The “mystique” of feminism’s red roots

In my last blog, I wrote about the futility of the modern woman who forges her identity solely by occupation. These gals announce their irreplaceability, demand appreciation whether it’s earned or not, and then chase their tails around in a circle trying to force their view on the world, hoping it will all somehow ensure their own happiness. Really, what we have is a bunch of Scarlett O’Haras on our hands.

Now I’m not saying that you can’t have a career or big creative dreams or corporate aspirations or even fulfilling hobbies and avocations. I mean, I am writing a blog (with the office door locked, of course) as my beloved hubby cooks dinner and tends to our three wild boys. But what I am saying is that women must comprehend that with every life choice comes a consequence. The brainy types call this opportunity cost.

Or as is taught in the Austrian School of economics, it’s human choice and action. “All things are subject to the law of cause and effect,” economist Carl Menger wrote in 1871. “This great principle knows no exception.” It’s marginal utility: the contentment and pleasure experienced by consumers that affect their decision making when buying or not buying a product. So within feminism, the product is domesticity.

To maintain the mystifying position of defining your self-worth wholly through a job, there’s an outright assault on all that falls within this sphere, from parenthood to traditional marriage, to stay-at-home motherhood and the gendered division of labor. Feminists feel they must shun, ridicule, belittle, and even try to destroy all things that counter this dogma in order to convince themselves of their fulfillment and joy.

This is really nothing new. In her 1963 book, The Feminist Mystique, Betty Friedan wrote about an “unspoken … sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning” among housewives, a mystique that has “succeeded in burying millions of American women alive.”

In the work that catapulted her status to mother of second-wave feminism (the first wave being the suffragettes), Friedan explained what she saw as the exploitation of women in the home, and suggested that wives should instead seek independence and gratification through paid occupations.

“A real women can do it all by herself, but a real man won’t let her” goes the feminist mantra, which I fully embraced back in college in the ’90s. I was going to have it all, but by that, I meant that I was going to have a successful career.

If I ever wanted kids, eh, I’d deal with that down the road, when damaging sexual relationships and cat ownership no longer sufficed, and then I’d probably adopt, launching myself to the culturally celebrated rank of single mom. Who needs a father to raise a child, right?

If I was ever going to have a successful relationship, my boyfriend and I must be leftist soul mates, sharing in all domestic duties, splitting everything 50/50, and being the ultimate partners in life and love. Gender, nature, preferences, and innate talents and skills be damned.

By the time I met my husband to-be, I was dutifully spouting the hardline talking points learned through my women’s studies minor degree, including such gems as “Marriage is an oppressive institution,” “Housework is a tool of the patriarchy,” “Kids will only get in the way of my career,” “If we mess up, abortion is always a viable option,” and “Ain’t no way I’m ever staying home, goddess forbid.”

My patient husband actually planned to propose to me a few times when we were dating, yet hesitated, since he was sure I’d say no – not because I didn’t love him, but because I was such an opponent of this mythical subjugator. Somehow I, Ms. Smarty Pants, got duped into thinking that marriage would change my awesome guy into a misogynist pig.

As Friedan noted, “Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victims. The real enemy is women’s denigration of themselves.” I guess I figured that if domesticity is a self-imposed prison, we’d both end up casualties of this ruthless patriarchal system.

It didn’t help that I was also an ardent atheist at the time, so rejecting tradition came easily for me. That is, until my wise older sister said, “Hey, you think you’re so nonconformist, yet you’re bending to someone else’s idea of marriage. Why not get married and make it what you want it to be?”

As we trekked down the highway one night, listening to Ween, young, in love, and already living together, I finally popped the question to my then-boyfriend. More than 16 years of marriage and three kids later, I often wonder how much less arduous our journey together would’ve been without all the feminist baggage I lugged around, but thankfully cast off, oh so slowly, bit by bit, mistake by mistake.

Just the fact we waited seven years to have kids or that I kept my maiden name up until my first pregnancy is ridiculous in retrospect. I saw marriage through the lens of self, not selflessness and cooperation. So yeah, I was a bitch.

Even Friedan, who was married for 22 years and had three children, admitted, “It is better for a woman to compete impersonally in society, as men do, than to compete for dominance in her own home with her husband.” Her marriage eventually ended in divorce, but at least Friedan had a family, and understood that her jobs as was wife, mother, author, and activist made life a balancing act. She grasped reality.

But not so of many of Friedan’s colleagues. Here’s a sampling of some of the propaganda that has given rise to the incessant, insane, and inconceivable third-wave-feminists we see today.

Catharine McKinnon: “All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman.” Andrea Dworkin: Women “must refuse to submit to those institutions which are by definition sexist – marriage, the nuclear family, religions built of the myth of feminine evil.”

Kate Millett: “The complete destruction of traditional marriage and the nuclear family is the ‘revolutionary or utopian’ goal of feminism.” Sheila Cronan: “Since marriage constitutes slavery for women … Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.”

Alison Jaggar: The nuclear family is “a cornerstone of women’s oppression: it enforces women’s dependence on men, it enforces heterosexuality, and it imposes the prevailing masculine and feminine character structures on the next generation.” Linda Gordon: “The nuclear family must be destroyed, and … the break-up of families now is an objectively revolutionary process.”

Gordon, who taught at UW-Madison during my time there, also espouses that “families have supported oppression by separating people into small, isolated units, unable to join together to fight for common interests.” So, just what exactly should be done about these familial components?

Well, “In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them,” of course, says Dr. Mary Jo Bane. Oh, just leave the child-rearing to the government experts. Egad!

I believe that Plato was the propagator of this notion of kids being held in common as to promote the health of the state. But in modern terms, it’s more Marxism than ancient Greek philosophy. In The Communist Manifesto, Marx boasted, “Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at the infamous proposal of the Communists.”

Then Lenin ran with it, when he said, “Destroy the family, you destroy the country.” Just as the Bolsheviks regarded the family as a bourgeois institution that must be subverted, so too do the feminists.

“Feminism, Socialism, and Communism are one in the same,” explained McKinnon, “and Socialist/Communist government is the goal of feminism.” So, if you’re wondering why chicks who participated in A Day Without Women were encouraged to wear red, now you know. It’s a proletariat thing.

Red is always meant to to represent the blood of the workers who struggle against capitalism, from the Jacobins, to the Bolsheviks, to the Maoists. So, don’t believe chicks when they say feminism’s about love, equality, women, and families. It’s a ruse, a big fat Marxist one.

Now, if you’re a socialist, no worries; feminism is the perfect fit for you. Embrace all that collectivism, group think, man-hating, God-loathing, and scapegoating. Celebrate an ideology that inhibits and circumscribes free will, and stifles human uniqueness, nature, biology, and choice. Castigate autonomy and tradition, and suppress the creative tapestry and life-giving power of womanhood. Go ahead, drink the red Kool-Aid.

But if you’re a normally clear-thinking chick, please reconsider. Be courageous, avoid the fad, buck conformity, and think for yourself. Even iconic feminist musician Ani DiFranco has her own anti-feminist take on the movement: “My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it’s very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do.”

So, if you’re a gal who believes in personal preferences, free expression, individualism, and independent thought, and you understand the innate opportunity costs of living in the real world, please don’t entertain the red delusions of feminism anymore. After all, it’s a mystique that has “succeeded in burying millions of American women alive.” Be truly rebellious: fulfill that occupational dream, if you want, but don’t be one of the angry grrrls. In the mean time, leave this domesticity thing to we strong mamas … we can handle it.

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  1. Iggy

    So right on. I’m wondering what your take on the government control of our agriculture aka pharmaceutical aka health (sick) care is. I don’t trust any of it as far as I can throw it. Love to the fam.

    1. Post
      Dissident Mama

      Ooooh, those are a lot of good blog suggestions. I guess I’d have to go back to at least the founding of the USDA under Lincoln, the Pure Food and Drugs Act under Teddy Roosevelt, the Agricultural Adjustment Act under FDR, and then dig into the creation of Medicare and Medicaid under Johnson’s Great Society before unearthing all the madness of food, drug, and medical regulation under which we currently live. It’s certainly a tangled web, but I’ll look into and write something eventually. Thanks for the input and thanks for reading!

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