You Can’t Just Blame Feminism For Guys Being Jerks…

We’re going to play a game I like to call “spot the logical fallacy”.  It goes something like this:

The following is an excerpt from Rob Ogden’s opinion piece in the International Business Times (The IBT let this get published? Really?) in response to an article by Kay Hymowitz in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Where have all the good men gone?”

Men these days inhabit the world they inherited.  Feminism, which Hymowitz doesn’t even bother mentioning in her article, and the active favoring of women over men in our society, hold the answers to her question.  Where have all the good men gone, she asks?  There simply aren’t many; our society is designed specifically not to produce them.

Alright.  Let’s just…let’s pause for a second, shall we? What Hymowitz argues in her article is that young men today (by which we mean men in their 20’s) live in a sort of extended adolescence, rather than committing to serious relationships and maturing into genuine adults.  They continue to play video games and hang out with their college friends, hooking up instead of settling down, women are quite honestly getting frustrated.  Sure, it’s not a big deal to live like that IN COLLEGE, even a couple of years out of college…but by 25 or 26, these guys come across, as Hymowitz explains, “as aging frat guys”.  It’s not exactly what the ladies are looking for.

Somehow I don’t think that this phenomena can be blamed on feminism.  It should go without saying that just because women are more independent, this is not a reason for men to continue to act like boys just because they aren’t “taking care of their girl”.  Feminism didn’t ask that we have less good men-~-it asked that men treat women as their equals.  One would think that this would make for MORE good men, more respectful men, men who saw their girlfriends and wives as partners instead of property.

Look, at the end of Mean Girls, even Cady Heron realizes that calling someone ugly won’t make her prettier, and calling someone dumb won’t make her smarter.  Saying that women are empowered does not mean that men should just sit around cracking open a Bud lite and playing Smash.  Grow the heck up.

What’s even more interesting is this idea of a society that “actively favors women over men”.  Sorry, are you living in the same society as I am?  Because where I live, guys still make cracks about my legs.  I’ve still been told that I can’t make it in certain fields because those jobs are “men’s work”.  People still ask me to make them freaking sandwiches, and even if it’s just a joke, it’s still really annoying.

On top of that, take a look at issues like sexual harassment, rape culture, the fact that courts rarely punish domestic violence because they’re “private issues” even though men are physically beating their girlfriends or wives, the continued skew in pay rates for men and women, the slut stigma…I could keep going but I’m pretty sure you get the picture.  Our society does NOT preference women over men.  The few instances in which you could say that are when, for example, federal agencies say they “highly encourage women to apply” because so many women are discouraged from going into the field that there is an insane shortage of women in a lot of workplaces.

Ogden’s next argument, however, is that “traditional manliness is under attack” (because of feminism), which makes it hard to know what it is to be a good man (which he defines as “being good at being  a man”).  Really?  First of all, the only part of manliness under attack is the part that says men must dominate women.  I can make this really simple: a good man has his act together, respects people (including women), and takes responsibility for his actions.

And yes, men still have responsibilities, even if they are choosing to ignore them. Besides that, you shouldn’t get authority just because you have a Y-chromosome.

The rest of Ogden’s piece is just laughable-~-he accuses feminists of wanting to “oust men from power” and relegating them to the role of sperm donor…which just goes to show how little he understands about feminism.  So he can keep vilifying divorce as a tool by which women take what their husbands own (logical fallacy #2, because he argues that women dominate the workplace, which means a man could theoretically be taking half of what his wife has, since she could arguably have more than he does).  And our culture doesn’t advise against monogamy: it advises against premature monogamy.  Just because we don’t need to get married at 19 doesn’t mean we never should.  He can keep arguing that its women’s insistence that they hold jobs, which apparently decreases their desirability, that excuses men from “behaving in the traditional sense” (meaning growing the heck up).

The fact is, blaming feminism isn’t the answer.  You want to be a man?  Great.  As Ke$ha would say, when you grow a pair, you can call me back.  Until then…man-boys may be the latest trend demographically, but we can only hope it’s a trend that won’t last too long.

*This piece represents the author’s opinions and analysis; it is not an example of current events reporting


~ by Randi Saunders on November 18, 2011.

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