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The feminist message I responded (favorably) to was independence. Women are perfectly capable of managing their own affairs without being dependent on men, and should (or must) assert independence because of the costs. In the end, the one who pays the piper calls the tune, and feminists regard the quid pro quo for relying on men with horror.
Now we have Julia. Ann Althouse links to a Washington Post op-ed that asserts
What I want to know is: Why the Hell doesn’t that generate outrage? “Julia” is totally dependent; she does not (cannot?) make a single move in her life that doesn’t depend on Government support. It’s a direct, in-your-face contradiction of the ideal of independence from women.
At least some of the associated commentary assumes, without explicitly stating it, that being dependent on Government is superior to being dependent on “the Patriarchy” because Government won’t demand anything in return. The “story of Julia” directly contradicts even that, at least on one point — “Julia” runs her own business for several years, at least, but doesn’t make enough out of it for a comfortable retirement; she then has to depend on Social Security in her Golden Years. All the small business owners I know, a considerable number, make an explicit point of doing their damnedest to sock away enough that when they retire they don’t have to live on beans and cornbread. Where did Julia’s profits from her business go? Did Government take them all away, leaving her with nothing of her own to live on? It would seem so. Was that a good trade, worthy of her sacrificing her independence in order to batten off others including other Julias?