Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Living the Feminist Dream

What does it mean to be liberated? Does it mean: being independent, autonomous, making one’s own decisions, not being anyone’s slave?

Susan Goldberg notes a peculiar phenomenon among today’s liberated women. You know who they are. They have it all. They have big careers and children. They are living the feminist dream. Unfortunately, it’s become something of a nightmare, but at least we can blame that on men.

To her great surprise Goldberg discovers that these women are so stressed out that they cannot make an elementary decision without consulting a coterie of licensed, credentialed professionals. God allowed himself a day off. Liberated women cannot do the same, except when told to do so by their advisory board.

Goldberg was reading Babble, a website for mothers, when she chanced on the testimony of a woman who had hired a Mom coach. (By the way, don’t you find it slightly condescending to label a website for mothers: Babble?)

Anyway, the woman on the site wrote:

In talking to her [ the coach], I felt ridiculous admitting that I couldn’t even name the last time I had taken a true break from work. I even worked through labor with my fourth child three years ago and ran an online class while I was physically miscarrying last month. It was almost embarrassing to speak my truths out loud, but when a professional told me I needed to take a real break, it actually felt like an enormous sigh of relief.

So much for independence. This woman was so dependent that she cannot take a break without receiving permission. It’s like she is a child in a classroom who cannot take a bathroom break without asking teacher’s permission.

Goldberg writes:

Without the reassurance of a licensed/certified/credentialed “mom coach,” how could any of us possibly calm down? Just to be on the safe side, as soon as the writer hung up the phone with her mom coach she checked in with her therapist—a second credentialed “professional”—to make sure it was okay to relax. “Because coaching is never a substitute for therapy," she wrote.

The most dispiriting part is that the mother in question cannot merely rely on her Mom coach. She also has to ask her therapist. After that she will probably write in to Ask Polly.

Goldberg comments:

Since when does any adult, let alone an empowered woman in the 21st century raised by a generation of liberated feminists, need permission to cut back on work? I thought feminism put us in charge of our own lives. Why, then, are we paying “mom coaches” $200 per phone call to tell us to do little more than take a few days off of work, or primary parenting, or whatever it is that is stressing us out and relax?

When not consulting with all of these experts today’s liberated women are becoming alcoholics. You’ve come a long way, baby.

In Goldberg’s words:

Not that long ago Babble published a piece explaining that “mommy drinking culture” has “normalized alcoholism” for American women. Apparently “mommy’s sippy cup” is a real dilemma for a generation of women who supposedly escaped the Stepford day-drinking curse. Which is odd, because I thought we were liberated from all that in the '60s. Weren’t we?

These women, Goldberg comments, are imprisoned by feminist cultural norms:

Feminism’s target mom-demographic, financially well-off white women, are becoming increasingly imprisoned by cultural norms established by their liberated foremothers. When Lucy Rorech (42) quit working on Wall Street to spend more time with her three children, she wound up throwing wild cocktail-infused playdates for her fellow mommy friends in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Quite often these playdates ended in mommy blackouts. According to the New York Post Rorech is one of a growing number of mothers who turn to addiction because they just can’t "…cope with the stress of raising children, having a career and taking care of the household."

They’re so stressed out that they need a cadre of professionals to save them from addiction-induced blackouts. Who knew we were being liberated in order to be enslaved

Just because you believe in liberation and believe that you are making life so much better for women, does not mean that reality must fulfill your wishes. In truth, reality is in the business of not fulfilling your wishes.


Jack Fisher said...

"I felt ridiculous admitting that I couldn’t even name the last time I had taken a true break from work. I even worked through labor with my fourth child three years ago and ran an online class while I was physically miscarrying last month."

This is either virtue signaling or look-at-poor-me chic. I wonder if this happens in San Bernardino or if it's just a New York thing.

These chicks are seriously screwed up.

Ares Olympus said...

What's hard to tell is what is real and what is imagined. I have found a consistent pattern that woman, or many woman, have an innate need to complain and feel heard, even if they have to make things up, and so much that they'll pay someone to listen if their circle of friends has run dry. And any advice you give women such as "Why don't you cut back your responsibilities" will be proof that you're not listening, and you're not being properly sympathetic and proud of how hard their working to make things work.

I've probably learned more about women's inner world in the last decade of Facebook than the all the decades before that, and not just the 20-somethings putting their hearts out to their circles. But while male fantasies aspire to 72 virgins, women seem fine with 72 likes and other supportive coos, and all their suffering is justified, at least for another day.

Sam L. said...

These are not strong women.