Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels


Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels

Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
libbys
Contributor
libbys
Briefly:

I’ve known, and read posts by or about, lots of men who sounds like wonderful people, husbands, lovers, fathers. Whether they want their wife to work or not, they seem to have a good character and respect women as humans equal, if different from themselves.

Men ARE often unfairly stereotyped as lazy, greedy, selfish, sexist, etc., and we all need to be aware of that and guard against it. It is no good to punish the good ones, after all.

But the rub is that traditionally, men have had more political, economic, and social power than women. You know the saying – power corrupts – and so lots of men have taken the dominance they have traditionally had and used it wrongly. But just because you are privileged and raised under a certain paradigm, does not mean you are automatically one of the bad guys.

And the men that ARE good, need to be reproducing like mad, so I hope we can figure out how they can do that. 😉

Women, traditionally, have not had the power to be lazy, greedy, selfish, sexist, etc. Not because they did not have the capacity in their nature to be so, but because they did not have the POWER. If they were lazy, they would be kicked to the curb. Greedy and selfish? Good luck getting a husband to support you (unless you’re really beautiful). Sexist? Not a chance.

Now, however, women have more power in society (at least Western women do). So all the women of poor character have the opportunity to use that power to be total assholes, and the evidence is in the men you see complaining about this or that feminist b*tch.

Yes, there are women out there who are bitches. And only the ones who have sufficient economic, social, and political power can really screw a guy over. So those are the ones that you will see doing it.

Women are not angels. We are humans. There are lots of bad eggs among us. When we are allowed to rise to our full potential as humans, some of us will rise to our full potential as complete jerks.

But would you take that freedom away from us just because of a few bad eggs? There are lots of bad eggs who are men. And I at least am not advocating that they be locked at home in the kitchen with the kids.

Additionally, many of us women are still too afraid to enjoy the equality that we are told we have though – and men still hold exclusively many of the positions of power in society (science, business, and political office being some good examples.)

So really, it could be so so so much worse.

08-25-2006 02:10 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
dazed-confused
Newbie
dazed-confused
ok, thank you for a non-kneejerk response … I think that feminism has done good things for women, but at the same time has had huge consequences for the family structure. Women practically are stating that they need to work so that they can leave their husbands if they so desire. Call me traditional, but that’s just wrong, something about the baby and the bathwater, marriages should be a partnership between equals, but that doesn’t mean that both partners spending 80 hours a week doing ‘real work’ while hiring poorly paid working mothers to attend to their children makes it so a ‘challenging partnership of equals’.

08-25-2006 02:24 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
Greenie
Visitor
Greenie

Where did you get the idea that most men were considered jerks and women angels?

You make some sort of connection to power but the points are muddled and irrelevant.

08-25-2006 02:31 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
libbys
Contributor
libbys
Yeah, I don’t jive with that either. I think the important thing though, is that women do not NEED to get married in order to SURVIVE and have economic security.

It’s rough for men, who are used to providing said economic security and that being enough to make them good husbands, to have the tables turned on them. But for women, it provides them the FREEDOM to find a good and appropriate mate.

I think it’s unconscionable that ANYONE, male or female, should work 80, 90, or 100 hours a week. That is damaging to the soul (unless you really really really love your work, and in that case – marry your job and not another person!)

And I agree that hiring nannies and housekeepers is a real problem (and also a luxury that many cannot afford.) If I were to take the trouble to have children, I would want to be their parent, front-and-center, and I would want my spouse to have the same important role.

What feminism has done for women is it has offered them choices. Domestic labor is a VERY VALID form of labor that has received little respect in this world. But the reason why housewives are entitled to half of her husband’s earnings when they divorce is because her domestic labor has economic value and enables the husband to earn more money. So domestic labor = important.

But not every woman wants to make a career of domestic labor. And quite frankly, I’ve met more than a few men who do not eschew domestic labor, as a career.

This whole thing is about options. But I agree, work should never, for neither men, nor women, become more important than living, loving, raising a family (if that’s what you want to do) and caring for our fellow humans.

08-25-2006 02:35 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
toadman
Regular Contributor
toadman

Likely a referral to the old nursery rhyme:

Boys are made from snips and snails and puppy-dog tails.
Girls are sugar and spice and everything nice.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

08-25-2006 02:37 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
thorny_kate
Visitor
thorny_kate
Just because both parents work does not mean that the children are poorly cared for. I used to work with children when I was in college and honestly, it doesn’t matter whether their mom works or not if the kids behave well or are happy. It depends entirely on the quality of the time that parents do spend with their kids. I’ve known kids with stay at home moms who were the biggest brats in the universe…not because their moms stayed home, but because their particular parents sucked at parenting. I know several kids who have both parents working that are wonderful and happy, not because their mom works, but because their parents are putting an effort into raising them.

As the first poster on this thread wisely said, there are good and bad of both men and women…not too mention every shade of gray in between.

The same principles apply to housekeeping, cooking, cheating, and happiness.

08-25-2006 02:39 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
dazed-confused
Newbie
dazed-confused

thorny_kate wrote:
Just because both parents work does not mean that the children are poorly cared for. I used to work with children when I was in college and honestly, it doesn’t matter whether their mom works or not if the kids behave well or are happy. It depends entirely on the quality of the time that parents do spend with their kids. I’ve known kids with stay at home moms who were the biggest brats in the universe…not because their moms stayed home, but because their particular parents sucked at parenting. I know several kids who have both parents working that are wonderful and happy, not because their mom works, but because their parents are putting an effort into raising them.

As the first poster on this thread wisely said, there are good and bad of both men and women…not too mention every shade of gray in between.

The same principles apply to housekeeping, cooking, cheating, and happiness.

Right, there are no universal laws to child rearing, but having some type of stability and presence in a family certainly doesn’t hurt, and if you’re both working more than full time something has to give. If that’s the man who is going to be there full time for the family, more power to that couple, although from what I’ve seen, for some reason women still don’t usually go for guys like that.

Spaulding wrote:
I am all for marrying a career woman. Call me a liberated man of the new millenium, but I would love to stay home, raise the kids, keep the house in order (or pay someone to do it), have lunch with my friends and play a lot of golf and/or tennis. If there are any career women out there who are looking for a guy like me please do not hesitate to drop me a line.

08-25-2006 02:45 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
MartianBachelor
Regular Contributor
MartianBachelor

“I think the important thing though, is that women do not NEED to get married in order to SURVIVE and have economic security.” – libbys

But that’s exactly the point which so many have missed: men and women work for different reasons.

Let’s review a little history: One of the most important contentions by feminists early on was that marriage was *the* institution which most oppressed women. Ergo, women needed to be financially independent so they wouldn’t have to be dependent on men and marriage. This was and still is the rational for equality-in-the-workplace legislation.

So women work in order that they can do without men. Is this the whole truth? Of course not. But there’s something to it.

Men work because no one’s offering to support them, so they have no choice but to work — which is why you hear plenty about “working moms” but the phrase “working dads” is virtually unknown. One could also say men work to be more attractive to women, since it’s well known that women value status and economic power in men. If you wanted to get gushy and oversimplify you could say men work to create love whereas the rationale for women working to avoid love.

Message Edited by MartianBachelor on 08-25-2006 12:54 PM

______________________________________________
“The loudest, most strident voices calling women weak, stupid, and incapable of competing in the world at large are the feminists.” – zed the zen priest

08-25-2006 02:51 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
toadman
Regular Contributor
toadman

“I am all for marrying a career woman. Call me a liberated man of the new millenium, but I would love to stay home, raise the kids, keep the house in order (or pay someone to do it), have lunch with my friends and play a lot of golf and/or tennis. If there are any career women out there who are looking for a guy like me please do not hesitate to drop me a line.”

Women prefer to marry up. Let us know if you get a reply.

08-25-2006 02:52 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
dazed-confused
Newbie
dazed-confused

toadman wrote:

“I am all for marrying a career woman. Call me a liberated man of the new millenium, but I would love to stay home, raise the kids, keep the house in order (or pay someone to do it), have lunch with my friends and play a lot of golf and/or tennis. If there are any career women out there who are looking for a guy like me please do not hesitate to drop me a line.”

Women prefer to marry up. Let us know if you get a reply.

My point exactly. The irony.

08-25-2006 02:58 PM

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Reader Response to “Don’t Marry Career Women” – Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
thorny_kate
Visitor
thorny_kate

toadman wrote:

“I am all for marrying a career woman. Call me a liberated man of the new millenium, but I would love to stay home, raise the kids, keep the house in order (or pay someone to do it), have lunch with my friends and play a lot of golf and/or tennis. If there are any career women out there who are looking for a guy like me please do not hesitate to drop me a line.”

Women prefer to marry up. Let us know if you get a reply.

Sorry, off the market over here. But I didn’t marry up so much as married a man who worked at least as hard as I do.

08-25-2006 02:59 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
Hedgie
Regular Contributor
Hedgie

“If you wanted to get gushy and oversimplify you could say men work to create love whereas the rationale for women working to avoid love.”

Very well said.

08-25-2006 03:06 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
libbys
Contributor
libbys

toadman wrote:

Women prefer to marry up. Let us know if you get a reply.

Actually, I prefer to marry a man of character over a man of wealth.

But that’s just me.

Can’t say the same for every woman. There are some women who just want a guy with a big wang.

08-25-2006 03:07 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
libbys
Contributor
libbys

MartianBachelor wrote:

If you wanted to get gushy and oversimplify you could say men work to create love whereas the rationale for women working to avoid love.

Message Edited by MartianBachelor on 08-25-2006 12:54 PM

Um, what ever happened to working because work is fullfilling and can give your life meaning and purpose?

08-25-2006 03:39 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
Termi0n
Regular Contributor
Termi0n

libbys wrote:

MartianBachelor wrote:

If you wanted to get gushy and oversimplify you could say men work to create love whereas the rationale for women working to avoid love.

Message Edited by MartianBachelor on 08-25-2006 12:54 PM

Um, what ever happened to working because work is fullfilling and can give your life meaning and purpose?

Whatever happened to women keeping a good home because its fullfilling and gives your life meaning and purpose?

Women want fried ice. -Arab Proverb

08-25-2006 04:04 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
meeper
Visitor
meeper

“Women practically are stating that they need to work so that they can leave their husbands if they so desire.”

The flip side is also true, though – that having skills that society places monetary value upon is useful in the event that your husband decides to leave *you*.  Mr. Noer points out that being in the workplace, you are much more likely to meet people you find more attractive than your spouse, so a stay-at-home parent runs a real risk of being left at home, permanently.

Ultimately, I think an ideal social structure that would *really* support families is not one that institutionalizes stay-at-home-motherhood, nor one that despises it, but one that is set up in a way that everyone gets to do work they feel is meaningful, and nurture their children at the same time.

That means that no one, in deciding that they want to stay at home and raise their kids, should be putting themselves one faithful husband away from the poverty line.  Society should not allow this, and a person who agrees with their spouse that the spouse will stay at home and raise the children rather than developing more marketable skills should not do so lightly; part of the bargain must be that the worker must take full financial responsibility for the duration, whether or not his/her coworker suddenly seems very attractive.  Tough.

It should also mean that flexible work arrangements are available for women and men who want and need the challenge and interest of being at work, but want to balance that with being able to spend time with their families.

It should mean really excellent childcare options available to everyone who wants it, (I just don’t know if I buy that it’s categorically better for kids to be raised by their mothers in their own homes… it’s a pretty new phenomenon to have one person assigned full time to taking care of one or two kids, and a fairly inefficient model, to boot.)

I truly believe that a safety net for stay-at-home moms, a family-friendly workplace, and really quality childcare options is going to be better for more families than a one-size-fits-all solution.  Because stay-at-home-mothering may in its ideal sense be a wonderful thing, but you can’t escape that in the current structure there are huge risks involved.  That divorce or death, (though if Mr. Noer is to be believed are more rare), are much more devastating to mother and children if they are left without means of solid financial support.

And with a stabilizing population growth rate, in order to continue growing productivity and support our parents in their old age, it’s going to economically be a very useful thing for the country to take advantage of the work of women who want to contribute it.  And some women may just be happier being able to work outside the home in addition to raising a family, and many of these may find men who are happier to be married to them, even in the long run.

08-25-2006 04:40 PM

Re: Not all men are jerks, and not all women are angels
dazed-confused
Newbie
dazed-confused

meeper wrote:

That means that no one, in deciding that they want to stay at home and raise their kids, should be putting themselves one faithful husband away from the poverty line.  Society should not allow this, and a person who agrees with their spouse that the spouse will stay at home and raise the children rather than developing more marketable skills should not do so lightly; part of the bargain must be that the worker must take full financial responsibility for the duration, whether or not his/her coworker suddenly seems very attractive.  Tough.

Absoluteley.

Because stay-at-home-mothering may in its ideal sense be a wonderful thing, but you can’t escape that in the current structure there are huge risks involved.  That divorce or death, (though if Mr. Noer is to be believed are more rare), are much more devastating to mother and children if they are left without means of solid financial support.

There are risks associated with most everything in life. There are no guarantees of anything. It’s possible to take out life insurance in the event of death, but there is no such thing as marriage insurance in the event of divorce, and rightfully so. Rather than looking out at an imperfect society and shaking our heads, pointing fingers and blaming that society for necessitating self-sufficiency as an ‘exit plan’, we should start at home with our own families, commit to that family, and be with a spouse with similar values. Working should be fine. When it comes at the expense of the family is when it becomes a problem.

08-25-2006 05:13 PM

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