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Who's Oppressing the Park Avenue Housewives: Their Husbands or the Feminists?

Image by Arthur via Pixabay. Image by Arthur via Pixabay.

Fact: The so-called benefits of feminism are taken as fact.

Feminism has something like the status of moral certainty. According to feminist elites, women everywhere are being lifted out of obscurity and patriarchal bondage. Ironically, however, motherhood and family values are condemned as backwards and antiquated, proving that the feminist agenda doesn't empower all women, only those who adopt its view. So it seems that feminism only benefits liberal women.

A recent opinion piece by Wednesday Martin in the New York Times chronicles her interactions with a unique group of stay-at-home mothers living in the wealthiest parts of New York City. They are the wives of investment bankers and hedge-fund managers, and their lives are caught up in aggressive household management. The point of the article, from what I can tell, is to convince the reader of just how disadvantaged these women are. A more implicit undertone was that these poor women need feminism:

“The wives of the masters of the universe, I learned, are a lot like mistresses — dependent and comparatively disempowered. Just sensing the disequilibrium, the abyss that separates her version of power from her man’s, might keep a thinking woman up at night.”

Ms. Martin begins with two fundamental assumptions: (a) every reasonable woman wishes to be independent of her husband; and (b) any woman who wishes dependence upon herself must be stupid. Seriously, read the language used to describe the “plight” of the Park Avenue housewives. Do they seem oppressed, abused, or weak? Yes, these women are well-educated, and if they wanted to leave, they absolutely could. But they don’t. Feminists would tell them they’re slaves to patriarchy. But are they, really? How is relying on a man victimhood? We rely on people, both men and women, every single day for electricity, water, food, and clothing.

I have heard many stories of young women arriving on a college campus who desire to become mothers and are later convinced that only unintelligent women would set so low a goal for themselves. When they do choose to become homemakers and mothers, their career-driven peers view them with an air of condescension and arrogance, accusing them of being traitors to their gender.

Feminism has damaged the family, the sanctity of the male-female dynamic, and now seeks to destroy the free choices of thinking women. We must not let it.


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