What Kind of Women Supported Kavanaugh and Why?

FIRST PERSON-In the early 1970's I was working in New York City, where there was a massive demonstration by women on 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village confronting sexism and the social and economic inequalities and violence that women had been and were still subjected to. The next day, there was an even more massive demonstration that seemed at least three times as large.  his march involved women pushing their baby carriages in what seemed like a reaction to the prior day’s women's liberation demonstration. Their message was: "We, the majority of women, are happy living in a society where Father Knows Best and men are the bosses and heads of their families." 

Now, with the nomination and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, it seems clear that there is still a large number -- if not a majority -- of women who find it hard to reconcile women's liberation and movements like #MeToo hard to reconcile with their continued subservience to the traditional male role that they continue to accept in their own lives. 

Science tells us that evolution -- both physical and social -- is necessary for any species to remain viable. Regrettably, all human beings, be they male or female, find change of any sort difficult if not impossible, even when all humanity would benefit from a more pragmatic approach to the complex problems we still face almost a half-century after the women's liberation movement of the 1970s. 

While I believe the Left has correctly seeks to redress the inequalities women have and continue to face in society, it doesn't spend much time identifying how an alternate non-sexist family system could function. And while taking care of the family and nurturing children might not be exclusively woman's work, it is somebody's work that, if not accomplished in a timely manner, leads to a higher rate of divorce or children who have not received socialization necessary for later achievement, especially if both parents are working. 

A pragmatic solution for this problem that most families face when having children, would be to allow maternity leave for both parents, so that the subjective needs and strengths of the different female and male family members would be more easily organized in non-sexist way so as not to disrupt the families and the jobs they have. 

Whether in before, during or since the 1970s, there still seems to be a regrettable number of women raised in a sexist society that values them more for how they look than how they think and who they are. And if you are a woman who still buys into this game and seeks fulfillment under these old male-dictated rules, you find yourself threatened by women who have achieved levels of education and independence that you never thought was possible. 

The present-day disintegration of the family as the essential building block of a viable society should be meaningfully addressed by identifying the elements of a properly functioning non-sexist society. And this must be done without putting it through the current sexist filter that destroys women and their female children, perpetuating a model that treats males as privileged and females as unequal.

 

(Leonard Isenberg is a Los Angeles, observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He was a second- generation teacher at LAUSD and blogs at perdaily.com. Leonard can be reached at Lenny@perdaily.com.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.