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Liberated woman’s theology

Mark Easley | Thursday, January 20, 2011

Well that was a provocative title, wasn’t it? Now that I have your eyes, let me start off with a disclaimer. This is not a piece advocating the “make me a sandwich” train of thought when it comes to the denouncement of new age feminism. What it is, rather, is a surface examination of the college educated American female growing up under the influence of liberated woman’s theology. These personal observations can and should be qualified as limited, but nonetheless are a valid sample taken from the stated population and proper analysis can be rendered.

You see, for centuries up until the modern age, gender roles were defined. Yes, there were weaknesses to this system and an inherit bias that devalued the worth of the female to society. However, the woman has great value to the man and as such a “pedestal” was built over time to protect women from the sinful behavior of men. Women ruled the social scene, the home, dictated culture, art, cuisine. After the revolution of women in the workplace took root and feminism in America propagated, we have continued to lose this traditional way of life. I can understand the initial backlash to not having an opportunity to advance in the real world, if one seeks that for themselves. Not everyone wants to be a stay-at-home mom, and in 21st Century America, you shouldn’t have that as your only option. But there are merits to that traditional way of life and it is not necessarily positive evolution to be able to leave that behind.

In our day, college educated women are taught to believe that they not only can break the oft mentioned “glass ceiling,” but that they should seek to do so by pursuing a career and putting off marriage. While I agree that for the driven women, who are able to go head to head with competitive men and bite their heads off (not necessarily an unattractive quality), this is certainly a worthy philosophy, but some women do not fit that description. I know countless young women who don’t know exactly what they would like to do with their lives, because they don’t want to be a doctor, engineer, lawyer or business woman when they get out of school.

When it comes down to it, women have the ultimate trump card. They could claw their way through society and up the corporate and political ladders of our time working their butts off for years, or they could find a nice, successful man to marry. Once again this isn’t the “make me a sandwich” argument. It is a societal fact that I feel women are more and more taught to ignore. What many feminists fail to recognize is the American man has also evolved. In Asia and the Middle East, marriage remains very traditional. The man and woman are defined as they have been for generations. In America, the man and the family unit are a lot more flexible, having developed in the more liberal western tradition. And even better, in America you can divorce someone if it doesn’t work out without significant social consequences. I do not advocate this at all, one should make sure to find a good one the first time (a lot more rewarding in the long run), but when compared relative to more traditional places where a woman sometimes is pressured to kill herself if her husband dies or is stoned to death for adultery or is the scarlet letter when she gets divorced, it’s a pretty good deal. Not to mention with all the legal and financial protections available these days when one enters into marriage, it’s amazing to me how American women aren’t roping in men left and right.

I guess what I’m trying to say to all you ladies out there is while I encourage you to follow your dreams, you should also not let a good opportunity slip you by. Don’t be afraid to be a homemaker for your future career. Don’t be afraid to marry earlier. And don’t buy into the superwoman myth that you can have your career and a great family life if you don’t have superwoman personality, skills and drive. Marrying for love and money is often a smart decision, and there is no sense in putting that off if you’ve found it.

Nota bene for all the guys that made it to the end of this article: If you can get that sugar mama, go for it. You’re welcome gender studies majors, finally a viewpoint you can talk about. Keep it classy ND!

Mark Easley is a junior majoring in computer science. He can be reached at measley@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.