Pilgrim Soul pointed me to an absolutely headdesk-worthy piece on Momlogic about how feminism has hurt women’s love lives and that feminism wasn’t about feminine things but about releasing “masculine energy.” Both of those assertions elicited the same response from me: huh? But author Wendy Walsh thinks she makes perfect sense when she says
I am indebted to feminists. But feminism did not liberate femininity. Feminism liberated masculine energy in women. It was a masculinist movement. And this is a good thing.
Masculine energy? What is that? And feminism was never about “liberating femininity” but about equality for women. “Femininity” (or feminine energy, if you will) is usually interpreted within our culture as being all about sewing and cooking and skirts and the color pink, and Walsh seems to adhere to that, given how she defines its flipside, that so-called masculine energy.
Because of masculism, er, I mean feminism, we can now procure income in the male-dominated marketplace and buy ourselves any kind of life we want. Those of us who aren’t completely fulfilled baking cookies can now choose to fly jets, put out fires, or handcuff bad guys. We can also look for a cure for cancer, design computer programs, and sink basketballs, if those things suit our fancy.
Basically, careers like piloting and law enforcement, and hobbies like basketball, are representative of masculine energies, not feminine ones. So all feminism did was allow us to get in touch with our inner man.
But wait, there’s more! Walsh also is completely missing the point when it comes to feminism and happy love lives. Or, rather, she thinks the two things are incompatible.
I do think feminism has screwed up our love lives. First, because women are sometimes unsure of how to turn off this new masculine energy when confronted with a romantic suitor in a candlelit restaurant. We act like he’s one of the boys from work. And then get upset when he treats us like one of the boys from work — achieving his goal (in this case, sex) and then moving to a new project. At times, there appears to be so few vulnerable feelings in today’s “hook-ups” that it’s like two men are dating!
Like two men are dating! Because there aren’t “vulnerable feelings” which really should always be expressed by women so they are not confused with men. (I have to wonder: does Walsh think that a man who dates an “invulnerable” feminist is secretly gay or something?) Walsh also posits that “his goal” is always sex, overlooking that women may also have that same goal in mind. As for switching off masculine energy when confronted with candlelit dinner, I’d argue that it can be much harder to switch off the social conditioning that tells women they have to define their lives and energies and actions in terms of whether they are masculine or feminine.
Feminism also gave us an easy exit door from relationships. That’s a good thing if it were a truly bad relationship, but too often our economic freedom sends us fleeing out the back door of a “good enough” relationship, instead of learning to work through conflict. Who needs conflict resolution skills when you don’t need the ally?
Gee, I wish we could go back to the good ol’ days when women needed a man to support her! That pesky economic freedom really screws up true love when women have the temerity to decide whether or not a relationship is “good enough.”
It seemed with all the effort to conform and succeed in a male world that we unknowingly threw out a crucial, feminine skill — the ability to be the emotional conduit for a logic-locked man. For centuries, women have held the keys to the emotional locker in relationships.
Seriously, stop it. Just stop it. Oh wait, Walsh has more to say? Fine, I’ll give her one more shot.
One of my best role models is a dear girlfriend who runs a publicly traded company. Her husband is a major entertainment studio executive. They are a true power couple. I once asked her how the power is divided at home. She begged me not to tell anyone, so I’ll only tell you guys. Her answer: “At home, I am all girl. I let him be the king of our household because when he’s all man, I get paid back between the sheets.” Now that’s a smart feminist.
That explosion you may have heard was my head spontaneously combusting. Either my masculine energy got too out of control and caused me to burst into pieces, or it was the result of Walsh’s theories making my head spin. I’m guessing it was the latter.