Feminists need to stop trying to make women better men and start trying to make women better women.
I’m a young woman – I work hard, and I strive to be successful. Obviously I think women should have the same rights and opportunities as men. That goes without saying. But I really don’t see this as a pervasive problem in today’s world. Have I had moments where I have been treated differently, maybe even thought of as lesser because of my gender? Yes. But I also know that there have been times where I have been treated better than men simply because I am a woman. So let me propose this:
Women and Men are different.
There. I said it. Does it shock you? It shouldn’t. Yet to so many this is a purely sexist statement. To suggest that there is an emotional, psychological, natural difference between the sexes beyond the biological/physical will bring along a ruckus of words like “naïve”, “narrow-minded”, “sexist”, and the like.
Instead of suggesting that men and women are the same in every way, or even to the extreme that women are better than men; I counter with my own feminism – Real Feminism.
Let us embrace womanliness. Instead of trying to prove that women can do everything men can do but better, instead of trying to dominate a male world with male tactics, instead of trying to become men, let us succeed as women, embracing women’s nature. The first step to that is choice.
Now “choice” is a word that liberal feminists love to use when dealing with abortion, but ignore when it comes to a woman’s career and family path.
Here are some common “feminist” ideas refuted:
1) Women should not stay home with their children. They will be depressed and unfulfilled – being a “homemaker” is an insult to women’s intelligence.
No, a woman should have the CHOICE to pursue a career or stay home with her children. Women are given the beautiful ability to give life to and raise their children – to nurture, love and care. By disvaluing the role of being a mother, women disvalue what sets them apart from men – what makes women, women. We as a society should place a higher priority on family and motherhood.
2) Women can be a full time mom and have a full time career
Ok, well we ALL want to be superwoman, but let’s face it. A single person simply cannot give 100% to their children and 100% to their career. Percentages, time, and life simply do not work that way. And in the end, something’s gotta give. Also, women are pulling double duty here – they’re working full time, and then playing catch up to cook, clean, and care once they get home. Stats show that men are not picking up 50% of the home duties when both parents are working full time.
3) Women HAVE to work to support their families
This one is only partially false. Yes, there are women who have to work in order to support their children, fill in for an unemployed husband, etc. But most of the time, in upper to middle class families (most of the people I interact with on a daily basis) women are working for the extra spending cash: for those new cars, nice house, fancy clothes. That is their choice, but women need to realize that if they are not the household’s bread winner, they are more likely supporting a lifestyle they have grown accustomed to – not so their children can eat at night. Staying home can mean making sacrifices: financially, and otherwise.
4) Women as a whole are empowered by women pursuing careers
First let’s note the difference between jobs and careers. Many women working are not pursuing careers, rather they are working day to day jobs with little room for advancement. Which is completely fine – that is a woman’s choice, but stop acting like you’re “fulfilling yourself” and above those stay-at-home mom’s crafts, cooking, and cleaning when you’re checking out shoppers at Vons. Even more “white collar” professions: selling real-estate, insurance, etc. etc……Women need to stop kidding themselves – perhaps you feel you have a purpose, a meaning in life, but this isn’t rocket science so don’t act like you’re reading Plato everyday. Make yourself happy, and realize that “homemakers” are find fulfillment in raising their children. Who ever said there was one right answer for everyone?
Now this is the important one. Who exactly are women empowering? Themselves? Because it certainly isn’t other women, let alone low income women. When women go off to work every day, who is it who watches their children, exactly? Oh, that’s right, other women. Other, often poor, often minority, often (especially around here) illegal, women. If caring for children is so unfulfilling, and cleaning your house so demeaning then what about the women you are exploiting so that you can pursue your dreams?
I’m only half way sorry for the harshness, because I am sick and tired of the selfish, “holier than thou” attitude of women who chose to work fulltime instead of stay home with their children. I am talking about choice here: that we as a society should value women in the workplace and as mothers.
*One last note to the ladies: Look, I love fashion, heels, and flattering outfits too. There is a way to look good and professional at the same time – you don’t need to go out and buy that bright fuchsia, canary, or tangerine pantsuit to prove you’re a woman. We noticed. You look like a joke next to men looking professional. Be a big girl and opt for black, blue, grey, or a dark red/maroon.
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