With my girlfriend the other night we had a long talk about a woman’s life in modern society. We ended up concluding that modern women have an even worse deal than their grandmothers.
Pre-feminism, a woman would have to bear and raise the children, take care of the house.
Post-feminism, what has changed?
A woman has to bear and raise the children, take care of the house and go to work and have a career.
What was a tough line has become a damn near impossible challenge (note plummeting motherhood rates among well-educated women).
In my email box from ZDnet came an essay from original feminist Paula Rothenberg entitled “Snatched from the Jaws of Victory: Feminism Then and Now”. Rothenberg notes:
Once upon a time the personal really was political. Today, it is simply personal. Capitalist patriarchy has once again showed its extraordinary ability to take radical movements and demands that challenge the system, and re-package them in ways that actually reinforce that system and preserve the existing distribution of power and privilege in society. How convenient for capitalist patriarchy that young women today think that dressing like every man’s sex fantasy is a sign of their liberation and that the women’s movement was all about getting the right to choose and had nothing to do with making hard decisions about what values and what social vision should be reflected in our choices.
I remember well the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It seemed, briefly, to hold out the hope that women might finally control their bodies, control their own sexuality. But it soon became clear that the new sexual freedom simply meant more opportunity for men, not a new kind of experience for women.
No kidding, ladies.
It used to be that a man had to be somewhat responsible in his relations with women, or he’d be branded a cad and disbarred from polite society. What’s going on now in the world is a simple sexual free for all.
You can go through as many girlfriends as you like. Women fling themselves at you all the time. You accept or you don’t.
My girlfriends are complaining these days about putting two or three of the best years of their lives into a guy before he loses interest or just drifts off. And no one judges a man for it. “Oh it just didn’t work out,” pardons the chorus. Multiply by several boyfriends and bingo, a woman is thirty.
No children, no husband in sight. And nothing but some Club Med vacations and pretty Corisica photos to show for it.
Feminism has been very, very good to men.
I almost qualified men with the adjectives potent and attractive but that is a subject for another essay.