Tag Archives: feminism and housewives

My Review of “The Female Eunuch”

This book is not new to me and I’ve quoted it many times over the years but I thought I would post it here as it is a landmark book in the women’s “liberation” movement and is a wonderful example of feminism’s assault on femininity, the traditional family unit and the role of the housewife. Feminists love to tell us they stand for our “choices” and that they’ve never in all their feminist studies seen feminists degrade the role of the housewife, but those of us who are educated know this movement has been an assault on the traditional family unit and the rights of the traditional woman from the start. My review here consists of quotes taken directly from the book. We must understand feminism and teach the next generation against it. We must educate men and women alike on the truth of this movement. Please read, understand and share with others the truth of this movement and its assault on our families and our security within our families.

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The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer

“On these grounds we can, indeed we must reject femininity as meaning without libido, and therefore incomplete, subhuman, a cultural reduction of human possibilities, and rely upon the indefinite term female, which retains the possibility of female libido. In order to understand how a female is castrated and becomes feminine we must consider the pressures to which she is subjected from the cradle.” (79)

“So what is the beef? Maybe i couldn’t make it. Maybe I don’t have a pretty smile, good teeth, nice tits, long legs, a cheeky arse, a sexy voice. Maybe I don’t know how to handle men and increase my market value, so that the rewards due to the feminine will accrue to me. Then again, maybe I’m sick of the masquerade. I’m sick of pretending eternal youth. I’m sick of belying my own intelligence, my own will, my own sex. I’m sick of peering at the world through false eyelashes, so everything I see is mixed with a shadow of bought hairs; I’m sick off weighting my head with a dead mane, unable to move my neck freely, terrified of rain, of wind, of dancing too vigorously in case I sweat into my lacquered curls. I’m sick of the Powder Room. I’m sick of pretending that some fatuous male’s self-important pronouncements are the objects of my undivided attention, I’m sick of going to films and plays when someone else wants to, and sick of having no opinions of my own about either. I’m sick of being a transvestite. I refuse to be a female impersonator. I am a woman, not a castrate.” (70)

“April Ashley was born male. All the information supplied by genes, chromosomes, internal and external sexual organs added up to the same thing. April was a man. But he longed to be a woman. He longed for the stereotype, not to embrace, but to be…He tried to die, became a female impersonator, but eventually found a doctor in Casablanca who came up with a more acceptable alternative. He was to be castrated, and his penis used as the lining of a surgically constructed cleft, which would be a vagina…He became a model, and began to illustrate the feminine stereotype as he was perfectly qualified to do, for he was elegant, voluptuous, beautifully groomed, and in love with his own image…April’s incompetence as a woman is what we must exect from a castrate, but it is not so very different after all from the impotence of feminine women, who submit to sex without desire, with only the infantile pleasure of cuddling and affection, which is their favourite reward. As long as the feminine stereotype remains the definition of the female sex, April Ashley is a woman, regardless of the legal decision ensuing from her divorce. She is as much a casualty of the polarity of the sexes as we all are. Disgraced, unsexed Ashley is our sister and our symbol.” (71-72)

“Women do have sexual desires and it is a function of normal mental health development and good breeding to destroy it, let us try some abnormal mental development, rejecting our breeding. If marriage and family depend upon the castration of women let them change or disappear. The alternative is not a brothel, for brothels depend upon marriage and family for their existence. If we are to escape from the treadmill of sexual fantasy, voracious need of love, and obsessiveness in all its forms we will have to reinstate our libido in its rightful function. Only then will women be capable of loving.” (111)

“Womanpower means the self-determination of women, and that means that all the baggage of paternalist society will have to be thrown overboard.” (130)

“There was even mention of setting up nurseries to be run by management and unions cooperatively at factories. The intrusion of sex and children adds a tinge of frivolty to the arguments: in fact, an employer who faces problems of organizing his employees’ children as well as themselves might well be inclined to discriminate more and more…” (135)

“A secretary is a boss’s status symbol, like his wife” the more her duties are limited to his requirements the more her value.” (141)

“Feminine women chained to men in our society are in this situation. They are formed to be artificially different and fascinating to men and end by being merely different, isolated in the house of a bored and antagonistic being.” (158)

“When heredity has decayed and bureaucracy is the rule, so that the only riches are earning power and mobility, it is absurd that the family should persist in the patter of patriliny. It is absurd that people should live more densely than ever before while pretending that they are still in a cottage with a garden. It is absurd that peole should pledge themselves for life when divorce is always possible.” (266)

“If women would reject their roles in this pattern, recognizing insecurity as freedom, they would not be perceptibly worse off for it.” (274)

“Women have very little idea of how much men hate them. Any boy who has grown up in an English industrial town can describe how the boys used to go to the local dance halls and stand around all night until the pressure of the simplest kind of sexual urge prompted them to score a chick. The easier this was the more they loathed them and identified them with the guilt that their squalid sexual release left them.” (300)

“They must not scurry about from bed to bed in a self-deluding and pitiable search for love, but must do what they do deliberately, without false modesty, shame or emotional blackmail.” (300)

“A housewife’s work has no results: it simply has to be done again. Bringing up children is not a real occupation, because children come up just the same, brought or not. ” (312)

“Men argue that alimony laws can cripple them, and this is obviously true, but they have only themselves to blame for the fact that alimony is necessary, largely because of the pattern of granting custody of the children to the mother. The alimonized wife bringing up the children without father is no more free than she ever was…If independence is a necessary concomitant of freedom, women must not marry.” (358-359)

“Even though there are more problems attendant upon bringing up an illegitimate child, and even friendly cohabitation can meet with outrage and prosecution from more orthodox citizens, marrying to avoid these inconveniences is a meaningless evasion.” (359)

“In many cases, the husband is consoled by being allowed to retain the children and can afford to treat them better with less anxiety than a woman could. he is more likely to be able to pay a housekeeper or a nanny than a woman is. And so forth. Behind the divorced woman struggling to keep her children there always looms the threate of ‘taking the children into care’ which is the worst of alternatives. A woman who leaves her husband and children could offer them alimony, if society would grant her the means.” (362)

“Only by experimentation can we open up new possibilities which will indicate lines of development in which the status quo is a given term. Women’s revolution is necessarily situationist: we cannot argue that all will be well when the socialists have succeeded in abolishing private property and restoring public ownership of the means of production. We cannot wait that long. Women’s liberation, if it abolishes the patriarchal family, will abolish a necessary substructure of the authoritarian state, and once that withers away Marx will have come true willy-nilly, so let’s get on with it.” (368-369)

“…But man made one grave mistake: in answer to vaguely reformist and humanitarian agitation he admitted women to politics and the professions. The conservatives who saw this as the undermining of our civilization and the end of the state and marriage were right after all; it is time for the demolition to begin…” (369)

“The first significant discovery we shall make as we racket along our female road to freedom is that men are not free, and they will seek to make this an argument why nobody should be free. We can only reply that slaves enslave their masters, and by securing our own manumission we may show men the way that they could follow when they have jumped off their own treadmill.” (371)

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Questioning Economic Necessity

“It has been estimated that by 1960 a family wage was paid by 65 percent of all employers in the United States, and by over 80 percent of the major industrial companies. Although feminist historians today call the family-wage ideal a “myth” designed to keep married women oppressed, few myths have come closer to becoming a reality.”[1]

The feminist conviction is that the “good ole life” where married women did not work is a myth. In their view of history, married women staying home is somehow a new thing in human history that was invented in the 1950s. They also stress that it is the economy that flushed women out of the home and into the workforce during the revolution years.Today they say it is just too bad and even if married women wanted to go back home it is impossible because of the economy. Their views and assertions are, however, pretty far removed from reality. In fact, in the grand old 1950s there were even more married women in the workforce than in previous times in American history. All the way up until the year 1900, only 5.6% of married women were in the workforce. By the year 1910 that number had climbed to 10.7%. In the 1950s, 23% of married women were in the workforce. [2]

Feminists also like to chime in and tell us all about how it was only middle class white women that were able to fulfill the role of housewife. But unless 90% of married couples were middle class and white this remains to be seen. Generally, feminists like to plead economic necessity so as to ensure that married women with dependent children do not feel guilty about going off to work and leaving their children in the care of someone else. Mainstream feminists propaganda says that it “takes two incomes” just to make ends meet. Yet, in the vast majority of cases this is not, nor has it ever, been true.

“When the mother in a two-parent family chooses to work, economic necessity (as opposed to advantage) is more likely to be the rationalization than the explanation for her decision. Feminism’s effort to bring about the demise of the full-time housewife required diminishing the guilt felt by working mothers. Thus began the constant effort to depict a two-income family as economically necessary when in most instances one income would provide the basic necessities of life-food, housing, and clothing. That the best-educated and highest-paid women are the ones who return to work the soonest after birth of a child makes clear that something other than economic necessity has impelled women to abandon child care in favor of the workplace.” [3]

Moreover, it was not the economy at all that forced women out of the home. No, the influx of married women into the workforce was deliberate and the intended outcome of the women’s liberation movement. One really does not have to wonder what the word “liberation” in the phrase “women’s liberation” is referring to. It refers to nothing more than the “liberating” of women from sexual morality and the bonds of marriage and child-rearing. Women were not forced out of the home because the economy was going in the gutter. The feminist movement created the economy we have now. The influx of married women into the workforce lowered men’s wages and devalued the housewive’s role. It was the women with highly-educated husbands- the women who could least claim “economic necessity”- that left the home first. Poorer women were still in the home caring for their children.

“In 1962, only 37 percent of all wives worked for pay outside the home. The wives of high school- and college-educated men were hardly more likely to work for pay than the wives of men with only a grade school education. Between 1962 and 1978 the proportion of wives working for pay rose from 37 percent to 58 percent. This growth was concentrated among wives with highly educated husbands, for whom the economic pressures to work were lowest. Among women whose husbands had only a grade school education, 34 percent worked for pay both in 1962 and in 1978. Among women whose husbands attended college, 38 percent worked for pay in 1962, but this had grown to 65 percent by 1978…

In the 1950s, to preserve their own self-esteem, they extolled the virtues of work in the home. By 1980, they saw matters quite differently. A job once perceived as noble now seemed distinctly plebeian. Thus, homemakers suffered a tremendous loss in social prestige in two decades. Sociologists call this phenomenon “status degradation.” It happened to these homemakers through no fault of their own. As the paid labor force offered urban, educated women attractive options the more rural, less-educated women round the world judged the traditional job of homemaking less attractive. Middle-class women who chose to stay in the home began to feel déclassé. Women’s magazines began to print outraged letters from homemakers who now found that they had to describe themselves as ‘only’ a housewife, not only to men but to other women.”[4]

On top of the status degradation of the housewife’s role, feminists forced other pressures onto women to abandon homemaking. The housewife started to be seen as a “deadbeat.” Indeed, still today mothers who aren’t financially responsible for the family are seen as “deadbeats.” This is how feminists wanted women who were not in the workforce to be seen. From the traditional perspective, however, the only “deadbeat” wife or mother is the one who is not in the home caring for her young children. The only “deadbeat” mom, from the traditional point of view, is the one who IS in the workforce. But, of course, to feminists, the paycheck is all that matters. The very thrust of the woman’s movement was to flush women out of the home and into the workforce as full time homemaking was incompatible with the movement.

“…The very existence of full-time homemakers was incompatible with many goals of the women’s movement, like the equal sharing of political and economic power. Women can never hold half the economically and politically powerful positions in the country if a greater proportion of women than men withdraw from competition for those positions. More important, if even 10 percent of American women remain full-time homemakers, this will reinforce traditional views of what women ought to do and encourage other women to become full-time homemakers at least while their children are very young…Thus the more full-time homemakers there are, the harder it will be to break traditional expectations that homemaking ought to be a woman’s career. This means that no matter how any individual feminist might feel about child care and housework, the movement as a whole had reasons to discourage full-time homemaking.”[5]

The period after the 1970s marked the decline in men’s wages. This too was deliberate and the intended outcome. Most protective legislation for women did not discriminate against women. But in the area of pay discrimination against women was necessary to protect wives and mothers from the harsh necessity of wage work. Unequal pay for equal work was necessary. Many women who would be shocked to work for anything less than equal pay to a man simply do not realize that, even though women now make more to the dollar than their grandmothers did, they are not keeping any more of that paycheck. The few extra cents to a dollar that women are making as the result of the feminist movement are simply going to pay for women’s newfound financial obligations in the family and to supplement her husband’s diminished paycheck. There has been nothing tangible gained for women when everything is added up. Feminists campaigned against protective legislation for women. They saw it as “sexist” and campaigned that protective legislation was simply designed to keep women “oppressed.”

Moreover, “no-fault” divorce legislation ripped away the economic security that housewives once enjoyed- financial security in their marriages that made it safe for a woman to stay in the home with her children and now women are held women equally financially responsible at divorce. Being a homemaker is a risky endeavor for a woman, as the new divorce laws made very clear:

“The economic messages of the new law are clear: it no longer ‘pays’ to invest in the marital partnership- to be a faithful breadwinner or a devoted homemaker. Ones economic ‘take’ from the marriage will be the same no matter what one has done.” [6]

Of course, feminists like Weitzman believe women’s newfound economic predicaments as the result of the new divorce laws are simply because women have not reached “full equality” yet, or the courts are not treating women “equally” yet. But it is the very essence of gender equality in our law codes that is causing women hardships and scaring them and shaming them out of the housewife’s role. Moreover, the mass media creates the image that, in order to be successful, a woman must have a full-time career and a fancy college degree. Also, modern women are pressured and made to believe that if they do not use their college degree for something “worthwhile” (ie., a fancy career outside of the home) then they are wasting their knowledge away and being unproductive.

“The female role models held up for veneration and imitation by the popular media are almost exclusively highly educated, independent, career women. Bucking the trend to devote oneself exclusively to home and family today requires extraordinary self-confidence and fortitude on the part of young women who must be prepared to endure both the censure of their culture and the disapproval of their peers. It is no wonder that most college women pursue a course of study that will put them firmly on the full-time career path when they graduate; they are simply following their culture’s prescription for success and acceptability. And since no-fault divorce, by undermining all claims of a wife to her husband’s income, has eliminated the economic security that marriage provided for women in our society, it is hard to blame young women for hedging their bets by setting out on the career path sooner rather than later.”[7]

Thus, it is not the economy that has forced women into the workforce. It was a deliberate attempt by the leaders and those who funded the women’s liberation movement to get and keep women in the workforce. Traditional divorce law protected women by ensuring her support from her ex-husband (providing she was not at fault) until she at least married another man who would become responsible for her support and almost all states protected the family home so that the mother could live there to raise her children at least when they were young. But, to feminists, this was holding women back so protective legislation had to go.

“The protections the law once afforded to women who made economic sacrifices for their families no longer exist. They were abolished when we rewrote the divorce law in the name of equality. When a marriage breaks up, as two out of five marriages now do, a wife will seldom be entitled to alimony, no matter how much less she may earn than her ex-husband. In the 1970s, feminists campaigned against alimony on the explicit grounds that its elimination would flush women out of the home and into the workforce, where they belonged…A divorced couple usually sells its home and divides to proceeds, after which the woman survives on what she can earn- not much if she’s getting on in years and has been out of the workforce for any significant amount of time.” [8]

To drive home the main point, the economy did not flush women out of the home, but the feminist movement did. This was to ensure that women did not depend upon men but instead became self-sufficient. There is nothing that women have gained from the modern feminist movement (1960s- present). Women have been the losers. Women, by nature of our biology, are different from men. We have different needs and different vulnerabilities and burdens to bear than do men. Our laws used to understand this. But now feminists have forced women into the workforce and left women vulnerable by knocking down protective legislation for women. Women’s problem today is not that we are not treated as equal to men, but that we are.

“The political rights of citizens are not properly dependent upon sex, but social and domestic relations and industrial activities are… Women cannot be made men by act of the legislature or by amendment to the Federal Constitution. The inherent differences are permanent. Women will always need many laws different than those needed by men.” [9]

As a final point, many women have learned that a second income is not all it is cracked up to be. Oftentimes, the woman keeps very little of that second income when all expenses are added up. In one conversation I had with a woman she confessed that when her and her husband added it all up, she found she was literally working for about a dollar an hour. Moreover, a woman can save a lot of money by doing things more old-fashioned around the house. She would not have the time to do all of this if she were working full time. When there are young children involved, it does not pay for a woman to be in the workforce. But, rather, the economic advantage is greater if she is at home (unless she makes a six-figure salary, which most women do not).

“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.”[10]

 

Notes:
[1] Roberton, B.C., “Forced Labor: What’s Wrong With Balancing Work and Family,” p. 63. Spence, 2003.
[2] http://www.freeby50.com/2010/10/historical-look-at-womens-participation.html
[3] Graglia, F.C., “Domestic Tranquility: A Brief Against Feminism,” p. 72. Spence, 1998.
[4] Mansbridge, J.J. “Why We Lost the ERA,” p. 105; 107-108. University of Chicago Press, 1986.
[5] ibid., p. 99-100
[6] Weitzman, L.J., “The Divorce Revolution: The Unexpected Social and Economic Consequences for Women and Children in America,” p. 30. The Free Press, 1987.
[7] “Forced Labor,” p. 38-39.
[8] Crittenden, D., “What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman,” p. 98-99. Touchstone, 1999.
[9] “Forced Labor,” p. 60.
[10] http://www.nationalreview.com/home-front/295943/feminist-war-women/suzanne-venker#

© 2013 What’s Wrong With Equal Rights. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.

Feminists Believe They Are Still Neccesary, Because the Traditional Woman Still Exists

So, a feminist came to our page today and told us this:

The feminist goal was to eliminate marriage and motherhood as a career option for women. They have done an excellent job so far, as most married women have now entered the work force at least part-time and the surge of women entering the workforce (by both the legal and cultural revolutions brought about by feminism) has made the two-income family the norm and inflation soars as a result. But, as long as women are still traditional and dependent upon their husbands they believe their work is not done.

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“No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”– Simone de Beauvoir

“Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession… The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn’t be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that.” ~ Vivian Gornick, University of Illinois, “The Daily Illini,” April 25, 1981.

“Feminism was profoundly opposed to traditional conceptions of how families should be organized, [since] the very existence of full-time homemakers was incompatible with the women’s movement…. [I]f even 10 percent of American women remain full-time homemakers, this will reinforce traditional views of what women ought to do and encourage other women to become full-time homemakers at least while their children are very young…. If women disproportionately take time off from their careers to have children, or if they work less hard than men at their careers while their children are young, this will put them at a competitive disadvantage vis-a-vis men, particularly men whose wives do all the homemaking and child care…. This means that no matter how any individual feminist might feel about child care and housework, the movement as a whole had reasons to discourage full-time homemaking.” ~ Jane J. Mansbridge, Why We Lost the ERA, 1986.

” The chief thing is to get women to take part in socially productive labor, to liberate them from ‘domestic slavery,’ to free them from their stupefying and humiliating subjugation to the eternal drudgery of the kitchen and the nursery. This struggle will be a long one, and it demands a radical reconstruction, both of social technique and of morale. But it will end in the complete triumph of Communism.” ~ V.I. Lenin, International Working Women’s Day Speech , 1920.

Notes:
http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/LAF_Theme_Articles_13/You_Don_t_Know_Feminism_744_printer.shtml

 

© 2012 What’s Wrong With Equal Rights. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited.