Concern for my daughter

At first I was going to write about Rush Limbaugh and how hypocritical the rapid, uncivil response has been. Then I wanted to write about Ms. Fluke and why everyone should pay for her contraception. But ultimately I decided I really don’t care about either of them. There’s something much bigger at stake here. I’m worried about the world my daughter is growing up in.

You see, from what I can tell, the Sexual Revolution is over, and everyone lost. Women wanted to be more like men, forgetting that sometimes it’s a step down to equality, not up. And in some areas they replaced the oppression by men with oppression by women.

Women have hypersexualized themselves. Men didn’t do it. Women realized the power they have in their sexuality, but soon came to treat it as the Golden Hammer. Instead of keeping it under control and under wraps, a secret weapon to be used judiciously and decisively, they decided to shove it in everyone’s face. “I’m a woman! I’ve got woman parts! Wanna see them?!” The recent advent of “Slut Walks” is a prime example (and further complicates the issue with Limbaugh). Women want to show off their bodies, knowing that it gets men excited, but then complain when the men get excited.

Sex itself is increasingly portrayed as the pinnacle of female existence. The current debates on whether or not health insurers should cover contraception (and whether religious organizations can be forced to pay for it) are a prime example. The notion that women can just choose to not have sex is not even discussed. The viewpoint seems to be that women must have sex, and therefore it’s not fair to ask them to pay for their own contraception.

Nor does it help to have Sandra Fluke testifying before congress that she estimates it will cost her as much as $3000 for contraceptives during the course of her college career. As far as I know she did not specify how she came to that number, thus inviting all sorts of speculation. Contraception for men is not all that expensive, so it’s not surprising Limbaugh came to the conclusion he did.

But the primary message in all of this seems to be that women have no self control when it comes to sex, that they must have sex regularly to be a woman, and that even in their college years when they should be spending at least some time studying they can still be expected to have a lot of sex. Wasn’t one of the main complaints behind feminism that men treated women like frail sex objects that need others to protect them? I’m not sure how women treating themselves as sex objects who need the government to protect them from their own sex habits has improved that situation.

Indeed, if there has been any progress in gender equality in that regard, it’s hard to see. Whereas women used to be valued by their ability to bear children, they seem now to be valued by their ability to have sex. That is not the message I want my daughter to receive. Women supposedly wanted to be valued for their minds, for their capabilities. Instead they’re fighting for their right to act like harlots during the time in their lives when they should be focused on developing their minds and their abilities.

Actually, that’s not true. They already have that right, and according to Ms. Fluke, they are exercising that right with vigor. What they are fighting for is the right to do so without consequences–not even monetary. In essence they want Free Love to be free in every regard.

And I’m supposed to somehow raise my daughter to respect herself and value her mind, when there are so many voices–mostly female–pressuring her to view herself as nothing more than a sexual creature. How am I supposed to teach her to be a responsible, involved citizen of the world when so many others want her to believe that the most critical issue this election cycle is the right to free contraception and abortion on demand. 

How am I supposed to teach my daughter that she should pursue whatever path makes her happy when among women you are immediately denigrated and looked down on if you choose to be a stay-at-home mother? Oh, they pay lip-service to the value of it, but you can tell that their estimation of your value just dropped precipitously. Turning out decent, well-adjusted human beings is somehow a waste of potential?

In fact, the situation has now reversed from what it used to be. According to this article from the Wall Street Journal, where women working outside the home used to be a luxury, it’s now become such a necessity that only the wealthy can afford the wife to not work. How did a role considered an oppressive waste of a woman’s potential become a status symbol? Were women conned?

Supposedly a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. And yet how much of our modern society (or more accurately, modern consumerism) is geared toward making women look desireable to a man? Or is it to send a message to other women? Often I suspect the latter. Sure, men like to look at women all dolled up and looking their best. But we’ll adjust our sites accordingly based on what is available.

Women, you wanted men to respect you and treat you as equals (not the same thing, mind you). We tried. We honestly did. But then you started treating yourselves with so little respect that you can’t really blame us for following suit. If you want to be a sexual object, don’t complain about the men treating you as one.

But in the mean time, I’m stuck trying to figure out how to teach my daughter to run contrary to the massive bulk of society and cultural feminist pressures. I don’t want her growing up feeling like her first duty as a woman is to have sex. I don’t want her thinking there is something wrong with her because she has a mind and a myriad of talents, and would prefer to show those off instead of her “female assets.” I don’t want her chasing some designer-labeled explotative image of feminine perfection foisted upon her not by men, but by women.

There is only one woman I want teaching my daughter how to be a woman: her mother.

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