Gen Z and millennial women are waking up to the lies feminists fed them

Gen Z and millennial women are waking up to the lies feminists fed them


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I read with a mixture of sadness and relief an essay by one Melissa Persling, who by all accounts represents the average 30-something woman in America today. In the article, she laments the fact that she’s single at 38 and feels “unbelievably betrayed by feminism.” 

Persling feels that way because it is that way. For decades our culture has failed women by spreading falsehood after falsehood about men, marriage, motherhood and career. It’s been a slow, daily drip of “You go, Girl!” messages, specifically designed to delete men and babies from life’s equation. And it has wreaked havoc on women’s lives. 

In an interview with Fox News, Persling explained why she wrote her article. “I wrote a lot of that article like truly scared … I really did think, like, wow, you’ve missed your opportunity. You are going to be alone. You’re not going to have a family.” 

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She adds, “I was constantly fed this idea that women can do everything. We don’t really need men … I do feel in many ways betrayed by that line of thinking.” 

Women are realizing that feminism took away traditional roles but didn’t replace them with a new model for life. (iStock)

Persling then concedes that she received this message from “so many of the women” in her life. “I want to go back to some of those teachers and coaches and say, ‘What the hell did you mean by that? Because we can’t do it all. We can’t. That’s a lie!’” 

Yes, it was all a lie — and good on Persling for calling it out in such a public way. 

Still, it’s a super hard pill to swallow, made worse by the fact that Persling has been slammed with hateful comments, particularly from men, who insist she’s been selfish. She’s a product of her choices, they say, and, well, too bad. 

It’s not that simple. 

As a life and relationship coach, I hear regularly from women like Persling who realize they’ve been duped by the narrative that being an independent, self-sustaining woman is enough to be happy. It makes perfect sense that these women would find themselves, down the road, overcome with grief at the prospect of living life alone. And they can’t turn to the culture for help because the culture hails singlehood as the be all, end all. 

Persling was smart to recognize that being a product of divorce also put her at a disadvantage since she saw women “taking care of everything” in life. Her mother may not have specifically groomed her to be a feminist, but she absorbed the feminist message of not needing a man all the same. No one told her otherwise. 

America is now saturated with women like Persling, who acted upon the wisdom passed along to them by the people they most trusted. These women thought they did everything right, only to have it turn out all wrong. To accept that the advice they received was based on lies is a hard lesson for anyone to learn. 

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The truth is, this purportedly “liberated” path women have been groomed to travel has a domino effect. Because if the goal isn’t marriage and family, what is the goal? To be satisfied with being single forever because at least you have a paycheck and no one to whom you must answer? As Persling said, “I don’t want to wake up at 60 and say, ‘Oh, well, I had a lot of fun!’” 

Persling then concedes that she received this message from “so many of the women” in her life. “I want to go back to some of those teachers and coaches and say, ‘What the hell did you mean by that? Because we can’t do it all. We can’t. That’s a lie!’” 

The problem with the narrative women have been fed is that it deleted the old way but didn’t replace it with anything new. It conveniently left out the details about how women are supposed to live their lives instead. 

I believe Persling when she said she’s “not even a feminist.” That’s the thing about movements and trends: They seep into the culture to such a degree that they cease to need a name at all. You don’t even recognize it’s there, and yet it’s governing your every move. 

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As Danielle Crittenden wrote in “What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us,” feminism “had seeped into their minds like intravenous saline into the arm of an unconscious patient. They were feminists without knowing it.” 

But now, thanks to Persling’s bravery, more women will wake up. 

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