Self-proclaimed “flaming liberal and feminist” Lisa Miller is about to have her feminist card yanked away. And it’s all because she had the nerve to write in New York Magazine about how more feminists are choosing to be housewives, drawing the ire of femisogynists everywhere. Because Miller dared to point out that more women are choosing to be stay-at-home mothers in recent years than in the past few decades.
Jezebel sneered at the possibility that there could be any validity at all to this:
New York Magazine writer Lisa Miller is doing some TV appearances to promote her bogus trend piece about the “legions” of “feminist housewives” who are choosing to stay home because “mothers instinctively want to devote themselves to home more than fathers do.” Yesterday, she appeared on CBS This Morning, where she participated in a roundtable discussion about feminism, arguing the case for “leaning out,” a term she has coined to serve as opposition to Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In. Groan.
Commenters piled on with the hate, saying things like,
I’d love to stay home and do nothing all day. It’d be like the best babysitting jobs I had as a teenager during the summer, where I’d read and watch TV for at least half the time, and make sure the kids didn’t kill each other during the other half.
If women have such a natural, innate ability to raise children, then I have a proposal: we’ll all return to the home and act as homemakers if men agree to go out and hunt and gather for all our food.
First, it’s in their nature. Second, we’re all crazy about organic food anyway.
I mean, why just go a little back in time? Let’s go all the way back.
What in the good holy hell is going on at New York Magazine? I mean. Just what in the fuck.
The American Prospect piled on with clear disdain for stay-at-home moms as well:
Good news, ladies! Feminism has fizzled, and those of us who aren’t suckers are giving up our career dreams to follow our female nature. Our lady brains and lady bodies aren’t cut out for the workplace, you see, and our manly, oafish husbands will never be as good as we are at cleaning the toilet, so why fight it? We’ll all be more fulfilled if we quit our jobs and make like June Cleaver by way of Martha Stewart. At least this is the point of the latest “trend” piece in New York magazine by Lisa Miller.
Taylor Marsh called this an example of “Stepford Feminism”:
This is exactly the case made to women in the 1950s, which concocted the feminine mystique to describe women not much differently than the drivel above. The only difference is that the modern feminist movement hadn’t kicked off, so in the ’50s it was girls dropping out of college, because they didn’t want to get too smart or they wouldn’t catch a man. Now you can catch a man with all the degrees you want, but your biology will always call you back to domestic duty.
New York magazine’s retread to the supposed good old days, which weren’t all that good, decides that women today who are educated and have a career simply have come to an epiphany about who they are, which is very conveniently backed up through their own biology. Again, see Freud, but also Margaret Mead, who may have been just as bad on the biology is destiny patter.
And so on and so forth.
As always, feminazis claim to be fighting merely for women to be able to make whatever choices they want to make in regards to career and family. But when a woman dares choose family over career — or worse, when it becomes something that many women are choosing — the shrieking hysterics come out immediately. Because a woman choosing to stay home and take care of her children sets all women back to that oh-so-horrible time period before Betty Friedan enlightened us all about how miserable we didn’t know we were.
Feminists should be happy. Women are earning more college degrees than men, they’re earning more money than ever before, and they have the freedom to pursue any career they choose. Yet studies have shown that women are the unhappiest they’ve been in 35 years.
Jeez, what could have happened to possibly make women so miserable 35 years ago? Hmmm.
The Atlantic notes that there’s been a return to domesticity among women lately:
Across different social and cultural groups, there’s been a collective return to domesticity—the rise in educated stay-at-home moms, the obsession with traditional crafts, the mania for cooking and growing our own food, the decline in career ambition and the growing importance of family among the young. This phenomenon is about far more than privileged women choosing to stay at home with their children. It’s about the laid-off office worker who opens an Etsy boutique selling crocheted baby clothes rather than jumping back into the fray of recession-era job searching. It’s about the grown child of harried Baby Boomers who, having seen his parents work 60-hour weeks to climb the corporate ladder, decides to lead a slower, more home-focused life. It’s about the young parents who, freaked out about BPA in baby food and pesticides in fruit, decide to take food into their own hands by growing their own veggies and baking their own bread, maybe even raising a chicken or two in the backyard.
It’s really pretty easy to figure out. Women were sold a pack of lies. We were told that if we broke free of our housewife chains, we’d be happy. If we worked outside the home just like men did, we’d be free of our misery. We would be strong, empowered women. Unfortunately, reality didn’t measure up to the promise. And this generation — my generation — grew up seeing that. We saw our parents working non-stop. We knew what it was like to not have parents inside the home. And we saw our parents divorce at higher rates than ever before in history. Women were told that work would make us free, but it was only a lie. Our parents were the experiment, and we saw what it got them: decades of stress and unhappiness and dissolving marriages. Is it really any question why now, when we’re starting to raise our own families, that we want to do things differently?
Of course some women will continue to work outside the home. And that’s not a bad, or wrong, choice to make. But there is a reason that more stay-at-home moms exist, and their choice isn’t anti-feminist or setting women back, either. And instead of accepting that women are empowered enough to be able to choose either way, the femisogynists shame women who make the “wrong” choice. They belittle the work that they do (sitting around doing nothing all day) as if raising children was stupid and not a “real” job, and that being a housewife automatically makes you a subservient slave to your tyrannical, misogynist husband.
Feminism was supposed to give women the freedom to do whatever they wanted to do with their lives, to respect our choices. Instead, today’s modern feminists act more as dictators, tyrants who want to decide what is and isn’t an acceptable life choice for women. And they wonder why women refuse to call themselves feminists?