Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

The Garbage Generation
Chapter IV
Sleeping Beauty Feminism vs. Slaughtered Saints Feminism

In 1963 Betty Friedan told American women they were childlike weaklings who should grow up and stand on their own feet like men. They "never feel that they are really exerting sufficient effort." The American housewife "feels 'lazy, neglectful, haunted by guilt feelings' because she doesn't have enough work to do." "At one of the major women's magazines," she recalls,

a woman editor, sensing that American housewives might be desperately in need of something to enlarge their world, tried for some months to convince her male colleagues to introduce a few ideas outside the home into the magazine. "We decided against it," the man who makes the final decisions said. "Women are so completely divorced from the world of ideas in their lives now, they couldn't take it." Perhaps it is irrelevant to ask, who divorced them? Perhaps these Frankensteins no longer have the power to stop the feminine monster they have created.

I helped create this image. I have watched American women for fifteen years try to conform to it. But I can no longer deny my own knowledge of its terrible implications. It is not a harmless image. There may be no psychological terms for the harm it is doing. But what happens when women try to live according to an image that makes them deny their minds?

By giving an absolute meaning and a sanctimonious value to the generic term "woman's role," functionalism put American women into a kind of deep freeze--like Sleeping Beauties, waiting for a Prince Charming to waken them, while all around the magic circle the world moved on.

"Where will it end?" Ms. Friedan asks:

I think it will not end, as long as the feminine mystique masks the emptiness of the housewife role, encouraging girls to evade their own growth by vicarious living, by non- commitment. We have gone on too long blaming or pitying the mothers who devour their children, who sow the seeds of progressive dehumanization, because they have never grown to full humanity themselves. If the mother is at fault, why isn't it time to break the pattern by urging all these Sleeping Beauties to grow up and live their own lives? There never will be enough Prince Charmings, or enough therapists to break that pattern now. It is society's job, and finally that of each woman alone. For it is not the strength of the mothers that is at fault but their weakness, their passive childlike dependency and immaturity that is mistaken for "femininity." Our society forces boys, insofar as it can, to grow up, to endure the pains of growth, to educate themselves to work, to move on. Why aren't girls forced to grow up--to achieve somehow the core of self that will end the unnecessary dilemma, the mistaken choice between femaleness and humanness that is implied in the feminine mystique?

Here is how Ms. Friedan told the women of 1963 to see themselves:

For the women I interviewed, the problem seemed to be not that too much was asked of them but too little.

Society asks so little of women.

You'd find them drinking, or sitting around talking to other women and watching children play because they can't bear to be alone or watching TV or reading a book.

I have suggested that the real cause both of feminism and of women's frustration was the emptiness of the housewife's role.

"Occupation: housewife" is not an adequate substitute for truly challenging work, important enough to society to be paid for in its coin....

Most of the energy expended in housework is superfluous.

Ms. Friedan's Sleeping Beauty feminism was an unwelcome derogation to American women because it came close to the truth, still more unwelcome because it threatened the free ride they had no intention of giving up. Many perceived that Ms. Friedan was making the same point to women that Playboy made in the same year to men with its mock ad:



Well, would you like to make $8,000, $20,000--as much as $50,000 and More--working at Home in Your Spare Time? No selling! No commuting! No time clocks to punch!


Yes, an Assured Lifetime Income can be yours now, in an easy, low-pressure, part-time job that will permit you to spend most of each and every day as you please!--relaxing, watching TV, playing cards, socializing with friends!...

Incredible though it may seem, the above offer is completely legitimate. More than 40,000,000 Americans are already so employed.

These 40,000,000 Americans were the housewives referred to by Ms. Friedan when she said "Society asks so little of women."

Small wonder that the Playboy/Feminine Mystique/Sleeping Beauty pitch was discarded by feminists as an unsuitable basis for a popular movement and that it is today as extinct as the trilobite. The idle sex-toy doll-housewife pampered by an overworked husband is unmentioned in the literature of post-1960s feminism. The Sleeping Beauty has been replaced by the Slaughtered Saint, tyrannized over, oppressed, brainwashed, beaten, enslaved, exploited, crucified, impaled, racked and harrowed, flayed, trampled and hung in chains by remorseless, inhuman, fierce, sadistic, exploitive, brutal alcoholic male despots, beasts, marital rapists and so forth.

It is useful, though, to remember that the initial thrust of feminism was that "The problem seemed to be not that too much was asked of [women] but too little." In 1963 the subsidization of ex- wives by ex-husbands was said to be contemptible; today the feminist party line is a demand for "support rules that aim at equalizing the standards of living of the two parties after divorce" and that divorced women "have earned the right to share their husbands' income for the rest of their lives and to maintain a standard of living that is equal to theirs" --so that even though the man is no longer a husband, and even though Betty Friedan had told wives to be ashamed of themselves for expecting to be subsidized for the trifling services they perform, the man deprived of these services should continue to subsidize the woman who withdraws them.

In Sleeping Beauty agitprop, contempt for women who accepted alimony was conspicuous. In Slaughtered Saints feminism, contempt for alimony is replaced by contempt for the word alimony: "Alimony?" wrote Betty Friedan in 1974, "Forget it--it's a sexist concept, and doesn't belong in a women's movement for equality." But on the preceding page she wrote this:

At that time, we were so concerned with principle--that equality of right and opportunity had to mean equality of responsibility, and therefore alimony was out--that we did not realize the trap we were falling into. It is a trap for thousands, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of women, when they face a no-fault divorce law--in which a separation begun before the law was even envisaged becomes de facto divorce--with no provision for economic support [read: no alimony] or division of property....She should be insured in her own right for Social Security in old age and severance pay in divorce [read: alimony]...Maintenance, rehabilitation, severance pay--whatever you want to call it [read: alimony]--is a necessity for many divorced women, as is child support.

Under Sleeping Beauty feminism it was common for feminists like Gloria Steinem to sneer at marriage as "prostitution." Slaughtered Saints feminist Flo Kennedy disagreed:

Prostitutes don't sell their bodies, they rent their bodies. Housewives sell their bodies when they get married--they cannot take them back--and most courts do not regard the taking of a woman's body by her husband against her will as rape.

Now they can take their bodies back--and still get a free ride. Taking someone's money in exchange for nothing used to be called robbery, but Slaughtered Saints feminists regard it as a means of restoring women's dignity. As long as the money flows from the male to the female, as long as Steinem's "prostitution" is retroactive and requires no services, they are willing--they insist--that it be called something other than alimony and will affect to despise those women who take men's money and call what they do by its proper name. Like exophagic cannibals denouncing the barbarousness of endophagic cannibalism, like the Mayor of Gomorrah condemning the moral depravity of Sodom and San Francisco, like two-dollar hookers sneering at twenty-five cent hookers who are lowering the dignity of the profession, they have risen above that sort of thing.

"Society asks so little of women." That was Sleeping Beauty feminism, shaming women, telling them to stop filing their fingernails and get out and work like men. A decade later Slaughtered Saints feminists, seeking self-actualization and true humanity, claimed victimhood for themselves and affected to be the wretched of the earth--adorning themselves with crucifixes bearing a naked woman, telling men how oppressive it was for them not to do half of the "little" housework at which Ms. Friedan sneered. Bwana fimbo!--bad white man! By then the admired, achieving male of 1963, hobbled with his parasitic female, had become a gynocidal maniac, a wild beast:

Wife abuse is deeply rooted in our culture.

[T]he Old Testament patriarchs quite intentionally set themselves against the lunar psyche in women (and in men, who are half-female), in their desire to destroy the Goddess religion, and the Goddess within us all. Because of this, the menstruating womb became the Devil of patriarchy--"the only good woman is a pregnant woman," etc.--and the three-hundred- plus years of European Christian witch-hunting has been accurately called "9 million menstrual murders." Women were burned for practicing our natural moon-crafts of midwifery, hypnotism, healing, dowsing, herbal and drug use, dream study, and sexual pleasure.

Perhaps what is most galling is that while the housewife's duties resemble those of a servant, the financial arrangements she has with her husband somewhat resemble those of someone even lower down on the status ladder--namely, the slave.

If we read the Bible as normative social literature, the absence of the Goddess is the single most important statement about the kind of social order that the men who over many centuries wrote and rewrote this religious document strove to establish and uphold. For symbolically the absence of the Goddess from the officially sanctioned Holy Scriptures was the absence of a divine power to protect women and avenge the wrongs inflicted upon them by men.

As we have seen, it was not coincidental that everywhere in the ancient world the imposition of male dominance was part of the shift from a peaceful and equalitarian way of organizing human society to a hierarchic and violent order ruled by brutal and greedy men....At the same time that shedding blood by killing and injuring other human beings--in wars, in brutal punishments, and in the exercise of the male's practically absolute authority over women and children--becomes the norm, the act of giving life now becomes tainted and unclean....And so, first in Mesopotamia and Canaan and later in the theocracies of Judaea and Israel, warfare, authoritarian rule, and the subjugation of women became integral parts of the new dominator morality and society.

What kind of society is it that calls love and affection between two women perverse, while male brutality to women is made profitable....What kind of society is it where the lifelong partnership of two women has no standing in court, while a husband can batter and rape his wife without interference?...It is a pornographic society; America is a pornographic patriarchy.

Capitalism finds it expedient to reduce women to a state of enslavement.

Is it any wonder then that men hate women so? Is it any wonder that they beat us and tear us apart and stomp us to death?...I suspect that they cannot forgive us for reminding them, by our stubborn survival, how they have raped and beaten and cheated and deceived and maimed and killed us for 5000 years.

One of the accusations against the male is his refusal to believe in his own beastliness. Hear Irene Greene, Program Director of the University of Minnesota's Sexual Violence Program, explain why accusations made by females against males ought always to be believed:

We respect that a woman's reality is her truth. In a society where far too often women are disbelieved, unsupported and blamed for their own victimization, it is important that they have at least one safe place where they will be believed....Because a fundamental anchor of our philosophy is to support and thus believe in each woman's reality, we may come upon the one-in-a-hundred situation where a story or parts of a story may be questionable. Since the occurrence of a false report is so rare, it is far more respectful, professional and necessary to err on the side of belief than to risk the slim chance that a story may not be totally accurate. It is important to support the individual and her reality rather than to deny and disbelieve her.

Slaughtered Saints feminism is thus epitomized by feminist Mary Daly:

...feeding on the bodies and minds of women, sapping energy at the expense of female deaths. Like Dracula, the he-male has lived on women's blood....The priests of patriarchy have eaten the body and have drunk the blood of the Sacrificial Victim in their Mass, but they have not wished to know who has really been the Victim whose blood supported this parasitic life.

The insatiable lust of males for female blood has resulted in a perpetual blood transfusion throughout the millennia--a one-way outpouring into the veins and arteries of the bloodthirsty monster, the Male Machine that now can continue its obscene life only by genocide. If the Machine dreams, it is of a future filled with megadeaths. The total vampire no longer needs even to speak of blood, which is after all visible, measurable. It drinks instead in quantities calculable only through the highest mathematics....It is men who have sapped the life-force of women.

This horror over male atrocity, like feminist candlelight processions to "take back the night," is a public relations exercise. According to Dr. Karl Menninger, for every woman who complains to her psychiatrist about the brutality of her man there are a dozen who complain about his weakness, dependency and impotence--a dozen who want their men to be more dominant, not less.

There is an intergenerational angle. According to Gelles and Straus, it is a myth that most battered and abused children grow up to become batterers and abusers themselves. They quote child development expert Edward Zigler of Yale University as saying "the majority of abused children do not become abusive parents" and "the time has come for the intergenerational myth to be placed aside." But on the next page they cite researchers Rosemary Hunter and Nancy Kilstrom: "If they [abused children who grew up to be non- abusive parents] had been abused, it was by one parent, while the other parent served as a supportive life raft in a sea of trouble and pain." In other words, the kids who survived abuse and became decent parents came from father-present families--the two- parent family saved them. So while Gelles and Straus think it's good that women should have "the economic resources they need to terminate a violent marriage," such termination transfers children from the patriarchal system which protects them to the matriarchal system where a disproportionate amount of child abuse occurs. In September, 1989 a social service officer in Milwaukee County, by name Terrence Cooley, wrote an inter-office communication titled "AFDC/Child Abuse Information," a copy of which found its way into the editorial office of The Family in America, pointing out that of the 1,050 cases of child abuse and neglect in that county an astonishing 83 percent occurred in households receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (read: female-headed households). "There has been," say Gelles and Straus,

tremendous growth in paid employment of married women between 1975 and 1985. Our own research has found that paid employment of married women helps rectify the imbalance of power between spouses, and provides women with the economic resources they need to terminate a violent marriage.

Also a non-violent marriage. Also a marriage in which the wife is not battered and oppressed but simply bored and fed up with the sexual regulation which the patriarchal system imposes upon her in exchange for her permitting a male to share her reproductive life and haul her out of the matriarchal system and place her under coverture in the patriarchal system.

Another way of saying the same thing is that it denies men the resources and authority they need to hold a marriage together.

It "helps rectify the imbalance of power between the two spouses," say Gelles and Straus. They naively accept the whole Slaughtered Saints propaganda position, that women are poor violated victims in need of society's chivalry, an idea ancient in Mary Wollenstonecraft's day. In 1854 Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon wrote a pamphlet, "Married Women and the Law," citing the familiar complaints about the patriarchy:

A man and wife are one person in law; the wife loses all her rights as a single woman, and her existence is entirely absorbed in that of her husband. He is civilly responsible for her acts; she lives under his protection or cover, and her condition is called coverture.

A woman's body belongs to her husband, she is in his custody, and he can enforce his right by a writ of habeas corpus.

The legal custody of children belongs to the father. During the life-time of a sane father, the mother has no rights over her children, except a limited power over infants, and the father may take them from her and dispose of them as he thinks fit.

This tilting of the law in the favor of the male has been not just abolished but reversed, but it is still paraded in feminist literature (like the binding of Chinese women's feet) as proving how oppressed today's American women are. The 19th century husband was empowered to take his wife's children from her, but he didn't. Today's wife is empowered to take her husband's children from him and she does in millions of marriages, and the marriages in which her right is not exercised are de-stabilized by the knowledge that it could be exercised if the wife chooses. Gelles and Straus know this but they still talk as though the law tilted in favor of the husband rather than the wife. The "imbalance" which needs to be "rectified" is the reverse of what they suggest: what is needed is getting rid of the massive anti-male bias of the legal system which deprives husbands of virtually all rights and reduces ex-husbands to literal slavery.

Today's legal system has abandoned its responsibility to stabilize families and has become the principal enemy of the family. That such a thing could happen, and happen so rapidly and unobtrusively, suggests that the execrated pro-male 19th century legal system had the right idea. It sensed, if it did not explicitly understand, that women don't like marriage and family life and would willingly do away with them if they could do so without forfeiting their benefits. "[I]f one imagined himself as newly arrived from Mars," writes feminist Carolyn Heilbrun,

and were to read the descriptions of a woman's marriage in contemporary novels by women, one might well ask how on earth anyone could be expected to live out such a farce.

She quotes a woman who opposed the ERA on the grounds that "I don't care to be a person":

She understood, while misunderstanding the ERA, that to be a person and a wife are oddly incompatible.

Why do contemporary men fail to see this?

She scolds Christopher Lasch because he does not

seem to recognize that the old, good life, which he, Yeats, Trilling, and all today's new conservatives feel such nostalgia for, rested on the willingness of women to remain exactly where today's women, in fiction at least, will not remain: at home. Waiting for husband-warrior to retreat to them from the wide world is no longer enough....[T]he woman who finds herself miserable at home when she is supposed to have everything she has always wanted, everything all women have always wanted--this woman, who would, decades ago, have been sent home by her analyst in search of a vaginal orgasm-- is now seen as passing through a stage of development recognized in men but not hitherto associated with women: adolescence. A woman is not an adolescent at puberty in our society, because her search for identity does not take place then: rather it is a search for a husband in which she then engages. The search for self, Nora's search in Ibsen's A Doll's House, occurs deep into marriage and often with children left behind the slammed door....The real tension between...the fleeing woman and those who struggle to preserve the family, is the tension between order and change, particularly evident in our society. It is most evident within marriage, where the man desires order and the woman change. If the women are unclear about what change should encompass, they know it begins with their departure.

"Why do contemporary men fail to see this" indeed? Women don't like the regulation marriage imposes upon them. The feminist/sexual revolution is an attempt to get rid of this regulation without forfeiting the economic and status advantages its acceptance formerly conferred.

What Dr. Heilbrun says comes close to what the Seneca Falls feminists complained about, that women were moral minors with whom contracts--including marriage--were worth nothing because they could renege on them if they wished. Such irresponsibility justified the pro-male tilt of the law. 19th century men needed the pro-male tilt--and so do men today. "Why do contemporary men fail to see this?"

"Women will not remain at home," says Dr. Heilbrun. Not if they can make themselves economically independent (as they are doing) or if they can implement the feminist program of making divorce an economically viable alternative to marriage (for women) and, after inducing males to thrust their necks into the matrimonial guillotine, induce lawmakers to enact child support rules "that aim at equalizing the standards of living of the two parties after divorce."

Dr. Heilbrun speaks of women's delayed "adolescence," their final growing up, postponed beyond its proper period by the necessity of having a husband while they are nubile and dependent and may wish to procreate a child or two. This delayed adolescence "begins with their departure" (read: divorce), when they demonstrate their maturity by repudiating the marriage contract upon which men and children must depend but which they and Dr. Heilbrun and the legal system correctly perceive as a mere piece of paper.

"The man desires order and the woman desires change." The man desires a stable patriarchal family system; the woman desires a return to matriliny and de-regulation, a return to the sexual anarchy of the Stone Age and the ghetto and the Indian reservation. The only possible resolution of this is to make women grow up and choose either to accept sexual regulation as the quid pro quo for the benefits of patriarchy or to reject the benefits along with the regulation. "The clearest memory of my wedding day," says Susan Crain Bakos,

is what was going on in my head as I walked down the aisle in my white satin dress with the floor-length lace mantilla billowing around me: "No. No way is this going to be forever, for the rest of my life. No."

I said "I do" because that's what young women wearing white dresses have traditionally said in front of altars in churches. But in my mind, at least, the choices were still there.

This shows her maturity: she is passing through the adolescence that males pass through at puberty. And the legal system agrees with her that her vows and her marriage contract are non-binding: her choices are still there. The difference is that the male's maturity makes his contracts dependable and Ms. Bakos's maturity makes hers undependable. The difference between these two kinds of maturity was the reason Victorian society decreed that "the legal custody of children belongs to the father"--and it is the reason our society ought to do the same.

"When I was no longer married," continues Ms. Bakos,

I found it easy to share Kara's philosophy: Don't trust men; only sleep with them.

The experience of multiple partners led us both to the same obvious conclusion: There would always be someone new, someone better, some other man to make love to us, so why not leave when a relationship grew boring or difficult or too complicated? It was what men deserved anyway.

Why limit ourselves to one man when lots of men were available?

I got divorced so that I could join the generation of women, my generation, who kept their options open, put their own needs first, and considered sex a natural right. Together with the men of our generation, we weren't very good at "working things out," but we were certainly wonderful at "moving on." We knew how to break up. Our music about breaking up and moving on was upbeat and positive. The civilized divorce was surely our invention.

She quotes "Kara":

"When men began talking about commitment, I got out. Making a commitment meant marriage; and for women, marriage means giving a man too much power in your life. I just knew I wasn't going to do it; and I was glad we lived in a time where a woman could have sex, all the sex she wanted, without getting married.

"I thought in vague terms of having a kid someday, of being a single mother. I didn't give up on having kids then, just marriage."

We chose sex, not marriage.

Marriage means giving men responsibility and a meaningful reproductive role and these gals couldn't care less about male responsibility--aside from the responsibility of paying child support money. They want to schlepp back into promiscuity, recreational sex, matriliny and the free ride, like the squaws on Indian reservations and the welfare matriarchs of the ghettos.

The contempt for women's parasitism which Betty Friedan expressed in 1963 has now been replaced by a demand for compensation for something Ms. Friedan never hinted at, men's parasitism. Merely equalizing things, says Dr. Daly,

will not mean an immediate "give and take," as if those who have been deprived of their own life should "give on a fifty- fifty basis." Since what males have to give has in large measure been sapped from women, "the equalizing of concentrations" can hardly be imagined as if from equal but opposite social positions. On the level of social interaction, what has to take place is creative justice. It is not a simple transaction that is demanded, but a restitution. It is absurd for men to look upon the relinquishing of stolen privilege as benevolence. It is absurd also for men to protest indignantly when women speak of wresting back our own stolen power and being.

A principal thrust of Slaughtered Saints feminism is the continuing accusation of male domestic violence directed against "women and children"--these two being lumped together to indicate that the perpetrators of the violence are (who else?) husbands and fathers. The fact appears to be, however, that Mom is responsible for more domestic violence than Dad. According to Los Angeles policeperson Gloria Vargas, as quoted by Los Angeles Times writer Carol McGraw, "Kids grow up seeing their father get away with beating up mom. So what happens? They grow up and beat up their wife or resort to other violence." "Typically," says McGraw, "the victims, afraid of even more violence, would not turn their husbands or relatives in, and in many cases would even join their spouse in attacking the police who came to their rescue, Vargas said."

The suggestio falsi is that "victims" are female and "relatives" and "spouse" male. But there are as many male victims as female ones and the perpetrators protected by their "spouse" from police interference are frequently female. Boys are twice as likely as girls to be victims of assault (by Mom). Men often remain married to violent women out of concern to protect their children, who, in the event of divorce, would be placed in Mom's sole custody.

A mild protest against this sort of thing is registered by British feminist Lynne Segal, who complains that contemporary feminism "celebrates women's superior virtue and spirituality and decries 'male' violence and technology. Such celebration of the 'female' and denunciation of the 'male,' however, arouses fear and suspicion in feminists who, like me, recall that we joined the women's movement to challenge the myths of women's special nature." According to the dust wrapper of Segal's book, "She argues against the exponents of the new apocalyptic feminism, among whom are Mary Daly, Andrea Dworkin and Dale Spender, which says that men wield power over women through terror, greed and violence and that only women, because of their essentially greater humanity, can save the world from social, ecological and nuclear disaster." Today, writes Segal,

"like any Victorian gentleman, Robin Morgan, Adrienne Rich, Susan Griffin, Judith Arcana, Mary Daly, Dale Spender and their many followers, take for granted and celebrate women's greater humanism, pacifism, nurturance and spiritual development. Robin Morgan tells us that only women can guarantee the future of life on earth. Ronald Reagan and the New Right in the US and anti-feminist conservatives here in Britain tell us much the same thing. Women can save the world from the nightmares of nuclear weaponry, which represents the untamed force of "male drives and male sexuality," through the power of the feminine mentality and the force of maternal concerns.

Segal's is a minority view. As Robert Briffault truly says, "A defiant and rebellious attitude is found in women only where they occupy a position of considerable vantage and influence; it is not found where their status is really one of oppression." Today's feminists occupy a position of considerable vantage and influence and they know that that position is secure only as long as the public accepts the "myth of the monstrous male"--and the victimized female.

Slaughtered Saints feminists have much to say about the beastliness of males, but nothing to say about what Ms. Friedan most emphasized in 1963: "the problem that has no name," acedia, the ennui deriving from a lack of meaning in their existence. Acedia is a spiritual problem, but a materialist like Ms. Friedan could conceive of it only as a problem with an economic or occupational solution--an elitist career. She misconceived "the problem that has no name" as not a blessing but a curse. It was a signal that a spiritual dimension was lacking in the lives of the educated middle-class women she wrote about. "Blessed are those who feel their spiritual need," said Jesus, "for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them." The women suffering from the problem that has no name were in the fortunate condition of having had their other problems solved by the patriarchal system. The acedia from which they suffered was the problem at the very apex of the "hierarchy of needs." "Only recently," says Ms. Friedan,

have we come to accept the fact that there is an evolutionary scale or hierarchy of needs in man (and thus in woman), ranging from the needs usually called instincts because they are shared with animals, to needs that come later in human development. These later needs, the needs for knowledge, for self-realization, are as instinctive, in a human sense, as the needs shared with other animals of food, sex, survival. The clear emergence of the later needs seems to rest upon prior satisfaction of the physiological needs. The man who is extremely and dangerously hungry has no other interest but food. Capacities not useful for the satisfying of hunger are pushed into the background. "But what happens to man's desires when there is plenty of food and his belly is chronically filled? At once, other (and higher) needs emerge and these, rather than the physiological hungers, dominate the organism."

In a sense, this evolving hierarchy of needs moves further and further away from the physiological level which depends on the material environment, and tends toward a level relatively independent of the environment, more and more self- determined. But a man can be fixated on a lower need level; higher needs can be confused or channeled into the old avenues and may never emerge.

Ms. Friedan complains that the need for "self-actualization" has been wrongly interpreted as a "sexual need," something she calls an "explanation by reduction." But the career-elitism which she proposes to her female readers as the solution for the problem that has no name is equally an explanation by reduction, equally an "evasion of growth," equally unsatisfying, as is shown by a flood of disillusioned feminist books like A Lesser Life, Unnecessary Choices, This Wasn't Supposed to Happen, The Divorce Revolution, Mothers on Trial, et cetera.

After pouring her contempt on the parasitism of American housewives, she proposes to make them grow "to their full capacities," to mass-produce "self-actualizers," people like Shakespeare, da Vinci, Lincoln, Einstein, Freud, Tolstoy. This will require a "massive attempt" by educators, parents, ministers, magazine editors, manipulators, guidance counselors, and a "GI Bill for Women":

What is needed now is a national educational program similar to the GI bill, for women who seriously want to continue or resume their education--and who are willing to commit themselves to its use in a profession. The bill would provide properly qualified women with tuition fees, plus an additional subsidy to defray other expenses--books, travel, even, if necessary, some household help.

A free ride for women who want to be "professionals" and demand large fees from the people whose taxes give them their free ride. This is how liberated housewives will stand on their own feet. How can the "seriousness" and "proper qualification" of these women be evaluated? Clearly on the basis that they declare themselves to be serious and properly qualified and choose to enter professionally oriented programs. In other words, idle housewives whose taking of a free ride from their husbands is held up to scorn and whose chief motivation is boredom with suburban lotus-eating and monogamous marriage, are to crowd into colleges and begin a subsidized existence paid for by taxpayers mostly less affluent than themselves. The subsidization will include funds to hire household helpers, women not serious about becoming professionals, who need wages solely to support their families. These members of the lower orders will live on their trickle-down benefits, far more modest than those given to Ms. Friedan's elitists--of all classes in society the ones least deserving of, or in need of, public assistance. Their subsidization is said to be a matter of "desperate...emergency":

Their desperate need for education and the desperate need of this nation for the untapped reserves of women's intelligence in all the professions justify these emergency measures.

After spending most of her book talking about the immaturity of American housewives, Ms. Friedan then compares them to male GIs, "matured by war," suggesting that "Women who have matured during the housewife moratorium can be counted on for similar performance" --presumably because of the influence of the feminine mystique, elsewhere said to cause their infantilism. If the "housewife moratorium" (read: feminine mystique) is a maturing influence, why should it not lead these women to stand on their own feet "without sexual privilege or excuse" rather than to demand the exchange of one parasitism (on husbands) for another (on taxpayers)? The GI Bill gave ex-servicemen some compensation for their years of service to society. Ms. Friedan wants the same compensation for women because "society asks so little of women" and therefore (by Ms. Friedan's logic) must pamper these Sleeping Beauties yet more, rather than merely allowing their husbands to pamper them, which denies them independence and dignity.

Sleeping Beauty feminism was poorly adapted to becoming a mass movement despite Ms. Friedan's program for making it one. It was aimed at the minority of elitists whose non-spiritual problems had been solved and who were summoned to confront the spiritual crisis signaled by "the problem that has no name." The failure to recognize this crisis as a spiritual one has led not to its solution but to its burial, its replacement by problems at lower levels in the "hierarchy of needs," things like paying the rent and the utilities and coping with roleless men--problems which have made today's Slaughtered Saints feminism what the Sleeping Beauty feminism of a generation ago could never have been, a mass movement.

The best thing for the women's movement now would be (if it were possible) to restore the patriarchal family and hope that it could once again solve women's lower-level needs and bring them back to where is could be said, "Blessed are those who feel their spiritual need." Let the Scriptures be fulfilled. The patriarchy which brought them this far couldn't carry them all the way to moksha experience but it was the best friend women ever had.

Slaughtered Saints feminists now affect to interpret the free ride as itself an affliction, as what feminist Jessie Bernard calls "the woman's extra load of economic dependency." She thinks this burden "has to be lightened" because

A union between a man and a woman in which, when it breaks down, one loses not only the mate but also the very means of subsistence is not a fair relationship.

It is not a relationship at all when it breaks down; and it breaks down chiefly because (thanks to the feminist/sexual revolution's insistence on a woman's right to control her own reproduction) marriage has become a non-binding contract. Women do not suffer from an "extra load of economic dependency"; they want to hang on to the dependency or get it back again--without having to fulfill the marital obligations which justify it. The patriarchal system benefits women by marriage. The feminist program of wrecking the patriarchy aims to make it provide the same benefits outside marriage, thereby destroying marriage, the family, the male role and the whole patriarchal system--and restoring matriliny. The only way for men to restore the patriarchy is to insist that there shall be no free ride outside of marriage and the acceptance of sexual regulation--no alimony, no child support payments, no affirmative action and comparable worth programs, no quotas, no goals-and-timetables. To be independent means not to be dependent.

The suffering of single mothers--largely self-inflicted--is now deemed sufficient justification for the free ride:

The welfare system...should be replaced with a system under which single parents would be earners, but would have government guarantees of child support payments out of the earnings of the other parent, health care, and high quality child care.

Wages Due Lesbians [is] an independent group of lesbian women who organize within Wages for Housework, particularly in regard to custody. Wages for Housework is an international organization fighting for money for all women so that they can lead independent lives.

Benefits for divorced, separated, and never-married mothers and their children could be made more similar to benefits to widows either by increasing benefit levels or by making benefits available to single mothers regardless of income.

For women as a group, the future holds terrifying insecurity: We are increasingly dependent on our own resources, but in a society and an economy that never intended to admit us as independent persons, much less as breadwinners for others.

The fact that women are overwhelmingly the caretakers of children is a key determinant of their secondary economic status. Whether within the two-parent family unit or in a single-parent family, women, for the most part, provide the nurturing, the day-to-day care, the hands-on childrearing.

The feminist demand to be made independent by being made dependent appears paradoxical until its underlying idea is understood, which is this: What women want is not independence but de-regulation. They yearn to return to the "kind of role they had on the grasslands of Africa millions of years ago." De-regulation is the key idea which explains the feminist/sexual revolution. They like to talk about independence because it sounds self-approbatively heroic--and the talk is sincere in the sense that when they write agitprop or get together at conventions and take one another seriously they believe their own flim-flam. But when any tangible, especially economic, benefit enters the picture they opt for dependence. The more dependence--the more alimony, the more child support, the more legislative/bureaucratic/judicial chivalry, the more affirmative action, the more comparable worth, the more quotas, the more goals-and-timetables, the more anti-male discrimination, the more freebies--the better. If it's free they want it. What they don't want is the regulation of their sexuality which gives males a secure role within stable families.

The currently fashionable program for attaining this de- regulation is the subject of the following chapter, the program of casting themselves into poverty and squalor and dragging "their" children with them--and exhibiting the resulting predicament as proving their need to be rescued.

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Annex to chapter I
Additional note

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