In today s society, a woman has the opportunity to perceiver and flourish in whatever she chooses to do, whether it be a housewife or the CEO of a major corporation. America is free country in which people are entitled to go after their dreams, the American dream. Our nation is founded on the sense that anyone can achieve what their mind can conceive, and what their heart can believe. While it might be harder for women to succeed in today s fast moving society, it is still a possibility. All over the country there are women who hold high positions in major corporations and businesses, even in the military. Throughout these women s lives they more than likely encountered men that told them they had no chance to survive in a male dominated world, but they had other plans; they followed their dreams.
Ever since the 1800 s women have made claim after claim that men are the primary reason that they have been oppressed in society for so long. Feminists were convinced that all men of the world had united to plan a conspiracy against them. Susan Faludi, a prominent figure and author of the feminist movement, claims that during the 1980 s all men had a common goal to hold back progressing women: Male nerves rebelled once more, as a decline in American manhood became the obsession of male clergy, writers, politicians, and scholars (Faludi 380). Faludi is claiming that some how men of all different professions conspired together to try and hold back progressive women. She claims that there was a lack of women holding important or authoritative jobs in corporate America. She argues that there was a scare amongst all men that women were beginning to take over the universities, businesses, and the military. She even goes so far as to imply that President Ronald Reagan blamed the high unemployment rates during the 80 s on women; saying it was due to the high number of women entering the work force. Faludi made many claims and accusations that were later found to be false.
Feminists are constantly blaming men for not only their own personal problems, but for all the problems of the world. Our society is in the midst of holding people to a certain standard according to the way they look. Naomi Wolf feels as if men have set this standard, while in actuality women created it. Men aren t the ones who promote cosmetics on TV or tell women they have to look a certain way. It s women that you see on TV promoting cosmetic surgeries that will supposedly make them more beautiful. However, feminist, like Naomi Wolf, have a huge hang up on the fact that men have created this beauty myth. When in fact women are the ones that are making other women feel insecure about the way they look. Super models have become the heroes of little girls in our society. When they should be playing with Barbie and Ken dolls, they seem as though they would rather play with their mothers make up. From the first time they open a magazine they are exposed to this beauty myth that has been created by women. Feminist will argue that men are the ones in charge of the magazines and the television shows, and that they control what is shown and portrayed. If women didn t strive to look a certain way then the men wouldn t have any means of portraying this beautiful woman in the media. Naomi Wolf feels as if society is using beautiful women to help repress the average woman from progressing. In her essay she says, We are in the midst of a violent backlash against feminism that uses images of female beauty as a political weapon against women s advancements (Wolf 392). Wolf is confident that men are setting this standard of beauty in society in order to make women feel as if they are inferior to not only men, but beautiful women also. What she doesn t realize is that it are the women who are setting this ideal look. It s the six foot blond super models that are held in the high chair by America s female youth. Feminist are wrong when they blame the beauty myth on men, they are the ones that are creating it. Christina Sommers takes an opinion on the subject that is different than the majority of other feminist writers: The primary group of conspirators are not a group of sequestered males plotting and planning their next backlash maneuvers: it is women themselves who internalize the aims of the backlash (Sommers 403). Sommers, who is very influential amid the feminist community, goes so far as to directly challenge the claims made by Faludi and Wolf; colleagues in the feminist movement.
Naomi Wolf feels that even though women are successful in the work force, they still don t feel as free as they would like. She states More women have more money and power and scope and legal recognition than we have ever had before: but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may as well be worse off than our unliberated grandmothers (Wolf 392). Wolf believes that women have been made to feel inferior by the way they look. She wants to blame this inferiority complex on men, but in fact feelings of inferiority come from personal insecurities. Feminist need to look within themselves and figure out a way to stop acting like victims and start taking advantage of the opportunities that are presenting themselves. As Christina Sommers points out if feminism, locked for years in the siege mentality that once was necessary, fails to see this change, it may fail to embrace this new era s opportunities (Sommers 409). Feminists are trapped in this mind set that society is out to get them. If they would stop thinking of themselves as victims and start seeing themselves as opportunistic, they would progress much farther in their pursuit for equality.
Feminist can not be blamed for their striving effort to attain a level in society that is equal to that of males. However, they need to look at the basis of their arguments and re-evaluate their approach. Men and women should be treated equal in all aspects of life, but feminist are way to radical and outrageous in the way they try and change status quo. The idea that men live their lives to repress women is childish and ignorant. If feminist want to gain equality and respect for all women they should go right to the root of the problem, feminist.