Stephanie Coontz demurs. She rejects Hanna Rosin’s idea that feminism has enjoyed great success in womanizing America.
She complains that men still have too much power and privilege, that they still make the most money and that they have not been sufficiently neutered.
Coontz does not recognize the fact that a large majority of women would rather stay home with their children. In her fantasy world when men and women share housework equally they are both happier. In the real world, as a recent study from Norway pointed out, when men and women follow the feminist game plan they are 50% more likely to get divorced.
Coontz does not much care about family life, love life, and other measures of human fulfillment. She is in high dudgeon over the fact the work world has still not yet attained gender equity.
She has no interest whatever in how well the American economy is or is not functioning.
She is upset to see that women entering the workforce seem to be drawn to traditional women’s fields, like teaching and social work. It never crosses her mind that these women might be making a decision that is best for them and their families. She certainly does not recognize that gender identity is an indelible aspect of human nature.
She does not care about what is best for women or children or stable homes. She wants all women to sacrifice their lives for the feminist cause.
When Coontz sets out to find the culprit for this incomplete womanization of America she declares that men are too attached to a masculine mystique. So she wants them to trade in their manliness for the idiotic notion of “personhood.”
In her words:
ONE thing standing in the way of further progress for many men is the same obstacle that held women back for so long: overinvestment in their gender identity instead of their individual personhood. Men are now experiencing a set of limits — externally enforced as well as self-imposed — strikingly similar to the ones Betty Friedan set out to combat in 1963, when she identified a “feminine mystique” that constrained women’s self-image and options.
Although men don’t face the same discriminatory laws as women did 50 years ago, they do face an equally restrictive gender mystique.
Just as the feminine mystique discouraged women in the 1950s and 1960s from improving their education or job prospects, on the assumption that a man would always provide for them, the masculine mystique encourages men to neglect their own self-improvement on the assumption that sooner or later their “manliness” will be rewarded.
How many men do you think will trade their manliness for personhood? And how many women would be happier if they did so?
Stephanie Coontz has shown the chasm that exists between being a woman and being a feminist, between having a true identity and sacrificing your identity for a cause.