Feminism - an over used word

In Australia, 58.8% of women are participating in the labour force (those women working or looking for work) compared to 71.5% for males. Of those women working, almost 55% are part-time and 54% are full-time.  Most men work full-time.

One of the most popular topics that I find when reading blogs is the number of articles on feminism.   I have been wanting to comment on this because it puzzles me quite a bit. Most ordinary women who go about their daily business, including those going off to work don’t talk about feminism or even think about much.  It's just not on their radar anymore. Many young women no longer see it as relevant — however they still believe in things like equal pay, but they don’t see this as a feminist issue, just common sense.  The worry among the feminist movement is that it isn’t much of movement anymore and its certainly lost its power.

It was only when I started reading blogs did I come across the word so much and so often.  It would appear that Christian women bloggers are more interested (fascinated) in feminism that the general population of women.  And that is the other part that I find interesting . . . blogs that refer to "the lie" - working women being caught in some sort of feminist lie. No, I have to disagree - very few are caught in the feminist ideology at all (or would even know what it was).  For most, that is not their reason for returning to work.

Most women don’t believe “we can have it all” and nor do most women “want it all” and this is evident with the following statistics — almost ½ of the female population in Australia (15 years and over) are not currently participating in the labour force (they aren't working) – many are at home caring for children, caring for others, home due to illness, studying or retired.  This is the facts and not myth — women move in and out of the labour market during their adult life, they make decisions based on what is best for their families (and not what everyone else is doing).  They are not caught up in any feminist lie (and nor are they interested in it) - they are doing what is best for their families and themselves.    

In fact both the unions and government are concerned about Australia's participation rate as it is one of the lowest in the OECD. Both sides of government want to see it increased — by encouraging more women to return to work through such programmes as the parental leave scheme and by assisting with the cost of childcare.  The argument goes like this (in very simple terms as I am no economist) - more women in the workforce increases productivity, production, more taxes, higher incomes and therefore builds a stronger economy. Higher workforce participation also reduces the fiscal pressures on the cost of welfare (i.e. builds superannuation and less families rely on the low income Tax Benefits).  Getting women into the workforce is no feminist lie, it is very much an economic argument and most people don't even realise it. 

Feminism is no longer as relevant to most women as it use to be — women are getting on with caring for their families. They may do things differently to women of the past or to you or I, but their number one priority is still their families (even for the many non-Christian women) and that shows up quite clearly in these statistics. We simply can't blame feminism for everything as it is the last thing on most women's minds.  And whilst we all should be living more fugally - this is in fact not healthy for the economy as it has major effects on retail trade and therefore employment therefore the bottom line. But that is a whole other topic!

Just my thoughts. 

Comments

  1. Well, I've certainly *moved in & out of the workforce* ~ however the residual ideology of feminism lingers. Women in the workforce for economic reasons would be one. The generation that spawned full blown feminism had the opposite problem.

    However I think a lot of what circulates may come from America; it's certainly where I see it discussed the most. I'm pretty sure their stats would be different. Australia almost always talks the most casual & practical solution to any problem, don't you think?

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  2. Ganeida - I will have a look at the US stats and see what they show. I think Australian women are more practical as you say and less bothered with "causes".

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  3. I think that even if people don't realise or talk about feminism, it still lingers, as Ganeida said. Certainly the results of it linger (big-time), and not necessarily just in the work-force realm, either. It is there in so many other ways - if feminism hadn't occurred, life would be VERY different for all of us. One of the things I think I hate the most is the way it has made women and men so equal - this is hard to explain - but women think it's their right to be treated like men... And while I don't think women should be treated as chattel or downtrodden, God clearly made men and women very different and gave them very different roles, made them different both physically and emotionally... And feminism has stamped out a lot of that (again, not just thinking about this in terms of whether women work or not)... The feministic way of life has made women tougher and rougher and less feminine, which I don't always think is a good idea...

    Don't you think?

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