Second-wave feminists focused on getting women out of the home and into the workplace. It elevated the career woman above the stay-at-home wife.
For one woman, the tradeoff of career over kids decades later is a painful lesson to today’s young women not to ignore their desires for marriage and family.
With 74 million women in the labor force, nearly half of the workforce, female labor force participation over the past few decades has been impressive. Yet, there’s a generation of women who were raised to believe that they had to work, climb the ladder, and break glass ceilings at any cost.
The Daily Signal published a conversation between such a woman and radio host Dennis Prager.
Her thoughts are raw and emotional but a must-read:
“I’m 50 years old with four college degrees. I was raised by a feminist mother with no father in the home. My mother told me get an education to the maximum level so that you can get out in the world, make a lot of money. And that’s the path I followed. I make adequate money. I don’t make a ton of money. But I do make enough to support my own household.
"I have cats and dogs. But it’s lonely when you see your friends having children, going on vacations, planning the lives of their children, and you don’t do anything at night but come home to your cats and dogs. I don’t want other women to do what I have done.”
She says of feminism:
“… ‘I was programmed to get into the workforce, compete with men, and make money.’ Supposedly, that would be a fulfilling life. But I was told that by a feminist mother who was divorced, who hated her husband—my father.
“She tried to steer me on what she thought was the right path, but feminism is a lie. That’s what I want women to know.”
Her message to young women is stark:
“I want to tell women in their 20s: Do not follow the path that I followed. You are leading yourself to a life of loneliness. All of your friends will be getting married and having children, and you’re working to compete in the world, and what you’re doing is competing with men…”
Millennial women increasingly recognize that they want career and family, not career or family. As a result, a whopping eight out of ten say they want to be entrepreneurs. Why? Because they prioritize family above career and friends.
Women’s empowerment expands opportunities and choices for women, but should not define what fulfillment looks like or demean the choices she makes.