Recently I was watching videos of Jordan Peterson, and his views on women. Then I started to scroll through the comments. So much disdain for working women, and so much disbelief towards the women telling these men that they actually would not prefer to have many children, to have any at all, or to stay home and have that be their sole focus. The men seemed to believe that they, somehow, know more about women’s purpose and preferences for their life paths as we ourselves do. They even had the nerve to say women who don’t want any children at all are mentally unhinged and will die alone, ignoring the fact many of them said they were married.
About Peterson himself, much of what he says has a lot of value and I’m not here to attack his political views or his character. He does seem like a very nice guy, who genuinely wants to help people who he cares deeply about. But I can’t get over his views on women, and I certainly cannot get over the men in the comment section.
Peterson sort of appears to have a certain disdain for working women, but not as much as the fans. So here is the line of reasoning I will be arguing against in this post which was the basis of almost every male comment:
“Women are unhappier now more than ever, because they have gone against their natural purpose, which is to rear children while men provide for them. It’s the natural order, and nature is inherently good for us and always moral.”
One, I hopefully will prove that it is in fact not natural but cultural, and two even if it was natural that does not mean it’s good for women. This is a fallacy on it’s own. Tornado’s are natural, but it is not good from a human perspective when they tear through our towns. We have already seen what happens when women recede into the private sphere and out of the public. When men take control of politics and religion and fiances completely. They don’t think of us. They abuse this power and use it to strip away our rights, turning us into nothing more than breeding maids that do as they are told and are happy about it.
We have evidence, that at least as far as patenting goes, men mostly only invent things for their own needs. Women do the same. Female inventors mostly invent things with women in mind. And this is okay, I wouldn’t expect men to even know what we need but when it is only men inventing, women are left out. This can be applied to the world at large. When we are out of sight, we are out of mind. This is a recipe for disaster and we as women have already learned this lesson. So even if it were natural to stay home and raise babies, it clearly isn’t good for us and our own health and well being.
In fact, here are some statistics on women’s happiness. Working women are happier than stay at home mothers. A Gallup survey of over 66,000 women, the largest to date last I checked, found that stay at home mothers are more angry, depressed, and sad than those of us who work outside of the home. Stay at home mothers are least likely to consider themselves “thriving” or to even say they’ve smiled or laughed a lot. They are more likely to report feelings of isolation, a loss of identity. More likely to feel alone.
Studies also find parents without kids in general are happier than those with them. I can imagine this being even more true for women, who do most of the labor. Women are also more likely to be happy single when compared to men. One researcher, professor Paul Dolan even suggests single women are happier than married women, though all the research I’ve done claims married couples are happier and live longer. Though, perhaps they weren’t broken down by gender. If men really do benefit from marriage more their own happiness may have skewed the results.
Clearly, if anything it is family life than causes women the most unease. Not hard to imagine why. Before, women’s main purpose was to stay at home and raise children. We already know women were discontent with this arrangement, as stay at home mommery ended nearly as quick as it began. If it made us happy, we wouldn’t have left in the first place.
It’s an unfortunate reality that pretty much all our research finds men benefit more from marriage and parenthood than women do. They invented marriage, afterall. So of course they will be the ones pressuring us to get married and have children. It’s so great and wonderful for them since they don’t do much of the work. It even increases their lifespan! Men who never married and remain single far worse than women who are single. They pressure us into marriage while we’re young not only because we are more naive and able to be shaped as they please, but because they are better off with a woman than on their own. I wonder if this is why men and women used to remain in their family home in the past until they got married. He could stay with his mother until another woman took over her role. While women, it was because we were property of men.
They don’t get pregnant, they don’t give birth, and they get the fun parts of raising kids. Then they get to advance their careers because their wives still do everything we used to in the past. Men have it all, and this is why we are still struggling just to get half. This is why a mans wage increases or at least remains the same, and a woman’s suffers once they marry. She has to take on even more work, and he gets to reap the benefits.
It’s a blessing for them and they can’t understand why so many women are opting out and would rather see it as a feminist agenda to masculinize women, rather than seeing it from our perspective. Seeing it from our perspective would require them to understand that they need to make more sacrifices just as we do instead of expecting us to give everything up for them.
Our responsibilities evolved, while men’s have not. This left us to pick up their slack. While we work and provide half of the resources with our jobs, we also do the majority of the childcare and housework. Likely you have heard men claiming that women are frivolous because we spend more money than men. But that’s because we shop for an entire family. A big enough task on it’s own, and we do it all. Groceries, clothes, school supplies, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels, the list goes on. Add this on top of everything else and of course women will be more depressed. We have more responsibility on our shoulders no matter what men of the manosphere would like to claim. Saying “women don’t have responsibility” is like saying the sky is green. It’s a blatant, ignorant lie.
Getting an education is also a massive stress, and more women are in college, getting better grades, getting more degrees, and stay there in the first place when compared to men. This is another stressful responsibly that we take on to a larger extent. Another possible reason for women’s unhappiness. But that doesn’t mean we should stop going to school, or that we even want to stop. Good things require sacrifice. We know this. The best things in life are hard to obtain and we are not ones to quit in the face of hardship even as men make us believe that we should.
But mostly, I imagine it is family life. We are told we can have it all, but having it all depends on men’s cooperation. If they won’t take up an equal share of the housework and childcare, we can’t have it all. If they do, we will be happier. Men will be happier. Splitting up the work evenly gives men more time with their children, and women more time to advance their careers and a better balance of family and work. There is a reason women divorce men more. It’s because they are unhappy. We don’t just leave men as a joke or because we want to ruin their lives, we do it because we get burnt out eventually, after doing so much paid and unpaid labor.
Many times, men will come home after work and sit down to play video games while women start dinner and deal with the children. Men are still on their 9-5, while women are still on their 7-10. It’s just this time, he gets help paying the bills. Of course men are happier.
So, saying unhappiness is related to women abandoning their “true purpose” is ignoring all of these factors. It’s a cope. They want women to want to stay home, so they imagine this must be why. They can’t fathom the idea of us being our own people because they don’t want us to be. They want us to be theirs. As usual, putting the blame on women’s actions and behaviors instead of asking themselves if it’s something they have done, or society has done. As usual, men telling women what we really want instead of just listening to what the majority of us are saying.
Women’s true purpose is whatever the hell they want it to be. And currently, that is working outside the home and having a life outside of their children for most. Many women feel that raising children all day is isolating and they prefer to work as then they are around adults and can have actual conversation that doesn’t involve teaching someone how to crap in a toilet or discussing things nobody really cares about, like Dora the Explorer.
Peterson says that most people don’t have a career. That the reason it’s a job is because you are being paid for something you wouldn’t do if you were not being paid for it. But he misses the other reasons people enjoy working. For the money, for the bonds, for the company of other adult humans, and the feeling of doing something as a larger team that is for the greater good. Even if it’s as small as pushing paper. We still get the feeling of accomplishment from it.
Women I’ve spoke to have said that they like working since they feel that staying at home is only helping one small unit of people, while their jobs give them the feeling that they are helping society at large. Even if it’s a small impact. And that’s what really matters, what the woman feels. What’s best for her. What she thinks is right for her and her society and even her family.
Because while no evidence has found stay at home mothers raise happier children (in fact research has found children of both types of homes are just as happy) there are some benefits only working women provide. According to Harvard Business School, sons of working women grow up to respect women more, and their daughters grow up to be more successful. Their children end up being more independent.
And even if a person hates her job, even if she didn’t need to work having her own money is enough to keep her going. Not having to ask for an allowance like he’s your daddy, not having to be interrogated on your purchasing decisions. If you want to take a trip, you can take a trip because it’s your own money. Basically, not having to feel like a child.
Then, there is financial security in the future. Proponents of gender roles don’t think of this. But unfortunately, men die. They may get sick or become disabled. They may cheat on you, turn into a lunatic and you have to leave them. They may leave you for a younger woman. Then what? The longer you are out of the workforce the harder it is to get back in because while you have been at home losing work experience, others have been in gaining it for years. You will be left with crap options. So again, even if this were natural it doesn’t mean it is good or wise.
Most people are surprised to learn that women were not stay at home mothers for 99% of human existence. In fact I left a comment on one of the videos, and a woman refused to believe me claiming that women stayed home with children while men provided since the dawn of time.
My problem with a comment she left, was that she was assuming femininity has stayed stagnant. That staying home and raising children is innate in women and only women. Housewifery, caring for children and people and beings men’s little helpers and cheerleaders is an intrinsic part of womanhood rather than humanity or of the individual in the case of the housewife, as more men are starting to stay at home as well. I told her that much of what she claims is feminine, actually used to be considered masculine and vice versa throughout certain periods of time.
That nursing was actually a male dominated job seen as too masculine for us. So was cheer-leading, and teaching school children. Computer programming was originally seen as woman’s work. That stay at home mothers only really became a thing sometime in the 20th century. That most women throughout history worked full time to support their families, as only the very wealthy could afford that lifestyle.
She refused to believe me. Said that women have always been the ones mostly in these fields (even though the very first nursing school was only open to men and the very first cheerleader was a man) and they were always feminine. That women have always, always been mainly housewives. But she’s wrong. Being a housewife is new and we did not evolve this way. It’s socially constructed 100%. In hunter gatherer days, that is that majority of human existence, the providers were technically women. Over 90% of our food came from women’s foraging. We even hunted. One report says that about 30% of the hunters they found were female remains. Including ones that were originally assumed to be male until better technology allowed us to run their DNA.
The Massai women were and are the builders. They construct the homes. Women in many parts of Africa will walk dozens and dozens of miles per day to collect water. One study found, after analyzing the ancient bones of women from thousands of years ago, that they did so much hard manual labor they were stronger than elite female rowers are today. Elite female rowers being on average 6’3 and ripped. They are without a doubt stronger than the average man. Is that the physique of a woman only raising babies? No it’s the physique of a full time worker.
The fact remains that even in the 20th century, most women worked. The difference was women were pushed into the lower paid, lower status jobs and were banned from most of everything else.
The hard fact is mothers are only needed for gestation, birth, and breast feeding. After that, there is no real reason women should be the only ones to give up their goals and dreams to focus only on raising that baby as if it’s life depended on it. Anyone can raise that baby successfully. Traditional mothers have this delusion that their baby will die without a biological mothers love and that nobody, not even the father, can replace that. Except he can. After nursing, fathers are just as good parents as mothers. Adoptive parents are just as good parents as biological parents. Grandparents can raise a good kid who is as happy and as healthy as they would have been under the mothers care. A child’s health and happiness does not depend on just the mother herself. This is why alloparenting was a rule, rather than an exception all over the world, all throughout time.
In many parts of the world, women would go right back to working the land very, very soon after they gave birth. Some wouldn’t even wait a day. They would hand the baby over to someone else while she did their job. Because families relied on women to provide just as much as men. Just as today most families cannot afford a one income house, so it was in the past. My guess is the only reason they could in the 50’s was because after the middle class expanded, women left the workforce and opened up jobs for men. And we have evidence that when women enter a field the wages go down. Because the respect for it goes down. Men entering the field likely increased the respect and wages women’s work previously did not have. Just a hunch.
So, how can staying at home have been a naturally occurring trait and preference of women’s, if women did not evolve that way? Especially seeing as how mothers were not the sole care takers of their own children. This idea of the exclusive care of a mother as critical is cultural and not instinct. Even to this day, it’s not universal. Especially in hunter gatherer societies that still remain.
I know that the image everyone has of men and women in their heads is of a caveman bringing fruits, vegetables and meat to a woman in a cave who is sitting by a fire with children and has been all day. But the reality was much different, and the nuclear family model was not the original model. And it seems that is very hard for those advocating for traditional, nuclear family gender roles to hear and accept because it threatens their worldview of women’s natural purpose conveniently being just what they want it to be. Because real traditional gender roles are more similar to what you see today.
If their idea of women’s natural instinct and purpose of life being to stay at home and raise babies while a man’s is to provide is proven wrong, they lose their best argument for it’s defense. They lose their argument for men’s superiority. And make no mistake, men believe their “purpose” in life is superior. Why wouldn’t they? They get to run the world. Make inventions to save lives. They get to be remembered, while housewives will mostly fade away into history unnoticed. More room for men in the history books. More laws and inventions that suit them, more representation in society, more political and financial power and less competition. They get to make the norms. They get to lead. Of course they would think that’s superior to simply raising the next generation of children to go and save the world in your place. And all of their actions, even the men who claim to want women like this, proves it and why else would men raised by stay at home mothers respect women less? Because they don’t respect the work housewives do, and then in turn don’t respect women. Men are the main ones who benefit from women staying home. I’m not surprised they’re trying to use the “biology” card to retain their sense of superiority and place in the world. If they lose that card, they got nothing left. Because men’s superior position in society depends on women’s cooperation this time. And they are losing our cooperation.
Men will say that feminism brainwashed women into believing having careers and lives outside the home is natural. But they don’t stop to wonder if it was men first who brainwashed women, and themselves, into thinking staying in the home and out of the workforce was natural. I think telling us that feminism has an anti-woman agenda, is them trying to reinforce the brainwashing that feminism has undone. I think they are trying to brainwash us once more.
They say you can’t fight nature and maybe they’re right. What they don’t consider is that this is our nature, and we are just going back to how we were originally. Instead of this being brainwashing, maybe this is just a natural evolution out of a set up that did not benefit us at all and actually harmed us.
Here are two worlds:
World A: Women are banned from everything. They are property so cannot own property. They have no choice for their own lives as they have no rights and going against the grain may either get them burned at the stake as a witch, or have them face severe social repercussions that will leave them punished or an outcast and alone.
World B: Women are free. They own property, as they are not property. They have a say over their own lives. The only say, as they have rights and going against the grain is encouraged as “out of the box thinking.” They face no social repercussions for choosing to work in any field rather than just staying home.
Which one is more likely to result in the natural behavior of women? Which world is most likely to show us woman’s true purpose and preferences? The world men created and forced upon us, or the world we crafted for ourselves?
I find it very patronizing for a man to tell women what is best for us, when they don’t even know what’s best for themselves. How can we be as complicated, confusing and mysterious as you say if you know our deepest desires and needs? And why does it tell you nothing that what we say we need and want is different from what you say? Why do you assume yes means no, go away means come here, we want freedom means dominate us, we want to work means we want to stay home? Who the fuck taught you that? You have some serious problems of your own to sort out. Maybe stop worrying about what we’re doing and lower your murder and crime rates instead.
If they really cared about women’s happiness, they would not try to force us into a world that doesn’t suit us as a whole and they wouldn’t have horribly abused their power over women in the first place. They took and took until we had nothing left.
So even if it were natural, going back to that world where women are neglected and forgotten would be a very bad idea. Bad for our health, bad for our mental well being, and bad for business. Most women understand the consequences of going back to that role. And if you choose that, that’s fine. But what isn’t fine is telling other women that it’s natural and we will be sorry and alone if we don’t live your life.
Your rights likely will depend on the majority of women fighting for equality. Which requires us to enter politics, media, medicine, and law. At the very least. I guarantee that if all women returned home tonight, our rights would be gone come morning. If we are out of sight we are out of mind, and we will suffer for that greatly just as we did in the past. Men have already proven that they cannot be trusted with our bodies and lives. Putting our souls back in their hands will once again end in disaster. It’s in every woman’s best interest that most of us continue our fight for equality and recognition rather than staying home and letting the men provide. Don’t let men brainwash you with biology lessons, because most of the time their idea of science is just their own opinion or assumption.
Good thing most women would rather work, so the few women left who genuinely want traditional gender roles, can continue to have them without worrying about our sex going backwards.