Feminists have said all along that their ultimate goal was nothing more or less than equality. And to be sure, they once fought a noble battle. Today, however, women have all the equality they can stand. Now the fight is based around making sure that women are more equal than men, and at least one University of Illinois professor thinks that should mean shutting down women’s prisons.
Patricia O’Brien penned an essay for the Washington Post last week, and she ensured the maximum number of hits by titling it: “We Should Stop Putting Women In Jail. For Anything.” To her credit, she doesn’t back down from her treatise, though she does make some strange conclusions from the data. For instance, she points out that women make up just 7 percent of the prison population. Somehow she takes this to mean that women are “disproportionately affected by a system designed for men.” Maybe you have to get a Ph.D. to follow the logic.
She spends the rest of the essay relying on similarly-unsupported conclusions. Because “prison harms women more than men” and because “women are more likely than men to have children who rely on them for support,” she believes the case for abolishing incarceration for women is clear. I’m sure liberal readers will be quick to agree, even in the absence of any hard numbers. After all, to disagree would be to admit that women are just as responsible for their actions as men, and how can that be when the patriarchy looms so ominously?
Guess Who Agrees?
Jezebel.com, likely embarrassed that they didn’t come up with the idea first, ran an article concluding that O’Brien made a “surprisingly persuasive argument.” No, it’s not the least bit surprising that you would find it persuasive, Jezebel. Nor is it surprising that you think the only reason America won’t consider such a measure is the greed of the prison-industrial complex. Not because, oh I don’t know, women are just as deserving of imprisonment as men when they commit crimes.
O’Brien is alarmed to note that the rate of women’s incarceration has risen 646 percent over the last thirty years. What could be the reason? Could it be that feminists have gotten exactly what they wanted? Could it be that a generation of police and judges, raised to know that women are capable of everything a man can do, see fit to treat them equally under the law?
This is hardly the first time feminists have overplayed their hand. They are perfectly willing to settle for inequality when it comes to conscription, perfectly willing to settle for a dominant patriarchy when it comes to rape laws, and perfectly willing to accept privilege when it comes to child custody. Perfectly willing to accept lighter sentences when it comes to statutory rape. And, now, quite willing to go through life without consequences. Equality!