Many people seem to forget that feminism is not aimed at denying the physiological differences between men and women. Nobody in their right mind can argue that male and female bodies are the same. It’s the social, economic, legal and political inequalities that feminism addresses and combats. Recognizing that, to give an example, women menstruate and men don’t is not sexist. It just recognizes a fact of objective reality.
The reason why I just gave this little explanation on what feminism actually does is the following post which bandies about the word “sexism” without any understanding what sexism entails:
I wrote about Flores-Villar v. United States last year. The Times summarizes the state of the law in 1974, when Ruben Flores-Villar was born: “Children born outside the country to an unmarried American parent are considered American citizens at birth if the parent lived in the United States before the child was born. For a mother, the required period of residence is one year. For a father, it is 10 years, five of them after he turns 14. Fathers must also prove parenthood and pledge to support the child.”
The case involves Ruben Flores-Villar, whose father — but not mother — is an American. Ruben was born in Mexico and moved to the US when he was two months old. Ruben has been declared an “illegal immigrant” and deported to Mexico. Ruben’s father was sixteen years old when Ruben was born, and so the “five of them after he turns 14″ provision of the law was impossible to meet.
(It’s important to note that immigration law was altered in the 1980s; the current law is still sexist and should be fixed, but the discrepancy is not as large as it was when Ruben was born.)
The reason why there is such a difference in how mothers and father are treated under this law is obvious. It’s the same reason why women who donate eggs get paid huge sums of money while men who donate sperm get nothing. Contributing sperm versus contributing an egg + carrying the fetus to term + giving birth to the baby while putting your own health and sometimes life at risk are not equal. They are unequal not because society is sexist but because nature made it so.
Sexist societies always deny the value of fatherhood. They present everything that has to do with child-rearing as an exclusively female area of interest and expertise. Mass media present men as inept fathers who are always in need of being guided by women to whom parenting skills come “naturally.” This sexist system ends up hurting everybody.
The above-mentioned law is not about fatherhood, however. It’s obviously aimed at avoiding the creation of a black market which will be inundated with sperm for sale the second these restrictions are lowered.