Olivia Pierson: The Problem with Women

by Olivia Pierson

One of my bug-bears is how much feminism has messed with the heads of modern females – to the point where they have shot themselves in the foot so severely that it’s created an ugly limp in what ought to be a woman’s confident stride.  What makes this limp a travesty is that I am talking about women who have been thoroughly ‘emancipated’.

Emancipated from what, one may ask?  From yesteryear’s feminine models of being nothing more than appearing pleasing to men; that is, not practiced in the qualities of reason, virtue and knowledge, but instead affecting coquetry, resorting to cunning and always displaying overt softness –  in other words, wearing their sex’s “weaknesses” on their sleeve.

But surely the independent-minded 21st Century woman is way beyond those antiquated notions of womanhood. Today’s woman can be a doctor, a construction worker, a lawyer, a professor, an astronaut and everything in between – so what is the limp?

The limp is an entitled and misguided sense that a man should love her no matter what she is, does or says.  It is the absolute societal-reinforced conviction that pleasing a man has no relevance whatsoever to a woman’s happiness, when somewhere deep inside she feels that it might – thus she is knocked off balance by a gut impression (and desire) which contradicts everything she has been taught by feminist mothers, sisters, teachers and professors.  

During the 20th Century, women demanded equality without giving enough consideration to what the word equal actually means.  Did they mean equal in will and mental accomplishments? Did they mean equal in earning power or equal division of household chores?  Perhaps they just meant equal in the efficacy of their civil vote or potentiality to stand for public office.  I’m not sure that even women today know what ‘they’ meant, but I do know that the result has been that today’s women will brook no opposition by their men – over anything. Too many women behave like petty tyrants whose polemic often doesn’t rise much higher than the weak remonstrance: “because I feel it.”

When I think of what 18th Century writer Mary Wollstonecraft meant by equal in her book, “The Vindication of Women,” she particularly highlighted the area of education.  She took great pains to push the idea that a woman’s mind was just as deserving of an education as a man’s, since without one, women remained in a state of ornamental uselessness barring them from even reaching the status of being adequate companions for their menfolk who governed the world.  She also considered that because women were the primary influence over the developing minds of the young, educated mothers would bring about a better generation of human beings than uneducated mothers ever could.  On this she was profoundly correct – and in the fullness of time, her ideal came to pass in European culture, only it seems to have overshot its mark considerably.

Here are Wollstonecraft’s words:

“Consequently the perfection of our nature and capability of happiness, must be estimated by the degree of reason, virtue and knowledge that distinguish the individual, and direct the laws which bind society: and that from the exercise of reason, knowledge and virtue naturally flow, is equally undeniable, if mankind be viewed collectively.”

Wollstonecraft freely admitted that men and women were not physically equal; on this score nature endowed stronger and superior qualities upon men which made them the natural protectors of women.  But she thought that men had taken this too far by not requiring their women to practise reason, virtue and knowledge (experience) which she considered the very essence of being an independent, happy human being.

Today, the norm of womanhood is immense independence, at least, most women are fully independent before they secure a relationship which brings forth children.  Even after the children are born it is exceedingly common now for women to return to the workforce within six months to a year after having a baby in order to help pay for the family finances. Has this made women happier, or has it subjugated their stride into a limp?

In Wollstonecraft’s time, one of her contentions was that the middle-class woman was so “infantine” – is how she put it, so overly concerned with maintaining her beauty and “softness”, that her man ended up living a life of chronic infidelity when his wife either lost her looks or proved herself to be too boring and insipid for sex with her to be worth much.

In our modern time, if a woman oversees the running of a home as well as holding down full time employment, how much care do you think she will devote to the pleasure of her man?  I venture none.  She will expect their domestic life to be all about him pleasing her – and her expectation will be that of a tyrant, perhaps justifiably so because she is extending herself way beyond the call of duty and they both know it…..

Read the rest at Olivia Pierson’s own blog

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