The Failure of Feminism

As I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and considering my own thoughts these past few weeks, a thought snuck up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder.

As much as feminism has accomplished with women’s rights, the right to vote, being able to go into any profession, etc, it has failed a lot of women. It put shame on an entire sector of women and what they wanted to do.

You see, my mom wanted to be a housewife. She loved her children. She had a heart that was gentle and beautiful. She liked cooking, she loved taking care of her husband and her family. And feminism failed her. She was condemned and criticized by many of the women around her who claimed to be feminists.

So this is my complaint against feminism: Women are equal in value with men. But feminists taught an entire generation that women only have value if they are career-oriented. Housewives are women who are worthless. True feminism should teach that women have worth and value, REGARDLESS of if they make a living working for others or working with their family.

Did you ever want to stay home with your children? Did you feel pressured to have a career?

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10 thoughts on “The Failure of Feminism

  1. My mother has always been looked down on by my aunt (my dad’s sister) because she chose to stay at home and look after us rather than have a career. However I don’t think that’s as much a fault of feminism as it is the patriarchy. Housewives are looked down upon because it’s seen as a traditionally feminine roll and anything traditionally feminine is therefore weak and inferior. It’s internalised misogyny, which is the fault of the patriarchy and not of feminism necessarily. πŸ™‚

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    1. I know some guys who take their women for granted (I’ve written on this before, some time ago), and I think it’s a shame. I’ve also lived in a culture where women are treated as second class in many ways. However, I also know a lot of guys who believe that males should be the head of the home, and yet respect and love and appreciate the women in their lives as essential and equal.
      Hmmm…. Maybe it has lesser to do with feminism or patriarchy and more about fundamental beliefs about others? People who have empathy and love treat their wives with respect and value. I’ve seen that at work in India. Women who, ordinarily, are outcast (widows) are treated as equals within Christian circles. This is because, in Hinduism, a person’s station in life (women, lower castes, etc) is seen as just karma for something they did in a previous life. Thus, there’s not much compassion for them. However, the Christians are taught that it’s sin that messed up something beautiful, and Christians have the duty to love and respect each other regardless of what’s happened. This leads to high empathy.
      Still forming these thoughts, thanks for the comment!

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      1. It’s interesting to hear a religious and cultural perspective on this – my views are very much grounded in being a white, western woman. I agree, it has a lot to do with individuals and their character and beliefs.

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  2. I am a young feminist and feel no pressure to be career driven. I am still grateful that feminism gives me this option to be career driven though! My mum is a housewife and I don’t judge her decision at all.

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    1. I’m glad! I’ve known one feminist who really considered her beliefs and explained what she meant by feminism, and I found myself agreeing with her. However, many of the feminists I knew growing up acted like this. πŸ™‚ Is your mum a feminist?

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      1. Yes of course! All feminism is is wanting equality. My mum has worked so hard in her own right to bring me and my sisters up and completely supports my feminist blog.

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  3. I am a stay home mom…I gave up a 20 year career to do so and have never once felt like I made the wrong decision. I can always go back to work…I only get one chance to see my children grow. And anyone who thinks down on me for doing so obviously has demons of their own that they need to address. Great read idea by the way. :))

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  4. I understand your sentiment and criticizing someone for not having the same beliefs as you is wrong (i.e. career-oriented women vs stay at home wives/mothers). Indeed, the movement didn’t do enough to say that “staying at home is okay if that’s what you want to do”. You know, to each each own.

    However, that wasn’t (and still isn’t) the purpose of the movement. The idea is that women should be free to pursue their desires/goals outside of the home. Unfortunately, I have yet to see a “perfect” movement and it’s good that you brought this up. We should be free to pursue the best path for our lives. We are starting to see that more in 3rd wave feminism than before.

    Great post!

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