By Rod Van Mechelen
With each additional year of higher education, (women) ... learn more about their superiority. - Gloria Steinem, Attitudes: War Against Women, Lifetime TV, June 25, 1992
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - Early in the modern women's movement, feminists demanded parity with men. They wanted equal opportunities for work, play, education and life. But the modern women who inherited their eventual success found parity hard work. To in every way equal men, they had to excel in many competitive markets. What appeared so easy from the side-lines soon seemed unfairly competitive in the fracas.
This was a shock. But uninterested to know the "man's world" is a tough place not because men dominate there, but that men dominate there because the world is a tough place, pop-feminists began complaining about this. Prices set in the market place, for example, were, to them, signs of discrimination:
If you compare the predominantly male profession of engineer with the predominantly female profession of nurse, you find there is a shortage of both but the market's response is different. The wages offered to engineers go up, while nurses who will work cheap are imported from abroad. - A Lesser Life: The Myth of Women's Liberation in America, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, p 78
There might be a shortage of ditch-diggers, too, but that doesn't mean they should make same wage as engineers. Engineering is a creative profession, nursing, a service profession. The wage difference indicates the extent to which the people value practical creativity above service. Sex discrimination has nothing to do it.
Because women dominate the service industries, however, pop-feminist pundits would rather make it a gender issue and rail against men than denounce the female pornographers, like Cosmopolitan magazine and the romance novel publishers, who encourage women to prefer glamour and service careers to engineering. The result of their refusal to allow women to own responsibility for their own lives is that it predisposes pop-feminists to demand special status for women: "The fact is most women bear weighty home and family burdens and need more than equality with men if they are to attain equal earning power in the marketplace." (A Lesser Life: The Myth of Women's Liberation in America, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, p 78)
Operating on the pop-feminist precept that "the ends justify the means," they demand Federal laws to impose handicaps on men that will give women an unfair advantage in the marketplace. This is not opposing oppression, but promoting persecution.
Feminists have rightly asserted that, in some sectors of our society, there has been a bias against women. Pop feminists, however, make a practice of being biased against men. On the subject of rape, investigations of rape, prosecutions and acquittals, for example, Susan Brownmiller presumes that where there is a low conviction rate, guilty men are getting away with rape: "In some locales the conviction rate (for rape) based on arrests is a shocking 3 percent." (Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape, Susan Brownmiller) If there's anything shocking about it, we could more easily suggest it's that 97 percent of the cases are spurious!
Being unbiased, we can acknowledge what pop-feminists cannot -- there are two sides to every story, and without knowing all the details of each, we have no basis for assessing the merits of either the convictions or acquittals. But pop-feminists make a practice of attacking men and masculinity on principle. This is bigotry no less than anything of which they blame on men. Essentially advocating an anti-male mentality, they have become just like the bigots they profess to most despise.
2012 Olympia, Wash. - Since I wrote this chapter, wholesale outsourcing of many male-dominated jobs has risen, crested, and is now shifting jobs back to America as wages have declined and shipping costs have increased. Many thousands of formerly American engineering jobs, however, now reside in India. Proving that it was always primarily about market forces.
Rod Van Mechelen
Rod Van Mechelen is the author of What Everyone Should Know about Feminist Issues: The Male-Positive Perspective (the page now includes several articles by other authors), and the publisher of The Backlash! @ Backlash.com. He is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and served for 9-1/2 years on the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Council.