Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bubble-Gum Anti-Feminism

I sit here twirling my hair and chewing gum and come across this story:

Do successful women have trouble dating?

By Amanda May
Is it true that guys avoid powerful gals because their egos can't handle it? Relationship experts and real men weigh in.

Roundtable participants

* Diane Mapes, author, How to Date in a Post-Dating World
* Steve Nakamoto, author, Men Are Like Fish: What Every Woman Needs to Know about Catching a Man
* Andy, 30, entrepreneur
* Craig, 33, recruiter
* Alex, 25, lawyer

Q: There's been a lot of talk lately that successful, career-oriented women have trouble creating lasting relationships because men feel intimidated. Do you think that is true?

Steve Nakamoto: The traditional male role is to be the provider and protector. If a guy loses that, he may feel like he's losing his pride. Many men feel like their identity is wrapped up in what they do and how much they earn. It's an external validation of their success, and a woman who is more successful than they are may threaten how they view themselves.

Craig: Many men do get intimidated by a woman who earns more or is more successful. They're told that they're supposed to be the breadwinners. I think it's going to take awhile for society to get used to the fact that with more women working, traditional gender roles don't necessarily apply.

Andy: Of course it depends on the man, but to feel financially superfluous is emasculating. No one wants to be reminded that he's a failure, and I can definitely see that putting additional pressure on a relationship.

Pardon me while I finish pulling out all my head hair. The story goes on in the same vein, with the general idea that women are at fault here for being too emasculating, that it is women who must change somehow and that all this is Just. The. Way. Things. Are.

Nobody suggests that men should change. Only women. And the reason has to do with the definition of masculinity which, once again, is defined by what women are allowed to do. It's sooooo boringly depressing. (chews gum)

(Swallows gum.) Nobody draws any wider conclusions, either, though that's probably because the article is the equivalent of chewing gum. But it might just be worth pointing out that if all men felt this way the gender gap in wages could never disappear, ambitious women who want male partners would be permanently discouraged from actually succeeding and any married woman would take a humongous risk of ending up pretty poor after divorce, say.

Gah. Note that the story doesn't use any actual data on the question it tries to answer. And count the number of comments from the one woman interviewed in the story.