I was scouring through the U.S. News website last week and looking at the older articles related to feminism. I wanted to get an outside perspective on the topic, and read through several articles that were well written. The last article I came to was entitled, “5 Ways Feminism Has Ruined America.” This article caught my eye before I even began reading it. Within the article was a claim made by c suggesting that the “women’s revolution” that occurred during the 1960’s is ruining this country and the women in it. Schlafly has co-authored a book entitled “The Flipside of Feminism” with her niece, Suzanne Venker, who believes that “feminism has sabotaged women’s happiness” by flipping male and female relationships upside down. My concern here is that this thought directly relates to women being independent, and casts a dark shadow on that desire.
Venker and Schlafly seem to think that there isn’t enough room on a man’s “pedestal” for women. They say that wanting equality and to be placed on that same pedestal is matriarchy. Who is to say that both men and women can’t share the role of leadership, and bread winning in their family? Is society not in a time and place where households can have two working figures? In fact many families need two working figures to sustain their livelihood. I don’t think there should only be room for one on that “pedestal.”
Another concern that Schlafly and Venker expressed was the issue of women being too tired for sex.
They attribute this lack of sexual drive to women’s desire to place themselves on the same level as men in the working world. I don’t believe this is a one or the other choice that needs to be made. Women don’t have to either be working women or have an amazing sex life. Not only can women prioritize their own wants and needs, but they can also make the needs of their significant other a priority. It’s wonderful to want to be a working woman and be independent and self-supporting, but supporting the needs of significant others is just as important and necessary. I don’t think women should have to give up what they want in a future, including their career and family aspirations, but they should also respect their partners by supporting them in their sexual desires. Deciding to pursue their own goals doesn’t mean the will neglect their partner.
The entire list of “Five Ways That Feminism Has Ruined America” includes the following reasons:
“1. It hurt marriage. Women want to wait so that they can keep their identities longer and men are finding easy sex, taking away a big reason for marriage.”
With the way things are changing over time, I don’t think it’s far to put the entire reason for pre-marital sex on women wanting to keep their identities just a little longer. Regardless of if a woman wants to wait a few years to change her last name and merge bank accounts is irrelevant, because both men and women are free to choose when and with whom they have sex. I do understand the traditional reasoning behind marriage and for those who still want to wait until that point, it’s their decision, but to blame independent, powerful women for the loss of sex within the confinement of marriage is unreasonable. Many couples are together for over a decade before getting married, but this does not mean they don’t want to commit to each other, it simply means they’ve decided to wait for a wedding. This reason leads me to the next in the discussion of how children are affected by women’s independence.
“2. Undermines child rearing. More kids are in childcare where discipline is lax resulting in an “epidemic” of bad kids, childhood obesity, and bullies.”
Working does not mean your child has to go to a daycare where you don’t know the person watching them. There are options to have a family member or friends care for the child and many children who are in daycare are exceptional. I understand it’s not the same as one on one care, but to say that feminism is the cause for the “epidemic of bad kids, childhood obesity and bullies” far from accurate. Even claiming that working women lead to children going to daycare is not entirely true. Sometimes kids raised by their parents without outside childcare end up not doing as well as kinds who have attended daycare. It’s simply a stereotype to say that “bad,” “obese,” “bullies” are a direct result of daycare facilities considering many now incorporate early education into the program.
“3. Two-income trap. With both husband and wife working it’s hard to live without life’s luxuries.”
If a couple strives to obtain a great career and works hard every day to maintain that, why should they be denied life’s luxuries such as electronics and fun vacations? I can understand the arguments that people seem to not be able to live without their phones and tablets, but those who have worked hard to earn those things shouldn’t be forced to do without. The fact of the matter is, some have to stay connected to the outside world for work or academic related reasons. It’s shouldn’t be the end of a relationship if someone checks their phone at home to see if they have any new emails. And who’s to day boundaries and limits can’t be agreed on? A lot of families have a “no phones at the dinner table” policy or they avoid interrupting a conversation to check mobile devices. Another luxury that is obtained isn’t necessary physical items, but things such as vacations and concerts are not necessary for life, but those who save to purchase access to these trips and events shouldn’t be penalized because they decided to be in a two-income family. The next issue ties more into life before families and career based households.
”4. Undermines college sports. Title IX has ended many male-only sports at some colleges.”
It’s been pointed out that college sports are being affected by feminism, but I think this may just be a way for men to express that they are super pissed (excuse my French) that women are on the same competitive level that they are. If a college is receiving federal funding they should be required to abide by Title IX. Participation: Title IX requires that women and men be provided equitable opportunities to participate in sports. Title IX does not require institutions to offer identical sports but an equal opportunity to play. This isn’t something that requires a man to lose his spot on the team so a girl can replace him, it simply means that women will receive equal access to equipment, amenities during travel, and recruitment opportunities. I don’t think there is any reason that women who are interested in athletics and playing competitively should be denied that right because men don’t want to lose their “male-only sports.” This point is most definitely directly tied to point number 5…
”5. Emasculates men. It’s better to be a wuss than speak up or mouth off and face charges of harassment or chauvinism.”
Men who are emasculated by their female counterparts have an entirely larger issue to address. If they feel that they are weaker or that their role in society has been taken away, they are wrong. Just because someone else, a woman, can achieve the same level of success, hold careers of equal standing, and maintain similar identities among others, does not mean women have replaced men. Those who are against feminism are living in the past and need to fast forward to the needs of people today. Not everyone wants to be married and have a family, and for women who choose this path holding a career and being competitive on the same level as men is a necessity. Women shouldn’t have to hold back from achieving their full potential because a man may feel like less of a person or have his feelings hurt. Women did not work for decades to achieve the freedoms and successes we have now to have that all thrown away to save a few hurt feelings. Maybe exactly what men need is to be challenged by the opposite sex to do better!
I do believe everyone can have their own opinion, and if Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly want to have theirs that is completely respectable. However, I think they are moving us back to the era of women’s oppression. I don’t think it’s necessary for women to tone down their levels of success and desire to be independent in their relationships in order for men to feel like they still have their high and mighty role. In no way do I believe feminism is ruining America. If anything, women standing up and striving to achieve the same roles as men have is empowering. All women should feel they have the capabilities to do the things men can and they have just as much of a right.