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.
Netanyahu’s support for the settlement enterprise, is believed to have been reigned by former democratic US president Barack Obama who was in office from January 2009 to January 2017.
A man photographs a woman as she stands next to a mural depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and Is
Spending on West Bank settlements spiked by 39% in 2017, the first year US President Donald Trump was in office, the left-wing group Peace Now reported on Tuesday.
Weekend work permits for Eurovision complicate Netanyahu’s coalition bargaining with ultra-Orthodox parties
Israeli singer and past Eurovision winner Dana International at the Orange Carpet event in Tel Aviv, May 13, 2019.
Israeli singer and past Eurovision winner Dana International at the Orange Carpet event in Tel Aviv, May 13, 2019.Tomer Appelbaum
Seeking to quell ultra-Orthodox anger over holding the Eurovision Song Contest’s final in Tel Aviv on Saturday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday it was an “individual international event” not sponsored by the state, and that the government doesn’t want to violate the Sabbath.
French Holocaust denier Alain Soral. Photo: Egalite et Réconciliation.
The mayor of one of southern France’s most picturesque towns expressed fury on Tuesday after learning that a group of right-wing activists and conspiracy theorists — including convicted Holocaust denier Alain Soral — were planning to hold a “summer school” there at the end of August.
“I say it clearly, Soral is not welcome here,” Alexandre Reynal — mayor of the town of Amelie-les-Bain in the spectacular Pyrénées-Orientales region — told a local news outlet on Tuesday.
I urge all visitors to join me in a conspiracy to violate the UN Security Council Resolution…Obama, himself, engineered the Resolution. He pushed it through the Security Council despite some reservations by other members, including Egypt, which believed that the Resolution itself could become a barrier to a negotiated two-state solution. After all, if Israel’s control over Judaism’s holiest site is deemed illegal, then Israel would have to negotiate its legality with the Palestinians.
The ruling Law and Justice Party views Poland as a victim of World War II, and that therefore Poland should not be required to pay damages to other victims.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reacts after receiving his nomination during a government s
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reacts after receiving his nomination during a government swearing-in ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, December 11, 2017..
Only three-quarters of a century after Der Stürmer incentivized the mass murder of Jews by dehumanizing them, we see a revival of such bigoted caricatures.
I do not believe in free speech for me, but not for thee. But I do believe in condemning those who hide behind the First Amendment to express anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, homophobic, sexist or racist views.
One of the most influential newspapers in the world, the Jewish-owned New York Times decided to present the Jews with a gift in honor of the last day of Passover – a major Jewish holiday – an antisemitic caricature. The controversial cartoon shows US President Donald Trump as a blind man with a skullcap on his head, being led by a dog that looks like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And to make sure the reader knows it is indeed the Israeli premier, the dog has a Star of David dangling from its collar.
Last week, Jared Kushner, one of the administration’s point men on the Middle East, dispensed with the term “two-state solution” in its impending peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians. “The two-state solution has failed,” he said.
The “two-state solution” does not appear in the 1993 Oslo Accords, which called only for “interim self-government” for the Palestinians. The goal was a negotiated final status agreement, in which independence was not specified.
Religious fervor always picks up before the Jewish holidays. Not surprisingly, Israeli undercover police arrested Jewish activists from the Hozrim L’Har (Returning to the Mount) organization early Friday afternoon, just before the onset of the Passover holiday, after an apparent attempt to bring a young goat on to the Temple Mount for a self-proclaimed sacrificial rite. Indeed, this drama plays itself out every year, but according to Jerusalem police, this year a record of at least twelve members of the organization were arrested throughout the course of the day on counts of disturbing the peace.
Every year when Passover eve arrives, I do my best not to think about that night; to allow the joy of cherished rituals meant to renew our family’s tribal history and faith envelop us in its warm glow as whoever among the kids and grandkids it’s our turn to host partake of the matzoh, bitter herbs, and wine. Often – actually most often – I succeed.