The Feminine Mystique

“It is not enough for an individual to be loved and accepted by others, to be ‘adjusted’ to his culture.  He must take his existence seriously enough to make his own commitment to life, and to the future; he forfeits his existence by failing to fulfill his entire being.”

I finally got around to reading The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, the ground-breaking book about how women have outgrown being simply housewives.  It was written in the 1960s, at a time when the majority of women were staying home to care for the family, and yet so much of what Friedan said is still relevant today.  The value of education, the necessity of maintaining your sense of self outside of your husband and children, the nature of humanity to keep moving forward and keep growing: these are not dated ideas.  If anything, the reality of these gets truer as the years go by.

I didn’t know much about this book when I first picked it up.  I had heard that it was important and an integral part of the feminist movement, so naturally, my interest was piqued, and when I saw it at the bookstore, I picked it up.  After it had sat at home on my bookshelf for a while, I finally got around to reading it, and then I was kicking myself for not opening it sooner.  From the first few pages, I was hooked.  I’m not a wife or mother, and I clearly don’t live in the 1950s and 60s, but the transcending ideas had taken over my brain, not to mention the amazing history of the movement I am glad to feel apart of.

I couldn’t help but tear up while reading the afterword, written years later by Friedan.  She talked about the impact her book had had and the work she had been doing since, including international gatherings and the creation of NOW (National Organization for Women).  She talked about how far we had come as women and as a society, and when that portion was written in 1993, she talked about how she didn’t think it would be long at all before the discussions of birth control and abortion were a thing of the past and we would even have a woman president shortly.  It saddens me that these are still prevalent issues, and that these matters which should have already been determined, leaving room for other issues, are still the focal points of just about every political platform.  This, to me, is unacceptable.  The oppression and taking away of rights has got to stop in order for us to continue moving forward as a society the way Friedan dreamed we would.

Whether you’re an active feminist, a casual observer, or have absolutely no idea what’s going on with it at all, I recommend this book 100%.  It gives wonderful insight into the evolution of mankind, the evolution of women, and women’s role in the large scope.  It introduces ideas that go beyond feminism, women and housewifery and opens up the mind to look beyond your own home and clearly see the world around you.

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Pat Robertson Is At It Again

Pat Robertson Advises Man Having Problems With Wife

Having trouble with your wife?  Here’s a simple solution: move to Saudi Arabia and become a Muslim.  That way there will be no problem when you need to slap her around to put her in her place.

So says the one and only Pat Robertson.  In a recent segment on his television show, The 700 Club, a man called in asking for advice on dealing with his wife who was causing him trouble.  Robertson told him his best option was to move to Saudi Arabia, become a Muslim, and beat her, using lines such as, “he can’t let her get away with this stuff.”

Robertson then puts the icing on the cake by making sure to remind the man, “You can’t divorce her, according to the scripture.”

Apparently beating and controlling your wife is much better and much more holy than divorce.  Is this really the type of society people want to live in?  I have so many issues with this, I’m not even sure where to start.

Robertson makes sure to remind the caller that divorce is not okay according to the bible.  He enforces this idea, and yet the first suggestion out of his mouth after hearing the man’s problem was to become a Muslim so he could beat her.  How completely off-the-charts addle-minded do you have to be to even think that calling a marriage quits and 2 people going their separate ways is a worse offense than a husband putting his hands on his wife in a violent manner?  If it weren’t for the fact that he backed up what he was saying with the bible, people would see him as a complete psychopath for these comments, and yet once he adds “according to the scripture,” it all makes sense and he will even have people agreeing with him and supporting his words.

After his co-host, Terry Meeuwsen interjects, making sure to remind Robertson, “Not physically,” he then goes on and tries to analyze the wife’s behavior, dating it back to her relationship with her father.  Now, all of a sudden, he’s a therapist, but the worst one I’ve ever heard.  He talks of this girl as if she’s a child, acting out, and once again, emphasizes that she needs to be controlled.

I’ve got an idea, let’s just send Pat here to Saudi Arabia instead.  We’ll see how he likes it there.

In the meantime, I continue to hope every day for a time when women are not viewed as property, when women are not treated as though they are there for men’s enjoyment and use, when women can actually be seen as people.