How Co cherish feminism’s baby, but not its bathwater
I will be saddened if this book is misused to attack the legitimate issues of the women’s movement – issues for which I spent a decade of my life fighting. The challenge is both to go beyond feminism and to cherish its contributions. And feminism’s contributions are many.
Without feminism, fewer companies would have experimented with part – time workers, flexible schedules, child-care options, and improved safety standards. Without women in police work, few police forces would have discovered that 95 percent of conflicts are not resolved by physical strength; without women doctors, few hospitals would be cutting back ninety-hour work weeks for doctors; without women therapists, short-term counseling and couple counseling would be much less available. . . The feminist movement has allowed thousands of workplace assumptions to be reexamined; feminism brought into the workplace not only females but female energy.
When I see girls playing baseball, my eyes well up with tears of happiness for what I know they are learning about teamwork, and tears of sadness for what the girls I grew up with missed Without the feminist movement, those girls would be on the sidelines. Without the feminist movement, millions of girls would see only one dimension of their mothers and, therefore, of themselves. They would have to marry – more for money than for love. They would be even more fearful of aging.
I am often asked what made me so empathetic with the early feminist movement. It was often assumed my mother or former wife must have been an active feminist, but neither was. That is, my mother wasn’t a "movement feminist,” but I cal recall coming home after being elected seventh-grade class president, proudly announcing it to my mother, and saying, “Our class meetings are on Fridays… 1 was wondering if maybe I could have an ironed shirt just on Fridays when I have to preside in front of the class. ” She said "sure” and without missing a beat, took out the ironing board and showed me how to iron my shirts.
At the time, my mother’s response seemed consistent only with her oft – repeated statement, "I’m your mother, not your slave.” But as I get older I reframed those experience? both as preparation for my comfort with feminism in its initial egalitarian form and as one of my mother’s ways of expressing love – not by doingfor me but by teaching me to do for myself. Predictably, I have grown up seeing that my way of expressing love is to endorse that part of the feminist movement that empowers women to support themselves and to withdraw from that part that blames and plays victim.
The Myth of Male Power is not designed to create popularity. Unlike most self-improvement books, it is not a female self-assurance book; it loves women in a different way