A happy Sunday hello, and I hope your day is going well. I have had an odd Sunday, as I have not been well for the past couple of days, am trying to rest up (one of the joys of aging is never being too certain just how serious it will be), working with my daughter to get a plan together for me that I can manage even on my off days.
I enjoy time with my kids as they constantly challenge me to think away from what I am comfortable with, either because it was what I grew up with, or simply it is the easiest option. This morning my daughter set me up to view clips etc that are influencing how social media, the internet, and the feminist movement cast a ‘real’ impact on the world. I was an active part of the second wave and I have earned the right to voice an opinion about what we hoped to achieve, and how the dream does not match the reality.
I went into a male trade, (I was, in fact, the first female in this industry in my state and second in the country) and I had to earn a place, respect, and trade recognition as any male would have to. At no point did I ask for concession because I was a woman, and the men I worked with would never have insulted me by making allowances for me being a female. I had friends who decided that being a full-time mother and wife was where they wanted to be. This is the career pathway that they settled for, and are still quite happy as many of them are looking after the grandkids so their children can work. There was even the odd lady who challenged the corporation’s structure and managed to succeed.
What I found very upsetting with much of what I was watching today is that women seem to be more than happy to simply ‘hide’ behind what every excuse is handy, rather than accept responsibly for themselves. I have been active for quite some time with groups that support male victims of domestic violence, and do become annoyed by the fact that ‘society’ refuses to acknowledge that women can also be abusive partners and parents. Much of what I watched and listened to today supported this. It appears that we have happily raised a generation of females who will hide behind any excuse rather than accept responsibility for themselves.
Now, before you jump on your high horse and accuse me of having problems with the younger generation, I have spent much time working with these young people. We have allowed them to think that if there is a problem in their life it has to be because of someone else. It is so much easier to lay blame on others and then they can hide away, feel slightly better about themselves (at least while there are others around), and pretend that the goals being aimed for are nearly there. We have a generation of younger women who assume that just the fact they are women, entitles them to having everything handed to them, it is a simple entitlement.
As one of the women of my generation who pushed the boundaries, it breaks my heart to see what we have done for the girls. We struggled with an idea that we could have an independence our mothers and grandmothers only dreamt of. We fought for the right of the women to make independent choices. We simply wanted to be entitled to be ourself. None of this has worked out as we dreamed it would. So I think I could state that the feminism moment must be viewed as an incomplete project at the least, or at the worst, failed.
I will go one further and state that my generation is still struggling. In Australia, the fastest-growing group, making up the homeless, are women over 55. This group is not being noticed as most are no longer attractive enough, IT smart, or vocal enough to raise any form of attention. It is time for us as a society to throw out the concepts we have, to no longer accept that you can simply hide behind an ideal rather than face a problem you should be dealing with. You are responsible for yourself, your own decisions, and it is not acceptable to hide behind an easy excuse because you are just too lazy, self-obsessed, or simply could not be bothered.
This is Caille Paglia’s new book – FREE WOMEN, FREE MEN Sex, Gender, Feminism.