Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is Palin a rebuke to feminism?

One of the raging ironies about the Palin nomination is that for years the media has been trying to foist feminist women on the public as the appropriate models of what women should be, an attempt that has been met mostly by a collective feminine yawn. Now a conservative woman has been set before the public and many of those women who are supposed to harbor a secret desire to be like Gloria Steinem are enthusiastically joining the Palin bandwagon.

2 comments:

kycobb said...

Martin,

Sarah Palin is like Gloria Steinem-thats the irony of it. Before feminism, women for the most part didn't participate in athletics, didn't have careers and didn't run for high political office-a woman vice-president was as unthinkable as an african-american president. It wasn't long ago that conservatives would have considered it scandalous that the mother of a newborn wasn't staying home to rear the baby. Now they are lionizing her, and Sarah Palin owes it all to the Gloria Steinems of the world, who fought for the right of women like Palin to have the choices she has been able to make.

Lee said...

Actually, it would be more fair to say that Gloria Steinem is like Sarah Palin. This is the woman who proudly proclaimed that she did not need marriage and that a woman needs a husband "like a fish needs a bicycle."

When the fact of the matter was, secretly, she pined for a big, strong, masculine male to sweep her off her feet and carry her away. The first time she ran off and got married, all her feminist buddies felt so betrayed.

The Gloria Steinems of the world believe that they invented the strong woman persona, when what they've really contributed is misery for their followers and lots of bad poetry.

On the other hand, there is some truth to the feminist critique of society. I don't blame women for rejecting the notion that the path to happiness runs through their marriage and their men. The Church did a very bad job of exorting men to love their wives. Paul was supposedly a misogynist because he said men should be the heads of their households, but no one remembers the second part of that statement: that men should love their wives "as Christ loved the Church." In other words, be ready and willing to give your life for your wife.

A lot of Christians remembered the first part of that statement, but not the latter part. It became a hammer used to keep women down.

Feminism is simply a declaration of independence from the notion that men are in charge just because. Problem is, it's not the way the Lord built us. It's a husband's job to bring joy into his home, just as Jesus brought joy to the world. That's the way it was meant to be. What we have today is women see men as competitors, and men see women as something to exploit.

The happiest people I know are some of the more faithful members of my church. The wives may or may not work outside the home, but the husbands are the primary bread-winners, and are the spiritual leaders of their households. These ladies strike me as some of the least oppressed women I've ever met.