Wherein I express myriad incredulities

Posts Tagged ‘gender norms

Wedding planning and the “war on men.”

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I’m getting married next year, so I thought maybe I’d turn this blog into a wedding planning blog!

I’m so kidding. I would never do that to you. I don’t have time to plan a wedding, much less write about planning one.

But, I did run into this lovely article by Fox News, and wanted so badly to post on Facebook about it, but I made a deal with myself earlier this year that there would be no more politics on Facebook, for my sanity’s sake. (Seriously, arguing about politics on the internet with people you know is a lose/lose proposition in which I am no longer willing to engage.) So, the solution was to blog-vent.

I’m not going to argue the notion that women’s generalized gender expectations and aspirations have not changed in decades past. More women are working, many are out-earning their partners, and being a single mother is no longer a scandalous notion. But, women are still socialized in such a way as to at least partially perpetuate traditional gender roles. Many women, while out-earning their partners, are still doing the majority of household chores. Romney still expects us to be home to cook dinner.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be home or enjoying taking care of one’s family and household. But, I think many of us can agree that it is not necessarily and automatically the responsibility of the nearest woman to accommodate these basic needs for her family/community. I love cooking and enjoy putting dinner on the table, but if the man in my life judged me for not making that my number one priority over career/education/sanity, then you can bet I’d have a problem with it.

Here’s my major beef with the idea of a “war on men”: It is never presented in such a way as to illicit any sympathy from someone who doesn’t already feel like a disenfranchised man. These arguments are almost always presented in the same way as is done by Fox News in this article: men feel entitled and feel like women don’t need them so we force men to take their balls and go home (pun not intended, but relished).

And to go back to my original point, the expectations and generalizations hurt everyone. I think most men do not feel that there is a war being waged against them by women. I think that there are a lot of good men out there who have altered their expectations of gender roles based on how our world has changed to enfranchise more women.

Also: why must “feminism” be a dirty word? Feminism does not imply that we don’t need men and that we don’t want them to have a place in world. It does, however, question why the two most widely recognized genders must abide by antiquated assigned roles that can be grossly skewed to advantage some over others.

The author of this article (a woman, by the way, whom I will attempt to judge solely on the quality of her writing and refrain from calling her a traitor to her gender) appeals to women and men to surrender to their roles, because marriage will be awesome again if we do that (marriage for whom? And I’d love to hear this woman’s take on marriage equality).

If we must assign blame for the article’s presumed lack of marriageable men, why blame ourselves for doing what is in our own best interest? Why blame women for having the courage to buck gender norms and lead lives where we can have choices and seize opportunities?

[Men] want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.

Really? We’re going to use the DNA argument? Because that’s the same argument that a lot of people use to justify rape. We are bigger than our hormones. We are capable of being respectful to each other and nurturing relationships without requiring either party to act a certain way for reasons that amount to “just because.” However, you can’t expect people to just intuit how they need to approach a new idea. We need to educate young people about healthy relationships, and that will lead to more marriageable men and women.



Written by fudgebudget

December 5, 2012 at 7:07 pm