Men are in big trouble. We’re slothful, clueless, adrift on the wind, unable to deal with a world that has changed. There’s no place in modern society for men, and that’s why men are now way behind women and falling further back each day. All the good men have gone away, because society won’t let men be good.
At least, that’s the story we keep hearing. The End of Men has been a topic of discussion since at least 2000, when Christina Hoff Sommers wrote The War Against Boys, and continued on with Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men. Now, Suzanne Venker adds to the mythos, with a new article on Fox News’ online site proclaiming the bitter “War on Men.”
It may come as some news to women and men alike that men are doomed. After all, men still out-earn women despite the efforts of three generations of feminists. Nevertheless, folks like Venker love to talk about exactly how men have been hurt by a society in which women are allowed to compete with men on a level playing field.
As is often the case, Venker starts with an appeal to the Most Important Thing Any Woman Could Want, Marriage:
The battle of the sexes is alive and well. According to Pew Research Center, the share of women ages eighteen to thirty-four that say having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives rose nine percentage points since 1997 – from 28 percent to 37 percent. For men, the opposite occurred. The share voicing this opinion dropped, from 35 percent to 29 percent.
Believe it or not, modern women want to get married. Trouble is, men don’t.
Yes, men refuse to get married, which is why 100 percent of marriages were between women in states where same-sex marriage is legal. Well, those and the two million-odd other marriages that happened. Still, it’s obvious that some women have trouble finding a man that they want to marry. (Men, of course, do not ever want to marry.) So what’s to blame? According to Venker, it’s women — or what passes for women these days.
As the author of three books on the American family and its intersection with pop culture [...] I’ve spoken with hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women. And in doing so, I’ve accidentally stumbled upon a subculture of men who’ve told me, in no uncertain terms, that they’re never getting married. When I ask them why, the answer is always the same.
Women aren’t women anymore.
Women are no longer women, but she-demons, who come from the great land across the sea. They do not love, but rather devour their mates, bones and all. Who could love such a creature?
I kid, of course. If you’ve met any women lately, they seem, well, pretty much like women. They’re, you know, female and such. Most men have little problem dealing with women like the women they are. Sure, there is the odd Men Going Their Own Way group, who Venker cites, but the MGTOWers aren’t representative of more than a small, emotionally-stunted group of misanthropes. They hardly represent mainstream thought among straight men, most of whom still find women to be attractive.
Nevertheless, Venker tells us that women have changed, thanks to the sexual revolution, while men haven’t changed, because we guys already worked. Of course, she simply skips over that epiphany, and mutters that women have been taught to think of men as “the enemy,” and pushed men off of our pedestals so they could take our place.
Venker is on to something here — men have, indeed, been taken down a notch by women. Actually, that’s not quite right — men haven’t been taken down a notch, but women have clambered up to near-equal status. Men haven’t fallen any, but women are no longer as far beneath us as they were before they stood up and demanded better.
Some men may find this discomfiting, to be sure — it’s easier to out-compete women when they start out behind you, after all — but happily for society, those men aren’t calling the shots anymore.
Venker wishes they could.
It is precisely this dynamic – women good/men bad – that has destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Yet somehow, men are still to blame when love goes awry. Heck, men have been to blame since feminists first took to the streets in the 1970s.
But what if the dearth of good men, and ongoing battle of the sexes, is – hold on to your seats – women’s fault?
Well, the “battle of the sexes,” such as it is, must by definition be partly women’s fault. It takes at least two to battle. But by definition, it’s also men’s fault. A fair amount of it is nobody’s fault — a good deal of the “battle” is just men and women growing up to realize, to their shock, that men and women are really both human, and the minor differences between them are swamped by the vast similarities. At that point, many (though not all) men and women find partners, many (though not all) of the opposite sex, and start going through life as part of a cooperative endeavor. Which is far more fun than battling, I think we can all agree.
Of course, discussing cooperation doesn’t generate nearly the page-views as claiming that women are destroying men, so Venker goes with that.
Contrary to what feminists like Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, say, the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off. It has also undermined their ability to become self-sufficient in the hopes of someday supporting a family. Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.
They won’t? Most women are perfectly fine with their partners working to provide for and protect their family. They just don’t feel that men alone should be able to do so. Women actually enjoy providing for and protecting their family too. I suppose it’s in their DNA, but it’s also simply in taking pride in your accomplishments, and making sure that people who depend on you are taken care of.
Or as Venker says:
It’s all so unfortunate – for women, not men.
Exactly. Wait, what?
Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.
Photo: x-ray delta one/flickr
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