When sex is stripped of its intimacy, or its possibility for future life, and becomes about what a person can get rather than give, it is no longer empowering or powerful. It has simply been reduced to another way of feeding our selfishness. Ironically, numerous studies cite that married, rather than single women, report having the best and most frequent sex.

When Did Feminism Become So Anti-Motherhood?

We’re blaming the wrong group for the disappointment; it’s not the kids who are at fault for “ruining” their mother’s lives. Instead thank a feminist movement that has failed women.

When sex is stripped of its intimacy, or its possibility for future life, and becomes about what a person can get rather than give, it is no longer empowering or powerful. It has simply been reduced to another way of feeding our selfishness. Ironically, numerous studies cite that married, rather than single women, report having the best and most frequent sex.

 

My mom friends and I swap parenting stories like we’re vets reliving our time in Vietnam. It’s amazing how the two foot angels we call children can also become demon terrors who make grown women cry. And yes, sometimes you’re seeing so much red rage you shut yourself in the bathroom to protect them. Or yourself. You’re not sure, but once again, you’re probably crying.

Parenting isn’t for cowards.

Yet in the midst of the messy and the monotonous and the downright maddening, there are moments that take your breath away. As a parent, you have a front row seat to watching an individual unfurl their wings and find their place in this world. We’re the heroes toiling away, often with more criticism than appreciation, raising future citizens and world impacters.

Whether originally wanted or not, motherhood becomes one defined by sacrifice. It has to or it simply won’t work. You lose a lot in the way of your body, your dreams and your wants. But you do it day in and day out because you know that leaving a legacy doesn’t happen in one glamorous moment but in the slow, consistent and often messy work of shaping and teaching the next generation.

Marie Claire recently ran an article giving voice to women who have failed to get that. Mothers who regret their children having ever been born and genuinely think they might be living better, more meaningful, possibly more exciting lives without these extra humans dragging them down. They’re just sure their lives would be marked by career accolades and fancy travel destinations rather than midnight bed wettings and worn-thin yoga pants.

But we’re blaming the wrong group for the disappointment and the frustration. It’s not the kids who are at fault for “ruining” their mother’s lives. You can instead thank a feminist movement that has failed women.

When Betty Friedan first wrote her status-quo rattling piece The Feminist Mystique, she wasn’t advocating that motherhood was a lesser role compared to working outside of the home. In an interview with Playboy magazine, as recounted by Susan Bowers in Subverted, Freidan said, “Women are the people who give birth to children, and that is a necessary value in society….Feminism was not opposed to marriage and motherhood.”

But poor Betty, she failed to see that this was exactly what her Sexual Revolution counterparts were going for, feminism defined as freedom from men, marriage and/or children.

Key architects of the movement like Gloria Steinam equated marriage to prostitution and Helen Gurley Brown, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, wrote in her book Sex and the Single Girl, “Hard work and sex will set you free (as long as you don’t have children).” If you did happen to have or even want children, she had this nugget of advice, “Never waste time feeling guilt, never agonize too much, and have a lot of paid help at home, and never, ever, let them interfere with the long climb to the top.”

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