Feminism Didn’t Unmake Men
This article was in response to a piece which said men were being destroyed by feminism; the nature of feminism meant men were no longer allowed to be masculine without consequence. As I finished the article my rage grew and I knew what I needed to do. I called for help.
“Honey, where are my hip boots?”
“Why do you need them? We’re supposed to be painting a house this morning.”
“I’m putting the finishing touches on an article…”
“Woman, Men’s Rights Advocates are whining about their loss of rights and freedom to be men, again…”
“Why didn’t you lead with that? They’re in the hall closet.”
Equipped with hip boots, I waded into the muck and decided I wouldn’t share that article because frankly, it was men whining about how hard the world had become for them, how the legal system was turning against them, and how women were making men into something less than women while women were becoming men. Ugh. The assumptions around men would have you believe they are victims. But the statistics don’t really bear this out.
For example: wealth equality among the richest women in America quoted from the New York Times on ‘Why Aren’t There More Female Billionaires?’ :
Of course, women are still making inroads among the rich. By some measures, there are more wealthy or high-earning women than ever, both in the United States and around the world. In 2000, there were 11 female billionaires on the planet, according to Forbes; by 2016, there were 190. (Forbes and Wealth-X have different tallies for the female billionaire population.)
Yet cracking the “diamond ceiling” appears to be getting harder. According to the paper that Professor Zucman and two other economists wrote for the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research — his collaborators were the well-known Thomas Piketty of the Paris School of Economics and Emmanuel Saez of Berkeley — women tripled their share of the top 1 percent of earners from 1980 to 2000, to 9.2 percent. Yet from 2000 to 2014, their share grew only to 11.5 percent.
At the current pace, Professor Zucman predicted, it would take nearly 100 years for women to make up half the population of the top 1 percenters. “We are still a long, long way from gender equality at the top,” he said.
A hundred years before half of the population of the richest women in America could be economically equal to the men! Excuse me?
These are women who have everything they can possibly have to equalize the gap between men and women and even then, it will take them a hundred years to achieve parity?
How will the rest of women in America achieve such social parity lacking the economic juggernaut of prosperity behind them?
With just this single data point in my mind, I just couldn’t justify sharing the Men’s Rights article because it’s just filled with so many dishonest and outright incorrect assumptions. Women have put up with far worse, for far longer, often with far less recourse. And when the richest most powerful women in America cannot compete with the socialized engine of patriarchy and its demands for the submission of women to its cultural means, it says society is far more out of balance than we’ve been led to believe. Far more out of balance than Men’s Rights groups want to admit. This is not a new imbalance either. I dare I say its existed since the beginning of civilized history (and probably long before that).
I believe it’s time to put that dishonest whining to bed without supper and send it to school tomorrow with some education about what the future holds — ready or not.
It’s a Woman’s World, Now
First, let me point out something most of you may not know about me: I am a believer in equality between the sexes. If you think this means I am going to dress men down about patriarchy, you may be right. Yes, my wife and I are known to make fun of things but we agree in almost all ways that matter, women and men should have an equal opportunity to do whatever their skills and minds can achieve.
My mother was a woman, one of the strongest people I have ever known. For any man to say she was less than him was the fastest way to get hit in the head with whatever was closest to her strong right arm. My mother taught me when no one else would. She believed in my capacity when no one else did.
I owe all that I am to her. I treat every woman with the same respect and deference I gave my mother. She was a single parent, Toastmaster, college-graduate, social worker, leader, housekeeper, superhero. My mother was all of these things and more. But in the end, how women are treated in this society took its toll on her and a great mind was silenced long before its time.
When she grew up, men believed they were stronger than women and “might makes right.”
While there are minor physiological differences between men and women due to our dimorphic nature, I believe the variations balance out. Men are on average physically stronger, have greater upper body strength, but live shorter lives. Women are less physically strong, have higher pain thresholds but live longer lives.
By this assumption: Men tend to compete, women tend to cooperate.
Not always true, but this has been the nature of our relationship to each other. Unfortunately, history has had a habit of men taking their competition with each other and spreading it into every aspect of their existence including their relationships with women.
'Might makes right' is a man's perspective on the world.
Men who thought they were strong, took from whomever wasn’t able to defend themselves. This unfortunately meant women and children were collateral damage in this competition.
The secular result of this thinking is called patriarchy and is supported by government, religion and commerce. For centuries, men have used these veiled forms of power to control everything in their sphere of influence including women.
Men in power are doing everything they can to see their control over women never ends. This includes radicalizing fundamental religions, waging wars which kill men and leave women and children defenseless. Human trafficking and other ways of harvesting women and children as chattel. The modern era has as many ways of keeping power out of the hands of women as any before it. Now, it has the strength of legislation being created to divest women of their rights and soverignty under the guise of 'leadership.'
Those times of 'might making right' are ending. But men don’t want to believe it.
Think About The Future…
The world of the future is now about whose mind is strongest. Whose communication and collaboration skills are best.
Skills women have been maintaining over the centuries and are now coupled with high quality educations poised to take over what is rapidly becoming the globalization of humanity.
This transformation of power, from muscular, to military, to economic, to knowledge, to process development is ripe for what has been the superpower of women for millennia, how to communicate in an environment hostile to them: the world of men.
Men do not like this. It was much easier when the world was clearly defined as turf where nation-states led by men did battle for resources and women stayed home as prizes. At least until wars were capable of destroying the world. Now we dare not wage full out warfare and our nation-states are all forced to find new ways to exert dominance over their enemies.
Now we engage in economic warfare, we wage computerized battles, our wars are softer but the consequences are no less dire. Bankrupt a nation, and you can control its fate as easily as if an army marched through it. Convinced of their necessity, men continue to wage these wars expecting the world not to change appreciably, maintaining male control over that power.
Women aren't interested in hearing "wait a little longer". They are done being polite. They are done putting up with sexist or misogynistic behaviors. They are done being playthings of the rich and powerful. Women know something men have always been overall, reluctant to admit. Women are as capable as men.
The days are vanishing when men could do whatever they wanted to women and there was no recourse. They are not gone completely, but as women grow more powerful, they are demanding the rights they should have always had, if men were actually living the equality they preach in their documents.
"All men are created equal." A self-evident truth that kept women waiting in line for centuries.
I don't believe men should have any more power over women than they should have over any other individual that is not part of a military or other hierarchal structure. A man and a woman who are not in the military or part of the police or members of a corporation should have the same opportunities for economic development, educational achievement and cultural development.
Equal pay for equal work. Period. No prevarication, no manipulation, no obfuscation.
It's not real yet, but I am confident the day is coming. No amount of hateful manipulation of the legislation of the laws of this nation will be able to prevent this forever. As women take the reigns of power, balance between men and women will slowly be equalized.
Women should not be penalized for being women. Men should not have disproportionate control over women's health, reproduction, opportunities or cultural situational existence through religion or other processes.
This means the relationship between men and women is changing and everyone needs to get on board with it. The world may come to a point where men's strength will no longer be their guiding attribute. Technology has made the innate advantage of male physical strength of men almost irrelevant. Unless you are opening jars in the kitchen.
Men will have to recognize their other attributes and abilities they have rarely used and will have to recognize their value. Men will have to learn to nurture, to be protective of their children, to help raise those children as opportunities in the workforce are transformed or even replaced by women and/or new technologies.
These "lesser capacities" men have taken for granted as women's work should have always been everyone's work. Gender roles were made to justify women being forced to stay at home while men were able to go out and earn a living.
Now, gender roles are passé, housecleaning is a team effort. Childrearing is a team sport. Maintaining the household economically requires all hands, thanks to the rising cost of everything.
Marriage as we have done it may need some retooling as the economic capacity of women continues its meteoric rise and perhaps many of the ideas of marriage such as alimony, child support and the like should be looked at and adjusted to reflect this changing world. The laws will change slowly. Like most laws do. But as they change, expectations of men and women and their relationships after marriage will undoubtedly change as well.
As to men who complain women aren't women any more? Adapt or die.
If you are choosing to remove yourself from the gene pool, so be it. Those men who learn how to deal with women in this new paradigm will need new skills of negotiation, of compromise, of seeing women with respect-colored glasses.
I find the new found capacities of women in this new era, fascinating and their way of thinking exciting. As they throw off their shackles of living in fear of men, they will surely become more balanced, less angry with men and more likely to become individuals who demand and get the respect they deserve.
I am not frightened by this idea and no sane, well-adjusted adult man should be.
Time to grow up, gentlemen
The patriarchal ideas of male dominance, seeing and using women as sex objects, slut-shaming, negging and other forms of gaslighting used on women are now in the public light and men who use such behaviors to participate will be outed and publicly shamed, as they should be. Women aren't playthings, they are equals. They demand the same respect you want other men to show you.
If you can't show them that respect. If you can't respect their decisions on their bodies, their choices, their sexuality and how they choose to engage it, if you can't respect them the same way you would respect the decisions of any man, then it is best you stay at home with your game consoles, play your games and retire from life.
Yes, you heard me correctly. If the idea of growing up and engaging women as equals bothers you, stay home. This is the correct decision. You are not mature enough to consider women as equals and your presence, your constant whining for the way things used to be when women "knew their place" is annoying the rest of us who are happy to have women in the workplace contributing in ways we have rarely been able to see.
The future of the world depends on the Human species putting the very best brains to work on solving our problems, created primarily by men who were doing their best to hold on to power, destroying the environment and making profit while oppressing everyone who didn't have the ability to resist them.
If we are lucky, women will become less like men and more like women, realizing competition destroyed the world, only their time-honored negotiation, compromise and communication skills will save it.
Embrace this change in women or don't, but they will never go back to being chattel.
If you're smart, you don't want that either. If you, as a man, can't get with that, you don't need to be breeding. You're a selfish ass and should stay at home making the world better for the next more adaptable generation of men and women.
No one has time for your whining about the privilege you feel you're losing. The world and the future of our species is at stake. We need all the help we can get. Women aren't asking for your permission to join the fray. They are taking their roles and leading the way.
Welcome aboard, ladies. I'm damn glad to know you're here.
This was Thaddeus Howze and I am your…Cognitive Dissident
Thaddeus works as a writer and editor for two magazines, the Good Men Project, a social men’s magazine as well as for Krypton Radio, a sci-fi enthusiast media station and website. He is also a freelance journalist for Polygon.com and Panel & Frame magazine. Thaddeus is the co-founder of Futura Science Fiction Magazine and one of the founding members of the Afrosurreal Writers Workshop in Oakland.