Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Second WAVE..for Mary Kassian

Posted by Hannah at 7:00 AM

We will move on to Part Three of Mary Kassian's You've Come A Long Way Baby.

Part Two is HERE.  
Part One is HERE

She now gets into what some people consider the roots of the 2nd rave of Feminism.

The Revolution

She continues by speaking of Simone de Beauvoir. In 2009 her book The Second Sex was revised, and released as an anniversary issue. It was revised because there was huge chucks of the book that was mistranslated, and it was not true to what her points were.  Please note: I'm not sure that was available at the time this lecture was given.

In the chapter "Woman: Myth and Reality" of The Second Sex, Beauvoir argued that men had made women the "Other" in society by putting a false aura of "mystery" around them. She argued that men used this as an excuse not to understand women or their problems and not to help them, and that this stereotyping was always done in societies by the group higher in the hierarchy to the group lower in the hierarchy. She wrote that this also happened on the basis of other categories of identity, such as race, class, and religion. But she said that it was nowhere more true than with sex in which men stereotyped women and used it as an excuse to organize society into a patriarchy.

Kassian wants to describe this as:

She argued that in the relationship between men and women, women were the second class and men were the ruling class. They got all the perks. They had the power. They had the authority, and they got to say what the world looked like.

De Beauvoir argued that in order for women to live as full human beings, they needed to demand their rights, collectively rebel against men, and overthrow all of the societal structures that men had constructed to keep women in a state of servitude. Most specifically, de Beauvoir encouraged women to get out of the home and deconstruct the Judeo-Christian ideas about marriage and motherhood and morality.

I may not agree with de Beauvior on every count, but she does not encourage women to deconstruct the Judeo-Christian ideas about marriage, motherhood, and morality as the basic theme of her book. She may not have lived the lifestyle that Christians would consider proper, but again she isn't asking people to live as she did.

I look at this part: not to understand women or their problems and not to help them, and that this stereotyping was always done in societies by the group higher in the hierarchy to the group lower in the hierarchy.

That's history, and that is what has happened all over the world.  This happened to men and women, people of different colors, races, and faiths.  Is that the Judeo-Christian ideal?  If she thinks so we have a different idea of what the bible says.  The bible is very clear about what God feels about those that do not help those they know need help for example. 

Ms. Kassian states the underlying message of Feminism is:
We—women—need and can trust no other authority than our own, personal truth. We need and can trust no other authority than our own, personal truth. 
I understand we can take this one or two ways.   I'm sure Ms. Kassian is coming from the position of God is our true authority.  That's fine!  I agree!  I realize she also is coming from the Complementarian position, and they look to their husbands as the authority as well.

When they speak about trusting 'authority' in the context of what de Beauvior is trying to get across?  She was speaking about 'group higher in the hierarchy to the group lower in the hierarchy.'  We are talking about the 'ruling class' at the time.  That is an entirely different can of worms.

They didn't understand the lower group, nor could they relate to their issues.  The ruling class did make the rules for the society, and did so without the type of 'loving and benevolent' leadership that the Complementary position speaks about.   The ruling class did not care about their 'personal truth' of their lifes, nor did they care to learn about them.  If you look at it that way?  Those men and women of the lower group truly have no incentive to TRUST the higher group in the hierarchy.

Its not a slam - its history!

The higher group was not God or Husband in the context of what Mary Kassian may be looking at.  The women within both groups were also considered 'lower' than the men.  That's history, and we can't change that fact.  They had no issue throwing out the word 'inferior' when it came to women.  SURE its not a word you want to use today, but it was more than acceptable back then.  Both genders were 'groomed' to be believe that as well.

When we take the context of what de Beauvior was trying to get across, and then attempt to apply Mary Kassian 'definition' of authority?  It doesn't work.  They are completely different, and trying to apply them as the same is attempting to change history or/and diverting from the true point.  You can take your pick, because neither will work for the points Mary is trying to get across.

Keep in mind I'm using certain words like 'inferiority' etc because that is how they spoke at the time she wrote the book. People can say today that we have complementary roles, but equal in God's eyes - that is not how it was always presented. Stating women were 'inferiority' was politically correct in past history.

De Beauvoir believes that woman’s inferiority in society is a result not of natural differences but of differences in the upbringing of man and woman. Male domination is not inherent or fated but conditioned at every stage of development. De Beauvoir says that “Man learns his power.” By the same token, woman is not born passive, mediocre, or immanent. Rather, she is socialized to believe that proper women must embody these characteristics and, subtly and not subtly, she is conditioned to believe that denying her true self is the only way to achieve happiness and gain acceptance. To bring about substantial changes in society, young boys and girls must be educated differently from the outset. Since they are born equal, the possibility exists of their being equal in adulthood as well as in childhood—but it is up to society to change its skewed perspectives.

In the late 1950s, an American political activist and journalist, Betty Friedan, picked up on Simone de Beauvoir's thinking. She constructed a questionnaire for the 15-year reunion of her college class. She asked her college-educated, female colleagues about the level of happiness and fulfillment they were experiencing in their marriages and in their roles as wives and mothers. Friedan noticed that there was a level of discontent and dissatisfaction present.

She interviewed dozens of other women and concluded that a discrepancy existed between what society told women would make them happy and fulfilled and how happy and fulfilled they actually felt. In her resulting book, published in 1963, Friedan argued that women were trying to conform to a male-dictated image of womanhood, the feminine mystique, but that doing so left them with vague feelings of dissatisfaction and that yearning and emptiness and that feeling that there had to be something more to life.

She identified this as a common problem amongst women. It was a female problem, a problem without a name. She concluded that the dissatisfaction that women were experiencing in that time in their role was a problem with the role itself. She suggested that in order to find fulfillment, American women should begin to question and challenge and rebel against being wives and mothers. A woman could only be fulfilled if she had a life plan for herself that included education, a career, and work that was of serious import to society, and each woman needed to name herself and take control and take charge of her own life and develop a vision for her own future.

Here's the underlying presupposition behind Betty Friedan's ideas and the ideas of feminism as a whole. We—women—need and can trust no other authority than our own, personal truth. We need and can trust no other authority than our own, personal truth.

Keep in mind Friedan wasn't speaking from a Christian point of view. To me she was attempting to show a concept similar to De Beauvoir's, and showing how women were being told THIS is what you need to do to show proper femininity.

The idea Betty Friedan expresses in The Feminine Mystique is that if women escaped the confines of “traditional” notions of femininity, they could then truly enjoy being women. She said the same thing about men as well. Friedan said, "Men had to be supermen: stoic, responsible meal tickets. Dominance is a burden. Most men who are honest will admit that." During that time men also were stepping out of their 'role' or 'traditional notions' of masculinity. If you look at the early pictures of the Beatles? They look as if they have short hair, but it wasn't seen as SHORT back then.  A proper haircut was important aspect of not coloring outside the lines.

I know I don't agree with Friedan with all of her views, but on the other hand I don't have to take what she says so literally either. I agree there are 'traditional notions', and I mentioned two silly ones in my piece about You've Come a Long Way Baby. I spoke about how it wasn't 'feminine' for me to play baseball, and even with short hair it was require for females to wear swim caps. Gender was the reason, and it was cultural at the time. It was a silly notion on how to show femininity at the time.

Lets look at the key comment of the survey Friedman did:  that a discrepancy existed between what society told women would make them happy and fulfilled and how happy and fulfilled they actually felt.   What is Kassian just going to tell those women all they need is Jesus?  It seems to me that is pretty much what Mary Kassian is hinting at. There is no doubt that platitude is accepted by some! Sadly, it totally blows off the point they are trying to get across.

Mary also hit a hot button when she speaks of 'authority'.  
We—women—need and can trust no other authority than our own, personal truth. We need and can trust no other authority than our own, personal truth.
Now I realize she wishes us to just take this one way.  That is not the point the author is trying to get across, and it seems very plain to me.

Its the same concept that de Beauvior was stating, and you can't MELT the two.  Stating that GOD is my only authority doesn't change the concept these ladies are attempting to present.  It just shows certain groups aren't willing to listen.

To me?  They are demonizing something that wasn't said, and labeling them 'man haters' and all the rest of the myths they attempt to drill into their audience I feel is deceptive.

If you think about it?  They also are not listening or concerning themselves with other's 'personal truths' of what their realities are either.

Is that the Judeo-Christian ideal?  I would hope she doesn't think so, but sadly they seem to be clouding issues on purpose.

I don't have to believe or agree with EVERYTHING de Beauvior or Friedan say or what they stand for.  I can be strong enough to acknowledge they have points about history.  History has touted women were inferior for ages, and today its not the 'acceptable' label to use.  The attitude with some people is still alive and well, and they don't need to spell out inferior for others to see it.

Alvin Toffler, the author of Future Shock called The Feminine Mystique the book that pulled the trigger on history. Indeed, once woman accepted this very basic premise of needing and trusting no other authority except her own, personal truth, she set her foot on a path that would take her, and ultimately the whole of society, in a direction diametrically opposed to the heart and the purposes and the ways of God.

Simone de Beauvoir's and Betty Friedan's writings gained popularity amongst North American women. Evidently many women were experiencing feelings of frustration and discontentment, and many eagerly yearned for the something more preferred by these feminists.

A problem had been exposed, and feminists were convinced that it was the problem. They hadn't yet found a word to adequately describe it, but that came quite quickly. In the 1960s, late 60s, feminist author Kate Millett used the term patriarchy to describe the problem without a name.
We have all heard people that took this feminist movement to the next level, and that group is whom they seem to talk about the most.  The radicals as some call them aren't representative of most.  They tend to use the ones that down right man haters as their examples, and yet many feminists are happily married.  Mary mentioned that we have all been impacted by feminism, and she is correct.

Some people speak about how women got the vote, and that first wave was all fine and dandy.  We didn't need anything else.  I have wonder if they realized that women were not considered citizens.  They allowed the male slaves citizenship, but women were not given this right.  Some of the basic rights we have to today that we don't even think about, because they are a given?  Women fought for tooth and nail, and none of these we take for granted were just handed to us from our loving and benevolent husbands.
Now patriarchy derives its origin from two Greek words, pater, meaning “father,” and archi, meaning “rule.” Patriarchy was to be understood as the rule of the father. Feminists argued that patriarchy is what caused all the heartache of woman. Patriarchy, the condition of having male in a leadership, authority role is what caused woman's heartache and heartbreak. It wasn't just an abstract concept of men having more power and authority than woman. It was woven throughout our entire society's family and social and political and religious structures. It was laced throughout our social etiquette and our customs, our rituals, our traditions and laws, our entire system of education and division of labor, and all of these things were responsible for keeping men in a dominant position and women in a submissive, subservient position. Patriarchy was seen as the ultimate cause of woman's discontent, and only the demise and the deconstruction of all patriarchal structures would lead to her freedom. Only when woman broke free from the traditional, male-defined, Judeo-Christian roles and rules would she find meaning and fulfillment, and thus, the trigger was pulled.
Here the complementarians are telling you that their movement is indeed Patriarchy.  In the past people were more honest about what that meant.  Today CBMW use flowery adjectives to describe the truth, but in a nicer and more politically correct way.

Its amazing that we can read history books, and see the sad state of affairs for some people - then turn around and call it 'Christian'!   I have to wonder if they feel they admit that part?  HOW it wasn't the bed of roses, and ' Judeo-Christian' at all - that is was pretty extreme at times - if then they would have to admit that those in 'power' did indeed abuse it.  Its part of history, but I wonder if they feel that reflects 'badly' upon them and so they can't ADMIT IT!

If you have read some of my past articles about Mary's lecture I brought out the harmful portions of the good old days.  No offense to her, but that didn't represent Judeo-Christian roles within society either.

The bible is very clear on how to serve widows, homeless, the sick, etc.  It also states HOW we are to confront those that don't follow the ways that God would have us do.  The Christian role was neglected, and male defined roles were indeed present.  She can kid herself all she wants to, but history does NOT line up with her opinion!

Males in history did indeed define what women's roles were.  I would like to see a woman in the past like in her 1920's example play the role of Proverbs 31!  She couldn't purchase or make business deals as is mentioned.  The restrictions for women at the time would not allow it, and yet she HINTS they follow the Judeo-Christian principals?  How is that possible?

The past compared to the present was very oppressive when you view the basic human rights we have been gifted with today.  Women that can view history can also say their true authority is Jesus, and it still doesn't change the truth of history past.  Does Mary Kassian ever speak to her grandmother for example?  We are afforded more today than they were at our age.
In the first phase of feminism, women claimed the right to name themselves. Their goal was to shed the differences that made women weak and vulnerable to become more like men. They began to dress like men and smoke and drink and swear like men and to claim sexual freedom and participation in the work force.

Newly established feminist groups like NOW, the National Organization for Women, gave public lobbies and demonstrations in order to further the feminist agenda, which consisted of these points:
  • Full self-determination—woman needed to decide who she was and needed to have the legal right to act independently of her husband.
  • Freedom from biology—that prompted feminists at that time to lobby for birth control, for legalized abortion, state daycare, reproductive technologies, such as test tube babies, anything that took the burden of bearing and caring for children off of a woman's shoulders and put it more on society as a whole.
  • Economic independence—pay equity, equal pay for work of equal value, changes to financial practices, total and equal integration, affirmative action.
When you consider the position women, minorities, and the poor were placed in?  I don't see any reason WHY they wouldn't make sure they are not 'weak and vulnerable' as in the past.   It seems she wishes to change history, and say they were 'all' treated nice and fair.  That simply isn't true.

When I read that portion about how women wish to be more 'like' men?  I suppose that goes along with their theory of 'blurring the genders'.  In the 1940's pants became popular when women entered the workforce.  Their suits looks more more patriotic styling in the form of military details. Squarer, more masculine padded shoulders were also popular in woman’s suits.  The smoking, drinking, cussing what they didn't think women did that back in the roaring 1920's?

There are God given differences, and wearing pants or getting a job doesn't change those things.

There are times in which it benefits both parties for women to be legally separate from her husband.  Once women were allowed legal standings she was not forced or had things taken from her by her 'benevolent husband'.

This craziness that most women didn't wish to have families is just nuts.  The bible does treasure singleness, and yes she is now allowed to be the Mary Tyler Moore she spoke of.  THE!

In certain circumstances there should be no reason WHY women would not need to have financial independence.  The only problem they seem to have with these things is that the 'father' can't 'rule' those aspects like he could in the past.  If you think about it realistically?  It should be no skin off their nose!  Its not a reflection upon them in that fashion.  IF Christian values were actually practiced?  You have to wonder if those things would have been needed in the first place.
Women began to seek these things with passion and fervor—sexual freedom, changes in adultery and decency laws. Feminists picketed outside New York Times building in opposition to the male-segregated help wanted ads. They organized a splashy protest of the Miss America contest. But although the awareness of a woman's movement was spreading, allegiance to the feminist perspective was not yet widespread, and feminist theorists concluded at that time that woman as a whole needed education.

They needed enlightenment. They didn't get it. They didn't know how bad their situation really was. They didn't know how bad men really were and how repressed they were to be just seeking happiness in motherhood and childbearing and being wives.

They needed a tool to show woman and to educate women how oppressed they really were, and inadvertently, quite inadvertently, they unearthed one. Feminists in New York discovered that if they gathered women together in small groups and got all those women talking about their hurts and grievances against men, then all the women in the group would begin to get upset with men, even those women who didn't have any hurts and grievances themselves, and then their anger could be directed into action. They could be empowered to rebel against the authority of the males in their homes and also in society as a whole and change the rules of the game, and this technique was called consciousness-raising.
I have to giggle at her vigor towards this subject.  YES at the time - the same attitude was present when women wanted the vote.  Women were 'told' and 'informed' they didn't need it for all kinds of reasons.  If you think about it?  The TRUE WOMEN'S CONFERENCE is trying to 'enlighten' as well. 

In the past? They loved their husbands, and there were alot of women protected by that 'bubble' of a certain realities for others.  As I mentioned before society tended to paint things a certain way for you to view, but left the awful parts that you may object to OUT of the equation.

Consciousness-raising was groups of women that go together, and spoke about their lifes.  Lets take an example that I think most could relate to.  Lets say you have in your group two single mothers for example, and they work at some place of employment where they do the same work as the man but paid a lower wage.  They also find that credit is hard to come by with no man in their life.  Loans must have a husband signature, and things in daily life that we take for granted were not available for them.

Most people will say they should be paid equal for the same job, but then the question comes up as WHY they were paid lower to begin with?  The response is silence.

Why can't these women get loans or credit without a man's signature?  The response is 'those silly things!'

Now if other women are within their group, and see the struggle of these two women due to gender?  Why would they not get upset, and also ask questions?  The day may come that either their husband will leave, or maybe he dies.  Where is that going to leave her?

Lets say they go home, and ask their husband about this 'circumstance' she may find herself in.  He gives her some song and dance about how she shouldn't worry her pretty little head about that.  When push comes to shove some find out they would be in the same boat as the single women in their group, and others find that they will be well cared for.  What happens next?  They tend to worry about their daughters.   Come to find out their husbands don't like the pretty little heads asking to many questions, and YES things began to change.

Its funny how that side of things is never brought up.  Its part of HISTORY!

Was all of it good?  No way!  What did change is the pretty little heads figured out they better know more than they were told they needed to.  It made sense at the time, because things were not always as they seemed.  Things were not always as they were told.  When you moved to women of color?  You found out they had it even harder.

Where was the Judeo-Christian role?  Was it a Judeo-Christian ideal to find out about these struggles of other women, and find out the Judeo-Christian authorities were NOT doing what the bible called them do?

We can draw the picture of a group of women with motive to make other women HATE men as much as others claim they do.  It sounds like a good way to sweeping it away, and not dealing with it.

The truth of the matter was that the 'father rule' placed it there, and didn't follow up on their Judeo-Christian principals to care for those that needed it.  They made it harder for them to care for themselves by placing barriers there.  If placed in their position why would they NOT think they have all the perks, all the authority, and YES they made all the rules.  Its not 'blurring' anything, but reality at the time.

WELL those small groups changed things for their future, because I'm sure like most of us Mary Kassian has credit score now.  She would be able to apply, and received loans.  She would have access to employment, housing, etc if she needed it.  She may never need this, but there is nothing 'evil' about having access to if you ever do.

I truly don't understand the fear of the truth.  Its not all pretty, and I'm not saying feminism is the perfect solution. 

Talking about and acknowledging things from our past doesn't make anyone 'man haters'.

To this day you have parts of the world that are down right evil to women and children in particular.  I'm not saying evil isn't taken out on the men as well, but if you look at parts of the mideast?  No on questions which gender makes the rules, has the perks, and uses their authority.

We have a very hot sex trade here in the United States, and people don't like to look at either.

Do we ignore those things so we don't get labeled the FEMINIST or MAN HATER?  Come on people GROW UP and smell the reality!

It's strange to me that when you point these things out as truths people tend to take this as a personal attack on ALL MEN!  Heck even MOST men!  I don't personally believe that.  I guess using extremes works, because look at the misunderstood concepts the ladies I spoke about today were translated to Mary's audience.

They maybe married to 'loving and benevolent leaders of the home' now, but they can't take away the horrors of the past that women that came before them had to endure.  Just as a side note:  It also effected minorities, and the poor.  It wasn't so much about 'gender' all the time, but a 'class' system as well.

SURE we can all look at the ugly parts that also surfaced, but don't lie about the past.  History proves you false, and the good stuff that you place out there?  People are going to question.  That is the way the 'human race' works.

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Marg Mowczko on 1:54 AM said...

Hi Hannah,

I just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying reading your posts and I very much appreciate your perspective!

Hannah on 12:50 PM said...

Thank you Marg! I appreciate you coming and commenting.

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