Is the rise of atheism and feminism destroying the “traditional family?”

April 6, 2007 at 6:23 am 11 comments

2005 Major World Religions BreakdownAccording to Wikipedia, over half of the world’s population profess to be followers of Christianity and Islam. These religions have significantly contributed to what many consider “traditional family” concepts. However, whether or not atheism and feminism are the underlying reasons these concepts are quickly becoming obsolete is questionable. I think there were several factors working together that ushered in a new type of family framework for the 21st century family.

The industrial age, with its long working hours, certainly did not help the traditional family. In fact, this era seems to be the beginning of the end for the concept of a working father with a housewife and good little kiddies at home.

The sexual revolution helped everyone shake their prudish ways and realize there was more to life than a single monogamous relationship. Men have known this for thousands of years, but the sexual revolution opened the door for women to put aside their religious teachings to instead explore their sexuality.

Of course, feminism (with some help from WWII) did introduce women into the work force en mass, which reshaped the family life at the end of a long work day. Equal education and equal opportunity programs opened a whole new world to the long deprived female who could now spread her intellectual and creative wings.

The sum total of these events, along with many others, has brought the traditional family concept to the brink of extinction, but in all honesty – it was high time for that archaic model to be tossed out anyhow.

Any system that functions on the assumption that one person in a group is better than the rest in that group based on gender, race or religion is as tired and dirty as King Tut’s dusty grave. The traditional family, as defined by Christianity and Islam, gave this primary role to the husband/father while the others were all subject to this rule.

The assumption that every man is a good leader just because he is a man, and that the family is in good hands if it submits to that leadership is as absurd as believing that every American is fit to be President simply because they are Americans. We know this is wrong, just look at our current example.

The decaying traditional family concept is good for everyone since it is quickly being replaced by a new model that assumes equality and rejects sexism.

If people want to blame the breakdown of the traditional family on feminists and atheists, I for one will gladly accept the blame.

- by Stellar1

Entry filed under: Stellar1. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Austin Cline  |  April 6, 2007 at 7:02 am

    “The industrial age, with its long working hours, certainly did not help the traditional family. In fact, this era seems to be the beginning of the end for the concept of a working father with a housewife and good little kiddies at home.”

    Actually, I believe that this notion of a “traditional family” just being the husband, wife, and kids started at the time of the industrial age. Before that, broad extended families tended to live under one roof.

    I recommend these books on the subject of so-called “traditional” marriage:

    http://atheism.about.com/od/bookreviews/fr/WhatMarriageFor.htm

    http://atheism.about.com/od/bookreviews/fr/MarriageHistory.htm

    http://atheism.about.com/od/bookreviews/fr/PublicVows.htm

  • 2. stellar1  |  April 6, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Austin,

    You have given me something to think about and I will take a look at your links. However, I still maintain that the patriarchal system – established by the Bible and the Koran – mandating the man as the head of the family and the wife being merely his subject, began thousands of years ago.

    Certainly through the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, and in fact until just a decade or so ago, men have been the rulers of the family. It is this concept that I take to task in my definition of a “traditional family.” It is quite obvious that men are no longer the assumed head of every home. It is becoming more and more common to see both men and women working together to lead the family.

  • 3. Austin Cline  |  April 6, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Oh, the *patriarchal system* where men are in charge of families is certainly thousands of years old. But “the family” was much more than just the wife and kiddies. It could include a very extended set of relatives and even servants, slaves, etc. Moreover, the wife was often working very hard, too. She didn’t have an independent career, but she wasn’t sitting at home, either. In fact, men and women chose mates (or their families did for them) based on whether they seemed like they would be good workers and thus help ensure survival.

    I wasn’t disagreeing that the “patriarchal system” has changed, merely that the narrow definition of “family” which so many insist on calling “traditional” is very old.

    In fact, what many regard as the normal pattern of families only existed for a brief time during the 50s and 60s. It took a little over a hundred years to build up to that point, but it wasn’t very stable and didn’t take long to begin falling apart.

  • 4. hazel8500  |  April 7, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Nicely stated!

  • 5. Vivian  |  March 23, 2009 at 10:13 am

    Excellent post Stellar! Yes, I myself also think feminism, in its definition, is incompatible with theism (ie, Christianity/Islam). Thus one would presume all feminists to also be atheists, since these monotheistic religions are inherently sexist and patriarchal.

    P.S. I also think the very term “feminism” should be rendered obsolete; as anyone who fights for/believes in gender equality IS a feminist. Hence, who ISN’T a feminist then?

  • 6. vera meyer  |  June 19, 2009 at 9:53 am

    It seems to me that although traditional feminism may be dead, a new and more reasonable form may now have the opportunity to thrive in these interesting times. Here are the basic tenets of Libertarian Feminism, to which I personally subscribe.

    encourage women to become economically self-sufficient and psychologically independent;

    publicize and promote realistic attitudes toward female competence, achievement, and potential;

    oppose the abridgment of individual rights by any government on account of sex;

    work toward changing sexist attitudes and behavior exhibited by individuals;

    provide a libertarian alternative to those aspects of the women’s movement that foster dependence and collectivism.

    For more information, see the posted link.

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