By Rod Van Mechelen
Rivalry, not cooperation, is the spirit among most women in today's corporate world. They undermine one another and go as far as lying, character assassination, back stabbing, and sabotage.
-- Tara Roth Madden, Women Vs. Women
The Feminization of Work
1993 Bellevue, Wash. - Factories turned women and men into cogs, and children into the grease and oil of the Industrial Revolution. The "Feminine Mystique" removed women from these factories and boarded them up in better homes and gardens. Not Betty Friedan's book, The Feminine Mystique, but the actual phenomenon she falsely claimed to write about. From there, the Women's Movement moved them into the offices of commerce where, in the name of liberation, they posted the Seal of Good Housekeeping and, thereby achieved little true liberation, but infected men with their own fifties feminine malaise:
One senior executive woman may decorate her office with a stuffed animal collection; another may enjoy including others in her afternoon ritual of "high tea" served on china. Consider the executive who keeps Alice-in-Wonderland curls and frills, the earth mother who brings her backpack and baby to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Soon the executive wing resembles a circus. -- Women Vs. Women, Tara Roth Madden, p 49
In the highly feminized work place, there is little masculine passion left. The gusto is gone, the inspiration swept into neat little piles and discarded like so much unwanted dust. In its place are cute little cubbyholes, some cluttered as a knitting room, others neat as a pin, all quiet and essentially the same. And feminine.
Most men are, by nature, passionate. Not with, as pop-feminists would have us believe, the simple passion of sex -- sex is only one small wave length in the spectrum of "powerful or compelling emotions or feelings" (Random House College Dictionary) that passionately involve men in life.
The Passions of Men
Men thrive on solving problems and finding new ways to do things. Visions of inventions, team work, exploration and accomplishment inspire boys and motivate men. But, in the muted surroundings of the feminized factories and boutique bureaucracies, women expect men to curb their passions, speak gently, walk softly, avert their eyes to avoid accusations of sexual harassment, and demur to every misandrous dismissal of masculinity.
Like the public school classrooms, such daintiness begs escape. Hence, men run to the fields, forests and stadiums where, with golf clubs and pigskins, or rifles and shotguns, they affirm their masculinity like rams butting heads in contests to prove themselves rams, still.
This is not progress, but discrimination against men. Progress means bringing women and men together in a spirit of harmony, and should the discordant cacophony of our present evolution result in anything less, our society will be no better off than we were in the 1950s.
A New Pedestal for Women
Feminists frequently note women's careers generally don't advance as quickly as men's. A fact some of the more realistic explain without blaming men: "If women generally disappear midmatch, who would seriously bet on them to emerge as corporate champs?" (Women Vs. Women, Tara Roth Madden, p 93) In response, many demand special treatment for women: "They need job protected maternity leave, child care, flextime, and specially tailored career ladders." (A Lesser Life, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, p 78)
Should we put women back up on the pedestal and give them special treatment? Would it be fair to men? And if we do, will that solve women's problems? Maybe not, because another aspect of female employment is that it's creating a bottleneck: "Qualified women poured into the economy faster than they could be absorbed,
adding to the glut in the middle." (Women Vs. Women, Tara Roth
Madden, p 101)
Consequently, at a time when no one can afford to concede anything other than gender neutrality, pop-feminists are demanding preferential status for women. Essentially, they are demanding total feminization of the workplace, and relegation of men to the status of second class citizens. While the increasing employment and leadership of women are, I believe, inevitable and good, oppressing men is not the way to make it happen.
Rod Van Mechelen