A Church backed study has caused controversy by citing "female empowerment" as a major cause of family break up according to The Telegraph.
It describes an increase in the number of mothers going back to work when their babies are less than a year old as a "massive" social change and cites the fact that women are now less dependent on their husbands as a cause of family break-up.
One of the myths of feminism is this "dependency" belief. The whole point of a marriage is to create a partnership. Yes, women depended on their husbands for money, but husbands were equally dependent on the wives to manage the home and, for the most part and certainly true in the kind of working class household I grew up in, that usually meant that the women controlled the purse strings entirely.
Yes, my mother had a weekly "housekeeping budget" and yes my dad had a say in how much that was, but my dad also had a weekly "allowance" which was also agreed by both. Like many working class homes back then, my dad brought home his weekly pay packet which he handed to my mum.
The issue of "dependency" only arose when the family broke up and this was why most couples preferred to work to resolve their problems rather than turn to divorce as a first resort at the slightest difficulty.
I'm not denying that their were bad men back then who dominated, bullied, abused and assaulted their wives, but I doubt that it was anything like as prevalent as it is today. The only reason we believe it was commonplace is the modern mythology created by countless TV documentaries and programmes that portray it that way in the past and the proliferation of feminist writers who draw on their own narrow, often middle class (and usually anecdotal) experiences.
I'd also argue that so called female "empowerment" (actually, feminist doctrine) has left many women feeling less empowered and more unsatisfied. Many women envy their mothers and grandmothers and would like nothing more than the kind of family security which they enjoyed, but because the sisterhood demands that they follow the feminist path they feel compelled to reject the very things they truly desire.
Ironically, the female "empowerment" has actually empowered men far more than women in many ways. Women may have sought sexual liberation, but they are still constrained by biology and the fact that men don't get pregnant. This has led to men being able to enjoy guilt and conscious free sex with multiple partners - so depriving women of the one thing they always had complete power over.
The point is that marriage is all about partnerships and that dependency - on both sides - is part of that. If none of us depended on anyone else would that make the world a better place? I don't think so - just more selfish.