So Jezebel did it again. They published something worth reading. They are starting to make a habit of this, actually producing something worth while every six months or so.
If you bother to read this, keep in mind that it’s satire. It is explicitly written as satire. AVFM often publishes satire, and often misses the mark, just like this Jezebel post did. I am unwilling to call either bigotry or hate because they are intending to expose bigotry and/or hate through satire.
So, what makes this a good post? It is real. It is honest. It’s not some sugar coated feel good BS. The author is clearly baffled by the claims of emasculation by men and MRA’s. Through satire she manages to be very clear about what she sees, and more importantly clearly exposes what she’s blind to. It really comes down to one very pointed sentence.
Funny, then, that there is no real equivalent word in the popular lore for a man reducing a woman’s femininity by simply being awesome in the world.
There is no word for this because it doesn’t happen on a large enough scale that we have had a need to create such a word. While Women’s Rights, Women’s Liberation, Women’s gender roles have been improved dramatically since the 1950’s almost nothing has changed about Men’s Rights, Men’s Liberation or Men’s gender roles.
The problem we are facing as women move into the paid workforce in ever increasing numbers isn’t sexism against women, but sexism against men. As women move into the workforce they are displacing and outshining many men. Women and men are equals, there is much larger variations within “Men” and “Women” as groups than there are between the groups. Fully half of all women are smarter than fully half of all men (comparing smart women to stupid men). It would be much more surprising if women where not displacing and outshining men in many places in many ways.
Where does the problem lay if this displacement of men is to be expected? The problem is with the Gender Role for men. It hasn’t changed in a real way since the entire Feminism thing began. To be a “real man” a male needs to be the provider/protector. If he is earning less than is wife, has less power and prestige, he is failing in this role. He isn’t a “real man”. He has been emasculated.
The problem isn’t that the gender role for women has changed. It’s not that women are earning as much or more than men. It’s not that women are displacing men or outshining men in their job functions. The problem is with the outdated dogmatic regressive and harmful gender role for men.
We don’t have a word for de-feminized because men are not displacing women from traditionally female roles. Men are not quitting their jobs and becoming homemakers in droves like women are dropping the ball on domestic duties to become more engaged in the paid workforce. Men are not becoming teacher and nurses. Men are not starting day cares and beauty salons. Men are not doing this because if they did they wouldn’t be “real men”.
And by using these identities to pit men and women as oppositional, we muddy that potential harmony both within ourselves and with others.
If we are to truly address gender equality we need to talk about Men’s Rights and Women’s Rights. We need to change the gender roles for Women AND Men. Feminism, with it’s exclusive focus on women’s rights, is the opposition to gender equality. It is feminism, not men talking about being emasculated, that is pitting men and women against each other. It is feminism with it’s opposition to talking about men’s rights that is muddying the potential harmony.
Displacing men from traditionally male gender roles is emasculating men so long as men have no other masculine roles to fill. We need to change the gender role of men to allow for “manly” homemakers and nurses and teachers and secretaries and nannies and such. This can’t be done though Fighting for more rights for Women. Feminism can’t do this. We need Men’s Rights Advocates and the Men’s Human Rights Movement to do this. We also need Feminism and Feminists to step aside and stop opposing gender equality.