Wednesday, June 20, 2012

feminist war on women

 "I have to admit that when I meet a woman who I know is a graduate of, say, Princeton -- one who has read The Second Sex and therefore ought to know better -- but is still a full-time wife, I feel betrayed. I'm not much of a moralist -- I have absolutely no right to be -- but in the interest of doing what's right both for me personally and for women generally, I have been strict with myself about earning my keep. For the longest time I would not date anyone who would now be called a one-percenter because money and power are such a potent combination, and if I am going to be bossed around, I don't want that to be the reason. When it's come up, I have chosen not to get married. Over and over again, I have opted for my integrity and independence over what was easy or obvious. And I am happy. I don't want everyone to live like me, but I do expect educated and able-bodied women to be holding their own in the world of work." Elizabeth Wurtzel
 This screed from The Atlantic magazine has been discussed much in the blogosphere lately, but as I have been on a Jane Austen spin-off kick lately, it struck me how perfectly perceptive the early 19th century English author was in portraying specific personalities. Ms. Wurtzel wants to define feminists as women who work and are financially self sufficient, not allowing them the choice to stay at home. She is the perfect Miss Bingley, jealous of Elizabeth Bennet's beauty and attention from Mr. Darcy, a 1%er if there ever was one. Since she has no chance of attracting the affections of such a man, Ms. Wurtzel and Miss Bingley both do all they can to disparage those they feel have stolen their rightful place of consequence in the world.   

"All young ladies are accomplished. They sing, they draw, they dance, speak French and German, cover screens and I know not what." (Mr.Bingley)
"But not half a dozen would satisfy my notion of an accomplished woman." (Mr. Darcy)
"Oh, certainly. No woman can be really esteemed accomplished who does not also possess a certain something in her air, in her manner of walking, in the tone of her voice, her address and expressions." (Miss Bingley) (I apologize for a non faithful quote, my copy of P&P seems to be at the other house)
 The best commenter after the article, of which I pasted a portion: 
I think what strikes me as the most ridiculous part of this author's position is that a female is telling other females that they are ruining the feminist movement by choosing to be full time mothers despite being educated and able-bodied. It used to be that men condescended to women who weren't in the business world, now this female author is doing the same thing. Once upon a time, women who worked brought shame to their gender. Now women who don't work bring shame to their gender? Who, again, is waging a war on women? Seems like this author is - more than anyone I've heard from in years. lawdawg97
 The other point that struck me was that if Ms. Wurtzel had her way and all educated women worked and were more like her, then there would be so many hate-filled writers out there that she would likely not be able to get her work published and be out of a job. I feel sorry for Ms. Wurtzel. She doesn't sound like a happy person who is needed and loved and it comes out in her air, in the tone of her voice, her address and expressions.  

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