What war on men?

Feminism is not ruining men’s chances at marriage nor gender relations.
December 03, 2012

This year, we’ve seen an abundance of anti-reproductive rights rhetoric, bizarre misunderstandings of the female body and lack of prioritization for preventing violence against women. The phrase “War on Women” has often been used to sum up this general spirit of ignorance and condemnation for females. Not wanting the year to end in a victory for the liberals who view this pattern as an actual issue, author Suzanne Venker decided to declare that a “War on Men” is what truly plagues society.

In her Nov. 26 column, Venker takes the position that it’s not the women who are being screwed over by a country riddled with gender inequality — we’re screwing over ourselves. She ignores sexist realities and reduces the plight of women to this: With all our complaining about equal rights, we’ve become angry and man-hating — and that’s just not sexy.

At the crux of Venker’s argument is a gross misunderstanding of feminism. She erroneously simplifies an entire movement as the touting of a “women good, men bad” dynamic. She says women have been raised to view men as the enemy and have “pushed men off their pedestal and climbed up to take what [we] were taught to believe was rightfully [ours].” Venker seems to think that now we’re all just sitting at the top making sure we slam doors in the face of every guy who holds them open for us and then wonder why no one wants to marry us.

If we viewed men as some arch-nemesis, as Venker claims we do, why would we even want to get married? Feminism is not about hating men nor about telling men “there’s something fundamentally wrong with them,” as Venker claims. It’s not about taking freedoms away from men and pushing them down so we can get up — it’s about equality. The feminist movement has not resulted in girls growing up viewing men as the enemy but rather believing that women can strive to be more than wives and mothers if we want to.

Venker says her “research” has exposed her to a “subculture” of men who have no desire to get married — and it’s because “women aren’t women anymore.” Venker also talks about the “so-called rise of women” as having “undermined [men’s] ability to become self-sufficient in the hopes of someday supporting a family.” She does not elaborate at all to explain how exactly we’re doing this, but I guess it’s by taking up valuable seats in college classrooms and applying for the same jobs that men do. In “competing” with men in such ways, we’re then at fault for men being “slackers” and “retreating from marriage en masse.”

Luckily, ladies, Venker makes it very clear that we “have the power” to crush this pattern. All women have to do is “surrender to their nature — their femininity — and let men surrender to theirs.” Of course! Feminists have been looking at female empowerment all wrong. We never needed a movement for women’s rights; real empowerment comes through submission to males after all.

Venker paints a picture of both sexes that is highly inaccurate. Statistics that Venker chooses to ignore show that many people of both genders are opting out of marriage as their view of it as a social and economic requirement dissolves. Venker’s elitist arguments ignore realities not only of sexism but of economic and social norms.

Let’s not all drop out of college at once, ladies. The “marriageable men” who Venker claims will “come out of the woodwork” once women “surrender to their nature” can stay in whatever man cave they’ve been hiding in — we don’t want them. Being an independent woman by no means makes a woman unfeminine, and smart men recognize that.

Comment Policy

The Minnesota Daily welcomes thoughtful discussion on all of our stories, but please keep comments civil and on-topic. Read our full guidelines here.
Minnesota Daily Serving the University of Minnesota Community since 1900