It is so ingrained in our society to believe that anything less that complete equality is bad for women and absolutely harmful. However, there are some instances where gender equality should not be sought. Despite feminist efforts to trivialize sexual differences, the sexes are not equal. Feminists have done such a good job at indoctrinating our entire society that even the most conservative among us are freaked at even the thought of anything but gender equality as if we wanted to slap a chastity belt on them and send them back to the dark ages (otherwise known as the 1950s) or lock them up in the kitchen to forever be barefoot and pregnant. As Danielle Crittendon observed at the turn of the century:
“Ideas that once seemed radical- whether it was equal pay for equal work, or rebelling against housework and marriage, or storming boardrooms and military academies- have been so completely absorbed by our society and accepted by its institutions all the way up to the Supreme Court that the only way left to be truly radical is to become a nut.”
Of course, anytime I try to explain why complete equality and fungibility between the sexes may not be in the best interests of women, I get bombarded with remarks about equality as if I was talking to a brick wall. Many even become very hostile in their remarks to anything that could even be considered remotely traditional, “sexist” or against women’s full time participation in the paid work force (because obviously that is the most important thing to women, how many hours they work). Feminism has been absorbed so readily by our culture that the amount of women in the workforce is used to determine who will be the better president and which side is the bigger champion of women’s rights. Yet, despite the constant ramblings about equality and equal pay that bombard news stories here lately, many women are expressing their desires to stay home and let men be the breadwinners:
At a moment in history when the American conversation seems to be obsessed with bringing attention to women in the workplace (check out “The End of Men,” or Google “gender paygap” for a primer), it seems a remarkable chasm between what we’d like to see (more women in the corporate ranks) and what we’d like for ourselves (getting out of Dodge). But it’s true: according to our survey, 84% of working women told ForbesWoman and TheBump that staying home to raise children is a financial luxury they aspire to.
It is often largely ignored that staying at home is indeed not a luxury, but often times a necessity. As Suzanne Venker writes:
Most women make clear and purposeful choices — regarding sex, whom to marry (that’s a biggie), work, geography, etc. — that allow them to be the primary caregiver in their children’s lives. Others learn the hard way that it costs to have both parents work. The money from a second income — unless it’s a six-figure salary — is usually eaten up by commuting costs, child care, eating out, work attire, dry cleaning, convenience foods, and, of course, taxes. By the time you add it all up, there isn’t much left.
Obviously one income still buys the necessities but many women feel like it just isn’t enough for them to stay home and raise their children. Home is where many want to be, but they feel it is an option far out of their reach. But, as everything else in life, we cannot have things both ways. Either we want to have complete equality with men and continue to carry extra burdens that do not rightly belong to us, or we must realize that there are some areas where men must be given preference so that women can be free to truly choose the lifestyle that we want. In other words, if many of us are wanting to be home and not in full-time work (as indeed constant research keeps showing), then we cannot be adamant about complete equality and fairness in our relationships. We must support policies that allow our husbands to be given preference so they can assume responsibility for supporting a family. For, after all, it was the feminist movement that impaired men’s earning ability so that women would take on full time work.
“We need ultimately to reverse existing laws and practices. First and foremost, we must restore customary economic discrimination in favor of men. America’s businesses and institutions must be free once again to favor men over women in hiring. If they are not, family life will never return to a reasonable state of health; the happiness of women and children will continue to decline; and men will fail to flourish and prosper.”
Along with economic discrimination in favor of men where it is necessary, we must also reverse our attitudes. Instead of insisting on fairness and equality, splitting the check 50/50 on dates, engaging in casual sexual activities and insisting our husbands assume half of the domestic chores, we must reinforce their masculinity (watch now our society will be confused about what masculinity even is in our modern day society). We must give our men the pride and tools necessary so that they can assume responsibility for us. This goal cannot be achieved as long as we follow feminist/egalitarian teachings.
“The result of women’s abandonment of their sexual bargaining power that the double standard has assured them has been a decline in marriage rates, an increase in divorce rates, and a surge in the number of women entering the workforce. And thus women have relinquished their role as the civilizers of men, who teach them to become responsible job holders, husbands, and fathers. Instead, women now bestow sexual rewards on men without requiring that they work in the hairpin factory to support women and their children.”
1. Crittenden, D., What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us. Touchstone, 1999.
5. Graglia, C.F., Domestic Tranquility: a brief against feminism. Spence, 1998.
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