Um, Menfolk...We Need to Talk (Updated)

A while back, Y introduced me to an article by two Texan professors - doctorate level, mind you - who posited that the more educated and financially stable a woman becomes, the less likely she's going to get herself a man, and how lonely and miserable that's going to make her.

To which I replied:
Bewestbrook demanded, "How is it that women are the emotionally and financially stable ones and are yet at a disadvantage somehow? This does not make sense at all" and I think that says it all.

This is an androcentric article. It's no different from when white people write condescending articles about how China's "not really" that powerful, and POC haven't "really" contributed anything to the world.

This article posits that women at heart are all emotionally fragile, needy, heterosexually inclined, and that no matter what we achieve in our lives in terms of careers, education, and accomplishments, it'll never come close to simply being married. Like with insisting that we all need/want to have children, this article is tries to subtly discourage us from pursuing our own ambitions and fails miserably.

And that's the most disappointing part about this article. That degree-holding individuals produced this rubbish and that we know this research project cost actual money. It's sickening.
After which some other folks wrote:

31. Dr. David Vandenberg said on Jan. 31, 2011

While upon occasion UT sponsors excellent research, this study is not one of them. Men today realize that the cards are stacked against us. We are reluctant to enter into relationships with liberal women, because they believe they can kill our children with impunity, and they can--this is abortion. Then they can divorce us for no reason, take the kids, and the house--this is called empowerment--and we have to engage a lawyer to defend our natural rights. Poor men cannot defend themselves; wealthy ones, like me, do not want the risk. This is the result of the feminist agenda, and liberal institutions are loathe to examine the true consequences of their destructive policies. This is the real study that should be conducted.
32. Cory said on Jan. 31, 2011

I'm definitely not sure all the logic stacks up here. It seems women are favored even more than before due to their increased financial status. How does not needing a man make conditions more favorable for men? I guess it's because now women really only need men for sex, which is actually much more in line with men's sexual mating preferences. I think the real change or "shift" that's happening is that (due in large part to their increased/increasing economic status) women are much more interested in men's physical appearance. They don't need men for financial security anymore (even though they still make less money on average than men) so they at least want a guy who looks good. And they're not as concerned about relationships with those men. If you look at recent television shows, advertisements, and movies it's pretty clear that men's bodies are being objectified the way women's have been for years. I also hear women talk a lot these days about whether a certain guy is "cute" or "hot"...something that was much less important prior to the last decade or so.

36. Amy said on Feb. 2, 2011

I wouldn't turn in this piece of "writing" for an assignment in an undergrad class - it's a total mess and fails to make a point. What were their methods and who did they sample? It's unbelievably incoherent. I also expect much better from Texas.

37. Soc Grad Student said on Feb. 2, 2011

What the article doesn't emphasize is the study's reliance on sexual economics theory - thus the whole "price" talk. I've read the book and while the authors do have their own opinions, what they're doing is testing the theory through statistical analysis. And their results show the theory to hold up. It doesn't mean it's true for everyone - for instance, I do believe there are guys out there who want commitment and stability, regardless of whether or not sex is present. I also think this article overemphasizes the female income aspect. That isn't focused on as heavily in the actual study. But whether you think you fall completely into, out of, or in the middle of this study's findings, there is some truth to pretty much all of it, even if it's an unfortunate truth.

38. Kate said on Feb. 3, 2011

The research and the vast majority of these comments are also heterocentric. I appreciate the thoughtful comments, but I resent that by "women" we are referring to heterosexual women only, and by "men" we are referring to heterosexual men only. Once you think more inclusively about the full range of sexuality and gender in our society, it's natural to want to shed those outdated views about relationships and sex. I think the survey instrument used for this research was flawed, because it accommodates only heterocentric responses from the subjects who were surveyed. It carries (and emboldens) the very assumptions that many young adults carry into their relationships (e.g., that each person in the relationship has pre-defined sexual and emotional needs, based on their sex/gender, and that they will only feel satisfied if those needs are met in the traditional way). It would be hard NOT to feel disappointed if you entered a relationship without having control over your own expectations.
 *rubs temples*

Dr. Vanderberg (if indeed he's really a doctor) is basically saying, "Take us back to the Dark Ages of women where things were easier for me and I didn't have to know or care what women felt or thought or wanted from life...and the law backed me up at every turn."

Just as white people are uncomfortable with the sociopolitical and socioeconomic advancement of POC, heterosexual men are not all comfortable with the advancement of women, and the issue which bothers them is an age-old one: choice.  From sci-fi, to fantasy, to history, to philosophy, to politics, the subject of choice has made various people in power tremble.  Choice is head of all the other issues; cut it off, and the arms and legs are useless.

It's easy for heterosexual men to cry victim, but let's be honest.  Women in general don't up and divorce a man, take the kids, and take half his money for no reason - that's highly unrealistic, especially since divorces are extremely costly and complex.  Maybe the woman decided to quit living a lie and came out of the closet.  If so, she did her family a favor and they should commend her on going through with such a difficult (and sometimes traumatic) decision.

Or maybe - *gasp* - the man fucked up, thought he could get away with it, and found out he'd have to face some consequences after all.  Because that puts him the in uber-scary position of asking, "What is wrong with me?  How do I change myself?"

By the way, I'd like to take this time to point out that America is one of the Deadbeat Dad capitals of the world, if not THE capital.  The "weeping father" routine is not going to work on me.  Women here have been trying to keep their kids' fathers involved for several decades now, often to no success.  When I worked for the government, I met several single mothers.  There weren't the stereotypical  brand either; the majority had jobs and several had attended college.  But the rates of single motherhood were just so high, I noticed how our computer coding system and interview form structure both assumed the mother would on her own by the time we entered the scene.  And well over 90% of time, they were right.  Even worse, the job demanded hard evidence of paternity.  Never had I seen so many children whose fathers were absent from their birth certificates.

Most of the women (seriously, like, 99%) were ready to throw in the towel.  One flat-out told me she was beginning to believe men were a waste of time.  The fathers of the children, on average, were $9000 - $11000 behind on child support, were not visiting the kids, and weren't even trying to pursue joint custody.*  Whenever I did meet a father who was pursuing joint custody and making child support payments, it was because his new wife/girlfriend was actually making the payments, while insisting he either pursue custody or get dumped.  I saw this over and over and over again, until I modified company protocol and started automatically handing out blank contempt petitions and instructions on how to take the men to court.

See, the universe has a strange way of compensating different people in attempt to maintain balance.  Men have a freedom women never will when it comes to kids and childbirth.  They can come and go as they please.  They can even disappear.  They can drink all their favorite alcoholic beverages while the child is still in utero.  If they can't stand the hormonal changes and mood swings, they can hop in their cars and leave the woman to suffer alone.  So when it comes to the issue of abortion, men just need to suck it up and deal, or tamper with science and learn how to give birth to their own goddamn children.  Because to be honest, I'm not impressed with how men worldwide have handled the issue of pregnancy for the last several thousand years.

Not to mention, I've noticed that in this country, we don't talk much about the psychological and verbal abuse pregnant women endure at the hands of their significant others (male or female).  We lump it in with domestic violence, but I believe it's worthy of its own category, because while men can be abused, no cissexual man will ever know what it's like to be pregnant and abused.

Now, Madam Kate points out the heterocentricity of the article.  Why yes, Katie; that's the point.  The article has a heterosexual androcentric agenda, and homosexuality is huge threat to that agenda.

These professors didn't "forget" about the gay population.  Nor do they intend to do another study at a later date - no, no...this little oversight was very deliberate.  The goal is to put women "back in their place".  It's bad enough so many of us are educated and making good money, so to add "lesbian" to that equation would spell disaster.  However, to ignore lesbians, to dismiss them as invisible (read: nonexistent) is to attempt to reestablish the notion that all women want men, all women need men, and any woman who wants a man better relinquish  her rights, amibitions, self-esteem, and self-respect, and then gratefully accept her place as Massa's feet.

Sound familiar?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*I'd also like to point out that most of these families were white, and the kids weren't whining about mom being too strict or not nurturing enough.  Mind you, the white mothers were just as tired, angry, and overworked as the black mothers.  They were just as annoyed with their exes as the black women were.  But their kids had enough sense to notice that while one parent had taken off and forgotten all about them, one had willingly remained behind to take care them.  Because when I hear about all these black men blaming their mothers for everything (including their preference for white women), I don't hear the part where they say, "At least she stuck around and supported us" or "It must have been hard for her, working 2-3 jobs to pay for a houseful of ungrateful shits."

And ole Doc Vanderberg wonders why a woman would even pause to consider abortion.

Comments

  1. ...any woman who wants a man better relinquish her rights, amibitions, self-esteem, and self-respect, and then gratefully accept her place as Massa's feet.

    No thanks. I'd rather drink Drano, or be dipped in honey and fed to fire ants. I don't want a man bad enough to lose me/. They ain't all that.

    As usual, you nailed it.

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  2. The more privileges one group has over other groups, the more their sense of reality is distorted and their sense of morality warped. Such is shown in the cases of both white privilege and male privilege.

    One thing I noticed with those with privileges above others is that they "cry victim" when those with lesser or no privleges speak out. It's a way of saying that their pain is more important than the oppressed group. Therefore, they "deserve" help, not the ones who really need it. Those below them should submit or "change" in order for things to get better. This is how heterosexual men feel about successful women. They prefer them barefoot, pregnant, at home, and subservient, as opposed to making her own money, getting an education, rising up in the world, and succeeding in her own goals.

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  3. "Sounds familiar?"

    Indeed it does. This reminds me of those so called doctors and experts during colonial times who stated that science indicated that slavery was not only a good thing but a necessary thing as the Negro brain was sub par and we needed simple but meaningful labor to keep us occupied, to challenge us for our own welfare.

    IE those in power will come up with whatever bullshit study they can to enforce institutional oppression be it women's rights or the abolition of slavery.

    The more things change and all of that.

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  4. This is how heterosexual men feel about successful women. They prefer them barefoot, pregnant, at home, and subservient, as opposed to making her own money, getting an education, rising up in the world, and succeeding in her own goals.

    Beautifully stated.

    This reminds me of those so called doctors and experts during colonial times who stated that science indicated that slavery was not only a good thing but a necessary thing as the Negro brain was sub par and we needed simple but meaningful labor to keep us occupied, to challenge us for our own welfare.

    Makes me just cringe, but yes, this is very much like that.

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  5. I find it amusing that when some bullshit study favors white heterosexual men, it's an "unfortunate truth" the rest of us need to suck up and deal with.

    But when a woman flat-out states she's not impressed with a man's skills in bed, or a POC gives their honest thoughts on a racial issue, it's lies, it's preaching, it's stealing the moral high ground, it's bullshit.

    *rolls eyes*

    ReplyDelete

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