I also have piles of books just waiting to be read. Right now, one of those books is Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World by Carolyn McCulley. Ms. McCulley is a self-described former feminist who earned a certificate in women's studies in college and later rejected much feminist ideology after converting to Christianity when she was 30. Even though it seems to me that feminism still influences some things Ms. McCulley writes on her blog, I have appreciated many things she has written about there, so I have been interested to hear what she has to say about feminism in this new book.
Carolyn McCulley currently has a guest post on Candace Watters' blog titled Early Views on Marriage about the negative views of marriage espoused by early feminists, which is based on her book, Radical Womanhood: Feminine Faith in a Feminist World. In this post she makes the statement:
The first feminists pushed for legal changes that we all benefit from today. I am glad women can vote, own property, and earn an equal wage for equal work—just to name a few benefits!
I have also had friends who oppose much feminist ideology say similar things, such as they are glad feminism has given them the right to work and earn a living. As a single woman, I am glad I have the right to earn a living and support myself too. I just doubt that I would not have this right without feminism. Women worked outside the home before feminism came along.
Regarding suffrage, feminists seem to forget that historically many men did not have the right to vote either. I'm also not convinced that giving women the vote has been beneficial to the United States at all. Given the tendency of women to vote for greater government influence it is far more likely that my political point of view would be better represented if women, including me, were not allowed to vote.
When I read quotes like Carolyn McCulley's it seems to me that she believes that women would have no property rights without feminism. But, single women have had property rights throughout most of history. Additionally, as early as the 17th century in the United States, there have been laws which supported married women's rights to property by requiring married women to give their consent to any transaction involving what was their property prior to marriage before the transaction could be approved. I have also been unable to find any information that states that historically women were paid less than men for the same work.
So, I am not convinced that any of the "good" that feminism has brought about would not have happened if not for feminism.
What about you? Do you think feminism has brought any "good"?