Prepare to Be Offended

Back in 1990, I read an article in TIME Magazine entitled, “The Road To Equality: Sorry, Sisters, This Is Not the Revolution” by Barbara Ehrenreich (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,971600,00.html)

I was 22 and single at the time and the article resonated with me enough that I remember it even now, 21 years later.  I was raised in the 70’s and 80’s with the understanding that if I didn’t pursue an important, powerful and lucrative career, I was somehow letting “the sisterhood” down.

Growing up in suburbia, I saw that if I wanted respect and power, I needed to behave like a man.  As I saw it, masculine virtues like strength, ambition, assertiveness and rationality were valued vastly beyond that of feminine qualities like compassion, nurturing, cooperation and intuition.  Unless I wanted to be walked on my whole life, I’d need to be tough and act like one of the guys.  I was basically ashamed of the softer parts of myself; if anyone ever saw my weakness, they would surely destroy me.

Conversely, I can see now that at that same time, more and more single moms and (typically female) school teachers were raising boys to believe that if they wanted to be loved, they needed to adopt more feminine characteristics.  In school and at home they were required to be quiet, sensitive, and generally docile.

So here we are in 2011, and as I see it, the feminist revolution started out as a desire to see feminine values and characteristics become seen as of equal importance as masculine values and characteristics.  In other words, I can be 100% feminine and be equally respected and valued in society as any man who is 100% masculine.  Unfortunately, along the way the feminist revolution got hijacked into this preposterous disaster where men have been told to behave like women, women feel pressured to behave like men, everyone is confused, divorce has skyrocketed, kids get the worst of it and no one is happy.

Ladies: can we quit trying to be “one of the guys”?

The saddest part as I see it is that as a culture, females didn’t adopt the masculine characteristics that were the best in men.  I saw my first episode of “Sex in the City” at the gym the other day.  Is this how modern “liberated” women are supposed to behave?  Will I really find tremendous self-confidence and satisfaction by living for my career, banging every attractive male I come across and bragging/lamenting about it with my equally shallow and self-centered friends?  Count me out.

And guys– I long for the days when it was okay for men to be direct and straightforward instead of all this passive/aggressive nonsense because you’re hesitant to stand for what you believe.  I can’t tell you how many grown men I’ve known that behave like little boys, needing a mommy more than a partner.  You are afraid of being punished for acting like men.  I get it.  It makes my stomach turn, but I get it.  We’ve gotten you so confused, you don’t know WHAT you’re supposed to do.  Squash the spiders but cry at the movies, stand up for me but never let it come to blows, make a good living but don’t ever let it compete with me and/or the kids, take care of the kids, but do it exactly the way I tell you because your way is W-R-O-N-G, dress really trendy, but don’t act like you’re gay.  Of course the greatest demand seems to be, “Be strong and masculine and sexy unless I crack the whip in disapproval.  Then come cowering to my feet and do as I say.”

For 40 years, we’ve been yanking you poor guys around like yo-yos telling you to behave like brave tough guys when we’re scared and then to be passively submissive 10 minutes later.  When you can’t snap back and forth fast enough, we are furious with you.  You just can’t win, can you?

Here’s a crazy thought:  what if men once again were allowed, no– encouraged to be strong, agressive, assertive, brave, competitive, and rational leaders.  You can be all of those things without having to be coarse, brutal, self-centered users.

What if women were valued for being cooperative, intuitive, nurturing, merciful, and gracious without resorting to being weak, codependent, emotional manipulators?

And to those women who have fought long and hard to rise to the top of their fields, congratulations.  You deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  But please don’t condescend towards those of us that made different choices.  Just because our rewards can’t be measured in dollars or titles, it doesn’t make them worth less.

There.

Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.  Let the scathing rebuttals begin….

My book, Dating, Sex, & Jesus is now available at Amazon.com. Please “like” the Dating, Sex, & Jesus Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/DatingandJesus for fun and interesting content and book excerpts in your feed. Thanks!

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About howhardcoulditbe

While this started as a chronicle of my many (sometimes ill-conceived) "Do It Yourself" projects, it has morphed into a journal of my 9-year journey as a single Christian woman striving to live by God's design.
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11 Responses to Prepare to Be Offended

  1. Dewey says:

    These have been exactly my sentiments for a long time. Well said.

  2. Speaking as a man, for all men, thank you. I have written a post on how feminism is ruining marriages and relationships. There is a term for reverse sexism that the media of course won’t publish called MISANDRY. For a brilliant explanation of this, check out Wikipedia.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

  3. Thanks!
    Though I could have also added that many men out there want women who are built like a Barbie doll, (but not if it means using silicone) and want us to bring home full-time (hopefully 6-figure) wages (but still expect us to be responsible for 3/4 of the household and child rearing activities). Not all of ’em, but I’ve met an awful lot of ya’…. and most won’t admit that they do…. in both genders, for that matter!

  4. emjayandthem says:

    I only have one comment and it’s not scathing: well done!

    Cheers, MJ

  5. As confusing as it may be, I do not want to go back to the days where women not being able to get credit on their own was a regular thing. Or every time a woman made some acheivement of being made a vice president or CEO it was a celebration. That getting through college with an M.R.S. degree was expected or demanded.

    What I think we really want is a return to some gentility. Quite frankly, a little Clark Gable or Cary Grant attitude and treatment towards their women can make a relationship last a whole lot better than some of these modern day cavemen.

  6. When I hear women complain about the fellas, it’s not about caveman behavior. It’s about adolescent (immature, thoughtless and selfish) behavior.
    I absolutely agree that it was a travesty Ginger Rogers made less money than the male chorus dancers in her films. I’m incredibly grateful that domestic violence is taken seriously now, when before it was considered “a man’s right”. I’m just ready for the pendulum to swing more to the center.
    So many people see “etiquette” as a dirty word. It is merely a way of agreeing on the rules for a polite society, like a gentleman who offers his seat on a crowded train to a woman who is clearly 8+ months pregnant. Every man kept his nose in the paper and it was I (who’d already been on my feet 10 hours that day) who traded with her. I find that disgusting.

  7. Speaking again for men, I have offered my seat numerous times to women only to have them glare at me like I was propositioning them. Several times in the 70’s I opened a door for a woman and she would spin around and verbally accost me with the words to the effect,; “Don’t you think that I am strong enough to open the door for myself”. A few of these run ins tends to extinguish chivalry in a man. Women have gotten far too aggressive as if they have to compete with men in being aggressive and men are kind of lost. Not excusing it, just explaining it.

    I feel your pain and still believe in chivalry.

    Blessings on you and yours
    John Wilder

    • Dewey says:

      At one point I started asking if it was “OK” for me to open a door for a woman. I have since given up that practice. Now I just do it and expect that MOST ladies will appreciate it and accept it graciously, or will be “man” enough to “deal with it” if they didn’t really appreciate it. Chivalry is not dead, but has certainly been wounded.

  8. Navarro says:

    I think that for western countries this change is past the point of no return, like climate change. You cant take away freedoms and rights once a mayority has them. The society is a standing shallow carcass ready to be destroyed with a blow. I wish this kind of social engineering never is enforced down here in the “third world”, we are very happy as it is.

    • I’m not suggesting that any rights be revoked. Men and women should have equal rights and equal pay for any job for which they quallify. I don’t, however, understand the concept of making an easier test so that someone of another gender can pass it. If my house is on fire and I’m unconcious on the second floor, I don’t give a rip about equal rights. I want someone with the strenght to carry my sorry butt to safety!

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Navarro says:

        I agree, men should have equal paternal rights, equal contraception rights (pill) and equal pay for the same qualifications, as women now have.

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