The Legacy of the 19th Amendment
State of the Union: Can the corporate girlboss respect the life of the homesteading tradwife, or vice versa, in 2023?
On August 26, 1920, the 19th amendment was adopted into the U.S. Constitution, opening the doors of opportunity to women across the country. If I wasn’t reminded of this anniversary while scrolling through Twitter, I probably would have forgotten about it. The rights provided to women since the 1920s seem like no-brainers to a 21-year-old woman like me living in 21st-century America.
Mobility, education, and suffrage are all things I, along with millions of other girls across the U.S., have access to almost without question. For most logical people, it would be silly to deny that women are freer and luckier than ever before. However, there are plenty on both extremes of the political spectrum who would disagree.
On the political left, radical feminists, whose heartfelt slogans include “Kill all men!” or “Hands off my uterus!” blame nearly every problem they face on the dreaded patriarchy. One salient example of the type is Rachel Zegler, an actress who will play Snow White in the upcoming remake of the eponymous classic movie in 2024.
The German folktale that Disney’s Snow White is based on describes the main character as having “Skin as white as snow.” Zegler, being a Latina actress of Colombian descent, obviously does not fit the bill, but the unnecessary race-swap had the potential to be forgiven. Zegler is extremely beautiful and could definitely pass as a Disney princess…until she opens her mouth.
Interviews with Zegler have made headlines over the past few weeks. In these videos, Zegler comes off as pretentious, ungrateful, and unaware of the legacy her character carries.
In one interview, she said,
I just mean that it’s no longer 1937…she’s not going to be saved by the prince, and she’s not going to be dreaming about true love; she’s going to be dreaming about becoming the leader she knows she can be.
The reality is that the cartoon was made 85 years ago and, therefore, it’s extremely dated when it comes to the ideas of women being in roles of power and what a woman is fit for in the world. And so when we came to reimagining the actual role of Snow White, it became about the fairest of them all meaning: who’s the most just?
These statements reflect the 2023 version of feminism. It is no longer how important it is for us to uplift each other in our femininity, but rather about hijacking what femininity actually means. It is women like Zegler who provide fuel for the fires of those who lie on the opposite extreme.
I recently came across an online personality and prolific tweeter by the name of Hannah Pearl Davis. “Pearl” has become popular for the radical comments she makes about women (notably that the 19th amendment should be repealed, women are always at fault if men cheat on them, etc.), amassing over two million followers across X, Instagram, and YouTube. Here are some other examples of her musings:
Pearl is so insecure in her own femininity that she feels the need to project her feelings onto womanhood as a whole. In trying to reclaim feminism, she destroys feminine integrity and value in the process. Despite this, her words are not just championed by a male audience, but by some women as well. Why?
There is a crisis surrounding femininity in America right now. Many women aspire to have a successful career, to climb the corporate ladder, to break glass ceilings. At the same time, social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram show a rise in content from women who want to lead a traditional lifestyle by having children, cleaning, cooking, staying home, etc. These two “groups,” unfortunately, are often pit against one another.
Can the corporate girlboss respect the life of the homesteading tradwife, or vice versa, in 2023? Why are people deluded into thinking that strength and femininity cannot coexist?
National Review’s Haley Strack puts it very well:
Women...deserve to be taken seriously. Especially when we grow older and consider starting families, women face sincere confusion about how to be industrious without letting work consume personal life. We want to know how best to bridge the gap between career and family.
America’s women need to reevaluate the priorities of the feminist movement. If we don’t, the conversation will be monopolized by fringe characters like Zegler and Pearl, and what a nightmare that would be.