Blog Post

The Wounded Roots of Today’s Toxic Feminism

Today’s feminism, with its trendy slogans and undying support for the right to choose even when it costs the life of another, is nothing new, and it’s just as mean-spirited as it was in the 1960’s when feminism was birthed. This is because the foundation of this movement was built on the rage of its wounded founders who chose to make a living off their wrath rather than seek healing and restoration. If more women understood the sad roots of this movement, they might think twice before putting on those pink hats.

The following excerpt from a new book by Dr. Carrie Gress, The Anti Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture From Toxic Femininity, outlines the deep wounds of the founders of today’s feminism – which explains why this movement has always been so toxic.

A brief look at the women who emerged as the goddesses of the Feminist movement makes it clear that none of these women had a happy and carefree childhood. Gloria Steinem had a doting and loving father, but he was ever chasing the next get-rich-quick deal, leaving young Gloria as the caretaker of her bitter and mentally ill mother for many years.

Meanwhile, Germaine Greer’s attention-loving mother, while her husband was away fighting in the African theater, entertained the troops in Australia. When the doting father returned from the war, the handsome man was so disfigured from battle and starvation that his family had a hard time finding him on the train platform. Germaine described her mom as “mean as cat p—s” who would beat her, not often, but with passion, even though Germaine was a good child. Germaine concluded that her unaffectionate mother simply didn’t like her.

Phyllis Chesler has perhaps been the most outspoken about the resentment she held toward her own mother. “She criticized me constantly, yelled at me a lot, hit me sometimes and always threatened to turn me over to my father for more serious discipline.” Later in life, Chesler realized that her mother suffered from mental illness.

Betty Friedan and her mother would rage at each other. Her mother, a rare beauty who looked like she stepped out of a magazine, was frustrated with Betty, who seemed to work at being ugly. “I was very dominated by my mother. She was very critical of me and made me feel very insecure.” Betty hated her mother’s phoniness, so she did the opposite, developing acerbic and rough ways of communicating with just about anyone.

A psychologist and author of seventeen books, Chesler seems to have dismissed a remarkable piece of evidence about feminism’s source: the embattled relationship almost all of these women had with their parents, especially their mothers. These founders of feminism, whom Chesler dubs the Lost Girls, were women from broken homes who carried around deep mother wounds inflicted by little to no emotional support and physical affection. They matured physically, but somewhere inside they remained little girls. Their thirst to fill this gap was displayed in their rampant homosexuality and in their infantile effort to ignore the problems they were creating through their “groundbreaking” behavior.

“We are the women our parents warned us against, and we are proud,” boasted Gloria Steinem.

Yes, the era was full of sexual abuse and social inequalities, but their answer to fix them didn’t help. “We picketed, marched, protested, sat in, and famously took over offices and buildings; helped women obtain illegal abortions, joined consciousness-raising groups; learned about orgasms, condemned incest, rape, sexual harassment, and domestic violence; organized speak-outs, crisis hotlines, and shelters for battered women; and came out as lesbians.”

The appearance of trying to help every woman who is treated unjustly provided much of the fuel to the cause. Who wouldn’t want to help battered wives or a single mother who struggles to make ends meet? Their problem solving, however, through promiscuity, abortion, lesbianism, goddess worship, astrology charts, divorce and drugs was like adding gas to the fire of these social problems. . . .

This excerpt is reprinted here with the kind permission of Tan Books.

Dr. Carrie Gress is coming to Malvern in July to lead the Women of Grace© retreat and Benedicta Leadership Enrichment Seminar. Click here for more information!

A healthy feminism never destroys - it is always true to itself and life-giving. You can bring this counter-cultural message to your parish and community by starting a Women of Grace® Foundational Study and Young Women of Grace: Embrace Your Femininity Study today! Click here for more information.

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