So if you are wondering why young girls wear “porn star” T-shirts, why the paparazzi offer twenty-four-hour coverage of the latest sex scandals of the “train-wreck” stars, why a local gym offers “strip aerobics”… you are experiencing the effects, in large part, of third-wave feminism. “Sex-positive” or “porn-positive” theories are a large part of third-wave feminism. Third wave feminists did an about-face, dismantling the opposition to pornography and sex work of the second wave by claiming participants in pornography and sex work can be “empowered.” Third-wave feminists have also embraced a fluid concept of gender and rejected any universal definition of femininity.” (165)
While it is a terrible mistake to identify a woman’s value with her ability to bear children (Rachel and Hannah were the favored wives of their husbands, though they were barren), I think we can learn something from our ancestors attitude toward femininity. They recognized that women were designed to nurture life, that in this way, femininity is distinct from masculinity. For this reason, women almost universally have functioned as the nurturers in society, while it has always been the men who risked themselves in war to protect the children and women — the life, if you will — of the society.
In 1949, Simone de Beauvoir published The Second Sex. Writing on Beauvoir’s work, McCulley stated that it “is said to be the seminal work of modern feminism … Beauvoir argued that women were ‘imprisoned’ by the roles of wife, mother, and sweetheart; therefore, she maintained that ‘all forms of socialism, wresting woman away from the family, favor her liberation.'”
Women were “liberated” en masse — liberated from all that was distinctively feminine.
They were liberated from the home — in 1950, 33.9 percent of women participated in the civilian labor force. By 2008, this number had risen to 59.5 percent.
They were liberated from the role of wife — in 1950, 2.4 percent of women had been divorced. In 2000, 10.7 percent had been divorced. As of 2009, 44 percent of adult women in the U.S. were unmarried.
They were liberated from the role of mother — in 1950, the pill burst onto the scene. According to one source, 62 percent of U.S. women of childbearing age are using contraceptives.