The Feminist War on Men
By Rod Van Mechelen
Most women contribute little to the "war on men" or the decline of marriage. This, we can lay at the feet of the feminists' war on men, and the relatively few women who poison the pool for the rest.
MGTOW: The big lie exposed
2012 Olympia, Wash. - For decades, feminist and mainstream writers have claimed that women are choosing not to get married. It's a big lie. Statistics tell the tale. Women are choosing to get divorced in higher numbers, but they are recycling men. A divorced man is more likely to get married than a single man. And the number of single, never married men is much higher than the number of single, never married women. That's because more men than women are choosing not to get married.
It did not serve the feminist agenda to tell that truth. So they lied and claimed it was "liberated" women who were choosing not to marry. But then along came Suzanne Venker:
Believe it or not, modern women want to get married. Trouble is, men don’t. ... I’ve accidentally stumbled upon a subculture of men who’ve told me, in no uncertain terms, that they’re never getting married. When I ask them why, the answer is always the same. Women aren’t women anymore. - The war on men, Suzanne Venker, Fox News, November 26, 2012
Why is that? Venker explains:
In a nutshell, women are angry. ... they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. ... It is precisely this dynamic – women good/men bad – that has destroyed the relationship between the sexes. Yet somehow, men are still to blame when love goes awry. Heck, men have been to blame since feminists first took to the streets in the 1970s. - The war on men, Suzanne Venker, Fox News, November 26, 2012
This, she blames on women. Many men agree:
Contrary to what feminists like Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, say, the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off. - The war on men, Suzanne Venker, Fox News, November 26, 2012
It's not that men are upset over the rise of women. Most guys like smart, successful women. What pisses off a lot of men--and women--is the decline of men. In education, for example:
President Barack Obama marked the 40th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX--which bars gender discrimination in education—and noted that more women in the United States are now graduating from college than men, which he characterized as “a great accomplishment” for the nation. - 25% Fewer Men Than Women Graduate College; Obama: It's ‘A Great Accomplishment ... For America', Terence P. Jeffrey, June 24, 2012, CNSNews.com
Men support equality
It's a fine thing for more women to achieve their education goals, but the goal most men support is that of equality, while the goal of feminists is to use women to advance the cause of feminists at the expense of men. Pandering, President Obama celebrated that. And this, along with the other ways in which men are penalized merely for being men, is pissing men off. The problem with blaming this all on women is that it's easy criticize:
This notion of good women/bad men has been the foundation not of feminism but of anti-feminism since the 19th century. - The mythical 'war on men', Michael Kimmel, Special to CNN, November 29, 2012
Kimmel is half-wrong. From the mythical "rape culture crsis" to the "violence against women" meme, feminists have clearly portrayed men as evil brutes and women as their hapless prey. But Kimmel is also half-right: The idea that men are bad and women are good is also a traditional myth embraced by conservatives.
Conservative Myths, Timeless Truths
As with many conservative myths, it was intended to perpetuate certain truths. In this case, that women can tame the restless energy of men through marriage, religion and observance of social conventions. The man might be the head of the household, who made all the decisions about the family's position on foreign policy and global warming, while the woman merely decided where the family would live, what church they would attend, who their friends would be, etc., but much of it was a little tongue-in-cheek.
In the Bible studies I attended as a youth, it was clearly a contradiction. Women were both the "weaker sex" and the "fairer sex." Men were the head of the house, but also to serve and protect their wife and children. Ancient wisdom is about what works, not about what is logically consistent. And portraying men as "bad" and women as "good" worked. Through marriage men were tamed by women to exert their restless energies to work for the present and save for the future. And to preserve social stability, men had to believe that women were their "better half," and to love her long after she had lost the physical appeal that attracted him to her in the first place.
The myth might not be factual, but it embodied a timeless truth:
The fact is, women need men’s linear career goals – they need men to pick up the slack at the office – in order to live the balanced life they seek. - The war on men, Suzanne Venker, Fox News, November 26, 2012
On this point Kimmel might disagree. For as long as the State is there to transfer wealth from those who work to those who don't, and to redefine what "work" is, women can rely on the State to subsidize their choices. But the economy is sputtering. Soon, the subsidies might come to an end.
On one point, however, Kimmel and Venker actually agree:
In fact, feminism...encouraged women to be bad girls -- to seek their own pleasures, to go for it, autonomously, to leave unhappy marriages, and to control their own bodies. - The mythical 'war on men', Michael Kimmel, Special to CNN, November 29, 2012
Seek their own pleasures many do, giving little thought for the morrow or next year as they live for the moment. But then tomorrow comes and we all pay the consequences:
When woman is lost, so is man. The truth is, woman is the window to a man’s heart and a man’s heart is the gateway to his soul. - “The War on Men Through the Degradation of Women”, Jada Pinkett-Smith, December 6, 2012
Feminist victories built on lies
Women may seem to be on the rise, but their victories are built on feminist lies:
(Feminism) encouraged men to be good -- demanded it, in fact -- insisting that men can and should step up as equal parents, colleagues and coworkers, that we stop the rape and violence that so compromised women's equality. - The mythical 'war on men', Michael Kimmel, Special to CNN, November 29, 2012
Feminists are demanding that men step up to be equal parents? That's a lie. The reason the Fathers' Rights Movement exists is that men are often denied the right to be equal parents. And the effort to deny them is led by feminists.
But it's true that feminists are insisting that men stop rape and violence. Just one problem, most men don't rape and most men aren't violent. So feminists expanded the definitions: a woman who raises her voice is "liberated" while a man who does is "violent." When a woman assaults a man it's his fault, and when a man assaults a woman...it's his fault.
Feminists also cooked up skewed studies--like the Ms. Magazine Campus Project on Sexual Assault--to prove that virtually every man is a time bomb just waiting to go off, and that we are all predators who, given the chance, would rape without compunction. It doesn't matter that most men have never lifted a finger to a woman or harbored a rapacious thought, we have been stereotyped by the feminist hate mongers and are all guilty.
Change the race in Kimmel's statement and the bigotry becomes plain. If he had written, "insisting that Black men can and should step up as equal parents, colleagues and coworkers, that Black men stop the rape and violence that so compromised women's equality," who would not see it as racist? Now take the race factor out of it, and how can it not be sexist?
About that "well-known television talk show"
Something else about Professor Kimmel's comments. He started his article by writing about a talk show in which I appeared:
Some years ago, I appeared on a well-known television talk show opposite four "angry white men": four men who believed they had been discriminated against in the workplace by affirmative action programs initiated, they argued, by feminist women. - The mythical 'war on men', Michael Kimmel, Special to CNN, November 29, 2012
His first sentence is a lie. We appeared on The Bertice Berry Show, which began in 1993 and was cancelled in 1994. Not what I would describe as a "well-known television talk show." You can find the article I wrote immediately following that show, here.
Right off you can see some contradictions between the account I wrote immediately afterward, and the account Professor Kimmel wrote almost 20 years later. When I was first contacted about the show, it was to talk about men's issues. Sure, no problem! Then I got a second call, could I talk about how I had lost job opportunities to women? Again, no problem. Then the night before I was to fly out, they called again: could I talk about how I had lost opportunities as a White man to Black women? My only consideration was that, while I can pass as White--both of my grandfathers came from Europe--the fact is that both of my grandmothers were American Indian, and I don't think of myself as White. Still, I agreed.
Come the show, and the whole time I was thinking that I should tell everybody that I'm Indian. But I had committed to talk as a White man, so I said nothing, though if I can get the video digitized and you have the opportunity to watch it, my discomfort will be obvious.
And while little of what Kimmel said on that show resonated with me, even less of what he wrote a few weeks ago rings true:
I thought of those men recently while reading Suzanne Venker's addled rant against feminist women as the source of the unhappiness that saturates male-female relationships. I thought of how painful it is when you are used to having everything to now have only 80%. What a loss! Poor us! Equality sucks when you've been on top -- and men have been on top for so long that we think it's a level playing field. - The mythical 'war on men', Michael Kimmel, Special to CNN, November 29, 2012
Eighty percent? Yes, men account for "only 80%" of suicides. But men also lead in many other areas: 94% of industrial accidents happen to men, 90% of the homeless are men, 97% of combat deaths and casualties since the first Gulf War have been men, and 76% of homicides are men. Where don't men lead? Fathers receive pimary custody of their children less than 10% of the time. (Thanks to A Voice for Men for the list of statistics. These and many more are also listed in Warren Farrell's great book, The Myth of Male Power.)
As I recall, nobody on that show denied that race and sex discrimination existed. Nor did anybody oppose equality. To the contrary, we believe that to attempt to redress historical institutional racism and sexism by institutionalizing a new racism and sexism that penalizes the descendants of people who previously benefited from it merely sets up a dynamic for multi-generational backlashes as the latest batch of victims "get even."
In other words, you cannot eliminate (pro White male) sexism and racism by replacing it with (anti White male) racism and sexism. You're just replacing one kind of discrimination with another.
Is the Men's Rights Movement the Real Champion of Gender Equality?
These were and remain dominant themes in the "men's rights" movement. In fact, if we define feminism as the advocacy of equal rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality of the sexes, then the men's rights movement is the new "feminism," while the feminist movement has followed the process described by Eric Hoffer in The True Believer to become a tool used by pragmatic non-believers to get, consolidate and secure power for themselves.
Kimmel concludes by demonstrating just how little he knows about the Men's Rights Movement:
Who says we can't be happy with fully equal female colleagues and coworkers? Who says we can't enjoy the joys of shared parenthood? Who says that we are biologically programmed to be both rapacious testosterone-driven animals and lazy remote-hogging couch potatoes unable to lift a finger in the kitchen? - The mythical 'war on men', Michael Kimmel, Special to CNN, November 29, 2012
Few men today fit those stereotypes or are "rapacious testosterone-driven animals and lazy remote-hogging couch potatoes unable to lift a finger in the kitchen." He's sure got the anti-male stereotypes pegged, but it's a straw man argument. The vast majority of Men's Rights Activists support equality. Anybody can troll the internet and find sites and groups that favor keeping women barefoot and pregnant. Just as you can find "feminist" sites and groups that oppose the hate-male campaign. But in both cases they represent minority opinions.
Just as all of the major feminist sites and organizations oppose real gender equality and advocate for treating men as second class citizens, so all of the major men's rights sites and organizations advocate for equal rights, equal choices, equal justice, equal opportunities, and so on.
Maybe if Kimmel pays less attention to the sitcom-portrayal of men and follows Warren Farrell's example to actually learn about men, women, and the real feminist agenda, he'll discover the truth, stop attacking messengers, like Suzanne Venker, and join the effort to establish real gender harmony. This is what most women and men want. And to prevent that is a major goal of the feminists' war on men.
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.