Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Is Feminism Hurting Society?

This Magazine Staff

This past Sunday, the Toronto Star ran Alison Wolf’s controversial essay “Working Girls, Broken Society,” which originally ran in the great British mag Prospect. Wolf argues that feminism is eroding what was once a common bond shared by all women, regardless of social stature; “the death of sisterhood,” as she calls it. While women could once relate to each other based on the common experience of keeping house and tending children, Wolf contends that ambitious career women today can’t relate to struggling working class women who have jobs rather than careers. And, she ultimately argues that as more women put careers before family, all of society suffers.
While the essay raises some interesting points, I find it a little hard to swallow. It relies too heavily on traditional feminine roles, and ignores the gradual societal shift that has seen gender roles evolve. Sure, women still do more around the house, for the most part [and the stress women feel to “do it all” is a valid concern]. But men are doing more than they have traditionally — even taking paternity leaves to allow their partners to go back to work sooner. Radical shifts aren’t going to take place overnight, and, in my humble opinion, the gains from the feminist movement far outweigh any societal drawbacks.
Thoughts? Does the negative impact of feminism outweigh the good?

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