In this past election the phrase “war on women” was coined after Republican Representative of Missouri, Todd Akin made comments about “legitimate rape” He stated in an interview, “It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” Predictably, the country responded with outrage.
Recently, Fox news published an article about the supposed “war on men.” Author Suzanne Venker claims that:
- Women aren’t women anymore
- Women are angry and defensive
- Women have been raised to think of men as the enemy
- “After decades of browbeating the American male, men are tired. Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault.”
- “Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families — it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.”
- “If men today are slackers, and if they’re retreating from marriage en masse, women should look in the mirror and ask themselves what role they’ve played to bring about this transformation.”
Ultimately, Venker claims that it is women’s fault that there is an apparent lack of men who do not wish to marry. The author bases her argument off of the statistic that women ages eighteen to thirty-four who said that having a successful marriage was important to them rose from 28 percent to 37 percent since 1997. Yet for men this opinion decreased from 35 percent to 29 percent. Fortunately, Venker offers a solution, “All [women] have to do is surrender to their nature – their femininity – and let men surrender to theirs.”
To state it simply, I find this article and these notions completely outrageous. Women have progressed in the work force, yet they still earn lower wages than men. There have only been male presidents in the history of our nation. This past election was monumental for women, because congress will have at least 13 women senators and the House of Representatives will also have a record-breaking number of women. Yes, these numbers demonstrate progress, but there is still a long ways to go to reach equilibrium. Even on a micro-level Venker suggests that we let men be dominate forces in our lives just so they will feel “less threatened.” Personally, I would never “surrender my femininity” all so I can find the right husband, and I think it is unfair to make the generalization that “women aren’t women anymore,” because those statements just bring women (and men) back to the prevailing notions prior to the 1960s and the feminist movement.
– Jenna M.