The Spearhead has a new post up by Aych titled The Suddenly Radioactive ‘Have it All’ Promise. Aych makes the observation that feminists are in the process of walking back from the promise that women can have it all. He references a recent column at Salon by Rebecca Traister Can modern women “have it all”? Ms. Traister makes the specious claim that feminism is being held to account for promises it didn’t make:
It is a trap, a setup for inevitable feminist short-fall. Irresponsibly conflating liberation with satisfaction, the “have it all” formulation sets an impossible bar for female success and then ensures that when women fail to clear it, it’s feminism – as opposed to persistent gender inequity – that’s to blame.
The problem with her argument is twofold. First, modern feminism is founded on women’s tendency to feel a vague (yet powerful) sense of dissatisfaction. It is the solution to the problem with no name. Betty Friedan was the founder of NOW and wrote the book The Feminine Mystique, which is generally credited with launching second wave feminism. From Wikipedia:
The “Problem That Has No Name” was described by Friedan in the beginning of the book:
“The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning [that is, a longing] that women suffered in the middle of the 20th century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries … she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question — ‘Is this all?”
Sorry feminists, you absolutely own that. Vague female dissatisfaction is your founding philosophy, and solving it is your reason for being. Just because you figured out that it is a feature, not a bug, you can’t beg off having to fix it. In an amazing blunder, feminists have stepped in to the scapegoat role for women’s unhappiness and are now the new henpecked husband. All I can do is offer some advice: Just try being nice to her feminists, maybe ask her about her feelings more and she will snap right out of her malaise. If she isn’t happy, it must be something you are doing wrong.
The other problem is that feminists have been telling women they can have it all for decades (H/T Oz Conservative). Now we have a generation of young women who are seriously testing that theory and in a few years time the results will be in. Some will live the feminist dream, others will find it to be a nightmare.