This blog was born when I wanted to think out loud why people believe in dogmas. At first my main goal were the sitting ducks of all dogmas, or religions. However, I realized soon that, during the last century, the greatest harm to humanity has been caused by political dogmas like communism, nationalism and Nazism. Religions have of course been a very important source of human suffering at earlier times.
Even if their grip on most western societies has lessened considerably, religious dogmas continue to enslave people all around the world. Most of all the religious dogmas that concern human reproduction are a major threat to the future of the people who are living in the developing world. However, in the most developed Western European nations, religions are already a sideshow.
Religions and political ideologies are, however, not the only ones to develop dogmatic systems of thought that change the way people see the world. Basically very beneficial ideas like feminism and ecology have spawned movements, whose followers have sometimes even extremely dogmatic views of the world that is based on this single idea.
I am not saying that humans should not have ideologies and ideas. On the contrary, it is impossible to think that any human society would survive for a longer period if we would not have higher visions of how things should be.
For me, the big question is, however, how dogmatically these visions are held. Trouble is always brewing when any belief or idea is held in such esteem that it is impossible to make any compromises. Danger lurks when it is impossible to adjust oneself to the fact that other humans will inevitably have different ideas. The ultimate level in dogmatism is reached when people are unable to make even compromises that would further the reaching of their own goal.
For me a vegan who is not fighting to get good and acceptable living conditions for all farm animals, because it would make meat-eating more easy to accept, is acting on a dogmatic belief. In this kind of thinking, the well-being of animals is possibly not a motive at all. Instead, a dogmatic belief in the badness of eating animals can be the real motive.
There is also the problem of ideologies and ideas that have already reached their major goals, but who still have a lot of steam and energy left in them. Feminism is a typical example of this. Here in Scandinavia at least, there is not a single unresolved legal issue that would hinder the full equality of the sexes. All barriers from full equality of the sexes have been removed from the work-place also. It is simply impossible to think what could still increase equality in these fields.
Of course, there are matters like that women are underrepresented in the highest leadership positions in the corporate world. However, this is also changing fast, when women become more career-oriented, and they do consider advancement in the workplace as an option for themselves more often than before.
A fact is that here in Scandinavia at least it is difficult to imagine how the real equality of the sexes could still be increased. According to many studies also the homework is split quite evenly between sexes in the younger generations.
However, there is still a major ideological movement that was born to drive through these necessary and important changes in society and which we can thank for all of this advancement in equality. The problem is that some more extreme parts are still fuming on the patriarchy that they see still as sucking the air out of their lungs. These people have often learned the central dogmas of their ideology decades ago and feminism is for them like the air that they breath.
However, when the major goals have all been reached one by one, where can one direct all this steam and energy that is still bubbling in the most extreme parts of the movement? I fear that there is already a loud even if smallish faction in feminism that think that all the ideas that men can have are inferior. For them the way men how think or do things are automatically inferior, often just because it is the way in which men do things.
This is not equality at all, but chauvinism at its worst. The idea that ‘women are better’ is not equality, but just a call for a different kind in sex-based inequality. All this would not matter. It really is a very small group of people who are guilty of this feminist chauvinism.
However, they are often the loudest, most visible and most eager discussionists in the society. In fact, they have an influence that goes far beyond the real following of the chauvinist feminists. A very real problem is that in the atmosphere of consensus that has been reached in Scandinavia. Any kind of rising ones voice against any aspect of ultra-feminism requires an unbelievable degree of courage.
Any kind of dissident voices will be received with vicious personal attacks and charges of male chauvinism and paternalistic attitudes. One who has once experienced this thinks twice before trying again. Life is just so much easier if one remains silent.
The ultra-feminist movement has, in fact, succeeded in what Islamists have failed. They have succeeded in largely silencing the opposition to their ideas or at least branding their opponents as opponents of equality and as male chauvinists.
All this would not matter if there would not be also serious real-world consequences. The influence of ultra-feminist activism can be seen in that all forms of male sexuality have become suspect. The last decade has seen an incredible rush of new laws that control all forms of male sexuality.
In Victorian times, it was thought that having sex can be a worse fate than death. It is strange how this kind of thinking is creeping back into a society that is markedly different in all aspects from the Victorian one.
However, this development becomes much more understandable, when one understands that there is a very influential activist group in our society that has the goal of branding of all forms of male sexuality as something evil and destructive.
If one would be into conspiracy theories, one could even think that when the idea of male sexuality as something inherently bad is widely accepted, it would be much easier to accept the idea that ‘women are better’.
I would like to add that women are exactly as good as men. I even think that many women are, in fact, far better humans than many men. I am a fiery believer in all forms of human equality. I believe that all barriers standing between full equality must be removed as soon as they are spotted.
Most of all the Islamic world and in the developing world in general there is still incredible amount of work to be done in the field of equality of the sexes also. However, I believe in full and complete equality of the sexes and that means that even the finest qualities of either sex cannot be seen as the only good ones.