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.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.