Why did this feminist experiment in gender neutrality fail?
And are we just repeating its mistakes?
"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)."
"feminism is just another social experiment like communism i.e. a nice Utopian idea, but always going to fail because it gets hijacked by corrupt leaders but supported by enough fear and ignorance to prolong the agony of its existence."
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?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Thanks for posting this very revealing story.
I used to think that feminism was just about men and women respecting each other and having an equal opportunity to do whatever it is they are good at. However when I studied gender studies at university I began to realise that feminism is just another social experiment like communism i.e. a nice Utopian idea, but always going to fail because it gets hijacked by corrupt leaders but supported by enough fear and ignorance to prolong the agony of its existence.
One day people are going to wake up to what is going on.Source(s): http://www.freewebs.com/feminism-evaluated/
- Dan ALv 61 decade ago
Well it was pretty obvious what the results would be....
People have existed for thousands of years and in every corner of the globe throughout the ages society's and cultures found all were based on similar structures. Gender neutrality will never happen just like how humans cannot beat the weather or an earthquake there are things about nature that humans simply do not have control over.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
It failed because it was based on a false ideology, and the same holds true for the abysmal failure of Communism.
Men and women are biologically programmed to be how they are at a minimum of 50% and the rest is achieved through socialization. When a group of fools who want to experiment on live human subjects forces others to capitulate to their false notions, it only harms entire generations of people. If it makes you feel any better Feminism is also doomed to complete failure as well. So what if it causes the complete collapse of western society in the process? The little girls had their fun at playing man.
- regjoeschmoLv 41 decade ago
All one has to do to understand these situations is to look up evolutionary psychology. Our psyches are embedded with thousands of generational programming, and we cannot hope to achieve any sense of change in just one or even a few generations. We can however give people the choice and the ability to decide where they want to be in life and let these roles dissolve themselves......
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- 1 decade ago
What Rio said. Change takes time - you can't just decide that "okay, we're going to drop gender segregation" and expect it to work in every case right away.
- JackLv 71 decade ago
You cannot teach a person who is unwilling to learn. Some will not hear anything contrary to their belief. They just won't hear it.
Do what is right. Do what is good. Nothing more can be asked of you.
- 1 decade ago
The experiment didn't fail. It suceeded.
It proves that if you give people FULL gender equality most will happily chose to take up their natural roles.
The world won't end and society won't collapse but there's one crucial difference; people have the choice.
Unfortunately we don't have an equal society nowadays. And right now society is collapsing. Men NEED to be given equal rights to women in order for equilibrium to be restored.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
The first generation of people had already grown up believing in traditional roles. All they did was say "this is going to change." It changed, but that wouldn't change the fact that these first people grew up and then had those changed thrust on them. They should have started this with children, not adults that already had their beliefs on gender roles.
- Rio MadeiraLv 71 decade ago
The experiment was fundamentally flawed. The adult men and women in the first experiment has already been raised to believe in traditional sexual differentiations, and couldn't give them up as easily as the researchers may have wanted them to; I hardly think it would take only one generation to change that significantly. And for the results to be clearcut evidence of unchanging human nature, they would have to establish a genetic causal relationship to their behaviours.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
feminism is whack...