By Suzanne Venker
It doesn’t roll off the tongue well, does it? Asking where all the good women have gone. Asking where all the good men have gone feels fine. Normal. Slightly caustic, maybe, but still: benign. But asking where all the good women have gone sounds downright blasphemous.
Why is that? If the sexual revolution truly leveled the playing field and women are finally men’s equals, why should asking women to examine their behavior feel any different than asking men to examine theirs?
And yet it does. That’s because the playing field wasn’t leveled at all. It was tilted so far in women’s favor that women have become untouchable. Superior, even. When it comes to gender relations, the implication is clear: men are losers, and women are the prize.
If we were honest with ourselves, we’d admit that men take a huge beating today. Professors, journalists, writers and producers emasculate men every chance they get. On television sitcoms, only reruns portray men as strong, capable and necessary. The rest treat them as buffoons. Even commercials paint a portrait of the idiot husband whose wife is smarter and more capable than he.
Then there’s my favorite group: feminists. Feminists mill about on college campuses, spreading their anti-male bias every chance they get. Feminist authors are even worse. They write thousands of words about male and female relations, and they all allude to the same question: Are men even necessary?
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Some of the male mockery (which is really reverse sexism) is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. But it isn’t funny. The relentless browbeating of the American male is having an effect. According to Pew Research Center, the share of men ages 18 to 34 who say having a successful marriage is one of the most important things in their lives has dropped six percentage points since 1997 – from 35 percent to 29 percent.
The journalists at The Atlantic have been the ringleaders for this message. In 2010, Hanna Rosin wrote an article (which eventually became a book) in response to the fact that women have become the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Women, she says, are changing with the times – while men are lagging behind. They’re incapable or unwilling to bend in the right direction.
Bend over is more like it.
Rosin says women are more successful than men at meeting work and family demands. If men want to join the 21st century, she adds, they should purge their masculinity and adopt female traits. This conclusion fits perfectly with feminists’ longtime goal. As third-wave feminist activist Amy Richards notes, “Feminism is about deflating our dependence on masculinity.” Translation: America doesn’t need men – we only need women.
It may be chic to think of men as unnecessary, but this foolish approach to gender relations – tongue-in-cheek or otherwise – serves no one. You can’t disempower one sex to empower the other. It doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t matter how empowered, liberated or successful women are, men and women need each other.
That men have not asked, at least publicly, where all the good women have gone speaks volumes. Perhaps chivalry isn’t dead but merely dormant, because what I hear from men is that they want to love women, but that women have changed. Where, they wonder, are the soft, feminine creatures that used to care about men and treat them with respect?
They’re gone. Today’s women are the daughters of committed feminists. They’ve been raised to shut off their girly side to prove something to themselves and the world. That behavior may work well in the marketplace, but it’ll kill a romance before it even gets off the ground.
That brings us to this question: Is it really that hard to find a good man today? Or could it be just as hard to find a good woman? It may be blasphemous to ask this question.
But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be asked.
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Suzanne Venker is an author and speaker. Her new book, “How to Choose a Husband and Make Peace with Marriage,” will be available Feb. 5, 2013. Also available at WND is her new Kindle single, “The War on Men.” You can find Suzanne at SuzanneVenker.com.