Well, I’ve not seen that. But then again we have different life experiences, so I don’t doubt that you have. If I had seen that, then I would take issue with feminism too. So I think, when you and I speak of feminism, we are talking about different things.
Heading up a large family does take a sort of cooperation and dedication that can strengthen an intimate relationship, or weaken it as well — or both. I think there are so many problems with male/female relationships that have never been fully resolved so it’s not fair to blame all the failures on feminism. Besides, I reject what you are describing as feminism. You are just describing an unhealthy relationship where the woman seeks to have more power in the relationship than the man. That’s an unhealthy relationship. It’s probably an attempt at correction. The woman probably grew up in a household where the father had much more power than, and was abusive to the mother. So the little girl, observing that says — not me. That will never be me. When I grow up, I’m going call all the shots. That’s not really feminism, but such a person will probably be drawn to feminism as a way to work out their issues.
Here is how I came to feminism. I went to an all girls prep school, where most of us felt as if our teachers, our female teachers were shoving it down our throats. We got sick of hearing about how we would never be given the same opportunities to excel as men, we would be subjected to all sorts of double-standards, why should women have to go to work AND do all the chores around the house.
Well this was a whole new line of thought to me. I grew up in a predominantly black urban community in the 70s and 80s and the values around men and women’s relationships were extremely traditional. Especially in my super Baptist family. But my feminist teachers really got me to question those traditional values- especially in my own family where the traditional values were clearly breaking down. My grandparents on my mother’s side were the leaders of an extremely large — and from the outside looking in — successful family. They were together for over 60 years.
But my parents were an absolute train wreck. They were together for 13 years. Amazing they lasted that long. They were highly incompatible; and as far as setting an example of a functional intimate relationship — that was not happening. To me, it seemed as if my father, did whatever he wanted to do, refused to play by any normal set of rules, walked all over my mother and was relentlessly abusive to her.
That is what it looked like — but that really wasn’t what it was. Knowing my mom, as well as I do now, I can tell you that she gave it, just as good as she got. Because she was a mastermind of passive-aggressive manipulation. Man she’s brilliant at that.
And, my mom certainly presents as very traditional, very stand by her man, have his dinner on the table, all that…one thing…there might be drano in the food. So be careful. Watch what you eat around my mom.
So take me, growing up, I’m watching these two bozos and I knew it wasn’t right or healthy. I thought what my mom needed to do was just stand up for herself! Maybe if she did that, she wouldn’t be trying to poison people’s food. And this is how feminism came to be of interest to me, I saw feminist as women who were not afraid to stand up for themselves. I wanted to be like them, because I did not want to be like my mom.
But, hindsight 20/20 that is a huge oversimplification of what feminism is. But for me it represented another way to be female. A healthy way, and that was what I desperately wanted. I never got too much into any of the academic doctrine on it, which as I stated before, I find incredibly boring. More than anything I listen to and watch people who consider themselves feminists. These women have a strong sense of self — and that does not require putting men down, or having them walk behind you or any such craziness.
It does require, however, respecting yourself. And this is hard to do in a society that sends millions of messages to women that basically say you are not respected. The commercialization of sex (because let’s face it sex sells) is predicted on the dehumanization mof women (and men too, to a lesser degree) and that was basically what Emma Lindsay was referencing in her initial post to which you responded. She saying (I think) I don’t feel good around men, because they’ve been taught to view me as a sexual object (true); and they want to throw all of their sexual hang ups on me. (Maybe an exaggeration, maybe not.)
I found her commentary about modern male/female sexuality fascinating. I can’t really judge because that’s not a world I live in. These millenials have grown up with so much dysfunction and so much raw, uncut sexuality and porn all around them, there’s just no telling what they are experiencing in their intimate sexual lives. They swipe and hook-up with someone on Tinder. Tinder dates basically have sex with about as much forethought as buying a can of soup, maybe less. I don’t really think that’s healthy and I think this is clearly a sign of the ways in which our civilization and family structures are breaking down. But, you can’t blame all of that on feminism. It’s a lot of stuff that is causing these breakdowns. All the corruption in our religious institutions, I would say, has had a huge impact on the breakdowns.
Religions plays a huge role in keeping families together. For better or worse, Christianity kept my parents together for 13 years. But when people notice that the preachers and deacons don’t even practice what they preach, the average Joe says, why should l?
You are so right when you say, the family is the foundation of society (I think you said something a long those lines). It’s true. I don’t disagree with you. But the family today is in a world of trouble- and it’s not just feminism that put the family in jeopardy. Its the breakdown of a lot of value systems.
I’m rewatching the Sopranos — an HBO show about a mob boss seeing a shrink. I always loved this show. Anyway the show delves a lot into how the mob structure was breaking down, because none of the people were upholding the values of that lifestyle. In other words, a lot of snitching and cutting deals, a lot of doing the drugs they were supposed to be selling and the whole structure was breaking down.
But now I see, this wasn’t just happening to the mob, it’s happening to all of us, all over America. (And probably the rest of the world too). Our family structures are under attack in a lot of different ways. You want to put all the blame on feminism, but feminism is probably just a symptom of a much deeper dysfunction, that no one wants to acknowledge.
Well, as you have pointed out things move in cycles…they kind of have to. All this breakdown will lead to rebuilding, eventually.