Today's blog deals with the conflict of feminism, for men. Not because men are weak or afraid of women, but because as a result of certain aspects of the feminist movement men are opting out of marriage and fatherhood.
Psychologist Helen Smith's new book, Men on Strike, discusses the ways in which feminism in the U.S. has worked not just to liberate women but also to shame and punish men.
She has a point. She actually has lots of them and she makes them in not so subtle ways,
"women are empowered; men are assholes who might rape you."
This is how men have been positioned.
In divorce, even if the woman cheats, he often loses more. For every woman who commits suicide, FOUR men do. Their mistakes are often chided by women, they are shammed from joining men groups, relegated to their "cave" in the basement and often treated as dysfunctional women.
Yuck. Sounds terrible.
My dear friend who has been married for ten years said, "most of the time I feel bad for men."
She meant this because they cannot express their needs as easily; this comes so easily to her.
I wonder though, is our pitying of them also patronizing?
Smith's book has many powerful points. I like her libertarian voice and her Atlas Shrugged references; men are acting as "Galts." They are on strike and she looks as some valid reasons why.
The only point that did not resonate with me was her primary question. She wants us to ask "how can we make marriage more appealing to young men so they want to get married?"
Why manipulate them into wanting to get married?
Why not focus on evolving how we relate to one another and take it from there?
Maybe this next generation of relationships won't be "marriage." Maybe still committed, but maybe marriage itself is as outdated as shock therapy. The wedding industry won't like me saying this. They ideally are not the ones running the show, however.
I never dreamed of a wedding as a kid, so this is maybe easier for me. I wanted to save the dolphins, travel the world and join the justice league. Which is pretty much what I've done, except the dolphin part. Other than eating dolphin-free tuna, I haven't really saved any yet. Maybe that will come later.
Anyhow, I'm just saying, that I'm not sure we need to "save marriage." I do think we need to treat our men a little better. My first roommate after college used to tear her clothes and scream when talking to her ex-boyfriend when she ran into him. She would tell the police he was beating her. They would believe her. Though thankfully he was not arrested because this man ended up saving me from her, helping me get my stuff when she threw it out the window and then he found me an apartment.
I study genocide so I know most of the world's violence is caused by men. I know that the school shootings have not yet been by a women..I also think there is another side of the story. The master narrative in the U.S. has turned anti-male and it's time to provide a counter.
The men in my life have been as, if not more, professionally supportive as the women. I so often admire their courage, strength, and integrity of many men and I am glad they are not like women. I love women and there are already millions around.
The Dalai Lama said "Western women will save the world"..maybe so, but hopefully not by being bitches and frankly, if we do it is because we've gotten over ourselves enough to find better ways of working with men.