Two Centuries of an Emotional Process in Society
In just two days, we traced a colossal societal emotional process through over two centuries! Today, we’ll bring the process into the 21st Century, right down to Valentine’s Day, 2017.
We’ve been noticing how the French Revolution, with the demise of monarchies, began to open up a variety of rights to common men, women, and slaves. A by-product of that societal emotional process was the Feminist Movement, which has now gone through three waves of development. The first wave increased women’s access to higher education and eventually granted women the right to vote, along with the common man. The second wave expanded the movement’s scope to include legal and social equality. The third wave expanded the movement to include issues of sexuality.
Feminism is now considered to be in its fourth wave, a wave that uses advanced technology, particularly social media, to include broader ideas of equal rights. The idea of intersectionality is the new face of Feminism, combining with other social justice movements for solidarity against oppression, discrimination and domination worldwide.
It would be a challenge to find a system in our culture that hasn’t been impacted by the Feminist movement, which some are now calling the Feminist Revolution. Family, law, education, the workplace, the workforce are nothing like they were when this country split from England in 1776, 20 years before the French Revolution. For years to come, we’ll continue to see the effects of this radical (r)evolution of human society.
Feminism in the 21st Century – Impacts on Dating for Women
And with any radical change in society, mass anxiety amplifies, increasing the risk of mass reactivity and its signature Band-aid legislation that tends to help some and harm others. For example, women have certainly benefited from the changes in how education is delivered, which now accommodates how a female mind tends to process information. However, women now out-graduate men 3 to 2 from college. A woman myself, I’m grateful to the men and women who fought tooth and nail to make opportunities available to women that weren’t available in previous generations.
However, I have to ask, at what cost? What impact has the Feminist movement had on men, for example, since we’re talking about the battle of the sexes? In the dating market, one result is mixed-educational and mixed-economic relationships, which wasn’t a problem when men were making more money than women. But when it’s the other way around, intra- and inter-personal conflict can result. I’m not making a statement about whether this should or shouldn’t be, just that it is. You’ll have to decide for yourself how to think about it.
Many educated women say they no longer need men—they’re economically secure on their own, and they don’t need a man’s income to survive. So educated women are delaying marriage in favor of their careers, and by the time they’re ready to marry, the men with whom they would be best-matched are either already married (to someone who’s statistically less likely to be a college graduate) or are non-existent due to the shorter supply of male college graduates.
Feminism in the 21st Century – Impacts on Dating for Men
In addition, many men—particularly those in mid-life—have experienced women who take advantage of divorce law, which now favors women when it used to favor men. Since 1839, with the Custody of Infants Act which led to the Tender Years Doctrine, divorce law began to favor women/mothers, sometimes financially crippling men/fathers and alienating from their children. All 50 states have now adopted no-fault divorce, increasing the number of divorces, along with the number of women in the workforce…and the number of extra-marital affairs.
Just as many women are saying they don’t need men, many men are saying they don’t need women. For example, there’s an online community of men called MGTOW—Men Going Their Own Way—who are unwilling to commit to long-term relationship (most don’t engage in relationship at all), because they believe that the benefits of relationship pale in comparison to the risks and costs. Such men experience society as gynocentric—favoring women to the detriment of men.
Many men, even if they aren’t as angry as MGTOW’s, still say that they’re confused about what it means to be a man anymore. While women have been progressing, the way that life was organized has been eroding beneath them without their consent—not that anyone was conscious that one group might be advancing at the expense of another.
Add to this emotional upheaval the new sexual market, now that the Pill and abortion allow women to engage in sex without fear of pregnancy. Sex is up and commitment is down, and that has immediate implications for your future with your new potential love interest. Although I wouldn’t suggest laying this out on the table for discussion on your first date, it’s certainly sitting there under your beverage coaster. What the…!
What to Do?
The Feminist movement couldn’t have anticipated such fallout, but some folks are starting to evaluate the process more broadly, trying to find ways to retain and expand the gains of the movement without doing so at the expense of anyone else. These folks believe that society needs a masculine-feminine balance, and that to diminish either is dangerous to the social fabric. Some women, however, feel that men deserve any inadvertent fallout of the movement, sometimes expressing the sentiment, “It’s about time men feel what we’ve felt for so long.” Such women believe that male-female relationships are inherently oppressive.
And that brings us to the present with the societal emotional process called the Feminist movement. This is a paltry historical sketch of 250 years of its historical development, I acknowledge, and I encourage a much deeper study for yourself. For now, suffice it to say that this societal emotional process (and others) comes with you on your date, so it bears some introspection. What does the social upheaval of the Feminist movement mean to you? And how does that translate into how you interact with the opposite sex?
Tomorrow, I’ll provide some ideas about what we can do about this massive societal emotional process that impacts your love life. For now, I’ll just send some Valentine’s Day hugs your way!