And then there came to be the image that somehow feminism against the family as, if you know, a narrow definition of feminism, family didn't belong. And then this played into reaction. Where reaction took some ideological mistake are ideological oversimplifications that seemed right for a while. They sounded revolutionary. They expressed our anger. Women had a right to feel angry if they were put down. They were put down as they were in the office, in the classroom, even in some subtle ways in this very university, although this college was less guilty than most. Nevertheless, it couldn't it couldn't be completely immune from what was in the culture. There was paternalism here. There was even some instances of probably of sex discrimination unconscious, even though the basic, basic, the basic thrust of Smith always was to take women seriously as people when nobody else did. When it wasn't fashionable. When even feminism had been buried in
consciousness. But. The anger, that women like all dependent people had been taking out on their own bodies and in self hatred, self-denigration, and malaises that the doctors got rich not curing, and then take it out covertly on husbands and children, now this anger was out in the open. And in the political idiom of the sixties, it was easy to make a kind of a sexual politics out of the basic movement for the personhood and the equality of women, until it began to seem a war of woman as a class of press down with man as a class of oppressers, down with the family, down with motherhood, down with marriage, down with everything women had ever done to attract man, or down with everything that man the Patriarchs the male chauvinist pigs had ever done. And you know the excesses of this, they were probably before your time. But they, they gave what I consider a bit of a false image to, well women's lib, a term that I don't use, because I think it's imbued with that
image. The thrust of the women's movement was the personhood of women and was the equality of opportunity that was essential. Today, I am concerned with our ability, with your ability to live that equality and to preserve it. We have to realize, that if we place a Feminine Mystique, which denied, ignored, did not allow us to think in terms of the aspirations and the potentials of women, which are not defined by her role as wife and mother. If we replaced that by a feminist mystique, there denies the aspects and attributes of the personhood of women that through the ages have been expressed in nurture. Our own needs to love and be loved. The realities of family which are the human nutrient for us all. We short change ourselves, our potential, our personhood, as women. The task for you is to put it all
together. Am I saying then that I expect you all to be superwoman. I expect you to get out of that trap of being superwoman. You see, what we've had today, we are not yet transcending that awful either or split, that pendulum swing from feminism to Feminine Mystique, back and forth, back and forth, which in effect brought the first century long struggle for women's rights to a halt after the vote was won in 1920, because those first feminists, the suffragettes, our foremothers, did not confront the realities of the family. There is no way, that you can live and preserve the equality, that you want, you deserve, that we have fought for, and that degree of which we have now, though what is endangered. You cannot live this without coming to new
terms about the family. The next stage of feminist. The next stage of the sex rule revolution of which the women's movement was only the first stage, cannot be seen in terms of women alone, and certainly not in terms of women against men. Nor can it be lived in superwoman terms [applause]. What are you going to do? Are you going to follow the example of Dress for Success? You know to get your Mark Cross briefcase, and all the rest of it, and your suit and a fedora hat, or whatever the thing to be worn this year, and strive for success as a law partner, doctor, senator, what have you, competing as you can now compete, in the world of business and professions, competing according standards of success, based on the life times of men who had wives to take care of all the details of life.
And a secretary to send out to buy their wives presents, right. [applause] Standards of success, said in terms of man whose whole identity was based on beating the competitive rat race and at the same time meet the standards of home and family set in terms of the lives of women who had defined their whole identity, their whole status, their whole power, in society in terms of the perfectly controlled home, the perfectly controlled family, and who had all the time in the world to do it because she wasn't expected to do anything else. And then are you going to try to do this more docilely, even then the man in the work world because you're good girls. You know you're achievers, your success. You got all A's in school, you know, and you're not very confident of your ability to do it, so you're going to try to do it better, more docilely, in a way than a man and being just as sort of passive. You could be, if you follow that superwoman image, just as passive, in your service, and success as the old Feminine Mystique housewife image