It’s time for some REAL Feminism


You'll get the pantsuit reference later...

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.

(Hey subscribe by email or to my RSS feed in the top right sidebar of the page!)

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “It’s time for some REAL Feminism

  1. Hey Francis, caught this off of Facebook. I liked you’re idea of Real Feminism and I see where you’re coming from. My only concern lies in myths 3 and 4 which you addressed. I think in order for claims 3 and 4 to work they have to be substantiated with numbers proving your point. Is it really true that the majority of women are only working for spending cash? I have no idea but that and the idea that women do not have to work need numbers, percentages, or something like it. I would suggest Heritage foundation for something like that. Cato perhaps but it does not seem like their type of issue. Perhaps the National Review?

    Just my thoughts, good luck in college and keep up the good work.

    Like

    • Hey that is a fair critique. I guess I should say that this is based more on my personal experience. At least for people who are middle/upper class. These families certainly could survive on a single income, but chose not too. That’s fine, people have priorities in life and can do so as they please, but I feel women start trying to talk themselves into believing the lifestyle they want is the lifestyle they need. Also, it is without question that the childcare industry is absolutely dominated by women. Regardless of who it is, it is far more likely than not, that when a woman goes off to work, she leaves her child in the care of another woman.

      Like

  2. Hi Frances.

    I enjoyed what you said here.

    Another issue to deal with Feminism that I think you should include is real honesty in regards to gender violence.

    There seems to be a real dishonest push from some feminist quarters within society that make men out to be voilent and women victims. When the truth is that when it comes to domestic abuse its nearly equal regarding gender victimhood.

    Current research accross America, Canada, UK and Australia is showing that around 40% of victims of DV within hetrosexual relationships are male.

    Like

    • thanks for checking out my blog! I haven’t ever looked up the stats on that issue, and so I can’t really draw any conclusions. While I’m sure you’re point has merit, perhaps the level/severity of domestic violence implemented by men would be greater than that implemented by women. I think it is a denial of human nature to not concede that men are, in general, more physically aggressive than women. Great to hear from you!

      Like

  3. I agree with #1, not so much with #2, and very little with #3 and #4. In some of the poorest parts of the world (and unfortunately in some parts of the U.S.A.) Women must work to support their families because their husbands are more concerned with temporary indulgences like alcohol and prostitutes. Of course, this is not the case for all families in poverty stricken areas, but it is not unheard of. Women in places like Africa and the Middle East who make money from learning a skill and imploring micro-financing to earn an income and who handle their own funds are more likely to invest in their children’s education (particularly their daughter’s) than if their husband controlled the money. Women making money can empower other women and their children because nothing is more valuable than an education.

    Also, pink can still be professional:

    http://www.polyvore.com/chanel_suit_pale_pink_yellow/thing?id=4715771

    Like

    • Well yeah, that suit is incredibly classy. I really meant bright colors haha. Just watch CSPAN one day when Congress is in session. The women who wear those bright pantsuits (and there are loads) stick out like a sore thumb. It has just become a pet-peeve of mine.

      Like

  4. My previous comment was about feminism not just in America, but through out the rest of the world. Your focus in this post seems more to be about feminism and circumstances in the United States. So yes, upper-middle class families don’t necessarily need two working parents to have enough money for things like food and shelter, but feminism should be applied in a world sense.

    Like

    • As you’ve noted, my post really has nothing to do with women in extreme poverty and third world countries. I am talking about the United States liberal feminism that in effect puts down women who chose to stay home with their children or make career choices based on family. Obviously, I think that women should be educated, go to school, be independent, and pursue careers. But I also think that a woman deciding to become a “stay at home mom” should not be scoffed at and marginalized. “Real” feminists should strive to make women strong, independent, and have the ability to chose how they want to live their lives – whether it be career woman or mommy (or somewhere in between).

      The kind of global feminism you are speaking of is also a major issue, just not what I was addressing here. The kind of oppression that so many girls and woman face in many countries such as those in the Middle East and Africa are not only a feminist issue, but those of basic human rights.

      Like

  5. Do you like Kate Bork? Is she a successful human being?
    Do you like Marissa Roy? Is she a successful human being?
    Do you like Dot Silverman? Is she a successful human being?
    Do you like Matt Grobar? Is he a successful human being?
    Do you like Allan Zhang? Is he a successful human being?
    Do you like Shaira Bhanji? Is she a successful human being?
    Do you like Kathleen Sheehy? Is she a successful human being?
    Do you like Ingrid Herkind? Is she a successful human being?
    Do you like Chris Ellis? Is he a successful human being?
    Do you like Reza Ghessari? Is he a successful human being?

    The people I have listed above come from families where both parents work. They are all smart, balanced, kind, tolerant, generous, respectful individuals. They are not spoiled or unrealistic about the world. They are going to excellent colleges and will I’m sure lead very fulfilling lives that will benefit many other people.

    Their parents decided to work together on raising them. Mother and father made this decision jointly, and keep excellent careers (Kate’s dad is a judge, mom is a successful doctor at loma linda…I can provide more examples if you wish). The children did not suffer, nor do the parents. In fact, these children grew up knowing the challenges of the world they live in, grew up with an increased understanding of the diversity of the world, and they grew up unspoiled, more open to new options than many others.

    Your statements are blatant insults to these and the millions of other human beings who have been raised by two parents. You should be ashamed. I’m disappointed in you Frances. I have never agreed with your political views, but I always respected you as a very kind supportive individual. I don’t know if I can say that now. I wish you well, but this is saddening.

    Like

    • Marissa, I’m afraid you either did not read, or at the very least understand my post. My point in this was CHOICE – not that women who work cannot raise wonderful children because I think we both agree that would be untrue. What I am calling for is that we value motherhood as much as we do work, that we value female qualities as much as we do male, and that we value the choice a woman may make whether that be to pursue a career or devote her full time to her children. Not one as superior to the other, but as a level playing field where each has their pros/cons, and priorities.

      Don’t insult your intelligence by giving an argument that doesn’t deal with or respond to what I was saying in the first place.

      Also – if you were up with your facts you would already know that I happen to know the Borks very well and also just so happen to ADORE them : )

      Like

  6. @ Marissa: What are you talking about? Did you read anything Frances wrote? In no way, shape, or form were 2 parent homes being insulted. I come from a 2 parent home. I am a balanced, smart individual that is going to a great college. This is beside the point and has nothing at all to do with anything she talked about. The entire point of this was to say that women who choose to stay home and provide care to their families should not be made to feel like less than women. She is saying that women and men are different (which they are) and instead of trying to make men and women the same, we should embrace our differences and the things that make us unique as women! So how exactly is this insulting? To anyone? I appreciate it! You blew this way out of the water and I am saddened by your inability to interpret information.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s