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"The Flipside of Feminism"

 
 
Pemerson
 
  3  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 06:45 pm
This is just so much bullshit. These women write their books, but most women I know are living their lives without checking out how exactly they're doing it.

Women today can be and become who they want to be - a woman at home with kids, a woman working with kids cared for by others, a woman caring for kids but also attending college, to be whatever, or a woman working with the dad caring for the kids.

What is the problem here? During the 50s, 60s, women were goddam tired of childcare, seeing their mothers miserable from never having worked at all, seeing their's or friend's husbands take off with their secretaries (they seemed more interesting) or someone younger. What the hell do you think women should have done? So, precisely what should have happened, happened. It's done already.

When we women first began working we wore women's 'pant suits,' or steel grey skirt suits with the ruffled blouse. The men hated it. Now, working women of all kind appear very feminine, even sexy, wear hair pieces or wigs, 4" heels, the very limit of feminine. Surprisingly, they are very powerful in this extreme get-up, the Botox, etc. But, like I just said, it gives them power to appear feminine. Nobody wants them back home cooking & cleaning.

Women have it all. Even Chinese women are pretty much getting-it-all, though their work seems so much drudgery now. They're working. Don't think for a moment middle eastern women won't begin to change. Because, you see, it is the women who must take the initiative.


The jokes' on someone, but that sure ain't the women!

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 07:09 pm
@Pemerson,
I think we're near the same age, Pemerson, so on this kind of thing we can relate on what we've seen as years go by, though we don't have the same exact histories.

My own mother was a stay at home mother until all hell broke loose around the time I was getting out of high school, with my father in the throes of up and down work, progressively down. They sent me on a industrial picture shoot he was doing, undoubtedly to keep me out of the convent (I thank my lucky stars) and she took over my job at the hospital for the summer, then almost 40 hours a week (20-something in the school year). And that made her realize she could still work, though she was then 58. After I got back and went back to work again, she applied at the university, and got a clerical position there.

But... before all that, before I was born in late '41, she was in the thirties a secretary at RKO and Columbia studios and also worked as an assistant to a Beverly Hills decorator of that time, famous to me as Mister Tilden. Not sure in what order, and her working for Tilden might have been in the twenties. I've looked him up, no mention online that I could find). My aunt Nan worked at Disney's in the thirties. Nan also worked in later life, at Cal State Northridge. I've written about her before, as my hundred year old aunt. Fabulous woman, teacher on an island off of Washington state when she was nineteen (one room school house) around 1920 and employed in San Francisco in publishing not too long later.

Between the two of them, I think they influenced myself and my two closest cousins, both near my age, one now a psychologist and the other a CPA. My father advised me early that there was nothing I couldn't do. Bless'm both.

As an added comment, my father was good as a carpenter and mother interested in interior decorating, and they both pulled me around looking at houses for years (before finally buying both in Chicago and LA). I used to draw house plans at age eleven. Primitive house plans, but still - I shoulda paid attention and gone into architecture earlier than age 40.

I'm not going to read this whole thread. Seems like a dump.
Pemerson
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 07:40 pm
@ossobuco,
Oh, no, I'm so glad you wrote that. Thank you.

The thing is, women have never had a problem in the working world. I remember watching (very homely) Dorthey Fuldheim in what would have been yesterday's anchor woman during the 1960s. There have always been successful women doctors, lawyers, architects, etc. People just didn't notice because it was so natural to them.

Nobody told me anything, so my slate was whatever I wanted it to be. I didn't have anybody fill my head with what I should be, do, think. I love my life, I like thinking about it, and I own it. It has been great fun, and I have loved being a female too because nobody told me how one should be, or act, or think.

You had great parents. I'm happy your mother had experiences, opportunities. When you look at it all, it's as if we are all in the right place at the right time. I can't think any other way.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 07:43 pm
@Pemerson,
The women in my family routinely worked 100 hour weeks to make a better life for the family...there was an agreed division of labor with the men , they were not oppressed and disregarded and the feminists now tell the story...if they could come back I am sure that they would like to bash a few skulls of some bossy lying man hating bitches...
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 08:00 pm
@Pemerson,
I'll argue re opportunities - when I was premed and checked the MCAT book on med schools, a large majority admitted no women, and the rest, except for one in Pennsylvania that was only for women, admitted at most six out of a hundred, mostly one or two. That was the 1962 book, with all the US med schools and a number of others. I bet my bippy the women who got admitted had prominent md fathers and immaculate grades. That all changed circa '65, as I seem to remember it did re women and law schools.

Nan had a bump. Back when she worked in publishing in the twenties, she married the editor of a magazine called College Humor, no connection that I know of to the current website. He got tb, I think in the thirties, and went and died, and she was placed in a sanitarium in Arizona. So, not all easy.
Not that you said it was.

On the MCAT book, I wish I'd not tossed it. Figure it as a relic of a time.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 08:10 pm
@ossobuco,
That was all based on fear, probably of many sorts, but expressed as doubt that women would stay the course as doctors, since they were likely to bear children.

I went through that myself, re my catholic high school vocation days. The lectures went that the highest vocation was the convent; the next, marriage (obedience to husband, care of children), and being a single woman in the world.

I picked, quite unhappily, single woman in the world, since I wanted to be a doctor. Thus ripe for picking by the nuns, missionary order, who saw me as one of them. As we all know, I got over all that, but that stuff was a strong component of my high school teaching/missionary order's promulgation.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 12:22 am
@ossobuco,
I agree that opportunities, particularly to enter the professions, were much more limited for women prior to the 60's. Sure, there were female doctors and lawyers before that time, one female physician acquaintance of my family graduated from med school in the 1920's, but generally women were encouraged to go into nursing and not medicine. And, while female lawyers gradually grew in numbers in the first half of the 20th century, Harvard Law School didn't admit a woman until 1950.

There was no lack of working women, my grandmother worked and was the main support of the family, and my mother worked before she married and went back to work when she was in her late 40's and her children were older. Women did a lot of factory work and most of the elementary school teachers and nurses were women, and the sales help in retail department stores was generally female outside of the men's department, but you never saw women selling something like automobiles, and the women in offices were mainly secretaries and not bosses. And, while I remember women commentators on the earlier days of TV, as Pemerson does, I also remember what a big deal it was when Barbara Walters became the first woman to co-anchor the evening news on a major network--as though there was some kind of question whether a woman could handle that kind of job, or be taken seriously, and that was 1976.

Prior to the 1960's there was a pressure, which ranged from the more subtle "what women were more suited to do", to flat out discrimination against hiring women in certain areas, which caused many girls and young women to forgo certain career or vocational choices and instead opt for something else, or something they could do until they got married, or something, like teaching, that had a schedule that wouldn't interfere with child rearing. I was raised, and encouraged by my family, to believe I could do anything I wanted to, without regard to my gender, but, at the same time, I was well aware that wasn't exactly the way the society around me functioned at the time. I never felt oppressed or limited in my options, but many women who were 10 or 20 years older than me did. Those were the women I saw who had the most regrets about not having had more of a chance at a college education, or grad school, and who felt they had given up a lot of dreams and a lot of their identity when they got married, and they were the ones I saw most affected by the women's movement--they embraced the idea of female self actualization, which was a big part of the feminist message.

I agree with Pemerson that women have to take the initiative, and that's just what they did in the 1960's in fighting for and obtaining civil rights and legal equality for women, and I still think that's the most important accomplishment of feminism, next to finally obtaining the vote. That fight did promote a sense of sisterhood, and it gave women, as a group, a sense of their political power and entitlement in controlling their place in society. And, once those doors opened more possibilities for women, the women came through them in droves. I am very grateful to the feminists of that era for opening those doors for so many other women. I am grateful that women today have lives that are richer in options, and choices, and possibilities. This was never about being like men, it was always about being more complete women, more fully realized human beings.

I can't see a flipside to feminism because I can't see a flipside, or downside, to encouraging human potential. I can't see a flipside because I think women have very significant contributions to make in terms of shaping our culture and our world, and they can't make those contributions unless they are allowed to have full opportunity and full participation. Women will continue to gain more real power and influence, and how that will, or won't, change things in the future remains to be seen, but, as that continues to happen, feminism will simply become obsolete.



hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 01:01 am
@firefly,
Quote:
I can't see a flipside to feminism because I can't see a flipside, or downside, to encouraging human potential


If you were going to try to encourage human potential then you would be working to encourage all humans, which you do not do when you encourage only women and ignore men or claim that men suck. You become the the problem that you claim to be working against...your credibility becomes zilch.

The problem with feminism is summed up in the famous feminist rallying cry

Quote:
"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle".
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Sat 22 Oct, 2011 02:18 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:

If you were going to try to encourage human potential then you would be working to encourage all humans,

I do do that.

I have never claimed that "men suck", nor has any feminist in whom I would place much credibility. But what feminism did was to challenge the predominant male power structure of the culture in order to reduce and eliminate blatant discrimination against women, particularly in employment and education. And it did achieve considerable success in that regard.

Are you working to reduce sexism and demeaning sexist attitudes toward women? Rolling Eyes You more regularly refer to women as "bitches" than anyone else posting at A2K.

There is nothing wrong with advocacy groups for special interests. Is AARP under any obligation to lobby on behalf of 30-40 year olds? NOW advocates on behalf of it's members, which do include men.

If you want to play the injured party, and the victim of feminism, go right ahead.
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