Hand In Your Feminist Card

Okay, shit like this? Is why women who are feminists but say they aren’t feminists say that.

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.

We can spend all day lifing stay at home mothers and housewives and you know what will happen at the end of it, as a result? Those women a) probably won’t be well-disposed toward people who call them idiots who are wasting their lives b) will be just as subject to the rules of a society that deems them worth less than men c) might be ashamed of themselves which as long as I’ve been alive has never magically made anyone become awesome.

I could give a fuck who has a “real” job and who doesn’t, and who is betraying the sisterhood by being a wife and mother, because that crap is a distraction from what people β€” mostly wealthy men β€” are doing to perpetuate a system that degrades the lives of all women.

I am going to smack the next idiot who tells me that raising her children full time —by which she really means going to Jivamukti classes and pedicure appointments while the nanny babysits — is her feminist choice.Who can possibly take feminism seriously when it allows everything, as long as women choose it? The whole point to begin with was that women were losing their minds pushing mops and strollers all day without a room or a salary of their own.

Wow. Because feminism began when some middle-class woman in 1969 went to work, and it’s all worthless if some middle-class to wealthy woman doesn’t do so now? The “whole point” once upon a time was that women couldn’t vote or own property or inherit money, that women could be thrown into asylums for sticking up for themselves or telling their husbands not to beat them anymore, that women could have their children taken from them if they displeased their spouses, that women couldn’t serve on juries or could be fired from whatever jobs they did manager to land because of their inconvenient chickitude.

The “whole point” was that women are human beings and citizens of this country and deserve to be treated as such, in the workplace, at home, and in the pages of the Atlantic. You know, there are ways to talk about women’s willingness to surrender their own economic power (as parts of this piece do) that don’t devolve into shaming other ladies, wealthy or not, but this reads like Wurtzel is mostly after winning the Feminist Olympics and writing a new rulebook on who gets to use the F word. Which, look, i will hand you the medal myself if it means we can get back to how the state should be able to tell me how many children I can have.

And apparently stay-at-home dads don’t exist in this world, although I know quite a few of them these days. I wonder what kind of feminists they are. Probably the wrong kind.


9 thoughts on “Hand In Your Feminist Card

  1. Funny, I always thought the “whole point” was that women should be free to pursue the lives they want on their own terms. People like this are why I generally can’t stant self-professed feminists. Equal is (or at least should be) equal, full stop.
    But then again I’m one of those stay-at-home dads who don’t exist πŸ˜‰ My wife works to provide the family with insurance and I write fiction for a living while raising two young children. It’s not traditional, but we’re equal partners in making it work. And if the roles were reversed and she was the stay-at-home type? More power to her. I know for a fact she’d rather spend time with our children than working.
    I often wonder: how many people that look down at “stay at home moms” simple don’t have, or don’t like, children?

  2. “Who can possibly take feminism seriously when it allows everything, as long as women choose it?”
    Did someone really write this?
    Allowing everything is the fucking point! Wow, what a dipshit.

  3. I think the real point is that it’s not about “allowed” or not allowed in terms of individual women’s behavior. It’s about making sure that no one is oppressed or restricted based on gender. The Mommy Wars are just a way of making sure we hate each other instead of the people who make all women’s lives β€” working, stay-at-home, what have you β€” harder.

  4. For many people it is entirely about the self righteous posturing no matter what the subject at hand.
    No true scotsman bla bla bla.

  5. 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…
    Well, that and the maintenance. The mani-pedi’s, the weekly facials, the getting the roots touched up … it’s exhausting, I tell you! Better to date one of the great unwashed. Stanley Kowalsk got a bum rap.
    Jesus. What a fucking moron.

  6. I think everyone so far, including her from her elitist perch, has missed the point: The whole stay-at-home parent situation would be made less personally stressful if housework were paid work.
    I know, I know, a concept long discarded, but see how thinking about it automatically raises the hackles? We’re doing it out of love, right? But it’s a love without contributions (from a spouse or the state) into a retirement plan, Social Security, healthcare — the social safety net that would prevent such fools from firing yet one more volley in the Mommy Wars.
    And the usual ignorance about women who have to work, even as child care for those hard-charging dames in the workplace? Those who clean those feminists’ toilets, send their faxes, cater their meetings? Par for the course. There are the women women don’t see, either, and she shoulda checked her class privilege, before wrecking her argument.

  7. Elizabeth Wurtzel–I recognized that name, wasn’t she one of those ‘shocking’ commentators in the 90s?
    In short, LOL TROLL. It is sad, however that I can see her points, but think that it is all ‘me and the people I know in my social bubble’ that it buries these points.

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