My Jewish Sexodus article has caused quite a stir, including two responses, one at Times of Israel and another in a feminist/gender-pluralistic site called New Voices. Many a comment was made on ToI and my facebook wall. Now that a critical mass has built up, it’s time to address some of the main arguments. But let’s get one red herring out of the way first:
My personal life has nothing to do with it
I deliberately avoided making any mention of my personal life, because it is entirely irrelevant to my argument about a phenomenon affecting men of all races and religions throughout the developed world. The article was not and is not about me or my own problems. No, I did not have a “bad breakup” with a feminist girlfriend or get “emasculated” and decide to take it out on feminism or what-have-you. My argument, shocking as this may sound, is a genuine one of principle.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start with the arguments:
Strong Women Preceded Feminism
One of the strangest arguments I saw was that I was somehow scared of “strong women”, as if one needed to be a feminist to be strong. This argument only makes sense if you believe the world was created in the 1950s and consisted solely of American suburbia. It’s sheer nonsense.
Strong women have existed since the beginning of time. They had to be; life for most of humanity through most of history was a nasty, brutish and short struggle for survival. If you weren’t strong, you usually didn’t last – whether you were a man or a woman. Throughout history, literature written by men was full of descriptions of strong and even “willful” women back in the days when patriarchy reigned supreme. They did not suddenly come on the scene with the suffragettes or the bra-burners.
Nor were they all incompetent and uneducated wallflowers. Many a noblewoman in Medieval Europe was expected to be literate and capable of running a household, especially when her husband was away. Village women the world over were also expected to do much physical labor and brave many hardships.
It isn’t even true that today, only feminists are strong women. Like her or not, Margaret Thatcher was tough as nails – and she did not credit her success to feminism. The same is true of people like Indira Gandhi and Golda Meir.
Feminism as an ideology deserves to be discussed and debated on its own merits, both the various versions and components. “Strong women” have nothing to do with it.
This is a natural economic phenomenon and has nothing to do with feminism
This argument is only partially correct. It is true, as pointed out by many articles by Kay Hymowitz, that the delaying of marriage has much to do with changes in how our economy works. But to claim that the dominant strains of feminism today did not cause damage and do not promote a culture of man-hatred is to be naïve in the extreme. My argument is not just the wont of “loser guys in their basements” (more on this vile attitude below), but of many scholars, men and women, who noticed the problem.
Dr. Leonard Sax, hardly a conservative, has pointed out in many books about how too many schools are geared pretty much with girls in mind and ignoring boys’ unique gender needs – an irony, surely, and one which ensures many men fall behind in life in general. Every western state, Israel included, has government departments, offices, committees and positions aimed exclusively at promoting women and helping them advance and overcome obstacles and injustices, great or small.
There is nothing resembling such an industrial complex to help men, especially those at the economic or racial lower end of the social scale, and who are not the dominant men feminists seem to obsess over when calling for gender quotas on company boards and in parliaments and government cabinets. In criminal aspects, too, men are disadvantaged, not just in longer sentences for similar crimes, but even the automatic presumption of guilt the minute a woman accuses him of rape or sexual assault. To claim that the ascendance of women and the decline of men is solely a “natural” economic phenomenon and not also a matter of some planning and design is simply false.
Men are not the only ones to point out the culture of misandry, or man hatred, prevalent in the West today. Christina Hoff Sommers, a heterodox feminist, has in a book and in a popular youtube channel called “Factual Feminist” corrected the flood of false information about treatment of women in the west – information which implicitly damns many innocent men. Women such as Cathy Young and Dr. Helen Smith have pointed out numerous examples of women getting away with the kind of behavior that would never be tolerated among men. Women on the website Conservative Woman have pointed out the many damages caused by feminism’s influence on government policy and against men and traditional families, demonstrating that it is not marriage equality that progressives want so much as the end of the good old fashioned one.
Men Don’t Matter?
Which brings me to the most disturbing and utterly appalling response of all: the utter contempt and hatred for men who don’t toe the feminist line. Men are apparently bums, evolutionary losers or what-have-you, who if they don’t get with the program of feminism can all skulk off and die. Even more disturbing, many of these comments, on ToI and elsewhere came from many educated and ostensibly liberal men and women who should know a thing or two about the dangers of hatred and dehumanization.
I invite the reader to go to some of the comments in my Sexodus article, or just articles which comment on gender issues in general, and replace “men” with “Blacks”, “Jews” or “women”. Now tell me with a straight face that men haven’t become the group of humanity towards whom it is now legitimate to be openly and brazenly bigoted. Instead of equality, the liberal west has simply changed the identity of the hated Other.
Perhaps many will argue that this is how things are, and even if everything I say is true, there’s nothing that can be done. Maybe. But I believe that is not the case. There is a great deal we can do, certainly for many men and the women who genuinely want to be with them – none of which, by the way, requires turning the west into a secular or religious version of Afghanistan. But that is a matter for another article.