“The End of Men” by Hanna Rosin – review by Evan Marc Katz

"The End of Men" by Hanna Rosin - review by Evan Marc Katz

I know, I’m a little late to the game in reviewing Hanna Rosin’s “The End of Men”, which came out on September 11, 2012. That’s what happens when your day job is coaching smart, strong, successful women and your night job is being a good husband and father. And so it goes.

As you may know, I’m a big reader, but tend to only read books for pleasure. If they feel too much like homework, I’m not going to bother. Which is generally why I have a lot of trouble reading most relationship books. Too close to home. But when it comes to accessible, scientifically researched, mainstream nonfiction, I’m a sucker. I’ve read most of the seminal books on behavioral economics like “Predictably Irrational”, “Nudge”, “How We Decide” and “Thinking, Fast and Slow”. And I really enjoy books that talk about larger societal issues revolving around gender and relationships: “Marry Him” by Lori Gottlieb, “Committed” by Elizabeth Gilbert, “Unhooked Generation” by Jillian Straus. Which brings me to “The End of Men”.

Women have become more traditionally masculine. Men haven’t become more traditionally feminine.

Rosin starts with some unassailable premises: women are gaining ground in education and the workplace, gender roles are fluid, and both genders are confused about what this means.

So is the author, I would suggest.

“Men could move more quickly into new roles now open to them – college graduate, nurse, teacher, full-time father – but for some reason, they hesitate…Men do a tiny bit more housework and child care than they did 40 years ago, while women do vastly more paid work. The working mother is now the norm. The stay at home father is still a front page anomaly”.

This is true. But Rosin’s built-in suggestion to men is a bit one-sided: the answer to these dilemmas is for men to change. Rosin points out that “women have become more masculine in their traits – assertive, independent, willing to take a stand. Men have not come towards the center, seeing themselves as tender or gentle.”

Yes, and that’s my point. Women have become more traditionally masculine. Men haven’t become more traditionally feminine. And so we find ourselves at an impasse – one that we’ve broached many times on this blog. Women’s answer to men: you need to change. Men’s reply to women: we like the way we are! Accept us.

Screaming back and forth at each other – as we often do – doesn’t serve a purpose. In a perfect world, we’ll try to meet in the middle. But Rosin spends a lot more time reflecting – on how men are falling behind than she does telling women how to adjust to the new world order. To be fair, this new world order, with women at the top, is the central premise of the book. And, to be fair, Rosin does a good job weaving a narrative based on anecdotes and statistics that support her case. Except they don’t entirely do so.

For example, “Among college graduates 25-39, women make up 45.9%.” Women earn 60% of masters, half of all law and medical degrees, and 44% of all business degrees.”

I find this information to be amazing. Inspiring. Heartwarming. Groundbreaking. Yet Rosin is arguing that these statistics represent not just the rise of women but the “end of men”.

Huh?

That’s not the end of men. It’s the BEGINNING of true equality! Now, for the first time, there will be just as many women who will be able to choose men because they are cute, kind, and loyal, not because simply because they’re educated and wealthy. Now, for the first time, a woman who makes $300K/year will have no trouble picking up the tab for a lavish European vacation with her boyfriend who makes $50K, just as men have been doing for their wives for a hundred years. This is good news, and it requires two shifts:

1) Men have to not feel emasculated when there are many women are smarter or wealthier.

2) Women have to not look down on men who are less educated or less successful. Just as men (like me) don’t look down on our stay-at-home mom wives; we cherish them for what they DO bring to the table – kindness, generosity, warmth, laughter, companionship, love, sex, and 100 other things that don’t involve money.

The author continues much of the book on this path, “The number of women with six figure incomes is rising at a faster pace than it is for men. 1 in 18 women working full time earn 100K or more in 2009, a jump of 14 percent over 2 years.”

The hard-driving businesswoman may mute her natural tenderness and vulnerability, two traits that men find both attractive and accessible.

Rosin calls this “the last gasp of a vanishing age” – when men had all the top jobs and wealth. But this is progress. This is as it should be. The number of women with six figure incomes SHOULD be rising at a faster rate because there’s a lot further for women to come to break thru the glass ceiling. Again, this doesn’t represent the end of men. It represents the closest we’ve come yet to a gender-blind work environment – and even that is far away.

Of course, I’m leading with my criticisms, not my praise, but Rosin does take an even hand – not just talking about the “end of men” but shining the light on the contradictions of the modern, smart, strong, successful woman – who makes $200K, but still wants a man to make more. Not only is this a challenging crossroads for women, but Rosin points out another dilemma that comes with equality: the hard-driving businesswoman persona may mute her natural tenderness and vulnerability, two traits that men find both attractive and accessible.

“With sex, as with most areas of life, women tend to preserve a core of their old selves – romantic, tender, vulnerable – even while taking on new sexual personas. The women at business school no longer needed a man to support them, but that didn’t mean they didn’t want one. And years of practice putting up their guard made it hard for them to know when to let it down. As Meghan Daum writes in My Misspent Youth, “the worst sin imaginable was not cruelty or bitchiness or even professional failure but vulnerability.”

Such shifts have only made the already murky dating world even murkier, as gender roles get blurry. And women who choose to put career first do quite well. Reports Rosin, “There is hardly any earning gap between women who don’t have children and men. Mostly, what happens is obvious: women with children start cutting back hours or seeking out situations that are more family friendly.”

So, if you’re a woman who chooses to go all-in on your career, no one’s judging you – certainly not on this blog. I would just hope that you follow the wisdom of the men who do the same; choose a partner who puts the relationship first. The high-power women interviewed in the book came to the same conclusion; a less ambitious husband enables a successful partnership. Writes Rosin, “The powerful women I spoke to all admitted being utterly dependent on their husbands. All described this as the first rule of success: “Choose your spouse carefully…”

Rosin and I both agree that the rise of women necessitates change. And while I disagree that this signals “The End of Men”, I do agree that men have to come to terms with a new world in which, potentially, 50% of the women they meet will make more money. But since this blog is for women, my directive isn’t to tell men how they need to change; it’s to remind you that you can only control your own actions and reactions. Thus, the onus is on you to adjust to the new world order that you’ve created.

Concludes Rosin, “If diversity is good in the workplace, then it’s also good at home. In a massive Dept of Education study, a child’s grades were more closely correlated to how many times the dad showed up at a school event than any other factor. Children with involved fathers measure as having higher IQs by age three, higher self esteem and in the case of daughters, grow up to be less promiscuous.”

And if you’re a woman working 60-hour weeks and pulling in a half million a year, you know what kind of Dad will be a perfect fit? Not the high-powered brain surgeon/marathon runner, but the high-school English teacher who makes $60K, gets home at 4:30, has summers off and pulls in a generous pension.

That’s the model for success. Which means no more clamoring for the male version of yourself.

Do what successful men have done for eons; marry “down” a little bit and find a happy marriage with complementary (not necessarily “equal”) roles.

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Karmic Equation

    @Anita 64
     
    I guess that’s pretty interesting if you’re a farmer or an octopus. But I don’t get how what you’ve read applies to heterosexual women looking for relationships?

  2. 62
    Steve

    EMK writes:
    This is true. But Rosin’s built-in suggestion to men is a bit one-sided: the answer to these dilemmas is for men to change. Rosin points out that “women have become more masculine in their traits – assertive, independent, willing to take a stand. Men have not come towards the center, seeing themselves as tender or gentle.”
     
     
    1. Men do not like many women with those traits.  That is why Evan’s clients are “smart strong successful women”.    Those women don’t know how to stop acting like men once they are off the clock.
     
    2. Men do not want to become feminine.
     
    3.  Women do not want men to become more feminine, including Evan’s “smart strong successful women” clients.   Women want men because they are masculine.  Even the “smart strong successful women” want men who they perceive as masculine.  A number of them, not all, want men who earn as much, if not more then they do.

  3. 63
    Steve

    EMK writes
    But Rosin spends a lot more time reflecting – on how men are falling behind than she does telling women how to adjust to the new world order. To be fair, this new world order, with women at the top, is the central premise of the book. And, to be fair, Rosin does a good job weaving a narrative based on anecdotes and statistics that support her case. Except they don’t entirely do so.
    For example, “Among college graduates 25-39, women make up 45.9%.” Women earn 60% of masters, half of all law and medical degrees, and 44% of all business degrees.”
     
    That is why I tell my friends while I have nothing against equality I do not care to support feminism.   When I ask what is in it for me or men in general I can’t think of anything.   True or not, when I see statistics like that quoted, I do not see feminists or women standing up and shouting “OMG, men are falling behind in education, we have to do something about that so everyone is equal”.   Even for women to come up to about 50% of the places in college and for particular jobs means that some men have to lose out.  In the meantime I see portrayals of men being emasculated all over the entertainment industry ( example “The Hunger Games” ).  Additionally, a number of men have problems with having grown up having heard a lot of male bashing messages from feminists.
     
    My attitude is that I am all about equality, I respect people looking out for their interests and I admire people who work at building themselves up.    As far as feminism and an eternal “we only need to help women” position goes, my attitude is “no thanks”
     

  4. 64
    Selena

    There is an old song from back in the 1960’s  that has these lyrics:
     
    “You can’t always get what you want. You can’t always get what you want. But sometimes… you just might find… You get what you need.”

  5. 65
    Anita

    Karmic@65: My post is in response to the assertion that biology dictates mating behavior, as you read in the popular press. I was taking on the very popular assumption that “men do this” and “women do that” so that the species will survive. My biggest problem with these arguments, aside from the simplistic (ignorant) way the media handle scientific info, is that people start using this media science to justify rude, thoughtless, cruel, or predatory behavior toward members of the opposite sex. Or to justify lifestyle decisions that are human social constructs–not biological ones.

  6. 66
    Anita

    Steve@66,67: If women make up more than 50% of the population, and 50% of spots in schools are going to women, how are women taking anything away from men? Men aren’t falling behind in education; they had an unfair advantage before and now that the academic playing field is more level certain men are finding that they cannot compete with certain women, women who in previous generations would have had their wings clipped. So these men are going to have to go do something else. The way women have always had to. But to use the age-old justification for competition–this upping of the ante will make the world stronger and better because the best and the brightest from all walks of life–not just the best and the brightest from the smaller pool of white males–will have a chance to contribute their talents to the world.

  7. 67
    Karmic Equation

    Anita@69
    Disclaimer: I’m sure that what I say below will have exceptions, but the exceptions don’t disprove the rule.

    Of course biology dictates mating behavior. Most men want to have sex with women and most women want to have sex with men. While some women want to mate with women and some men want to mate with men, even THEN you can often tell which mate is the “masculine” one and which mate is the “feminine” one in the relationship.

    Then there are other things that I can’t help but attribute to something other than social constructs…Like why women LOVE shoes and men LOVE power tools (and not usually the other way around). You also can’t deny that MOST men [who have options] have to suppress their desire for variety when in a committed relationship, while most women don’t have to suppress their desire for variety [of men] when in a committed relationship. In fact MOST women have trouble even THINKING ABOUT another man, never mind dating another man, when she “feels” a connection with one man. Hence all the angst about why a man she was interested in never calls back or disappears. Do most MEN [with options] have this angst? No.

    I would echo Evan and say that while you may WISH that men and women are “the same” and that our dating/mating behaviors are determined by something other than biology, the reality is that our male and female “minds” and “psyches” — or even male/female “collective unconsciousness” (Jung ?) — are different on a level that are NOT based on social constructs or gender-neutral decision-making, but on something that is harder to define. And while the term “biology” can mean specifically DNA, as you have chosen to do, “biology” in the sense that it is used on dating/relationship websites is a more appropriate term to describe those differences not attributable to social constructs.

    Anita #70
    I agree with you on this.

    Steve #66
    Well summarized. I agree.

    “1. Men do not like many women with those traits.  That is why Evan’s clients are “smart strong successful women”. *Those women don’t know how to stop acting like men once they are off the clock.*

    In the Rachel Greenwald book, Have Him at Hello, there is support for the statement that I highlighted above:

    One man told me that most women he meets today would prefer he “admire their accomplishments rather than their butts … If you’d take professional respect over lust, you might have just lost that second date. I call these Boss Ladies part of “The Cinderella Generation”: They broke the glass ceiling but broke their glass slipper along with it. <snipped>

    While it’s hard to transition from taking charge, focusing on the bottom line, and organizing schedules, it’s imperative to grasp that men say the “image” of the woman they want at 8:00pm isn’t the same image of the woman they want at 8:00am.

    #67
    I agree with you but from a feminine angle :)

    I am all for equal pay for equal work, and the all the business and educational benefits that were the results of feminism.

    And while I personally love the sexual liberation that came from the sexual revolution that went with the rise of feminism, that sexual liberation came at a high cost to women, who “biologically” still yearn for committed relationships, but are no longer finding them easy to get. Because while the sexual revolution liberated women to have sex without consequences (i.e., pregnancy), the unintended consequence of that liberation ALSO freed MEN…from committed relationships…and to indulge THEIR biological desire for variety… without consequences.

    I don’t believe that women “won” on the sexual liberation front. Men did, in a big way. And for this reason…and also because I don’t think most men deserve to be bashed…I don’t believe feminism is all it’s cracked up to be.

  8. 68
    Ellen (Rebekah) aka redheadinDixie

    Karmic wrote: I don’t believe that women “won” on the sexual liberation front. Men did, in a big way. And for this reason…and also because I don’t think most men deserve to be bashed…I don’t believe feminism is all it’s cracked up to be.
    Karmic you are YOUNG and have NO idea what we went thru. Spend some time at this site seeing dozens of feminist pioneers interviewed like Marlo Thomas, the first female marathon runner (yeah, it wasn’t that long ago), Pat Schroeder (one of my heroes I think), Gloria, Hilary,Ellen Degeneres, Nora Ephron, etc. as they describe in detail the incredible prejudice, discrimination, insults they endured, really not that long ago kiddo.
    http://www.makers.com/
     
    As Taylor Swift said recently (even she gets it), quoting someone famous whom I cannot recall, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
    Btw, plenty of feminists are married, adore men, etc. One doesn’t preclude the other dear.

  9. 69
    Steve

    @Anita #70
    If men ONLY stand to lose from feminism, why should they support it?
    Why should I vote for things that will take away opportunities for people like me?
     

  10. 70
    Steve

    @Karmic Equation #71
    Men have been dealing with “that problem” for decades on dates.  It used to be called being a bore and those men were advised to talk about something else other than work on a date.

  11. 71
    Lia

    @ Ellen # 72
     
    The thing about feminism that I object to is the vilification of men.  I do believe there are a lot of things to be grateful for.  I am thankful to be living in this time and that things have changed for women.  Yes, it was an uphill struggle to get to the place we are now.  Yes, there were women who spoke out and stood against the prejudice and inequality.  
     
    But men as a group and gender are NOT THE ENEMY.  There is no need to push them down so that we may rise.  There is no need to make them less so that we can be more.  There is no need to shame them because there were men in the past who made it hard for women to live their dreams or just survive.  As women we don’t became the best we can be by turning into the same kind of prejudice, egomaniacal, bullies that many men use to be a generation ago. 

  12. 72
    Lia

    @ Ellen # 72
     
    P.S.  I loved the quote. 

  13. 73
    Karmic Equation

    @Ellen #72

    No. I’m not that young. 45. At the right age and attitude to date well below my age as well as high above it as I wish (which is rarely, LOL).

    I believe in equal pay for equal work, voting, equal opportunity, basically all the rights and privileges that were granted to us in the BUSINESS and EDUCATION world.

    However, in the RELATIONSHIP world, the sexual liberation movement, which many equate with or lump into “feminism”, didn’t ONLY liberate women, it liberated MEN in a way that was unforeseen and UNACKNOWLEDGED by most “feminists.” Freeing women to have sex actually freed men to have MORE sex with MORE women than ever before. How many feminists want to defend this social construct of their making?

    And I think the word “feminists” is a misnomer as modern-day feminists (not the pioneers) don’t believe that there is power in being a woman: harmonious, radiant, receptive. They believe in the masculine counterparts: harsh, somber, aggressive. It would be more accurate to label modern-day feminists “masculinists” because they devalue women’s feminine tendencies in favor of promoting masculine ones to define success.

    Unfortunately, the skills that women hone to be successful in the business world are NOT the skills that will help her find the man of her dreams. Because the man of her dreams is NOT dreaming of a woman who acts like a man. They’re dreaming of feminine women, in flowy dresses and lacy lingerie. Accept it.

    And, imo, the more passionately a woman defends her “masculine” powers, the more I tend to believe she doesn’t know how to be feminine. “Methinks thou protesteth too much.”

    There’s a time for everything, INCLUDING being feminine. Be a man at work, you have to be in order to succeed in a male-dominated business world.

    But when you’re away from work, you have to GLORY IN being a woman. If you don’t know how, read books, blogs, ask your most girly-girl girl friend. Ask a guy (but make sure he is not related to you, not gay, and isn’t hoping to get in your pants).

    It is not weak to be a feminine woman. It’s wise, if you’re looking for a masculine man.

    @Lia 75
    Well said. I agree with you.

  14. 74
    Kathleen

    Ellen # 72 
    I couldn’t agree more with your eloquently worded post.  
    There is clearly a lack of understanding of feminism by women younger than I  based on ignorance.  
    Anyone saying feminism is about vilifying men  or becoming men needs to review history.

  15. 75
    Karmic Equation

    @Kathleen 78

    Neither you nor Ellen read my full posts. You see the word feminism and anything negative and you’re blinded by a red haze.

    Unless you and Ellen were in your early 20’s in the 60’s, neither of you are pioneers of feminism, so I would consider you both modern-day feminists, most of whom, unfortunately do bash men. Maybe the two of you don’t, but way too many women out there have taken feminism in a direction the original feminists never intended.

    I have every respect for the pioneers of feminism, even if I don’t agree with the one result that no feminist ever talks about, now or then: The UNINTENDED consequences of the sexual revolution were not what women bargained for. So in this aspect “feminism” failed women.

    It didn’t fail ME. I can have sex without a committed relationship. It’s all the other women who can’t have sex unless their guy commits to exclusivity first who are the most negatively affected.

    There were fewer players pre-sexual revolution. Maybe your cousin’s sister’s best friend was knocked up by a player back then. But now all women have met/dated/banged a player or two in their lifetimes and, god forbid, even pay former players (Sorry, Evan!) to help them find good relationships. There were no books on how to avoid players or how to be players pre-sexual revolution. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Men and women have been having relations since Adam and Eve yet post-sexual revolution, there’s a cottage industry of dating/relationship coaches?

    The business and educational benefits we gained because of feminism are great! I acknowledge that wholeheartedly.

    However, the sexual revolution, which to most feminists is synonymous with feminism, did not help most women when it comes to sex or relationships. It hurt them. It helped men instead. That is what feminists will never acknowledge. But it should be acknowledged. No feminist wants to take the mea culpa for that.

  16. 76
    Ellen (Rebekah) aka redheadinDixie

    Karmic wrote: “But when you’re away from work, you have to GLORY IN being a woman. If you don’t know how, read books, blogs, ask your most girly-girl girl friend. Ask a guy (but make sure he is not related to you, not gay, and isn’t hoping to get in your pants).”
    Karmic, the inability for many here to read posts carefully is the reason I seldom come on here anymore. Tired of pulling my hair out. Uh, is this advice for me whom you’ve never met? ‘Cause I try not to make any sort of mental leaps here with anyone. “Never assume” is also a great quote. I would advise everyone to give the POV without lecturing and making insane assumptions about posters they’ve never met.
    But I’ll get back to that.
    On a different note, maybe, as you declare, present-day feminists are more radical than in the past. I wouldn’t know, ’cause I haven’t investigated it or read the recent literature much except for Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Trap, I think it’s called. I doubt you have either, frankly. Actually the one modern sorta feminist I have read a little- Paglia- is both a “dissident” feminist and big supporter of males, but I digress..(from what I understand she is a feminist but has a LOT to say that is very anti-feminism. It’s complicated but I think she has been a bit of a publicity hound about it in the past so I don’t take her that seriously).
    Maybe present day feminists, to a woman (see how illogical your argument is ?), secretly all HATE the eternal womanly qualities as you so blithely declare. If they do, ok, yes, that is wrong, but why lump them all together?
    Re your unasked for advice, regarding being womanly, uh, I’ve got that covered- in spades Karmic. In earlier posts, going back months though, I have described myself as an alpha female, as girly but not super girly-girl, as a kind of cerebral sorta Southern Belle, etc. I am opening myself up to ridicule, but really, if I had to describe myself honestly that is how I would describe myself. And I say it with as much humility as I can muster. I am, in short, who I want to be and nothing less (thanks in part to feminism and the influence of my late father I might add).
    …. Now, the alpha part I slowly reveal to guys to see if they can handle it. My current boyfriend of 15 months is VERY alpha and he’s ok with it ’cause he admires me. He is always telling me proudly how strong I am emotionally, how butch I can be emotionally…..And as I still wear 3 and 4 inch heels on occasion and fairly tight fitting clothing ’cause I can (ok not during the winter ’cause that’s when I gain), I am living proof you can be smart, successful, cerebral (even an intellectual), alpha (with all that delicious male energy and confidence) AND girly. All at once. It’s all in how you present yourself to the world. I am all that without dominating any conversation. I am all that without being a bore. I am all that without being smug or hopelessly opinionated (most people never catch on I’m an intellectual til they’ve known me a while). I am all that while showing intense interest and love for others. See how complicated and gray the world/life can be if you would just stop hiding behind your agenda/dogma/simple, facile generalizations?
    I am proof you can embrace your femininity without letting go of the rest- even for a damn second, at home and at work and on a date. So stop assuming many of us who comment here are clueless that way (you have a habit of that).
    And Lia I think we still need feminism or something similar given the abysmal tendency of the male psyche to want to regress and conveniently forget (unless we persist) how capable we are. The Republicans proved that in the recent election. They want to return the US and females back to 1950. So Lia and Karmic, uh, YEAH, we need to be vigilant at least. And I won’t even go into how underrepresented we are in Congress and on corporate boards of directors.
    Kathleen @78- thanks for the support. Glad someone gets it here today.
     
     

  17. 77
    Lia

    @ Kathleen #78
     
    “Anyone saying feminism is about vilifying men or becoming men needs to review history.”  
     
    With all due respect I am cognizant of what has come before.  But if you are always looking back instead of what is NOW then I believe that is ignorance.  Ignorance of what the repercussions have been.  Change of that magnitude always has repercussions.  To think otherwise is foolish.  There have been changes in every area of our lives and we need to address these changes. 
     
    @ Karmic Equation # 79
     
    YES!
     

  18. 78
    Selena

    @Karmic
     
    I consider feminism a cultural shift at a period in history. I identify as a person, not as a feminist. And while the sexual revolution perhaps freed up men not have to commit in order to get sex, they still are committing all over the place. The wedding business is gigantic. The stats for people who choose not to marry, but cohabitate are large and seemingly growing. So I don’t feel the need to acknowledge that the revolution hurt women while it helped men instead.  I see it as helping both genders to make their own choices instead of being into choices they perhaps weren’t suited to.
     
    And that would apply to ‘players’ as well. Better a single guy to not commit than to become a cheating husband.

  19. 79
    Ruby

    karmic
     
    I see the rise in relationship coaching as just another aspect of the self-help and therapy movements. In my mother’s day, people didn’t go to therapy the way they do today, they didn’t consult relationship advisors or life coaches. Maybe they read Dear Abby or Ann Landers, but many problems were just swept under the rug. If a girl had sex, she’d become the town tramp. If she got pregnant, she had to have the baby, and was sent away. If there was access to abortion, she was lucky if she didn’t die during the procedure. If you got married and your marriage was horrible (for both men & women), you just sucked it up, because divorce was frowned upon. Sex is much more out in the open today. Is it all perfect? Obviously not, but I cannot imagine going back to a time when women couldn’t acknowledge that they are sexual beings, so let’s not romanticize “the good old days”.
     
    The rules have changed and many of us make it up as we go along. Karmic, I can have sex without a committed relationship if I’m not in love with the guy. Sometimes i don’t know if he’s someone I’ll fall in love with right away. Sometimes I’ve thought I was in love, but realize after a few months that i’ve misjudged him. I may want a committed relationship and to be in love, but I am not a slave to my feelings (or my hormones) just because I’m female.
     
    Ellen, I get it, and I thank you for your posts.

  20. 80
    Selena

    Well put Ruby. Same here.

  21. 81
    Karmic Equation

    @Ellen

    This is what I perceive modern-day feminism to be:

    The original feminists wanted equality for women; they did not want extra rights for women, nor to take rights away from men. In the eyes of a growing number of people, modern feminism has taken the banner of equality, and used it as a smokescreen for radical activities.

    (Excerpted from http://www.freewebs.com/feminism-evaluated/)
    ——————–
    I’ve never written anywhere on this blog that women cannot be alpha and feminine. I’ve never even written that women cannot have both feminine and masculine qualities. What I do say is that women need to let their feminine side out when they want to attract masculine men…as YOU wisely did yourself.

    “Now, the alpha part I slowly reveal to guys to see if they can handle it.” — YES, wisely done. Very femininely smart of you!

    It’s not ME that’s assuming anything. YOU are the one assuming that strong, smart, successful (“SSS”) women are being feminine and revealing their alpha-ness over time (as you and I do, btw). They’re not. If most SSS women did as you and I do while dating, Evan would be out of a job.

    Main Entry: fem·i·nism
        1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
        2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

    Being a feminine, alpha woman, doesn’t make you a feminist. Because that’s what I am, and I don’t consider myself a feminist. I PARTAKE of the benefits of feminism (see #1). But if feminism is also #2, then feminism failed women as it pertains to sex and relationships. How is it in women’s best interests to present men with more women to have no strings sex with? Does that benefit women? How? How does giving a man a free pass to sex without commitment in a woman’s best interest, when most women yearn for committed relationships before sex?

    “They want to return the US and females back to 1950. So Lia and Karmic, uh, YEAH, we need to be vigilant at least. And I won’t even go into how underrepresented we are in Congress and on corporate boards of directors.”
    Don’t blame men for that. Women vote too, and aren’t there just as many, if not more, women in the voting population than men? Shouldn’t women candidates win, at least the popular vote, if not congressional district votes?

    @Lia 81
    Agreed completely. Well said.

    @Selena 82
    “The wedding business is gigantic.”
    That’s commercialism, not indication of commitment. Are there more marriages now than pre-sexual revolution? (percentage in proportion with the population then and now?)

    “The stats for people who choose not to marry, but cohabitate are large and seemingly growing.”
    So, would you be happy just living with your next bf or would you want him to eventually marry you? If marriage is the goal, cohabitation can be detrimental to that goal. Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?

    “And that would apply to ‘players’ as well. Better a single guy to not commit than to become a cheating husband.”
    A player with integrity who decides to marry isn’t any more likely to cheat than a non-player without integrity who marries. In fact, I would bank on the ex-player with integrity to stay faithful (a la EMK). It’s not whether the guy you marry was a player, but rather whether he has integrity.

    @Ruby 83

    I would agree with you if all the smart, stong, successful women on this blog say they don’t need to marry to have children. That they never felt the need to marry to have children. Today, we can have children out of wedlock as well as sex. So why do women want to marry? Why not just have boyfriends or a string of flings and booty calls?

    Women haven’t changed that much when it comes to relationships. What women wanted then and now are the same: Committed relationships. Getting that is not only more difficult, but also there is still no guarantee of success even though BOTH men and women have more choices to select from, in theory.

    But do YOU really feel you have that smorgasbord of men to select from to marry? Have you earned a marriage proposal from each man you dated? So, who actually has the smorgasbord to choose from when it comes to relationships now? It’s not women.

    So until Feminists tell women to go forth and propagate ALONE (i.e., “Single mothers are powerful. Become a single mother!”) in addition to going forth and prosper ALONE (i.e., “We don’t need men for their money. We can earn our own money!”), they’re not helping women when it comes to sex and relationships.

    The sexual revolution shifted the power of relationships from women to men. Pre-sexual revolution WOMEN often had choices amongst multiple suitors to marry, because that was the socially-accepted way for good men to have consistent access to sex. Today good men can delay marriage or choose not to marry at all and still have consistent access to sex. Most women then and now want marriage and children.

    So who gained from the sexual revolution? Tom10 would say the 9’s and 10’s of both sexes. And I would agree. But they had that advantage back then too, so that’s not really a gain. The gain is by high-value men (and even low-value men, ‘cuz ladies we’ve all slept with losers) who no longer have to marry to get consistent access to sex.

    Yes, forcing men to marry for sex didn’t mean the marriages were good back then. But that doesn’t mean that all marriages were bad either. Consider that you wouldn’t be alive today if your parents didn’t marry, whether by choice or design. And today, when there is no external force exerted on people to marry and they do, those marriages still end in divorce. So having more freedom to choose our mates didn’t mean we’ve been making better choices. Another sexual revolution fallacy.

    So, remind me again, how did feminism help the average marriage-minded, family-oriented woman reach her objective?

    Happiness aside, pre-sexual revolution more women reached that objective.
    ——————-
    Just to clarify my position:

    1) Women should present their best feminine self on dates. Does that mean they cannot be masculine at other times? No. Just don’t be masculine on DATES and certainly not first, second, or third dates with men they’re attracted to. If not attracted, be as masculine as they care to be.

    2) Women can have masculine traits, and even LOVE their masculine selves, and still be considered women. Just don’t show the masculine stuff during the INITIAL STAGES of dating. Reveal that part gradually.

    3) Feminism did women a great service for equal rights.

    4) Feminism failed women when it comes to sex and relationships.

  22. 82
    Ruby

    “The business and educational benefits we gained because of feminism are great! I acknowledge that wholeheartedly.”
    One more point: the business and education benefits are also what has given women more financial independence. With that independence comes the freedom to marry when we choose, to not marry at all, to take care of our children, to have a stay-at-home partner. So I believe it’s all inter-related.

  23. 83
    Lia

    And Lia I think we still need feminism or something similar given the abysmal tendency of the male psyche to want to regress and conveniently forget(unless we persist) how capable we are
     
    Really?  Men would just backslide into the old ways of their fathers before them if we don’t persist?  Do you really see men that way?  Granted the Republicans were bat sh*t  crazy but their guy didn’t get voted in, did he?  There is always going to be some ignorant slob who wishes for the days when women were second class citizens.  Do all men get to bear the burden of that stupidity?
     
    I believe there is a difference between being aware and being vigilant.  Aware is defined as having knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.  Vigilant is defined as keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.  Look at those two words and if you will just take a moment to FEEL how different they feel.  If I am aware of what goes on around me I can make judgements about whether or not everything is okay.  If I am vigilant there is a stance of defense as if the attack were probable. If I am waiting for an attack so I can defend against it is it possible that I would see danger where none exists?

  24. 84
    Michelle

    I don’t understand how anyone can get the idea that there are those in the U.S. (other countries is another story) who want to hold down and suppress women? Women have NEVER had more educational, sexual and professional opportunity than today. 
    Just because someone believes in morals and values that may conflict with others, does NOT mean they want to suppress women.  Believe me, experience, knowledge and a paycheck, viewpoints, beliefs and values often change over time.

    @Karmic, another excellent post!  When feminism is about hurting men (which includes our son’s by the way) to gain advantage or to equalize everyone (impossible), that’s where I part ways, which is pretty much all the time with today’s feminist movement/business.

  25. 85
    Karmic Equation

    @Rose 86
    “With that [financial] independence comes the freedom to marry when we choose, to not marry at all, to take care of our children, to have a stay-at-home partner. So I believe it’s all inter-related.”

    Yes, feminism did give us more freedoms in general and to our benefit. However, when it comes to sex and relationships those seeming freedoms didn’t free us.

    Point by point:

    -The freedom to marry when we choose
    From your posts it sounds like you’re looking to marry. So if you have the freedom to choose when you marry, and you’ve wanted to be married for a while now, not just when you wrote this post, why aren’t you married already? Did you turn down marriage proposals from men you’ve dated in the past? Or did none of them propose? And if they didn’t propose, why didn’t YOU propose yourself? So do you REALLY have the freedom to marry when you choose? Or do you have the freedom to choose to marry the man who chooses to marry you? Who has the power?

    -The freedom to not marry at all
    Is that really a freedom if no one has proposed to (generic) you?

    -The freedom to take care of our children
    That’s not a choice. It’s a law. If (generic) you have them you’re obligated by law, if not by maternal instincts, to take care them.

    -The freedom to have a stay-at-home partner
    In #10 you wrote “…we’ll just be looking for a man who makes a decent income and wants an equal relationship.”

    Sure we do, but yet we don’t, do we? Women still want that man with some income, not no income. There was a whole thread about this, right?

    This freedom sounds awesome. So awesome in fact, that almost all financially independent women are champing at the bit to find and marry their potential stay-at-home partner. NOT.

    The reality is men who are willing to be the stay at home parent aren’t the alpha men most women on this board are looking for.

    ———————-
    The freedoms feminists tout regarding the sexual revolution didn’t help women. The sexual revolution SEEMINGLY helped women, but in fact helped MEN. That is the fallacy of the sexual revolution. Just be AWARE of that. And being aware of this doesn’t neutralize all the good that feminism HAS provided to us.

    More food for thought: the sexual revolution did NOT free women, it just enslaved them in a different way.

    Whereas once upon a time, women could withhold sex for marriage (and were expected to do so) — now women have to “settle” and withhold sex until “exclusvity” with no assurance that exclusivity will become a marriage.

    Whereas society once frowned upon pre-marital sex, now society looks askance at those who abstain. You and your boyfriend are not having a “normal” relationship if you’re not having sex with each other (unless for religious reasons).

    Whereas you were once a good-girl if you abstain, now you’re a prude.

    Amongst the young, Whereas there was once peer-pressure to remain chaste, there is now peer-pressure to “do it.” 13yo’s giving/getting oral sex think there’s nothing wrong with that.

    The list goes on.

    Just as the alcholic/gambler who doesn’t acknowledge their problems, can’t fix their problem, feminism cannot fix this until they acknowledge it. Which they have yet to do. Which folks on this board who aren’t feminists are loathe to do. I don’t understand why.

  26. 86
    Frimmel

    re #89 feminism not admitting it has a problem
     
    Feminism is stuck with its characterization of the traditional female sex role as oppression and the traditional male sex role as privilege. Anything that challenges that notion such as being on the losing end of sexual freedom as Karmic describes MUST be ignored. As soon as a traditional male sex role is not a privilege (having to get married to get sex for instance) but an oppression then all of the foundation of Patriarchy theory starts crumbling.
     
    Any re-examination of what is expected of men that doesn’t support men’s traditional sex role as privilege is anathema.

  27. 88
    Ruby

    Karmic #89
     
    I’m not sure why you are personalizing my post as being entirely about me, when I meant it in general terms. In other words, I’m talking about the collective “we”.
     
    Of course, women today have the freedom to marry or not marry. Some women choose not to, some choose to live with a partner. Most women still do marry. I wasn’t too interested in marriage when I was younger, and I’m still not sure how I feel about, so don’t jump to too many conclusions about me.
     
    As far as the freedom to take care of our children goes, I probably should have used the work “ability”, but I suspect you knew that’s what I meant.
     
    Stay-at-home dads? Don’t know about you, but I’ve known quite a few of them, and I think that their numbers are growing, even if they never become the norm. Most of the men I’ve known who did stay at home only did so while the child or children were very young, not indefinitely. This wasn’t acceptable in my mother’s generation at all. My father expected my mother to stay at home and not work, and she never questioned that.
     
    “Women still want that man with some income, not no income.” I don’t see where I’ve disagreed with that. Actually, I don’t believe that most women want 100% alpha men, even if they could find them, and I’d argue that most men have a mix of different traits anyway. 
     
    I think that in the early days of the sexual revolution, people explored their sexuality without always knowing what the consequences would be. And with the advent of AIDS and the increase in STDs, not being careful in terms of your sexual health could be deadly. There were emotional consequences as well, and they didn’t affect only women. But just because there have been bumps along the way doesn’t make the sexual revolution bad for women or a complete mistake.
     
    The days when gentleman callers appeared on women’s porches to vie for their attention are gone forever, yet most people still marry. You seem to believe that the ability to withhold sex for marriage got women better marriages, but i see no evidence of that. Again, even if your marriage was bad, you usually toughed it out anyway. I also believe that sexual compatibility is a component of most healthy marriages, so abstaining until the wedding night is no longer going to cut it for most women. If that’s another woman’s choice, however, good for her. The goal isn’t simply marriage, though, it’s a healthy marriage. Should there be more marriages? Or should there be better ones?
     
    “Whereas there was once peer-pressure to remain chaste, there is now peer-pressure to “do it.” 13yo’s giving/getting oral sex think there’s nothing wrong with that.” I don’t think you’ll find many feminists who think that’s a good idea, and I don’t think feminism ever advocated for children having sex. The media and advertising, and the peer pressure that arises from that, are more to blame than “feminism”, because sex does sell.
     
    Even among women who consider themselves feminists, you won’t find 100% consensus on every issue, and you’ll find some feminists to be more conservative in their beliefs and some more radical. It was true in the early days of the movement, and it’s still true today.
     

  28. 89
    Karmic Equation

    #92

    “But just because there have been bumps along the way doesn’t make the sexual revolution bad for women or a complete mistake.”

    I never said that the sexual revolution was a “complete mistake” but I know that it has not been the wonderdrug that feminists have marketed it be.

    On the flip side, feminists and many others can’t acknowledge that the sexual revolution was in any way bad for women.

    And how do you measure “healthier” marriages objectively? If people are marrying for the first time, they have nothing to compare against. And if they’re on their 2nd+ marriage, then they’re adding to the divorce statistic, which proves my point that they’re not making better choices with their freedom. So the only way to infer it, is by quantity or by longevity. On both those counts, I believe modern marriages do NOT measure up to marriages pre-sexual revolution. But really, there is no way to measure “healthier.” So this is not an arguable point.

    And your point about gentlemen callers being gone forever proves my point. Men don’t have to vie for women’s “favors” any more. Women no longer have a selection of men to choose from who offer to be her husband before ever having sex with her. Basically men used to offer marriage for sex, now women offer sex for mere “sexclusitvity.” Which obligates the guy for what? While you’re giving up the goods he desires. You really don’t think that’s a downgrade as well as a loss of power for women?

    If you’re a democrat, you can be a liberal democrat or a conservative democrat (although I think “conservative democrat” has become an oxymoron) — and if you’re a republican, you can be a liberal or conservative republican. But you will rarely mistake a republican for a democrat or vice versa. So either you’re a feminist (conservative, liberal, centrist, whatever) or you’re not a feminist. You don’t get a get-out-of-jail-free-card by saying there are no consensus amongst feminists on various issues.

  29. 90
    Ruby

    “And your point about gentlemen callers being gone forever proves my point. Men don’t have to vie for women’s “favors” any more. Women no longer have a selection of men to choose from who offer to be her husband before ever having sex with her.”
     
    In another post, you mentioned that you didn’t want to be stuck with a lousy lover. Has it occurred to you that other women may feel the same way, or that they might not view their sexuality as “goods” to offer in trade for marriage, even if they might be affected emotionally by the consequences of pre-marital sex? Can you not see women as emotionally fragile beings who can’t survive if a relationship doesn’t end in marriage, especially when most relationships don’t? Can you imagine that not all women want to get married? But somehow, 90% of the population still marries despite it all. Interesting.

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