Morality and the Women’s Liberation Movement

GCC is holding various lectures throughout March for Women’s History Month. However, what’s the purpose of raising awareness if not to learn valuable lessons from history?

Hegel believes that history is the progress toward freedom, but how? Would achieving rights, freedom, and justice lie in understanding the concepts of free will, morality, goodness and love as well?

The official Vatican newspaper asks the question: “What in the 20th century did more to liberate Western women?” The key issue for women’s rights to succeed, or achieve liberation or freedom, is to “Know thyself,” what their duties are, and with what values they’re willing to fight for. Kant says that it’s the good will that gives an action its moral worth and not its proposed end.

It’s possible that all women’s desires can come true overnight by an omniscient and omnipotent God. Only, if women have enough lobbying power with God and their desires are enforced by legislative rights and legal punishments. Thus, this will turn everyone in the society, especially men into Pavlov’s dog. Hence, free will, one of the most prized privileges bestowed to mankind, will become history.

Many in the modern era claim that there are no objective or absolute good and morality. They are all relative: cultural, social, and political constructs, religious fabrications, and patriarchal attempts to dominate, and the institution of family, demonstrate men’s superiority over women.

Based, on that claim, all customs, norms, and values have been torn down and undermined by massive global rebellion, destruction of ageless values, and wisdom of long lasting traditions in the name of women’s suffrage. According to their view, no societal or political system, even democratic and capitalistic societies, is good enough for the protection of their rights.

We’ve encountered ourselves before the pro-choice and pro-life debate, whether it’s legal or moral, while feminists shout, “It’s my life, my body, my right, my pleasure and my happiness, and also my conveniences.

Those are my morals, Me, Me, and Me.” As Plato would say, “The cause of all sins in every case lies in the person’s excessive love of self.” Would having the ability to say otherwise and raising one’s voice in this free speech of democratic element make things right by elevating their slogan of free choice into legal and moral status?

Many feminists find the family to be a trap for women’s advancement. Would increased divorce rate, single motherhood, and feminist movement bring about the interest and happiness of women, not to mention men’s children and the society that we live in?

As “The whole,” i.e. the family also the whole society in this case, “is greater than the sum of all its parts,” i.e. solely women’s rights. Immanuel Kant, one of the most important philosophers, in the History of Western Civilization, says, “Morality is not properly the doctrine of how we should make ourselves happy, but how we should become worthy of happiness.”

Morality and virtue should and ought to be the role model of Women’s Lib. I propose that GCC, other colleges, and universities incorporate ethics, morality, and values into Women’s Studies courses with strong background in Socratic, Platonic, and Kantian philosophy. Cultural morality never comes into existence in a vacuum. Liberation cannot operate independently from morality and history.

“Duty is the respect for the moral law, and the majesty of duty has nothing to do with the enjoyment of life,” Kant said. Kant’s conception of morality, the foundation of moral law, entails “Act in such a way that you always treat humanity . never simply as a means but always at the same time as an end.”

This is what many feminists have forgotten and ignored to do, and have alienated us from goodness and love. The Invincible Philosopher David says, “Goodness is higher than truth,” while Aristotle reminds us, “Happiness demands . complete goodness .” and also “Love is the cause of unity in all things.” What is love?

The love songs of the sixties, after the second wave of feminist movement, still rhyme in our ears even today, with Bee Gees singing the soulful ballad, “Oh yeh, . Baby you don’t know what’s like To love somebody The way I love you,” whereas The Beatles continue singing, “All you need is love, love, love is all you need .”

– Rachel Melikian, former GCC Woman of the Year