You might sincerely wonder whether radical feminists enjoy anything at all. For some, it seems like every occasion or utterance triggers outrage.
Accepting his award for Best Actor in La La Land at the Golden Globes on Sunday, Ryan Gosling singled out his girlfriend Eva Mendes for extra special thanks. He said:
… while I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one of the best experiences I’ve ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer. If she hadn’t have taken all that on so that I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today.
Sweet, right? Not according to killjoy Narjas Zatat writing for the Independent:
Despite the swooning on social media for his Notebook-esque outpouring, I can’t help but feel that Eva Mendes, an award-winning actor in her own right, took one for the team and provided the emotional labour needed for Gosling to further his own career.
Gosling’s appreciation for his partner, may be genuine but it plays into structural inequality women face in the workplace, least of all Hollywood. Yes, Mendes has agency, and the decision to put her career on the back burner for the sake of her husband’s was hers, but why did she have to make that decision to begin with?
Set aside for the moment that Gosling and Mendes likely have the means to hire whatever help they desire in caring for their growing brood. Let’s imagine that they didn’t. Let’s imagine that Mendes truly “had to” care for her children to afford Gosling the opportunity to work on La La Land.
What’s the problem? Is she chained to a post in the kitchen? Is she breastfeeding at gunpoint? Did Gosling somehow coerce or cajole her into taking on a maternal role?
It’s safe to say, judging by Gosling’s eagerness to thank Mendes for her invaluable contribution to his success, that Mendes indeed chose to contribute. She didn’t “have to.” She wanted to. It may be difficult for radical feminists like Zatat to understand. But isn’t it possible that Mendes made her choice because she loves her boyfriend and their children? Is that not a legitimate, healthy, and even admirable motivation?
Zatat and radical feminists of like mind aspire to a world where every domestic duty is split 50/50. Even better in their mind would be flipping traditional male and female roles entirely, making the woman the primary breadwinner while the man becomes a domestic engineer. While there are certainly circumstances where traditional roles are blended or flipped, this idea that women are somehow oppressed by their own biology reeks of lunacy.
Even if you take gender out of it, the fact remains that partnership thrives on complementary action. A couple that attempts to split the dishes, the laundry, the mowing, and the vehicle maintenance will be a couple perpetually inefficient and at odds. Such “equity” invites competition and resentment, as each partner keeps silent score of the quantity and quality of what the other has done. By contrast, when partners take on complementary tasks, it fosters an environment of appreciation and cheerleading. That’s why Gosling thanked his Mendes. It’s also, presumably, why she does not resent him.
One must lead a joyless life to find fault with a husband appreciating his wife and thanking her publicly for supporting him and their family. Why not give Mendes credit for the strength to take on her chosen tasks? Surely, if she had some objection to how Gosling treats her, she stands fully capable of dealing with it.
Of course, Mendes likely harbors no such objection. She likely appreciated the love and recognition offered by Gosling from the Golden Globes stage. The sad thing is, her compliant and eager willingness to assume the role of mother likely offends Zatat as much as Gosling’s remarks. In the eyes of radical feminists, happiness in a traditional role proves worse than any imagined oppression. That’s crazy when you think about it. As proves so often the case with the left, they would rather equalize misery than see someone happy amidst the status quo.