Friday, March 21, 2008

Anti-Feminism: Affirmative Action for Men

Look here, another WorldNetDaily man telling us all how bad feminism has been for women! To make a long illogical rant short, columnist Dennis Prager is claiming that feminism has caused women to have higher rates of depression than men because it has raised their expectations but because they're women, they can never meet these higher expectations.

His authority in making such a claim?

"As one who regularly talks to women, and about men and women, on my radio show and who has informally counseled women of all ages, I would like to offer some explanations that may run counter to currently acceptable ones, but which should shed light on the subject."

Who doesn't "regularly" talk to women? Using that standard, pretty much everyone is qualified to come up with an "explanation" as to why women are depressed.

And, oh, so he talks about men and women on his radio show? So, in other words, he does more talking to men and women than talking with them? You know, I regularly talk about men and women on my blog, but I think it would be pretty delusional of me to diagnosis the cause of depression in an entire population based on my bloggings.

But wait, he does ("informally") counsel women too! So, he pretty much admits that he's not a professional and is no more qualified to be speaking about the topic of "depression in women" than the average person on the street.

Using his lax standards of authority and "expertise" why should any of us accept his explanation over anyone else's? Because he has a column on WorldNutDaily?


Now that that's all clear, when I hear claims by "concerned" men such as Prager that feminism harms women, I can only laugh. For, while Prager is busy trying with all his might to convince us that it's in the best interest of women to go back to being barefoot and in the kitchen, if he really truly cared about us he would be pushing for policies that supported working families. But instead he's telling us that feminism was a lie: women can't have it all.

Unfortunately for Prager, he reveals what it is about feminism that makes his nuts shrivel a little bit: Many women today have life aspirations that go beyond nabbing a good man.

As he explains,

"It was hard enough for women in the past to realize their far fewer expectations of marrying a good man and making a happy family."

You see, women could barely manage finding a man. What made them get the preposterous notion in their heads that they could do more than that? Teh Feminism. Women, you see, are just not cut out to work outside the home (People still think this?! Raise the roof, 1800s in the house!!). And besides, work is just way more important to men then it is to women:

"The greater importance of work to men is also manifested in their willingness to work many more hours than women."

Or, maybe women are better at time management than men are. Or, perhaps, women can't afford babysitters while they work long overtime hours. Or, maybe just maybe, when women get home from work they are busy doing more housework than their male partners, something that certainly constitutes "work." Anti-feminist men like Prager, men whose life mission is to put women in their place, only perpetuate the so-called "gender wars" by insisting that they know what's best for women contrary to our own inclinations.

But wait, Prager acknowledges this:

"To make things even worse for many women, not only are most women not finding their careers nearly as fulfilling as they had been led to expect, they rarely find the demands of home life lessened much. Now, many women experience double the pressure – having to succeed in jobs outside of the home and, as much as ever, inside the home."

Let's see if anywhere in his article Prager says "Gee, that's too bad, men should pitch in more around the house so women won't have to juggle housework and career work and, therefore, won't be depressed." Nope. The fact that (some) men don't help with housework is also the fault of feminism:

"The feminist promise that everything in their marriage will be 50-50 – each partner will do half the outside work, half the housework, and half the child rearing – has rarely panned out. Most men will work their tails off outside the home, but won't inside the home."

Now, is the fact that "men won't work inside the home" the fault of men or the fault of feminists? If Prager was as concerned for the plight of women as he claims to be, he would encourage his male readers to pitch in around the house. But in his mind, it's just a given that women would continue doing the housework (in addition to their career work) while men bring home the real bacon. But he solves that little problem by implying that women should just stop having careers. See, problem solved (for him anyway).

Less women in the public sphere, after all, means less competition for ignorant, small-minded, simple-minded men like Prager. Anti-feminist advocacy is sort of like advocating for affirmative action for dumb men. Why do you think there are so many men opposed to equality over at Concerned Women for America and WorldNutDaily?

Anyway, as a career-woman, I must say that I feel pretty fulfilled with life and not depressed at all. In fact, had my only life option been to marry a man and raise "his" children, I'm pretty sure I would have ended up suffering from the same type of affliction ambitious women without options (like Jane Addams) suffered from. But I have had many options in life, and whether true or not, I did grow up believing I could be anything I wanted to be. And I did.

In reality, as opposed to Prager's small mind, one study "found that having a feminist partner was linked to healthier heterosexual relationships for women. Men with feminist partners also reported both more stable relationships and greater sexual satisfaction. According to these results, feminism does not predict poor romantic relationships, in fact quite the opposite." Interesting. I, for one, certainly put more stock in a study than in Prager's unsubstantiated railing against feminism.

Yeah, I know, I'm a dyke. But don't the voices of those of us who are extremely grateful for feminism matter, Dennis? Aren't we woman too? Cuz you sure as hell aren't.

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