I think feminism has been the largest case of “Oh shit, I ate the cake and now I don’t have it!” in history.
Guess what, girls?
– Men don’t get to have babies
– They don’t get maternity leave
– They have to work long hours (someone always has!) to keep up the consumerist lifestyle
– They don’t get much chance to mantain real social networks
You wanted to have what men had, and you got it. As of now, the way society is structured, you can have one or the other. Now choose, because it’s getting tired to see you swing back and forth and try to have it both ways. You want to have it both ways and you think that’s fair because you’re a woman, hear you roar? You’re going to have trouble convincing the other 50% of the population that they should sublimate their own identities to an even greater degree and work twice as hard to subsidize your opportunity to be a mom and at the same time to draw a full-time salary equal to theirs while doing no work so long as you’re nursing that baby.
Or can we finally make the discussion about human rights rather than gender rights as should have been the case all along while everyone was busy hating men? Can we finally talk about how capitalism values work units rather than people and how the only reason either gender is on this treadmill is because of consumerism? Can we finally talk about whether or not it is necessary to replace cell phones once a year, to consume 4,000 calories per day, and to live in a house with six times the number of rooms as occupants? Can we finally talk about personal leave rather than maternity leave, say a guaranteed three months per year and two years per decade, without affecting job status, with the temporary vacancies filled by equally paid interns/apprentices from amongst the population of young people desperately needing experience and job training and currently mostly working for years for free as unpaid interns to get it?
Let’s end the wishful thinking and the gender bickering and realize that the reason for the wage gap is capitalism—the value of productive labor over all other forms of routinized practice and of the work unit over the person. Let’s realize that if everyone gets adequate personal time measured in months per year and years per decade, and we can implement socialized medicine and socialized daycare on top of it, then working motherhood/fatherhood becomes much less of problem. And finally, let’s realize that there’s never going to be a solution along the lines of what today’s radical feminism asks for: women being guaranteed equal pay over an elapsed time without having to produce equal work over that same time, simply because they are women and are “biologically different.”
We men appreciate the (late) acknowledgment that women are biologically different, but you already burned the “men should be in the workplace so that we won’t have to” bridge. In the ’60s. That’s right, there was a difference between men’s work in the workplace and women’s work in the home back then: men’s labor was almost entirely alienated. Guess what? We didn’t have any choice either. Still don’t. Now some of you want us to work harder so that you can have all of the (actually fairly slim in the spiritual sense) benefits of being a man and all of the benefits of being a woman, too, with men picking up the slack to save you the real, measurable consequences of these choices. Ummmm, I have no intention of participating in a system like that.
Let’s all talk about trying to give everyone the time they need, whether male or female, and whether it’s to raise a family, to write a book, or just to go off into the hills, meditate, and be thankful that you don’t have to see your boss for a while.
Or, to put it another way, feel free to demand any rights you want, so long as you always demand the same rights for men and women alike. It is what you asked for. Why should we ask (or settle) for any less?
I don’t think women realize or care how unhappy men are. We have nothing. We are empty. We are spiritually devoid of meaning. We are wage-slaves, regarded as labor and nothing more by the economy, as idiot sperm donors and nothing more by women, and as criminals and nothing more by society. There is very little incentive not to commit suicide.
Most men I know are chronically depressed, myself included. Most men I know talk secretly, when amongst other men, of fantasies about suicide, mass murder, deep, permanent drug states, escape.
We don’t have these fantasies because we are evil. We have them because we are facing lives devoid of meaning, hated and alone, and we can’t have children. Yes, life is empty for everyone. The existential question looms forever large. But we can never have children. Those ties will never be ours.
Ladies, look deep into your biology and your subcionscious and those drives and needs that you feel but are embarassed as feminists to feel… and realize that we can’t even aspire to that. That un-loneliness that comes through the extension of self—that secret something that you feel when you think about someday having your own child, even if you swear to yourself and everyone else that you never will—we know what it is. We need it, too, but we will never have it and can never have it. The closest we could ever hope to come is through fatherhood in a nuclear family, but we have now largely lost this, for better or for worse, to gender equality.
A man is funamentally individual and alone in the universe, arising from a mother but returning only to mud. With a man, the chain is always broken. For a man, life always end when he ends. There is nothing of him that lives on. There is never another generation. There is never a legacy. Men are the final note in an unheard song, and every man knows it. I suspect that this is the reason for the dominance of traditional patrilineality: it was an implicit social attempt (a poor one) to compensate for this loss.
I think modern women, and feminist women in particular, value motherhood much less than many men do.