I’m a Feminist, but Women are Part of the Problem

For much of my life, it has been women who have stood in my way.

Don’t get me wrong. Having grown up in a religious cult, I’m keenly aware of how women have been held down, muzzled, and conditioned for centuries to be the lesser gender with fewer rights and opportunities.

Ugh! Even as a kid, I saw what was going on.

Of course, my family had created a closed society built upon biblical principles. We really were living in the 1800s. It completely crushed my creative spirit. I think I would’ve died if I’d stayed. Fortunately, I left as soon as I turned eighteen. I was too bright to remain in the Dark Ages.

So I often think of myself as a time traveler.

I left home in 1969 but my home life was entrenched in the culture of the 1800s. Once I established myself in the 20th century world I realized that things were beginning to change for the better for women. I lucked out. I could have gone from the 1800s to the 1950s, but fortunately, as fate would have it, I was born during a very progressive time period.

There may never have been a time period as progressive as the 20th century.

Over the years, I built a career in education, always earned my own money, made personal decisions for myself, and expanded my creative interests. I met with some opposition and a total lack of support from mainstream women, however.

Women of a certain age, my mother’s age and older, were reluctant to see their daughters enjoy an independent life.

My career, for example, was generally viewed as a hobby by older women. They showed little interest in my accomplishments, the fact that I had two degrees, or that I worked my way up in the company so to speak. I was raising children while working and going back to school to earn my Masters in Educational Leadership.

Still, totally unacknowledged.

The women who preceded my generation demanded grandkids.They praised our husbands for so much as setting the table or taking out the trash. I was stuck in the crossover generation of girls, right smack dab between the stay at home 1950s moms and today’s working women who have husbands who at least co-parent. When our husbands did any solo parenting it was called babysitting — for their own kids.

My generation of women did it all.

We worked full time and then did everything that our stay at home moms did as well. And even though many of us actually were forced to work because of the economy, we were made to feel guilty for leaving our children with baby sitters.

Don’t get me wrong. I have NEVER wanted to be taken care of by a man.

It was always the farthest thing from my mind. I always understood that whoever has the money has the power. My mom, grandmother, and mother in law had zero money and zero power. As a very young girl, I watched them grow bitter about their stations in life. I saw the difference between their lives and the lives of their husbands. All the men in my family had the power to do whatever they pleased because they earned the money. They had the freedom to pursue hobbies and expand their skill sets.

When I was young, I thought women were boring.

I really did. They seemed like all they did was complain and nag whereas men were out there doing things. Even dads. Dads were riding motorcycles, buying RVs, taking classes to expand their careers, flirting with other women, and coming home to be waited upon by our mothers.

Our mothers looked older to me as well.

They seemed to age differently. They talked to one another about stupid things — like the woman down the street who was divorced. Tsk Tsk. Or maybe they talked about their husbands and children, recipes, and coupons.

I didn’t want to be them. I wanted to be the men.

But when I tried to go after my dreams, anything other than being a wife and mother, housework and cooking, the very women who complained nonstop about their lot in life weren’t there for me.

In all fairness, I now know that these foremothers, who were legally and culturally held down, were fearful of change even though they were miserable in their traditional roles.

That’s human nature. Change is rarely welcomed. That’s why it takes so long for change to become the new culturally embraced norm. As time moved on and more and more women were earning better pay, building strong careers, having fewer children, getting married later in life, living with their partners outside of marriage, getting divorced if they weren’t happy, and some even choosing not to have children at all, I watched and approved.

I watched many of my peers become more interesting, independent, and better able to take care of themselves. Bravo!

More and more women were able to support themselves, pursue degrees, and develop strong interests and hobbies. I now number my female friends as far more interesting than most men I know. Women have definitely caught up with men in many areas of American culture and often surpassed them.

Yet, just about the time that I think we’ve won our independence, that the battle is over, and it’s time to get on with living our best lives, the rumblings of discontent start to get louder.

Unfortunately, the rumblings come from both men and women.

Just as my foremothers were not terribly supportive to me when I left the church and set out to live a life filled with freedom of choice, opportunities, and personal independence, women today are sabotaging not only my freedom but that of my daughter and granddaughter.

That makes me mad.

There are women like Jacky Eubanks, a legislative candidate in Michigan, who wants to see birth control banned in order to get Americans to comply with God’s moral law. You know, no sex before marriage. No birth control even in the marriage bed. Women should be having babies.

Suddenly, I’m back!

Back in the cult. I’ve been triggered big time. So much so that I literally feel nauseous. I’ve been betrayed by my own gender. It ruins an entire morning for me. I’m filled with fear for my daughter and granddaughter. How can this be happening? We’ve come so far. For the first time in history women have autonomy and personal freedom only to be betrayed by a woman. And, get this! Jacky isn’t an old woman either. She’s young.

Frankly, I find myself in the same spot I was in when I was a mere child, looking at my own gender with disdain. You see, I can understand what has driven men for centuries to deprive their wives, mothers, and daughters of the same opportunities that they believed belonged to all husbands, fathers and sons.

Nobody is anxious to give up their power. It’s a glorious place of privilege.

And, since most societies always have a pecking order, who in their right mind would volunteer to be at the bottom of the heap. Definitely not men. They are going through life with eyes wide open. If their power is threatened, they’ll brandish guns and knives, whatever it might take to keep the position their forefathers passed on to them.

Yet, there’s this other very strange phenomenon.

The downtrodden, those who are relegated to the bottom of the heap often will betray one another. I’m not a psychologist but I betcha a psychologist could explain this social aberration for lack of a better word.

What makes those who should unite in order to progress from the bottom of the heap in society to an equal position with those at the top often betray one another? What makes them vote against their own best interests? Why would they want to return to the Dark Ages, a grim time when their kind were without hope?

I don’t get it. Women do it all the time. Trust me, they will stick a knife in a sister’s back without blinking an eye.

I have to admit, when I see these women voting republican, cheering for the downfall of their own sisters, even willing to give up their own freedoms in order to become strange bedfellows with the enemy, I lose faith in humanity altogether.

There is a resurgence of this kind of woman.

They’re far more dangerous to me than the men with whom they are sleeping and forming an unholy alliance. These women can not be trusted. I wouldn’t turn my back on them for one minute.

Fortunately, they’re still a minority, but they think they’re invincible because their backing the big boys.

I’m done with them. I will never again befriend a woman who would feed me to the wolves. Never again. I will not offer them lenience nor try to find a way to extend a friendly hand to their kind.

They are dangerous.

The day of accountability has arrived for women. No longer will I allow women to use the victim card. They need to put on their big girl panties and step up to the plate. We’ve come too far and know better now. If you’re supporting, in love with, or have given your mind and body to a man who wants to muzzle and hold all women down, then you’re part of the problem.

You’re the biggest part of the problem.

Teresa Roberts is a retired educator, author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.

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Teresa Roberts

Teresa Roberts

Teresa is an author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. She’s also a top writer on climate change and the future.