Monday, February 16, 2009

Perspective on Feminism

Many, many years ago when Feminism (capital F) first reared its head a war was declared. The only problem is that there were no rules of engagement like the Geneva Convention or any other way to identify the problem and make an attempt to solve it. I can remember developing a theory which, since there was no internet and I was a homemaker in a small town with a small circle of folks who discussed this kind of subject, had no way of being recognized as sensible. Tell me what you think.

In those days fewer women worked outside the home and this was the scenario in most households. When I cleaned the house, cooked the meals, took care of the kids, did the chauffering, school activities and general volunteering, etc., etc. we neither expected nor received thanks for each day's work. By the same token we did not thank our husbands when they came home every week or two with a paycheck. We all had jobs and our duties were fulfilled by all of us because that was what was expected.

The difference was that the men who were paid received their thanks in the form of that check. They knew there was value to what they did every day and it was appreciated by someone who needed their time and talent.

Not so with the women. In order to get that appreciation they went outside the home to work. Most of us had good educations through high school and either a smattering of college or a degree--generally in fields such as teaching or nursing. So-called "women's jobs." And of course one of the first things they noticed was that they really didn't earn much money compared to men and our first dollars were taxed at the rate of the last dollar of our husband.

So it started with the appreciation/money and developed into the full blown revolution by those who didn't want to be held back by a family that needed care followed by the gratification which comes from being not only equal, but respected.
It didn't take long for sophisticated birth control measures and abortion to start completely changing lifestyles with Feminism standing not only for equal pay but for equal rights (ie., pro-abortion)in order to satisfy those perceived rights.

Of course this is simplistic from the 21st century worldview, but in my opinion is still the logical jumping off point and just looking around us at the differences in the way we count success now. The statistical proofs in the divorce and crime rates all around the world further demonstrate these changes. Add to that the increases in STDs, poverty and violence and the last 50 years don't look quite like the advances we generally view as positive.

Enough for now. Sleep well....

1 comment: said...

Was watching Seinfeld last night and it was the subway ephisode where Elaine is approached by an older woman bemoaning the fact that after "liberation" women now have to stand on the cars while men ignore the opportunity to offer them their seats.

Elaine observes, in one of the few sweet, genuine moments in the shows entire run, how ironic it is that despite all of feminism's advances they've lost some of the small things...

Of course then the woman asks "what's ironic? No, what does that word mean?"

So much for sincere moments. :)