Are Women Good, and Men Bad?

Are Women Good, and Men Bad?

According to author Suzanne Venker, “the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off… Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.”

When Venker asks men why they don’t want to get married, men say the same thing over and over:

“Women aren’t women anymore.”

Venker’s article on Fox News, and her new book, “How to Choose a Husband (and Make Peace with Marriage)” are decidedly controversial. I think Venker knows this and plays up her message, shifting the the blame for all relationship problems from men to women. This, I think, is a mistake. One gender is not to blame for all ills. Not men. Not women.

I wrote to Venker and asked her to send a copy of her book, so if I think it has any merit, I can share it with my readers. Without having read it, I can only respond to what she wrote in this one article.

If you date men, then, predictably, MEN are going to be the problem.

And while I don’t agree with her hyperbolic language about women “surrendering to their femininity,” which really does sound like some sort of flashback to the 1950’s, I do think there she has a point about women sharing responsibility for their relationship failings.

I go to great pains on this blog to establish the same concept, and receive a good amount of pushback for it. As Venker wrote, “After decades of browbeating the American male, men are tired. Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault.”

This is, by and large, true. Just as women should rightfully be outraged that Venker “blames” women and feminism for today’s relationship woes, men are outraged that we are always perceived as the problem. It’s all a matter of perspective.

If you date men, then, predictably, MEN are going to be the problem.

But if you date women (like men do), you may logically conclude that women are, at least part of the problem. After all, women are the ones who have changed more dramatically in the past 40 years. In gaining equality, they’ve embraced many male characteristics, blurred gender roles, and muddied the waters when it comes to work, money, responsibility, leadership, etc. This isn’t a bad thing and I’m not trying to go backwards or put the genie back in the bottle.

However, as a result of these changes, women are dissatisfied with men, men are dissatisfied with women, and both tend to play the blame game.

That doesn’t fly here. Look in the mirror, figure out who you are, figure out what you need, and you can find a complementary life partner, instead of blaming the opposite sex. What does that mean for my smart, strong, successful women? Well, it probably means that you should get used to equality. You will now have the same dating dilemmas as men.

If you’re an alpha female, better get used to the idea that certain men don’t find you attractive. Better get used to the idea that you may have to be the primary breadwinner. Better get used to the idea that the best fit for you is a more easygoing man, instead of the most “impressive” man.

In short, by becoming equal to men, women had better be willing to “date down” with someone who is less driven, educated, wealthy or ambitious.

Alas, we men have never called it “dating down”. We just called it dating.

And we liked being able to choose partners based on kindness, fun, laughter, attraction, values and compatibility.

I hope women learn to value men for the same reasons, instead of height, education, and income. Because whether you agree with Suzanne Venker or not, you have to admit, changing gender roles make relationships more confusing than ever before.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Cat5

    @Karmic Equation #25
     
    Apology accepted, and I’m sorry I was brusque in my reply. :-)
     

  2. 32
    nathan

    Evan, for a guy who has claimed to be supportive of feminism, you sure post a lot of stuff that either critiques the movement, or like this article, dismisses its value all together. And when someone like Sarahrahrah here, or myself and others on different posts, offer a rebuttal based in feminist thinking, you’re quite quick on the defensive. Your criticism of someone like Venker is mostly generalized, whereas you give extensive attention to making point by point offerings on the ways in which feminist commenter X is wrong. I’m saying this as much to your readers as to you. In this particular case because the post you wrote above has multiple good messages that are getting lost.
     
    I totally am on board with less generalized blaming when it comes individuals in the dating world. It’s important to discussion social trends, and point out issues that impact us collectively, but at the end of the day, each of has to open our hearts and let imperfect others in. However, Venker’s article is riddled with blame. Blame towards women who won’t embrace traditional gender roles. Blame towards a generalized boogeyman called feminism. Blamed towards men who support a more equal, modern approach to gender and social relations. She’s an awful role model for the valid argument made in your post above Evan.
     
    In addition, I agree with your point that the modern dating and relationship world is muddy. Not terribly easy to navigate. And frequently as confusing as it is confirming of us as individuals, and not simply people playing out predetermined roles. However, whereas you generally seem to support the changes that have come – while also acknowledging that some negative fallout might be attached to those changes – Venker is basically focused on defending the “subculture” of men who want “women who are women” – i.e. women who mostly embody the 1950s housewife stereotype. If her article had simply offered insights into the male subculture she “stumbled” upon, and then suggestions for women interested in those kinds of men, then she would have been – like you – offering something in the way of guidance for navigating through the mud. But instead, she takes that subculture of men as a jumping off point for invalidating what the rest of us – the majority of us really, regardless of stance of whatever you think feminism is – are doing.
     
    Finally, I support the sense of flexibility you offer in this statement:
    “If you’re an alpha female, better get used to the idea that certain men don’t find you attractive. Better get used to the idea that you may have to be the primary breadwinner. Better get used to the idea that the best fit for you is a more easygoing man, instead of the most “impressive” man.”
    And in fact, would say that this is a place where some feminist women need to check themselves. I’ve seen in it in my own dating life, and in the lives of other men who claim feminist values, and then struggle to some degree because they don’t entirely “fit” the traditional man narrative. But whereas you and I are talking about flexibility, Venker is writing about rigidity, suggesting that if only men and women do what they’re “supposed to be doing” – what they did in the past, when men ran things outside of the house and women ran the house – then everything would be fine. Again, she’s a rotten role model for what you’re offering here. But she is kind of a great foil, don’t you think?
     
     

  3. 34
    Lucy

    @Karmic – Yes you are probably right about the alpha stuff. Part of this is actually figuring out who I am. Whoever thought that would be harder than determining what I want? I think this amount of confusion is going to cause me to be single for a while yet. Maybe I should junk the ‘alpha male’ terminology and just think, “Do I like him?”, “Am I attracted to him?”. I think I might be a man in a woman’s body sometimes. My first thought isn’t, “Is he good guy?”, but “is he sexy?”. My friend thinks I’m a sex addict. Maybe I should reassess? Ah so confusing. Thanks for your thoughts. 

  4. 35
    sarahrahrah!

    @ EMK
    I do understand your point and agree with your conclusion that some women seem to hate men.  I appreciate that you included evidence to back up your claim.
     
    For the record, I don’t disrespect women who choose to stay home and care for their family.  I think they are giving their children the gift of their lifetime when mothers stay home and breast feed and bond with their infants and toddlers.  Being there for older children makes a big difference, too.
     
    I was not trying to figuratively crap in your living room by criticizing the article and I’m sorry if I came across that way.  When someone makes arguments based on a broad anti-academic appeal (as in blaming feminism and claiming that women have been taught by some mystery force to hate men), that is a concern to me because it smacks of fascism.  This mirrors a larger pattern of hate-baiting that I’ve seen expanding in the US for the past 15 years and I find both to be disturbing and disheartening.  
     
    I like what Helen – #15 said.  Yes, it is a time of tumultuous change throughout society.  Instead of looking at the bad side of things, I will try to appreciate the opportunities for growth and learning that living in this era affords.

  5. 36
    Morris

    @Ruby #35. I get so tired of the wage gab issue. I’ve worked decades as a consultant. Know what EVERY company had in common? Women ran HR. Are you telling me women knowing pay women less?
     
    If all those companies I consulted for paid men more they would have to charge more for their products and services. I’d wonder why a smart person wouldn’t just hire more women and undercut those companies.
     
    A final note.  Women that start their own business make less compared to men that do the same. Are you going to blame that on discrimination as well?

  6. 37
    marymary

    I think men may earn more for the same job because they ask for more money.  

  7. 38
    Michelle

    #38 thank you Morris, great logic & reasoning, I’m with you, I don’t buy it.   There’s also factors that can’t be measured in these ‘so called’ studies.

  8. 39
    Trenia

    Chris Rock does this joke about how fat girls can make fun of skinny girls, short men can make fun of tall men, poor people can make fun of rich people, but not the other way around. He goes on to say that people with the least get to talk about people with the most, and if people with the most want to talk about people with the least, well then, they have to give up some of their Sh*t. That’s how I feel about this article and any other conversations that speak to how women talk about men.
    Women’s images, media pretty much most things, men have the advantage and control it. So a few women write a few articles and blogs discussing how men are the problem in relationships, think they’re bad, lazy, whatever, but so what? Has that effected much in the world or in dating? Not in the least.

  9. 40
    Kathleen

    This article has little impact on me 
    Anthropologists say that millions of years ago women enjoyed considerable economic, social and sexual power. The “double income” family was standard  Women lost this equality when farming cultures took hold.
    We are now in a time where women are regaining this equality. Im sure women and men can work this out as we return to what was the normal balance for millions of years.
     

  10. 41
    Ruby

    Morris #38
     
    To my knowledge, HR departments, which are basically administrative, don’t set salaries. Company CEOs and CFOs do that.
     
    Your statement,”I’d wonder why a smart person wouldn’t just hire more women and undercut those companies'” implies that you don’t understand or accept that anyone would ever be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, or for any other reason. Did you read the article I linked to? When researchers controlled for factors such as hours worked and type of occupation, they still found an unexplained discrimination. If pay discrimination didn’t exist, why did we need the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act?
     
    Without doing a “so-called” study, I’m not sure how you would measure and interpret huge numbers of random data.

  11. 42
    Ellen

    How old is Venker, btw. Generally, except for enlightened men like Nathan, younger people, male and female , dont have the respect and historical knowledge of feminism. I.e., they did not live during pre-feminist times. I did. I was young but it influenced me. I also spent six years at two girls schools so am fairly pro-woman in my outlook and have seen what young women are capable of when not unduly influenced by males, at least in a school setting.
    It was, in a word, awesome.
    Trenia 41, gets it when she says, as Evan has, that you cant change men much. I honestly think
    the only way to get men to change bigtime is to go back to when women held that sex card and dealt it sparingly, when THEIR aims had ben met. Manipulaitve? Yeah. Effective? You bet.mRe pay discrimination, there doesnt seem to be as much as formerly, but women are perenially seemingly unable to ask for more or demand raises as

  12. 43
    Ellen

    Mika Brzezinski`s travails at Msnbc illustrate. She was so incensed she wrote a book about pay inequity, but, inthe end, blamed herself for not being pro-active enough. And if a clearly alpha  and often just plain old bitchy! female like Mika cant be brave, theres little hope for the rest of us. lol 
    sorry for the typos and double post, but I just dont get Android!

  13. 44
    Julia

    @Jenna 22 I think this is where EMK methods aren’t the best. Full disclosure: I am a client of his and I am 31. There is a pretty drastic difference between millenials and the generations before him. We are the most accepting generation of less traditional lifestyles. I see a rigidity in older generations that I don’t see in ours. I think many young women aren’t looking for the highest achieving man, mostly because most of the men we know and have grown up with are struggling. I want a partner, I am not looking for someone to provide for me, nor am I looking for someone to provide for.
    @nathan I think your analysis is spot on. Evan gives great dating advice, however he speaks from a position of great privilege and sometimes doesn’t understand that speaking on behalf of how women should feel, as people who are still underrepresented in government, on the pay scale, whose bodies are still seen as for public consumption might feel. Women don’t have it all and still have a great upward struggle. Until I don’t get left out of meetings, until my body is not a subject for public comment I will not receive the great privilege Venker thinks I have.
    And for the record to everyone discussing it, there are angry men and women out there. Anger is not a gender-specific emotion.

  14. 45
    Morris

    @Ruby #43.  Your knowledge of HR is completely wrong.  They are the gate keepers of all thing PAY, benefits and many other things.  My HR directory friend’s head would explode if she read what you wrote. :)  Even if they didn’t directly negotiate salary they have that information available to them.  Again, if HR departments that are mostly ran by women have that information wouldn’t you think there would be more uproar at all those companies?  Either way believe me I think a CEO/CFO has better things to do besides deciding each individual salary.
     
    No I didn’t read the article.  Do you know why?  I’m an Econ major and did my share of studies and statistical analysis.  And for every one you produce that shows one thing I can produce one that shows the opposite.  There are way too many variables to conclusively prove the gender gap one way or the other.  I laughed when I read ‘controlled for factors such as hours worked…’.  You can only control for a factor like that IF either you remove all hours that aren’t the same.(Which usually doesn’t happen since it would significantly reduce and change the pool from the original pool.)  Or apply some algorithm to hours.(Again flawed.  Who’s to say what those extra hours are worth?  Even worse what if they made it linear?  Like someone working 20 hours a week should make exactly half of what someone 40 hours a week makes?  We know THAT isn’t true.)
     
    The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  First of all we already had discrimination laws.  This is pure politics.  What happened to Lily WAS bad.  Those kinds of things are the things we need to be vigilant against.  But sometimes laws that have good intentions can prove to have negative consequences.  Let me ask you.  So you’re all for equal pay for equal work.  That sounds great and it’s something we need to strive for.  But what happens if a person wants to ask for a pay raise?  If they are in a position that other people also occupy doesn’t that mean…
     
    A)  You have to give ALL those people a raise?(Or be subject to a lawsuit if/when other people find out.)
    B)  You have to deny that person a raise since you can’t give everyone else a raise?(Maybe they will go to a different employer.)
    C)  Promote that person to justify the raise?(And since men ask more they would be promoted more.  Leading to more lawsuits.)
     
    Do you see the issue here?  You can’t just have a blanket equal pay for equal work mantra.
     
    I didn’t say discrimination didn’t happen.  I’m sure it does and we need to be vigilant against it.  All I’m saying is that it isn’t this wide spread systematic issue that accounts for 20% salary differences.  It’s much much smaller.  Some things that need to be addressed are:
     
    Men work more hours.
    Men take less sick/vacation days.
    Men are more willing to work weekend and/or travel.
    Women are more likely to quit work after a child birth.(Last I read it was a little over 20% of mothers to first born children don’t come back to work.)
     
    Think of the implications.  If you owned a small business and had 3-4 qualified applicants wouldn’t this be an issue?  It’s illegal to consciously discriminate based on the above but you’d be an idiot to not acknowledge it plays a roll.  Especially the last one.  It’s expensive to hire and train people.  And if on average you knew one applicant out of the qualified would work more hours.  Take less days off.  Be willing to work weekends and travel.  And if they are of that family starting age, wouldn’t have a 20% chance of quitting.  Don’t you think that applicant had an advantage?  Fair or not?
     
    I’m not saying this should all fall on women.  Maybe we should be teaching men that it’s ok not to work so hard.  But that would also mean women need to be more open to being the breadwinner and encouraging stay at home dads.  It would seem to me that until the above issues are resolved there is NO way we’ll close the wage gab.  You simply can’t ‘factor in’ for those variables.  You can’t accurately put a price on extra hours worked.  Extra days worked.  Less chance of quitting.

  15. 46
    Kathleen

    Ellen 44
    I agree with you. The people that talk about feminism in a derogatory way seem very ignorant about the history of feminism.
    I remember when my mother was trying to help support our family and she was automatically disqualified from a job because the first criteria was that she be male.   I remember observing in my first sales job with a major medical device company that there were ZERO females promoted to management. 
    I agree many women fail to negotiate equitable pay but since this is being recognized now I hope to see women more empowered with negotiation skills. 
     Older women vote and we saw that in the last election. Also the business community has evolved to need talents that are natural for females. Communication talents, service orientation, and service in medicine. As people have fewer children girls will have more resources. 
    Please if you are going to disparage feminism at least educate yourself

  16. 47
    Soul

    @ Morris # 47:
    If I understand properly, you are saying that:
    – Less chance of quitting leads to a higher salary.
    I do not understand why you would accept this correlation to be just/fair?

    1. 47.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Soul – I’m staying out of this, but I would say that it makes more sense to invest more money in someone who is a longterm asset to a company. There is a high cost to filling jobs and training and turnover is bad for most organizations. So if it’s a woman who’s taking maternity leave in a year vs a guy who has nothing to do but work, it makes sense for employer to pay top dollar to lock down their long-term investments.

  17. 48
    Kathleen

    Morris 47
    (Sorry about the double post)
    Your comment about HR having the ultimate say on pay is absurd. It depends on company culture If a company values top talent, the people who need them ( high level leadership) will pay them what it takes to get them on board.  
    That would be like saying someone in a staff position on the HR team would make the ultimate decision on what to pay Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan when he was playing

  18. 49
    Nicole

    @Morris,
    HR people don’t have the power to say yes.  They cannot change anyone’s salary.  They cannot hire anyone (unless the person is actually joining the HR department).  All they can do is control your access to the people who actually do have the power to say yes.
    If you get a job offer and negotiate on the salary, the HR person has to ask the people who have that power if it is a yes or no.  They can never ever tell you yes or no on the spot.  They might be trained to imply that they can, but they cannot.
    It’s a good lesson to learn b/c they can get carried away with the power of their no.  Many the HR person will block a qualified candidate which is why sometimes the higher ups will roll up their sleeves and get into the resumes.

  19. 50
    Ruby

    Morris #47
     
    Apparently, you are an econ major and not a logic major. If you HAD read the article, you would see that some of the factors you cite account for some of the wage discrepancy, but not all of it, as you seem to think.
     
    “Your knowledge of HR is completely wrong.  They are the gate keepers of all thing PAY, benefits and many other things.”
    So now it’s women in HR departments who have been responsible for not hiring and for underpaying other women? Gatekeepers they may be, but in general, HR sets pay based on guidelines determined by company owners and management. HR departments don’t actually decide who gets hired and fired at a company, although they may convey the message, and implement company policy. Get your HR friend a helmet.
     
    “It’s illegal to consciously discriminate based on the above but you’d be an idiot to not acknowledge it plays a roll.”
     
    And now you are saying that it’s okay to discriminate? You can’t have it both ways, and you cannot assume that all women have the same needs and goals any more than you can assume that all men will work harder, take less days off, or be willing to travel more.

  20. 51
    Morris

    @Soul #49.  Why do you pick one sentence?  I’m saying A LOT of things probably contribute to higher salary and YES a less likelihood of quitting would fall under that as well.   Why wouldn’t it?  Employment doesn’t happen in a vacuum.  Especially in the small business sector.  I also said breadwinning women should embrace their roles and encourage stay at home dads.  If that continues to happen both genders would be equally likely to quit after a child is born and the issue would resolve itself.(The quitting part that is.  Again it’s only part of the story.)  I think it’s irrational to think women can quit after childbirth at a 20% rate and think it won’t play a role(no matter how small of a role) in the gender wage gap.  To reverse what you asked.  Are you saying a person more likely to work more hours, days etc and not quit should have absolutely NO additional value under any circumstance?
     
    @Kathleen #50.  I think you misunderstood me.  I said they where the gatekeepers of pay and benefits.(HR generally processes pay and benefits.)  Then I go on to say, “Even if they didn’t directly negotiate salary they have that information available to them.”  Again, I acknowledge they don’t directly negotiate the salary.  BUT they have access to the information.  Or as you might put it.  They would know what Kobe or Jordan make.  Therefore, if there was a systematic gender discrimination in pay they would know about it.  And wouldn’t you think they would raise hell?
     
    @Nicole #51.  Read above.
     
    @Ruby #52.  Again I reiterate.  There are studies out there that can prove just about anything.  Just because you want to believe in that study doesn’t make it foolproof.  How do you factor in something like hours worked in a study like that?  Shouldn’t each company decide how much an additional hour might be worth?  You’re right I didn’t read it so I don’t know how they factored it in.  You don’t either, so I don’t see how you can claim you are right and I am wrong.
     
    I didn’t say it’s women that have been underpaying women.  I asked a question.  If women in HR have that information.  Which we all agree they do.  Why haven’t they raised hell if there was systematic gender pay discrimination at their companies?  We have laws against stuff like that and I’d assume they wouldn’t look the other way.
     
    I didn’t say it’s okay to discriminate.  I wish people wouldn’t.  But I understand why it would play a small role in some instances.  Why wouldn’t it?  Shouldn’t the goal be to narrow those issues so it can’t play a discriminatory role?  You’re not disputing those facts.  Yet you also don’t want it to be used in any shape or form.  I find that odd.  We don’t like generalities but we can’t pretend it doesn’t play a role in society.  I pay higher auto insurance because guys tend to get into bad accidents.(And I think men, especially young men, need to become safer drivers.)  I pay more for life insurance because men tend to have shorter lifespans.(And I think men need to take better care of themselves so we can live a longer healthier life.)  Yet I’ve never been in an accident and I take really good care of myself and expect to live a really long healthy life.
     
    Again.  I’m not saying men SHOULD be paid more since on average they work more hours, take less days off, work more weekends, are more willing to travel, are less likely to quit after a child is born.  That would be stupid.  It should be on an individual basis.  But I don’t know how anyone could think that that wouldn’t play a small role in the gender wage gap.  Surely a small amount of people consider this during the hiring process.  Especially in the small business community.  And a little there and a little here adds up.  And it probably plays a role in the gender wage gap.

  21. 52
    Kathleen

    Smart companies will hire top TALENT not just look at someone who will put in the longest hours and work the longest in years. ( if you are just looking at long term investment in hours vs talent Im sure any US Post Office is a great model to observe)
    As Ive said, many of the natural talents of women have become important in todays evolving business world and a company that doesn’t take advantage of that talent because they are afraid a woman might get pregnant is loosing a competitive advantage. 
    The good news is that there are courageous strong smart women like myself who won’t tolerate covert sex discrimination. I won a large settlement from a large company for gender discrimination and I helped several other women in the organization to also win settlements. Imagine how more productive we could have been if we weren’t discriminated against in the first place by youngish inexperienced men in management and their incompetent HR director

  22. 53
    David T

    I personally think there is a wage gap.  Note however, that Morris’ main point is that there are too many variables to quantitatively say one way or the other. I have to agree with that, but I also say there is value in the conclusions of common wisdom and perception. It isn’t always correct, but is more often than not. Now as to the why’s women are paid less, who knows?
     
     
    Someone up there asked if it was fair if “less likely to quit means higher salary”..of COURSE it means that and it is not only fair, it is logical.  If someone spends 10 years at one company, they will be worth more to that company than someone who has only spent 5 years there, even if that shorter term employee has 10 years total experience doing something similar at a different company. The 10 year vet knows the ins and outs better, has better communication with other in the company, etc.  Yes, some people become lazy, etc and their value  can decline over time, but in general, if someone is more experienced at carrying out a company’s business, they will do it more efficiently and have insights that a less experienced person will not.
     
    If you want to talk about companies paying less on day one for new hires based on what they think will happen, that is a different question. I think that effect will be hard to find; talk about easy pickings for a sex discrimination lawsuit!
     
    Regardless of that someone who does work longer for a company will on average be more painful to lose (worth more) than someone who has worked less time for that same firm.
    Might be interesting to look at Sweden in 20 years.  Fathers are strongly incentivized to take two months paternity leave. If they don’t the total maternity-paternity leave pool for each birth shrinks.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444226904577561100020336384.html
     
    @Evan…it does make sense to pay more to keep people around, however in this day and age, very few employees are ever considered long term investments.  People are mostly considered cogs to be plugged in and out depending on market conditions.  (Most companies in project planning refer to employees as “resources”). Over time, most companies tend to churn through a lot of people regardless of gender. There are a few exceptions: folks in executive grooming career paths, for instance, or subject matter experts in a particular niche. There are not many of those types though.
     
    I bet if you do a salary comparison at large companies bases solely on years of experience at that particular company of first job employees, the gender gap is smaller.

  23. 54
    Soul

    @Evan #53:

    Discrimination is, by law, when you make a decision based on likelihood and not on facts. That is the reason why I asked, in a seemingly naive way, why Morris would accept this as being fair….

    Fortunately, we live in countries where we hit a high score on the ” rule of law” scale, and people cannot make decisions based on probablity and assumptions alone, even if it is very human, and even if it would be more profitable economically-speaking.

    So, in a nutshell:
    – yes it makes perfect sense for a profit-seeking company, and
    -yes it is discrimination, it is unfair/unjust

    @ Morris # 54: I just picked the most obvious exemple in what you wrote, but you can apply my reasoning to the three variables you provided… go back to your ” theories of justice” courses)

    1. 54.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I don’t like the direction this thread is going. Way off topic. The real question is whether the changes in women over the past 40 years have negatively impacted their ability to find happy partnerships, and what, if anything can women do about it themselves (presuming that you can’t change men)?

  24. 55
    katrina

    I have thankfully travelled, lived in and embraced cultures from all around the world. And in all of my personal experience of being a “dependent” on a man kind of women I respect the fact that American women have so much autonomy in a relationship and the men listen. Of course their is a power struggle. Men have for thousands of years been the literal masters of women. And society is so brainwashed with the effect of this arrangement that women are seen as docile, submissive which is considered feminine and translates to her being a “good” women. What it doesn’t tell you is that women suffer the most from poverty after divorce, stay in abusive relationships, are not taken seriously or respected for her mind and intuition and are left to work like cattle and slaves to care for their children all over the world. In many countries women will not even have custody of her children. Here in England women do not realize that the courts actually tend to side with the men to a great degree unless the women meets the “criteria” of being that good women. In Israel a women cannot have a divorce without her husbands permission. And in the middle east women are not allowed to earn money without her husbands permission and when they divorce will lose custody if she has no way to take care of them.  A complete opposite in America where women are free to talk back to their husbands, question his bad decisions and reprimand him and the men take it seriously because society supports female independence. American women now understand that men have trampled on them for far too long and taking advantage of their positions as breadwinners. Some men may feel their status as the “master of the house” has become demeaned but in reality they are being given an ultimatum to better everyones life in society and stop oppression or cross the seas and find a submissive wife who will put up with their shit (until she sees the freedom back here and puts your ass out too ;-0
     
    i do not believe that men are being oppressed by American women. In fact I believe that the reason the oppression of women has gone on so long is because our natures are to be compassionate, understanding, caring, and comparatively unselfish (all of which are the stereotypes of a good women) and for the most part this prevents the abuse that men have historically bestowed upon us. What i mean to say is that I do not believe that women take advantage of their power and responsibility over others as men. In a united nations survey women who had more material wealth spent 90% of it on their families whilst men were found to only spend 50% despite him being the main breadwinner in a third world country where his family were completely dependent on him.
    This really hit home for me because as a women married into an eastern family and society I found it quite unnerving that many women did not get regular haircuts or clothes equal to their husbands expediture on himself. Family that I at first thought were very poor thanks to the living conditions of their women were quite surprisingly earning double of my husband. Whereas the american women tends to be well taken care of despite being dependent on her husband. Which i can only thank to those strong women who have learned that they can work and earn their own money and at the end of the day don’t need to kiss a mans arse just to survive. And thankfully society is more supportive then any other society in the world and less judgemental to divorced women and single mothers.
    This author should be shot for further trying to make women vulnerable and oppress them. Particularly when their is such a high degree of abuse and oppression of women all around the world and still in America. We should be supporting womens rights in America.

  25. 56
    justme

    I see no evidence of men being less likely to quit or being willing to work longer hours.  I see individuals in BOTH genders who are hardworking and dedicated.  I see individuals in BOTH genders who put in as little hours as possible and get as little done in those hours as they can get away with.  Perhaps women are more likely to quit due to children but overall; but i think men quit jobs just as often, just for different reasons.  My company took a position that had always been held by women, increased the responsibilties, increased the pay and hired a man.  He wasn’t there a full year before he quit for greener pastures.  The truth is people leave jobs all the time for a variety of reasons and the only gender who gets the strike against them is women.  This is why is discrimination and I am sadden by all the individuals who are justifying this practice.
     
     
    Also – the new thinking is you spend 4 to 5 years with a company and you move on.  If you are staying longer than that, you are stagnate.  Companies are realizing that brining in new employees brings new ideas. 

  26. 57
    Kathleen

    Ok back to Evans question…
    I believe women are returning to a position of more equitable status to men, which has been the natural state of things over millions of years .
    How does this change things in my personal relationships?.
    For me I don’t have to only date up. I don’t have to only be with a man who has more material wealth because i have my own economic power. I have more freedom to be with a guy who makes me feel good as my primary motivator. My boyfriend is less educated and makes less money than me. He is loving, open hearted, and committed and that is refreshing
    The other way its changed things for me and my women friends is that we can successfully date younger guys as another option. These guys don’t necessarily need us as reproductive vessels and their  motivation for being with us seems to be because we are interesting attractive secure women I believe the number of younger men / older women pairings will increase. 
    For me these changes bring more freedom of my options There are more men that I can choose from.

  27. 58
    marymary

    If women had been that happy with their relationships in the past they wouldn’t have felt the need to change things. Mind you, wars change things. In britain, the shortage of men during the war forced women out into work and they liked it. You can,t put that genie back in the bottle. 
    with work comes financial independence, with that comes choices, and that may well be the choice to delay marriage, not marry the first man who looks at you or get divorced if it doesn,t work out.  This gives men more choices too. they,re not obliged to marry someone just for walking out with her. There,s a fallout to choice, you might make the wrong one, even repeatedly.  but back in biblical times when women didn,t have the choices of today, divorce laws were laid down. relationship failure is nothing new. We just find new excuses for them.
    i think men and women are actually better off now. there,s birth control, you don,t have to marry to get a roof over your head, you don,t have to support a wife and five kids if you don,t want to, you don,t have to marry by twenty five to fit in, or just to get sex. You can be openly lesbian or gay, you don.t have to get married to the opposite sex to avoid gossip or stigma. How can this be anything but good for relationships?
    there was no golden age where men and women or men and men or women and women got on perfectly.  Maybe when we didn,t live as long it was easier to stay married for life. But back in Tudor Times Henry VIII cut off his devoted first wife, and beheaded two others. That wouldn’t fly these days.
    I see happy marriages and LTRs all around me. one where the man is only 22. he,s just bought a house with his girlfriend. If you think that is too young, then of course there will be some pain.  If we are all going to wait until thirty plus to marry, there,s gonna be some damage along the way – if not your heart, someone else,s.
     we all got more choices. What women can do is make better ones.
    I,m not angry, I don,t know any angry women, and while I have been on the receiving end of anger from a very small no. of men and women, I don,t choose to paint all with she same brush. So I’m not an anger expert but make the general observation that anger hides hurt and it you,re angry, look underneath at why. It might not be what you think it is. The opposite sex may be an easy target rather than what you could change in yourself.
    oh yeah and forget all that prince charming, soulmate, happy ever after romcom crap.

  28. 59
    Morris

    @Evan #60 – I apologize for my part in taking the discussion off topic.  So back to the original topic.  I completely agree with Kathleen#61 and marymary#62.  I would like to add to that.  It might have been implied in the above but I would like to say it.
     
    I think women have a harder time dating because as much as times are changing peoples approach to dating haven’t kept up.  Maybe women should be more like men in this regard.  Men still overwhelmingly ask women out.  And since men are going to ask out the type of women they think they want to be with, even after all the rejections which are just part of the process, they will likely end up with someone they are happy with.
     
    Yet at least in my circle of friends women are just picking from the men that ask them out.  I’m not sure this approach is in the best interest of women.  Granted it’s a bit easier for men since we are more visual.  But I can’t count the times I’ve been out with my ‘girl’ friends and they met someone interesting only to end the night empty handed.  I understand it’s nice when the man asks the woman out or the man comes up to talk to the woman.  It makes a good ‘how did you meet’ story.  But times are changing.  Women should go get what they want and not just choose from what’s available.

  29. 60
    Tom10

    “the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off…”
     
    I don’t think this is true: I’m delighted with the fact that women now have equal opportunities and chances to live their lives as they see fit. I can’t understand how anyone would have a problem with this.
     
    Evan # 60
    “The real question is whether the changes in women over the past 40 years have negatively impacted their ability to find happy partnerships, and what, if anything can women do about it themselves?”
     
    One unintended consequence of personal freedom which seems to piss (some) men off is that 90% of women (perhaps inevitably) chase the same 10% of men. The same thing for women: 90% of men chase the same 10% of women. This has resulted in the lucky 10% of men helping themselves to many women, and the lucky 10% of women perhaps becoming a bit entitled and overly picky. 
     
    If you’re not in the lucky 10% the solution seems simple: put yourself in there. Sort out your issues, develop your self-esteem, go to the gym, get some decent clothes, become self-sufficient, get a degree / car / house etc. And if you’re already at your max and still not happy with the results? Change your expectations.
     
    marymary
    “Henry VIII cut off his devoted first wife, and beheaded two others”.
    That wouldn’t fly these days.”
     
    Ha, that made me chuckle.
     

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