Move over leftists: Real feminists reject subsidies

Emily O'Neill Co-Founder, Envallo
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The Obama campaign released a new ad on Thursday that should be offensive to all of the women who have ever fought for social and financial independence. The ad, featuring a character named “Julia” who uses government assistance from childhood to retirement, speaks volumes about the latest generation of left feminists.

While the feminist philosophy was supposed to encourage women to be self-reliant, left feminists now demand that taxpayers finance their lifestyle choices. From food stamps to birth control, these women are fighting to hold on to their government assistance. What ever happened to the feminist movement that encouraged women to be independent?

Left feminists would be up in arms if an ad promoted the idea that women needed men to survive financially. There would be new feminist slogans, bumper stickers, and rallies across the country to encourage women to stand on their own two feet. So, what’s the difference?

There is none. Left feminists are simply replacing men with government, and calling it empowerment.

A feminist who wants taxpayers to pay for her lifestyle is about as socially and financially independent of a woman as one who marries a wealthy man to pay her bills — and at least the man in the latter scenario chooses to support a woman by his own free will. Whether a man financially supports a woman, or a woman financially supports a man, there is typically a voluntary personal relationship. Absent any force or coercion, both parties consent to this arrangement.

By contrast, the government forces citizens to pay for government assistance through taxes. Leveraging the force of government to finance lifestyle choices is not liberating for women; it perpetuates the falsehood that women need assistance in order to pursue their goals. With all of this talk about a so-called Republican “war on women,” isn’t it the left that is betraying women by suggesting that they need government assistance to survive?

Women are not helpless, nor are they entitled. Government assistance limits lifestyle options and causes women to surrender their financial and social freedom. For decades, feminists fought for women’s financial independence; so why do feminists on the left support trading that in for dependence on government programs?

If women on the left support a government subsidizing their lives, it follows that they no longer believe in women’s financial independence. Thus, their feminist label is merely a cover for what they really believe in: special treatment.

A new kind of feminist is emerging, however — an independent woman who doesn’t believe in the entitlement culture, but instead believes in taking responsibility for herself and her actions. These women are the real feminists because they believe in achieving their goals based on their own merit. With that said, women on the left need to realize their hypocrisy and consider the idea that instead of making women prosperous, government hand-outs hold women back.

Emily O’Neill graduated magna cum laude from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in Communication. After graduation, Emily moved to the D.C. area for an internship with Young Americans for Liberty and later accepted a position on Capitol Hill as press secretary for Congressman Justin Amash (MI-03). She currently serves as the press liaison for a non-profit organization.