Women's Liberation Part 4
The American woman is no worse than other women. She is only ahead of them all. Her unscrupulous tactics for exploitation would not be so dangerous if they were not constantly idealized by a TV and film industry. As the latter creates the image of Western woman, her behavior is being copied, and her standard of living is constantly raised, the fate of her husband automatically becomes the fate of men in other countries. Yet there is another reason to deal specifically with the American woman and that is Woman’s Liberation. American women are better off than other women around the world: but not all of the American women. The same system that brings so many advantages to most American women turns by necessity against a minority within their own ranks: the women who are unattractive by male standards.
Until recently, this condition went unnoticed by all save the minority. But one day this minority decided not to put up with that condition any longer and began to organize, like their predecessors, the suffragettes. Since American public is accustomed to listening to women when they talk, their problems were soon much discussed. Not only in America but also in the rest of the world this new movement was taken up immediately. Why, one might ask, did this uprising of women start in America, of all places, where women are obviously better off? The explanation is simple: exactly for that reason. Because the American woman is better off, because social differences between married women and women who earn their own living are so enormous. Because in America more than any other country the working woman is treated as a traitor, an outcast, by the masses of female exploiters who see their own interests betrayed. This is why this movement hat to start in the U.S.A. and no other place. Used to endless power over man and to the highest prestige, American women will find the renunciation of power and prestige much more painful. And if the direct approach will not work, she will procure her insignia of feminine power in a roundabout way: Women’s Liberation.
Furthermore, a strained labor market has put this minority of women, forced or willing to work, into a somewhat more difficult position than their European sisters when they apply for higher positions. Many of them will see their difficulties from a particular perspective and interpret the unpleasantness of professional life as discrimination against their sex. But if an American woman employer were to choose between an unattractive woman who did not appeal to his sexual instinct and a man, his choice would undoubtedly be the man. And he can even justify that decision: when a woman marries, she will give up her job as soon as she becomes a mother. A man who marries and becomes a father turns into an even more reliable employee. If the applicant is already married, then the employer’s choice is even easier, since he knows that the man’s pay check will almost certainly support more than one person, hence be twice as necessary. The single woman supports, at most herself. From the employer’s point of view, it is more humane to give the job to the man. The “woman with a family” –the woman who supports a healthy man and his children all her life – is practically unknown in the professional world. Who should be held responsible for this situation: employer or woman?