A Balanced Look at Feminism


Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – A Balanced Look at Feminism

A Balanced Look at Feminism
VPat33
Visitor
VPat33

I am a grateful beneficiary of the feminist movements of the 60’s and 70’s.  Feminism has given many lower-middle class girls – not just upper-middle and elitists – opportunities to excape the confines of physically, emotionally and sexually abusive marriages.

Being able to work has provided women a freedom that my sharecropper great-grandmother never knew.  She was married to the same man for 60 years.  They and their children went to church every Sunday.  That looks good on the “pro-marriage” books!

But let me provide more detail: she was married to the same abusive, alcoholic man for 60 years.  She was forced to have 14 children to help work the farm.  Fourteen children who had far from happy childhoods – they started with heavy machinery at age 3, they had very poor nutrition and health, and were forced to live with a physically and emotionally abusive father.  Not to mention that some of those children grew up to be men who continued the cycle of violence they witnessed as children.

Feminism would have given her birth control so that her health, and those of her pending offspring might have been better protected.  Feminism would have given her family additional avenues for income – not just sharecropping a farm.  Feminism would have given my great grandmother a way out of a dangerous and abusive relationship.  Feminism would have given her choices.

There are always good and bad outcomes to change.  The downside may be that we’ve forced ourselves into a corner economically – dual income is a necessity in many areas of the country and we’re facing difficult challenges with balancing family needs and work needs.  However, I accept those difficulties because they’re better than the alternative.

08-25-2006 12:46 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
zacharias
Regular Contributor
zacharias
Feminism has also freed men from being trapped into wage slavery to support an economically and emotionally dependent wife and family.

My contention is that it could have been done without the hostility and demonization of men. Not all men are alcoholic abusers, yet we have consistently been painted that way.

Many of us were quite happy to see a reshuffling of the old traditional roles, because the men’s half of the deal was not all “power and privilege” as women painted it to be. (Coming back from a war zone either in a body bag or with big parts of your body missing – step right up to share in that part of “power and privilege”, grrls)

The reality is that a totally one-sided picture got painted, due to the victim focus of modern “feminine-ism”, which quickly gave way to female superiority and sense of entitlement. We went through several years of “cafeteria equality” where only the sweet parts were to be shared and the bitter left to those “awful men.”

I actually think feminism “liberated” me far more than it “liberated” most women. I’m free to live my life as I see fit, and have little social pressure or sense of responsibility to support a woman and her kids.

I would have happily done that anyway, your sisters did not have to demonize me and paint me as a monster so that they could get massive federal subsidies, and make most women afraid that if they did one nice thing for me that the next second I would be chaining them to the stove, maritally “rayyyping” them, and stealing their shoes.

I used to be a pretty nice guy. Too bad some woman could not see that before all the hostility soured me on their sex for good.

08-25-2006 12:58 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
globusproject
Visitor
globusproject
In her time, your grandmother also accepted her lot in life. In an agricultural environment, the rules were different than they are today. You had many children so that you would have someone to take care of you when you were old and unable to take care of yourself.

If your grandmother had 14 children, i would say that there was something intimate going on between your grandparents that maybe is lacking today. A true committment to each other through the good times and bad. Something that you surely need if you are going to raise 14 children.

I surmise that perhaps that even though your grandmother had less, she had a lot more than you think. Am I am pretty sure that she was proud of her 14 children.

I guess you do make a good point though. If your grandmother did have birth control, she would not have had all of the children she did, and mostly likely you would not be here.

08-25-2006 01:02 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
PolishKnight
Contributor
PolishKnight

There’s a saying that capitalism is judged by it’s flaws while communism is judged by it’s promises and starry-eyed ideals.

Sure, many women got to escape the evil bad stereotypical man but at the same time, just as many in the lower classes especially wound up trapped in the welfare state.  I grew up in a working class neighborhood and I’ve watched it go to pot almost in a time-lapse photography kind of way.

Feminism gave women birth control and abortion rights, but they still wind up having kids into poverty and blaming a man for not being an ATM machine anyway.  It gave them higher paying jobs, but also higher taxes for the welfare state.  One hand giveth, two taketh away.

What’s the most popular shows on TV now viewed by career women?  It’s not how to become an astronaut or women CEO’s but rather homemaking and cooking programs.  Because women are slowly realizing that work isn’t some fun exciting thing to do to buy prada handbags but rather, to pay the bills.  Welcome to the world of men.

08-25-2006 01:37 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
velo_blues
Visitor
velo_blues
Excellent post, PK.

08-25-2006 01:40 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
mmtshali
Visitor
mmtshali
In response to Zacharias:

I’m sorry to hear that your experiences with women over the years have soured you towards the sex as a whole, but I would like to say that not all women are like that.

There are some women who seem to hate men with their constant belittling and generalizing. One of the most common reasons behind that seems to be horrible experiences with men which has caused them to put up this wall as a means of defense. It doesn’t make it right; don’t get me wrong; however, from my experience, that seems to be the most common reason. Hopefully, some of these women will realize that the behavior they are perpetrating is apart of the same discrimination they complain about in their own lives.

The media has painted this picture of all feminists being misandrist, mainly due to the very public viewing of various radical feminist misandrist demonstrations. There are many branches of feminism that have no problem with men. I proudly consider myself a feminist and not only do I view men as my equals entirely, I also do see the way traditional gender roles oppress men as well.

It seems that you have begun to adhere to the same demonizing of women as the women you’ve encountered who demonize men. Unfortunately, it becomes a cycle. These women may be doing it in reaction to how a man or men treated them in the past and now you are doing they same for how they have treated you. Hopefully you’ll be able to overcome that and realize that not all “liberated” women carry those same sentiments. I wish we all could see that it’s not about demonizing. It’s not about who’s better, who’s smarter. It’s not even about men vs. women. It’s simply about forming our world into a place where men and women are equals, they appreciate one another, eliminate the generalizing and stereotyping of people based on their gender, and live in a world together harmoniously. We have so much to offer each other as people.

Message Edited by mmtshali on 08-25-2006 01:51 PM

08-25-2006 01:49 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
Antiriad
Regular Contributor
Antiriad

VPat33 wrote:

I am a grateful beneficiary of the feminist movements of the 60’s and 70’s.  Feminism has given many lower-middle class girls – not just upper-middle and elitists – opportunities to excape the confines of physically, emotionally and sexually abusive marriages.

This is where I stopped reading, as I knew that the rest was going to be based on gynocentrist gender hatred, nothing more.

08-25-2006 01:50 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
zacharias
Regular Contributor
zacharias
“Hopefully you’ll be able to overcome that and realize that not all “liberated” women carry those same sentiments. I wish we all could see that it’s not about demonizing. It’s not about who’s better, who’s smarter. It’s not even about men vs. women. It’s simply about forming our world into a place where men and women are equals, they appreciate one another, eliminate the generalizing and stereotyping of people based on their gender, and live in a world together harmoniously. We have so much to offer each other as people.”

I agree with that. In fact, that is what I always thought. However, hearing the tired old “women STILL only make 76 cents” and the even more tired old “1 in 4”, with all their implications, has worn away my old optimism.

I would be quite glad to meet a woman like you have described. If I ever do, I am sure I will circle the day in red on the calendar.

08-25-2006 01:53 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
mmtshali
Visitor
mmtshali
“I would be quite glad to meet a woman like you have described. If I ever do, I am sure I will circle the day in red on the calendar.”

I hope you do, too. They’re out there. 🙂

08-25-2006 01:58 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
PolishKnight
Contributor
PolishKnight

<i>There are some women who seem to hate men with their constant belittling and generalizing. One of the most common reasons behind that seems to be horrible experiences with men which has caused them to put up this wall as a means of defense. It doesn’t make it right; don’t get me wrong; however, from my experience, that seems to be the most common reason. Hopefully, some of these women will realize that the behavior they are perpetrating is apart of the same discrimination they complain about in their own lives.

The media has painted this picture of all feminists being misandrist, mainly due to the very public viewing of various radical feminist misandrist demonstrations. There are many branches of feminism that have no problem with men. I proudly consider myself a feminist and not only do I view men as my equals entirely, I also do see the way traditional gender roles oppress men as well. </i>

Balderdash!

College campuses are not full of feminist women who were oppressed by horrid patriarchs who made her wash her clothes by a stream while he drank beer all day.  Lessee: Women now have special women-centric DV laws to deal with men abuse them, divorce laws to walk out of a bad relationship and take the kids and tax free child-support with them, and sexual harassment and affirmative action laws to deal with the first sign of any sexist workplace woe (against women.)

Yet, you claim, women continue to become feminists especially on college campuses due to male oppression.  Why doesn’t that sound realistic?

The “media” doesn’t really have to do a lot to make feminism appear to be man-bashing and selfish other than turn on the camera.  A women’s reproductive rights march in DC had a bunch of hairy legged lesbians and old women marching around with signs “this is what a feminist looks like!”  Yeah, that really helps sympathetic press photographers make a story.  Maybe they should have hired fashion models to march while they hid in a float.

There is no “nice” feminism.  OK, there’s two types: The kind that bashes men for the fun of it and the kind that says that men are victims of sexism too but all of society should focus and women’s most trivial problems and get around to men later.  What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine.

In the meantime, as another poster pointed out, the middle class is feeling increasingly pinched even as more and more socialist programs are online and women are going to the workplace to earn more money to pay for their independent lifestyle.  Oh, wait, that’s probably not helping much is it?  Imagine if society could have dedicated it’s resources to improving everyone’s standard of living rather than handholding people who complain they aren’t being treated like equals.

“The handicapped don’t want to be treated differently!  They just want to be treated like everyone else!” — Kramer on Seinfeld

08-25-2006 02:07 PM

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Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – A Balanced Look at Feminism

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
zacharias
Regular Contributor
zacharias
“I would be quite glad to meet a woman like you have described. If I ever do, I am sure I will circle the day in red on the calendar.”

I hope you do, too. They’re out there. :-)”

So am I. D’ya suppose they are looking for me, or should I be looking for them?

08-25-2006 02:11 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
mmtshali
Visitor
mmtshali

zacharias wrote:
“I would be quite glad to meet a woman like you have described. If I ever do, I am sure I will circle the day in red on the calendar.”

I hope you do, too. They’re out there. :-)”

So am I. D’ya suppose they are looking for me, or should I be looking for them?

Haha….oh, be assured they are looking for you…but you should be looking for them as well. I’m not sure exactly what advice to give you to find them. I would suggest bookstores. 🙂 My boyfriend and I met in the library, which is similar. It’s not a guarantee you’ll find them there, but at least you may find women with a thirst for knowledge. If it doesn’t work out, at least you can grab a book or two. 😉

08-25-2006 02:21 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
zacharias
Regular Contributor
zacharias
“be assured they are looking for you…but you should be looking for them as well. I’m not sure exactly what advice to give you to find them.”

Hey, how do you do that quote thinggie?

Sorry, I spent enough years looking and not finding that I’m not willing to waste any more. When I go to a library, it is for the books. The time ran out on my clock and it no longer makes any difference to me at all.

08-25-2006 02:26 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
mmtshali
Visitor
mmtshali

zacharias wrote:
“be assured they are looking for you…but you should be looking for them as well. I’m not sure exactly what advice to give you to find them.”

Hey, how do you do that quote thinggie?

Sorry, I spent enough years looking and not finding that I’m not willing to waste any more. When I go to a library, it is for the books. The time ran out on my clock and it no longer makes any difference to me at all.

Understandable. 🙂

As for the quote, at the top right of the Message Body box “Quote Post”. Just click that.

08-25-2006 02:36 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
zacharias
Regular Contributor
zacharias
“As for the quote, at the top right of the Message Body box “Quote Post”. Just click that.”

Thanks. I don’t have it because I use an obscure browser called “Opera” which handles Java differently. Thanks for the tip.

08-25-2006 03:08 PM

Re: A Balanced Look at Feminism
lawgirl
Contributor
lawgirl
Too bad you couldn´t keep reading in spite of someone having a different opinion because the rest of the discussion is a personal story that turned to be useful with other readers. Don´t be blindsided by your own prejudices.

08-25-2006 04:08 PM

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