Feminists "Intellectuals" vs Real American Women

Some of you may have read or heard something about feminist professor Linda Hirshman’s campaign to condemn well educated women for staying home with her kids. This started with a ridiculous article in American Prospect titled Homeward Bound in which she declares among other things “The family — with its repetitious, socially invisible, physical tasks — is a necessary part of life, but it allows fewer opportunities for full human flourishing than public spheres like the market or the government. This less-flourishing sphere is not the natural or moral responsibility only of women. Therefore, assigning it to women is unjust. Women assigning it to themselves is equally unjust.”
Ah yes, there’s the essence of my life: “repetitious, socially invisible, physical tasks”. Talk about completely missing the point! What planet does this woman live on? That’s like calling being a rocket scientist “repetitious, socially invisible and physical”. After all, it’s repetitious because they are often working, reworking and refining the same numbers, sketches and calculations over and over again. And it’s obviously socially invisible, because let’s face it unless you’re related to a rocket scientist you probably can’t name a single one. And it’s physical because they have to keep their desks in order (no doubt a job that’s never done), may have to walk back and forth to meetings, the copier and may even have to physically put together and take apart models, prototypes and such. I say we start a campaign to declare rocket science to be a “less flourishing” sphere for women due to it’s “reputes, socially invisible and physical tasks”.
Of course the reality is that us women living in the real world completely disagree with her. According to studies only 16% of mothers actually want to work full time outside the home. No doubt she would consider this a sign of our oppression, but hey, we’re just little women – what more can you expect from us? Really, what her thinking reveals is a profound misogyny which underlies much of what has passed for feminism in the last 40 years. If you click on the link to her article above, you’ll see that the lead in says “‘Choice feminism’ claims that staying home with the kids is just one more feminist option. Funny that most men rarely make the same ‘choice.’ Exactly what kind of choice is that?” And this is exactly where modern feminism went wrong – they define worth by what men do. Women cannot be women on their own terms, being respected for their own choices, values and natural tendencies. Their equality and worth is assured only to the extent that they live up to male standards. Obviously, if a choice was worth making, men would make it. If they don’t, then no matter how deeply a woman may desire it, it’s just not up to snuff. The original feminists (Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton et al), must be rolling in their graves.
Fortunately, Ms. Hirshman doesn’t rely on her misogyny alone to let her know that staying home is a lesser choice; she also reads our blogs: “One of the things I’ve done working on my book is to read a lot of the diaries online, and their description of their lives does not sound particularly interesting or fulfilling for a complicated person, for a complicated, educated person.” Boy, she really has her finger on the pulse of my life! What a bloody joke!

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