How Feminism Lost the Feminine Mystique

The first edition of Betty Friedan’s 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique was pro-family and pro-men. It made no mention of contraception or abortion. It was a questing philosophical work, not a screed. Seen from the vantage of today’s feminism, these are startling facts. Friedan’s groundbreaking work was crucial in launching second-wave feminism, the movement that … Continued

Politics

Why are Modern Women Angry?

Does having too many choices, and too much freedom, contribute to intense dissatisfaction? Are modern people, particularly women, angry because our culture of self-affirmation and abundance has left them feeling unsatisfied? That women are less happy today is not just anecdotal. In 2009 the US National Bureau of Economic Research found that since World War … Continued

Culture

The Antidote to Toxic Masculinity

The recent slaughter of nearly fifty people in an Orlando gay bar is now the deadliest mass shooting in American history, and as such it has ratcheted up our national conversation about guns and terrorism into a frenzied crosstalk about whom and what to blame: Islam? The NRA? Homophobia? Salon’s Amanda Marcotte believes it can … Continued

Culture

Feminists’ Olympic-Sized Frustration with the Work-Family Conundrum

Part of what makes the Olympics so enthralling is that it’s the final chapter in so many individual stories. All these athletes have made incredible sacrifices in pursuit of an Olympic dream. They’ve invested countless hours and significant financial resources to train for their sport. A few hours in Rio de Janeiro will determine for … Continued

Politics

Lindy West and Nihilistic Feminism

“If you live today, you breathe in nihilism…it’s the gas you breathe,” Flannery O’Connor wrote in a letter in the mid-1950s. Such nihilism is now pervasive, inflicting enormous cultural destruction. For many people, those venerable notions of the good, the true, and the beautiful now seem nonsensical in the age of Snapchat and Tinder. Nevertheless, … Continued

Culture

J-Lo’s Tired Old Celebrity Feminism

Celebrity women never seem to tire of performing their feminism. Jennifer Lopez is apparently the newest feminist on the block, with her recently released single, “Ain’t Your Mama.” The music video features Lopez traveling through time through the eyes of angry feminists, first in the 1950s, where she can be seen tossing drinks at male … Continued

Celebrities, Entertainment, Music

Barbie Explains Our Post-Feminist Age

Drop those feminist theory textbooks! If you want to understand the ever-shifting tides of contemporary feminism, you could do worse than watch this:   This Saturday Night Live parody commercial for “President Barbie,” which aired over the weekend, featured a Hillary Clinton doppelgänger in the form of a Barbie doll, complete with blue pantsuit and stiff … Continued

Culture

Is Beyoncé Beyond Feminism?

As you’ve probably heard, Beyoncé released her second surprise video album this weekend. The album, called Lemonade, aired as a one-hour feature on HBO on Saturday, and has since been available to viewers and listeners on her husband Jay Z’s streaming music site Tidal. I have had my criticisms of Beyoncé’s past albums, but this … Continued

Celebrities, Entertainment, Music

Dress Codes, Women-Only Safe Spaces: This is Feminism?

Determining what constitutes an appropriately “feminist” position these days can be a confusing endeavor. For example: Does porn exploit women? Or does it liberate them? Depends who you ask. Two “feminists” might give different answers. You might get called a misogynist for even asking the question. It gets even more confusing when feminism comes into … Continued

Culture

‘American Idol’s Social Justice Problem

The American Idol contestant La’Porsha Renae was momentarily a favorite of feminists and parishioners of the holy secular church of social justice. In an interview, a writer on the perpetually angry feminist site Jezebel noted breathlessly if not self-contradictingly, “Talent is subjective, but La’Porsha is undeniably the biggest presence on Idol this season. She boasts … Continued

Culture