Thursday, August 1, 2013

Feminism and/or Mental Health

When Betty Friedan set out to market her leftist ideology, she did not call it a leftist ideology. She seized on a more brilliant ploy: she said that feminism was an effective treatment for mental illness.

Women were suffering anxiety and depression, Friedan said, because their lives were circumscribed by soul-deadening rounds of housework and child rearing. Only gainful employment could treat their malaise and point the way to happiness, fulfillment and an enhanced feeling of self-worth.

As a marketing campaign, it was brilliant. Women latched on the feminism as though it were a panacea.

Amazingly, when Friedan mindlessly compared a suburban housewife’s kitchen to a concentration camp women embraced the idea that the stay-at-home mother had failed herself, had failed to fulfill her potential and had failed the women’s movement.

To be clear, feminism has not offered women a free choice. In its constant attacks on the roles of housewife and homemaker it has made clear that if women do no have careers they will be excoriated and ostracized by right-thinking feminists. The same fate will befall all women who refuse to call themselves feminists.

When Anne-Marie Slaughter, wife, mother and highly accomplished career woman, walked away from her high powered job in the State Department because she her children were suffering from her absence, feminists were outraged.

Her freedom to choose did not allow her to make choices that did not advance the cause of feminism.

Even Marissa Mayer ran afoul of feminists for banning telecommuting at Yahoo! How dare she make a decision based on what she considered best for her company. Didn’t she know that she had to decide based on what was best for feminism?

Besides, Mayer is not a feminist. For that thought crime alone she was banned from polite feminist conversation.

More recently, we have examined the peculiar mind warp of Lisa Endlich Heffernan. After giving up her career to bring up her three sons, Heffernan has now announced to the world that she regrets her choice. Not only is she guilt-tripping her sons, but she is showing how feminism can deprive a woman of her pride for having raised her children.

Obviously, movement feminists do not respect women’s freedom to choose.

It’s always a good idea to put these ideas to the test. In Great Britain the Office of National Statistics was recently directed to conduct a survey of a large number of Britons in order to see whether stay-at-home mothers were suffering from feelings of worthlessness. Did they lack self-esteem? Did they feel unfulfilled?

If Betty Friedan was right, stay-at-home mothers should be suffering severe despair.

The Daily Mail reported the results:

Stay-at-home mothers are more likely to think their lives are worthwhile than women who go to work, a study of national happiness suggests.

They tend not to suffer from boredom, frustration or feelings of worthlessness, according to the research on Britain’s wellbeing.

Worse yet, from a feminist perspective, people who get married experience the most happiness:

Data also revealed that married people are significantly more contented than cohabitees and much happier than single or divorced people.

Since feminists dismissed marriage as a patriarchal conspiracy designed to deprive women of fulfilling careers, these results are not good news for them. Apparently, a marriage license is not just another piece of paper.

Obviously, some women will prefer not to stay at home to raise their children. No one doubts that they take their responsibilities as mothers with the greatest seriousness and that they make what they consider to be the best decision for all involved.

It is good that they have the choice. It would be better if they were not being subjected to feminist mental coercion.

Apparently, Lisa Endlich Heffernan succumbed to the coercion. When feminists attack stay-at-home mothers as traitors to the cause they are effectively punishing these women for exercising their free choice. They are trying to produce the kinds of mental health issues they predicted.

In a world where women do have the freedom to choose their path in life, women who choose home and family seem to gain a high sense of their own self-worth, unless, of course, they have developed the bad habit of flagellating themselves for having betrayed the feminist cause.


Robert M. Mitchell Jr. said...

Still not quite right. They've had "the choice" for over two thousand years, at least in Christendom, where women have always been allowed to join holy orders, where they could be such things as doctors and lawyers. Feminism got rid of the choice, told women they could "have it all", to their damnation, for in this fallen world, nine times out of ten, the best thing to do is to make a choice, cleanly. Modern women are line jumpers, not actually choosing, not fully committing to either possibility, to the despoiling of both.

Katielee4211 said...

And if this is any indication, it gets even worse. A young lady posted on Tumblr, her distress and feelings of guilt in being, I assume, sexually assaulted. I'm loosely paraphrasing here -She told him no (because you should just tell a rapist 'No' , and he'll stop), & he did it anyway. The stronger distress she was experiencing was guilt--because she felt she'd let 'womenkind' down by not fighting harder.

Sam L. said...

Feminists and other liberals/progressives believe in long as it's their approved choice.

Kath said...

Feminists give irresponsible men and women an excuse to neglect their families. The women say that nurturing their children is beneath them. The men tell their children's mother to bring home the bacon. What a mess.

Anonymous said...

Slaughter (what a name! like "Power" - Max Power) enlightened me. The Atlantic has started to specialize in ultra-elite women's whining. Bollick was another one. I applaud Atlantic for not (far as I know) giving a pulpit for the egregious Sandberg.

It also applauds college girls having Boys on the Side while they prepare to run the world. Sandra Tsing-Lo is a fascinating case study in Bad Choices.

I worked for a few top female executives. Some married, all childless.

To me, a childless man, Billions and Minions are as nothing compared to the infinitely greater treasures of children.

I've always felt guilty for having none of my own. -- Rich Lara

Dennis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dennis said...

There is a certain part of me that feels like Rhett Butler." This happens to me each time I see a "Wounded Warrior" commercial, read my DAV magazine, note O'Reilly's program to provide mobility for disabled veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, note the problems that veterans are having in deal with the VA, the police and fire department personnel who suffered on 911 trying to save as many lives as possible, et al. I don't want to bore you with a large list of people who have given far more than any feminist. Suffice it to say that the above spend little time whining, feeling sorry for themselves or in the grip of an over inflated ego and narcissistic selfishness that seems to infect modern feminism.
"It occurs to me Little Princess that Quite frankly I don't give a damn!" Little Princess, you might think that feminism is getting a back lash, but mostly it is men and non feminist women who are laughing at you. Poor baby has to face the challenges of the world.

Malcolm said...

Dostoevsky on Feminism

Anonymous said...

It's Not About The Nail

Anonymous said...

Excellent Post. I think the Daily Mail is a great source for current scholarship. In fact, you might enjoy this article published today:
It's all about how Global Warming is way worse than we thought.

Anonymous said...

Global warming? C'mon.

Dennis said...

One has to wonder about the mind that can find a newspaper a "great source of current scholarship."

This is why a larger number of people are laughing at feminists.

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. Schneiderman is always citing the Daily Mail as proof of his various theories, as if it is a valid and great source of current scholarship (like he does in this post.) Why, just a few weeks ago he cited an article on there that Global Warming is basically a big fraud. Whoops! A few weeks later on the Daily Mail, it's 10x worse than we thought! Hmmm I wonder which one is true...I'll sift through all the articles on Kim Kardashian to find out.

Anonymous said...

Well, Mr. Schneiderman is always citing the Daily Mail as proof of his various theories, as if it is a valid and great source of current scholarship (like he does in this post.) Why, just a few weeks ago he cited an article on there that Global Warming is basically a big fraud. Whoops! A few weeks later on the Daily Mail, it's 10x worse than we thought! Hmmm I wonder which one is true...I'll sift through all the articles on Kim Kardashian to find out.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Very amusing, but nowhere near as clever as you think...

First, I was not quoting the Daily Mail as an authoritative source... I was quoting a British gov't. study that was being reported by the DM.

Second, the article you cite is a prediction, or, as I like to say, a prophecy. When I quote studies about climate change I look at those that report the state of the climate in the past... something about which there is scientific knowledge. And the studies have shown that the climate has not gotten warmer over the past 15 years.

Anonymous said...

However you want to define it, you are getting your scholarship from a rag that even your loyal followers scoff at.