Breaking News from Fox columnist: Women aren’t Women Anymore

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About Robert Duffer

Robert Duffer (www.robertduffer.com) is the editor of the Dads & Families section of The Good Men Project. Winner of the Chicago Public Library's writing contest, his work appears in the Chicago Tribune, MAKE Magazine, Chicago Reader, Curbside Splendor, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Public Radio, Annalemma, New City, and other coffee-table favorites like Canadian Builders Quarterly. He teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago and lives in the suburbs with his wife, two kids, and their minivan. Follow @DufferRobert, Google+, facebook.

Comments

  1. Whatever the basis is for Suzanne Venker’s claims, it certainly isn’t data. Also, she implies that men who don’t want to get married aren’t good (which is not true, as evidenced by many intelligent conversations here on GMP) and her column reeks of the “good girls have to get married” complex. I know plenty of smart, passionate, amazing people who don’t fit her paradigm.

    • Also maybe this is just me but it sure sounds like she’s telling women to shut up and sit down. Which should outrage anyone with a pulse.

      • Yeah, Joe, “To embrace their feminine side”, as if the feminine side is a subordinate trait. There’s so much that’s wrong with us, and it stems from a proven lack of fact. Just call it an opinion; don’t cloak it in unsubstantiated claims

        • @Duffer: If funny but I read that comment about embracing the feminine side the opposite of how you did:which is to say, the feminine sid eis superior to the masculine.

          However, the more I think about it,there is no such thing as a feminine or a masculine.The idea that either concept–and that’s all they are is concepts, that live and breath on a whim– ever exists as a pure manifestation of the ideal is simply not true.

          And the more we find out about humanity–all of it, not just some version of it that will only exist for a short time on earth, the more we see that our/yours/mine definition of the masculine and feminine is just that, my version, the less our struggle to redefine seems logical.

          If we have learned nothing else from the expansion of the world of the LGBT community, there are few hard core definitions of human sexuality and by default of human behavior that can adequately describe, for everyone, the masculine or the feminine. I say we throw the bums out!

      • That’s how I interpret it too! It seems like patriarchy has a strong hold on her.

  2. I meant “there’s so much wrong with THIS” as in her piece

  3. She’s one card short of a full deck, pretty much like everybody else at FOX. What a crock!

  4. Just as empty as the end of men craze. By all mean’s feminism isn’t the sunshine and rainbow fest meany of its members try to convince us it is, but it’s the root of the problem.

  5. I am having a hard time believing this isn’t some sort of pay-for-play-type situation between Fox and this woman’s publisher.

    Maybe it’s the optimist in me.

    • @TK, I might understand it if it were some kind of publisher payola. I still can’t find the Pew Center study she’s referencing–I saw one on 18-34 year old, or Millennials, attitudes toward marriage and parenting, but no exact cite.

  6. Isn’t she related to Phyllis “Do As I Say, Ladies, Not As I Do” Schafly?

  7. While this article reads like something from ‘People’ magazine, it does touch upon something that I feel is relevant. My 21 year old son and just about all his friends, ranging in age from 21-30 or so. None of them show any desire to get married. Some live with girlfriends sure, but their attitude is “If she breaks my balls too much, I’ll just get another one”. A couple of times I thought my son was serious about someone(spending ‘quality’ time togeather), but it seems it was just a case of ‘Friends with benefits’. Meanwhile , my 30 year old daughter , a happily married professional woman, laments about how her single friends(also 30 something professionals) can’t seem to find “a good (read: marriageable) man. Now I realise I have no data to back this up as this is purely my own unscientific observation, just sayin’

    • Great point, Bobbt, and I’d say your data is as qualified as Ms Venker’s because it’s, well, qualified. There’s something to the Pew Center study (http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1920/millennials-value-parenthood-over-marriage), and an undeniable trend that people are getting married later, or less tolerant of marriage, or even less tolerant of the prospect of divorce. This report is definitely relevant, as is the observation on your kids. Why this is happening is interesting, and worthy of analysis, but I’m far more interested in what it portends.

      • Nothing in soceity exists in a vacuum. When something changes, such as womens position in the workforce, it creats a ‘Butterfly’ or ‘Ripple’ effect on the rest of soceity. How things will change,you might as well go to the gypsy fortune teller because no one can say, but if soceity is good and the change is fundementally good, thereshouldn’t be any catastrophy. Soceity will adapt as it as throughout history. I try to tell my Daughter,”You’re not going to find a 1970′s man in 2012″ By that I mean a oung man who’s gotten the partying ou of his system and is now readyto be a responsible husband and provider.

        • I suspect people will have fewer children but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Also, I’m old enough to have learned that no relationship is often better than z bad relationship.

          • There is one thing I forgot to mention. I have 2 of 3 daughters who are happily married to really great guys. They both are 10 years OLDER than my daughters! My one daughter (the one mentioned above) actually has said there’s no way she would marry the person her husband was over 10 years ago!

    • What interests me is that this is commonly–at least, in panic-mongering media articles–viewed as a problem, rather than simply a shift. “Oh noes! Men aren’t getting married as much! Society is doomed, DOOOOOMED!”

      Sorry, not seeing the problem here. If marriage isn’t appealing to men, they opt out. Shrug.

    • Adam McPhee says:

      Sounds like your daughter is just lamenting based on her own ideals. I presume her friends are looking for good (willing to marry) men, but for your son and his friends, clearly they are OK with another ideal (as are the partners they are taking up with).

      I myself am a single male (tentatively seeing someone at the moment), but I don’t see the institution of marriage as an ideal for me. I’m not opposed to spending my life with someone, but I have next-to no interest in marriage as it has been traditionally defined.

  8. John Anderson says:

    “If you’re familiar with the media slant of Fox News, then you might easily dismiss the opinion piece by its title: The war on men.”

    So if Huffington Post or Jezebel were to title a piece The War on Women, we might easily dismiss it as opinion. I constantly seen stats like only 2 – 3% of reported rapes are false when no actual studies have been cited and the only study I’m familiar with is Kanin’s, which found 41% of accusations to be false or when they assert that the majority of DV victims are women, when then CDC’s 2010 NISVS shows the opposite.

    Page 38 Table 4.1 last 12 months number of female victims of physical violence 4,741,000. Page 38 table 4.2 Number of male victims last 12 months 5,365,000.

    The DOJs stats on prison rape makes it unclear if men are a minority of rape victims let alone a small minority that progressive websites and media outlets wish to acknowledge. With about 80% of the victims being male and about 40% of the victimizers being female. Add the juvie stats and it gets worse.

    I’m no fan of faux news, but to be fair, progressive and liberal news outlets do the same thing.

  9. Richard Aubrey says:

    Interesting POV from a feminist. Even includes the requisite “FOX! EWWW!” thingy, but goes on from there in a rational way.
    http://www.yourtango.com/2012166222/war-on-men-feminist-unlikely-stance
    Also, telling us that husbands do more or different stuff today does not tell us about the guys who aren’t and may never be husbands and fathers, the point of the Venker piece.

    • Sucks to be them? Not to go all Herbert Spencer on you but if men can’t adapt to the new society, do they deserve to be a husband and father?

      • I would have to agree with that position, lucrezaborgia, across all evolutionary lines, including gender.

      • Or it might be great to be them? If men are not marrying it doesn’t necessarily follow that those men are misfits or unmarriable.

        It seems to be that the institution no longer holds an allure for millions of men the way it did for their fathers. Who is to say that their life is wrong, or that they haven’t adapted to the new society?

        Being a father (or mother) isn’t necessarily the gold standard of human behavior.
        Maybe not marrying is the adaptation.
        http://owningyourshit.blogspot.com/2012/03/transcript-of-men-not-marrying-how-deep.html

        Here is Girl Writes What’s post on the trend which I have to say (whether right or wrong) at least takes men’s views into account, which I have not seen done by most of these stories in the major media outlets.

        Girl Writes What is a true diamond in a ruff. Her videos and transcripts are really turning heads. Her vid “Feminism and the disposable male” is up to 1/2 million views.

        As I read comments on her videos, I see again and again men thanking her for seeing things from their perspective and articulating so well what is going on with men.

  10. wellokaythen says:

    I confess I’m totally confused by the whole “end of men” debate. When I put it all together, I hear really mixed messages:

    Men haven’t changed enough, but they also need to keep in touch with older ideals. Men are being left behind, and the best way to fight this is to be more like they used to be. Men need to modernize more and at the same time be more like they were before. Change forwards and change backwards. Gender ideals are really unrealistic, exploitative mindgames, and we need to question every single one of them, except when it comes to what women want in a husband, which is sacrosanct and not subject to any criticism. If a woman is not good enough for a man, he needs to change. If a man is not good enough for a woman, he needs to change then, too.

    “Where have all the good men gone?” is not a question about the need for men to catch up with women. It’s a question that looks backwards in time, not forwards. Yet, men also face criticism that they haven’t updated masculinity enough. So, the solution for men is simple: go forward in time and backward in time at the same time.

    Clear as mud?

    • @wellokaythen I think about this a lot. There are some interesting dynamics but for me it mostly boils down to, do you prefer the ideas you have of what a man is supposed to be or an actual, emotionally and intellectually complex, living, breathing man. Because you can’t have both (and the same goes for men when it comes to women, or men to men, women to women, etc…)

      I had an ex who got terribly upset when I explained that I didn’t worship the ground she walked on and it was a good thing. Needless to say it didn’t work out, and she wasn’t a saint (but didn’t understand that was certainly part of the reason I did love her).

    • “Where have all the good men gone?”
      I heard women in Sydney asking this, but potential men for them REQUIRED to earn $100k+ per year and be college educated, already they’ve taken away most of the market.

      Theoretically if there are more n more women who want college educated men but women make up 60% of the college admissions, eventually there will be a supply issue. If they’re earning in the top 5% of the income of their country and want someone similar whilst men do not require the same need to date within the 5%, then they’re making it a shitload harder when they’re competing with a larger group of women.

      Pretty much every “where are the good men?” speeches I’ve heard boil down to some entitled women wanting men to earn more than they do and have the same or better education. Maybe those women are way too shallow in their choices especially if the men don’t have a similar requirement and are dating from a much larger pool of candidates?

  11. @Duffer: Why is it perceived when men decide they don’t want marriage as a bad thing? Isn’t marriage a new thing anyway? Hasn’t the world moved along just fine without marriage for most it’s existence? Why can’t men simply choose to define themselves differently and be supported in that choice? Or is it only ok for women to eschew marriage for the finer things in life? If marriage was as good for men and bad for women as women have been saying for generations shouldn’t women be glad men are eschewing marriage? Now women are free to be independent without being dragged down by the responsibilities of family? Oh, I forgot, that was last week. Now once again women have changed their minds and they want men to be responsive to that change.

    .At some point that stuff gets old. Men don’t want to get married, deal with it. If marriage was as good as for men as women have said it was, men would be lined up to get married, but it’s not and women , for the most part are ready to look in the mirror and say , if we want to get married, we need to change.Centuries of being pursued by men who never thought too hard about what they needed from life has made women lazy and entitled. Now men are asking questions about the world and how they fit in that that they never asked before. Perhaps decades of being told that men don’t natter, that women don’t need them, which is unusually harsh and cruel, has finally sink in. Didn’t women expect that after a point being told that you are an albatross around the neck of women everywhere, that men wouldn’t react and say ,”You know what, no thank you”. I am not saying that dissatisfaction with women and marriage is the only reason men are eschewing marriage, but it is a big part of the problem.It seems to me that women have not even begun to look inward enough at what they have contributed to men’s reluctance to get married and have monogamous relationships. One thing is for sure, if women were saying that they weren’t getting married because men were crappy or something like that it would be all over the news. I think men are just tired of the bs and are doing what men do. My question is, Why is it so hard for women to get that some men are just fed up?

    • @OG, while I’m sure some men are fed up, I think the trend of marrying later, or alternatives to traditional marriage, are more to do with men’s self-awareness. Marriage is no longer a social, cultural, or economic duty. It’s a good thing, I hope, that people–both men and women–are being more discerning in their life choices, that waiting til your ready is better. People who are deciding to get married are doing it later and, speaking for myself, I’m much more aware of who I am in my 30s than I was in my 20s. There’s a durability to that.

      • @ Duffer: I read the commen,t about finding your femnine side the opposite of you. I read it as meaning that the feminine side as superior to the masculine.However, the more I consider the points, I think both definitions—masculine and feminine— are a crock. and the belief that one has to even have a constant definition to live by is divisive,retrograde and ultimately aspoils relationships by forcing people to choose sides.

    • @Archy:Dit-the fuck-to.

  12. 2Duffer: I meant to write that women are not ready to look in the mirror.

  13. Men aren’t going to be as interested in marriage because they get everything they want outside of marriage.

    • I think ‘shacking up’ is the new marriage for men. Guys want someone to move in, have sex with them, cook and clean for them, who can be thrown up pretty easily.

      In all fairness, is there not a group of men who complain that American women are too masculine (and thats why they marry foreign women)?

      • @Alice: I agree with you that men have figured out that they can get what they need without getting maried, but probably for different reasons than yours. The belief that men only want a woman that will clean for him, cook for him, etc, is a bit 1950′s

        . I think that especially on this site men have very clearly articulated, with respect and deference to the feelings of women, some significant problems that need t be addressed along side issues that womwen have about men. The mistake in reducing this problem to one of sexaulity, or the desire for men to have sex, and have someone wait on them is somewhat regressive and ignores the voices of men who are saying something different altogehter.

        Additionally, this line of reasoning reduces men to the value of a mere sex object. Your point of view also fails to acknowledge that women are different and many of them don’t want to get married either. Most divorces are inituated by women, especially older women. Why no complaints about that? Women have been saying for 40years now, that they don’t need men;right? Women openly discuss whether men are even necessary.So, considering the aforementioned, if women actually want men, I would think that some might understand if that message seems vague and ambigous and why some men are confused and exhausted in trying to figure to out what is real. That confusion and exhaustion is manifest in a reluctance to get too invloved.

        • Ogwriter:
          “The belief that men only want a woman that will clean for him, cook for him, etc, is a bit 1950′s”
          It may be 1950s, but sometimes it’s true. There are guys out there who assume that anyone female can cook. I’ve dealt with guys I didnt really know, but invited me to live with them. Dude can’t cook so expects me to cook and be there to service his other ‘needs.’ When a guy who barely knows me asks me to move in, I really dont know what else to think. Not every guy who has asked me to move would fit that category, but quite a few would.

          And nowhere did I say all women want to get married. Nowhere did I say it was OK for women to end marriages on questionable grounds. Please dont put words into my mouth. Thank you.
          Yes, women do shackup on their own accord. There is a problem when one person has different expectations from the other. Sometimes, one person (usually the female) wonders why they have been living together for 5,10,15 years but the other (usually male) sees no reason to change the arrangement. Really, this should have been discussed in the beginning, but it wasn’t. Thats where the problem comes in. The current guy who wants me to move in said it would be be about 10 years before he wanted to get married. So many guys aren’t this upfront.

      • I don’t know many women who would allow a man to move in only to become a servant to the man. They have men who cook, clean, and take care of themselves.

      • Yes and women want men to pay for them, protect them, do all the nasty work so women can sit in ivory towers being precious little snowflakes right? Cut the sexist dribble please.

        The guys whinging about local women being shit do it more because the local women they meet ARE bitches, they ARE shitty dates, they’re entitled, hypocritical, etc. Doesn’t mean all are but they for some reason end up meeting quite a few who suck. For a while I met local women like this and the nice women I knew were all from overseas. There are some that simply want older traditional gender roles but there are quite a few who just want a nice, decent woman to date/marry/whatever and those nice, decent women can often already be taken. I think this problem is more common in towns/areas where there are more men to women such as rural towns.

        I had thought of the overseas wife once or twice but that was more to do with my shit luck meeting SINGLE women I liked, I knew heappppss who were already married. It’s also hard to meet people these days I think in my area as the nightlife is terribbbllee and there aren’t many events, most events are family style events and I’m not after dating a mother as I want to live the childfree life for a while with my partner.

        This is for Australia, so it may be different for America.

        As for what men want? They all want something different, some want marriage, some wanna shack up, some want stay at home wives, some want equals. I do my own cooking n cleaning, I want a 50:50 share style relationship where we both help out.

        I’m not overly fussed on marriage though especially the fact often you need about 30grand to spend on a wedding when I’d rather put that into a house instead of a single day ceremony that wastes so much money and can be annoying. What’s better, 30grand off your home loan or a day standing around watching caters that cost thousands, hiring a hall that costs a heap, dresses, tuxes, etc, that cost heaps? If we had plenty of spare cash I might be interested in a bigger wedding but if we don’t then a BBQ at our home and a small service is all I need.

        Maybe women need to ask themselves why so many men are afraid of marriage? Could it possibly be that they’re smart enough to realize that should the marriage fail he will have more chance of getting fucked over by family court? That is one thing that scares me of marriage, but in Australia that also includes defacto relationships so even living with a woman for 2 years can trigger family court. I hope I settle down with a great woman but it is a risk and if you have a business it’s an even bigger risk, I don’t think prenups even work here. I wouldn’t want MY business to be at risk of being split 50:50 just because I married someone, if I want her in it that is MY choice.

        So ask yourself why men are more shy about marriage? The easy answer is they want to have the benefits without the marriage but you’ll probably find it’s more because they understand the risks of marriage, they don’t see marriage as a big deal and are fine as defactos (partly what I am), or they just aren’t ready yet for that next big step. I think women tend to have marriage rammed down their throats as kids as the ultimate goal yet men don’t have the same, so more women are probably eager to get married quicker which leaves a difference in the timeframes of both. I’ve heard of men getting pressured to marry but not women.

      • @Alice: Which men are marrying “foreign’ women and why does it matter?

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          yes why does that matter if men marry foreign girls? and so what? lot of women marry foreign men, and it seems not to be any problem there. Why should that matter if somebody try find love overseas?

          • @Suo pertypo: I thnik what you are seeing in these comments about foriegn girls and such is something that few women ever talk about openly, feelings of jealously and bias when American men —who women like Alice seem to consider their property—date outrside of their “race” or country. I hear this frequebtly in the African American community in the hysteria over African American men marrying “white” women. The numbers on interracial marrieges between white women and blackmen as a percentage of all marrieges involving African American men Caucasion women is miniscule—well less than one percent.

            What’s interesting is that seldom is this behavior called out for what it probably is bias, jealously and gendered entitlement. I have had Caucasion and African American women I’ve dated —feminkits all—-say some pretty ugly things about Asian women, a group they saw/see as a threat to their property. like Archy stated, most women haven’t even begun to take the kind of hard look in the mirror that they need to take.

            • What? Thats a really pompous assumption? Most of the time I stay away from men, how on earth could I think they are my property? I was making the point that some men really do think American women are too I masculine or “not really women” so they go elsewhere. I was going to say sometimes black men say it about white women. Sometimes white men say it about white women. I dont care what they do, I was just making a point.

              I must wonder why you’d say that, its not like Im here singing the praises of men and begging them to be with me-quite the contrary! Maybe you have some underlying issues that need to be addressed?

      • Mr Supertypo says:

        isnt that a bit passé Alice ;-)

    • FlyingKal says:

      No, men aren’t eschewing marriage because “they get everything they want” outside of it.
      It’s more like they opt out of it because there’s not much in it for them.

    • @Alice…

      Maybe men are not interested in marriage anymore because it is viewed as less than fulfilling. Women go off and sow their wild oats. Then they wake up one day and say it is time to find a “decent” guy to marry and have babies…..Sex goes to hell in the marriage. Husband is miserable….

      Then the kids are off to college and out of the house. Suddenly she then says, SHE is no “unfulfilled” and files for divorce. Meanwhile the guy has wasted decades of his life.

      So, this whole marriage thingy is all about the woman and what she wants. The desires and aspirations of the husband are secondary. What man in his right mind wants that deal?

      A man is much better off and happier just being a lover to a woman or women. Forget the husband thing. It just does not work (at least for me).

      Just saying.

      • Agreed. It’s basic marketing: if you want more men to marry, you have to make marriage appealing to men. What’s the draw, where’s the upside of marriage?

        • Mr Supertypo says:

          I agree copy, right now I cant see the big thing in bein married, beside lot of work and expences. She get alot, but whats in for me? what do I get out of this?

        • @Copyleft: It is somewhat odd that the point you make about making marriage more appealing to men and men would want to get married is absolutely missed. If you think about what many men are actually asking for from women—it’s not political— is a matter of want to. And if marriage is so all fired damn important to women why aren’t they more amenable to providing men with what they feel they need , within reason?

          It makes little sense to me that if having a lifetime partner is important, than the perspective becomes, ‘ What sacrifices am I wiling to make to get what I want? The message from even progressive women to men is delivered from a place of leverage based on the idea that supply and demand favors women; not anymore. I guess that’s part of the price of being pursued.

  14. @Alice:I am many things and being wrong frequently is one of those things. However, being pompous–having excessive self esteem and exaggerated diginity isn’t among them. At the same time misunderstandings online aren’t unheard of either. I meant you no harm.

    I am confused by exaclty what your points are because you seem to be making points that criticize men for choosing “foreign women” over persumably American women. I am always circumspect and suspicious of what I may see as xenophobia,again could be wrong. But if I am wrong, then why make the distinction? Why does it matter that the choice is ” foreign?” I am not sure either of which men and which women you are speaking of in your references. I’m not so sure your personal sampling of men in this context,is an accurate representation of the whole on this matter.You seem to get that but at the same time you seem to fall into the all men are the same routine on this subject. Who are these foreign women you are speaking of who marrying men, who I guess are white, I’m not sure

  15. TheTruthSays says:

    the way that women have changed today, how could they be.

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