Modern feminism was launched in 1963 with the publication of Betty Friedan's landmark book, The Feminine Mystique, which starkly revealed, to the bewilderment of then male-dominant American society, that women had been suffering in silence, deeply unhappy with the traditional roles prescribed to them by their male oppressors.
The ensuing explosion of feminist demands produced a flurry of concessions -- from still dominant, but now guilt-ridden, men -- to eradicate, among other things, domestic violence, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, workplace inequities, and, of course, unwanted fetuses.
As an unmarried male adolescent at the time, I was oblivious to their plight. It wasn't until college that my consciousness was raised. And, oddly enough, it wasn't blatantly discriminatory admission policies (almost 90% male enrollment in the engineering school that I attended). It was the bra-burning of 1968 that caught my attention, and my feigned support, until 1970 and the publication of Germaine Greer's landmark The Female Eunuch, instructing females not to burn their bras, and to make ordinary life miserable for people like me -- both male and female.
I blame my mother, in part, for my lack of empathy. She -- who had grown up, with six older brothers, during the Depression and World War II, and had brought up her four children during the 1950s and 1960s -- voiced no patriarchal complaints to me. How else could I have known? My father was of no help; he was bewildered. Consequently, I was more cognizant of the Cold War and the Viet Nam war -- caused by men, bleated the sisterhood -- than sexism, a new feminist term that feminists themselves referred to as "the problem that had no name." Looking back, I would have supported the cause -- if only its problem had had a name.
My support was not needed. The National Organization for Women (NOW) was more than enough. It was the driving force behind the rapidly forming feminist juggernaut and its ever-expanding manifesto. The organization's name was not serendipitous (e.g., also known, at the time of its formation, as the "NAACP for women," it could have been called the National Association for the Advancement of Female Rights (NAAFR) or something similar). To wily feminists, "NOW" would tacitly express the urgency of feminist demands.
And much more. "NOW," better yet, "NOW!," as Kevin Williamson observed (The Unspectacular NOW!), "is a rhetorical short circuit, a way to preempt anyone’s thinking too deeply about a proposition." It worked exquisitely. Rampant shallow thought contributed immensely to the success of the feminist movement. So much so, that "NOW!" became a mandated adverb, used in slogans to declare the start date for any proposed liberal policy. Says Williamson, “'Now!' is the eternal cry of the infantile — “What does baby want? Diaper change! When does baby want it? Now!” Further, NOW "makes NOW! its fundamental message: “What do we want? Whatever we want! When do we want it? Now!”
The so-called "War on Women" (another rhetorical short circuit) is a hoax. The oppressed have already become the oppressors. And their gains (from laws, regulations, quotas, exceptions, exemptions, set-asides, and other special favors that have been thrown to women, in the immediacy of NOW! with no regard for the consequences, intended or otherwise), which continue to mount, have come, to a large extent, at the expense of American men. Andrew Ferguson (Brave New Stereotypes) summarizes a few of Feminism's economic gains:
... Men make up only half the labor force, down from 70 percent a generation ago. Sixty percent of the bachelor’s degrees in the United States are earned by women. Women hold most entry-level managerial jobs. Single women in urban areas out-earn men by as much as 8 percent, on average. Among all younger women, the infamous “pay gap” with men has shrunk to statistical insignificance. By some measures women dominate most of the fastest-growing professions. Over the last 30 years, their wages have risen 25 percent while those of men have fallen 4 percent.
Culturally, the effects of feminist policies are more devastating. Women have now taken over our public education system (more than 75% of its teachers are female) and, through the pussification of our male children, have become dedicated to the task of creating more women -- in addition to the male feminists and omega males (Greer's "uncastrated females"?) that they have already recruited. Female teachers emphasize "diligence—neat homework done on time, no matter how silly or academically vacuous—over performance, meaning material learned. Women favor docility, orderliness, cooperation in groups, not making waves, niceness, and comity." This makes young male students, especially the bright ones, "want to drop out of school through the nearest window and run screaming to a recruiting office for the French Foreign Legion—anything to get away from inane, vapid, and insubstantial feel-good compulsory niceness inflicted by some low-wattage ed-school grad."
Female teachers routinely construe much of ordinary adolescent male behavior as symptomatic of ADHD, bipolar disorder, Asperger's syndrome, autism, or some other malady, requiring such remedies as anger management counseling and medication. Our young boys are being sent, in droves, "to psychiatrists if they don’t conform to standards of behavior suited to girls."
Why not? Women have also feminized psychotherapy, a profession that "has now become almost totally dominated by female practitioners." Incredibly, "women outnumber men in doctoral psychology programs by a ratio of at least 3 to 1." More incredibly, feminists are insidiously plotting to take over the video game industry, by infiltrating the Digital Games Research Association
(DiGRA). In 2003, the nine member DiGRA board of directors included two feminists -- two too many, in the minds of true gamers. Today, DiGRA's board, which has grown to 11 members, includes seven feminists and four academics. Can "Grand Theft Doll House" be in the works?
American men, especially Generation X and Millennial men, have become comfortable in their daily submission to femnism. According to consumer research reports, 31% (35 million households) of them are the primary household grocery shoppers -- a 17% increase from 1985, and they "seem more than happy to do the shopping — or at least tag along." (Honey, let me finish doing my nails, and I'll tag along) Good grief! That's like Bobby Riggs getting his ass kicked by Billie Jean King in a tennis match -- weekly; enjoying the humiliation; multiplied by 35 million.
If you think that these are harmless cultural trends, that American men are not being emasculated at an alarming rate, then don't take my word for it. Just ask the growing number of "men" who sit down to urinate. According to a recent Johns Hopkins University study
, 35% of those surveyed "indicated that they willingly sat down on toilets while voiding their bladders." Researchers attributed the trend to the statistical rise of stay-at-home dads, adding that they "don't believe that it's an indicator of the so-called 'feminization of the American male'."
Not feminization? Well here's what one, all too typical, stay-at-home dad has to say:
My wife resents me with every strand of her hot little DNA. And it's not the never listening, the constantly open kitchen cabinets, or the vegetarian farts -- although they probably don't help. It's because I get to sit around crafting ambiguously profane "Wheels on the Bus" lyrics with our 2-year-old while she works 10 hours a day supporting us.
You make the call. But I can hear the voice of my mother, if she were alive today, speaking in a soft brogue, with toe-curling disgust, "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Stephen, the end is surely near."
Fortunately, there is a small, but growing, backlash against modern feminism -- at least against its shrewish faction. By women, of course! For example, noted feminist Christina Hoff Sommers conducts a weekly vlog, the Factual Feminist, in which she addresses feminist issues, while debunking the stridently anti-male "vagenda." Possibly more significant is the Women Against Feminism movement, in which young women have flocked to social media to post "selfie" style statements declaring their rejection of modern feminism. “I don’t need feminism because I believe in equality, not entitlements and supremacy,” read one, and my favorite: “I don’t need feminism because I can hold my own beliefs without an army of angry vagina’s backing me.”
Today, too many American men, intimidated by feminists, knowingly accept the very feminist policies that are emasculating them. The late Doris Lessing (Nobel Prize winner and feminist icon, but not a feminist) spoke of men as "silent victims in the sex war," where "the most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests." Admonished Lessing, "men seem to be so cowed that they can't fight back, and it is time they did."
Very few dare. Gavin McInnes (Bring Back our Balls!), one of the shrinking number of un-cowed, laments our decline in toughness, the fortitude needed by Generation X and Millennial men to confront the angry vagina army, and the obsequious politicians that support it. Naturally, the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathers of my generation (presumptive oppressors all, longing for the good old days of patriarchy) believe that things are getting worse -- that the cultural subclass of American men who have become inured to declining income and social status will expand.
And this hectored group, augmented each year by properly feminized recruits from our schools and psychotherapy couches, will continue to grow, digging an ever-deeper cultural pit in the muck of self-loathing, until someone writes a landmark book about the emasculation of the American male -- now the new "problem without a name." It will no doubt be entitled the Male Mystique or The Male Eunuch or something equally clever, and will be written by a neurotic, stay-at-home dad, who squats to pee.