It's Always the Man's Fault
November 2005By Jeffrey R. Jackson
Jeffrey R. Jackson is a 2003 graduate of Rhode Island College with a B.A. in Political Science.
There is a particular understanding of the so-called gender wars that has been imparted to this society's collective psyche -- that women are angelic victims who are oppressed by men, their perpetual abusers. As such, women of recent generations have been brought up to "empower" and "assert" themselves against our "patriarchy," from which they strive to be independent by adopting masculine, competitive ways. At the same time, the men of these same generations have been raised to be less assertive and more sensitive -- in other words, feminized -- all in the interest of achieving "gender balance" or equality. As we are all aware, society has not been the same since.
Sometime last fall I came across a book review by noted syndicated columnist Paul Craig Roberts, which began, "According to Peggy Noonan, 'to be a man in this world is not easy.'" The piece continued by introducing the recent work of Richard T. Hise, a Professor of Marketing at Texas A&M University, who in 2004 had published his book, The War Against Men (Red Anvil Press, elderberrypress.com). As Roberts put it, "The war against men is real. It requires men to exercise care in choosing an occupation and in choosing a woman [to marry].... Hise cites statistics that indicate women today in their attitudes and roles are more like men. The complementary pairing of the two genders has broken down, making successful marriages increasingly rare. Women aren't men's life partners, but rivals favored by law."
I then read Hise's book. It is influenced by his Southern Baptist faith, and he is a staunch believer in traditional gender roles. But this work is not a polemic on why women should not work outside the home; instead it focuses on discrimination against men, which has resulted in a societal decline on a number of fronts, including: the economic, in which Hise presents evidence that female-led corporations disproportionately under-perform; the military, where female matriculation into certain areas has diminished its effectiveness; the political, in which women are more apt to support a liberal platform; health care, where women receive better treatment and more funding for their research (not to mention live longer) -- among other areas.
Perhaps most startling is that women are on the threshold of dominating most higher education and professional preparatory programs. Already 60 percent of college students are women. Hiring and wage trends also favor women. So where does this leave the young men of America?
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