I won’t preface this with the facile remark that I like women. I really hate men who say, “Oh, I like and respect women,” just as I really hate women who say, “Oh, I like and respect men” (if, that is, there are any women saying that). I like some women, dislike others, and have no opinion about the rest. But while I may not be proclaiming all women as strong or fundamentally better in some way than men, neither do I long for days gone past when women were barred from much of society.
But that doesn’t mean they’re above criticism.
Their influence on television and movies, for instance, has been devastating for men. Consider a typical domestic plot in which the father misses his child’s school play because of work. His wife chides him, and by the end of the story he will have learned an important lesson about family. Now contrast that with a similar plot but with the roles reversed so that it’s the mother whose career keeps her away from her family. The woman’s husband chides her, and by the end of the story he will have learned an important lesson about women’s rights in the workplace.
Of course, that’s if it’s a comedy. If it isn’t, then we’ll discover that the husband was having an affair, and before the final reel he will be replaced in the woman’s life with a more understanding and compliant male.
Men must acquiesce to whatever course of action a woman decides upon, but he shouldn’t expect any form of reciprocity. She needs time away from the family? That’s because there’s so much pressure in being a wife and mother. He needs time away from the family? That’s because he’s a bastard. She has an affair? That’s because her husband is taking her for granted. He has an affair? That’s because he’s a bastard. She is a top executive who treats those under her like shit? That’s because she’s a strong woman. He is a top executive who treats those under him like shit? That’s because he’s a bastard. And God forbid that the man wants a night out with the guys: at best it’s yet another indication of his juvenile tendencies; at worst, it’s proof that he’s a bastard. For a woman, on the other hand, a night out with the girls is her right because (say it with me now) men are bastards.
The social sphere has become a mine field in which the explosives are planted by women and can be moved at will. Chivalry towards women is a blatant act of patriarchal ownership, but lack of chivalry shows contemptible disrespect. Women must be treated exactly like men in the workplace, but doing so can result in charges of harassment or inappropriate behaviour. Women must be allowed into the “men’s club,” but cry “foul” at the first blue joke or raunchy comment.
In the legal realm, what started as true equality has morphed into a double standard in which a female accuser smear a man’s name in public while hers remains protected. Child custody laws were tragically and needlessly warped when it was judged that sole custody to the mother was in the best interest of the child. And yet, “[e]ightyfive per cent of youth in prison are fatherless; 71 per cent of high school dropouts are fatherless; 90 per cent of runaway children are fatherless; and fatherless youth exhibit higher levels of depression and suicide,delinquency, promiscuity and teen pregnancy, behavioural problems and illicit and licit substance abuse” (Child Custody Access and Parental Responsiblity, Edward Kruk, University of British Columbia, December 2008).
Even more disturbing is the fast and loose manner in which statistics are reported in order to stress violence against women. In 2005, Statistics Canada reported that 7% of men and 6% of women “in a current or previous spousal relationship encountered spousal violence during the five years up to and including 2004. Here is the chart showing the different forms of assault broken down to male and female victims.
Notice that men are roughly 25% more likely to be threatened or have something thrown at them than women, and 70% more likely to be kicked, bit and hit (either with fists or objects). Women, on the other hand, are about 12% more likely to be pushed, shoved or slapped than men; 35% more likely to be beaten, choked, or attacked with a knife or gun; and significantly more likely to be the victim of a sexual assault (the male figures for this being too unreliable to report). 1 Now while it’s obvious that women bear the brunt of the more violent assaults, it is only in the sexual realm that they are close to being the sole victims. Furthermore, these figures are likely to be skewed because men are far less likely to report such events.
Beating up your wife or girlfriend is cowardly and wrong: but so is beating up your husband or boyfriend.
Religion is fast becoming warped through an ongoing attempt to appease women. Of course there’s the kafuffle over the proper pronoun for God, but that’s nothing more than a petty quarrel. “There is neither male nor female in Jesus Christ,” says St. Paul (Gal. 3:28), and theologians have always understood that God has no specific sex. Of more concern is the rise of the Goddess religions, none of which are historical (despite their often grandiose claims), but all of which promote the worship of women themselves. In traditional religions there is no suggestion that we should regard men as actual gods, but the new female religions make it almost mandatory to consider each woman a “goddess.”
And then there’s the whole beauty quagmire. Beauty is inconsequential and we must respect women for their minds. On the other hand, every woman is beautiful, as her friends rush to tell her anytime she is feeling blue. (Can you imagine guys comforting a friend by telling him that he has an “inner handsomeness”?) Men are even being told exactly what they must, and must not, find attractive – blondes, of course, are out. And let’s not forget that men are responsible for the rise of anorexic models, despite the fact that these models appear almost exclusively on fashion show catwalks and the covers of women’s magazines: men’s magazines tend to be populated by far more ample figures.
Over the course of only a few, short generations, men have stood beside women to help bring about a world in which female doctors, lawyers, social workers, teachers, and executives are almost as common as males (although strangely enough, the workers in the really dirty jobs on garbage trucks, factory floors, and construction sites are still predominantly men), and yet we are still treated like some kind of enemy trying to keep them from the true corridors of power (which, I guess, include garbage trucks, factory floors, and construction sites).
I don’t want things to go back to the way they were in Victorian times, but I would appreciate it if once in a while women would show us a bit of respect.
And that’s why I probably don’t like you.
1. Statistics Canada in The Daily, Thursday, July 4, 2005. [Return to text]