal advocate and filmmaker Michael Moore tweeted what he felt was a reasonable way to bash patriarchy and (of course) weigh in on the election. “No women ever invented an atomic bomb, built a smoke stack, initiated a Holocaust, melted the polar ice caps, or organized a school shooting.” No doubt, he was trying to make a point that aggression, violence, and murder is less common among women, which is true. But he was also completely wrong in his historical analysis.

The Manhattan Project involved work from thousands of scientists, many of whom were women. Factory chimneys can be and are constructed by female workers. Many women worked in Nazi concentration camps and were instrumental in torturing victims. The greenhouse effect is contributed to by everyone, including, yes, women who offset carbon emissions in their lives. And although most school shooters are indeed male, one famous incident in 1979 that left two adults dead and eight children injured was orchestrated by Brenda Ann Spencer, the subject of my all-time favourite song, “I Don’t Like Mondays” by The Boomtown Rats. Plus, women incite violence in schools a lot, just not with bullets. Ask anyone who’s worked in education.

If you truly believe in equality and the empowerment of women, you have to acknowledge the great evils they are capable of. Morality is a human thing, not just something that’s toyed upon by men, with all women being innocent. Women everywhere can and do all the same things men do, even if those things are awful. They lie, assault, steal, abuse children, rape, and murder. There are female serial killers who worked both alone or with partners, as well as caretakers such as Beverly Allitt and Mother Teresa who abused their wards either through violence or negligence. The factors that influence women to do these things are the same as men: mental illness, their upbringing, or personality disorders such as anti-social personality disorder (ASPD). But they commit these acts through their own free will.

There are very few, if any, feminists that would not advocate for women being held accountable for actions in the same way that men are (and vice-versa, as men not being held responsible is a major reason for feminism in the first place). Similarly, they would agree that women are just as capable of hurting their fellow humans as anyone else.

There are factors that influence males to do more damage to others, particularly the power structure. A woman couldn’t rise to power in Nazi Germany and orchestrate the killing of millions, because a woman in Germany in the ’30s couldn’t get that politically popular in the first place. Even today, the concept of a woman being in charge is continuously discouraged and challenged, whether they’re head of a household, corporation, or the entire USA. Men have significantly more aggressive tendencies due to their hormones. They also live in a society where they are encouraged to hurt others, simply because they’re able to. If the system wasn’t so inherently biased towards tearing women down and allowing society to discourage them, the morality balance would seem less obvious.

Men aren’t all evil, and neither are women, for the simple reason that not all humans are evil. But all humans are capable of making their own decisions and moral choices, even if they turn out to be awful ones.