Women’s Liberation, aka Feminism
(The following post- rant, perhaps- is focused upon life in America these days for women. It does feed into Islam, and connects to Middle Eastern values, I promise you.)
Women’s Liberation– that’s what we called it before the word “feminism” entered the common parlance. Back in the nineteen-sixties and seventies, we American women wanted to liberate ourselves from the subjugation of our minds to the greater glory of our bodies and our services as wives and mothers. We also wanted equal pay for equal work.
None of that sounded so difficult, and indeed, now we are able, indeed expected, to develop our minds, earn our own money, and pay our own ways in all areas of life. We now have equal pay for equal work.
It should have stopped there.
How did this ball keep rolling, such that now we are expected to keep not only one full-time job, but two? How did we let ourselves be charmed into the workplace when we still had to come home to evenings of dirty dishes and and the need to plan the next day’s meal?
Why did we agree to get up at 4AM to get everyone ready, take the kids to day care, go to our other jobs, work eight hours, then pick up the kids, go back home and cram household duties into our evenings and weekends? When did evenings and weekends become work days for us, but not for our husbands?
Speaking of husbands, how did their salaries get higher while ours stayed the same? After all, we now have equal pay for equal work, don’t we? A male “administrative assistant” would earn the same as a female earns, and a female engineer would earn the same salary as a male’s.
So when was the last time you saw a male secretary, or a female engineer? We still have men’s jobs and women’s jobs, for which both men and women can train, but guess which jobs pay more?
The word “balance” is important these days, especially for women who still think they can do two full time jobs, or must do so, whether they can or can’t. Well, I suppose they can. I’ve seen them. I work with them. Their example has nearly redefined the word “balance.”
“Balance” used to mean equilibrium, with the connotation of satisfying all elements that compose the equilibrium. Now, the word still means equilibrium, but the connotation is of feeding each element just enough to keep it from crashing through to the other elements.
Today’s “liberated” woman is no bargain for males, either, who are being dragged off their couches and computers after a full day of work to help the wife do her second full-time job, the job at home.
Let’s not mistakenly support the illusion that one’s family life is more important than one’s work life. Guess who carries the health insurance? Whose salary pays the mortgage? His salary doesn’t do it all anymore.
Islam cured me of feminism. Islam gave me the right to stay home, be supported by my husband, keep my own money, and focus upon the place that really does mean more to me than any other place- home.
Islam also cured me of having to “have it all” in an anemic, tension filled facsimile of freedom. Maybe my middle-aged status has something to do with this, but I thank Allah I extricated myself from having to maintain the American feminist ideal.