What actually remains of the “Feminine Mystique”?
I have decided to finally read what is widely regarded as the literary work that unleashed the modern feminist movement, Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique.”
I am halfway through the book, and I find it to be a well-written cri de coeur (cry from the heart). Historically speaking, there was always much to lament regarding the status of women. Though I have none of the contempt Friedan has for “housewifery,” her description of women who felt they had no sense of self because they were only someone’s wife and some children’s mother is emotionally compelling.
But a big and troubling thought hit me while reading the book. In the 56 years since “The Feminine Mystique” was published, every complaint Friedan made regarding the situation of the American woman has been addressed. Few American women are forced into “housewifery.” The few women who choose to place marriage and home over career have truly chosen to do so; it is the rare young woman for whom marriage and family are greater goals than a successful career. Nor do women any longer go from high school to the wedding chapel. They go from high school to college and often graduate school. In fact, far more women go to college than men.
Yet, if you were to listen to many American women today, you would think nothing has improved. Every women’s group and millions of individual women say women are “oppressed” despite the fact that virtually nothing remains of the “feminine mystique” described by Friedan.
In January 2017, between 3 and 5 million American women took part in the Women’s March, widely regarded as the largest number of Americans to participate in a single-day march in the nation’s history. A year later, millions of American women again participated in the Women’s March in marches around the country.
Feminist groups describe the state of American women in dire terms. Young middle-class and upper-class women, many attending the most expensive universities — paid for by their parents — are among the greatest malcontents in American life.
In fact, women today, including young women, who lead lives the very opposite of those described in “The Feminine Mystique,” are about twice as likely to be depressed as men. And that statistic is true for women across all economic, racial and ethnic groups.
So, then, what was my big and troubling thought?
If women are as likely — perhaps more likely — to complain about being oppressed today when they aren’t oppressed as they did when they were oppressed, and if women today are nearly twice as likely as men to be depressed, and if women at elite colleges — where they are pampered and more assured a financially successful future than most men living now or who lived in the past — are particularly angry and malcontented, simple logic suggests two choices: Either women remain as oppressed as in the past, or women tend to be malcontents.
Given that the reality is that American women — especially the ones who do the most complaining — are not oppressed, we are left to conclude that the female of the human species may tend toward being malcontents. The simple-minded will respond to this exactly as they were indoctrinated to respond — not by asking, “Is it true?” but by accusing the person who offers this suggestion of sexism and misogyny.
So, allow me to respond in advance: This is no more an attack on women than describing men’s nature as aggressive is an attack on men. Each sex has built-in issues that an individual has to overcome in order to develop into a mature and good person. Men have to deal with aggression and the sexual predatory aspect of male nature in order to develop into mature and good men. Women have to overcome the power of their emotions and their chronic malcontentedness in order to mature into good women. But in our disordered society — a society that has rejected wisdom — in raising their children, two generations of Americans have told only their sons, not their daughters, that they had to fight their nature. The feminization of society has brought with it the destructive notion that only males have to suppress their nature. Feminists really believe females are superior, so why would women have to fight any aspect of their inherently beautiful nature?
Finally, this helps explain why one would consider the left feminine and the right masculine. Though life in America is a blessing for the vast majority of its citizens, the left constantly complains about America. Indeed, the better America gets, the louder the left’s complaints about America — about its racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, xenophobia, inequality, systemic bias, etc. The right, on the other hand, regards life’s difficulties as inherent to life, not inherent to America’s flaws, and doesn’t much complain. Like men, conservatives complain less than liberals. And just as male and female feminists demand that American men complain more — that their lack of complaining is a form of “toxic masculinity” — the American left demands that Americans complain more.
All these women’s marches and angry women at colleges probably tell us more about women’s nature than about American sexism.
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.