Suzanne Venker, the niece of anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly, is back on FoxNews.com for some more of her unqualified and unscientific pronouncements about the so-called "war on men." Although Fox is determined to have its viewers believe there is no such thing as the war on women, it seems equally determined to persuade them that there is a war on men. But we could end the war or have a truce if only women would just submit to men, let them drive and "become comfortable with sacrifice and capitulation."
Think Progress summed up Venker's latest op-ed nicely:
The author believes the crudest of crude gender stereotypes are built into male and female brains, arguing that women “like to gather and nest and take care of people” while men “are hunters: they like to build things and kill things.” As a consequence, she maintains a man’s place is in the office; “his” woman should simply “surrender” to his rule.
And here's an example of just that kind of thinking from Venker in her latest on Fox:
If the ultimate goal is lasting love, women are going to have to become comfortable with sacrifice and capitulation. Because those are the underpinnings of a long-term marriage – for both sexes. If you don’t believe me, ask your grandparents. Or anyone else who’s been married for decades.
Love today has become a power struggle, largely because women have been conditioned to keep their guard up – as though men and marriage will swallow them whole. As Sandra Bullock once said to Barbara Walters, “I’d always had this feeling that if you got married, it was like the end of who you were.” That attitude is commonplace, and it’s the direct result of a generation of feminists who told their daughters never to depend on a man.
In this op-ed, Venker throws in a professional-sounding paragraph:
Fortunately, there’s been an explosion of brain research in the past several years to help explain male and female anatomy. The best books are Dr. Louann Brizendine’s “The Male Brain” and “The Female Brain.”
But while she'd like you to believe here that she's some kind of expert in her field, as I wrote in a previous post about her, Venker boasts about not having any professional credentials beyond a messy marriage and a willingness "to speak out about things" she knows "from experience to be true."
“Love today has become a power struggle, largely because women have been conditioned to keep their guard up â as though men and marriage will swallow them whole. "
Those are not my words.
Those are the words of a veritable idiot.
“women have been conditioned” to… Squeez me?
You know Ms. Venker dumped a real stinker.
You are not helping her, either. You must have been air conditioned too.
Ms. Venker isn’t idiotic, and I am not a clown. You’re resorting to the name calling fallacy, you… you elbow! Wait, that body part isn’t rude enough. Um… you spleen! Go vent somewhere else! Not my best work…
Frankly clowns frighten me. When I was a child my mother put a glowing clown head on my wall. This diabolical gargoyle disguised as a children’s night light was the bane of my dreams, I can tell you. Interestingly clowns were originally the harlequins of Hell, so it comes as no surprise that the should frighten a good portion of our citizenry.
If you reread my reference to androgyny you’ll find that you are restating my own point. We can chalk this up to “writing while angry.”
Having been married for 15 years I find it incredible that anyone can confidently say that they know exactly what they’re getting into when they walk down the aisle. Methinks you are not married, friend. A little capitulation and sacrifice will serve you well, but you’ll figure that out on your own.
Your point about the battlefield imagery is well taken. I wish people wouldn’t do that. In my own profession we speak of ourselves as “being in the trenches,” which is silly. Fox seems to get a lot of mileage out of “war on ___,” and the idea that a “culture warrior” is in any way equal to some guy sitting in a hole in Afghanistan is bizzare, but there you go.
Your assertion that “she thinks that women are the transgressors” is a valid one. That’s what she’s saying. She says that something has changed in the last 40 years, and that’s the thing. If you had phrased it that way, I wouldn’t have much to work with here, but you didn’t. You quote that passage twice; in the first quote you imply that she wants women to be submissive, which I’m not sure does justice to her actual opinion, and then when you quote the expanded passage the second time you undo your own assertion (or implication?).
Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to me.
Oh, and by the way? Yes, I do have a degree in journalism.
Nobody is talking about androgyny, clown, when we talk about men and women being the same. Have fun going after that androgynous straw man.
What is meant is that WOMEN have EQUAL rights, not that one female INDIVIDUAL is the same as one male INDIVIDUAL.
Now, it takes two to tango. Anyone getting into a marriage NOT knowing exactly what he or she is getting into deserves what he or she agreed to receive.
Cuts both ways.
I am a male. And I know my male friends and my female friends. Let me put it this way, I wouldn’t marry myself and I wouldn’t marry some of my MALE or FEMALE friends because they are not for me. Because the idiotic idea of Prince Charming meets Virtuous Beauty and live happily forever is that. Fairy tale crap.
Sht, I reject both male and female people who try to befriend me because I know we don’t have enough shared interests.
Here is the quote:
If the ultimate goal is lasting love, women are going to have to become comfortable with sacrifice and capitulation. Because those are the underpinnings of a long-term marriage â for both sexes. If you donât believe me, ask your grandparents. Or anyone else whoâs been married for decades.
Let me explain again.
If the ultimate goal is lasting love, DO NOT GET INTO THE BEDROOM WITH SOMEONE YOU ARE GOING TO HATE OR WILL HATE YOU.
That is the first stupid assumption Ms. Venker makes.
“Long lasting love in marriage is obtained through sacrifice and capitulation”
As I said before, she makes it sound like marriage is some kind of bloody battle where SOMEONE is definitely going to get maimed.
In the search for lasting love.
This isn’t academic feminism, of course. It’s misandry, and it’s repugnant. A true feminist wants an equal partner, not a scapegoat. A true feminist is secure, not defensive. And by the way, is there anyone reading this who truly believes that men and women are the same? Do modern feminists ache for androgyny?
What I think Ms. Venker is trying to say (and I’m not about to buy whole-heartedly into her every utterance) is that such a woman, raised to believe that her personal relationship with her man is one small skirmish in a larger cultural war, will find it easier going if she capitulates and sacrifices as much as she expects him to.
It doesn’t help that “capitulation” is a battlefield metaphor, I’ll grant you that, but there you go.
I may be reading too much into this, but that’s what I take from it.
By the way, I’m for women fighting in the infantry if they like. Fine by me.
So that, Average American Patriot, is wtf that means. Seriously.
WTF does that mean?
Men are already “comfortable with sacrifice and capitulation” but women are not?
Or that marriage is some kind of horrible experience that must be endured instead of enjoyed?
Or that women MUST seek marriage through sacrifice and capitulation in order to obtain lasting love?
On to the meat of your attack:
Her position isn’t nearly as anti-feminist as you make out. Your hyperbole is used to set up a straw man, and then you object to it.
In your first paragraph you write that women should “…let them [men] drive and ‘become comfortable with sacrifice and capitulation.’”
Later you quote Ms. Venker herself, who writes “…women are going to have to become comfortable with sacrifice and capitulation. Because those are the underpinnings of a long-term marriage â for both sexes.”
For both sexes, Ellen. Both sexes should sacrifice and capitulate in a marriage. Both.
May we have a list of your ancestors? We’ll have to vet them before we take your opinions seriously. Are you related to Betty Friedan by any chance?
Is this cavewoman, venker, trying to sell this load of crap for the benefit of wimpy neocon/teabagger males who only feel powerful when they’re demeaning women? You know the type…teddy shitpants nugent comes to mind?
Maybe someone needs to introduce a new word into Venker’s vocabulary: Hypocrite.