Balancing Life Under Patriarchy with Proper Resistance

A friend just shared this article, Blueprint for a Woman’s Life and I wanted to share my perspective. In the article, the author suggests that women begin to follow the following her 12 point “blueprint” at age 18, ending at 45. Among her suggested steps to success:

2. Get plastic surgery. This is the must-have career tool for the workforce of the new millennium. You will earn more money and you will have more opportunities for mentoring. Also, you will have a wider choice of men, which, of course, is another way to earn more money…. 3. Go to business school right out of the gate. …you are more likely to marry well. Men like women who are smart but not making more than they are. (I do not have a link for this. I have instinct.)…4. Start early looking for a husband seriously.6. Guard your marriage obsessively.11. Spend money on household help and Botox to keep more doors open longer.

On the one hand I understand that this is a piece written by a woman of the current age, doing her best to deal with a patriarchal society: one in which a man gets 1K more money for each kid he has, but women get 1K less for each kid; and one in which women are expected to fit the (ever-evolving) prototype of beauty.

Yet, as a father of two girls, I also think the author needs to balance living in the existing system with a proper amount of resistance to oppressive norms. If a woman wishes to alter her body, she should have that right. But a healthy sense of self and a proper partner in life shouldn’t be based on such things. The path of resistance is a tough one, but if social movements (civil rights, women’s rights) hadn’t take that route, women and people of color would have but a fraction of the freedom they have today.

To this, my wife, April, adds: It’s waving a white flag as far as I’m concerned. She definitely gives great advice for coping with the shitty hand we’re dealt as women. However, if we are to change the future for our children, we have to openly resist our oppression and throw the cards back in the face of the dealer and demand a fair game!

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