Friday, March 8, 2013

More feminist nightmares

There is an article about women in their twenties still wanting romance and feeling guilty about it over at The Atlantic. It's gotten, as you might imagine, a certain sector of society all in a tizzy. By a certain sector, I mean the journalists. I don't think anyone else cares, nor should they.

I mention it only because it's an astounding example of someone refusing to see the facts right in front of them. The writer, a sociologist named Leslie C. Bell was given the choice of believing feminist ideology or her won lying eyes and she went with ideology.

The point of her article is that large numbers of young women she interviewed in her research crave a boyfriend and they feel guilty about it.
Some young women deeply desire meaningful relationships with men, even as they feel guilty about those desires. Many express the same sentiment again and again: "Why do I, a young and highly educated woman in the 21st century, value relationships with men so highly?"
And it's worth noting, before moving on to life's cruel punch line, that she didn't interview "young women" so much as she interviewed young professional women with college degrees, which ought, if anything, to skew the results in a direction compatible with feminist ideology.

Anyway, here is the money quote from Bell, "I would never advocate that women return to the stereotype of the single woman pining for romance." What she fails to note is that her own research clearly says that many women have never left this "stereotype". They live there.

In that regard, note Bell's solution for these young women,
But I do believe that young women who are taking risks in so many other important areas of life should also pursue experiences that may, on their face, seem to be at odds with independence and progress. The successful woman who is in a relationship is not the same as the pining woman. She's the one who is acknowledging the full range of her desires.
Do you see the problem with that? It's right in that last phrase: the woman who pursues both a career and a relationship is "acknowledging the full range of her desires". That, of course, is just another way of saying "having it all". And we all know how well that strategy (a damn selfish strategy by the way) has worked out.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse has a whole lot of good insight on this.  My favourite of her comments is This:
... it seems to me that the shame of admitting to wanting a boyfriend is the concession that you don't have a boyfriend. Pride leads you to act as though what you are doing you are doing intentionally.
And that seems right. It's the old, "I meant to do that" excuse.

Then she goes on to say,
And if you really do want a boyfriend, you probably also think that revealing that you want what you don't have only makes it harder to get get what you want.
This in response to a Slate round table in which women respond to the Atlantic article. Althouse is putting it gently but there is a real sting in that.

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