In an editorial posted to FoxNews.com, self-described author and “social critic” Suzanne Venker makes some bold claims regarding the state of marriage in contemporary society. In a piece titled “The war on men,” Venker argues that women’s emerging roles as breadwinners and their continuing strides towards gender equality have caused them to become irritable and unappealing to so-called “marriageable men.”
Venker writes that while men have stayed static in their social behaviors and outlook, women have undergone radical transformations and become more independent, more likely to work, and more competitive — behaviors which have supposedly turned off men to the idea of marriage since women are just not acting like “traditional women” anymore:
The so-called dearth of good men (read: marriageable men) has been a hot subject in the media as of late. Much of the coverage has been in response to the fact that for the first time in history, women have become the majority of the U.S. workforce. They’re also getting most of the college degrees. The problem? This new phenomenon has changed the dance between men and women.
As the author of three books on the American family and its intersection with pop culture, I’ve spent thirteen years examining social agendas as they pertain to sex, parenting, and gender roles. During this time, I’ve spoken with hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women. And in doing so, I’ve accidentally stumbled upon a subculture of men who’ve told me, in no uncertain terms, that they’re never getting married. When I ask them why, the answer is always the same.
Women aren’t women anymore. […]
In a nutshell, women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs. Now the men have nowhere to go. […]
Contrary to what feminists like Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men, say, the so-called rise of women has not threatened men. It has pissed them off. It has also undermined their ability to become self-sufficient in the hopes of someday supporting a family. Men want to love women, not compete with them. They want to provide for and protect their families – it’s in their DNA. But modern women won’t let them.
Venker’s website states that she has regularly come under fire for promoting parenting theories that broach subjects that are “off-limits,” such as the dubious claim that women cannot rear children while also maintaining a challenging career. Her bio also states that she graduated from Boston University in 1997, but gives no indication that she has expert or academic experience in relational or child-rearing psychology.
Of course, Venker’s claims in her FoxNews.com editorial resort to crude and dubious caricatures of gender relations, partiucarly regarding workforce competition and men feeling “threatened” by employed women. While women have, in fact, been greatly expanding their presence in the workforce, pay equity between the sexes remains elusive.
This is not the first time that Fox News has put forth sexist, condescending statements about women. Earlier this month, Fox News host Brian Kilmeade claimed that the channel’s female news anchors were plucked out of Victoria’s Secret catalogs.