Feminism has achieved some good things for women. It has worked to give women the right to vote and to ensure that our laws prevent discrimination against women in hiring, promoting, giving out contracts, and getting admitted to universities, among other areas. All terrific accomplishments. However, in two of the most important areas of life—the boardroom and the bedroom—feminism has been a boon to men and bane to women because it has demanded that women deny their instincts and desires and instead act just like men.
First, the boardroom. Last century (and centuries before), feminists loudly and incessantly said that women are as competent as men at work (very true) and can work as hard as men at work (very true). However, they also wanted to say that women could devote as much time to work as men. However, this claim bumped up against a hard reality: childbearing and family responsibilities had tended to take women out of the workplace. With the birth of the pill in 1960, however, feminists latched onto a way to get around this major “impediment” that pulled women from work outside the home. They now told women to ignore their maternal instincts and love of family by delaying, or better yet, totally foregoing, having children, so they could work as many hours as men do. Rather than demanding that men make accommodations in the workplace for the unique desires and needs of women, feminists told women to just act like men and not have their career prospects hindered by children and family responsibilities.
Many women who listen to this feminist demand to be more like men end up paying a steep price. Some women delay childbearing so long that when they finally decide to have a child they find out their biological clock has run out. Some do not have as many children as they want and forever regret not having that extra child they had dreamed about. Many deprive themselves of more time with their families so they can satisfy the demands of the soulless marketplace. In essence, men got to keep their ways of working and doing business while women were told to shut up and deny their instincts and desires for children and families.
Second, the bedroom. Up until the 1960’s, feminists openly decried the double standard in sexuality. But rather than demanding that men become more civilized and come up to the female standard, feminists in the 1960’s told women to go down to the male standard by having as much sex as they want, wherever and whenever they want, regardless of whether they were married or not. Once again, the advent of the pill gave impetus to feminists arguing this. Women were now bluntly told to ignore their instincts and desires to reserve sexual intimacy for a committed relationship—generally known as marriage.
This was a message that men had been wanting to hear since the beginning of time. For millennia most men had to go to the altar before the bedroom; now all men were given the green light to go straight to the bedroom and skip the altar.
And how has this turned out for women? It has led to more single-parent families, more abortions, more sexually-transmitted diseases, more distrust of men seeking their own sexual fulfillment, and fewer marriages as men did not have to ‘buy the cow as the milk was free’. But men were big winners: they got more sex than ever as they were able to incessantly satisfy their animalistic appetites. In essence, women were told to ignore their instincts and desires to satisfy the cravings of men.
While feminism has done a lot of good, it has also severely handicapped women in the boardroom and the bedroom. Rather than demanding that men make accommodations for women and respect their unique instincts and desires, feminists told women to become more like men—and women have paid a heavy price as a result. Let’s hope that society will see the damage wrought by feminism and fight for a world where women are truly valued both at work and at home.