KRAWIEC: Have radical feminists harmed women?

The feminists of the '60s movement painted the traditional housewife and mother as enslaved

Hazel Hunkines Hallinnan, one of the original suffragists, rests after marching with supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment on Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue in 1977. (AP Photo)

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the controversial graduation speech that set the so-called “feminists” into a hissy fit. There was so much reaction to that article, I thought I would follow up with more about the role of women.

Feminism was born with a lofty goal. Lots of progress was made to further enable women to pursue their passions. But somewhere along the way, the movement lost its way, and some women became the targets of the radical feminists.

Original feminists fought for women’s rights through generations. These battles helped women earn the freedom from being considered property of their husbands. Under the “Married Women’s Property Act” of 1870, women were allowed to own property. For a century, women fought for the right to vote through the “women’s suffrage movement.” Finally winning the right to vote in 1920, more than 50 years after black men were allowed to cast votes.

We fought for many years for women to have a voice and a seat at the table. We fought for equal opportunities and equal pay in the workplace. We fought for women to be able to compete in sports by demanding that educational institutions offer women sporting competitions. Now some of these same feminists are promoting the idea that men should compete with women if they simply identify as a woman. Hogwash.

A recent article in The Epoch Times pointed out some interesting facts about the issue. The feminists of the ’60s movement painted the traditional housewife and mother as enslaved.

Family life was portrayed as prison for women. The only way to find fulfillment was to start a career, outside the home and find liberation.

Some of these women liberators tried to intimidate and shame some women who made the “wrong choices.” Gloria Steinem said housewives were “inferior” and were “dependent creatures who are still children.”

Helen Gurley Brown of Cosmopolitan magazine insulted women who were housewives and mothers by saying these women were “parasites, dependent, a scrounger, a sponger and a bum.”

Can you even imagine trying to lead a movement and insulting your members this way? They certainly weren’t trying to win friends and influence people with this attitude. Obviously, these leaders had little respect for women to think they could be easily intimidated.

French feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir stated, “No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one.”

We must remember that husbands didn’t go to work for fulfillment. Many go to work at grueling jobs that they detest to support their families. Now many women are forced to do the same. They work because they must earn a paycheck. If given a choice, many would choose to stay home and be a housewife and mother.

Writer Joan Price commented that the feminists had “cut women off from those aspects of life that are distinctly female desires, such as being a wife and raising children.” I say Amen.

Why do these radical feminists think they know more than other women? It’s all about power over women and men and not about “liberating” anyone.

As I have gotten older and see the beautiful independent young women that my daughters have become, I wouldn’t trade a minute of the choices that I made.

I was there for every “first.” The first steps, the first words, the first potty poop, you name it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I was still able to have a fulfilling and successful career, after my children grew up. It doesn’t compare to the joy I feel remembering those growing up years.

Ladies, whatever choice you make, let it be your choice. Don’t listen to naysayers who have no idea what it takes to fulfill your life.

Sen. Joyce Krawiec has represented Forsyth County and the 31st District in the North Carolina Senate since 2014. She lives in Kernersville.