New study by some ivory tower eggheads at the University of California, Berkeley! I know, I know! You’re so excited already! Researchers have noted that when women have decision-making power at home, they no longer give a rat’s ass about gaining power at work. It seems that women, especially mothers, are intensely satisfied when they have the power to determine how their homes run, how their children are raised and what the family will be having for dinner. Some women, get this, DON’T WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME AT ALL!
No seriously. Apparently, there are adult, grown-up women who find sufficient meaning in caring for their families that they don’t spend one single second of their lives in a cubicle shuffling paper for cold hard cash.
And that right there? That’s a disaster. Women who are satisfied by simply caring for their families are a national security threat. The productivity of the nation is at stake here, people! There are still men in power! Men control the upper echelons of management in the workplace, because those stupid women are all “what shall I make for dinner and I hope Henry knows where his ballet shoes are for practice tonight”. The wage gap? That’s because women are happy taking care of their families and don’t want to play cut throat at work.
Well, we can’t have that. Men, it’s time to get on those rubber gloves! It doesn’t matter what makes your wife happy. That is irrelevant. You need to drag that women out of the kitchen and send her back to work, no matter how much she protests. This is about EQUALITY. Happiness? That’s for oppressed victims of the patriarchy.
This is Caitlin Moran. Shut up! She’s cute!
Caitlin wrote a book called “How to Be a Woman”, and in it, she asks “what part of feminism is not for you?”. And I don’t think she was joking. Actually, I’m pretty sure she wasn’t.
Allow me to answer that question: THIS, Caitlin. This part of feminism is not for me. The part that says I have no CHOICE but to measure my value in terms of money. That my happiness does NOT MATTER. And it’s not a new idea. The grandmother of modern feminism, Simone de Beauvoir said essentially the same thing:
“No woman should be authorized to stay at home and raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”
“A parasite sucking out the living strength of another organism…the [housewife's] labor does not even tend toward the creation of anything durable…. [W]oman’s work within the home [is] not directly useful to society, produces nothing. [The housewife] is subordinate, secondary, parasitic. It is for their common welfare that the situation must be altered by prohibiting marriage as a ‘career’ for woman.” – “Sex, Society, and the Female Dilemma,” Saturday Review, June 14, 1975.
This version of feminism explicitly acknowledges that women WANT to be at home, raising the children she has with a MAN (children do not belong to women, Simone), and sets forth an agenda to deny women what they want. Let’s give women no CHOICE in this matter, because ….
Why again? Oh yeah. The childless, unmarried spinster who chased her lover (who refused to marry her) around the planet and died alone DOESN’T LIKE IT. Well, pardon me, Simone, but I don’t give a fuck what you like.
It wasn’t always like that. The women who led the early suffrage movements were all maternal feminists. They wanted women to have the vote because as the mothers of the nation, they had a vested interest in how that nation was run.
A woman’s place is in the home; and out of it whenever she is called to guard those she loves and to improve conditions for them – Nellie McClung, Canadian feminist (1915)
The maternal feminists saw no conflict between women’s WORK in the home and a role in public life. “They saw their maternal responsibility for children as the motivating force behind their reforming zeal. Motherhood became more than a biological, but a social function, which, if re-invigorated, could serve as a buttress against destabilizing social forces.”
So what happened? Well, spoiled, pampered little middle class housewife Betty Freidan decided she was “oppressed” by her life of epic drudgery. She had a “problem with no name”. Then along came the single, carefree ladies like Gloria and Germaine and Helen Gurley Brown to proclaim that shit you can buy is way more important than children will ever be. Of course, Gloria married, Germaine spent a fortune trying to have a baby long after the horse had left the barn and Helen, well, Helen can claim the triumph of convincing an entire generation of women that slutting it up was a meaningful way to live.
I’ve been a housewife, oh sorry, parasite, for over ten years now, and I am so sick of hearing about how my life is invalid and stupid and worthless. I have the qualifications to earn $100 000/year. Being at home has cost my family more than a million dollars in unearned income.
One. Million. Dollars.
You know what that means? Absolutely nothing. What is the value of a happy family? What price can you put on a life filled with daily joy? How much are happy, stable, well-adjusted children worth?
I’m the CEO of my own life. The architect of my own happiness. The master of my fate. The captain of my soul. And that’s not because some progressive social movement came along and made it all possible. Quite the opposite. I shouldn’t have that control and power over my own life at all, according to the lovely ladies of Second Wave Feminism.
The truth is I have the choice to forgo slogging it out in the “real world” because I have a man who gives me that choice. My life rests on a foundation that he has laid. Together, we have it all.
There is no promotion in the world that could possibly mean more than that. Turns out that most women feel just the same. But they have been lied to, grievously. Feminism peddles a story that being fulfilled by caring for others (unless done for cash) is a problem that needs to be fixed. Older women have lied to younger women, and encouraged them to make the kinds of choices in life that ironically, give you no choices at all. Go to college, borrow money, acquire skills, get a job, start repaying that debt, be single, be a slut, and if you DO have a husband and children, don’t ever make them a priority, even if that’s what you want most in life.
Get out of the kitchen, ladies. Leave those children alone. There are promotions and power to be had at work, and that is the only thing that matters.
Except that it’s not. It never has been. What women need is NOT more money and more ambition and more power. We need to build a world in which women DO have the choice to be at home. We need a society that RESPECTS and HONORS what makes women happy. And we need a cultural change that teaches women that being at home, raising children and caring for a family is a wonderful way to live. But it’s not free.
We’ll deal with that tomorrow. For now, a shout out to the ladies who are happy being CEO at home. Forget about that corner office. Leave it to the guy with a wife and kids at home. And cut out early today. You need to find those ballet shoes!
Lots of love,