I had the opportunity or the misfortune (depending on your viewpoint) of reading The Retro Wife at NYMAG after watching a CBS interview between the author and CBS hosts Gayle King and Charlie Rose. The interview itself in my mind, was usual trope about discussing the effects of a recent research project into the study of feminists who make the “choice” to leave the corporate life for one being a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM).
But wait, what’s wrong with feminism you might ask. After all the true purpose of feminism was to provide equality between the sexes in the work/public/whatever world. Breaking perceived glass ceilings, equal pay. The issue I have with this article and the premise presented to us via the scientific method is that feminists are making a “choice”. Wait, what? “What’s wrong with that?”, the hamster starts screaming. The issue is that this has nothing to do with feminism in it’s true form. This article, poorly written, I might add, wraps a choice in the feminist blanket in order to sell advertising and gain “clicks”.
Deeper introspection of what’s going on is that women with resources or access to resources are eschewing the trappings of corporate life in order to spend time at home. I have absolutely no problem with that at all if its possible. Having one parent spend more time with their own progeny has been shown to provide benefits in aggregate. Unfortunately, given today’s economy that choice is outside the reach of many women and single mothers.
I thought the whole point of feminism in the first place was about equality between the genders. How is this accomplished with many of these so called “feminists” leaning out as it were? Feminism (in its present form) is about emasculating men in all arenas instead of empowering women. Oh now, we’re all equal. In her interview on CBS, she stated we shouldn’t be pointing fingers but bottom line, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. But feminists have been pointing fingers for many years, only now, they’re beginning to point at each other. Why else would a woman with resources tell women to lean in more because they just aren’t doing enough to pull other women up to their level?
So which is it? To lean in or lean out? The decision is not whether you come from privilege or have the opportunity to “opt out”, it’s whether or not you realize that the feminism that you’ve grown to love is overblown utopia. The original intent of feminism was fine to a point, but like many other things in our society, it has been chopped up, mixed with other stuff, and baked into something that few can chew.
Leave it to Beaver is over but it doesn’t change the fact that nature will still overrule societies “wants”. During the interview, Charlie Rose states that men should feel more, be more, appreciate more, etc when it comes to supporting the choice. How much MORE can a man do when a woman decides to lean out? Everything defaults to him to maintain a lifestyle. For those men that decide to be house dads, I would ask at what point does a woman feel that becomes unattractive when she is out working all day and he is Mr Mom? The poor guy becomes a beta schlub to be kicked to the curb because he can no longer “attract” his spouse.
The world isn’t telling women how to feel or what they are. It’s the feminist Matrix. Simply because it doesn’t want to give up any measure of control over itself. Women leaving the working world goes against new feminism. This scares Radfemdom because it’s a loss a control over part of the Matrix.
But feminism is sure to hammer home how men should feel and act. More chores means more sexy time for men… yeah, a man doing dishes is real sexy isn’t it? How many times has Cosmopolitan and other women’s magazines have articles about what men can do to be more attractive to women albeit with “getting in touch with his feminine side”. It was supposedly about gender neutrality but that has morphed into a society where Man, manliness, and anything masculine is evil. Feminists like using the code words misogynist, or chauvinism as a way of making men feel wrong.
Real Men don’t want to go back to relive those retro assumptions (Happy Days) as RadFems continually like to point out. Instead, they’d rather be supported by the woman in their life and appreciated for his manliness, not how much in touch with the feminine.
What I find interesting is how the enlightened RadFem can’t quite wrap their minds around the fact that regardless of millions of years of evolution still beats 50 years of “sociology” in trying to overcome basic limbic brain function. They just want to rule out the fact that at heart, we are still animals, and biology will still rule at the end of the day.
If that’s what you want, enjoy that beta supplication to your heart’s content. On the other hand, women, if you have the resources to have the ability to make that choice to stay home with your family, so be it. In the end, it’s your family, your rules. Rest of us be damned.