I was once a feminist – of the fourth wave variety. My activist ensemble consisted of a slogan t-shirt, leggings and Doc Marten boots. A rebuttal of my generation’s dichotomic embrace of Kardashian – like overt sexuality or Middleton-esque sedate social climbing. I supported gay marriage and adoption, was pro-choice, thought that gender was irrelevant. I felt I had finally found my tribe. However, I turned out to be a very bad, modern-day feminist.

This was because I had as much to gripe about towards the female sex than I did the male one. Reflection merely cemented that I had had as much difficulty with women as I had with men during my formative years. I encountered females who were manipulative, insensitive and authoritative. I met men who were kind, encouraging and reasonable. Human nature is not black and white, and neither is the battle between the sexes. 

I loved Disney movies as a child and thought the Feminist diatribe against the more established Princesses were the very definition of first world problems. I realised that the role of Housewife and Stay at Home Mother had been unfairly ridiculed and maligned. 

The vulgarity and audacity at the Women’s Marches and pro-choice rallies shocked and repelled me. I felt that the current women’s movement was pushing me to become someone I had either no desire or ability to be.

As the years went on into my twenties, I was no more fulfilled, content or happy than I had been when I subscribed to this ideology in my late teens. I just felt more and more like a helpless victim. That I would always be under the boot of the patriarchy. I would earn less than men, I would be harassed or assaulted every time I left my home and if I ever did get married, I’d probably end up being mistreated by my husband.

It was only when I stepped out of my echo chamber and started listening to people with a different opinion that I realised how misled, stubborn and masochist I had become. The first tangible example of this was during the Marriage Equality referendum back in 2015. I was walking home when I saw a group of canvassers coming toward me. I had been intending to vote yes. Someone in the group handed me a leaflet, it was for a no vote. However, out of mere politeness, I took it and said thanks.

It wasn’t until I sat down and read the leaflet that I realised that the other side made a few good points. Men and women were different but that didn’t mean that women were inferior or that it was a terrible thing. Men and women, thus fathers and mothers, simply complimented each other. Each sex had their good and bad qualities. 

The following summer I travelled down to Bantry to hear Gloria Steinem speak at the West Cork Literary Festival. I was so excited to hear and see a living icon of female empowerment in person. But I just came out of the auditorium feeling even more lost and alone than before. This was due to the sycophantic audience, aversion to dissenting opinion and Ms Steinem’s tiresome repetition of limp talking points when challenged. 

I then came across American women like Katie Pavlich and Dana Loesch. They were Conservative, Christian and Pro Second Amendment. Everything Gloria Steinem wasn’t. I thought I would disagree with everything they stood for. But they were of a similar age and from a small-town background like me. Again, they made valid points about everything from gun ownership to economics to liberal sexism, backed up by facts. 

Closer to home, ladies like Maria Steen and Breda O’Brien introduced me to a woman’s ‘soft power’ and the strong influence it’s had since the dawn of time. Those Christian/Catholic teachings, particularly in relation to traditional marriage, hadn’t subjugated women after all. It had civilised men. It had afforded women the first ever type of 50/50 representation, resulting in raising the next generation and having a larger effect on the wider world. 

Further learning and life experience opened my eyes to the myths, elitism and insincerity of post second wave feminism. The reason I wasn’t happy or successful wasn’t because of some evil, misogynistic system out to get me, it was because of my own choices, interests and capabilities. The reason I am at an economic disadvantage is because 

I went to college when I didn’t need to. As a result, I ended up in debt with no job prospects or useful qualifications because I chose to study the liberal arts. I didn’t pay enough attention or make better choices. Not because of any gender pay gap which has since been disputed.  

 Women have been breaking down barriers, confronting the status quo and defying expectations forever. Without the help of any sisterly clique. Organisations such as Feminists for Life and New Wave Feminists revealed that there is a far more insidious misogyny prevalent in the abortion lobby. Camille Paglia demonstrated the importance of individualism. Phyllis Schlafly proved that women could do it all – just not at the same time. Margaret Thatcher showed that not only could a woman be a leader, but she could also be a great leader in her own right.

I slowly started to turn away from the current feminist tunnel vision. I began to think for myself. I matured emotionally. I no longer wanted to feel like a victim. I saw the destructive hypocrisy and wanted no part of it anymore. My anger, fear and bitterness subsided thankfully. My acceptance of conservative values and return to the Christian faith is what made my life better.

Posted by Laura Buckley

4 Comments

  1. Robert Ryan 11/04/2022 at 8:21 pm

    I am so glad everything worked out in the end. Thank you for your story.

    Reply

  2. Reply to the author.

    Firstly, let me say that your article is exceptionally good!, all your articles are good, but what makes this article exceptional, is your presentation of the subject matter.

    Laying oneself open in such a manner, upon the Altar of affirmation, contradiction & ridicule, is such, which makes this article exceptional!.

    Like you, I was also once of the left, though many years ago in my case.
    Like you, I also had a kind of slow realisation that what I was seeing, hearing and confronted with or by, simply didn’t sit well with my upbringing, personal beliefs and moral values!.

    In my case, it was an amalgamation of incidents, arguments and seeing a good friend who had left, being slated, humilated, discredited and finally set upon savagely and en masse, by her so called Brothers & Sisters.

    Almost as though all she had done, achieved and cared about, no longer had worth nor validity .

    Like you, I also wrote about having left socialism. In my case though, it was a huge mistake which brought with it many consequences, among them the loss of a long term and (in my opinion) serious relationship.

    On leaving the left, my relationship became less important to my then girlfriend, eventually leading to it’s demise.
    Then came the loss of friends and the eventual ridiculing of me personally, by these same one time friends.

    Something, I hope genuinely, that you didn’t or haven’t had to deal with, as a consequence of your decision.

    Back then, the left was nothing like it is today. However, the first signs of what is referred to as Wokeism, was then in it’s very infancy, indeed showing it’s ugly face within the Leftist groups of the time.

    There were secret societies (of sorts) at that time within Socialist, Marxist and Communist groups, who were formed with the view of joining all mentioned groups under one banner.
    In fact, even then there were the signs of Liberalism, albeit within the aforementioned groups.

    I can easily recall discussions of that time, on subjects such as : the confiscation of property from the wealthy , reparations for Black, Native Americans and other people of colour (then coloured people) in the US.
    The hijacking of certain political parties, for the purpose of furthering the struggle for Women’s rights, Gay rights and the eventual formation of a Socialist state in Ireland.

    Personally, my decisions for leaving the left, were made much easier by such outright militant talk.
    For me, such talk and described actions were absolutely totalitarian in their very nature!.
    Something with which it’s adherents, justify the imposition of Tyranny upon States.

    Cultural Marxism, or as it is rererred to by some, the God replacement ideology, is the very foundation which
    Wokeism & Liberalism is built upon.

    It’s a weird marriage of sorts, between the political left, Communism, Marxism and militant leftist anarchists.
    Which brought about the birth of new descriptions such as Wokeism.

    Again like you, I found myself in direct conflict with those who would condemn women, for simply deciding to stay at home to look after their husband, children and their home.

    I remember being at a protest, where a young woman was literally openly insulted, for giving up her job, to look after her children and her sick husband.

    I can still call upon the feeling, which I experienced that day,
    It was that deep in the very recess of the human stomach, type of feeling.
    That feeling we all get when we are threatened, or lose one closest to us, like a Parent or Grandparent.
    It’s a deep & terrible feeling of almost absolute doom!.

    I always think, even today, how blessed I was to have that deep down dreadful feeling, as it immediately allowed me to empathise with that woman who had chosen her ill husband and her children over her job.

    Among the many issues which saw me leave the left, was the claims back then,
    of Women winning the right to abort their child/ren up to the 9th month. Abortion for all women over the age of 16 years.

    The eventual destruction of the Catholic Church in Ireland and in achieving such, the absolute destruction of institutional patriarchy!.

    Promises of state funded contraception for all women, state funded sanitary Wear for women.

    Increased benifits for women who due to child birth/s would have their loss of income compensated for, and in receiving such compensation women would have equal earnings to men.

    The push for absolute Gay acceptance and in the future, recognition of same sex marriage and family units.

    Needless to say, there were many, many other areas of the left desired predictions for the future, which literally flew in the face of my own beliefs, morals and opinion.

    In conclusion, I Genuinely applaud you, on writing this exceptional article!.

    Which along with the many replies your article will surely receive, may act as a manual of sorts, for those who find themselves questioning their own political beliefs.

    Reply

  3. What a refreshing piece this is! I’ve never read anything like it. Well done to you Laura and to the other commentators. It’s interesting to hear from someone who was once part of the feminist liberal movement, but who has left because she saw the light and she has the courage to write about it. Personally I’ve always felt sad that women weren’t encouraged to be child rearers and the country has lost out in many ways because of it

    Reply

  4. sneedolf skitler 16/04/2022 at 3:32 am

    in my opinion theres not very much good role models or examples of women in popular culture, and then you have the Phones, It must have caught a lot of younger women off guard and turned them into drones who consume media and buy product, Theres countless memes of this, its more or so the latter i have to deal with in my own family, and then there is the degeneracy. For some reason it seems to be the order of the day for a large portion of teenage and adult women to dress like degenerates, There used to be threads on 4chan years ago about British Slags, now those at the time were mocking the degeneracy of the Brits, but thats now present in many other countries, Not just England, The Irish wans now have black tar and yellow cake on all their faces, Some might be offended by this but it is truth

    Reply

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