#MeToo is perceived as a feminist crusade, but the truth is more complicated. Feminists were early adopters of the sexual revolution, perceiving it as a key tenet of their liberation agenda. By rejecting modesty, courtship, and chivalry, feminists of the 1960s and 1970s rejected the safe harbor of marriage and family and invited the social chaos that has left so many women struggling to raise children by themselves and feeling exhausted, insecure, and cynical. It has also left many men aimless, addicted, angry, and alone.
Feminism need not have rejected marriage and family stability to achieve greater market opportunities for women. In fact, the trend of women entering the paid work force predated Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique (1963), and arguably owed more to the shift toward an information economy than to the Sisterhood. Between 1940 and 1956, the number of women in the work force doubled from 15 to 30 percent, and rose steadily thereafter. As sociologist Daniel Bell noted in 1956, women were to be found in nearly every field, from railroad trainmen, to baggage handlers, to glaziers, to auctioneers.