Damn good letter

Sometimes I surprise myself by writing something which I think is actually decent. Other times I surprise myself by thinking that and actually being right. Other times I surprise myself by stumbling across an old letter in a stack of papers (those who criticize my filing system don’t understand it) and realizing I need to share it with the world. I may be wrong, but permit me the occasional delusion.

June 27, 2012

The Atlantic
600 New Hampshire Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037

Dear Sir or Madame,

I had never heard of “Elizabeth Wurtzel” before. Something which – in light of her self-absorbed, self-importance – she would probably consider an impossibility.

Little did I know that anyone other than George Will could earn a living merely by being sufficiently insufferable.

Then I read 1% Wives Are Helping Kill Feminism and Make the War on Women Possible, which I at first mistook for an ill-advised, deeply flawed attempt at satire before realizing the author was, in fact, taking herself seriously as she made pronouncements on a subject about which she knows little and understands even less.

Here’s what she said (in fewer than fifty words): women only have value if they get paid. Being a mom is not a job. If women don’t have a job because they choose to be a stay-at-home mom, their husbands think all women are dumb. And THAT is the reason for the war on women.

And here are some of the gobsmackingly astounding things she wrote.

Who can possibly take feminism seriously when it allows everything, as long as women choose it? The whole point to begin with was that women were losing their minds pushing mops and strollers all day without a room or a salary of their own.

Wow. Just wow. I mean – the whole point of the feminist movement was allowing women the freedom of being able to choose because women were sick of having no choices, of being treated as inferior beings, denied equal opportunities and treated disparately because of their gender.

And no, it wasn’t that women “were losing their minds” – merely that being treated as property (or children) by a patriarchal society, limited to narrow roles in home, schools, and the workforce was intolerable in a society which pretended to offer liberty and justice for all.

Got pregnant? You’re fired. Got married? You’re fired. Won’t have sex with me? You’re fired. Want sports? Forget it. Want to be a lawyer, a pilot, a doctor, a dentist, a firefighter? Forget it. Want equal pay? Gee, you’re cute when you’re angry.

Let’s please be serious grown-ups: real feminists don’t depend on men. Real feminists earn a living, have money and means of their own.

Whoa! She doesn’t even realize that “real feminists” often are men. And that “real feminists” believe that opportunities and rights should not be denied or abridged on account of sex (which works for both genders – including Mr. Moms.)

This woman claims to be a lawyer – so she should be well acquainted with the established principle recognized by the courts that marriages are economic partnerships and each partner contributes value even if not a paycheck. And that, by law, it’s not “his” paycheck – it’s hers too.

All of which those same courts take into account when dividing assets in divorce proceedings. That male executive who worked his way up the corporate ladder to the multimillion dollar salary? He was able to do so because his worthless stay-at-home wife was his unpaid assistant, entertaining clients at dinner parties, organizing charitable fund-raising events, buying the gifts and sending the cards that resulted in profitable business deals, and taking care of their home so he could focus on business instead of the mundane details of life that drag people down – things like picking up the dry cleaning.

And it is those ladies – those stay-at-home wives in wealthy families (who, after all, don’t get a pay check) – who she uses to condemn all the fairer sex as failures unless they have a real job – you know, one with a real pay check. Without one you just aren’t equal. Because “there really is only one kind of equality … and it’s economic. If you can’t pay your own rent, you are not an adult. You are a dependent.”

[T]hese women are the reason their husbands think all women are dumb … As it happens, fewer than 5 percent of the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, 16 percent of corporate executives, and 17 percent of law partners are female. The men, the husbands of the 1 percent, are on trading floors or in office complexes with other men all day, and to the extent that they see anyone who isn’t male it’s pretty much just secretaries and assistants.

There you have it: the reason women earn less than men, the reason women hit a glass ceiling, the reason women are not 51% of CEO’s, corporate executives, law partners – or elected officials – is their own fault. It has nothing to do with discrimination, with centuries of being chattel, of having few to no rights, with living in a society where the power continues to remain vested primarily with white males.

It’s all “because feminism has misread its mission of equality” and “being a mother isn’t really work.”

In other words: being equal means you don’t have the right to choose.

Perhaps you feel controversy might help you sell magazines. At least let the controversy be based on well-informed and well-reasoned (if differing) opinions. Not pretentious, pompous poop like this.

Sincerely,
Wisconsinwit

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Posted on April 16, 2013, in Commentary, feminism, Other, women. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Well done. I am intrigued by a younger generation of women, many of whom are not mothers, who read Betty Friedan and some Gloria Steinem as historical documentary (instead of the single angle opinion that it was) and think that was all there was to the women’s movement.

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