*Editors note: This column was published on February 22, 2013.
Feminism has met its goals and women are now equal with men as they should be. We are truly beginning to see feminism change our economy, college campuses and relationships. However, an overreaching has begun to happen through feminism whether or not they realize it.
Feminism has achieved what it was set out to do, and now that women are considered equal, ‘feminists’ want more. The movement is ruining modern relationships, and it’s bringing about the downfall of men. This can easily be seen by the numbers on a college campus and in the modern economy.
The fact of the matter is: the rules of survival have changed. No longer do people need to be risk takers, strong and resilient to survive in the world. So, in an economy that relies on communication and thinking over physical strength, women are excelling, according to the Institutions and Development Database.
This is because the job market is better suited for women, and the idea that men are more competitive than women has all but disappeared. Business-women have started to eclipse men in many companies for pay and position.
For the first time in 2010, women made up a majority of the workforce, and in 2011 women held 51.4 percent of all jobs in management or professional positions, while holding 46.6 percent of all jobs in the labor force. The argument that women simply can’t make it in today’s economy is a fallacy as the statistics show; it’s the women who are on top now and increasing their numbers as Fortune 500 CEOs in the past years.
College and relationships, however, have a greater impact on the immediate student body. According to Hanna Rosin and her article “The End of Men,” women earn 60 percent of all masters’ degrees, 42 percent of all MBAs and 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees. Women have become equal in both the realms of education and economics, but feminists fail to acknowledge both of these statistics. So, they continue to push against the ‘evil man’ until they can push no further.
However, men also may not be adapting to an ever changing environment that we are now a part of. Markets that require typical male attributes were the greatest areas affected by the decrease of blue collar jobs during the recession. This has hurt men and the male egos. Still guys, we need to adapt, pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and claim our place on the pedestal next to women as equals.
The advancement of feminism past the point we’re at now poses dire consequences for women. Men have begun to adopt a habit where they are no longer being held to a higher standard, so they can slum it in college receiving C’s, while women would kill for an A. Don’t get me wrong; the blame shouldn’t be placed on women, as it isn’t their fault that men chose to only half-ass it in school. The grade difference may come from women wanting to prove themselves in a “men’s” world, whereas men may become complacent.
The gender gap favoring females has gotten so bad that many colleges are trying to bring more men in than women to keep enrollment equal. The rolls have flipped. Men are now the minority in certain schools, and affirmative action may be swinging the other way.
Men have fallen behind by their own doing as well as overreaching feminism. Yet, women are the ones who are hurt the most when it comes to relationships. Feminism has disturbed the modern relationship and thrown equal relationships off balance. An equal relationship should be when two people work together to achieve a common outcome based on mutual desires.
However, relationships today are based on who can get the last word in, who can outdo the other, essentially who comes out on top. Suzanne Venker the author of “The War on Men,” stated, “Feminism didn’t result in equality between the sexes – it resulted in mass confusion. Today, men and women have no idea who’s supposed to do what.”
This statement is best reflected in modern-day relationships, specifically between those of us who are in college, or leaving it for the real world. Instead of the ideal marriage feminists told you marriage would become, it has become nothing more than a last resort for many women who want to have kids but find themselves running out of time on their biological clock.
The fact is women have become so independent and focused on their work many have forgotten how to have a relationship based on mutual understanding and cooperation. Instead, it has become a competition, and feminism has turned relationships into a competition of equality as well.
According Suzanne Venker, men have it so easy when it comes to relationships. No longer are men required to buckle down and court a woman to receive some satisfaction for their ‘needs.’ Women, like men, are willing to have quick, easy relationships with little strings attached, or one night stands to satisfy them. In regards to equality, there is nothing wrong with this. However, this plays into the stereotypical male mentality – one which I disagree with and don’t think feminists should strive for. It is a mentality of promiscuity and conquests verses nurturing a relationship and respecting a woman for who she is.
The idea of equality can take on two forms. It can either be interchangeable, as when one perfect replica takes the place of the former. Or it can take the shape of equality of value, as in a relationship. In our case, valuing the other sex as equals because they can provide traits you can’t, and vice versa. This doesn’t mean that women need to do gender-specific activities or men need to do their gender-specific set as well in their lives or a relationship. All it means, is men and women in a relationship need to value one another equally and agree to their responsibilities to the relationship, together in mutual partnership.
In the end, women and men should be equal. Yet, being equal doesn’t mean pushing men off the platform. It means working together to create better relationships, a more lucrative economy for all, and encouraging stronger moral principles in our youth’s lives.
The notion that women should be protected, and have the door held open for them will always be something this writer places value on, which is not anti-feminist. It is in fact the opposite. A man who places value on a woman in a way such as this is anything but a pig, for we are not equal because we are interchangeable. We are equal because we value each other’s joys, sorrows and talents in a manner completely original to us, yet completely definitive of what a man and woman look for in each other.
Zach Nold is a senior English major. Reach him at email@example.com
This is a part of the Daily Nebraskan's point/counterpoint, featured once a week. To see the other side, read Ruth Boettner's article about how feminism means more than equality.