Equality: A Zeno's Paradox
Equality with men is a chimerical abstraction. Only when it gains concrete form within some manner of programme does it become worthy of our consideration. But thereupon, as exampled above, the chimera sets foot in the realm of concrete categorizations, and when that happens we are no longer talking about equality "with men" in a strictly meaningful sense. That is just the point; it has no strictly meaningful sense!
The occult truth is, that feminism is about POWER—ostensibly power for women generally, but most certainly for women who espouse, or portray themselves as espousing, feminist doctrine and discourse. So in the final tally, feminism DOES mean something, but . . . equality isn't it.
Such being said, we now confront the Patriarchal Father of all Gender Inequalities, the one that feminism talks about as a prologue to everything else it talks about: inequality of POWER.
If sexual power distribution becomes evenly balanced beyond all quibble, feminism will have no further reason to exist. But so long as sexual power inequality of any sort seems to make part of the world's ingredients, feminists will have their raison d'être. It is therefore imperative that new forms of power imbalance (with women on the short end) be endlessly discovered—even if this means pulling it out of empty space like zero-point "free energy".
Extraction operates under the following logic: any instance where some particular man holds power of any sort, it follows that some particular woman does not herself administer that power. Within the strict confines any such bracketed setting, the man holds MORE power, the woman less. In consequence we discover inequality precisely within the bracketed setting. After all, the man holds a quantum of power which the woman does not administer—within the bracketed setting. He has a particular power that she doesn't have, which means that they are "not equal", right? Accordingly, if they share that particular power 50-50 so that the bracketed setting becomes 50% smaller, it means they are finally equal, right?
Wrong! You see, even if the man's share is only half of what it was, the woman still does not administer it. Once again he has "more" power than she does—within a bracketed setting. So he will be asked to divvy it up once more; in the long run, he retreats time and again to a series of newly redefined and re-redefined bracketed settings that grow progressively smaller. See how that works?
It is much the same as if you had an apple pie, and I came along and asked you to "share" it . Being a generous, open-handed person, you agree to do so and proceed to cut the pie in half, giving me my share. I walk away and come back 45 minutes later, and once again ask you nicely to "share", and you nicely agree to do so, again cutting your share into two equal portions and giving me one. I then repeat this cycle as many times as your liberality will bear it, each time asking you the same thing—to "share". At some point it occurs to me that I could have just grabbed the whole pie in the beginning and walked away with it—but of course that would have been stealing.
The feminist quest for gender equality is a pie-plundering exercise because the "inequality" they complain of is in truth a floating equation; it is moveable; the zero is forever unfixed. Equalize it all you wish but it never remains sufficiently "equal" for long, for a graceful feminine finger, with or without nail polish, is artfully nudging it, a trifle here, a tad bit there—always toward a supplementary demand for female empowerment. Much like the proverbial crooked tradesman with his thumb on the scale. "Sharing" becomes a warm and fuzzy feel-good word made into a euphemism for theft. The closely related "intimacy" operates in a similar capacity. Even something as benevolent as "nurturing" can be pressed into such service. If a kudzu, wisteria or strangler fig had the gift of speech, it would sound feministical.
The modus operandi is to crank the microscope up and up, bringing more and more bracketed power inequalities into view, and to classify each in turn as an instance of "patriarchy". If all goes well this will spawn a new aggrievement, along with an especial demand for compensation which takes the generic form of More for Women and less for men in that particular situation.
There is no inherent stopping point in this process, no clearly stated catch-peg that would arrest the slide beyond a given stage. Eventually, it can only collapse into absurdity, or trigger a backlash that would be ugly, scalding, indiscriminate and irrepressible. This bears sober consideration.