Is Feminism responsible for a lack of commitment in young men and women?

I recently did an author interview for Michael James Gallagher (read interview here) and he had two very interesting questions.

  1. Why are both 20-something men and women not particularly interested in commitment?
  2. Has the North American brand of feminism had any influence on this phenomenon?

I must admit, I had never considered a relationship between feminism and lack of commitment. Is there one? I’m no sociologist, so I can’t give you any statistics to prove one way or the other that Feminism is responsible for a lack of commitment by both men and women. All I can say is that based on my own observations, it’s plausible.

What’s your evidence, you ask?

I have friends and relatives, in their late twenties to early thirties and I have noticed that they are all still single. They are all independent, educated young men and women and while it seems most of them are looking for a committed relationship, there doesn’t seem to be anyone who is even remotely interested in having a romantic relationship. What gives? I hear from the ladies: he’s gay, he’s married, he has a girlfriend, or the worst one of all: he just wants to be friends. I thought it was men who ended in the ‘friend zone,’ not women. Go Feminism!

So why are so many young men and women commitment shy? Is Feminism responsible for this phenomenon? I answer with complete and total confidence: maybe.

First of all, let’s talk about Feminism. What is it? Feminism is the idea that men and women should be treated equally.

Now that we have a textbook definition, what the heck does that mean? It means that women are no longer expected to be housewives and mothers. Women are empowered to get an education and a career. They can be anything they want to be, including a housewife. Thankfully, because of the Feminist movement, women can make choices for themselves. And that may be the center of this commitment issue.

Are (female) Feminists afraid to commit because they feel they are letting down the Feminist movement? Are male (Feminists) afraid to ask for commitment because they think this goes against the idea of Feminism? (I think this topic needs to be discussed and I welcome your thoughtful comments below or on FB.)

We need to stop and look at the big picture. The whole idea behind the movement was for women to be treated equally, for us to have the same options as men and for us to have a choice. While Feminism has made great strides over the last few decades, the fight is still not over.

So what does this mean for young men and women of today? We need to stop labeling people and stop assuming we know what they want. Just because a woman is a feminist doesn’t mean she’s only career oriented. I am a feminist and I wanted it all: a career, a husband and children. I realized early on that education was the key to my freedom. I wanted to have choices in my life, so my primary goal was to get an education so that I could support myself. I didn’t want to rely on anyone else, because that gave them power over me. I earned my Bachelor’s degree and set out to start living my life. My next goal was to become successful and maybe look for a husband. I focused on my career, not dating at all because I couldn’t find anyone interested. So I gave up. I figured that despite my wishes, it wasn’t meant to be. I continued to focus on my career and one day I realized that my friend was The One.

(Shameless plug- check out my FREE ebook, Finding The One. IF it’s not free on Amazon, simply submit a price match and give them the link to the same book on Barnes and Nobles’ website. Finding The One is also on Kobo and Smashwords and several of their distributors’ sites.)

Eventually we got married and I continued to work. I went back to work after my first child was born. Hubby was there when I delivered our child and he did his share of changing diapers and feeding our baby. With the birth of our second child, however, I had to stop and reconsider my options. Continue working and pay a stranger to care for my children? Or give up my career to take care of my children? (At that point, he made more money than I did.) From an economical standpoint, it made sense for me to stay home. Why work to pay someone else to take care of my children? Especially since that meant once I worked all day, I’d have to come home and take care of the kids, make dinner and do chores. Even with hubby doing his share, it wouldn’t be worth the stress. From an emotional standpoint, we would be missing out on our children’s formative years.

But could I become dependent on him? Could I rely on him to be my partner and not turn into my ‘master’? I struggled with that the longest. Eventually I had to trust that my husband and best friend, my partner would still be my partner. He knew I hated to be ‘dependent’ on him and we discussed it at great length. Eventually I decided to bite the bullet and quit my job. For me, it was the best decision I ever made. I enjoy being at home with my children and I know I’m making a difference in their education. Our relationship has grown stronger because of the trust we have in each other. And he is still my partner. As for being the ‘master’…only in the bedroom…when I’m in the mood….

I have an independent streak a mile wide and I was unable to stay unemployed for long. I’ve always wanted to write, so with Hubby’s encouragement, I decided to write. Erotica. I’ve published five novellas so far (only four are erotica). It’s not a career (not yet!) but it alleviates my need to be independent. I relied on myself for so long, I didn’t know how to rely on someone else. I would say that I have the best of both worlds. Not only did I get my cake, but I get to eat it too….

So if you are commitment shy, or your significant other seems to be, don’t assume anything. Bite the bullet and TALK to them. If I hadn’t decided to drop some hints to my friend (who was secretly in love with me), he never would have asked me out. The best decision I ever made was to take control of my life. Don’t you think it’s time you do the same?

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