The False Promises of Feminism Have Led Women To Unhappiness

By: Tia Johnson 0 Comments   2/22/2013

As an impressionable teeny bopper who was uncomfortable in my own skin, I took turns imitating each of the female characters on the '90s sitcom "Step-by-Step": the bookish smarty-pants, the selfbsorbed beauty queen, and the adventurous tom-boy.  

The allure of putting on each persona faded after a few weeks. I soon learned that there is no satisfaction pretending to be someone other than myself.

This desire to step into another life especially plagues women-- even beyond the teen years, however. I don't know why women struggle with insecurity to be who God made them, but that insecurity has led the past few generations to reach across the gender aisle and embrace roles that have also made women miserable.

This movement is called "feminism," yet is a far cry from feminine indeed. In fact, I'd like to call the modern feminist view "anti-feminine." True feminism should embrace the feminine-ness of women: her nurturing instincts, ability to bear children, and her desire to support a husband. But "anti-feminine" feminists would rather boot all three out the window.

Especially that last one- her desire to support a husband- seems to jolt anti-feminine women in the ribs. Soap operas, books and reality dating shows all appeal to the desire for women to have a strong, leader-like husband who is ready to meet his family's needs and courageously rescue them from danger. This man cares passionately and loves deeply. Yet, though women cheer on a man like this on TV, she also disdains being the supportive wife of such a man. Oddly, women have believed the lie that to support a man is to position oneself as the scum underneath the kitchen sink.

I believe this perception arose from real cases of women being beaten and treated as such scum by a few sinful, arrogant men. Certainly their abuse is unacceptable, yet the bottom few men should not be allowed to paint the picture of the rest of the male gender.

In truth, men have the make-up to be excellent husbands and fathers. Most men desire to tackle something of great importance. A family can meet this need and, contrary to what anti-feminine leaders espouse, liberty abounds for a woman who supports a man in this role.

In our family, my husband's call to provide our main income and direction for our family frees me from the stress of carrying two roles. I'm able to pursue the desires of my heart- discipline our kids, managing things at home, and writing books.

I'm free to support my husband as needed: picking up side jobs when I can, managing household finances and nutrition, and being his partner in many areas. But I don't feel as if I'm being torn in two.

That's how a friend described her sentiments after becoming a mom and returning to work. "I feel torn in two directions- all the time," she said. Even when at home, she had to choose between her responsibilities as a mom and preparing for work the next day. Freedom? Liberating? I'd say not.

The anti-feminine feminists weren't attempting to make women feel this way. I believe they simply wanted to give women a lift- to prove they were more valuable than they felt others saw them. Maybe they had the same insecurities I had as a teeny-bopper when I also attempted to be someone I was not.

Maureen Dawb described this trend in her 2009 column for the New York Times: "In the early ’70s, breaking out of the domestic cocoon, leaving their mothers’ circumscribed lives behind, young women felt exhilarated and bold. But the more women have achieved, the more they seem aggrieved."

The column "Dear Abby" reflects the views of the anti-feminine woman. Started by Pauline Phillips in 1956, "Dear Abby" became the most widely syndicated newspaper column in the world (according to Wikipedia), but not the most beneficial.

Phillips may have thought that her writings would solicit freedom for women, an open ceiling of opportunities, and better sexual enjoyment. But according to a recent study, she was wrong.

Whitney Davis of WORLD magazine recently reported on the impact of Phillip's advice. "...a recent study of Abby’s columns reveals a far more dangerous legacy: a moral relativism that encouraged readers to seek their own pleasure, often at others’ expense," wrote Davis. "...A 2008 report from the Media Research Center of the Culture and Media Institute (CMI) suggests that the column does more harm than good by supporting and promoting moral relativism and shunning traditional sexual morality espoused by most evangelicals."

Phillips died in January after battling Alzheimer's disease. The column today continues with the same strokes, just not by her pen.

But the impact of feminism on women is obvious. Based on General Social Surveys, the happiness of women has declined from 1972 to 2006. (See this article written by Marcus Buckingham of the Huffington Post.)

Perhaps it's because these past few decades, whether by choice or cultural pressue, women have been playing more parts than they were scripted for.

On the flip-side, Pope John Paul II offers this perspective in an article by LifeSiteNews: "…real feminism is not rejecting who we are… but embracing our femininity, embracing our natural design not trying to fight it or go against it."

LifeSiteNews also brought in the perspective of Teresa Tomeo, who pointed out that "radical feminism" fights womanhood in every way. Women are over-sexualized, over-objectified, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, "and on top of that is a message that our beauty and identity as women, especially our ability to give forth life, is a disease and not a gift," said Tomeo. Tomeo co-wrote the book "Wrapped Up: God's Ten Gifts for Women."

I know our family's traditional structure, with my husband providing our main income and I working at home with the kids, is in the minority, but it seems that more women are looking back and longing for such tradition. Some are returning to it, yet for others it is not an option.

At one time, because of a change in circumstances, my husband and I had talked of switching roles- me working outside the home and him being the main caretaker of the kids. We prayed about this for a few days, and I finally concluded that I could not leave my post at home. To me, being home with the kids felt like an assignment from God. I could not divorce myself from the post He has given me.

My husband, our courageous and loving leader and provider, understood and supported how I felt, and continues providing our main income. Now that's a man of whom it is a blessing to cook breakfast for early in the morning.

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