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Feb 10 2013

War On Men

People like portraying that whatever conflict is a war. Whether it’s against a campaign against something harmful (War on DRUGS!) or a campaign against some nebulous concept such as the War on Terror (Are we going to ban Horror Movies? Are we going to take the fight to the spiders (though weak and woman-like on the battlefield, are masters of the textile arts. Taste like king crab, by the way…).

Zapp Brannigan aside Fox is striking a blow against us filthy feminists (Listen, if you think women are equal to men bar the biological then you are one of us.) through Suzanne Venkman’s latest article.

Norman Vincent Peale, author of “The Power of Positive Thinking,” once wrote these words: “Change your thoughts, and you change your world.”His statement is highlighted at the beginning of my new book, “How to Choose a Husband and Make Peace with Marriage.” Its premise is that if women want to be successful in love, they should reject the cultural script they’ve been sold and adopt a whole new view of men and marriage.

What cultural script? The ENTIRE current cultural script is flogging the notion that the ONLY way for a woman to be happy is by finding a man. We gear our entire western cultural experience with regards to women being told that they need to sort themselves out… The entire male experience consists of “Shave and Get Drunk Because You Are Already Awesome”.

I don’t think Suzanne Venkman lives in the real world. The reason why marriage isn’t high is primarily economics, sexual liberation and people marrying late in life.

As products of divorce, the modern generation has few role models for lasting love. That alone is a problem. But young women have an added burden: they’ve been raised in a society that eschews marriage. They’ve been taught instead to honor sex, singlehood and female empowerment.

They also have fewer role models for sitting through unhappy marriages where your parents pretend to be in love but secretly hate each other. They have more role models for BEING happy. And that’s the IMPORTANT thing. You aren’t happy because you are married but you are married because you are happy. Suzanne forgets that the entire point of a relationship is to be happy.

Really? The biggest selling book for young women is about how awesome it is to be in love with a single pasty sparkly git rather than some buff muscular tanned dude. And this love is immortal and forever and a 16 year old girl’s crushes are extremely sensible method of building a relationship.

I don’t think Suzanne understands female empowerment. Female empowerment means you don’t HAVE to get married to be happy but do so anyways. In a empowered society, Suzanne wouldn’t exist because she is the person running around insisting that the only way women can be happy is if they go through a ceremony involving lots of money and flowers.

Consider this statement by Rebecca Traister in Marie Claire: “The world as we’ve known it for a very long time—one in which a woman’s value was tied to her role as a wife—is ending, right in front of us. It is now standard for a woman to spend years on her own, learning, working, earning, socializing, having sex, and yes, having babies in the manner she—and she alone—sees fit. We are living through the invention of independent female adulthood.”

And thus humanity dies, not with a whimper but with a bang.

This message is not an anomaly; the idea that women don’t need men or marriage is palpable. It began in earnest more than forty years ago, with the modern feminist movement. Feminists assured women their efforts would result in more satisfying marriages, but the result is something else altogether. It looks something like this:

You do not need men. You need PEOPLE in your life. Some of them just happen to be men. Your existence is not validated by the men on your arm.

1. Women postpone marriage indefinitely and move in and out of intense romantic relationships, or even live with their boyfriends for years at a time. Eventually, their biological clocks start ticking and many decide they better hurry up and get married to provide a stable home for their yet-to-be-born children. Trouble is, their boyfriend’s not willing to commit.

Then their hands glow red and it’s time for Carousel.

Isn’t this like the plot to a bad movie? And you make it seem like women move in and out of intense romantic relationships (When people say that I assume that the person they are dating is called Juan and is ripped straight out of a harlequin romance novel and stands around without a shirt a lot…) out of personal choice rather than the relationship going sour. There isn’t some egg timer on the go here, it’s just that the romance is not meant to last because the two people are incompatible and are a lot more honest about the incompatibility than our parents generation where they were stuck.

And this is just a plain insult to the thousands of men who are willing to commit. Honestly I don’t know if this is more sexist against men or women. On the one side women require a man to be happy and on the other side all men are vapid morons who have to be chained to a woman or else they will have the emotional wants of a 8 year old.

2. Marriage becomes a competitive sport. The complementary nature of marriage—in which two people work together, as equals, toward the same goal but with an appreciation for the qualities each gender brings to the table—has been obliterated. Today, husbands and wives are locked in a battle about whom does more on the home front and how they’re going to get everything done. That’s not a marriage. That’s war.

No. That’s a normal discussion of how stuff gets done in the house. I lived with a bunch of guys in university and we too argued about who did more at home and whose turn it was to take the garbage out and cook and do the dishes… Either it’s a normal thing or I was in some sort of bizarre loveless marriage with a bunch of guys.

In the old days you couldn’t get into a battle about who does more on the home front because women cooked and men killed mammoths (or did corporate accounting). That was the division of labour. Now however women are expected to kill mammoths and cook and clean the house. It’s a bit too much work for one human being so labour MUST be divided at home. If one of you does all the work while the other faffs around watching telly then words will ensue.

It’s simple, if you are struggling to mow the lawn while your lovely girlfriend sits on a sunlounger doing something stereotypically female (Reading 50 Shades of Grey and Planning How to Spend Your Divorce Settlement… AM I RITE?) then you are going to think “I wish she would help me out”. Not “I AM A MAN!“.

It’s time to say what no one else will: Feminism didn’t result in equality between the sexes – it resulted in mass confusion. Today, men and women have no idea who’s supposed to do what.

No. The major problem today is men and women are being told to fit into stereotypical roles which are becoming more and more redundant in society.

A man and his son are driving in a car one day, when they get into a fatal accident. The man is killed instantly. The boy is knocked unconscious, but he is still alive. He is rushed to hospital, and will need immediate surgery. The doctor enters the emergency room, looks at the boy, and says…  “I can’t operate on this boy, he is my son.”

How is it possible?

Prior to the 1970s, people viewed gender roles as as equally valuable. Many would argue women had the better end of the deal! It’s hard to claim women were oppressed in a nation in which men were expected to stand up when a lady enters the room or to lay down their lives to spare women life. When the Titanic went down in 1912, its sinking took 1,450 lives. Only 103 were women. One-hundred three.

No they didn’t. What part of the 1970s did you listen to?

Women were also expected to stay at home and not give us blokes any lip lest they knew what was good for them.

Plenty of women in the 1970s spoke out against sexism of the period. They weren’t respected when they tried to work their way up corporate ladders and even highly successful women had to struggle for recognition. For fuck’s sake my mum was refused to be taught Surgery because it was a man’s job. She used to lie to her dad about studying Gynaecology (A woman’s job!). Don’t tell me that wasn’t sexist. What? Women should worry their pretty little heads about dirty things like intestines?

And here is the thing. Feminists Do Not Like That Example. They Do Not Think Men Should Have Died to Save Women but both to save children.

Also? While nearly 95% of women in first class survived less than 50% of women in third class survived. Rich people were more likely to survive and there were a lot more rich women on board.

And one of the most horrifying truths? The notion of “Women and Children” first is a romanticism. It was first done by the HMS Birkenhead where the soldiers loaded the women and children first and themselves last since their “job” was to keep them safe. This was lionised by the Brits since at the time of Empire such fair play was considered as “Dashingly Good”.

The Titanic was an exception. It was pretty much a rarity. It was unheard off to see a Women and Children First Policy. What Suzanne is on about is an aberration rather than the rule.

Compare that with last year’s wrecked cruise line, the Costa Concordia. It resulted in fewer deaths, but there was another significant difference. “There was no ‘women and children first’ policy. There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats. It was disgusting,” said passenger Sandra Rogers, 62.

While the Life Boats on the Titanic allegedly went out with spaces empty because “Women and Children First” was treated as “Women and Children Only”.

And the significant difference was on the Titanic there were not enough lifeboats while on the Costa Concordia there were more than enough to safely evacuate the ship. We don’t HAVE to instate a women and children first policy because we aren’t idiots and have actually created a system where everyone can live.

The captain of the ship agrees. In USA Today, Francesco Schettino was asked about his New Year’s resolution. He responded, “Bone up on the parts about ‘women and children first’ and ‘the captain goes down with his ship.’”

Perhaps the good captain could bone up on not recklessly endangering the lives of people through stupid stunts. Costa Concordia sank after it hulled itself when “the good captain” turned off safety equipment because it kept making distressing repeated noises and it was ruining his ability to show off near the shore. Perhaps this man shouldn’t be in charge of a ship and perhaps this man really shouldn’t be the spokesman for “women and children first” because he is a poster child for “bad decision making”.

You see, the problem with equality is that it implies two things are interchangeable – meaning one thing can be substituted for the other with no ramifications. That is what feminists would have us believe, and anyone who contradicts this dogma is branded sexist.

And this is a problem how?

But the truth must be heard. Being equal in worth, or value, is not the same as being identical, interchangeable beings. Men and women may be capable of doing many of the same things, but that doesn’t mean they want to. That we don’t have more female CEOs or stay-at-home dads proves this in spades.

Oh right…

No individuals are not identical and interchangeable. This applies within men as within women. There are men who cannot do what I do but there are women who can. There are women who can disimpact a bowel with a smile on her face and there are men who go cross eyed and leave the room for air. You cannot say that individuals are different and then tar all women and all men with the same brush.

I use the example of women in Engineering. Americans say women don’t go into engineering because women have biological issues with mathematics (I don’t know… Vaginas make you bad at Countery Matters) but I know for a fact that women in India do just as well as men at mathematics in engineering and computer science courses that involve it because there is no cultural stereotype claiming women cannot do mathematics.

We don’t have more Female CEOs because in the 70s and 80s the workplace was pretty sexist and the attitude to female salarymen was “What’s a pretty little thing like you doing here” rather than “Here’s the Jones Report”. When given opportunity these women do as well as men do. And there is a massive social stigma associated with Stay at Home Dads preventing men from doing it. It’s not that men won’t do it as a job it’s that men are actively mocked for doing it.

Just like men are mocked for being Nurses. Even today when the intake of male nurses are at it’s highest level in history just 15% of Nurse intake is Male. They do face a lot of sexism, but things are progressing a lot.

Unless, of course, you’re beholden to feminism. In that case, you’ll believe the above is evidence of discrimination. You’ll believe what feminists taught you to believe: that gender is a social construct.

No. If you are a feminist then you think women are capable of the same things as men and should be treated the same bar the obvious biological differences. Gender is a biological notion, the treatment of each is a purely social construct as seen by different female roles across the world.

If you are beholding to feminism you will recognise that there is something inherently fishy about women never becoming CEOs. You will then go investigate as to why they aren’t becoming CEOs and then listen to stories about how women were excluded from events or were ignored or were called names. Maybe Suzanne lived in a world where no one really threw these rocks at her meteoric rise to fame but honestly her statement is “Feminists Are Stupid, Stay At Home And Drink While Husband Brings Home Bacon!”.

Those of us with children know better. We know little girls love their dolls and boys just want to kick that ball. This doesn’t mean men can’t take care of babies or women can’t play sports. It just means each gender has its own energy that flows in a specific direction. For God’s sake, let it flow.

Little Girls Love Dolls Because Little Girls Are Given Dolls, Little Boys Love Tools Because Little Boys Are Given Tools. If we showed little girls the story of Lyudmilla Pavlichenko, The Maid of Orleans and The Queen of Jhansi they too would run around pretending to fight the evil Red Coats with swords and guns like our young boys rather than smelly dolls.

We know play influences gender roles. We would rather our kids played gender roles that didn’t chain them to stupid stereotypes. And I understand how much it influences what we do in life.

My favourite toy was a genuine medical kit. My “toy” syringe was real. I had real eye droppers and an old stethoscope. I actually joke that I have used my stethoscope for nearly 25 years since I carry the one given to me to play with…

And I would be lying if I didn’t say that the “toys” my parents gave me (Basically their old equipment so I could clonk around the hospital pretending to be one of them) didn’t influence my decisions and expectations in life. My parents didn’t think about it as much as people in sociology and psychology would.

The battle of the sexes is over. And guess what? No one won. Why not try something else on for size? Like this: men and women are equal, but different. They’ve each been blessed with amazing and unique qualities that they bring to the table. Isn’t it time we stopped fussing about who brought what and simply enjoy the feast?

Actually? Women won. Suzanne literally lives in a world where she yearns for the notion of chivalry as if the period was a great time to be a woman. Her entire notion of Chivalry seems to be born out of Arthurian Legend.

The entire joke is that she actually wants a world more repressive to both genders. She forgets that in the past women couldn’t earn as much as men and weren’t respected. She also forgets that men were literally often slaves to the wage and could not express their own interests. A woman working increases the amount of money being earned and gives a couple the ability to afford more luxuries.

She also contradicts herself. Women and Children First indicate men aren’t as important as women rather than the equality she so claims to pursue.

A terrible argument through and through and a testament to the real trouble facing young kids who are often subject to parents who believe in this kind of silliness.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    Cuttlefish

    My response was considerably shorter (but, hey, it rhymed): http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/2013/02/08/men-and-women-arent-equal/

    I didn’t want to waste the time… but I am very glad someone did.

  2. 2
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Well that is a dismantling if I’ve ever seen one.

  3. 3
    AsqJames

    men and women are equal, but different

    I can’t work out whether she’s intellectually unable to recognise the similarity to “separate but equal”, unaware of the historical context of that phrase, thinks her readers don’t know/won’t make the connection or hopes they do and is appealing to their bigotry.

  4. 4
    morsgotha

    We gear our entire western cultural experience with regards to women being told that they need to sort themselves out… The entire male experience consists of “Shave and Get Drunk Because You Are Already Awesome”.

    For those who didn’t get the reference, its’s from this awesome Mitchell and Webb sketch

  5. 5
    Adam

    Brilliant article/rebuttal.

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