Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone but these ladies enjoy being … well … ladies and real women and mothers and having families and are therefore desirable. And don’t mention feminism in their presence coz it sort of … means nothing to sane people.
Here’s one such lady on the razing of the village:
“We don’t want to look too closely at what happened to the villages our grandparents tell us about, because we don’t want to confront how we were complicit in their demise, or what it would require to bring them back.”
By the ’90s, new advice greeted the college-bound women of Generation X. We could still have it all, just not all at once. But our mothers still worried about women’s professional resolve in the face of motherhood. As a result, the new advice replaced the Feminine Mystique, the old assumption that a woman must fulfill wife and mother duties before all else, with the Career Mystique, the new assumption that we must establish our careers first.
Dutiful and optimistic daughters, we embarked on fabulous careers, which were plentiful and well paid in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
And that’s when we razed the village.
It was a slow burn. Over the next 20 years, the “career first” advice brought fewer children to become older siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles—essential members of the childcare village of old. Our career pursuits often led us far from family, anyway. The career building single doesn’t need a village. We didn’t need it, and didn’t miss it until we started a family.
We didn’t need the village and didn’t miss it until we started a family. But it was gone.
Salting the earth behind them:
With this newest assumption, that we must do it all ourselves, we salted the earth. The village isn’t returning, because we won’t participate in it. We can’t participate in it.
We spent our early adulthood dedicated to our professional life. We were told that it was the measure of our worth. It was our identity. From Betty Friedan’s movement-launching The Feminine Mystique:
But even if a woman does not have to work to eat, she can find identity only in work that is of real value to society—work for which, usually, our society pays.
Freidan was writing as a woman who already gone through early motherhood, someone who was looking for identity in addition to the mother identity she had already established.
Her history tempered that “only”. Indeed, our society is paying a price for that work women were supposed to seek outside of the home, though it is hardly the fulfilling and beneficial financial remuneration Friedan hoped it would be.
This is the motif I’ve been on about at this site for so long – that in that grasp for those things the feminists said women must aspire to, women lost the plot, lost the village which is a prerequisite for nurturing without migraines. Now, in a frazzle, they refuse to accept from a man that this is an unsustainable course for them – don’t oppress me with your patriarchy.