There is a book out titled "The Cultural Devastation of American Women" that expresses the idea that women have tried so hard to get "equal rights" and to live their life more like men can, that they have lost many of the qualities that made them women in the first place. And in the process, the result is that men now see them in a much less romantic, or even desirable light. Women have become more self centered and feel entitled in an "I'm as good as you personality", or sometimes, "I'm better", and men often don't see them as someone they really want to spend their life with. True or not, it can't be denied that women nowadays have a different outlook on life, and towards men, than they used to.
My wife, Barbara, would be a good example of times gone by. I'm sure there would be many NOW supporters, or "women libbers", who would not agree with the way I am treated nor the way our household is run. That would just be, though, another example of how times and women have changed in their approach to things. How they have a different view on the role women should play, not only in a married relationship, if they believed in marriage at all, but also in what they think their responsibilities are in general, and how they dwell on how they think they should be treated in what is sometimes called a "man's world."
Of course "American Women" does not propose that times were better when women couldn't vote, or own businesses, or wear short skirts or string bikinis. It simply implies that women have lost touch with the beauty and mystery of womanhood, of the joy of having children, of cooking a good meal for a man, of planting a garden, of keeping her home neat and clean, of looking and acting like they care whether or not their husband, or partner, sees them as someone they want to make love to. And all of this without hiring a cook, a landscape gardener, and a maid. Their striving for equality has turned out, the book claims, in ways that appear like they don't want to be the one who makes a house a home, because they're not sure it's going to be a permanent arrangement, and they're not about to make any compromises in their behavior to insure that end. They're on a campaign. Some would agree with these ideas while others would oppose them.
For fifty-five years it has apparently been one of my wife's goals to make our marriage work, "come hell or high water." And she does not make this effort with a cloud hanging over her head that makes her feel like she is being treated like a hired hand or a woman who is stifled in any way from being her own person, able to make her own decisions, and go anywhere or do anything she wants. She has a life and treasures it.
What is it, then, that makes her different from the "emancipated woman?" In the first place she makes sure I have healthy meals, and SHE fixes them. The house is kept neat and clean, by HER efforts. SHE mops, dusts, vacuums,(when I don't) and anything else that is needed to keep things in order. Marketing, for her, is a challenge to have lots of coupons on hand for discounts that save a surprising amount off the grocery bill. Although most of our bills are paid on line, which Barbara handles, the check book balance, that Barbara also handles, is always in agreement with the bank statement, to the penny. If it's time for a vacation, guess who makes all the arrangements, all the phone calls to hotels, airlines, car rentals, and gets the best travel deals. SHE does.
When I had both my knees replaced, at the same time, I had a hard time getting around. So my wife made out a menu for me , for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I could order what I wanted, and SHE would fix it. When she sees that I need new clothing, SHE goes to town and buys them.
In short, finding a young lady today that would see a marriage commitment like that would be difficult at best. Maybe Barbara's way is an exaggeration of what the book views as being a better way than what's happening to women today. Yes, maybe Barbara's approach is not what Nancy Levant, the author of the book, wants all women to agree with her on, but the book does believe there is a "decline of the American female", where women want to be more than a simple housewife, free to be the equal of men, and in doing so have lost much of their natural beauty and standing among men. A beauty that included a time when "women could still cook and still would, when men could still work and still would." That day will probably never come again.