One of the strengths of the men’s movement has been its ability to demonstrate that despite a declared commitment to “gender equality,” feminism is (and probably always has been) a movement for female supremacism. Especially in the past 40 years, feminism has involved the demand by women (with male support) for an equal, or more than equal, share in what the other sex has produced and created while advocating for legal or workplace exemptions and privileges for the female sex.
The men’s movement, on the other hand, genuinely advocates for equal treatment of the sexes under law, in the workplace, and in society generally.
Lately I’ve been having conversations with a tough-minded friend who isn’t willing to let the matter rest there. Men and women are fundamentally different, he argues, and it is foolish to pretend it isn’t so, or to imagine that a viable future can be built on the fantasy of social equality.
Male society is based on equality of opportunity. Men compete, produce, and achieve to establish their positions in social hierarchies. Female society is based on equality of outcome. Women take what men produce or achieve and distribute it to their children, family members, and associates.
The fundamental inequality of this arrangement–its basis in relations of dependence and obligation–is obvious to any honest observer.
It is impossible to name a contribution made by women in the areas of science, technology, medicine, the arts, or philosophy without which the world would be significantly the poorer. Men have created the entire infrastructure of the modern world. And now women are demanding, in the name of equality, that men step aside and allow women to take it over.
The two main contributions of women to society–supporting their men and guaranteeing the survival of children–are the two contributions that modern feminists, with the general agreement of western women, have vehemently denied and rejected.
It’s impossible to create a realistic model of social equality when the contributions of men and women to society are so obviously unequal. The more men produce, the more women demand it be given to them, with no reciprocal responsibilities or even gratitude owed on women’s part.
We’ve heard a great deal over the past 40 years about what men owe to women and to society. Most men are more than willing to make their contribution. Surely it is now time to demand of women: what do YOU owe to men and to society? What contribution to men’s well being are you willing and able to make? Until women start answering that question responsibly, they cannot claim to care about “gender equality.”