It’s always been something of a wonder that feminism in general appears to be so left wing. To the point that large parts of the movement (perhaps we should point out, the vocal, campaigning ones, rather than just people getting on with their lives as equals) are determinedly anti-capitalist and even anti-market. When it is these two intertwined strands of socio-economic thought and policy which together make up the most pro-women system as yet available to human beings.
It is capitalist free marketry which has liberated women from domestic drudgery for example, similarly liberated all humans from heavy physical labour at least in large part. Exactly that being what has allowed women to enter the labour market without suffering a musculature penalty. Back when if was muscular heft being employed men, who have more of it, are going to get paid more. Now it’s brains and skills, something where there is no female lack, we compete on an even field. As the increasing recognition of the cause of the gender pay gap shows, it’s about men and women making different choices about their lives, not discrimination by employers.
But if you’d like a stark reminder of how much things have changed how about this from Brad Delong:
Live from “Call the Midwife!”: Of the 45 queens of England from the Norman Conquest through Victoria, seven died in childbed: 15.5%, more than one in seven, among the most cosseted and best nourished women in England.
Being female in the Agrarian Age was not for sissies…
Maternal mortality is now down around 10 to 20 per 100,000 live births in the rich countries. Given the average fertility rate of 2 (actually, a little lower but so?) this implies a lifetime rate of say 40 per 100,000, or 0.04%. Not nothing but compared to the rates suffered in that past pretty good.
This capitalist development shtick seems pretty pro-women, pretty feminist, to us.