I've had the feminist conversation with many people over a course of years, and most people, if not all, assume that I am a feminist... perhaps it's because, from the outside, I seem to be the epitome of that ideal: strong, independent, career-driven, with my law degree and my own firm only two years after graduating from Wayne State Law School. I am now 36 years old, married the love of my life two years ago, and have a gorgeous little boy who celebrates his first birthday next month. I have the best of both worlds, just as feminists claim we can all have.
But that almost didn't happen and it doesn't happen for many of us.
Avi Woolf is correct in his article, The Jewish Sexodus, when he says that "the war on masculinity as such throughout popular culture and society ... has reached the point that many men have decided love and marriage just ain't worth it."
For years now, it is expected of women that, after college, we should put our energy into our careers. Men are of little importance and low priority since we assume that they will wait for us. But why should they when all we do is bash them (take a close look at the commercials on television or read any anti-male jokes) or worse yet, communicate in subtle or not-so-subtle ways that we do not need them. We have sperm banks, nannies, and can be single Super-moms. It's little wonder men resort to porn, video games, and/or concentrate on their own careers.
Men and women are leading parallel lives, sadly separate from each other. By the time women realize that we are in our thirties, instead of having a loving husband and rambunctious kids (those who want them), we are alone with our other amazing, lonely girlfriends in our great jobs.
Since the rise of feminism decades ago, the insistence that women deserve "equality," and that men are pathetic, emotionless, grunting creatures who we only need for their sperm, the age at which women are getting married has risen and we have even now reached the point where our gene pool and future are losing out on some of these great women (and the men who would have married them) altogether.
Each week I worry about my girlfriends who are my age (and sometimes older) who are as-of-yet unmarried. They are truly remarkable women. Smart, extremely talented, outgoing, hardworking, friendly, funny, and pretty. They are catches - all of them. But where are the men? Where are their matches? They are dating and marrying younger women, who want stability and a husband. And how can you argue with the men's choices of a younger wife? It gives the men more time with their wife, more time to have children, and they don't have to fight so hard with an already established, unforgiving, possibly sour or disappointed thirty-something who expects more than reality can provide.
"A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." This quote by Irina Dunn is commonly used and garners laughs among women. Generally, women do feel as though we are superior to men (due to emotional strength, empathic abilities, the seemingly innate ability to multitask, and the fact that we can give birth), but we forget that most men are generally physically stronger, more logical, and better at problem solving.
Dunn's quote fixates on our feelings of confidence and inflates our ego such that, despite the quote being untrue, our feelings are manipulated so that the delicate balance between men and women is undermined. Feminism (and the related bashing of men) ends up the tool that creates an over-inflated sense of self-worth in women and pushes away men.
Don't misunderstand me. I am a feminist (by the old standard). I know what and where I am today is a result of other women's diligence in fighting for rights and equality (one of whom was a great-great aunt, the first female law student at an ivy league school).
Hear this. Women are equal to men in importance. We are entitled to our careers, to equal pay for equal work. We are deserving of respect for our ideas, hard work, and diligence. If we choose to stay at home and raise our children and keep house, we should receive huge respect for that as well. If we choose to marry, or not, have kids or not, that is OUR CHOICE. But one cannot argue or ignore the lost idea before feminism ruined all of this -
Men and women are not equal; we are DIFFERENT.
Were we to accept our differences, glory in them, appreciate and embrace our yin and yang, and, more importantly, internalize that women NEED men, then perhaps women wouldn't focus 110% of our time and energy into our careers. Women want so badly to be equal to men, but men are able to handle a job and dating/marriage. Why can't we? What is so wrong with wanting to find your partner in your twenties instead of being selfish and self-absorbed for that decade and more?
Nothing.... but that was the truth that feminism beat out of us.
The essence and original ideas of feminism, that of equal pay, respect, and honoring a woman's choice, were commendable. The problem is that those ideals didn't remain true. They expanded into the belief that women are better (by stepping on the backs of men) and even mocked the very definition of itself when women who chose to stay at home to raise their children were berated as being an anathema to the "cause."
Fortunately, my story has a happy ending (thus far). I got lucky in finding my husband, even if I had to import him from another country. But getting married at the ripe old age of 34 also gives me little time to have the number of children that I would like. As such, I will have to (briefly) set aside the career I worked on so diligently just to focus on family. I would have been better off getting married younger so that I could dedicate my time more efficiently. Had I done that, I also would have had a partner to help me meet my goals, and perhaps I would have achieved even more. We will never know. But we can accomplish this for the next generation of women and men....
The first step is getting rid of this bastardization of feminism, the holier-than-thou attitude for women, and the war against men.
For more interesting reads on feminism, alpha females, and the war on men (I'll add them as I find them):
Should Non-Feminist Men Just Drop Dead?
The Alpha Female