Sunday, March 18, 2007

Why Good Men Are a Threat to Feminism

One of the points I like to make whenever I post on feminist sites is what a great guy my husband is. I like pointing out what a hardworking person he is and how he went from a $7-an-hour dead-end job to a well-paying one through intelligence and hard work. After that, I always bring up what a devoted father he is, helping with homework and projects and attending as many performances as is humanly possible.

Why do I do this? Because it seems to be a tenet of modern feminism that men are evil. Go to any of a dozen supposedly feminist sites (try this post and this one at Pandagon for starters, then move on to Feministing and Pinko Feminist Hellcat) and you'll have an idea what's out there.

Take the comments from this Pandagon post that I wrote about yesterday. I left a comment that included this about my husband:

He busted his ass to make enough money that I could stay home AND we could improve our standard of living. We now have a much bigger, nicer home than the one we had before I was “forced” to stay home. He still does his share of housework and yardwork and homework and every other kind of work associated with having a family.

I have to admit that I knew if I extolled the virtues of my husband that someone would come unglued and, as day follows night, they did. The person was Elinor, who first asserted that it was "nice" that he "had that sort of income available to him." So, I upped the ante a bit.
He didn’t “have that kind of income available to him.” He developed the SKILLS to make that sort of money. I despise it when people belittle the effort involved in making a good living. His job wasn’t handed to him. He earned it.

There's nothing that makes a lib madder than asserting that a white man earned the money he makes. Feminists in particular seem to think that all men have what they have because of some unfair advantage they garnered by being male. In past generations, this might have been so, but the number of men who make it because Daddy handed them a well-running company are dwindling. Most men who are doing well are--gasp!--self-made.

I know a lot of people who make decent money. They aren't millionaires and they didn't inherit their money. What they did do was work hard, watch for opportunities, and get whatever education was necessary to get ahead.

That's why I like pointing out how well my husband has done. Feminists--at least those radical ones who blog--seem to think that there are no hard-working men, only slobs who oppress women to bolster themselves. Perhaps they inhabit an alternate universe from the one I live in, but I don't really know any men who are oppressing women and getting ahead because of it.

The point I was making in my post was that, unlike the portrait painted by Amanda, there were lots of SAHMs who enjoy it, who made that "choice freely," and who weren't coerced, forced, threatened, cajoled, or intimidated into staying home by the ogre men they have married. That this choice is still more available to women than men says as much about the sorts of things women choose to do (versus what men choose to do) as it does about privilege or patriarchy. Just as the silly housework debate isn't really about "patriarchy" as much as people's determination to have a clean house, staying home with one's children is more about the importance one places on raising one's children versus having more money and stuff.