I have not had time to read all posts, but felt I had to respond in support of mamapie's first post.
I agree that capitalism is part of the problem. I would go further and say that it is the push for consumerism by our government, advertising and economists that is causing the problem of children being in daycare etc....
We have been brainwashed that we believe that we need a nice care, large home, many clothers and lots of toys. We need two parents working to keep up with this. This is of course what the middle class are working for. People in poverty are working to survive, if they can find work at all.
Feminism has given women a choice in what they do. Without feminism, women would not be able to get good jobs to support their families. That would leave women helpless in many ways, especially in abusive households. Abuse obviously has not disappeared with the advent of feminism, but now we can fight it. We can fight forced gender roles, inequity, poveryt, injustice because we have the right to educate ourselves and work towards our passions.
If we cut our consumption we can cut our time out of the home. Both men and women can do this. If we all do this, there will be more jobs for the people who need them. It will take both genders to make change.
Excuse my rant. It is rather disjointed because I'm in a hurry. Just please consider the many societal issues before trashing feminism.
I wonder if anyone has info on feminism in less consumer-oriented societies. What kind of comparisons could we make?
The thread was too long to for me to read in its entirety, but I sure found a load of good points.
Like some of the others, I believe that feminism is not meant to be prescriptive; it's meant to give women a choice that is acceptable to them. Patriarchal society is just behind ~ it makes it hard for us to combine working and having kids, it still want to make our choices on how to birth and feed our children, and now that women have cracked at least a few glass ceilings it came up with a new beauty ideal that takes our femininity away by trying to make us look like non-threatening pre-adolescent boys.
Of course sahm, wahm, and wohm shouldn't pit against each other. That's just what the powers that be want and expect: us being unable to solve our differences. So they can step in and once again "solve" everything for us. I wah, not just for the money but also because I like to stimulate myself intellectually. Since dh does the same, the money usually ends up being the most important reason because we hardly make doodlysquat~LOL~ but I don't think any worse of women who made and make different choices.
And I fiercely believe capitalism is the big evil. NOt just consumerism, tho that's bad enough, but especially the uneven division of capital. Several comments on this thread suggested that a couple of lawyers make a lot of money, and they do when we on the bottom look up at it, but the real culprit are the 5% that own 70% of the money in the US! YEs, 5%, having 70%!!! Don't even think that the lawyers, doctors and other "good lifestyle" people are in that range. And fyi I'm not in that middle range either ~ dh and I were quite impressed with ourselves when we saw our w2's add up to almost 30K (and the wonderful people at MasterCard love us too
Feminism should bring us together, not break us into little groups. Society can take care of that well enough, as we all know. By educating our children, we can hope that in 30 years our daughters and sons look back on this era and feel proud of the possibilities they have, thanks to us and our sisters. And maybe laugh a bit at poor ol' mom who didn't get it quite yet
I agree, Simonee, that the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. I read a great book called "How We Got Here". It's a history of the 1970s. It describes how in the 1940s through the 1960s American incomes were relatively homogonous. There were rich and poor, but not such an enormous gap between the very richest and the very poorest such as we have today. The gap started to widen during the 70s, when the feminist movement really got going. (I don't blame feminism for this gap and neither does the book's author, but the many social changes he describes are facsinating.) It's a really good book. I wish I could remember the author's name.