“It is not male society but mother nature who lays the heaviest burden on women.” Camille Paglia
A number of market indicators are suggesting that women are more suited to post industrial capitalist society than men are. Women are more successful in education, physical health, mental health, family, political influence, and employment.
There was a debate, (November 15th), titled: The End of Men, be it resolved men are obsolete. It’s the latest in the Monk Debate series. In this ‘Attention Age’ it is the Shock that gets noticed. There is so much noise in cyberspace – that tired cacophony, thus in order to be heard one has to spark outrage, be angry, shock, humiliate, titillate or otherwise appeal to the reptilian brain to get attention. A positive predictor of going viral is anger. Hence, a Men Are Obsolete debate – by four women.
In the preamble to the debate on whether men were obsolete, Caitlin Moran suggested that in terms of equality women were still far behind men. The example she gave, perhaps poorly chosen, was the Oscars. She said jokingly that equality will be evident when women go up on stage to accept their Oscars in comfortable shoes. She made the analogy that George Clooney is at the event discussing his next project and women are huddled in a corner talking about how much their feet hurt in their high-heeled shoes, or how a photo makes them look unattractive. Is that not a vanity problem rather than an equality problem? Trivial comparisons for sure. But in a more serious tone it was suggested that when the CEO’s of fortune 500 companies are evenly split between men and women, only then will there be true equality in society. An equality where, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the CEO’s in the mid 60’s took home 24 times more pay than the average worker. In 2009 they took home 185 times more money than the average worker. The irony is that of 29 directors of the institute, 9 are women.
One commenter pointed out another bit of irony as follows, “The Monk debate is organized by: Tim Berners-Lee, and Patrick Luciani. The comments posted on the platform Disqus was made by, Daniel Ha and Jason Yan. This page uses HTML: proposed by Tim Berners-Lee. The information might be stored in MySQL (Michael Widenius) or Oracle (Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates), or perhaps postgreSQL (Michael Stonebraker). Does it use PHP? (Rasmus Lerdorf ) Or Java? (James Gosling, Mike Sheridan, and Patrick Naughton). These women use twitter (Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass), and Facebook ( Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes). They might be using an Android phone (based on linux by Linus Torval and Gnu founder Richard Stallman), or an Iphone (Steve Jobs designed by Jonathan Ive). Or they might be using Macs or Windows (Jobs and Gates). I could go on and on like this. But these two women (Rosin and Dowd) should realize that this debate would not even exist without men, they would not even be able to talk about it. In picture, they do look like intelligent women, they must realize that without men all of this does not exist right? This is only a joke, right?”
So the debate did provoke anger, and some much-needed clarity, but the points above show that men, contrary to the conclusion of the debate, are not obsolete. Other writers have pointed out comments made by the recently deceased, Doris Lessing, the Nobel winning author, who said in 2001, that modern men were ‘cowed’ by women. They can’t fight back,” she said. “And it’s time they did.”
Intimidation is a word that has been increasing in use over the last 150 years, and is pretty much at an all time high now in the English-speaking world. We live in an intimidating post industrial society. Politicians, who are mostly men, are indeed intimidated and threatened by the organization and power of women’s groups. It is easy votes to get on a platform and commit money towards women’s issues, and sure-fire damnation if any politician were to cut funding to anything related to women. How intimidating is that? Men are seemingly expendable political whipping posts.
The University of Toronto, has 40 courses dedicated to women’s studies and one dedicated to transgender males, and one about homosexual males – how intimidating is that? How intimidating would it be for a politician to come out and say that being a mom is by no means the toughest job in the world?
Men are indeed cowed by political pressure, politicians are subservient to the organized power groups. In the European Union former political leaders are calling for the State to set up a monitoring system to watch for intolerant citizens. “The Framework said it hopes to take concrete action to combat intolerance, in particular with a view to eliminating, among other thoughts […] anti-feminism […].”
There is a growing movement of angry young men that are reacting against what they perceive as the smug self-righteousness of feminist ideology. It is evident, as can be seen in other countries, like the UK and a growing number of EU nations for instance, that these angry men and boys will be picked up by the fringe political parties. There should be a debate around men as scapegoats. In a seeming, blink-of-the-eye – things could change, but don’t confuse change, with – good.
We need to pay attention to what is going on and not let politicians be cowed by ideologies that damage men and boys. The major political parties need to identify the problems with men and boys – and not be intimidated against taking action to actually help.
No one cares, until something shocking happens.