Men Are The New Women

Question…when exactly did it become socially unacceptable to be a man? Was the pinpoint moment sometime during the period between the publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique and the rise to notoriety of gyno-conspiracy hawk Gloria Allread (or is that “hawkette”), or is the culmination of some inevitable social evolution of the Great American Experiment? Whenever and however it began, the fact of the matter is that men have come to be relegated to what amounts to—at least socially—second-class citizens in what I believe to be in defiance of what nature intended.

Now go ahead…get out your insults of are you stuck back in the 1950s?, the do your knuckles bleed when you walk?, and the did your mother hurt you? Such emotional first response opinions would only prove my point. America has become a feminized society where not only emotionally-based values (i.e., ideas and beliefs formerly and exclusively held by women) have become the near universal values of a new hostile-to-masculinity “norm,” but have both usurped and supplanted the once masculine-based social values of American society to the detriment of male appreciation. What’s more, the social depreciation of traditional masculinity has become so interwoven into our contemporary collective psyches that we subliminally bash and un-celebrate what were once celebrated masculine values, which were once crucial to America’s strength as a nation.

Below are examples of 2 commercials currently being aired on network television. I invite you to watch both of these 30-second ads in their entirety and see if you can pick up on the relevant subtexts

In the first commercial, tongue-in-cheek humor is the vehicle (no pun intended) used to sell insurance. And as with a great many things, the woman voices her dissatisfaction with the decisions of the male. When he's had enough, he magically changes his significant other into a more idea woman for his tastes, based more on superficial appearance. She retaliates by changing her boyfriend into an equally superficial image of what she desires. She adds that "there's was nothing wrong with me in the first place" at the commercial's end--alluding to an undertone that a nagging, complaining, intolerant, verbally abusive shrew is supposed to the acceptable character of a modern woman, and that men are supposed to accept this reality. In other words, it's a God-given "right" for women to be who they are, but that the attitudes, thinking, and character of the modern male is somehow flawed.

The second spot carries the same message, albeit with greater subtlety. If noted, announcer makes reference to family members which we’re all supposed to be able to identify with in order to sell the automobile; “The wild and crazy uncle, the smart and efficient sister…” Again, for males, this caricature is supposed to represent who we are, while women are clearly the superior gender of the species. Even more, there is the more subliminal if not practical function of this spot of lauding women (while relegating men to the role of jester)—to take advantage of the fact that women are more eager consumers/purchasers than men, who have been disproportionately ravaged economically by the recent economic downturn in the economy. In most cases, women control the purses strings (as a result of more of them out-earning their male partners).

Consider how the male is perceived and portrayed in most comedy sitcoms. Women are portrayed as the level-headed, decisive, intelligent, and reasonable of the partners. Men, on the other hand, tend to be portrayed as dullards and bumbling half-wits whose every decision backfires so that the level-headed woman can come to the rescue and save him from his own decisions (think Homer Simpson, Al Bundy, et al.).

Now to be clear, there is nothing wrong with the social and economic progress women have made, but for a group of individuals who are more prone to making decisions based on feelings rather than facts, I simply do not believe it was meant for their attributes to be adopted by the entirety of society, least of all men. Are men better decision-makers? That’s not for me to say. But I will say that strength of personality, practical (rather than emotional) decision-making, the fortitude and daring to explore the unknown—both in the physical and intellectual sense—and a healthy dose of testosterone is what made and sustained America up until these recent men-move-over times.

If The Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown were still alive, he’d surely have to remake his classic hit, “It’s a Man’s World” to reflect this new reality…right after he’d have one of his shows picketed for not having enough female representation in his band!

(See also: "The Politicization of Gender In America")

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Comments 26 comments

W. B. Isley profile image

W. B. Isley 5 years ago from Monett, MO

Good points. My challenge is with what my wife and I call "Standard Issue Males" SIMs for short. I was an enlisted in the Air Force for 8 years and got to meet a lot of them. She used to date AF Officers who tend to be more so than the enlisted's.

Any way, I see men as the creative force and women as the balancing force. My wife handles the finances because I really sucked at it as a bachelor. (Granted she is post menopausal, and thus more stable than a non-post menopausal woman.) I would rather be creating something than worrying about what bill is due next. We make a good team.

Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

NavyJames 5 years ago

The problem with old dudes is that they hate the way the world has changed. I got 2 word for you: MAN UP. If your lady makes you feel like less of a man, take a look in the mirror brother, you're probably doing something wrong yourself.

Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 5 years ago from The Known Universe ( Author

...and the problem with young dudes is that think they know more about the world than those who've been in it longer than they have. You totally misconstrued the article. It's not about how women make ME feel; its about how men are portrayed and viewed in a world where women are becoming more influential at the expense of men and our socioeconomic well being. So I'll overlook the fact that you are attacking someone who's writing and looking out for YOUR interests. But it's the old saying goes, "youth is wasted on the young." Now if you're done trying to make yourself look good in front of women...

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 5 years ago

It's probably best for men to just be who they are.

There is no point in trying to figure out what women "want".

Half want to be "equal" and the other half want to be "special". This also includes those that want it both ways!

I've known some women who made over $100k a year but still expect a man to pay for most dates and outings regardless of his income. ha ha ha.

I say, "Fellas, be yourself and let the chips fall where they may." Ultimately everyone is looking for someone who will love and appreciate them for who they are." Nothing is worse than seeing someone with so much going for themselves and yet they feel insecure and inadequate. Truth be told most women deep down want their men to be strong and in charge of making the big decisions. In any partnership there is always one person who has the final say when it's all said and done.

Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 5 years ago from The Known Universe ( Author

Someone once told me that, "anything with two heads is bound to be a monster." I think that sums up my views about "equal partnerships" in relationships.

Darkproxy profile image

Darkproxy 4 years ago from Ohio

This is such bullshit women claim they want equality but if they want equality why do they do this shit to the men? As for dicission making yes men are better at it, I've seen female officers graduates of west point and such make calls that the most wet behind the ears grunt would know not to make.

Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 4 years ago from The Known Universe ( Author

Personally, I've been victimized by bad decision-making by both men and women. However, I do believe that emotions DO tend to impair judgment, and that clearer, more rational decision-making can be had without them (now, you DO realize that if I made such a statement on contemporary television, I'd be raked over the coals?

Darkproxy profile image

Darkproxy 4 years ago from Ohio

Oh I wouldn’t doubt that at all, as for me I do let emotions get the better of me sometimes and then realize how foolish I was. I wouldn’t put this article past someone like the Manboobz blogger David Futrelle, he jumps at whatever chance he can to scream misogynist at people who are more logical then himself.

teachfreedom profile image

teachfreedom 4 years ago from West Virginia

As a woman, I totally get what you're saying. My sister, who has two teenage boys, and I were discussing this last week. Boys are not even raised anymore to understand or comprehend what is honorable behavior. I am a very strong woman and I have had enough of the fake war on us.

Darkproxy profile image

Darkproxy 4 years ago from Ohio

teaching freedom you are so insightful thank you for pointing that out

Sanxuary 4 years ago

Television has always been run by whatever agenda they have. There is not even a single news net work with someone average or has any intelligence beyond their egocentric World. There are plenty of strong men and working in a very labour intensive environment with more men then women, I see the men doing a lot of the labour. The women work hard and make it up in other ways but sometimes it stinks when you get bored and you would like to do the other half of the job. It is a woman’s World from the lousy music at every department store all the way to the court house. Men are learning that they are second class citizens and when it comes to marriage and kids its not really worth the gamble. You work your whole life and marry someone for 15 minutes and have a kid. You probably will lose everything and never see your child but you will see the bill and pay all of hers. Its a very bias World and men have to be pretty careful these days. Worst of all women never last in relationships any more. The first sign of hardship a lot of them leave and if they have a child they have a huge social net. Basically, they seem to be more selfish, demanding and controlling in creating one sided relationships. I am all about equality but its a one sided world and if you our a man you better not say anything wrong. I am all for equality to include pay but reality is to find an honest balance between the sexes. The great equalizer is tools and technology. You do not have to lift something heavy if you get a dolly but its hard to teach that for some reason. Even tougher is to claim a bias in terms of all these perceived ideas of discrimination. In other wards guys notice but seldom complain about bias comments. In terms of relationships in the work place this is a failed venture. Like marriage I avoid it in the work place but I see it constantly. Women should have always been equals and now we are experiencing the revolution but all revolutions lead to counter revolutions. Hopefully, it will be a peaceful one and we find a new normal.

Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 4 years ago from The Known Universe ( Author

Sanxuary, you said a mouthful

S Leretseh profile image

S Leretseh 4 years ago

The genesis of 'new' Feminism (the renunciation of the traditional roles of women for the pursuit of male occupational titles) was actually the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) . The word "sex" was added by a staunch opponent of the bill (Howard Smith). Because of that one word, congressmen/senators who were on the proverbial fence knew if they now opposed the bill they would be open to the charge of 'suppressing women' (i don't think "sexism" was yet coined).

As for the feminizing of men, Hollywood certainly is the main culprit here. How easy it is to create visual images --and dialogue. In the movie Avatar, a female "trains" a male to be a warrior. Countless examples of these images subordinating males to the females. Over time, they train the mind. Or, at the very least, they instill guilt in us and prevent a common sense discussion on the "true" roles of the male & female in a society. However, if your a black male, complaining on this issue is a double-edged sword. For it is these visual images created by Hollywood (white guys) that were used to show black males operating in formerly white male titles. Keep bombarding people with trains the mind.

All of human history tells us what the natural order is...and despite Hollywood's visual images, or Civil Rights laws, human nature, being what it is, will not in the end be defeated -- defied for a short period of time, but nor defeated.

I gave this hub an 'interesting' It is also very well written.

monas1418 4 years ago

My concern here is that if men say they are real men, it don't matter who I am or how much I make, because real men have always stood on thier own two feet not somebody elses, I guess I'm from a generation it did'nt matter what mother had or did'nt have my father went out and took care of his business, he was about it, from the 60's to up until now and half of them are retired so it didnt matter who made what or what year it was, the men I know and knew, was about it!!

MasculistFeminist profile image

MasculistFeminist 4 years ago from Australia

I am a generation Y male that has grown up in the man-hating culture that has existed at least for the last two decades. The role of the media, advertising, Hollywood, politics and our education system in shaping the cognitive map cannot be understated. If you control the flow of information, then you can control how people think and consequently what decisions they make. We have now raised a generation boys (and another generation after them coming through now) that have had their masculinity systematically attacked at home, school and wider society. We then wonder why male suicide, mental illness, crime, unemployment and poor academic performance have skyrocketed. The myth these problems are not women's problems will be exposed soon enough, if it has not already. Even the most bigoted radical feminist will be forced to change their worldview as their delusion starts to slip in face of stark reality.

What are we doing about men's plight in society? Nothing. Apparently only women are oppressed. Apparently women are the more vulnerable gender. Radical feminist bigots and hypocrites hide behind these myths to further their agenda and deflect public attention away from men's rights. A powerful minority of radical feminists lobby our governments, influence our media and exert a disturbing degree of control over our education system and legal systems. They have far too much power, but no one dares question them because they can expose someone to public ridicule, engage in disinformation, all the while hiding behind a banner of equality and the vulnerable woman myth. They are wolves in sheeps clothing and for the good of society they must be stripped of their power and influence.

Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 4 years ago from The Known Universe ( Author

Thank you for reading.

ParadigmEnacted profile image

ParadigmEnacted 3 years ago

Very well stated. Humans struggle more in the department of gender relations than virtually all other species do. The pronounced Cancer influence during the adoption of the Declaration of Independence speaks to an even greater breakdown in gender relations and gender roles among other things. It's something the founders couldn't have anticipated.

Man'sMan 3 years ago

What a load of chauvinistic bovine excrement. Men are the new women? Are you suddenly getting paid less for the work you do that is on par or above what your female counterpart does? Do you get demonised and blamed for harassment you suffer in your office, or in the gym, or just walking down the street? Give me a break.

Stop whining, and live with the fact that women are humans, not over-emotional meat bags. They are definitely not a threat to your masculinity, unless you're questioning your own masculinity and projecting.

Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 3 years ago from The Known Universe ( Author

Another "man" (I use the term loosely) who wants to come off as being "understanding" by women. Another "man" who has misconstrued the argument entirely. We live in a feminized society where the values men once exhibited are now demonized..."feelings" matter more than truth; children matter more than people; "romance" is more important than loyalty. My suggestion, get some testicular fortitude before you try to weakly exhibit some. Being able to get something out of another's observation entails YOU being able to suspend your thinking (such as it is) and not bring any of your preconceived notions to the discussion or topic at hand. It means approaching a discussion with an open mind with the possibility that YOU might be wrong and the other person might be right. As a former Buddhist, I suggest you get a tighter reign on your emotions and not use them to be the basis for thinking.

I'll repeat to YOU what I told another youngster:

It's not about how women make ME feel; its about how men are portrayed and viewed in a world where women are becoming more influential at the expense of men and our socioeconomic well being. So I'll overlook the fact that you are attacking someone who's writing and looking out for YOUR interests. But it's the old saying goes, "youth is wasted on the young." Now if you're done trying to make yourself look good in front of women...

Man'sMan 3 years ago

Another "intellectual" who thinks he can categorise anyone who does not agree with his view if the world. Go ahead and spend your time making false assumptions about me instead of actually engaging in a real conversation.

You probably should have stuck with Buddhism and learned a little more humility and open-mindedness, but since this is a forum where making uneducated assumptions about strangers is welcomed by the host, this guess assumes the monks at your temple kicked you out because your ego was taking up to much space.

I highly doubt you'll approve this post, but if you do, good on you for pretending to be an objective, reasonable human.

Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 3 years ago from The Known Universe ( Author

Whereas logic and critical reasoning of observations aren't your strongsuits, clearly hypocrisy and name-calling are. This isn't NPR young man...this is a forum based on reason, not ideology or personal/emotional beliefs. You won't find bootlicks or sycophants who will join you in assumptions, ad-hominem attacks, or view of the world based on. Inexperience, ignorance, or those who don't have a worldly frame of reference with regard to age or life experience. I suggest you read my posting, "Compassion Fatigue..." to get a picture of where I'm coming from and where YOU apparently are.

Conservative Reality 3 years ago

Monas1418, men like that are still around. You just dont happen to hear about them or see them in the news, Apparently, it makes better viewing to talk about those who aren't positive. You find many in the Republican Party.

Man'sMan, it looks like you are making some assumptions yourself about the writer. "They are definitely not a threat to your masculinity, unless you're questioning your own masculinity and projecting." "the monks at your temple kicked you out because your ego was taking up to much space." "I highly doubt you'll approve this post,"

Those words didn't sound very "friendly." I personally agree with most of what the writer wrote (not all but most). Feminism has turned reality on its head to the point where everything a man says and does seems to be raked over the coals, especially by liberals. Its clear who wears the pants in YOUR family! Maybe its you who needs to man up!

Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 3 years ago from The Known Universe ( Author

Thank you for reading Conservative Reality. However, in the interest of full-disclosure, Man's Man is partially right...I AM an admitted chauvinist. I believe that society was far more stable when responsible men were the heads of their respective families and women served as co-counsel. But that's as far as his being "right" went. He made the typical assumptions about the intent behind my article, one of which I refused to approve simply because--like a woman--he seems to feel the need to have the last word (yes, that's a female personality attribute--at the risk of sounding like a misogynist).

Man'sMan 3 years ago

You both are very good at backhanded insults. Good on you. I'll bet that makes you really popular at parties. :-)

For one thing, I didn't intend to be friendly, just honest. the idea that Feminism is turning reality on its head silly. It is not about usurping any power that men already having, though that is how many characterise it. It is about getting a fair share in society.

I made no assumptions, beyond wondering what temple would let Mr. Sims pray and study there and doubting his willingness to approve my post, because like most men like him, the last word must be his.

It is entertaining that you all seem to enjoy assuming things of me, all of which have been 100% false. By all means, keep it up. Your kind will eventually be pushed out of regular society or just die off.

Beyond-Politics profile image

Beyond-Politics 3 years ago from The Known Universe ( Author

Actually, given how you spelled "characterise" (most Americans spell it "characterize"), I'm going to go out on a limb and conclude that you either aren't a native-born American, are not in the U.S., or (I would really hate to make THIS particular assumption) that you are not as intelligent yourself as you'd like to think (I know its an alternative spelling--just stating that its not a common English spelling here). However, assuming the former two possibilities, it's clear you are bringing your own cultural biases into the discourse, in which case your views are inhrently null and void. The cultural phenomenon I am speaking of in regards to men and women is purely an American issue. If you are indeed abroad or were born abroad, your perspectives are immediate suspect as having been influences by your cultural experiences...a type of personal ethnocentrism. If I am wrong in my assumptions, I will apologize in advance (you see, I'm not too big to admit when I am wrong). But even still, I could sit here and quote your own asumptions about me but I won' are clearly the type who can't accept the remote possibility that he might be wrong, won't acknowledge it if it's pointed out, or that another's observations might be right, and not "chauvinistic bovine excrement." In the future, you might want to suspend your personal beliefs before approaching an issue. You don't have the only valid view of reality.

"We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are."

--Anias Nin

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