War on men? Yup.

Suzanne Venkner’s Fox News opinion piece “The War on Men” is garnering great attention in the blogosphere.  I agree with, and cultural trends seem to affirm, many of her conclusions.  The climax of her article is this statement.  “But what if the dearth of good men, and ongoing battle of the sexes, is – hold on to your seats – women’s fault?”

Here’s the Bigot’s perspective on that statement.

The cultural narrative, wrongly I believe, has been one that equates masculine strength and leadership with domination and chauvinism.  Yes, I do think that in many places femininity has been lost.  But men get to choose whether or not they are destroyed by it.

In my opinion, being truly feminine does not equal less brains, capability, giftedness, leadership skills or gumption.   It means recognizing and valuing the distinct social and biological attributes of womanhood.  And, War on Menhowever much pop culture would like to poo poo the differences, they exist.  Cross culturally, men tend to display the following attributes more than women: more explorative, determined to “deliver the goods,” looking for what’s next, opportunists, risk takers, initiators, active and aggressive, competitive and dominant.  Sociologically women tend to: be more enticing, seek intimacy over action, be wisely receptive, seek security, prefer modesty, nurturing and verbal, more concerned about connecting, and wield a soft influential power. (Source: Secure Daughters, Confident Sons, Glenn T Stanton.)

War on men?  I think so.  In many parts of our culture, we have shamed or degraded men for acting on the inborn traits mentioned above when in reality they serve critical purposes for the individual, family, and society.  Likewise, we have peddled the lie to women that those qualities that are uniquely feminine are somehow of lesser importance and demonstrate an inherent weakness.

Ms. Venkner states “Believe it or not, modern women want to get married. Trouble is, men don’t.”  She couldn’t be more right.  I have several beautiful, successful, academic, mature, and healthy single girl friends.  They would like to be married.  They would like to have children.  There are VERY few available men with the maturity, self-control, and ability to provide for a family who desire to get married.  Whose fault is it?  Yes, there is exceptional cultural pressure to suppress many of these masculine traits, but ultimately it is up to the individual man to choose whether or not to believe the lie that the culture is feeding him.

6 thoughts on “War on men? Yup.

  1. It’s tricky to rise above this current age. I’m 24 and only a few months ago did I truly start to understand what a man is and that just because I didn’t play sports, wasn’t very competative, or didn’t demonstrate many other common “guy” traits, didn’t mean I wasn’t one.

  2. Supashmo, you are so right! I’ve read a great deal about gender and gender expression. I cite the above book because it bases its conclusions not cultural trends, political correctness, or superficial expressions of gender, but goes to the heart of the innate social and emotional differences between men and women.

    Within our circle of friends, I am grateful that my boys have examples of men who are interconnected and secure in their manhood even though there is great diversity in how that masculinity expresses itself. Among those men, there is a police officer, fire fighter, computer geek, moonlighting artistic movie maker, electrician, bio diesel company start-up guy, pastor, Boeing assembly line guy, actuary type, and Amazon warehouse guy. Some love sport, others love music, some outspoken and some reserved. They express their masculinity differently and none of them are less of a man for it.

  3. Thanks for sharing this link with me! I really enjoyed it.

    “The cultural narrative, wrongly I believe, has been one that equates masculine strength and leadership with domination and chauvinism.”

    I absolutely agree. I believe a similar narrative says to women that if we allow ourselves to be led, we are weak. Because of this incorrect formula, men don’t want to seem like jerks who “walk all over women”, just as women don’t want to seem weak and “walked over,” so they forfeit true leadership. Society’s view of leadership is literally one who takes the lead, who gets to the top no matter what the cost. It’s purely self-centered. I look at Jesus’ example of manhood: He knew who He was, He knew His purpose, He healed and accepted social outcasts, and He served His followers. It is His love, His intimate care that made him a leader. He was God-centered and others-oriented.

    “Yes, there is exceptional cultural pressure to suppress many of these masculine traits, but ultimately it is up to the individual man to choose whether or not to believe the lie that the culture is feeding him.”

    I am blessed to have strong males and females in my life, so I feel like I have a solid perspective on gender. But I wonder about a man who doesn’t have strong males in his life. How does he spot the lie? How does he know what real masculinity is? I don’t know, just thinking out loud here. 🙂

    I have a good friend who did film criticism in a blog for a while, and I don’t remember what movie she was talking about, but she said she was disappointed because the female characters were good and strong, but the male characters were very passive. She noted how rare it is for Hollywood to be able to have strong characters in both genders in the same movie, as if the strength of one should lessen the other. That is indeed how our society works.

    • Ahh, but what exactly is a “strong character”? So much of our ideas about strong and weak are founded in our subconscious understandings of gender. Things that make people strong make them more masculine, whereas things that make people weak make them more feminine. Hollywood can’t be expected to be any better at depicting strength in a gender-neutral way (if that even exists) than our own society is until we have women’s studies, sociology, and philosophy scholars writing the screenplays and directing! We need to re-define strength as a society before we will see equality and balance in media representation between the genders.

      • Thanks for your comments, both of you. Eilyn, sorry I didn’t respond sooner. I love your insight about Jesus and I agree. He is unbending in principle and confronts when needed. He is also ever gentle with women and children. A beautiful picture of true masculinity. And I agree with you about the imbalance within media.

        And hello, Lesbianfriend! Nice to have you here. I don’t think that either gender gets to stake a sole claim on strength. It is a necessary and beautiful component to what I would consider true masculinity and femininity. And interestingly, my man and I have been watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I was thinking that there were different expressions of masculinity among the male characters, but all wonderfully masculine. And though there are few female characters, the ones who are highlighted are by no means “weak”.

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