Give up your rights ladies, you might be on a sinking ship someday

I just read one of the most– if not the most– idiotic justifications for sexism I’ve ever come across. And I’ve read a lot of stupid shit in my time. Kya posted a link on Reel Girl’s Facebook page to Suzanne Venker’s post on Fox news.

Venker argues that women have always had it better than men. Here’s why:

Prior to the 1970s, people viewed gender roles as as equally valuable. Many would argue women had the better end of the deal! It’s hard to claim women were oppressed in a nation in which men were expected to stand up when a lady enters the room or to lay down their lives to spare women life.When the Titanic went down in 1912, its sinking took 1,450 lives. Only 103 were women. One-hundred three.

Compare that with last year’s wrecked cruise line, the Costa Concordia. It resulted in fewer deaths, but there was another significant difference. “There was no ‘women and children first’ policy. There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats. It was disgusting,” said passenger Sandra Rogers, 62.

Let’s just leave aside for a moment the idea that if women and men actually had equality, there’s a better chance that a woman would’ve been captain of the Costa Concordia– not to mention the Titanic– and the ship wouldn’t have sunk in the first place.
Here’s a question for the women of America. What would you rather have: equal pay for equal work or men standing up when you enter a room? Do you prefer to rely on chivalry for your well being or financial and political autonomy?
Yes, women, there’s a chance that you might find yourself on a sinking cruise ship someday. And at that moment, you may be incredibly grateful that you gave up all of your rights so that a fellow passenger is noble enough to die for you. (Then again, you might not. You might be old or sick and decide it’s your time to go.) But far more probable than that life outcome, harm is likely to come to you from your husband or boyfriend. On average, more than three women are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. One in four women (25%)  in America are victims of domestic violence. (Stats from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
With violence against women being a national epidemic, you’d think that stopping it would be high on the U.S. government’s agenda. Yet, our congress stalled the Violence Against Women Act. I don’t get it. I thought that protecting women was a #1 priority. Women and children first, right? What happened here? Talk about chivalry being dead.
Perhaps, instead of hoping that men do the right thing for us, women are better off getting the power to do the right thing for ourselves.
Women are half of the population but underrepresented in the U.S. government. In 2013, women make up just 18% of congress. There are only 5 women governors. Throughout U.S. history, only four women have held the office of Supreme Court Justice. There has never been a female President of the United States.
But according to Venker, the problem for women is feminism. Besides using shipwrecks, she provides other evidence for the ultimate good of systemic sexism. Contradicting the idea of gender equality, Venker writes:

Those of us with children know better. We know little girls love their dolls and boys just want to kick that ball.

As a mom of three young daughters, much of the reason I’m passionate about gender equality is because my kids love to kick balls. Most kids do, just like they love to push things on wheels, though toy strollers are marketed to some toddlers while toy cars are marketed to others. The whole reason I started Reel Girl is because I was appalled by the gender stereotypes sold to young children by billion dollar companies, urging boys and girls, even pre-birth, to take radically different life paths.

But Venker knows better. The whole purpose of her post is to promote her book, How to Choose a Husband and Make Peace with Marriage. According to her,Its premise is that if women want to be successful in love, they should reject the cultural script they’ve been sold and adopt a whole new view of men and marriage.”

That cultural script is feminism. Can you imagine taking this woman’s advice on how to choose a husband? I’m happily married, by the way, and have been for ten years. What great wisdom will Venker bestow on women? Pick someone who loves cruises so that chivalry will come in handy? Brush up on shuffleboard?

10 thoughts on “Give up your rights ladies, you might be on a sinking ship someday

  1. I just can’t get over the fact they used the picture of a same sex marriage to make the point that women and men are not the same, the irony.

  2. 7. “But the truth must be heard. Being equal in worth, or value, is not the same as being identical, interchangeable beings. Men and women may be capable of doing many of the same things, but that doesn’t mean they want to. That we don’t have more female CEOs or stay-at-home dads proves this in spades.”

    I agree with the beginning of this statement. People aren’t interchangeable. But the idea that we don’t have more female CEOs because women don’t want to be CEOs is just ridiculous. Women are completing their higher education. They are opening shops and small businesses. They are entrepreneurs developing new brands every day. But they are meeting resistance and being shut out of male-dominated fields. Women don’t lack initiative. They run makeup lines and occupy top positions in the fashion industry and use the same management skills that their counterparts in finance or technology would use if they were allowed to rise as high in their respective companies.

    8. “You’ll believe what feminists taught you to believe: that gender is a social construct.”

    I don’t even want to know what kinds of horrifying things she might say about anyone whose sexual orientation is not heterosexual.

  3. Went to read the article. It should be listed as a humor article because it’s rather hilarious.

    1. I love that she starts by saying, I begin my book by quoting a man. Because why would anyone respect my authority unless I appeal to the popular rhetoric of a powerful man first?
    2. The “as products of divorce” comment assumes that all those unhappy marriages during periods when divorces were more difficult to obtain were excellent “role models for lasting love”.
    3. “They’ve been taught instead to honor sex, singlehood and female empowerment.” Because the last thing we should teach women is “FEMALE empowerment”.
    4. “Women postpone marriage indefinitely and move in and out of intense romantic relationships, or even live with their boyfriends for years at a time. Eventually, their biological clocks start ticking and many decide they better hurry up and get married to provide a stable home for their yet-to-be-born children. Trouble is, their boyfriend’s not willing to commit.”
    Feminism has only led to postponing marriage and childbirth by encouraging women to focus on higher education and becoming self sufficient. Cultural background and socioeconomic status usually determines when you have children and how many children you have.
    5. “Marriage becomes a competitive sport. The complementary nature of marriage—in which two people work together, as equals, toward the same goal but with an appreciation for the qualities each gender brings to the table—has been obliterated. Today, husbands and wives are locked in a battle about whom does more on the home front and how they’re going to get everything done. That’s not a marriage. That’s war.”
    First, this assumes that each gender has intrinsic skills that are not merely due to years of cultural conditioning of a different sort. How does the author of this article know that all our years of feminism haven’t obliterated those “qualities”? Secondly, I won’t say that marriage was previously enslavement, but it’s pretty easy to avoid war when one party isn’t given a choice or much say in the decision making.
    6. “Feminism didn’t result in equality between the sexes – it resulted in mass confusion.” Agreed. But not because men and women are divided. It’s that as a cultural movement, feminism has it’s counter movement (see this article).

  4. Not to be extremely catty, but I’m about to be a bit catty. Did anyone proofread this?

    Prior to the 1970s, people viewed gender roles AS AS equally valuable. Many would argue women had the better end of the deal! It’s hard to claim women were oppressed in a nation in which men were expected to stand up when a lady enters the room or to LAY DOWN THEIR LIVES TO SPARE WOMEN LIFE.