There is a shamefully written piece over at NPR. After presenting a headline announcing that the gender wage gap is alive and kicking, they cite 2010 research that the median salary of single, childless women under the age of 30 is… 8 percent higher than that of their male counterparts. Only when they start a family and focus less on their career does it shift the other way. Isn’t that some glaring evidence of patriarchy?
It appears as though reality is inescapable. It even seeps into the NPR pieces of those who would rather not come in contact with it. Ultimately, men are (or become) more career oriented. This is confirmed when we see a pay advantage among women who are young and educated enough to focus mainly on their career, rather than their family. And what do you know–as soon as they start having children (and subsequently work shorter hours, take fewer risks, and become less willing to relocate) then the patriarchy kicks in. Or whatever.
Then the rationalizing starts. Actually, we read, the pay gap is still there if you… skew the statistics so that the pay gap is still there. If you “control for the level of education,” then the statistics can manage to squeak out something that does not represent reality at all. Who “controls for education” when you’re working to support your family? The young women’s pay advantage isn’t high and persistent enough to survive a strange, unnecessary tweaking of the stats. It’s the goddamned patriarchy.
This points to the hypocrisy of feminism. This shows a “have your cake and eat it too” mentality. This mindset leads to the brushing aside of dissenting evidence in order that one may reach the exact conclusion that one wanted to reach. Feminism isn’t about equality here–it’s about gaining the advantages of masculinity without dealing with any of the disadvantages.
If you don’t believe it, I have a story for you out of New Jersey. Again, the slant and rationalizing present in this article are phenomenal, but it illustrates a good point through the underbrush.
The article tells a story of some women who, because they make more money, had to pay alimony to their husbands after the divorce. The angle of the writing here is telling. The first line of the article reads: “The strength of women when faced with untrue and unfair laws can be phenomenal.”
When a man pays his ex-wife for years and years, he is just doing his manly duties. When a woman does the same thing, she is an inspiring story of feminine strength in the face of adversity. A woman making more money than her husband shows her grrl power, but as soon as it’s time to “man up,” for lack of a better term, and pay some alimony, she realizes exactly the sort of horribly raw deal men have endured for generations. Now it’s a problem. Now it’s unjust. Now we can talk about ending permanent alimony.
Once again: Feminism isn’t about equality. It’s about gaining the advantages of masculinity without dealing with any of the disadvantages.
One more story for good measure. In British Columbia, Canada, the Simon Fraser University Student Union decided to build a Men’s Center (I mean, Centre) on campus, with an identical budget to that of the Women’s Center. Because, as accounting student Keenan Midgley says, men are also entitled to a safe space.
Oh, horror! A men’s space? Women’s centers are great, but a Men’s Center? That’s stupid. And rapey. And probably dangerous too because, let’s face it, it will probably run the horrible danger of becoming a highly masculinized space.
Can you imagine!? What if someone said, in an interview with a local news outlet, that they were opposed to the proposed new Women’s Center because it might become a highly feminized space?
The Women’s Centre, for one, coolly brushed off the idea of a stand-alone Men’s Centre on its website, simply stating that, ‘the men’s centre is everywhere else.’ They did say they would welcome a men’s centre that focused on ‘challenging popular conceptions about masculinity, confronting homophobia, sexism, racism, classism, and ability issues.’ In contrast, they would oppose a men’s centre that ‘focussed on maintaining the old boys club … that promotes the status quo, encourages sexual assault, or fosters an atmosphere of competition and violence.’
That’s right, kids: Men don’t need and shouldn’t get safe spaces, and masculinity is great as long as it’s focused on challenging masculinity. Because masculinity is akin to rape, violence, and contentious competition. Being male is an original sin and more man equals more badder. But men don’t need safe spaces, right, grrlz?
It all comes together. This sort of shocking default position of man-hating is all too common. Girls and young women are told that the best way to become a successful and liberated women is to… be masculine. Meanwhile, feminism sees to it that women are afforded all the advantages of manhood without the subsequent drawbacks, while simultaneously demanding that men aren’t afforded the same advantages as women. Men don’t need safe spaces, that’s discrimination. Men shouldn’t have the right or ability to accept and be comfortable with themselves and their own sexuality. That’s patriarchy and rape culture.
Today, let’s honor our fathers for what they truly are: confident, decisive leaders; powerful life-engineers, improving the things and ideas in the world around us; calm and measured thinkers, showing us how to absorb the world around us in a realistic and reasonable way; and, overall, Men. Because women are better at being women, and men are best at being men.