Patriarchy is Dead if You're a Rich White Lady


These days, “young women who work how they want and have sex how they want may also quilt and can fruits,” so feminists need to stop being so goddamn needy because we are living in a golden age of girl power for everyone.

So writes Hanna Rosin in a new epilogue to her book, The End of Men, excerpted today in Slate. Alternate title: Poor Non-White People? Meh!

A fun anecdote: a “well-educated” woman once dared to challenge Rosin at a reading. “Lucky for you that you have the luxury to agonize about your choices,” she said. “What about the woman who picks up your trash after you leave at 5?”

“This is when I knew I was dealing with some irrational attachment to the concept of unfair,” Rosin writes:

For my book I’d interviewed plenty of women who might find themselves picking up the trash, likely as a second job after a full day of school or another job, or both, because their husbands—or, more likely, the fathers of their children—were out of work. My young interrogator might be annoyed to learn that many of those women who pick up the trash yearn to bring back at least some aspects of the patriarchy. They generally appreciate their new economic independence and feel pride at holding their families together, at working and studying and doing things on their own, but sometimes they long to have a man around who would pay the bills and take care of them and make a life for them in which they could work less. And they want the men in their lives to be happy. It’s elite feminists like my questioner and me who cling to the dreaded patriarchy just as he is walking out of our lives.

Oddly, that woman is not the only “elite feminist” — the type of woman Rosin portrays in her book “as benefiting from the new era of female dominance, when women are better prepared for the current economy and have more independence to choose their life path” — who doesn’t agree with Rosin that women should stop whining about injustice. Why is that? Because some elite feminists are capable of caring about the majority of women who aren’t privileged enough to choose how often they want to work at what type of job. Rosin’s argument only makes sense if you pretend financial concerns and racism and sexism aren’t deal-breakers for most people — to do that, you either have no qualms about trolling to sell your book or you live in a fantasy world.

“I understand that the big picture is not always reflected in women’s daily experience of life,” Rosin writes. “Maybe a woman has an overbearing husband or a retrograde boss or just a lingering problem that has no name.” Some names: sexual assault and domestic violence statistics, abortion restrictions, the gender wage gap (which, hey, does exist for women who don’t look like Rosin).

If you’re not currently a CEO who is also an award-winning quilter, console yourself by searching the #RIPPatriarchy hashtag.


Image via Getty.

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