Suzanne Venker’s War on Men

Suzanne Venker wrote an article called “The War on Men” for Fox News. I decided I would avoid it. Other blogs have it covered, after all. I almost succeeded avoiding the topic until I came upon these quotes from her explanation defending her original piece: 

Women should understand that they absolutely can be strong and independent and be married, but that being feminine and vulnerable and taking on that more traditional role as being dependent on a man and letting him have some say in the matter is not wasting that empowerment. They are confusing what empowerment means. They think it’s about money and prestige, but there is a tremendous amount of empowerment in surrendering in the home and letting the man in your life be what he wants to be, which is to protect you and care for you and provide for you.

Women, once they have children would prefer to work part-time or not at all when their children are young. Their career trajectory will be different than that of men. Feminists don’t like that. They want everybody to want the same thing, career trajectories to be the same. Women may say I really want to exercise or hang out with my friends or have coffee or go shopping and have a cushier life, and your guy will be happy to do that, and go to the office all year long for 40 years to allow you to do that. Men don’t have that option. And there is nothing wrong with having different road maps.

My brain hurts, but I’ll say a few words. 

First, do men really honestly have this urge to work an office job so that their wives can shop and hang out with friends? I mean, I know that I was taught that men are protectors and providers by nature, but it seems to me that working together with a spouse to provide for a family would be a much better deal than having to do all the providing while your spouse exercises and goes for coffee. Venker never seems to even consider this. 

Second, Venker is wrong when she asserts that all women want to work part time or stay home when they have kids. Further, she seems ignorant of the fact that there are actually some men out there who want that instead, or couples who simply both want greater flexibility while parenting young children. The reality is that the norm today is starting to shift away from motherhood and fatherhood and toward parenthood. Venker seems completely unaware of this.

Third, I’ve heard Venker’s claim that there is empowerment in submitting to your husband in the home before. And you know what? It’s complete bullshit. And that bit about being “dependent on a man”? How can people like Venker not see the potential for abuse there? 

Venker is also contradictory. Venker says that women should let the man in their lives “be what he wants to be” and that feminists “want everyone to want the same thing,” but also that men want all want the same thing (to be their family’s protector and provider) while women all want the same thing (to stay at home or work part time so they can take care of their kids when they’re young). What? How about admitting that different people want different things? Is that so very hard? 

I just looked into Venker a bit more, and apparently she’s the author of several books, including one on working mothers and one on how to choose a husband. She calls that last book “a “cultural detox” for women who have been confused about what “empowerment” really means.” You know what? It sounds like Venker is just a modern Mary Pride. She’s preaching the same crap I fled half a decade ago, and honestly? She’s not doing it any better or more persuasively.

And now I’m done – enough time wasted on that. 

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • dj pomegranate

    I read her article and tried to explain it to mr. pomegranate later but I could hardly even find the words to express to him how utterly backwards her whole paradigm is. I eventually decided it was taking too much of my energy, energy that would be better put to use having egalitarian fun with mr. pomegranate.

  • Merbie

    “Empowerment in submitting to your husband in the home” smells like manipulation to me. Why do people think we need to play games instead of being straightforward in our relationships? How can that be healthy at all?

    • abra1

      Sounds Orwellian to me.

  • smrnda

    There are men who don’t like submissive women, and who think that a woman without ideas, desires and ambitions of her own are missing something. There are men who want to end up with a woman who is capable of surviving on her own without the need for a male protector/provider, because they would think that a woman who couldn’t handle that isn’t really an adult. There are men who want a woman who is an equal, not subservient partner in the relationship.

    Venker is writing for men who are basically losers, who realize that now that women don’t have to get with a man to have a decent life, that they have little to offer and have to somehow either sabotage women’s attempts at independence or make them feel so guilty over and sorry for the poor men who just aren’t able to find a woman who will allow him to live as a grown up boy but laud him as a king.

  • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

    The word “empowerment” has been misused out of existence. I refuse to use it. I also refuse to call anything that isn’t an armed conflict a “war”. I know it makes for catchy slogans, but I’ve spent way too much time studying armed conflict to call anything else “war”.

    Also, Venker’s upper middle class roots are showing. How many stay at home wives (I note she doesn’t mention taking care of kids in this scenario) are able to gab about all day shopping and lunching and exercising with friends, on their husband’s dime? I mean, what?

    • http://puddinsilovemylife.blogspot.com/ Tonya Richard

      I am a stay at home mom and I can’t remember the last time I went shopping or to have coffee. I do still have a little one at home, but really, is this anyone’s reality?

    • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Amelia

      I admit. I’m currently an at-home wife, and I do spend a good chunk of my time some days shopping (or researching for shopping) and exercising AT THE MOMENT. I mean, its the lead-up to Christmas, we have a baby on the way that we need to buy things for and I need to keep fit. Plus, I catch up with a friend either in their home or out for lunch about once a week to keep me sane.
      But I certainly dont do it wastefully, and am SO careful of EVERY cent I spend because I feel guilty being unable to get paid employment to help maintain the household. I even feel bad about taking the car to the supermarket to get stuff for dinner, or taking the bus in to the city for an appointment, because I’m not earning the money to pay for it.
      AND, this is not intended to be a long-term scenario. Once the baby has arrived, I will be looking for at least part-time work again ASAP, because then I can justify my lunch with friends, and buying nicer things for our home, and planning travel. Even though my husband earns enough to maintain our household without us going backwards for at least another 18 months, I would rather help us move forwards (and I hate feeling reliant!). My parents both worked all my young life to keep us going, and I have an innate fear of ending up as poor as they were when I was young again if I dont help financially!

      • http://puddinsilovemylife.blogspot.com/ Tonya Richard

        I guess I meant women who stay home and take care of children, which you will be doing soon. Try to enjoy this time before the baby is born : ) There are perks, for sure, but it is work taking care of young children. When my youngest goes to school in a couple of years, I may have time for lunch and shopping LOL I havn’t decided what I will do when I don’t have children home to care for. I thought I would be home schooling for the next 12+ years.

    • abra1

      Having gone between being a working mom, stay-at-home mom, and working-from-home mom. Working mom meant many more lunches/coffees (primarily with co-workers) and after the first spat as super-isolated SAHM, I’ve made an effort to do the lunch/coffee with other parents as well as professional contacts as a way to stay sane.

      But also, it is really valuable. Its helped me navigate school bureaucracy (large metro with a dysfunctional school system and a host of charter and private options along with some particular needs — not a small matter, left me wanting to poke anyone who touts “school choice” in the eye) and other issues. And this network is an important source of last-minute help — particularly helpful when I was a working-from-home mom with preschoolers — the last-minute project meeting, need a babysitter in a few hours, etc.

      My point is, I would encourage people to *not* see those as luxuries. Maybe meeting for $8 coffees is a luxury but meeting for coffee at someone’s kitchen table when the kitchen table is your “office” is not — networking in the professional world is essential, something people are told not to neglect. Same is true for parenting (SAH or not).

  • Twist

    ” letting the man in your life be what he wants to be ”

    What about women being what we want to be? Or is the assumption here that secretly, deep down we all want to be housewives, and none of us really WANT careers/money/independence, that’s just what our silly laydee brains have been misled to think by evil, evil feminism?

    Feminism happened for a reason. It happened because, among other reasons, women were pissed off with being treated as second-class citizens, dependent on the whims of the man they married, told they weren’t clever, weren’t suited to the workplace, to academia, to independent lives or to anything other than cooking, cleaning, shopping, gossiping with the girls, making babies and looking pretty for their husbands. I’m sure there are some women who would be happy to live that life, and they are welcome to it. Fortunately, the rest of us have other options.

    • Bag Ala Douche

      Men HAVE let women be what they want to be. In fact, it was the Republicans who fought FOR that ability, and the Democrats who OPPOSED it for 40 years. The trouble is not that you are free to be who/what you want. The trouble is, you want to be a MAN for the benefits it entails, but do not want any of the DRAWBACKS that come with being a man. Or is the assumption that all men secretly want to be as gay as the day is long, run around getting pedicures, and shopping for panty-liners as a way to pass the time?
      It IS fortunate that “the rest of ” you have options. But what options do MEN have? I remember 40 years ago. I remember my mother being a stay-at-home mom. I remember her doing what that job entailed. I remember my father working 60+ hours a week, hard labor. I also remember how it has developed over the last 40 years. Now a man is REQUIRED to work those 60+ hours hard labor, and then EXPECTED to come home and “help” with the housework. I have seen the women change to working a 40+ hour week, and then coming home “exhausted” and REFUSING to help in the housework, and then bitching because the man didn’t come home and do it.
      50 years ago men were taught to give a woman 100%…then they got the bright idea to DEMAND 50%. Seems like a step in the wrong direction to me.
      As far as a “potential for abuse”…Really? Name me a single thing in Society at large today that does NOT have a potential for abuse. The Feminists have gone from wanting “equality” to wanting the World run BY women, FOR women, and AGAINST men.
      Remember…we called it Equal OPPORTUNITY for a reason. We never called it EQUAL BY FORCE.

  • lucrezaborgia

    Venker is Phyllis Schaflys niece!

    • Daniel Lafave

      At first I thought you were speaking metaphorically, but then I looked it up and she literally is Phyllis Schlafly’s niece. That’s crazy.

  • Niemand

    This sort of thing always makes me think about the old stereotype of the man hating feminist. But it’s clear that it’s not feminists who hate men, but “traditional” “submissive” women. Venker is all about how to manipulate men, to get them to take care of you, “protect” you or allow you to live off their income.
    Feminism, in contrast, is about the right of women-and men-to make choices and decide what they want out of life. Some women will want to stay home and raise kids or stay home and shop even. Some men will want the same thing. If they find an appropriate life partner who wants the complementary life of work and having the home taken care of for them, why shouldn’t that happen? Alternately, if two people decide that they both want careers and to spend a lot of time at work and will negotiate how any kids, pets, or houseplants* get taken care of, that’s their choice too. They may end up paying people to help keep their house tidy and raise their kids or they may make compromises to make sure someone is always home with the small one. Whatever works. Flexibility and willingness to take both people’s needs into account are the basic building blocks of a feminist relationship.

    Venker’s statement is so close and yet so far from the truth: Some women’s career path may be different from the “standard”. So may some men’s. The feminist movement has opened doors for people of all genders to have more choices in how they live and work and arrange their relationships.

    That’s only bad if you think that men are evil creatures to be manipulated to your own ends, not fellow human beings with goals and needs and as much variability as is found within women. Venker, alas, appears to think of men as objects to be manipulated only.

    *Not to be equating kids and houseplants, of course. Just trying to run through the full range of potential responsibilities.

    • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

      And to a certain extent the ‘different trajectory’ is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Employers expect women to eventually have kids and then cut down their hours or quit altogether, so they offer them lower salaries, don’t promote them as often, etc. and then if they do have kids, there’s less reason for them to keep working if they don’t have to (especially since the above means often their paychecks will be lower than their partner’s if part of a heterosexual couple).

  • Gordon

    I would only want to marry a strong woman. And I’d love to be a stay-at-home dad.

    • AJ

      I did and I am. It made sense for our situation and it still makes sense for us. The stuff that Venker and Pearl talk about just seems so far away from sense that it’s like they’re on another planet.

  • lucrezaborgia

    On the flip-side…I resented the hell out of my mom for putting her career over us kids. If my sister was sick, I would have to stay home with her or pick her up from school…neglecting my own HS classes to do so. I can’t ever remember her taking time off to take us to doctors or anything unless it was very serious. Life-or-death kind of stuff! Dad was the one who spent time with us but when he went to jail mom was all there was and she did need the career but I feel she took it too far. We wanted time with her more than nice furniture or stuff like that. I probably wouldn’t have cared if dad wasn’t gone.

  • MM

    Can you imagine how painfully hilarious it would be to get Suzanne Venker and Debi Pearl drunk and in the same room together?

    • Niemand

      I’d be afraid that they’d get out the knives and go on a castrating spree if they ever dropped their inhibitions enough to show their real feelings about men.

  • Jason

    You have to watch Stephen Colbert’s comments on Venker’s article that he made on 11/28′s show. It is priceless.

    • http://puddinsilovemylife.blogspot.com/ Tonya Richard

      I watched this last night! Yes, priceless LOL

    • Bag Ala Douche

      Yeah, it was shocking to see a Liberal Tool like Colbert going on a man-hating rant. Shocking…SHOCKING I SAY! Hahahaha

  • http://belljaimie@ymail.com Jaimie

    My guess is that, like her aunt, Suzanne Venker makes a pretty penny from her books and travelling around speaking to women about how they should stay at home and not earn money. Hypocrisy much?

    • ButchKitties

      She’s Serena Joy from The Handmaid’s Tale. If Venker had to live in the kind of society she promotes, she’d lose all of her personal power and be probably miserable for the rest of her life.

      • Niemand

        Yep.

  • lucrezaborgia

    “I’m gonna get married I’m gonna have a big house and hes gonna work and I’m not.

    Dream on hooker, dream the fuck on.”

    Rodney Carrington

  • Carys Birch

    What amused me in the original article (apologies for this being totally beside your points, Libby Anne) was this quote:

    “You’ll never hear that in the media.”

    Uh, right. I’m totally not reading this through a media outlet. Not even a major network’s website. Nope.

    *chuckle*

    • http://humanisticjones.blogspot.com HumanisticJones

      I’m starting to wonder if this is a bleed over from the usual persecution complex the religious right in America has where if they are demanding respect they are the overwhelming majority with all the power, but if you call them on their BS, they’re suddenly persecuted underdogs.

      It’s the only reason I can think of for a person to complain that they’re “outside the mainstream media” while writing/speaking for the biggest media outlet in America.

      • Carys Birch

        Oh yeah, it’s definitely part of the same old “evil liberal media, always tells lies, out to get the poor little persecuted Christians” screed that we’re all so familiar with. It’s just so *ridiculously* transparent in this case that it’s hard to believe anyone actually falls for it when it’s laid out like that.

        And then I remember that I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker for many, many years. Both funny and sad, I guess.

  • Christine

    I’m sure that following her advice will result in men being willing to marry you who weren’t before. I just use “marriageable” to mean men who you’d WANT to marry, not just men who would want to marry you.

  • ronalon42

    I am a stay at home mom right now, mostly out of necessity but also convenience. I am a military spouse overseas so while I could get a job if I really wanted to (working as a bagger for tips for instance) it would not likely be worth the trouble of finding and paying for daycare. There aren’t many jobs available for spouses here so most of us are stay at home parents.

    So day to day activities do involve a lot of “shopping” (hanging out at the bx food court and watching the kids play on the playplace) and play groups and base related volunteer activities or field trips. I’m pretty lucky, though it does carry its own stress and work level especially since we don’t have a car so I carry groceries home every few days and walk almost everywhere. My husband’s job is neither physically or mentally challenging so I don’t feel too guilty or whatever. We do what we got to do.

    He is getting out this month and has registered for 18 credits of classes for the spring semester. I am going to be working a call center job (weeeee) and he will be taking most his classes online so he can be at home with the kids and focus on school instead of working. He may get a part time job eventually, but certainly not the first 6 months (unemployment plus his GI bill stipend will cover more than a job would anyway).

    It will be an adjustment for sure, but we’re ready to switch things up a bit. Once he has his degree and a good job I may start school again. Marriage and parenting as a partnership, who’d have thunk it.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    There can only be “empowerment” in submission if a woman is doing it BY CHOICE. I don’t see how being forced to fit a certain role/stereotype is “empowering”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

      To Venkers flock, it is a choice, but it’s a right choice vs a wrong choice of a career.

  • Rilian

    Why does she say “men don’t have that option”?

    • Noelle

      It took a long time for our family to stop asking when my husband would return to work. He wanted to stay home when we had kids. I put a lot of time, effort, and money into my training. I couldn’t imagine not using it. I make enough to support the whole family comfortably. He could work if he wanted to, but we’re both happy with the way things are now. Neither one of our families says a word about it anymore. Come to think of it, it’s been years since even nosy acquaintances have mentioned anything negative. We must be becoming commonplace.

      So, of course men have that option. Venker hasn’t been paying attention to the real world around her.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        I think she doesn’t see it as an option. I think she sees it as men being ‘forced’ into the lowly female job of raising children by their overly aggressive wives. Yet that job is somehow empowering for women?!?

  • http://exconvert.blogspot.com Kacy

    Yikes! This reminds me of those who talk about “reverse discrimination.” It’s a last death cry from someone who doesn’t like equality.

  • blu

    well i think this world is full of discrimination, but i do believe that Suzanne is onto something, however extreme she may be, no one seems to realize that shes not saying EVERY man wants that or EVERY woman wants that, but rather that GENERALLY speaking the average man wants to feel needed by his woman and that its becoming incredibly difficult to find a woman thats capable of that. im all for women in the workplace and contributing to the household, however when i get home from work i would like my partner to need me and look to me for a solution. GENERALLY, woman want to melt and experience romance, well from first hand experience its very difficult to have that desire to be mushy when i dont feel like a man. i tend to distance myself from them, as do most men. woman wonder why men cheat, well its not due to their partner not having enough sex, its that that particular woman knows how to let him be a man. im all for equality, i love the fact that my wife is highly intelligent and contributes to our home and raises our son, yet she knows how to make me feel like the man of the house. i understand that this may not be a one size fits all solution but its most definately a good place to start for those women having trouble finding a man.
    people seem to forget that this is a generalization and not for everyone and individuality dictates that its up to us individualy to find out what works, critism does nothing more than confuse those that really value the words from people like suzanne.

    • lucrezaborgia

      Criticism confuses? Only if you subscribe wholesale to her nonsense.

      ” GENERALLY, woman want to melt and experience romance, well from first hand experience its very difficult to have that desire to be mushy when i dont feel like a man. i tend to distance myself from them, as do most men. woman wonder why men cheat, well its not due to their partner not having enough sex, its that that particular woman knows how to let him be a man.”

      Do you even know what it is to be a man? Is there only a few ways to be a man???

      ” the average man wants to feel needed by his woman and that its becoming incredibly difficult to find a woman thats capable of that.”

      What the hell are you talking about? I need my husband emotionally. Isn’t that enough? I rely on him when times are tough for me. That doesn’t mean I can’t live without him. Why does the “average” man need a woman who is utterly dependent on him in all ways?

      ” however when i get home from work i would like my partner to need me and look to me for a solution.”

      What does this even mean??? Relying on the strengths of your partner means you will need them to help you find solutions for problems. That doesn’t need to be gendered.

    • Anat

      Poor baby. Your masculinity is so vulnerable it is threatened by a woman who is with you not out of dependence but out of free choice. You don’t give a very flattering impression of yourself, that’s for sure.

    • Twist

      “GENERALLY speaking the average man wants to feel needed by his woman and that its becoming incredibly difficult to find a woman thats capable of that.”

      Do you have any evidence for this at all? It might be what YOU want, but anecdotally speaking, the vast majority of men I know what a partner who is independent, capable of making their own decisions and solving their own problems.

      “she knows how to make me feel like the man of the house. i understand that this may not be a one size fits all solution but its most definately a good place to start for those women having trouble finding a man.”

      Oh vomit. Honestly, I’d rather spend the rest of my life alone than with someone who I had to “make feel like a man”, which I take to mean “make sure you don’t accidently seem too intelligent or capable in case the poor widdle man feels emasculated”.

      Any man who is threatened to the point of no longer feeling like a man by an intelligent, capable woman who a) doesn’t actually NEED him, but is there because she wants to be and b) refuses to pretend to be less competent than she is in order to bag a man, is not worth knowing. Certainly not worth marrying.

      “critism does nothing more than confuse those that really value the words from people like suzanne.”

      So we shouldn’t criticise crap like this in case it confuses poor little you, who would realllllly like to believe her? Boo hoo.

      • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

        Don’t you just love how the naysayers become case-studies?

    • Kodie

      Sounds like a personal problem. Do you ever take responsibility for the preferences you have? It’s so difficult for you to feel what you desire to feel when someone else doesn’t behave subordinate to you. So sorry for you, dear.

    • smrnda

      Got news for you, most women don’t need a man. We can get educations, get jobs, earn money and finance our lives alright by ourselves. Not to say some women might not want a man, but need is a bit too strong of a term there. Woman can survive, make decisions and plan without needing to consult a man.

  • Yorde

    Ms. Venker work’s is very interesting and courageous, especially now that marriage between a man and a woman is being challenged by some groups. The fact is any working person, man or woman, play a well-defined role in their working place that make the organization succeed or fail. The relationship here is not emotional/romantic but merely business where talents, specialized knowledge or plain labor is exchanged for a salary or other benefit. People here compete on individual basis for promotions, recognition, status, better pay, etc. ; a personal success may means a disaster for the other person but this is the business model of meritocracy as opposed to equalizing by the lowest denominator. Whatever that role of a person may be, ownership, managerial or subordinate, when at home the nature of the relationship is different and the role changes from business to family, love and long term commitment. There is a role of a WIFE/MOTHER and there is a role of a HUSBAND/FATHER and there is a role of CHILDREN. Who is the boss in the house; it really does not matter as long as it is agreed, function and proper. For those who may be chromosome-challenged the situation may be different; but in any case that is not the subject of Mrs. Venker. For those who believe that woman were liberated in the 60s with liberal sex, condoms, smoking and dressing, got stuck in the primitive, limited and treacherous perceptions of our senses. The issues are much deeper and relates to attitude, values, character, education etc. Socrates – circa 2500 years ago – already admitted that it does not matter who is the ruling man as they all do as directed by their wives. Man should be a man and a woman should be a woman; this does not means the man is the king in the house nor the woman the queen. There is a tendency in nanny-states Europe to supress in kindergarten terms as mother, father, son and daughter just because the genre-challenge issues are being imposed on the other majority. The concept of democracy does not work in this case and historically is known as FASCISM!

    • Carys Birch

      “The fact is any working person, man or woman, play a well-defined role in their working place that make the organization succeed or fail. ”

      I see you haven’t spent much time in entry level drudge jobs. Let me correct it: Some working people, men or women, play a well defined role in their workplace that makes the organization succeed or fail. Others are merely moving parts who can be replaced at a moment’s notice.

      I’m not going to address your defense of gender roles beyond saying, you’re preaching from the wrong pulpit. Most of us here fought hard to ditch those ideas and we’re happier on the other side.

    • Anat

      There is a role of a WIFE/MOTHER and there is a role of a HUSBAND/FATHER and there is a role of CHILDREN. Who is the boss in the house; it really does not matter as long as it is agreed, function and proper.

      So there are appropriate gender and age roles in a household, but they aren’t about who’s the boss. Makes me wonder how that works.

    • Jon

      What the bloody fuck are you babbling about?

      “especially now that marriage between a man and a woman is being challenged by some groups.” Who? Name 1 group that wants to make straight marriage illegal. 1.

      “Who is the boss in the house; it really does not matter as long as it is agreed, function and proper.”
      A lot of the time there isnt a boss.

      I like how you boil intricacies of the sexual revolution down to contraception and fashion. Never mind the 60′s had the civil rights movement’s critical mass, the Vietnam protests and the inception of the gay rights movement at Stonewall, where beforehand imprisoning and lobotomizing GLBT’s for who they are was legal, and in some places common. Lets also ignore the domestic abuse and scientific stagnation that came with so many women being economically dependent and undereducated.

      “There is a tendency in nanny-states Europe to supress in kindergarten terms as mother, father, son and daughter just because the genre-challenge issues are being imposed on the other majority”

      Again, 1 example.

      I could also poke holes in the inherently broken system of social organization that erodes 1 persons ability to perform and contribute to empower another, regardless of the adaptability of the loser, with no organic metric of physical or mental capability. But thats a different subject for a different time.

      • smrnda

        Those European nanny states kick our asses in any measure of child welfare, so maybe they’re onto something?

    • Twist

      “Ms. Venker work’s is very interesting and courageous, especially now that marriage between a man and a woman is being challenged by some groups.”

      Interesting and courageous? More like she’s recycling the same tired old bullshit women have been hearing for decades. And a not-so subtle dig at marriage equality? Nice.

      “There is a role of a WIFE/MOTHER and there is a role of a HUSBAND/FATHER and there is a role of CHILDREN. Who is the boss in the house; it really does not matter as long as it is agreed, function and proper.”

      I challenge the assumption that there has to be a boss. Why, exactly? Can you explain what makes a relationship where one person imposes their will on the other better than one where the couple make decisions together based on compromise? Neither my partner nor I are ‘in charge’ in our relationship and the world hasn’t ended yet. And when people say that there is a role for the wife and a role for the husband, it’s usually implied that the role of the wife is to be subservient.

      “For those who believe that woman were liberated in the 60s with liberal sex, condoms, smoking and dressing, got stuck in the primitive, limited and treacherous perceptions of our senses.”

      What are you even saying here?

      ” Man should be a man and a woman should be a woman; this does not means the man is the king in the house nor the woman the queen.”

      So what does it mean then? How exactly does one be a man, or a woman? Last I checked, I am a woman. I was born one and remain one today. The fact that I expect to share housework and won’t follow my partner around like a simpering fool doesn’t make me less of a woman nor him less of a man.

  • http://thechurchproject.me Tracey

    Yorde, I know of no groups challenging marriage between a man and a woman. What are you talking about?

  • http://mymusingcorner.wordpress.com Lana

    War on Men.? wth

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucrezaborgia lucrezaborgia

    I can’t remember where I read this sentiment as it was a comment on one of the many articles…

    Venker is soo close yet so far! She should be writing about how the mans role in the family is changing and that men are still figuring out what all these changes mean. Instead, she wants us to go back to the days of men being Fred Flintstone. Besides the “Good Men Project” (they are not perfect), I don’t see many other people trying to figure out where men do stand today. I welcome any links to sites that discuss mens roles in a changing society.

  • Kodie

    So basically, women are seen as ruining a good ride for men. The problem is also that there are plenty of women out there for these men, who never have to change, so you may be left out if you don’t treat a man the way he has earned (somehow) the right to be treated and has always expected. Magical penis, ticket to everything. Nobody tell the men how to be different. They don’t seem to want to voluntarily give up their status.

    Seriously, though, there are too many instructions given by women for women to cut themselves down to a size men can handle, and way too few instructions by anyone other than women, such that “feminism” is a dirty word, to men how to alter themselves. Not a lot of guys telling guys how to give a little, is the problem. Women just have two choices: let things be the way they are, or take what they’d like to have, and the men only like the first choice because those women don’t tell them they have to change. The second one is women telling them to move over or fixing their own cars and making their own money and making them feel all the personal crises of identity. I think that has backlashed somewhat in the past few decades. Many men seem to be fitting in, but there’s a whole other population of men who are more threatened and overly concerned with masculinity and power than their fathers and grandfathers were. Their fathers and grandfathers were secure because they didn’t have anything to rebel against, as it were, it’s not because they were more sensitive to the humanity of women.

    So what we need is more men telling other men they are still men if they share. It’s really kind of bad and sad that they can’t hear it coming from women to the point where it’s invalidated, but to take the model of Pearl and Venker, women coming through and after the women’s movement may be “confused” as to how they should behave if a man was telling them. It makes sense that if a man was saying these things, we might be more skeptical than it comes across as woman-to-woman issues that counter the other woman-to-woman messages of liberation.


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