Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 2, 2005 / 30 Tishrei, 5766

Was the feminist movement some sort of cruel hoax?

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "So was the feminist movement some sort of cruel hoax? Do women get less desirable as they get more successful?"

Columnist Maureen Dowd posed those questions in Sunday's New York Times Magazine in an essay adapted from her forthcoming book: "Are Men Necessary: When Sexes Collide."


BUY THE BOOK
Does this book sound intriguing?

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Entertaining as usual, Dowd explored her premise that many women end up unmarried and childless because they're successful by reviewing women's evolution since her college days, which happen to have coincided with my own. We both came of age as women's lib was being midwifed into the culture by a generation of women who felt enslaved by homemaking and childbearing.

Now, in the span of a generation, all that business about equality apparently isn't so appealing to a younger generation of women, who are ever inventive as they seek old ways to attract new men. Dowd writes:

"Today, women have gone back to hunting their quarry with elaborate schemes designed to allow the deluded creatures (men) to think they are the hunters." Dowd, herself unmarried and childless, wonders whether being smart and successful explains her status. She observes that men would rather marry women who are younger and more malleable, i.e. less successful and perhaps not so very bright.

No one vets the culture with a keener eye than Dowd. Her identification of trends — especially the perverse evolution of liberated women from Birkenstock-wearing intellectuals into pole-dancing sluts — is dead on. But while she sees women clearly as they search for identity in a gender-shifting culture, she doesn't seem to know much about men.

Men haven't turned away from smart, successful women because they're smart and successful. More likely they've turned away because the feminist movement that encouraged women to be smart and successful also encouraged them to be hostile and demeaning to men.

Whatever was wrong, men did it. During the past 30 years, they've been variously characterized as male chauvinist pigs, deadbeat dads or knuckle-dragging abusers who beat their wives on Super Bowl Sunday. At the same time women wanted men to be wage earners, they also wanted them to act like girlfriends: to time their contractions, feed and diaper the baby, and go antiquing.

And then, when whatshisname inevitably lapsed into guy-ness, women wanted him to disappear. If children were involved, women got custody and men got an invoice. The eradication of men and fathers from children's lives has been feminism's most despicable accomplishment. Half of all children will sleep tonight in a home where their father does not live.

Did we really think men wouldn't mind?

Meanwhile, when we're not bashing men, we're diminishing manhood. Look around at entertainment and other cultural signposts and you see a feminized culture that prefers sanitized men — hairless, coiffed, buffed and, if possible, gay. Men don't know whether to be "metrosexuals" getting pedicures, or "groomzillas" obsessing about wedding favors, or the latest, "ubersexuals" — yes to the coif, no to androgyny.

As far as I can tell, real men don't have a problem with smart, successful women. But they do mind being castrated. It's a guy thing. They do mind being told in so many ways that they are superfluous.

Even now, the latest book to fuel the feminist flames of male alienation is Peggy Drexler's lesbian guide to guilt-free narcissism, "Raising Boys Without Men." Is it possible to raise boys without men? Sure. Is it right? You may find your answer by imagining a male-authored book titled: "Raising Girls Without Women."

Returning to Dowd's original question, yes, the feminist movement was a hoax inasmuch as it told only half the story. As even feminist matriarch Betty Friedan eventually noted, feminism failed to recognize that even smart, successful women also want to be mothers. It's called Nature. Social engineering can no more change that fact than mechanical engineering can change the laws of physics.

Many of those women who declined to join the modern feminist movement learned the rest of the story by becoming mothers themselves and, in many cases, by raising boys who were born innocent and undeserving of women's hostilities.

I would never insist that women have to have children to be fully female. Some women aren't mother material — and some men don't deserve the children they sire. But something vital and poignant happens when one's own interests become secondary to the more compelling needs of children.

You grow up. In the process of sacrificing your infant-self for the real baby, you stop obsessing and fixating on the looking glass. Instead, you focus your energies on trying to raise healthy boys and girls to become smart, successful men and women.

In the jungle, one hopes, they will find each other.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2005, Tribune Media Services

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles