Women Should be Empowered, but Feminism Does the Opposite.

Most people believe that women are much better off under modern-day feminism than they were under the patriarchy of generations past. Traditional gender roles are viewed by mainstream culture as oppressive, retrograde, and arbitrary. In fact, to many people, the very act of questioning the validity of feminism is a sign of underlying sexist or misogynistic motives. This simplistic, dismissive reaction to cultural orthodoxy has unfortunately become characteristic of modern discourse. Yet there are deep problems brewing beneath the surface of Western culture today, and the costs of unquestioned feminism are chief among them. For modern Western women, the traditional role of housewife and mother has been traded for the supposedly empowering life of battling daily rush hour traffic, sitting in an artificially lit office, taking orders from a boss, doing endless amounts of mundane office work, fighting traffic on the way home, and endlessly repeating this process day in and day out. Why should young women find a husband, settle down, and raise a family during her most fertile years when she can feel empowered running around an office all day, building a business that she doesn't even own? How could any woman desire a life of preparing meals, changing diapers, and cleaning her home when so many more exciting options await her at the office? What could possibly be more empowering than working at a corporation until you're 35, suddenly finding out that your biological clock is ticking, and rushing to settle down and have maybe one child before it's too late? Of course, not everything about the modern office environment is negative. After all, working inside an air conditioned office is much more comfortable than working in searing heat or bitter cold. Being able to take a trip across the street for a sweet latté or have your lunch over cultural cuisine are nice amenities that come with working for that cool startup downtown. Happy hours with coworkers, catered lunches, paid education and career improvement, and various events and amenities paid for by the company are all nice things that employers use to compete with one another to entice the best workers to come work for them. But is this all really better than raising your own children, having the ability to stay home with them and teach them your values (instead of someone else's values), making memories with them, being there for them when they need you, having the time to make your home a space you want to live in, and ultimately doing what women were biologically built to do? Strangely, in pursuing the idea of the "strong female lead", women are encouraged to abandon the beautiful care and compassion that they're uniquely built for, and instead attempt to become more like men; fighting wars, being CEOs, solving astrophysics equations, and so on. And it's not that women are incapable of doing these things, but empirical observation tells us that, on average, they are less suited to these extremely intense and demanding jobs than men - for a number of reasons. First, women have a much shorter window of time than men to sort out the direction of their life. By the time a woman reaches thirty, ninety percent of her eggs are gone, and the quality of the remaining eggs is lower than when she was younger, so conceiving a child, while not impossible, becomes a much more difficult prospect. In contrast, men typically remain fertile well into their forties and even beyond, and they therefore have more time to sort out their lives and settle down to have a family. So if a woman chooses to spend her twenties pursuing a highly demanding career, in many cases she has therefore decided to forego having a family, or at least having as large of a family as she would otherwise have. Secondly, as I will discuss below, women on average are less psychologically suited to certain careers than men, just as men on average are less psychologically suited to things like nurturing and compassion. There are always exceptions, but this is the general rule of thumb. Of course, for decades, higher education has over-emphasized the social constructionist viewpoint and de-emphasized the role of biology and human nature, so postmodern feminism tells women they don't really have a nature, and therefore they can do anything, be anyone, and "have it all"; just like all people, women are a "blank slate" over which society can lay any construction it wants. Men can raise the kids at home instead of working. Women can be the breadwinners instead of being housewives. In fact, while we're at it, why not discard the idea of gender binaries altogether? After all, the idea that gender is based on biological sex was invented by the white male patriarchy to oppress women anyway, so we don't need that kind of retrograde thinking in our enlightened, modern world. But the idea that traditional gender roles are arbitrary and oppressive, and the related idea that human beings are "blank slates" - with biology playing either no role or an insignificant role in our psychological and social development - completely ignore common-sense observation and, more importantly, empirical science that tells us just how wrong and unintuitive the social constructionist viewpoint really is.

The Big Five personality traits model, also known as the Five Factor or OCEAN model, is widely accepted among social scientists as a reliable measurement for personality traits. I won't go into great detail here, but what's relevant for this discussion is that on average, men and women differ in their scores on these personality dimension tests. Men are less agreeable, while women are more agreeable. Women are more neurotic, while men tend to be less so. Before someone says "but I know a woman who isn't agreeable at all!" Yes - as I mentioned, there are plenty of exceptions, but this does not negate the general rule. And when we're talking about large groups, the general rule is relevant. Despite the psychometric data being well accepted among social scientists, egalitarian philosophy has somehow dominated popular thought to such a degree that the science gets ignored or denied by our institutions. The narrative commonly accepted is that men and women are basically the same; that we're interchangeable in terms of how well-suited we are to certain jobs, tasks, or roles. And while both men and women should be treated fairly and judged according to their individual merits instead of according to their immutable characteristics, this does not mean that men and women do not have a nature that makes us biologically predisposed to certain behavior (again - on average). The institutionally-promulgated denial of human nature is also featured prominently in Hollywood, which never misses an opportunity to showcase a "strong female lead". Women are often portrayed as heroic warrior-types, like Rey in the newest Star Wars movies, Black Widow in The Avengers, or the women in Charlie's Angels. And while it's true that women are capable of fighting and leadership, generally speaking, for physiological and psychological reasons, they aren't as well-suited to these roles as are their male counterparts. Yes, there are many incredibly competent female lawyers, academics, and doctors. Many of these "strong female lead" types are exceptional in their psychological characteristics when compared to the average female, and thus, they are in a unique position to excel in roles that require, for example, below-average levels of the Big Five trait agreeableness; you'll have a hard time being a lawyer - or advancing to high-level, competitive career positions in general - if you are too agreeable to say "no", to refuse being pushed around, to demand pay-raises, and to be generally assertive where the average person (especially the average female who is lower in assertiveness than the average man) is not. So it isn't that women can never fight or be extraordinarily competent in their chosen career field (they certainly can), but as an overarching narrative, feminism gives women the wrong impression about their nature - misleading them into believing they can have both an intense career and a family, or that they can do everything that men can do. The harsh reality is that there is no such thing as "having it all" - for men or for women; there are only trade-offs. Can a woman have a career and a family? Of course; modern women do this all the time, but it doesn't come without a significant cost. The time women spend in the office is time spent away from her children. In modern society, both mom and dad feel pressured to work to attain a similar standard of living to their parents, and thus the children end up being raised by daycare staff, by babysitters, and by the state - instead of being raised by mom and dad. Are we really to believe that two working parents spending minimal time with the children, and attempting to simultaneously juggle work in the office, work around the house, and working on raising the children is a better outcome for the parents, the children, and society, than mom being able to stay at home and raise her children while dad puts food on the table? Anecdotal evidence suggests that families are dangerously overburdened when both parents are working, and the amount of divorce cases and children growing up without fathers (father absence is associated with criminality and all sorts of negative outcomes for the child) would suggest that women's transition from the kitchen to the office has had serious costs that feminists have been unwilling to confront.

Feminism has been sold to Western women with the idea that leaving the home for the office is liberating, but is it really? What happens when the traditional nuclear family is given up in favor of consumerism, materialism, and the pursuit of status and temporary pleasure? What happens to the next generation when women are put into the workforce and used as tax livestock instead of being given the incredible responsibility of motherhood, whose veneration in cultural and religious texts and symbolism was required to produce the generations of modern women who have been convinced to abandon the very institution that produced their very lifeblood in the first place? What happens to a culture when motherhood is no longer considered the pinnacle of female empowerment?


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