In many ways, “Women’s Lib” has proven the opposite of liberating

Since “International Women’s Day” was yesterday, I thought I would post something about it today, in keeping with my theme of being right on the cutting edge of late news. And, since my Beautiful Wife is still out of town, I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and I have to leave town in a handful of hours, I’m going to keep my part of the post brief.

Women's Lib hasn't necessarily been very liberating...

James Taranto, editorial columnist for the Wall Street Journal and author of its daily Best of the Web Today feature (frequently referenced by this blogger), though not a die hard Santorum supporter, has been very convincingly defending the candidate’s comments that the fruit of feminism and sexual liberty has had some seriously negative effects on women that go generally unrecognized. He has highlighted the conclusions of others  that the “rise” of women has meant the “decline” of men and that the consequences of this have not been all positive as they are often painted.

Yesterday, perhaps in honor of “International Women’s Day” (unlike me, he is not late), he titled the BOTW feature, “The Unchained Woman,” commenting in the blurb under the title, “What used to be a normal family life is now available only to the affluent.” Though I rarely do this, the section is worth quoting here in full, though I hope you will read the entire feature (Taranto’s politics are clearly conservative-ish — it is the WSJ, after all — but his insight and wit is about as sharp as it gets; of course, caveat navita stans.). Here are his comments:

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Susanna Mancini, a 27-year-old lawyer, sent her boyfriend a photo of herself wearing a swimsuit and sunglasses. “Too bad you can’t see my eyes,” she wrote him. “I am so proud of my tough yuppie stare!” And one tough yuppie she was, Reuters reports: “Her professional pride propelled her early career as a lawyer. She was successful and well paid for it.”

That was the late 1980s. Mancini, now 50, married the boyfriend (whom the story never names) and bore him two children. “She kept working when her first child was born and was promoted to a more senior position in Citibank after her second child arrived.”

Eventually, however, her career “succumbed,” as Reuters oddly puts it. In truth, this is no tragedy but a hypergamous happy ending. Mancini left the labor force because her husband was doing so well that he could afford to support the whole family: “She quit in 2005 when her six-digit income was overtaken by his seven-digit one.”

For Mancini, it was a liberation. She tells the wire service: “At that point, it was clear that my wage had become family pocket money. There was a real opportunity to do other things that did not require being chained to a desk.”

An increasing number of affluent women with affluent husbands are casting off the chains of professional work, according to a forthcoming Federal Reserve study that Reuters apparently obtained in advance:

It shows that between 1993 and 2006, there was a decline in the workforce of 0.1 percent a year on average in the number of college-educated women, with similarly educated spouses.

That contrasts with growth of 2.4 percent a year between 1976 and 1992.

The result: the labor force in 2008 had 1.64 million fewer such women than if the growth rate had kept up its earlier trend, slightly more than 1 percent of the total workforce in that year.

“The trend is not limited to top earners,” Reuters notes. “It has been detected among households earning around $80,000 per year.” But $80,000 goes a lot further in the middle of the country than it does in New York or San Francisco. A husband has to be fairly affluent for his wife to be able to afford to stay home: “Only a few households can afford to give up a good second income.”

For women with lower levels of education, the picture is markedly different, as Charles Murray shows in “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.” One-income households have become common at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum as well–but because women are less likely to be married at all, while men are less likely to be in the labor force.

Marriage and male responsibility for families were once the norm at all levels of American society. Feminism was supposed to liberate women from dependency on men. Instead it has helped to create a two-tiered culture in which the norm is for women to be “chained to a desk,” but those who hit the jackpot in the mating game can realistically aspire to escape that status. Nice going, ladies. Happy International Women’s Day.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

[OK, Taranto time over; back to me.] I wouldn’t agree that what used to be a “normal family life” with husband working and wife being a keeper at home is “available only to the affluent.” Though it was financially easier on an actuarial salary, my family and I manage to enable my Beautiful Wife to be home and I would hardly call us “affluent.” At the same time, the direction we, as a culture, have taken our society has made it much more difficult for families to do the same, and that is a shame.

The “lib” part of “Women’s Lib” is supposed to stand for “liberation,” but it’s sad that in many ways it has produced the opposite.

11 thoughts on “In many ways, “Women’s Lib” has proven the opposite of liberating

  1. So very true! The campaign to ” free ” women championed by the Women’s Liberation Movement resulted in their economic captivity just as the fight for supposed sexual liberation brought into enslavement another type of sexual exploitation of different type to that which they were alleged to have been subject when morality was the norm rather than the exception. But on the economic side I know young married couples who are struggling to makes ends meet even though both husband and wife are working. They are virtual slaves and will be working all their lives trying to pay off the mortgages and feed, clothe, educate and take care of their children. Their children are sent to creches while they work and the children are often to the various influences ” strangers ” will bring to bear on their daytime experiences. Attitudes to religion, social behaviour – even, perhaps, exposed to anti-male opinions some of the creche employees may hold – even subject to values alien to those of the parents. Through the Women’s Liberation Movement Satan has sabotaged the family unit in multiple ways and society at large worldwide is suffering the consequences. Thank God that the end of this age is in sight, the god of this world will be overthrown, true values will be taught and the family will be rescued from destructive theories and practices.

  2. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    By the way, yesterday was also Purim (today is Shushan Purim). Take the coincidence with the story (in the Book of Esther) of the right woman with the right way of relating to God and other people at the right place at the right time… as you will. 😀

  3. Norbert

    I was able to listen to an old CBC debate on the subject that was rebroadcast on that day. It was recorded sometime after WWII on an Army base when women had given back their jobs for the soldiers that returned. There was a panel of four women and one man who handled the subject in an intelligent, witty and the odd time intelligently humorous manner.

    What struck me was not any one point, there is no new thing under the sun. It was the tone of all of them, whether they were pro or con about how women should earn their living (Pr 31:24). They all understood they had a responsiblity and duty to their country about the matter, rather than an ‘all about me’ and ‘my rights’ reasoning about the subject.

  4. And it is what it is or so they say. Isn’t that destruction of the mother, father, family style of life just what Satan wants.
    As a female I find the desires they had in the beginning of there efforts to liberate the woman more selfish than they could have ever been helpful. It is a sign of the end, just as much as the gay marriages are . Satan wants to destroy as much as he can before his time is over. What better way did he have than to take the mother out of the home and basically let the children raise themselves, look at the fruit of that one.
    The marriages of the same sex is the step that actually eventually wipes out the family process completely.
    They can’t have children, abortion wipes out unwanted pregancies so again Satan has a plan to bring humanity to total destruction.
    I personally am grateful God has a plan and part of that is to take Satan completely out of the picture.

  5. Being a paid minister is relatively affluent by the standards of our present society. I mean, I’m guessing that with salary and benefits that you’re at least in the equivalent of 60-80K annual salary, once taxes are taken into account, and that’s affluent enough for your wife to be able to stay home even if I’d venture to say that you’re probably “middle class.” Oftentimes freedom is not what we expect it to be. It is marriage that raises women from the status of property or occasional flings to an equal party in a parity covenant with God, but for more than a century the cultural elite has been hostile to marriage as slavery. We should expect nothing else from the father of lies.

  6. Greetings, Mr. Bright! It would be inappropriate for me to comment on actual figures, so I’ll hold myself back. But let me say that “middle-middle class” is probably a good description. Though “affluent” is a term with fuzzy boundaries, according to the statistics that I have access to we don’t lie within those boundaries, fuzzy or not. But it is all relative, including affluence, and middle-middle class would be a dream for very many Americans, to be sure.

    And without quibbling over details, I appreciate your comment about what marriage should be able to do for a woman. Godly marriage, today, is seen by culture-makers as a tool of oppression against women as opposed to an embracing of an opportunity to be “heirs together” with someone. That throwing out marriage is now seen by many as achieving true “equality” and “freedom” for women is, indeed, a success for the devil. Good call.

  7. Traditional families aren’t necessarily confined to the affluent. I know several working class families who practice traditional roles. Then again, I know of some families where both parents ‘have to’ work, just to keep a roof over their heads.

    (And my apology to stay at home Moms. If anybody thinks being a full time housewife isn’t a real job, then they’re in for a big surprise).

    The question I’d like to ask? How much poverty has the destruction of the family caused? How many children live in poverty as a direct result of easy divorce and the sexual revolution? And how many societal problems does it cause beyond (or in additional to) economic status?

  8. Christine Featherston, I read and shared this powerful and illuminating article on Facebook. A few friends of mine – friends in the world and on FB – would be in favour of the militant feminist agenda. So far they haven’t responded and perhaps they are ignoring it as it may not fit in to their mind-set. These same friends – just two – reacted negatively to anti-evolution things I’ve posted, but as they are not receptive to what someone who believes our Creator God made all that was made I have not engaged them in discussing the matter. However my feelings toward them are of Christian love and friendship even though my female friend is a lesbian and has had two children through having sexual relations and my male friend is at best an agnostic, but perhaps veering toward being an atheist. I have concluded it would be futile to try and discuss the pros and cons of these matters with them since neither is open to persuasion.

  9. Patsy Cordery

    I want to receive your posts via Email, but there is no way to do this on your site other than this way. You say in your FAQ’s that if I click subscribe I can enter my Email address and receive your posts, but it is not as easy as that. Please check this out as I do not want to subscribe by RSS, or Bookmarks. Please add me to your ‘Post’ list.

    Thanks.

    Patsy Cordery

  10. Howdy, Ms. Cordery! Well, I’m glad that you are interested in following the posts here!

    I had to look into how the e-mail subscriptions work, because, to be honest, I didn’t know! And here’s how it is done.

    For readers who are not WordPress users, themselves, a little tab should show up on the bottom right edge of your screen whenever you come to this website. It should say “Follow” and have a little plus sign on the left of the word. If you click on that tab, it will ask for your e-mail address and then you will be sent a confirmation e-mail.

    I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more trouble.

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