It’s been fifty years since Betty Friedan tore apart her home. Thanks for nothing, you whiny bitch.

14 Feb


Both Slate and Jezebel are running pieces today on the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique.  The book was a grenade tossed in the cultural landscape and when it detonated, it left American families shattered, women of color sidelined and the millions of children without fathers.

Good work, Betty.

In all fairness to Noreen Malone, writing at Slate, she does acknowledge that “…work doesn’t automatically put you on the road to self-actualization (as Friedan implies it does), and the degree to which it contributes to it probably waxes and wanes at different points in a person’s life. What about women (or men!) who genuinely do find the bulk, or even part, of their creative fulfillment in more traditional homemaking tasks, or at least less corporate ones, and who derive their sense of mission from helping people—even if mostly the ones related to them?”

Work doesn’t automatically put you on the road to self-actualization.  When you consider the “work” women actually do, that’s a giant NO SHIT SHERLOCK.

What exactly is so fulfilling about being a secretary?  Still the number one occupational category for women.


Jezebel, in an uncharacteristic recognition of reality, has noted that women still don’t achieve very much, despite 50 years of college degrees and boisterous cheerleading telling them they can do everything men can do, backwards, in heels!


The idea that we may be on the wrong track, culturally, naturally never occurs to old Jezzie.  Nope.  If what we have isn’t working, well then, we must need MORE OF IT!  Genius.  In service to this idea, they have created a “reality check” for young women.  I’ll give you the summary:

Teach girls to angrily blame others for their choices, emphasis on anger

Force them into STEM fields, against their curiously stubborn lack of interest in those fields

Teach them to be sluts and just call it “sexuality”

Teach them to be activists in supporting important causes like “slutwalks”

Teach them to put their own inflated sense of ability and worth at the center of their life narrative

Force them into creative fields (I thought we wanted STEM?)

Teach them a sense of entitlement to leadership

Teach them to choose only the choices preapproved by Feminist White Ladies™

Wow.  Gee, I sure hope my daughters grow up to be feminists.  Sounds like a world of happiness, right there.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the worst book every written for women, I’d like to offer my own “reality check” for girls and women.

Let’s start by teaching young women to calm the fuck down.  There is no conspiracy/patriarchy designed to enslave you in the kitchen wearing nothing but an apron and Chanel No.5 (although that sounds like fun).


Feminism, by and large, has confused two separate ideas:  patrilineage and aristocracy.  Patrilineage is simply the custom of having children bear their father’s surname.  When a family unit is formed, the family shares a single surname and in our culture, that surname belongs to the father.  It says nothing about the personalities or the quality of the relationship between the two individuals who have formed the partnership.

It always makes me laugh to hear women say “I kept my own name”. Uhm.  No you didn’t.  You kept your FATHER’S name, or if you are the product of a single mother, you kept your GRANDFATHER’S name.  That’s just how we roll.  Our names come from our fathers.  Get over it.


The word “patriarchy” is thrown around by feminists to describe this mythical place wherein all women were oppressed and exploited by all men, who had all the rights and privileges of both citizenship and sex.


Most MEN had no rights or privileges of any kind.  They were just as oppressed and exploited as women.  By whom?

By an aristocracy of both MEN AND WOMEN.  Queens Victoria and Elizabeth are the longest reigning sovereigns in the written history of the world, and neither of them took any particular interest in the plight of the working class, unless forced to by the circumstances of history.


The last men in England, for example, did not win the franchise until 1885.  One generation later, women secured to right to vote, too.  Until then, almost all men and women were peasants slaving on lands owned by a ruling elite.


You want to hate something?  Hate the crown.  The rich (both men and women) are the ones who oppress and exploit, and confusing “rich” with “men” misdirects our anger and our strategies for redress.


Let’s teach young women that their interests and proclivities tend to be dramatically different than men’s and that’s okay.  It’s okay to let men dominate in STEM fields, where they continue to discover and invent technologies and tools that astonish us and transform our world.  Forcing women into these fields against their natural instincts or abilities is only going to slow that rate of discovery.  Women who WANT to be there should be, just as men who WANT to be first grade teachers should be.

first grade

Let’s tell young women the truth about their sexuality, and their fertility.  Most women will want to have children.  That’s the instinct that keeps us alive as a species, and all the iPhones and Pinterest boards in the world isn’t going to change that.  And most women will not only want to have children, they will want to BE WITH THEM.  Women’s fertility peaks at 25 #sorry feminists.  After 35, you are on a long, painful road to Clomid and IVF and after 40, the deal is pretty much done.  You will not be having any children.


We need to teach young women to respect their fertility and to plan their lives around that.  Biology. Always. Wins. Heading off to college and trying to launch a “career” (most likely as a secretary) during peak fertile years is a recipe for total disaster, as global birth rates in the feminized world demonstrate.


The best possible scenario to raise children is a nuclear family (two parents, gay or straight) splitting responsibilities and sharing labor.  Since women FEED babies, that means that the domestic labor is hers, and productive, economic labor falls to her partner.

All of that strongly implies monogamy and fidelity.  Teaching women that acting like sluts and having sex with a lot of different men outside the bonds of a loving relationship (whether that results in marriage or not) is somehow empowering and evidence for their strength and independence has had devastatingly predictable outcomes for young women: cutting, drug addictions, depression, eating disorders, suicide.

Feminism tells young women pernicious lies about their own desires:  most women want loving, stable relationships with men they care about and feel deeply connected to, and they will want to have children and raise those children in the context of that sort of relationship. Young women need to be encouraged to make the kind of choices that will allow them to fulfil those desires.

Let’s teach young women that there is a difference between what you WANT to do, and what you are ABLE to do. This is toddler-ville, people! No, you can’t be anything you want.  How does this even seem like a sensible thing to tell anyone?


True story:  When LittleDude was three years old, he got a pair of Superman pajamas with a little cape and he was soooooo excited. He stripped down and could barely hold still while I helped him don his new suit, then he climbed up on the back of the couch and flung himself down on the hardwood floor!  It was a nasty landing.  Poor little guy.  I picked him up, sobbing, and he said to me, “Mommy, these don’t work!”

He really, really, really wanted to fly.  He could not have wanted it more.

Guess what?  He can’t.

Teaching young women that they can be firefighters or astronauts or combat soldiers or the President or a unicorn trainer when they grow up is encouraging them to ignore what they are ABLE to do and just focus on what they WANT.  Hey, for any women who are in fact, ABLE, every opportunity should be open (except combat soldier), but the fact is that most of them are not capable of taking on physically demanding jobs that require enormous strength of either body, will or mind.

When we teach young women to focus on their ability rather than their desire, we encourage them to take rational stock of themselves, and we counter the cultural pressures towards self-absorption and narcissism.  Be who you are, to be certain, but know who you are and what you can do, first and foremost.

Let’s teach young women that there is nothing wrong with being First Officer.  The USS Enterprise D has a crew complement of 1014 and only one of those people is the Captain.  Most people, men and women, are not cut out for the Captain’s chair and that is just fine.


We can’t all be Captains, obviously.  Teaching young women that they are not ambitious enough, that they will never be fulfilled, that their accomplishments amount to zero unless they are in the Captain’s chair does a huge disservice to all the many men and women who are happy to be crew members and gives permission for women to sneer at other women who are happy with their lower ranks.


It goes by the name “The Mommy Wars” in popular culture, and it is essentially a movement to devalue, discredit and shame women who would rather care for their own families than earn money caring for someone else’s. When the only measure of a woman’s value comes in the form of dollars earned, women who stay at  home to care for their families have no value at all.

That’s nice, isn’t it?  Feminism:  making women feel like shit for 50 years.


And finally, let’s teach young women that they are not special.  Young women need to know they are not better than men, they are not morally or ethically or legally superior to men, and we need to encourage them to start agitating for changes in the law and culture that will make those truths the reality.  Let’s make young women activists? Oh hell yeah.

Insist on equal treatment before the draft board.  Insist on equal custody agreements when marriages dissolve.  Insist on the right to bodily integrity for both boy and girl babies. Insist on fair schooling that respects both boys and girls.  Insist on equal health care and social spending. Insist on the right to raise your own children without shame.

It boils down to this:


How’s that for a reality check?

Lots of love,


31 Responses to “It’s been fifty years since Betty Friedan tore apart her home. Thanks for nothing, you whiny bitch.”

  1. Bob February 14, 2013 at 14:55 #

    Friedan, despite her hideousity, married a wealthy man, lived in a mansion on the Hudson River, never did a lick of work in her life, and had maids clean the house for her. Gloria Steinem was even more hypocritical, just better-looking.


  2. Erudite Knight February 14, 2013 at 08:11 #

    Did you check out the thankafeminist on twitter? it was classic as hell with the males sabotaging it.


  3. judgybitch February 14, 2013 at 08:17 #

    Oh yes. Added my two cents, too.

    Without your epic amounts of hypocrisy and bullshit, I wouldn’t have a blog


  4. Leap of a Beta February 14, 2013 at 10:27 #


    “Choosing — what feminism has always claimed to be about — has consequences. It isn’t always easy. We pick one thing, which means we don’t pick something else.”

    Show me a feminist that has to actually deal with responsibilities and I’ll show you a woman screaming about how the patriarchy is keeping her down.

    “This isn’t ammo for arguments that feminism has failed — it never sought to give us happiness, only greater freedom from which to fashion our own idea of happiness.”

    …except, you know, that it did.

    So much laughter at hypocrisy, so little time.


  5. Amy February 14, 2013 at 11:01 #

    I love you JB. You are one of my new favorite reads.


  6. Marlo Rocci February 14, 2013 at 11:26 #

    The system called marriage is already dead. The real question is not how do we save it, but what do we replace it with? How do we create a system that allows 25 year old women to have children on their own and still meet their career goals? How do we replace the function of the father in our society? But marriage is not coming back. That’s just magical thinking.


  7. Liz February 14, 2013 at 11:29 #

    I nominate Pat Schroeder as one of the most destructive feminists of all time.

    I blame her for the feminization and disintegration of our military. That “Member of the House Armed Services Committee” shouldn’t have had the authority to even speak in public about military affairs…or buy an MRE for a snack. We are forever diminished as a result.


  8. Liz February 14, 2013 at 12:24 #

    You’ve written off a fundamental institution as old or older than the written word itself, as “dead” rather arbitrarily. Without any solution. Even suggested that and any semblance of salvage is “magical thinking”.

    Must be cool to be that confident.


  9. Ashen Genesis (@AshenGenesis) February 14, 2013 at 12:50 #

    Love the blog JB.

    But I have to ask you a question regarding: Women don’t produce, but we have babies.

    On the surface, and in my professional experience, this tends to be true. The top producers at my firm are all men (we’re a private fortune 100, with a 167 year track history) and in our market (Silicon Valley/San Francisco) the top female producer for 2012 was the former assistant of one of the top producers, who, to put it bluntly, was handed a 10k/month career for being in the right place at the right time.

    Among my most educated female friends from high school, I know of 1 doctor, 2 dentists, and 1 gal who has started her own marketing consulting business. The rest are either getting married and having babies, or in grad-school for the most part.

    And this is where I have trouble accepting the whole notion. Most females I encounter don’t have the burning desire to be financially and professionally successful, at least to the extent that I and my bros do. Being poor, or reliant on someone else isn’t an option we’ll ever entertain.

    We’re ferociously competitive, but not assholes to each other about it – and that’s something I’ve noticed that women don’t tend to do. When women compete with each other it seems to be a zero-sum game, littered with bitterness and resentment. The best example I can think of was last month, we had a female agent do exceptionally well during the quarter, dethroning the current female with that title (Case rate for a Cultural market). The first thing the defeated said to me as we were walking back to our desks: “She slept with a lot of her clients to get the business.”

    I on the other hand, would never feel that way if one of my team-mates did well. I don’t understand that. But I digress…

    Trying to find a question from this – What is social, economic or political value?

    I used to think my 6th grade teacher was an unreasonable bitch. But she also instilled a sense of discipline that shapes my life to this day, and taught me why being a moral person was important.

    I’ve only had two doctors in my life, my pediatrician and my current doctor. Former was a man, latter a female. Fantastic doctor.

    My mom is another great example, she started working when I was 14, and my brother was 8. She didn’t work full time, my dad was still fully employed and was usually there to pick us up from school. Now she makes well over 350k, but still plays the roll of mom.

    Re-reading this comment JB, I don’t really have a question. But I guess I’m bothered at that notion, but also comforted by it. I always had that idea in the back of my mind – the business mindset is predominantly a masculine trait. There is a certain level of emotional detachment that comes with being able to endure in the business field, and I don’t see YOUNG women capable of doing that.

    But I still have difficulty in taking that idea and keeping it “in general,” when in my personal reality, it seems to. Men build the world, women fill the world.

    Anyways, all the best!


  10. happycrow February 14, 2013 at 17:11 #

    Well, of course she didn’t. Her entire work was about being a woman with neither purpose nor accomplishments, and was pitched SOLELY at other rich white women with empty lives.

    She edges out de Beauvoir, but that ain’t saying a lot.


  11. TMG February 14, 2013 at 17:45 #

    Marriage is dead dead dead

    Deader than a doornail

    If you wish for marriage to no longer be a colossal disaster that men are avoiding by the millions you’d better start opposing feminism really loudly really fast


  12. TMG February 14, 2013 at 17:46 #

    One time after pointing out Friedan’s antipathy towards men and gay people a Feminist told me “Friedan isn’t a REAL Feminist! No feminist would ever bash men like that!!!!”



  13. A mom at home February 14, 2013 at 19:16 #

    Love this, generally. However, I know tons of very smart, well educated women who seem to love their careers as professors, lawyers, doctors, etc, from my uber competitive high school. All are liberal, many have children, and all of those, have nannies. I have no career to speak of, and prefer being home with my young children. I do think women are being sold a line of crap to have children later in life. Not only is it harder it is more exhausting.

    Also not sure what you mean about social spending. I think the government should get the fuck out of our lives as much as possible, and that would mean less social spending. Please clarify or direct me to a post about that.

    I love the superman suit. Luckily I told my toddler the superman suit couldn’t make him really fly before he tried jumping off the stairs. 🙂

    And I really agree with this – “Teaching young women that they are not ambitious enough, that they will never be fulfilled, that their accomplishments amount to zero unless they are in the Captain’s chair does a huge disservice to all the many men and women who are happy to be crew members and gives permission for women to sneer at other women who are happy with their lower ranks.” I’ve noticed that a lot of schools we toured seemed to want to train every child to be a leader. I think it’s pretty disrespectful to try to force all children into that mold.

    For the marriage is dead commenter – I disagree. I see plenty of great marriages out here. I have one. Not perfect, but great. We respect and complement each other. It takes work and commitment.


  14. Athan Nyx February 14, 2013 at 20:56 #

    Agreed and I would like to add to your comment on the job encouraging for people to stop bad mouthing skill trades. I recently realized I wanted to do something with my hands, that was more meaningful then putting something together, and realized this after three years of university thanks to my mother not seeing skill trades as meaningful. This is in part Canadian society but also feminist society. High schools half heartedly encourage those not doing well to go into skill trades but in reality Canadian society makes up for it by just invalidating most university degrees from other countries….

    Hmm…. I’m looking forward to when someday Canada realizes it can’t get away with that anymore.


  15. LuvID February 15, 2013 at 16:29 #

    GENIUS! My new favorite blog. Sure, you can have it all girls-career, family, single or married take your pick…and what you’ll get is zero sense of accomplishment on a daily basis and many daily steps away from peace all the while teaching your children that a never ending cycle of stress and emotional neglect is what it means to live. What a fantasy world we have unfortunately created for women.
    P.S. I find “bitch” way too derogatory for you-this is good stuff.


  16. Kai February 15, 2013 at 18:29 #

    Individual marriages can be excellent, even despite the collapse of the institution as an institution. It just gets more difficult.

    I like what you said about training every child to be a leader. Not only do they seem to not realize the fact that that can’t be done, many people seem unaware that real leaders don’t need to be trained to lead.
    I ran a retreat for a University Leadership group a couple times. When I asked the participants why they had joined the group, they all said they’d been in leadership clubs in high school. So they joined the equivalent of leadership club in university. I had to stifle a laugh – if that’s the best thing you can think of (as opposed to say, going and LEADing something), I don’t think your high school leadership club did you much good…


  17. Marlo Rocci February 15, 2013 at 18:32 #

    It’s not a false confidence. Simply google US Marriage Rate and you’ll see many stories and resources, some from the US Census and Centers for Disease Control that confirms this colapse.

    If the current trend continues, marriage will be the personal fetish a minor religious groups, but dumped by the mainstream by around 2030. You’ll still see some marriages, but only in those isolated communities, much in the same way you see polygamy and child marriages. It may even come to pass that marrying an adult woman is seen as just as predatory and deviant as marrying a child.

    So by 2030, being married may actually make you an outcast in society. Proposing marriage to a woman may be seen as an attempt to enslave her. All that has to happen for this to come to pass is for nothing to change in the current trends.


  18. Luke February 22, 2013 at 04:06 #

    This essay uses history to show how marriage will assuredly come back (short of requiring our increasingly matriarchal society to be overrun by, and replaced by, a patriarchal one, as routinely happens):


  19. Z March 22, 2013 at 04:41 #

    That’s what I’ve been thinking. In reality Feminism hurts more women than it does anything beneficial for. A few rich women may benefit, but everybody else is screwed.

    All the talk about women being secretaries… it’s so weird because there are SO few women who are in any truly exciting or challenging or worthwhile careers, and every other woman now being forced to work in a job they don’t even really want to be at just so they can afford to pay their half of the bills (since it’s so much harder for women to stay home with their kids now), is really just all the women lower on the totem pole subsidizing the whims of those higher up.

    It’s classism, not patriarchy. And it’s the same weapon feminists wield as well. They’ve enslaved 99 women for every one bored rich woman they’ve “liberated”.


  20. Caroline Eccleston May 28, 2013 at 15:24 #

    I realized the feminist myth early on in life and I’m grateful. Friedan was a self-indulgent hypocrite who should have described herself as a “parasite”, not the rest of her generation of women who worked hard, doing all the endless tasks required of mothers and wives. I never wanted children and don’t regret this choice and I would advise all women not to even consider having children unless your husband makes enough money and wants them just as much or more than you do.


  21. T. Christopher Anstead June 5, 2013 at 00:33 #

    No, thanks to no-fault divorce, which says your family can be instantly thrown away for no reason, Marriage is indeed dead. How can marriage, or in fact any entity survive when it can be destroyed for any
    (or even no) reason, the destroyers (the walkaway spouse in a divorce)
    cannot be punished, and the spouse that wants to preserve the family
    is BY LAW not allowed to mount a defense? If anyone can do anything
    to someone else for no reason, not be punished or held accountable
    in any way, and the other person not only can’t but is forbidden to defend
    themselves, what is going to happen? Somebody reply and please tell
    me I’m wrong. Gotta go now and feed my pet dodo bird.


  22. caprizchka February 17, 2014 at 06:28 #

    Amen to that.


  23. Gregg March 8, 2014 at 15:53 #

    This blog is more powerful than feminism – the ideas and wit being exchanged here are literally breathtaking. Your summation of the one rich “liberated” woman finally explains the motive behind the rise of modern radical and “genteel” feminism, despite how destructive it has been.



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