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The cost of women’s liberation

By Brian Holden - posted Friday, 23 October 2009

I once knew a woman who voluntarily included in her duties to her husband the application of the paste on his toothbrush before he went off to work. I know a Greek lady in her late 80s who, when she arrived in this country around 1950, would not catch a bus which was being driven by a woman.

Feminists are horrified at such examples of women who let the side down - but they overlook the reality that many people crave to have a very high degree of hierarchical structure in their lives. And, to feel oppressed you must first visualise yourself as being an oppressed person. With this in mind, the feminists of the 1960s set out to enlighten the average woman of the oppressed state that she was not aware she was in.

At the time my mother married at age 22 she had never had a paying job. She had lived with her parents. This was a reasonable option as the wages for women as shop assistants, bookkeepers and nurses were piddling. Along with making the family’s clothes, there was a lot to do in a home without electricity and running water.


Throughout her married life my mum never thought she was dominated by my dad. He was the breadwinner and she was the homemaker. She enjoyed immensely the structure in her life which he provided. They connected so beautifully that 38 years after his early death she still could not say his name without choking on it.

Men are by nature both creative and destructive. Men intuitively know that without that calming nature of women there would be no civilisation. Even before girls were seen to be worth educating, women were perceived by men generally to be the basis of the love and softness in humanity.

Feminists were unhappy with the social confines placed on their intellect and imagined most of their gender to be also unhappy with their situation. The social revolution which has evolved since has dragged the far greater number of women who did not feel any intellectual constraints into a direction they did not wish to go.

Money and not principles determine outcomes.

In my mother’s day the life of the “old maid” was socially and economically terrible. Many women married whomever they could get to avoid this fate. The financial independence made possible by all occupations now being open to women means that a woman does not have to have a man in her life at all. That is a good thing.

Of the number of benefits that liberation has clearly introduced, the most significant has been that the myth believed by both the average man and the average woman that women were less clever than men has been demolished. If men were the better thinkers then, it was due their world of breadwinners being more competitive.


So, what rational person could possibly oppose the principles of equal opportunity for women? The problem is that the outcome of every social revolution in some significant way fails to match the once grand vision. Society is too complex for anybody to understand it. As with the ecology, a correction overhere creates a totally unexpected problem overthere.

The “liberation” of women began almost insidiously during World War I when our culture’s view of a woman changed from that of being a homemaker to that of being an economic unit on the home front - a cog in the machine. This was re-enforced during World War II. It has continued to be reinforced in the decades of peace since - not due to any national emergency, but due to rampant consumerism.

As a nasty feedback mechanism, the more money that is circulating, the more an economy evolves which depends on excessive consumption for its survival. Through that feedback mechanism, the more women who had a paying job, the more of their gender were then forced to have a paying job.

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About the Author

Brian Holden has been retired since 1988. He advises that if you can keep physically and mentally active, retirement can be the best time of your life.

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