Feminism Exposed: Be Who You Are, Just Not a Housewife

by Danelle on August 19, 2011 · 13 comments

I have a problem with feminists and radical feminists.

Yes, we all know this by now, but it is not because I am brainwashed by some “evil conservative agenda.” I have logical reasoning and research behind my opinions. The problem is that many proclaimed feminists do not—that is, those who blindly follow the radical feminist agenda known collectively as “feminism.” Many so-called “feminists” are under the impression that modern feminism is about being equal in society and that all the leaders of the feminist movement want women to just “be who they are.” That may have been the case when First-Wave Feminism emerged, but that is just not the case now.

Take, for instance, the stay-at-home mom. She has chosen to stay at home, cook meals for her family every day, and raise her children. This wife and mother should not be criticized for her lifestyle. Unfortunately, she is, and can you guess from whom it is?

Feminists who follow radical leaders like Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Vivian Gornick, Simone de Beauvoir, and many many others are fooling themselves if they believe the modern feminist movement advocates for women to “be who they are.”  If they did advocate this notion, they would not say things about the housewife such as:

Housewives are mindless and thing-hungry…not people. Housework is peculiarly suited to the capacities of feeble-minded girls. It arrests their development at an infantile level, short of personal identity with an inevitably weak core of self…. [Housewives] are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death in the concentration camps.

Found right in The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan.

Or…

[Housewives] are dependent creatures who are still children…

Said by Gloria Steinem, Time Magazine, 1970

Or how about this?

Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession… The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn’t be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that.

Published by Vivian Gornick, University of Illinois, “The Daily Illini,” April 25, 1981

Still not convinced?

Women owe Friedan an incalculable debt for The Feminine Mystique…. Domesticity was not a satisfactory story of an intelligent woman’s life.

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese in Feminism Is Not the Story of My Life

Here is one more for good measure.

We can’t destroy the inequities between men and women until we destroy marriage.

Robin Morgan, Sisterhood Is Powerful

I do not think I need to stress this point any further. Modern radical feminists do not care about women’s choices. They have an agenda and it is to force women into a mold of their liking and destroy any sort of family unit. Feminists: this is what is actually behind the feminist movement.

Luckily, if you don’t want to be part of a movement that rejects marriage, being a housewife, or being who you are, you have an alternative. NeW ladies stand up to this agenda and believe that women do have a choice. We can stay at home, climb the career ladder, or do both. We can be who we are freely.

Welcome to the NeW world.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily Buck August 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Good article! Misery loves company- most of these feminists had bad family lives growing up or married abusive men…so they want to ruin marriage and family for the rest of us!

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Emily August 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Ms. Buck, you are horribly incorrect. I’m a feminist and I had a GREAT family life…my parents are still happily married, we never wanted for food, and I did really well in school (I go to JMU too). Almost all of the feminists I know came from very similar situations. Who are you to make a gross generalization about an incredibly diverse group of women and men? And since when do feminists want to ruin marriage? All of my feminist professors are married with children and are incredibly happy. Get your facts straight before you say something so horribly offensive.

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Vicky August 24, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I was just introduced to NeW and, unfortunately, this is the first “article” that I clicked on.

I am certainly not a “conservative” university woman, but I am well educated and I know enough to point out that the quotes you listed came from larger arguments – arguments that you touch. You can’t take one quote from a large text and use it to color a whole movement.

I am smart enough to know that these larger arguments have much more meaning than what you are assigning them. They are referring to the much bigger issue of society pushing the “housewife” ideal onto women from birth and allowing woman to break through that false ideal.

Your citations are vague. Purposefully so, if you ask me.

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Leah August 24, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I don’t understand why you are attacking the writer of this article for things that are quoted from the “great” feminists of the 20th century. It’s not like she says this stuff. Your feminist role models do. Danelle is just pointing out that being a housewife is a legitimate choice for women that feminists have viciously attacked. If they’re all about women getting to choose the kind of life they want, why do feminists attack those of us who choose to be housewives and raise children? It’s two-faced and hypocritical, which Danelle shows in an intelligent and pointed way. Three cheers for this article and for NeW! I’m proud to be a NeW alum!

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Vicky August 24, 2011 at 4:28 pm

It’s funny that you refer to them as “your (my) feminist role models”. I never presented myself as a feminist or as a particular fan of these “role models”. I actually think that these labels diminish people’s opinions and box them in.

That being said, I was simply stating that the author isn’t presenting a strong argument and is being too broad.

On a personal note, I believe that being a housewife is a legitimate choice as long as it is a choice. I don’t think that those “role models” would disagree – regardless of the quotes that are presented above. I still stand by the fact that they are presented entirely out of context.

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Lia November 3, 2011 at 11:32 pm

This is ridiculous. Those women were writing about the horrors of house-wifery when those women had little or no choice in the matter!! Today, most feminists I can think of would certainly never blame a woman for being a housewife (more appropriately called “homemaker” these days I believe) because they are doing an under-appreciated and obviously unpaid more-than full-time job. And, these days, many of them want to. Power to them. But that is NOT the world in which Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Frieden, or Vivian Gornick were living in.

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Danelle November 4, 2011 at 12:21 am

I start off with Friedan because she started the movement, but the other women I quote here said these things well after women gained mobility. Gornick and Steinem said the above in the 70s and 80s. Women were not being “forced” to be housewives during that time, I think you’d agree. They were specifically pointing out the women who chose to stay at home.

I understand that people you identify as feminists may not agree, but they are not following the feminism the leaders of the movement envisioned. There is a lot of confusion with what “feminism” is. Claiming you know how feminists think, but disagreeing with the quotes above proves that confusion (it occurs among many women I have found). I used to believe I was a feminist, but once I started reading what the leaders actually said, I knew I couldn’t identify with the movement in its current state.

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Lia November 4, 2011 at 1:02 am

Here is a video of Gloria Steinem to defending the rights of a woman who chooses–and is happy in her choice–as a stay-at-home mom AND feminist. She merely ends the video by stating that she wishes she could hear of more stay-at-home men (there may be more of those, these days, given the economic recession–but I’m not sure of the data).

http://www.parentdish.com/2011/05/31/can-a-housewife-be-a-feminist-from-gloria-steinem/

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Lia November 4, 2011 at 1:03 am

a video of Gloria Steinem defending the rights of a woman*. not “to defending.” My mistake

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Danelle November 4, 2011 at 9:58 am

Thanks for the video. I watched it and I think it’s pretty obvious Steinem wants Kate to not be a housewife indefinitely, which some women choose to do and are fulfilled by that. This is apparent when Steinem says “if that [what makes you happy], at this point in your life, is raising this terrific baby, that’s great…”

The “at this point” strikes me as odd. I would agree with Steinem if she said “if that’s what make you happy,” but she said “at this point in your life” for a reason. That means, Steinem does not want Kate to choose to be a stay-at-home-mom a long period of time.

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Loro February 11, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Danelle, you are wilfully mixing up terms. If you admit that feminism has many variations and theories behind it, then what exactly is your claim rested upon when you say you don’t agree with feminists?

I suggest that instead of cherry picking certain writers and speakers, you educate yourself about feminist sociology, feminist psychology, and feminist economics. And marxism, while we’re at it. Some of the quotes you show were poorly chosen, but thank goodness most feminist scholars today are much more wary of judging other women. If you knew anything about modern feministm, you would know this. Unfortunately, you have no idea what you are talking about.

On housewives:

The traditional patriarchal bourgeois family, with the housewife doing the unpaid labour, is the basic unit of capitalism. In a society where value and labour value is determined by money, the housewife’s work is not valued. She is exploited by her husband because the nature of their relationship is exploitative: she carries his children, while bearing his name, in order for his property to be passed on to the next generation (who will hopefully carry on with the traditional patriarchal family). Women’s bodies and reproductives rights are property of their fathers, and later their husbands. This is why social norms are developed that say a woman should not have sex before marriage (if she did, how could we know who got her pregnant and thus how can we ensure that the father’s property goes on to the next generation of his own family?), a woman should not have an abortion, a woman should not use contraception, a woman should not dress scantily because if she gets raped, man, how do we know who are her legitimate children?

It is, of course, more complicated than this. But I’m trying to stick to the nuclear family here.

Now, things get disrupted as women start demanding rights, within and outside the household. Our body is ours, our sexuality is ours, our name is ours, our property, our vote, etc. Our unpaid labour at home should be valued with money, or it should be equally shared by husband and wife. Etc.

So in an era where we should be aware of the exploitativeness of the household relations, when women are “reclaiming” the right to work in the home, raise the children, and give up their name… well, dude, it’s definitely your choice, but it’s a bloody insult to most women on the planet who either have: a) no education or little awareness of the exploitative nature of their state, or b) no freedom to exert their natural rights NOT to be exploited.

Dear anti-feminist women: you owe the right to CHOOSE to all feminists that came before you, and to all feminists still fighting for women’s rights today. Stop working against the only people who actually have your interests at heart, and if you choose to give up your freedom, do so without being ungrateful.

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rjcoutu@yahoo.com April 9, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Loro I cannot accurately convey how spot on your last post was. These are the types of women who were initially against female suffrage. Yes they still do and always will exist as long as they can procreate. Their contempt for feminists stems from their politics which labelb feminism as being liberal so they must find ways to distance themselves from that. This website is more about lobbying for republican causes than anything else. Their views are outdated and fallacious just like their political party. The democrats have code pink and the republicans have these stepford wives. Be yourself ladies and stop worrying about what other people think.

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