First there was a war on Christmas, then religion, and now this. According to Fox News, there is new war on the horizon, the war on men.
Over the weekend, Fox published an essay from Suzanne Venker–a Conservative social critic loved by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Dr. James Dobson—which argued that men are being crushed by women who are taking up all of spots in college and the good jobs.
Venker cites a Pew Research study which states that 37 of women ages of 18 to 34 say that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in life, while only 29 percent of men feel the same way. For Venker, this proves men are uninterested in getting married, and there’s one reason why: “Women aren’t women anymore.”
To say gender relations have changed dramatically is an understatement. Ever since the sexual revolution, there has been a profound overhaul in the way men and women interact. Men haven’t changed much – they had no revolution that demanded it – but women have changed dramatically.
In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs.
Now the men have nowhere to go.
Venker goes on to blame feminism, and namely women’s trek from the kitchen to college campuses and the workforce for the decline in “good men.” She argues that men these days feel less manly and are less likely to marry because the influx of women into the workplace has “undermined [men’s] ability to become self-sufficient.” How? Competition.
Venker sums up her argument: “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.”
Despite the dismal prospects Venker paints for men if women continue to make educational and career advances, she says that we women have the power to change things and help men feel like men again.
She explains: “Fortunately, there is good news: women have the power to turn everything around. All they have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs.”
What’s interesting about this article is not its ridiculousness, although it’s quite laughable indeed. But I found Venker’s perspective intriguing because her gripes about the feminism movement and women in the workplace completely overlook the fact that women of color have been working along side men for generations.
While white feminists were fighting for the option to go to work, women of color have been working for centuries. So the argument that the influx of women in the workplace is, alone, at fault for the declining marriage rates is problematic.
These days both men and women are waiting longer to get married. Unlike our foremothers, our economic stability as women is no longer tied to our marital status, so it makes sense that women would pursue other avenues before settling down.
But does our access to opportunities equal a war on men? Or is Venker infantilizing men by assuming they are so distraught by women in the workplace they now feel inadequate?
What do you think?