How feminism went awry.
I perceive men and women to be two aspects to a whole; that masculine and feminine (yang and yin) energy create a wholeness within each being, and together for partnering. As with many species the masculine and feminine aspects of the whole are different due to what roles each take within the milieu of the species, and this also varies for each human. So that men and women, each, are comprised of masculine and feminine aspects, for Jung that is like anima and animus within each man and woman, or from the Taoist and Confucian traditions yang and yin.
Feminism would have been better to focus on the concept of equity. So that if a woman was built such that she could carry a gun and fight in a war she could/would have the opportunity to do so..and be paid equally, and if a woman chose to care for her children enter and leave the workforce, her choices, would be supported and honored by the feminist movement.
Women (and Men) supporting all women’s choices increasing the opportunities that were available to women would have been a more fruitful role of the feminist movement.
Instead the leaders and proponents of feminism created a hierarchy of what was acceptable and honored by feminists. What feminism did was demoralize and put down women who chose to do work that the feminist movement was working against, while uplifting the kind of work that was seen as important (an example of this was the attacks on mrs Romney and mrs bush in the media, and by feminists in general, or at least the complete ignoring of how these women were demoralized by the media– ie: treating mrs Romney like she had no value in her opinion because she had ‘never worked’ because ‘all she did was run the household, and raise four or five children on her own, while her husband was working outside the home’).
This lack of outrage, when women who were choosing to take roles that were not supported by feminist theory were attacked, is a form of control. It is a yang style of controlling the message of what being a strong woman is as well as educating the younger generation of women to direct them into specific action, or be left alone without the support of the group (feminists).
This style of control is yang in nature. And the activities supported by the feminist movement values Yang energy and yang roles (aggressive, and pushing up and out energy) over Yin energy and yin roles (caregiving, creative from within, concretizing and supporting energy). Yang is masculine. Yin is feminine. For balance both are required. Focus on one over another results in imbalance.
This is the masculinization of femininity through feminism -> feminists putting down traditional roles and defining what roles were valuable… Focussing on developing yang aspects of femininity over the yin aspects — therefore making yang more valuable than yin. This has negatively affected the whole balance of the species and society.
I see this most starkly with reference to parenting and to a lesser extent on the arguments for abortion at any time for any reason.
The issue of parenting, childrearing and leading through caregiving and passage of culture to children through childrearing is a most powerful and positive role that had been generally embraced by women. Today’s feminists, and the feminists of the nineties through the millennium, have so aligned with the power potential through the yang aspects of power that they have essentially discarded this role. Some say this is in the effort to get women to be taken seriously in the workforce; others more privately report they remember their mothers were not taken seriously or did not have the freedom and power of their gender counterparts and so these women have simply dissected that role from their repertoire of roles.
If, the Feminist focus was on equally representing the value of parenting, running the home- which is like a CEO of a company- even the vast work involved in the running of the many charities that women who are not working outside the home participate in and develop, then it would have increased the value in childbearing, and the recognition that childrearing imparts the beliefs and values of society —
This is the reason that in countries where women are truly repressed, through control of their bodies, highly limited freedom, and the lack of education, the women are unable to effect a positive role in the upbringing of the children and so unable to create a shift away from the demoralization of women in those countries. In America where women have much more freedom, access to education, and greater choice in how they choose to partner, work and live…and thus the ability to create change as part of a group, (which feminism could have offered to women), we have diminished the importance of education, childrearing, charity work, community work and many yin aspects of negotiation, collaboration, compassion, and finding ways to not compete but to strengthen through collaborative work – valuing all parts of the whole not just the winner/ yang aspect.
Feminism has let whole generations down in the out of control focus on yang energy and the masculinization of the feminine.
The focus on individuality- increasing a women’s ‘power’ to have the same ‘rights’ as a man to be free to do whatever she wants, has left no one to help to create the fabric of community which is often the feminine yin role. And it has most negatively affected yin capacities in the social network… Education childrearing, compassion, collaboration.
Competition, power-over in a hierarchical fashion– ever moving upward – all yang aspects are the stronger focus– and many of the civil rights issues of today (not of the sixties for black Americans) are about being accomplished primarily through the very actions that the victimized group is saying shouldn’t be done… This is not transcending the problem to actually uplevel. That was the beauty of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi, they transcended the anger and the hatred to connect at the human level. They did not attack the perpetrators, but really acted in the way they were requesting of others to act toward their cause.
This is what feminism could do but not what feminism has done. That’s why I call feminism the masculinization of femininity.
Here is an example of feminism in action, young women ostracizing, dismissing, and labeling – saying on one hand that everyone is welcome, and that tolerance of all was paramount, but their specific actions were to be exclusive and not even allow a young woman to speak, based on a label.
Transcending the problem incorporating yin and yang elements to balance would have resulted in an elevation of consciousness wherein women are not discriminated against nor are children or men. To see how children are being harmed by this course of focus by the feminist movement read part 3 of this series. in love and light, bg