‘The War on Men,’ AKA an Oldschool Diatribe on Why Feminism Sucks
“Women aren’t women anymore," writes Suzanne Venker, a right-wing author and stay-at-home mom, in an opinion article for Fox News titled “The war on men.” In it she declares that “the battle of the sexes is alive and well” and women are truly to blame – unlike what feminists would have you believe.
Suzanne Venker's opinions on feminism are well-established; she’s published titles like The Flipside of Feminism, How To Choose A Husband (and make peace with marriage), and 7 Myths of Working Mothers – the latter of which describes pursuing professional success as “feverish,” for women that is. It should come to no surprise that Venker yet again shifts blame onto the feminist movement for men’s decreasing interest in marriage.
Referring to a study by Pew which reveals a gender gap between young men's and women's interest in marriage, Venker claims that “modern women want to get married. Trouble is, men don’t.” Gender dynamics have changed since women became the majority of the US workforce – Venker had this right. But according to Venker, women are changing, while men “had no revolution that demanded [change].”
Perhaps Venker is trying to say that men shouldn’t have to change, as it is women who need to reconnect – or rather “surrender” – to their feminine natures. Venker never really defines “femininity,” but perhaps it has something to do with the outmoded idea that “Men want to love women, not compete with them.”
Feminism is about gaining equal footing in a society that has historically catered to men, but to Venker, it just means that “[men] can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.”
According to Venker, men are “Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them," but media objectification tells women that every day. And she fails to explain how women gaining self-sufficiency has "undermined [men's] ability to become self-sufficient."
Suzanne Venker seems to advocate for a stagnant co-dependency between the genders; “women need men’s linear career goals,” and men need women to return to their rightful pedestal and stop this competition nonsense. Perhaps Venker is issuing a genuine call to action, urging women to honestly consider their role in men's “transformation” – but it's a disingenuous attempt when she also says men haven’t really changed much at all.
Venker's mixed messages and contradictory language display some confusion over how society has evolved over the past several decades. As society’s technologies and understanding evolves, so should our understanding and interpretation of such notions as “women”, “femininity” and “marriage.” Why does Venker call for women to back-pedal? Men do not exist in a vacuum, and as women evolve in our ever-changing society, men should too.
Jamilya Ramos is a reporter for Campus Progress. Follow her on Twitter @callmejam.