The Women’s Movement: In Memoriam

It has been a century since the women gained the right to vote. Today, culture savants wish to have society believe the women’s movement is in its fourth wave.  I am not the first to try naming the waves that came after the first, which stretched from 1776 to 1920.  The wardens of culture would have the nation believe a single book produced a second wave beginning in 1963. The reference is to Betty Friedan’s, The Feminine Mystique.  She was well-educated, married with grown children, comfortably positioned in an upper-class suburban New York setting.  Whatever her complaint, which seems not to have been defined, she convinced followers who bought her book to confess they had that ailment too.  The book’s title derives from what she named it.  Fortunately for Ms. Friedan’s celebrity, another woman, Gloria Steinem, had leadership qualities and no particular personal problems to vent publicly.  She was a gifted journalist and enthusiastic supporter of women becoming what they personally wished to be.  I can think of several men who did the same in both lectures and books, but without speaking solely to men, but rather to adults. Those who give Ms. Friedan the title of “Moses” to the women’s movement. This stupendously overlooks service to the country by leaders during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Also, to Ms. Steinem, who truly exercised leadership of many more women than Ms. Friedan.  It was Ms. Steinem who led near-miss  passage of women’s “Equal Rights Amendment” to the Constitution.  Her counterpart, entering the fray late in the Amendment’s near passage, was Phyllis Schlafly.  The two were equally matched in leadership, but Schlafly had the better side of the arguments.  Ms. Steinem disagrees, blaming life insurance companies for the Amendment’s failure.  

The third wave would be what has been described as the ”#KILLALLMEN” movement.   The men prominently include Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Judge Kavanaugh, and recently Vice President Biden, among others as its ”criminals.”  It seems an anomaly the “#Metoo hashtag” began as a way in which women could stand up and be recognized.  To come out of the closet, so to speak, and form solidarity with previous heroic women. Most had suffered anomalously. Today, we don’t use the name of the “victim” but use the man’s name for identification.  (What’s a woman have to do to get publicity for herself?)  Wikipedia has decided allegations against Harvey Weinsten in 2017 as the moment when #Metoo went viral on social media.  That of course was not the origin of sexual abuse allegations in America.  Certainly the revelations about Catholic Priest’s abuse of minor children predate the alleged first use in 2006 of the “metoo” phrase by Tarana Burke on Myspace social media.  

My conclusions follow.  Last year on October 28, I published an essay on ”The meaning of a Business” to highlight novel business forms as Christine Blasey Ford exploited with co-conspirators Representative Anna Eshoo and Senator Diane Feinstein.  Ms. Ford’s testimony occurred in as safe a place as there is against libel or slander, a Congressional hearing.  The lack of corroboration by her own-named-witnesses suggests that killing Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation was not the real objective; it was a “one-time” business.  Slate has reported, 10/31/2018 Ms. Ford has received $840,000.  

#Metoo will eventually fade away, but it will be replaced by some new salacious matter which the media will gainfully report.  What happened to the women’s movements that used to provide service to the country?  Faded out of attention, just as the Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary and other men’s service organizations of a prior century.                                                                        May 27, 2020