Wednesday, September 10, 2008

They don't cry, 'Parent!' Part II.

(Click here to read Part I of this post, if you haven't yet.)

Although the women's movement in America during the latter half of the 20th Century has been chronicled in great and sometimes histrionic detail, accelerating feminism was just one of two major social initiatives that dovetailed in the late '60s/early '70s to create a perfect storm of female aspiration. Left in the wake of that storm was a wholesale change in the way women viewed motherhood, and their personal (and political) relationship to it.

The other major movement
it will not surprise you to hear this in a venue like SHAMblogwas the rise of SHAM's Victimization wing, which reached full flower during the '80s in the concept of codependency. Codependency had many (often confusing) messages. But its bottom line for women (who have always been the primary consumers of self-help materials and the particular targets of books on codependency) was that you are never free to explore your own unique potential as long as your emotional well-being is tied to the feelings of those around you.

Prior to the emergence of such beliefs, it would not have occurred to the average mother to think of her own needs first (if she thought of them at all), or to assign an especially high priority to her self-actualization (if she even understood the term or took it seriously). If she did u
nderstand the term, no doubt she would've told you that motherhood was self-actualization, to her. Let me emphasize: I am not arguing that this mass mentality was always a good thing, or even that it was healthy for the women of pre-feminist generations. (That's an answer that we may never know.) But it does seem clear that children benefited from their mothers' self-sacrificing mindset, at least prior to the 1960s. Once the revolution of rising expectations reached critical mass, such that women began questioning their domestic roles and thinking more in terms of their own happiness, it's doubtful that even the kids of stay-at-home moms enjoyed their mothers' presence to the same degree as their predecessor generations; for surely as these moms began to rethink things, at least some of them also began to resent being chained to the home. Their domestic responsibilities became symbols of oppression. And it seems likely that some children, to some degree, became pin cushions for their mothers' growing frustrations. (Feminism strikes me as one of those can't-get-the-genie-back-in-the-bottle affairs.)

The point is that feminism gets most of the credit/blame for women's changing social roles, but in truth there is no way that feminism could've spread beyond tiny pockets of radicalism (like the ivy-clad walls of academia) into the tree-lined subdivisions of June Cleaver's world purely on its own; something had to lay the psychological groundwork for the notion that women (a) were entitled to think of their own needs first and (b) actually owed it to themselves to survey their lives and examine what made them happy and what didn't. That "something" was the coincident explosion in self-help materials and related thinking.

If it strikes you that I'm unfairly rewriting history and thereby denying feminists their due, ask yourself this: Why didn't the women's suffrage movement, having finally achieved its goal in 1919, immediately and naturally segue into a wider campaign to change women's overall place in society? Was it because the need for women to work wasn't quite there yet? Was it because the social climate wasn't quite right yet? Yes, and yes...but
I would argue that those are effects, not causes. Though women had gotten the right to vote, they still saw themselves, essentially, as mothers who were now allowed to vote. Even after World War II, which brought us the memorable image of "Rosie the Riveter" (shown), although some women remained in the workplace, most put their rivets away, went back to their returning-GI husbands and pumped out my generation of Baby Boomers. Even today, in fact, if women by and large still believed that their personal happiness lay in the happiness of those around them, life would look very different from what it does. Women wouldn't need to take jobs in order to help pay the mortgage on that huge house with its three-car garage, because families would not be buying huge homes and the pricey sportscars and crossover vehicles to fill those garages. Families would be making do with less. In my view, the catalyst for the changes we see today was not the external climate around women, but the changing psychological climate within women. That would not have happened without the contributions of Eric Berne, Thomas A. Harris, Melody Beattie and others.


Read an interesting column by liberal blogger Deborah White, who makes a few points that hadn't occurred to me. While Giuliani, Palin and the rest of the GOP elite were having such a rip-roaring time making light of Barack Obama's early work as a community organizer, they were conveniently overlooking one important thing: the reality of what a community organizer* does. A community organizer energizes people, White observes, and encourages them to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. He teaches people to be proactive about life, to make plans and follow through, to become self-sustaining. Quite often, he will teach people to take a more entrepreneurial spirit in life. He teaches them, she writes, "to become more self-sufficient, and less passively reliant on the government," and may very well show them the ropes of "starting small businesses."

In other words
it could almost be saida community organizer creates Republicans in the classic tradition. ;)

(And it can definitely be said that a community organizer teaches people the genuine self-help skills that are sorely needed in so many of America's blighted urban neighborhoods.)

* the good kind, anyway. There's another type of community activist epitomized in the person of Al Sharpton; Sharpton-style activism, the demagogic kind, really just exploits people to solidify a power base, and its effect on the community is exactly opposite that of someone like Obama: Instead of empowering people to be more self-sufficient, the demagogue makes them feel totally helpless and dependent on him.


Mike Cane said...

Three things:

1) It's well-known that women flocked to hear Norman Vincent Peale at his NY church. Yet that didn't turn them into feminists. Not disputing your point Steve, just saying Something Else happened too.

2) Camille Paglia on Sarah Palin (yes, relevant).

3) Lipstick on a pig (general stupidity bonus point)

Steve Salerno said...

Oh I agree, Mike. I was not implying that self-help alone was what did the trick. On the other hand, Peale's message was entirely different from the message of early Victimization. Peale basically told people, "Your glass is fuller than you realize." Which is a message that tends to encourage stasis (even though it doesn't mean to). Whereas Victimization/codependency told women, "Your glass is at least half empty...and it's not your fault that it got that way...and you don't have to take it anymore!"

I think that's an important distinction.

Thanks for the links. I will read.

Anonymous said...

Deborah White has it all wrong when it comes to community organizers: they are not entrepreneurial at all. They have no product or service to sell - they shakedown governments and public and private institutions for money, and then they are completely unaccountable for the failure to achieve any meaningful results.

How come Obama is touting his successes as an organizer? How come he's not pointing to the surge in test scores and college acceptances among the disadvantaged youth of his ward? Where is the drop in crime and reduction in pregnant teenagers?

What exactly was gained from Obama and Ayers handling those millions of dollars in funds from the Department of Education and the Annenberg Foundation? How did South Chicago benefit?

Republicans would stand up and cheer if Senator and Mrs. Obama could show that their community organizing was successful.

Cosmic Connie said...

[Note: Steve, Mike Cane's comment and your reply came in while I was fighting with Blogger's word verification, but I don't have time to go back and edit, so I'll just let this stand. I think you already answered one of my questions, as you'll see.]

Very interesting post, Steve. However, I think it's difficult to pinpoint the forces that created a climate for the rise of the 'new wave' of feminism that has shaken society to its core.

Did the rise of self-help actually create this climate, or did this climate create the rise of self-help? Perhaps both are true. To invoke that term "perfect storm" again, I think there were a number of factors that turned women's (and men's) focus from traditional roles in the Post-World-War-II era. There was a new awareness of the perils of the modern world. There was a new awareness of what seemed to be true evil in the world (in the form of Nazism and Fascism).

Perhaps most of all, there were new developments in science and technology –including television, which brought the world into people's homes in new ways. And fifteen years after the end of World War II, the Pill was introduced. And so on. (I know I'm just skimming the surface here, and no doubt sounding woefully simplistic, but I'm kind of on the run today.)

Even so, the parents of the "Greatest Generation" -- and I do believe that is an apt title -- were the last ones to embrace, for the most part, the traditional nuclear family with the stay-at-home mom and the workaholic dad. Few really lived up to the June and Ward Cleaver ideals, but still, those were, presumably, the ideals.

Yet as you pointed out, this was the generation that gave birth to the huge baby boom generation – and the boomers were the very folks who embraced sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, as well as the "second wave" of feminism.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is this: Are you implying that self-help is responsible for the baby boomers' (and subsequent generations') narcissism and self-centeredness? Could it be that this narcissism was at least partly a natural result of being overindulged by the modern world that, yes, The Greatest Generation had worked so hard to create? Not that I'm trying to place "blame" on the boomers' parents; they were just trying to create a better world for their kids than the one they'd known. As is always the case, however, there were unintended consequences.

I believe there is an inherent human tendency to get a bit bored and restless once basic survival needs are met, and to go off in search of new distractions. Recreational drugs filled this need for many baby boomers, and, yes, so did self-help. This is still the case with many people of various generations today, and of course there are also all the cool new toys that the baby boomers didn’t have when they were growing up.

Which leads me to the point that even without feminism, and even without self-help, as technology advanced clever marketers would have no doubt found ways to create "product lust" in all of us. Like self-help hucksters, manufacturers thrive on making us feel dissatisfied with our lives.

One final point before I end this rambling missive: We have to remember that even in those "simpler" times, when presumably more traditional values were embraced by all, there was a LOT of social injustice. I’ve read enough of your writing to know that you are not arguing for a return to the bad old days, but I just thought this was a point worth reiterating.

Steve Salerno said...

I read Paglia's column. Very nicely written. (No duh.) But what I come away with--perhaps unfairly in this case--is how feminists will rationalize away their core values in order to admire a woman, almost any woman, who stands at the threshold of high office. And again, I am troubled by the fact that Paglia seems to be buying into the importance of image over substance. The entire column is about "persona."

Incidentally, Obama's "lipstick on a pig" remark, even if he didn't intend its overtones re Palin, was dumb, dumb, dumb.

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve - it's Goaty

Feminism and the self-help movement came from prosperity. As Abe Maslow's hierarchy of needs explains, such navel-gazing can only happen in an environment where women have time and money and the basic survival needs already met. Back in the 1800's, when it was not uncommon for women to live on farms and give birth to a dozen kids or so, women were too darn busy all their waking hours to plot ways to enhance their feelings of self-fulfillment or to fret about limited educational and employment opportunities. The great motivators of hunger, cold, and abject poverty kept them busy.

It's like the old saying: poor people have troubles; rich people have stress.

Cosmic Connie said...

I think "Goaty" just said in a few words what it took me many, many words to try to convey. Good job, Goaty!

Anonymous said...

My biggest problem with feminism and all the isms is the need for justification of selfish behavior. I grew-up with the feminist mindset of the 1970’s. The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” premiered a month after my birth and the fight for ERA was on. Being a modern woman was in.

My mother was ahead of her time. She had me without a father and she drilled it into me that “you need no man. You are complete alone.” None of that is really true. I suffered from not having a father, but I cannot speak of that. I am betraying my gender and feminist ideals by saying my mother’s choices were selfish in my eyes. After all I am a woman and should stick with my gender unless I think differently. Then I hate my gender and I am brainwashed. I do not agree with this assessment. Everyone deserves to know where they came from. There are many women who see my mother’s actions as empowering and the ideal.

See here is the problem with these assessments: They are based on personal experiences that do not cover everyone. My mother based her actions on reactions to a previous society and experience. She had a bad relationship with her father and did not want to repeat it. She did want children though, but on her terms. She was going to make it work for her and believed her children would follow suit. I was not born in her time though. I was born in my own. Feminism is very dated.

Maybe some women can do it all, but why should I? Why can’t I have my life through my experiences and choices? Wasn’t that what the idea of feminism was all about? We have the right to be who we are? Why can’t we get married and have a “traditional” family if we so choose? Are we harming anyone? Why can’t I enjoy raising my children? Why must I teach my daughter that her life must be about “being complete” alone? Maybe I should let my daughter figure out what type of life she needs for herself and not one I should foster onto her. I will teach my children that for every action there is a reaction and no one lives in a vacuum. I will teach my daughter the same, as I teach my sons, “know thyself.” Maybe then all the isms will make more sense and have more meaning to everyone.

Steve Salerno said...

It's interesting, though, that the women's movement does not seem to have been born out of prosperity or comfort, but rather out of a sense of injustice, unhappiness and, I think, yes, victimization. And then we have to ask ourselves why so many women of that era--if they were essentially following Maslow's script--made choices that vastly complicated their lives and, in a very literal sense, sought pain. We've tended to focus here on women who work, because that's the issue brought to the fore by Sarah Palin. But what about other fallout from the women's/self-help movement: like, say, the soaring divorce rate and the number of women who began to choose single motherhood as a way of life? I don't think you can explain that so neatly under the Maslow paradigm. (Although I suppose one could argue that, paradoxically, once women's basic needs were taken care of, they had time to sit back and realize that their basic needs weren't being taken care of...) Plus, even today, how do married women explain their decision to work, primarily? Because they "have to." Because they can't make it on one salary (their husband's). So again, I'm not sure prosperity is the foundation.

Another point: If prosperity is the key here, then why didn't it affect men to the same degree? It's only quite recently--the past decade or so--that men have begun taking the pulse of their own happiness in the way that women were doing back in the 1970s.

I still there that there are far more subtle psychological factors in play here.

Anonymous said...

“It's interesting, though, that the women's movement does not seem to have been born out of prosperity or comfort, but rather out of a sense of injustice, unhappiness and, I think, yes, victimization.”

You do know the first wave of the women’s movement was tied to slavery? Women thought they would be freed like the slaves, but it did not happen that way. A black man could vote, before any woman could. Women were a big force in the abolishment movement and many felt used after the Civil War. They should have been explicit about what their expectations were instead of assuming those they helped would return the favor.

In my view, I think the anger stems from women tying themselves to others’ causes. It is this theory of “I help you so you will help me.” As we all know, society does not always work that way. Men seem to understand this concept a little better. Women still try to justify it even with disastrous results. It has been brought up on your blog a few times.

When a person does not address his or her true needs, that person gets angry. It is easier to get angry at society than to get angry at one’s self.

Cosmic Connie said...

Hmmm....more and more levels to consider, Steve. But prosperity doesn't necessarily lead to happiness. Sometimes it just leads to discontent or malcontent. And it could be argued that most of the major social movements of the past few decades were born of a certain restlessness (or divine discontent, or boredom, or actual outrage at real or perceived injustice) -- and in many cases, these movements were spearheaded by relatively affluent young people with time on their hands. If these folks had still been busy plowing the fields or trying to feed a dozen kids or otherwise fighting for basics, they probably would have had little time or energy left over to fight for change, or even to decide that change was desirable.

I don't dispute the presence of more subtle psychological factors, and while I think Maslow's hierarchy of needs may be an oversimplification, I still believe that affluence and technological advances go a long way towards explaining many of the phenomena we're talking about here.

All that aside, I think Anon 3:09 PM's story is valuable, because it illustrates the complexity of these issues.

ellen said...

I think there were many factors involved in the rise of feminism but the real psychological motivator was that most women had had enough of being dominated by men. There was no golden age of happy families Steve, except in the media, women were chattels--owned by their husbands, no garauntee you'd get even a halfway decent one.
After working at mens jobs during the war it must have galled them to go back to begging for housekeeping money that may or may not have been forthcoming from the man.
Yes, women work because they need the income but also because they are no longer willing to be in such a vulnerable and subservient position to a man. This is causing problems for many middle-aged men but then change is always uncomfortable. The following generations of men will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Cosmic Connie said...

Oh, re your question:
"If prosperity is the key here, then why didn't it affect men to the same degree?"

Men *were* very involved in a lot of the other earlier social movements, but when it came to their own personal fulfillment, they were perhaps a bit behind the curve. Traditionally they weren't as as introspective as women. And maybe they were happy with the way things were. After all, it was still kind of a "man's world," wasn't it? In the wake of the so-called sexual revolution, they had (more) willing sex partners. Plus they got a better deal in the workplace than women. So why would they protest against that?

I do think the SHAM industry *is* responsible for getting men so interested in personal growth. It started, I think, in the late 1980s with the "wild men" movements. SHAMsters discovered they could make money by convincing men they were wounded warriors, etc. And soon there was a whole new market for SHAM.

Anonymous said...

“I think there were many factors involved in the rise of feminism but the real psychological motivator was that most women had had enough of being dominated by men.”

This argument is old. What women did men dominate? Sure, there were domineering husbands, but there were domineering wives too. I had a great-grandmother who ruled my great-grandfather with an iron fist and was proud of it. She couldn’t vote, but she didn’t really care either.

Don’t get me wrong, the Suffrage Movement was needed, but aren’t we beyond 1921? I feel as if I am speaking to relics about feminism. Either the women are stuck in 1921 or 1977. The blinders never seem to come off. Why is it always “for women or against women”? Social issues and change never really work that way or simply.

Will the men be better? From what I can tell they are as confused as the women.

Oh, I am not "owned" by my husband, but if it floats his boat to think so, so what?

Cal said...

Aren't you sounding like Dr. Laura here? I know she believes that women should stay home to raise their kids and that a family (with a husband and wife) can get by on one salary if they sacrifice. She blames feminism for teaching women they can do it all. By the way, I read her blog and she doesn't like the pick of Palin due to the family circumstances.

I'm not being critical, but just pointing out the similarities in your points of view on this one topic.

ellen said...

an old argument, re anon 6.11.
Yes it's old but no less valid for that.
Earning their own money gave women options, the option to stay or walk away from a bad marriage. The previous situation, where women had no choice, financially, socially, culturally but to stay and put up with whatever has situation they found themselves in, has parallels today in the Taliban attitude to women. The argument is old but had the change not happened you wouldn't have the luxury of such a carefree attitude towards 'ownership' by your husband. That is the option that this old argument and the changes it brought have allowed you.
As to whether the argument is dead, ask yourself why there has been such an endless furore over whether this particular aspirant for high office is capable or not--simply because she has children. All the countless previous male aspirants for this office also had children, not a murmur about how this might impact on their capability for doing the job. This sudden, specious concern for Palin's children is a simple distraction from the underlying fear that the woman might actually get the job and then might actually prove to do it competently.
I have no admiration for Palin's politics, religion or 'family values' but feminism was and is about equal opportunity. Equal opportunity is THE core value of feminism and I don't see anything in Paglia's article that undermines that. Equal opportunity means that a black man and a woman with views I don't agree with, both have an equal right to a shot at the job.
Equal opportunity is also about your right to stay in an 'ownership' relation to your husband if that is what you want. All these old arguments are about giving others the freedom to choose something different. Democracy, I think it's called.

Steve Salerno said...

Cal (and others), yes, this is essentially Dr. Laura's argument. But just FYI, it is a mistake to assume that because I present an argument (or even a case for something) here, it necessarily represents how I feel. I'm not sure, within my own head and where else would a person be unsure?), that just because something has an adverse effect on kids, that always means we should stop doing it. I know this may sound odd to some people, especially newcomers or people who just read the blog for one issue, but if you hang out long enough, I think you'll see where I'm coming from.

Ellen, my concern with the women's movement is not so much how many women walked out of bad marriages, because lord knows that during the first half of the 20th century, there were millions of women who felt imprisoned by men who were genuinely abusive. My concern is this: How many women were taught (primarily by self-help and its "theories") to think that their marriages were bad, when in reality they were just normal, or maybe even better than average? I'm reminded of something I talk about on pp 136-137 of SHAM.* Once concern over child abuse flowered into a cultural obsession, we began to see it everywhere--and we even began to remember it even when it had never actually happened! People in droves began to rewrite their early family life, looking back and seeing ghosts and goblins that were never there when they were actually growing up.

* For those who might wonder, I just looked it up; I'm not so "into" my book that I have all the page correlations on the tip of my tongue. ;)

ellen said...

Sorry Steve, I had no intention of taking you to task for views expressed,(my views are my own and that doesn't mean that I denigrate yours simply because they are different to mine, I can also recognise a talking point) and I agree, there have been abuses as a result of feminism just as there have been abuses of self-help ideology. We humans are a manipulative lot, ever ready to use anything that comes our way to advance our own cause/opinion/bankbalance and that will not change any time soon.
Equal opportunity, if it ever existed in a pure form, would also give us all equal rights to make our own mistakes, screw up the job, mess up our own lives. What's needed I think is the teaching of critical thinking so that we can come to our own conclusions--whatever they are--rather than being swayed by the glib emotional appeals of politicos and pundits/new age scammers with their own agenda. Just recognising these agendas when they appear would be a start.
Until that particular golden age appears I think Winston Churchill had a point when he said that democracy is a lousy system--until you look at the alternatives.

RevRon's Rants said...

I think Goaty came closest to explaining the phenomenon, but I would add that Madison Avenue gave the movement its impetus. In the '50s, Americans were presented (via television) with their first day-in / day-out visuals of the "good life," along with the message that it was available to them, if they would only buy specific products and buy into specific ideas. It didn't take long for the message to sink in, giving rise to the widespread attitude of entitlement sans the requisite effort.

Self-help, the feminist movement, and the narcissistic attitude of my (boomer) and subsequent generations was inevitable. As Jim Morrison sang in When the Music's Over," ...we want the worlkd and we want it... NOW!"

Mike Cane said...

Really great discussion here.

Steve, yeah, I agree about Paglia focusing on Palin's surface attributes. See Neil Postman's "Amusing Ourselves to Death." I can't take Paglia seriously all the time.

I disagree about Obama's lipstick statement, obviously. Just because Palin used "lipstick," she now has exclusive rights to the term? As I point out, it's been used for *years* in a Palm forum to disparage their bad business decisions (ironically, the first one to use the term in that forum over and over again is a Republican!). And even if the audience took it to mean Palin, well, she's the same old pig policies in new lipstick anyway, isn't she?

Cosmic Connie raised a lot of good points. The Pill had a huge impact on society, as did TV (and especially TV advertising!).

Steve Salerno said...

Just to clarify, my problem with Obama's use of the "lipstick" remark is...well, exactly what has happened since he used it. He should have known how the statement would be spun in our sound-bite culture, especially coming as it did on the heels of Palin's own self-description ("pitbull with lipstick"). You and I know that he wasn't referring directly to Palin (though perhaps he did intend some subliminal subtext?)--but regardless, it was bound to spark outrage (or at least feigned outrage) among Republicans, and possibly create just a bit more distance between Obama and the women who seem to be finding the McCain/Palin ticket increasingly attractive.

This is why I've said: What worries me about Obama is the same thing that worried me about Carter (and ultimately helped undo him). He thinks on a higher and far less petty plane than does the average person, and despite his nonstop advocacy of the middle class, that can create some detachment from Joe and Jane Lunchbucket that may come back to bite him on the ass. I can easily foresee Obama being grievously damaged by a careless remark or philosophical musing and then later wondering, "What happened? What'd I say??" As per his less-than-lustrous performance at Rev. Warren's Saddleback sitdown. Or, say, Carter's offhand confession to Playboy about "lusting in [his] heart." He probably thought, "What's the big deal? Everybody lusts." But look how it got played.

Anonymous said...

"The argument is old but had the change not happened you wouldn't have the luxury of such a carefree attitude towards 'ownership' by your husband. That is the option that this old argument and the changes it brought have allowed you."

That is the point Ellen. It's changed. We have the right to vote and we need to get beyond 1921, 1959, and 1977. There are new issues to be had. The issue is choice and why women amongst women don't have it. Why do we denigrate our "sisters" for making choices that are right for them? Why does Geraldine Ferraro get the right to look down at women who want to raise their children? Why didn’t a feminist attack her? What she stated was insulting and cruel yet she was cheered.

I was raised in a very pro-feminist matriarchal family. It was as oppressive as the Taliban and it did no favors to my male relatives. Of course it was accepted, because no one would go against a woman having rights. My mother and various female relatives can recite the 19th amendment verbatim. At what point do we get beyond that? If we keep looking back we fall on our faces.

Another example to ponder: I went to all private girls’ schools and just went to my 20th reunion. Do you know what was discussed? Children and husbands were the primary topic. All of us are well educated and some have interesting jobs, but we did not speak of them. So what does that tell you? Are we that much different then our great-grandmothers who were concerned about their families?

It is time to "move on” and teach women to be individuals.

Anonymous said...

"He thinks on a higher and far less petty plane than does the average person, and despite his nonstop advocacy of the middle class, that can create some detachment from Joe and Jane Lunchbucket that may come back to bite him on the ass."

I was thinking the same thing. Obama maybe too smart for his own good. I hope he takes some lessons from Slick Willy. Bill was/is good at speaking to each audience in ways they understand. Obama has not quite mastered that gift.

Anonymous said...

“As to whether the argument is dead, ask yourself why there has been such an endless furore over whether this particular aspirant for high office is capable or not--simply because she has children. All the countless previous male aspirants for this office also had children, not a murmur about how this might impact on their capability for doing the job.”

Well we (women) don’t ask for equal treatment. We ask for special treatment and that is one of the reasons Palin is under the gun. If we were equal, no woman could say breastfeeding was a reason to delay taking her medical board tests. Yet this woman is suing Harvard University for discrimination for being a woman. Feminists who believe in equality would have said, “you shouldn’t have had the kid or get a breast pump.” All the males do not get this excuse so why do women? Don’t tell me they are different. Where is the equality argument there?

McCain’s kids are grandparents so he doesn’t need to worry about them. Obama freely admits he will be missing out on his daughters’ lives. He knows he asked his family for a lot when he decided to run for office. A lot of men understand they make choices. Do women understand this? From what I can see they do not. Women want to be mothers and want others to sacrifice for their choice to be mothers. Is that equal? Not in my eyes. It is equality when it suits and that is not equality at all.

Steve Salerno said...

You see, this is when I love the blog the most. So many good points are being made here on this thread--both pro and con. I have nothing to interject at this point that wouldn't distract us from arguments that have been made far better by others.

I hope that doesn't come across as patronizing. I'm just honestly appreciative of the give-and-take here. For want of a better way of saying this, it stimulates me.

Elizabeth said...

Apropos your last paragraph(s), Steve:

Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate a governor.

Anonymous said...

You're a self-righteous, narrowminded ass. Who made you the expert on feminism -- you're a guy, who no doubt has been able to do the things you do because of a woman behind you (or more likely a whole team of women behind you) working their asses off.

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