Sister, Where Art Thou? A New Feminism

Discussion in 'Health and Lifestyle' started by PoliticalChic, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. PoliticalChic

    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

    Oct 6, 2008
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    A great deal of the following is based on an address by Professor Harvey C. Mansfield, of Harvard at Hillsdale College, May 2006.

    1. Feminism arose in 1963 as a result of Betty Friedan’s book, “The Feminine Mystique,” and was basically in opposition to femininity, rather than manliness. Femininity, it seems, was the feminine mystique that had been imposed on women by men in order to subordinate women, to enslave them; women were set on a pedestal to be admired, but essentially it disabled them, making them passive and subservient to their husbands and their families.

    2. The feminists of the 60’s and 70’s were hostile to manliness, seen as an attempt to exclude women, but not necessarily to the qualities of manliness. “Male chauvinist pigs” wanted to keep manliness to themselves, sexists for believing that only males can be men!

    3. Even earlier, Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex,” in 1949, had argued that women were not different from men by nature, but, instead, by history, by oppression by men. Beauvoir states that manliness provides a better life than femininity, and, since women are perfectly capable of manliness, the name should not be reserved for just one sex: society should be gender-neutral. Thus, feminism destroyed femininity.

    4. Hollywood reinforced these images, with women as ‘hit men,’ and in men’s occupations. But this forced a dilemma: feminists denounced men’s passion for competition and war, but could not announce that women were unsuited for same. And while women have shown themselves capable in careers formerly closed to them, in some ways seem no longer able to enjoy the pleasures of being a woman.

    5. Women today search for identity, buffeted by the currents and winds of social pressure. Formerly society recognized the differences between the sexes, and with laws and customs, accentuated those differences. Now, society recognizes similarities and accentuates them. Whereas before women were held back from careers, now they are pushed further than they may want to go.

    6. Women need a new identity today, one which allows us to align both aspects of our personality, feminism and femininity. “…as neuroscientists and geneticists piece together the human brain’s evolution, it’s becoming clear that, if it’s natural for a woman to go crazy over her babies, it’s also natural for a woman to run the State Department. The same human female brain that’s primed with oxytocin is, like the male brain, a fantastically complex machine, capable of reasoning, innovative problem solving, and maneuvering through hugely varied social environments—whether the PTA, a corporate headquarters, or Congress.” Femina Sapiens in the Nursery by Kay S. Hymowitz, City Journal Autumn 2009

    7. Begin by abandoning Beauvoir’s injunction to seek independence or autonomy, as these translate to mean separation from one’s husband and children. And the same should be done with Beauvoir’s denial that there was any natural or essential difference between men and women. The belief that essential differences do exist is a sin called essentialism; to live one’s life by this credo flies in the face of common sense.

    8. A dubious feature of present-day feminism is an obsession with sex, as the birth of the movement coincided with another movement, sexual liberation- the result, a kind of cross-pollination. Beauvoir-feminists decided that autonomy for women required them to be as promiscuous as the most predatory men. Rather than trying to obviate the traditional double-standard, by elevating the standard for men, feminists proposed lowering the standard for women. The result? No standards.

    a. Disadvantages for women include getting pregnant, contracting sexually-transmitted disease more readily and more seriously than men, and suffer more heartache, as men seem to have a greater abandonment and exit strategy than women.

    b. “The absent father stands alone as the most reliable predictor of social and psychological trouble. Research by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that annual household income is below $30,000 for 65 percent of children in single-mother families, compared with 15 percent of children in two-parent families. Children raised in homes without fathers are more likely to run away, commit suicide, use drugs, be arrested, and engage in a host of other unfortunate—and sometimes deadly—behaviors.” Three Proposals on the Black Family by Peter Cove, City Journal 20 November 2009

    c. It may be time to recover women’s modesty as a virtue. The moral authority of women should serve as a counterweight to the physical superiority of men.

    9. The problem facing a new feminism is how to combine home and career. The only solution proposed by feminism is government-funded day care, the premise being that work comes first. Women who say they “want it all,” mean that both come first. Unfortunately, the two require completely different attitudes: to be successful at work, a woman must have a man’s ability to concentrate and to set aside distractions. But to be a good mother, a woman must be open to distraction and welcome the distractions of a child who believes he is entitled to 100% of her time.

    a. Perhaps utopian equality between the sexes is impossible. Perhaps women’s happiness is promoted by a partial return to gender expectations of the past, with social conventions that give guidance in general but permit exceptions, and encourage negotiations for different circumstances.

    10. Finally, a new feminism should have less of a political component, and end the mantra that ‘the personal is the political.’ Feminism today is often a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party. Having grown up with a priority of being accepted by the group, fearing being ‘different,’ many women accept the voice of the (mainly Democrat) mainstream feminist movement of America, and deviate not an iota from its orthodoxy. The same party that claims to stand for diversity and tolerance is totally intolerant to ‘difference.’

    a.This rigid intolerance as exercised by the movement, unfortunately, has driven away women who choose motherhood over high-powered careers, women who are American patriots, many religious women, women who do not identify themselves primarily in terms of sexual preference, and women who oppose abortion, pornography and prostitution. The outside-the-mainstream feminists hold abolitionist views about pornography, prostitution, trafficking, and sexual slavery; viewing freedom as a universal value; in short, are conservative.

    b. Mainstream Western feminism is politically-correct left-dominated liberalism, postcolonial, anti-imperialist feminism, which has denounced America’s vision of freedom and democracy for the women of Moslem countries. One must be reflexively opposed to religion. One must not be opposed to pornography or prostitution, as it offends many gays, and threatens some views of sexual privacy and access. The left claims the usual laundry list of offenses attributable to the right, including : forcing people into gender roles, obstructing the use of alternative energy, increasing the fear of immigrants and aliens, denying adequate health care coverage, promoting a military policy that denies equal rights for sexual minorities.

    While there is nothing wrong with raising concerns, where is the indication that the problems are a) due to the right, or b) not equally the result of policies of both parties.? (“The Death of Feminism,” by Phyllis Chesler)
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  2. uscitizen

    uscitizen Senior Member

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  3. Sunni Man

    Sunni Man Diamond Member

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    In my opinion, like her or not, Sarah Palin is an excellent example of a woman who achieved the orginal ideals of feminism.

    She is a self made woman who, married, had a career, and raised a family, on her own terms.

    But the radical feminists basically ignored her achievments, and in fact attacked her, because she didn't follow their ultra liberal agenda.

    The feminist leaders today, most of whom are lesbians, hate heterosexual marriage and everything associated with it.

    Thus Palin, who should be the poster woman for feminism, is vilified by those who claim to speak for all women.
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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009

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