Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Phyllis Schlafly: The Power of the Positive Woman

Before looking at Schlafly’s critique, we should recognize huge achievements of women liberation movement since the last century. Within a comparatively short period of time, women have earned tremendous rights and equality than ever before. When reading “the good wife’s guide” in 1955 and thinking how ridiculous it sounds today, we should aware that how greatly women have changed since then thanks to feminism.

However, as long as there is difference, there is inequality. In this sense, Schlafly reminded us feminism is fundamentally trying to achieve an unachievable equality between men and women, because they are inherently different. I like the point Schlafly mentioned that “the differences are not a woman’s weakness but her strength.” If women could empower themselves based on their differences, it might produce more strong women than other feminists supposed to.

There are two things in related to feminism I want to note. One is the doubt that I always have: do we need to think in a feminist way all the time, no matter stressing women’s weak position or women’s difference from men? Suppose a male professor discusses an academic issue with a female professor, does she or he always think their different opinions are because of their different genders? In other words, to what extent does gender difference affect people’s thoughts?

The other is a statistic showed that in recent years, female students graduated from Ivy Leagues would rather become housewives taking care of kids than being “powerful” women, and the number is still on the rise. When the first time I saw the news, it’s really shocked. It seems like no matter how well women have been educated, no matter how liberal and open the society is, traditional roles of men and women are still working in everyone’s mind.

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