Why did this feminist experiment in gender neutrality fail?
"Attempts to achieve sexual equality are not unique to present-day Anglo-American society. A brave and fascinating experiment in women's liberation was conducted by the Israelis when they set up their rural communes, the kibbutzim, during the colonization of Palestine in the early part of this century. A central part of their semi-Marxist ideology was the total emancipation of women from all inequalities (sexual, social, economic and intellectual) that had been imposed upon them by traditional society.
According to Israeli Utopian theory, the burden of child-rearing and home-making was the root cause of sex-role differentiation and female inequality. Therefore radical changes in family structure were instituted. Traditional marriage was replaced by a system of cohabitation in which a man and woman were assigned shared sleeping accommodation within the commune but retained their separate names and identities. The children were removed from special contact with their parents and reared with others of the same age in community-run nurseries where they played, ate, slept and were educated. Adults were supposed to think of all the kibbutz children as joint social property and were discouraged from developing particularly close relationships with their own offspring.
Thus freed from the 'domestic yoke', women were expected to engage in agricultural and productive work to the same extent as men, and men were likewise expected to share in traditional female work. Classically feminine clothes, cosmetics, jewellery and hair-styles were rejected. In order to be equals of men, it was thought women would have to look like men as well as share traditionally male roles.
When anthropologists Melford and Audrey Spiro examined the achievements of the kibbutzim in 1950, the experiment appeared to have been largely successful and their preconception of human nature as 'culturally relative' was held to be confirmed. However, in 1975 Melford Spiro returned to the kibbutz for a follow-up study and was surprised to discover that in the intervening quarter-century striking changes had occurred in the domain of marriage, family and sex-roles which 'all but undid the earlier revolution' (Spiro, 1979). The younger generation of women, although raised with unisex models (women driving tractors and men in domestic service occupations) and taught from early childhood that men and women are the same in nature, were now pressing to be allowed fulfilment in the role of mother. 'Women's rights' had taken on almost exactly the reverse meaning to that in our society.
The kibbutz government had become predominantly male, apparently because the women showed little interest in politics, and a traditional division of labour along sexual lines had become established. Men were doing most of the productive work, while women were doing mostly community and service work such as teaching, nursing and housekeeping. Marriage had reverted to its original form, with a full wedding ceremony and celebration, and public displays of attachment and 'ownership'. previously almost taboo, were now commonplace. The units of residence had changed from the group to the married couple, and couples were now claiming and gaining the 'right' to enjoy the company of their own children. Children slept with their own parents and spent a great deal more time with them. Women had also shown a return to traditional 'femininity' in terms of appearance, temperament (empathy and lack of assertiveness) and hobbies. 'In the one place where feminists thought their ideal existed, the feminine mystique is ripening as fast as the corn in the fields' (New York Times, April 1976)."
Spot on Doodlebug. Feminism is doomed to fail because, like communism, it is based on a false premise: that everybody is exactly equal.
Communists thought that one person accumulating more wealth than another was inherently wrong. Feminists think that traditonal gender roles are wrong even though they have worked for millenia and are completely natural.
Communists were so convinced of their correctness that they were prepared to sacrifice millions of people to achieve their socialist utopia.
But you gotta break some eggs to make an ommelette, right sisters?