On New Year’s Eve, Tarana Burke, foundress of the viral #MeToo campaign, will drop the iconic ball in Times Square. This comes after Time Magazine named “The Silence Breakers” its Person of the Year, honoring Burke and other women who called attention to sexual assault and harassment in the media, Hollywood, and D.C.
Beginning with the “Nasty” Women’s March on Washington and ending with the deluge of Me Too testimonies, 2017 could aptly be dubbed the Year of the Woman. But as the year draws to a close and feminists congratulate themselves for a job well done, it’s worth reflecting on what the women’s movement actually achieved.
After all of the marching, fundraising, and hashtagging that took place over the past year, our society is still as broken as it was before the pink hats descended on Washington.
While one could claim that the women’s movement was successful in exposing and decrying some of the problems within our culture, it has failed to offer any solutions moving forward. In fact, the key issues at the heart of the feminist movement—abortion, sexual libertinism, and the elimination of sexual differences—have left our culture more damaged, lonely, and cynical than ever.
America is in the midst of a cultural crisis that equal pay, more abortions, dissolving traditional gender roles, and virtue signaling won’t solve. Feminism has yet to cure us of our selfishness, anxiety, and despair. It has yet to mend our broken relationships and restore our broken homes.
What our country needs most right now is not more feminism, but stronger families.
Stable family structures are the foundation of healthy societies. Within the context of the family, we learn that our fulfillment lies in the type of self-sacrifice that comes when we bind ourselves to others in love and fidelity. This is radically different from feminism, which promotes individualism and unhampered choice, often at the expense of those closest to us. (You can’t get much closer than the womb.)
While family life is grounded in trust and security, feminism teaches women to be skeptical of others, especially men. Familial dependency is seen as undesirable because it could lead to exploitation.
Many women today are exhausted and disappointed because feminism told them that they could do everything without having to sacrifice or rely on others for anything. And when they finally realize they can’t do it all, they despair.
Family life, by contrast, encourages us to think less of ourselves. It requires that we choose a primary vocation and live it out to the best of our ability.
By narrowing our horizons, family life offers a freedom that is not found in the progressive feminist movement—the freedom to do what is truly good for us. It acknowledges that just because women are capable of “doing it all” doesn’t mean they should.
If the pursuit of personal “success” detracts from the health and wellbeing of the family, sacrifice may be necessary.
In its perfect form, the family demonstrates the beauty of specialization and mutual reliance on others. There is no oppression, competition, or exploitation, but simply several individuals working together for the good of the entire family unit.
Of course, most families are broken in various ways. But feminism is broken by design.
The first step to building stronger, healthier families is to become a culture that actively supports the institution of the family.
What if we all made a New Year’s resolution to do just that?
It’s nice that we will be ringing in the new year with a tax reform bill that will benefit families with children, but that’s not enough. Here are some other ideas:
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, there is no greater cause than the strengthening of our families. Let’s make 2018 the Year of the Family.