It takes courage to stand against the tide of feminism. Who would dare disagree with the sacred tenets of this decades-old movement? A silent majority of women believe feminist ideology is seriously flawed. Yet few women are willing to unmask the blemishes feminism has forced on women, men, children and Western society as a whole. Sisterhood’s avowed unity—truthfully—has never been without discord. Is the feminist wall about to crumble? Let’s understand the history and the future of this movement.
Most feminists segment the history of the movement into eras, commonly called waves.
First Wave (1840s–1920s)
Decades before the Civil War, women became active in movements to combat slavery, prostitution and alcoholism, and to provide religious education. Some advocated granting women the right to vote. The Civil War pushed these early efforts to the background, but the movement returned and women activists obtained the right to vote when the 19th Amendment passed in 1920.
Second Wave (1950s–1970s)
“With the right to vote won, feminists gradually turned their attention to women’s equality in the wider society,” Prue Clarke wrote in Future Women. Many feminists say the second wave began with World War ii and its aftermath. With millions of men from America and other countries fighting overseas, millions of women assumed outside-the-home employment, bringing sweeping changes to the workplace—and the home. After the men returned to work, some women fought to keep their jobs and demanded the same rights and pay as men.
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, the civil rights movement was underway. This offered a blueprint for the revival of the women’s rights movement. Women’s rights leaders claimed that all women were as oppressed as the black race. Unlike the first wave, this phase introduced extensive theoretical and philosophical discussion about women’s oppression, the nature of gender, and the role of the family. This wave is known for its women authors. Simone de Beauvoir, author of The Second Sex, questioned why women were treated differently in the workplace once men returned from combat. Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, questioned white, middle-class family life and focused on examples of women unhappy with motherhood and home life. The Female Eunuch author Germaine Greer declared that the traditional family represses women sexually and stifles their creativity.
This wave led to development and approval of the first woman’s oral contraceptive (1960), the 1963 Equal Pay Act, the founding of the National Organization for Women (1966), the nationwide legalization of abortion with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision (1973), and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act (1974).
Second-wave feminism drew heavy criticism for sidelining women of color. That backlash crippled feminist activism for decades. “However, the second wave only quieted down in the public forum; it did not disappear but retreated into the academic world where it is alive and well—incubating in the academy,” wrote Martha Rampton of Pacific University in “Four Waves of Feminism.”
Third Wave (Mid-1990s)
The third wave is less clear. Much of this wave revolved around the testimony of Anita Hill against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Hill accused Thomas of having made unwanted sexual advances in the workplace, which he denied as completely false. When Thomas was confirmed, feminists organized a backlash to unseat men in national leadership roles. Constance Grady wrote, “The following year, 1992, would be dubbed ‘the year of the woman’ after 24 women won seats in the House of Representatives and three more won seats in the Senate.”
Some feminists see the third wave as led by Generation X females. “Early third-wave activism tended to involve fighting against workplace sexual harassment and working to increase the number of women in positions of power,” wrote Grady. These feminists are often referred to as daughters, since some were children of the second-wave feminists and most were raised under feminist ideology. This wave included feminist punk rock groups known as “riot grrrls” promoting a bitter, forceful, empowering even threatening style of feminism. Ironically, the “riot grrrls” loved being girls. They liked wearing make-up and stiletto heels—the direct opposite of their second-wave mothers.
Fourth Wave (2012–Present)
“Although debated by some, many claim that a fourth wave of feminism began about 2012, with a focus on sexual harassment, body shaming and rape culture, among other issues,” writes the Encyclopedia Britannica. “A key component was the use of social media to highlight and address these concerns.”
Feminists believe that the fourth wave made a powerful thrust forward after Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016. A Women’s March took place in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration. The #MeToo movement that begun in 2006 gained increased popularity at this same time. “Victims of sexual harassment or assault around the world—and of all ethnicities—began sharing their experiences on social media, using the hashtag #MeToo” (ibid). Denouncements with the #MeToo social media tag accused dozens of high-profile men in politics, business, entertainment and the news media for sexual harassment and assault.
What feminists see as accomplishments, other women see as disastrous mistakes. One such person is Mona Charen. She is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a contributor for National Review, among other things. In her 2018 book Sex Matters, she does not shy away from pointing out where feminism has gone seriously wrong. Her purpose is to restore honor to men and modesty to women, so families can be strong again. The book is Charen’s affirmation that a committed, strong male married to a committed female is a prime necessity for children to thrive and to solve our social ills.
“Feminism has triumphed. … Equality has borne abundant fruit and enriched the lives of women, men and children. But feminism has carried costs too. Very high costs,” she writes. She cites a 1972 survey showing that the average woman reported being somewhat happier than the average man. But every year since, the women’s reported happiness has declined, “both in absolute terms and compared to men’s. Around 1990, the sexes traded places, and since then, women have reported being less happy than men, and less happy than their mothers and grandmothers were at the same stage of life.” She relates a 2011 Harvard Health survey showing that women were 2½ times more likely than men to be taking antidepressants. She writes: “Happiness, then, has not marched forward with feminism.”
Charen is gutsy enough to point out how the radical feminists of the ’70s led the movement down a path to deep personal unhappiness, in the process plaguing society with abnormal, and to date incurable, social ills. Let’s look at several of the steps feminists took that Charen believes were terrible mistakes.
The Chains of Sexual Liberation
“The feminist movement of the 1960s and ’70s did some good. It was unnecessarily difficult, for example, before feminism, for women to get credit on their own. Yet the movement took a disastrous wrong turn when it rejected the family as a prison for women, ” Charen writes. Why did the second-wave feminists reject the nuclear family? Charen answers that they “were radical, unhappy and ironically enslaved to the ideas of two 19th-century ‘dead, white, European males’: Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. The worldview of second-wave feminists was completely wrong about women, history and human nature—and it left a lot of wreckage in its wake.”
Charen makes it clear that the second-wave feminists embraced Marx’s and Friedrich Engels’s concept of “class war,” characterizing women as a class that is oppressed by the class of men, including their own husbands. The radical feminists viewed the relationship between a man and a woman as a political conflict. “They believed in the Marxist assertion about classes vying for supremacy,” Charen states. Being avid Marxists and Freudians, they believed a revolution was necessary to remove the power of the oppressor, which called for destroying the traditional family.
“Family life is a key support to the happiness of men, women and children. Thousands of studies show that married people are happier, healthier, wealthier, and longer lived than those who are single, widowed or divorced. As for children, there is no debate in the literature. Everyone who studies child well-being agrees that children who grow up with their married biological parents are racing ahead of their contemporaries who grow up in less stable situations. …
“The sexual revolution could never have succeeded without the imprimatur of feminists, who endorsed it as a part of women’s liberation. That was a profound mistake because it flew in the face of innate sexual differences,” Charen writes.
What does Charen mean here?
Radical feminists have been ignoring for decades what science has learned about the biological and psychological differences between men and women. “No matter how much feminists attempt to deny it, women are and always will be more vulnerable sexually than men,” she writes. “Nor will they ever approach sex with the detachment men can manage (but shouldn’t). Early feminists urged women to model their sexual conduct not just on men, but on the worst men.” How tragically ironic that Freudian radical feminists push women to act not just like men but like oppressive men!
“The new orthodoxy is that most, if not all, of the sexual differences we observe in behavior, taste and family/career choices are culturally imposed rather than innate. I disagree. I think our society has made a serious mistake. Men and women are not alike in all important respects. Sex differences are real and, in some realms, profound. …
“Many women detect that the feminist agenda is about making women more like men, instead of speaking for women as they really are. And men don’t like hearing feminists portray them as the eternal enemy of women,” Charen writes.
How did the movement for curbing alcoholism, prostitution and slavery turn into this?
Look at what feminist “sexual liberation” philosophy has brought to America and the rest of Western society. The hook-up culture, cohabitation, rampant divorce, support for lesbianism, promotion of pornography, rape culture, transgenderism, unwed motherhood, fatherless children and grisly abortion. These mentally and socially destructive ills have their roots in feminism.
Today’s younger feminists don’t want to be told they are—or even could be—wrong by anyone, even older feminists. They are unwilling to look at the disastrous results of the history of the movement. The bitter fruits of unhappiness are their teachers—but they will not listen to their teachers.
“Feminists linked arms with progressives and libertines to heap scorn on sexual restraint,” Charen writes. “The libertarians disparaged modesty as a ‘hangup,’ while feminists dismissed it as a relic of the patriarchy. These are the ideas that progressives naively believed would usher in an era of sexual equality and equitably distributed pleasure. It has been a dismal failure.”
Peace and Happiness Coming
What source would inspire such a movement? To understand, you have to understand the source of sex, marriage and family!
The book of Genesis records that when God created human beings He made them male and female (Genesis 1:27). This is one of the very first, very few facts recorded about the creation of humankind! Obviously, Adam was created male for a reason and Eve was created female for a reason. Both sexes have a unique role and purpose that become brilliantly fulfilling in the married state (Genesis 2:23-25).
But there is a spirit being that hates those differences and hates the union that they can create. That being wants to make males and females indistinguishable, incompatible and incapable of fulfilling their potential. This spirit being is at work in human beings. Study 2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2 and Revelation 12:9. These passages reveal that spirit being is Satan the devil. He is a master of deception and an expert strategist at manipulating men’s and women’s minds. Some people can see the effects, although they do not know the cause.
Unfortunately, as Mona Charen emphasizes, feminists have worked to destroy traditional roles and purposes for the sexes. Her simple response to this fact is, “The family is key to everything.” She is more correct than she can imagine!
The Creator of male and female inspired the Prophet Isaiah to write: “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isaiah 3:12). Like all other Marxist movements, feminist infighting will bring down feminism’s wall. It will pass from the world scene. How?
Jesus Christ’s return is just over the horizon. He will establish a new world order by restoring honor to men and modesty to women. The nuclear family will be returned to its sacred place in human society. “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).
What a glorious time that will be when all men, women and children will be gloriously happy and industriously productive. The entire Earth will blossom into the paradise it was meant to be. There is great hope ahead. You can begin to enjoy that peace and security now. Be sure to request Why Marriage—Soon Obsolete? and Conspiracy Against Fatherhood. Both will come to you without price.