Rebecca Rickett has a very interesting article in the new Square Two publication ( http://squaretwo.org/Sq2ArticleRickettGender.html ) regarding how society is forcing women towards androgyny. (and if I misrepresent what she’s written, I apologize in advance).
She suggests that the current feminist movement is wrong in the methods used to achieve good goals. Unintentionally, they seek to make women into men, which they can never really succeed at becoming. We are not talking about women getting equal pay for equal work, but at the concept that women’s natural capabilities (reproduction, etc) are viewed negatively, while the competitive nature of men in business is now what is expected of liberated women.
The disdain that many have towards natural gender differences has been a major cause of shrinking birth rates in industrialized nations, as women hold off on having children until they are older (or never have them), seeing it as a hidden tax on their ability to be like men.
A secondary problem is that it confuses gender roles for men and children as well. Having more competition, men must either become more masculine in order to compete against androgynous women, or more feminine in order to find a less competitive place that many women have walked away from. Neither of which is beneficial to society nor the norms of gender.
There are ways for women to have greater rights and responsibilities. However, Rickett notes that it is not by making men out of women, nor is it by confusing roles. She compares it to a race among three nations, where the winning group has both men and women running as best each can, and carrying the weak along with them.
I can see how her theory can affect issues:
abortion: women’s Biblical and natural role is to have children, not to destroy life in order to be able to achieve a man’s ideals
natural roles: recently we heard a liberal speaker say that Ann Romney has not worked a day in her life. Does demeaning child rearing make such women feel more like successful men?
Does this affect natural/traditional family roles: encouraging single parent families, SSA parenting, men becoming more effeminate?
Your thoughts? And I would really like to hear thoughts from conservatives and liberals on this one. Joanna Brooks, etc, are definitely welcome to respond, as I’d like to hear thoughts on this, as well.