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Feminist Movement . . Have We Lost Our Way?

Updated on April 12, 2015

Brief History of the Movement

The first woman’s movement was around the 18th century it’s primary focus was woman's political rights and suffrage. The second feminist movement duration was 1950 - 1980, a loud outcry for sister solidarity heard round the world. Protesting for reproductive rights, implementation of laws regarding domestic violence and sexual violence. Work place issues such as maternity leave, equal pay, and sexual harassment were also included in the fight.

This was made more evident in 1963, and described eloquently in a book authored by Betty Friedan “The Feminine Mystique”. Ms. Friedan, a housewife, questioned the current place in life of educated middle class wives and mothers. In her book the author places the blame squarely on the shoulders of the individual for their role in society. The book also questioned if there was more to modern day woman’s lives than hearth and home.

Author Betty Friedan

Must Read "Feminine Mystique" at Amazon

Playboy Symbol

Gloria Steinem In Full Bunny Costume
Gloria Steinem In Full Bunny Costume

Scene from TV movie " Bunny's Tale"

Bunny's Tale - Movie on Sale at Amazon

A Bunny's Tale

At the same time in 1963, freelance journalist, Gloria Steinem, wrote an investigative article “The Bunny’s Tale” about the Playboy Club and Casinos owned by Playboy Magazine magnate, Hugh Hefner, poster child of sexism. The clubs sported worldwide customer lists of the infamous and famous. In turn these customers were entertained by equally famous personalities of the era.

Those of you too young to remember the entity; it was primarily a gentlemen club, that charged a fee of $25.00 to become a key member. These clubs could be found in every major city around the world. They’re all gone now, but the niche of the clubs were the Playboy Bunnies. Beautiful well endowed women would wait on customers bound in torturous revealing bunny costumes complete with ears and high heels. It was a thank less job, with long hours at very low pay. At the very beginning Playboy was already in the mist of lawsuits brought on by former waitresses regarding back tips.

It is my opinion that this article did more to kick start the feminine movement than Feminine Mystique . Steinem's article was an in depth research on the training of Playboy hostesses, and the hell they endured to secure the coveted position. The article also spotlighted how women were stereotyped solely for the purpose of satisfying male adolescent fantasies. But then as now no one put a gun to the heads of these women forcing them to seek employment with the Playboy Corporation. Gloria's investigation would later spawn a TV movie, with Kirstie Alley in the lead role.

A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.
Gloria Steinem

Lindsay Lohan

Shake n' Bake Jersey 6 Packs

Present Day Images of Women . . . a Step Back?

Today images streaming through our media driven society is that of botoxed, cosmetically altered, shallow females. Consumed with high end shopping, back stabbing, often gossipy, manipulative, drunken, foul mouthed brawling harpies. Invented to titillate the juvenile fantasies of some men, and to cement the warped opinions of others. In the middle are our young. Impressionable young women who feel that this is how women are to act, and young hormonal men who are just forming their opinions about the female of the species. What, other than cash, motivates, attractive young women to debase and degrade themselves all for the pleasure of fueling our national creepy voyeurism?

Reality? Really?

I think not; Webster’s definition of reality: 1. actual 2. genuine ; realism; 1.Tendency to see things as they really are 2. Representation of things as they really are. Our airways are inundated with reality fair, only a handful are of any use to mankind, very few our honestly entertaining, the majority is so much fluff used as cheap fillers ($400,000 per hour to produce versus $2 million for a dramatic series) for empty air space.

With that said what is real about; Girls Gone Wild, Video Dancers gyrating, undulating females used as eye candy on all male rapping videos, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Jersey Shore (crispy critters on steroids), Paris Hilton’s, My New BFF, Hard Rock Las Vegas Rehab (Rehab currently in litigation with brand name Hard Rock to severe relationship siting; d runken debauchery, acts of vandalism, sexual harassment, violence, criminality and a host of other behavior), Bad Girls Club (exploitative hot mess that feeds male fantasies of female shells at their manipulative, backstabbing, drunken worse)?

Least We Forget . . . the Housewives

of Jersey, Orange County, Beverly Hills, New York, Atlanta, Washington, D.C.

Less than a thimble full of women in our nation live this lifestyle. Real housewives have a full 24/7 plate, giving women who selflessly and tirelessly take care of all in their households. Most putting themselves last.

This excerpt of a review of The Real Housewives of New Jersey was written by Melissa Camacho;

Material wealth and social status vie with raising children and maintaining relationships, and, true to form, lots of high-end brands (Gucci, BMW, etc.) are prominently featured. Expect lots of catty arguing, strong language (though the worst is bleeped), and drinking, as well as some rather explicit discussions about sex. The series also feeds into existing stereotypes about Italian-American families and women from northern New Jersey.

I personally cringe at the images portrayed on the aforementioned vehicles. Parents must provide truth to our female young explaining that women can achieve their life's goals without using feminine wiles and manipulation to do so. These wannabe stars are being paid a stipend, put up in all expenses paid environment. Pressed into bad behavior with alcohol, exhaustion, and yes a script.

Our nations females from age group 13 - 25 feed on this propaganda in hopes of attaining this free and easy lifestyle that looks like so much fun. Not many make the cattle like casting calls for these venues. What I fear are those females that try to attain this lifestyle outside the boundary of television.

The sadness of the woman's movement is that they don't allow the necessity of love. See, I don't personally trust any revolution where love is not allowed.

Maya Angelou

Studies and Theories

All the aforementioned crap television play into the old stereotypes of women reeking havoc on the legitimacy of our quest for equality. Women today should be past the stumbling blocks of the previous decades. Still we suffer big employers underpaying the fairer sex. Women are still having to take their fight to court for fair play in the workplace, still fighting sexual harassment. Why are these issues still prevalent today?

One wonders how many generations of females have grown up with a lack of self esteem and self worth without any outside stimulus from parental intervention? How many generations will continue to grow up thinking that the only worth they have is T and A how you shake it bake it? How many feel that the only way to show strength is some sick portrayal of an alpha fem fatal?

An excerpt of a study performed by Erika S. Pontius - Department Of Psychology Missouri Western State University - The findings of this study do support the prior research done on Gerbner?s cultivation theory and also suggests that the effects of reality television should have an even greater effect than regular television programming.

Gerbner’s cultivation theory - seeks to explain the connection between the programming viewers watch and their perceived reality. The more people watch television, and hence are exposed to these distortions of reality, the more they will come to view the real world as similar to the world portrayed on television and thus perceive a greater real-world incidence of the over-represented entities


was, until 1980 the term used for a personality disorder characterized by an abnormal lack of empathy combined with strongly amoral conduct but masked by an ability to appear outwardly normal.

Amoral - means lacking or not knowing morals, and does not mean having bad morals, many native speaker say amoral to mean immoral. ...

RISK FOR PSYCHOPATHY - By Charles Montaldo, Crime / Punishment Guide

Charles' Crime / Punishment Blog

The researchers were not surprised that boys showed higher risk levels than girls in the area of prior offenses, Gavazzi said, and that girls had higher risks for family and parenting issues, mental health, traumatic events and health issues.

But it was surprising that girls exhibited more risk for psychopathy, which includes trying to manipulate others; accountability, or taking responsibility for actions; and peer relations, which involves having friends who are in trouble with the law.

"Girls are having trouble in areas often more associated with boys, such as having friends who are involved in delinquency," Gavazzi said.

The Fallout

In the UK crimes committed by females is at an all time high, 22% of crimes are committed by females ages 10 -17. The same age range of the primary viewers of the “reality” vehicles.

Nicole “Snookie” Polizzi, of Jersey Shore , was recently arrested for boozing on the beach. The so called star was incoherent, stumbling over children, almost endangered the lives of lifeguards, and her own by attempting to enter the water several times. All the while youthful lookie loos were ogling the beach residence of the Jersey Shore crew film location. Media reps said these kids were between the ages of 12 - 17, I’m quite sure they didn’t drive themselves to the location.

Paris Hilton - 29 year old socialite recently plead guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge in Las Vegas, and was denied entry into Japan because of the charge.

Lindsay Lohan - recently failed mandatory drug test, probation revoked and bench warrant generated for her arrest.

Female Aggression Bullying - is almost the new norm on school campuses around the country and quite possibly around the world. Excerpt from a reader review of the book “Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls” states; “relational aggression": the silent treatment, exclusion, mean looks, rumor spreading, ganging up on a girl, manipulating relationships. In a girl's world, friendship is a weapon. A fist is weak when compared to the humiliation of a day of silence and rejection. There is no gesture more devastating than the back turning coldly away. To paraphrase;  the book does not hit upon the same bully growing up to become “Housewives Of . . . ”.

Rachel Wade

Tyra Banks Show - Female to Female Kissing in Public

Madonna / Britney Spears Kiss

The Alpha Female

Has today's young woman misunderstood the meaning of liberation to mean to act as a man forgoing our femininity?

Rachel Wade - was accused of stabbing to death 18-year-old Sarah Ludemann over the affections of a boy of the same age. Ms. Wade and Ms. Ludemann faced off in an alpha female battle in front of a friend’s home. In the end Sarah Ludemann died of two stab wounds in the chest and Rachel Wade was sentenced to 27 years in prison. Nobody won, both families lost their daughters. Cyber bullying, on both sides, was the catalyst for this horrid tragedy. Meanwhile the object of their attention goes on with his life.

Female on Female Public Kissing

Okay before you go all civil rights, the type of behavior I site is female on female kissing for attention of males and free drinks. Yep .. on a 2008 episode of The Tyra Banks Show the subject matter centered on females who kiss each other in public for male attention and for free drinks!

The age group targeted for the interview were from 15 - 21, those that participated in the public display saw nothing wrong with the action. Most felt the need to perform this action to draw the attention of young males, and in the case of the older women to obtain free drinks from male bar patrons. These women were filmed performing various forms of group female kissing in an effort to draw male attention and free shots. They also were shocked at audience reaction to their public display . . . ergo the amoral mindset.

One fifteen year old stated that when she and her friends watched the well publicized kiss between Britney Spears and Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. The general consensus was that it was so cool. Needless to say the young lady's mother, who was present at the show, was totally shocked that her daughter revealed such lack of self worth.

Bottom Line . . .

My opinion is that if we continue in the vein of current media images their influence will derail, for another century, all that women have struggled to attain. We will revert to sex objects, without worth, and our input into society as one of reproduction and service.  The butt of jokes and arm candy for our male counterparts.

We've already taken too many steps backward in our fight for equality, as can be plainly seen by the continuing lawsuits by females for equal treatment in the work place. This battle should have already been won, but we still continue to struggle because we still are not treated as equal.

Are women their own worst enemy?

Do you feel young women of today have a distorted view of liberation?

See results

If we continue to wallow in sexism all young women can aspire to become is . .

Ma from New "Reality" show "Ma's Roadhouse"
Ma from New "Reality" show "Ma's Roadhouse"


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    • Darkproxy profile image


      6 years ago from Ohio

      Well women are the majority of college applicants, employed, and are very well protected from your own criminal actions' consequences. If you molested a 2-year-old, boy or more you would more likely end up here than in jail for the same amount of time as a man. As for real house wives they chose that path and many are happy in their role.

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Utah

      Thank you for taking your time to read and comment, and I agree wholeheartedly.

    • jandee profile image


      7 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

      "Until Women are free neither are men "

      (President Ho Chi Minh) 1940s

      "Women have to take it ! "Freedom" !! .

      With or without the help of male feminists !


    • jandee profile image


      7 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

      "Until Women are free neither are Men "

      (President Ho Chi Minh) 1940s

      Women have to take it !

      with or without the help of male feminists !


    • liza ann profile image

      liza ann 

      7 years ago from Richmond, VA

      I agree with Harvey Stelman. When I was in my 20's, sexual harassment and 'hostile work environments' were the norm. As was sex discrimination. There were no Women's Studies in college (history was almost always interpreted through a white male point of view). It was very difficult for a woman to get a checking account or credit card without a college degree or a cosigner (which had to be her father or husband). Women with strong opinions about things other than domestic issues (cooking, homemaking, makeup, etc.) were mocked and ridiculed, often to their faces.

      We were even the butt of jokes while we sat there in the same room - a serious but universally accepted token of disrespect. My personal favorite: The 'explanation' of why women couldn't be police officers included 'they wouldn't fit into the uniforms'.

      I wish every woman under 50 could spend one day in 1972: going to work, eating in a diner, watching T.V. It would rock their world.

      So pmccray, I don't agree that feminism didn't work. It didn't accomplish all that we hoped for, but it's not too late. Thank you for a rich and well-written hub - may all the arm-candy booty-shakers wake up and RESPECT themselves!

    • pmccray profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Utah

      aquasilver, Micky Dee, Nell Rose, Revlady, Sandyspider, Dardia, Recbecca E, Tijana-M and Harvey Stelman.

      I must agree, our dive into feminism didn't work, especially when it is obvious that it wasn't past down through generations. Somewhere along the line our females have picked up the wrong message. Thanks to all who took time to read and comment.

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      Pmccray, Young women today have no idea of what struggles women have had in this country. When we became the USA, women had the right to vote. It was taken away by a political party because women voted against them. Rap music is hurting society, and women. Yet women prance around, and lov it. H

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image


      8 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Your article is excellent food for thoughts, thank you.

      According to my opinion, we did not take steps backward - in all known human hystory women were sex toys and properties of men - we just did not move forward as expected.

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      8 years ago from Canada

      well I am of the mind set that women and men are diferent this does not mean that like you said our "views" show be based upon the real housewives but upon the foundation of respect and caring. as Nell said a woman is a woman and should act like one, and yes in many ways we have taken a huge step backwards, but in someways it is possible we went to far with feminism to push men down... sigh! such a complex subject, well done!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, I quite agree with everything you have said. It seems that these days as you say, girls think that by acting like boys this gives them equality, they have got it completely wrong, a woman should still act like a woman, with a brain instead of drugs or drink. there is nothing wrong with a woman having a good time, but there are limits. we are certainly going backwards, great hub and it certainly got me thinking, rated up cheers nell

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Beautiful!Yes Ma'am pmccray! Very well done! The boob tube is turning out boobs. But the internet can too. It's all in what we choose to put in our head. Thank you Dear!

    • Dardia profile image

      Darlene Yager 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      I disagree with feminism. But I do believe in being treated fairly. I believe in equal pay for equal work. I do like being treated like a lady, or should I say, with respect. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and because it is not so, many try to find other ways of gaining attention. The media is showing those who don't understand what respect is how to gain that attention they crave, yet it is in a disrespectful way.

      Wonderful hub!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      Well shared subject. We have taken a giant step backwards.

    • RevLady profile image


      8 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      First, I agree with aguasilver regarding the different needs of men and women, men - respect, women, love and affection. Each tend to gravitate towards those willing to meet those needs, whether same sex or not.

      Our society is confused and our young, in my opinion, are merely imitating the immoral adult world.

      Thanks for sharing a nice article with much to ponder.

      Love, peace and joy in Him who has it all under His control.

      Forever His,

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 

      8 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Feminism does not work, and the proof is in what has happened in our societies.

      Women are worse off now, in the majority.

      When young men see feminism, it signals to them that they need hold no charge of care for the girls they seek to use, and women become objects not of love, but convenience.

      I agree that men also need to be taught what the correct relationship needs to be between men and women.

      Men need respect, even if they do not deserve it, they are hard wired to react favourably to respectful women, and respond with love (not just sexual, but agape love) when they are shown respect. If a man feels disrespected, he will not express love for his wife.

      Men cannot help it!

      Women need to feel loved, or they lose respect for their man.

      If they do not receive love from the husband, they lose respect for him.

      They cannot help that either.

      Feminism has destroyed that balance.


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