"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Monday, April 10, 2006

Bullseye quote on today's young women

Over at Jimmy Akin's blog yesterday, Tim Jones came up with a marvelously astute observation:

For decades, girls have been taught how stupid (if not evil) men are, and then they are taught that if they want to really be a success in life, they should act more like men.

The context was a review of Pink's new, parodic music video "Stupid Girl," and he does not at all indulge himself with the childish generalization that all girls are stupid. In fact, Jones' point was that the fashionably tartish dress that girls—and, increasingly, not-so young-women—seem to be going in for is largely a reaction to the above-described double bind that females in our culture find themselves in. Read the post. Jones's points jibe perfectly with my own observations of life on the front line of the gender wars.

As of now, for example, there are as many female as male students in law, medical, and business schools, and there are far more women than men in college preparing for professional careers. Before the baby-boom generation has died out, therefore, women will likely be the majority of well-paid professionals. In traditionally male fashion, the stress in our society is on competition for prosperity, status, and power; women are about to win that competition. On the home front, women initiate divorce at least twice as often as men; when there are children involved, the wife usually gets the house and child custody and the ditched husband is forced to pay support; and of course, women have the sole legal say in whether or not to bring pregnancies to term. Marriage and family are thus looking like an increasingly raw deal for men. But are women happier as they accumulate power and wealth?

There's no evidence that they are. For one thing, and for easily understood evolutionary reasons, even highly successful women would rather not marry down; yet that's exactly what many women will have to do if they expect to marry at all; at the same time, men are slowly but steadily turning off to marriage and high-powered careers. Is it any wonder that increasing numbers of women despair of ever finding a stable marriage partner and turn to lives of fornication and/or single parenthood instead? Indeed the majority of women who initiate their divorces end up as single parents. Single parenthood is a tough row to hoe no matter how much money one has—I know, I've been one, and I was better off than many. Yet most divorced women would rather hoe that row than be with the men who are the fathers of their children. Says a lot, does it not?

Mind you, it does not say that men are any more evil or stupid than they ever were. Human nature just doesn't change like that. What it does say is that, for a variety of reasons of which the most basic is economic progress, women now expect more and tolerate less from men than they have throughout most of human history—and their standards, by and large, are not being met. Nobody is happy with such a state of affairs, whatever they may say. If it continues, our society is doomed.

As Jones has indicated, one of the ways in which females, especially younger ones, have reacted is by tarting themselves up. Girls want to be girls, women want to be women, but the only way our society seems to facilitate that anymore is by steering them into trashy sexuality. The irony, of course, is that women thus resume being the sexual objects for men that feminism supposedly freed them from being. The only difference is that, thanks to widespread contraception, legal abortion, and no-fault divorce, women can now treat men the same way. If they want to, that is. But do they really?

Again, I see no evidence that most do, and the few that do are not happy people. What I see all around is mass confusion and demoralization resulting from our culture's studied refusal to respect the natural differences between the sexes and its insistence on "liberating" everybody from pre-defined roles. Men don't know how to be men and women don't know how to be women anymore. Our intellectual élites can't even admit that there is such a thing as what-it-is-to-be-a-man and what-it-is-to-be-a-woman. There's no validation for achieving healthy gender identity because we've lost all but the most superficial ideas of what that might consist in.

For a thoughtful alternative to the mess, read this.
blog comments powered by Disqus