Honorary Manosphere pundit Susan Walsh over at Hooking Up Smart had a lovely piece today examining Liza Munday's contentions in her new book, The Richer Sex. I encourage you to check it out. Susan dissected the overtly feminist work with admirable Red Pill perspicacity, and in particular recognized something that Ms. Mundy apparently has not: Men aren't terribly thrilled with what they have lost due to the rise of female earning power.
I want you to read the whole post, but of particular note is this astute observation Susan makes:
Apparently, Mundy describes the cheerful male helpmeet greeting his frazzled wife with a glass of wine at the end of the day at least half a dozen times in the book. It sounds more like Mad Men in reverse than a plausible scenario for American married couples. I also find the reference to manly pursuits extremely patronizing and hypocritical – is this the enlightened version of the 1950s sewing circle?
Why no, no it is not. Thank you, Susan.
The Red Pill truth of the matter is that women who "marry down", whether you use income, class, or education as your metric, take a very real hit to their social status by doing so. Women in aggregate are highly judgmental, and as they continuously seek to establish their place in the social hierarchy of women, after determination of marital status and childbearing status, the status of the woman's husband is often factored in even before her own professional success is taken into account.
I happen to have grown up in a very science, technology, and medically-oriented burgh, and I spent most of my 20s, as I was hacking my way painfully through college, working in offices because I have more sense that to work construction. I was a male clerical worker (mostly temp jobs) for nearly ten years. I got to work in every kind of office a major metro area has to offer, from insurance to medical to computer to pharma to the local public school system. I was a regular cubicle hound for years. So I got to witness the female social network in action, up close and personal, over and over again.
I was fortunate enough to work under some crackerjack female managers, as well as some real screachtards. But as I evaluated the power centers of each new job (a vital step for a young male in the minority) I began to notice some interesting patterns.
For example, I once worked in one of the medical departments for a university hospital, directly under one of the most competent managers I've ever had. Dr. X had two advanced degrees, loads of professional accolades, and a generous salary, not to mention perks and honors that come with such a position. But Dr. X was married to a very intelligent man who was pursuing a MFA in creative writing . . . and had been for over a decade. He had also yet to publish anything.
Now Mr. X's non-existent teaching salary was about what Dr. X made in her first quarter. He was a "house husband", even though they employed a housekeeper. I met the dude at two different functions, and he was the consummate Beta: intelligent, caring, deeply concerned for community affairs and very supportive of his wife's career . . . but behind his back the line of shit that got talked about him was impressive. "Golddigger", "Gigolo" (the first time I've ever heard that term used to refer to a husband that way) and other epithets were whispered, and sympathy for "Poor Dr. X" about her loser hubby who wouldn't get off his ass and get a real job were gossip-fodder all night long.
He was just the kind of sensitive house-husband Liza Mundy was speaking of when she was talking about the new "acceptance" by men of their new roles. Mr. X was viciously emasculated, and Dr. X was professionally damaged by that. And with no children involved, the level of loathing by these women was intense. Despite their sympathy for the good Doctor X, the other women who controlled the department severely discounted Dr. X's leadership abilities based almost solely on her (to them) poor skill in selecting a mate. She "married down", and that put a negative spin on what was an otherwise robust career. Mr. X was "holding her back", "dragging her down", and she was "carrying him". There was even open speculation as to whether or not she would be open to the possibility of an affair.
Let's contrast that to Ms. Y, another mid-level manager I worked for in the private sector. With two masters degrees and a decade and a half of experience in her industry she was at about the same professional level as Dr. X, but Mrs. Y was married to an entrepreneur and developer. He had even used her money to start his company and get his first few projects going. He was just shy of a bachelor's degree, but his high-profile projects pushed him into social circles he likely wouldn't have been privy to, otherwise. Ms. Y repeatedly used Mr. Y's company to look for sales prospects, and vice versa. When Ms. Y needed sponsors for charity events or promotions, Mr. Y's company was there, and when Mr. Y's company needed corporate sponsorship for something, she made sure her company got behind it.
Add in one terribly cute adopted baby and you have a real Power Couple. And that's the only way a woman can survive the stench of "marrying down" on her career.
I put up with this myself, from time to time. Yes, Ms. Ironwood out-earns me, even at her state job, and has limitless potential to pile up dough in the private sector some day. Me, I've about maxed out my salary potential as a copywriter, and the only way I can increase my income is through freelance or writing books. Since that's an option, I'm not intimidated by my wife's success -- I've been telling her for years I'm worth tens of millions in potential intellectual property rights. But if I hadn't had my very first submission get published and hit the New York Times Best Seller's list, making me a by-gods Author instead of a poor college student with a day-job, it would have been a different story. That was enough of a status-boost in my community to make us a "power couple", not a career woman with a husband who did something creative or something while he took care of the kids.
Look at the reaction to Demi Moore's highly-popularized union with Ashton Kutcher, compared to the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie couple. Demi's image was hurt (except among cougars who were hungry for some validation of their own middle-aged lusts for young flesh) by her pairing, whereas minstrels wrote epics about Brangelina's relationship. Being a Power Couple energized both of them, whereas Demi was brought down in status while Ashton went up.
I know, I know, comparing celebrities to real people is just wrong. But it illustrates my point: not only have men not accepted their "new role", neither have women. Because in the judgment of the female social matrix women who cannot attract a superior mate to themselves are themselves downgraded, regardless of their accomplishments.
|Women now account for the majority |
of higher-educated workers.
And that doesn't even get into the profound alienation that men feel about the whole idea.
Understand first that men naturally compete -- with other men. That's been the gold standard since the Time Before Writing. What we competed for wasn't important -- it was the competition that mattered. That spirit has been enshrined in competitive sports and other endeavors in every human culture. Men compete. Against each other.
But with industrialization and a flood of women entering the workforce back in the 1960s and 1970s, and then the next wave of professionals and information-class female workers in the 1980s and1990s, men were faced with the uncomfortable prospect of competing with women for jobs, not men. And they considered the competition unfair. While three decades of corporate culture in which women were not only involved, but were actively working to promote and advance other women (when they weren't sabotaging them to get ahead) has given us a fairly workable set of social and legal rules regarding the workplace, that doesn't mean that men have embraced the idea. Hell, some barely accept it, and others refuse to work with women at all, becoming self-employed rather than deal with a female superior.
|Women have made significant gains in the workplace,|
particularly in middle management. This has not translated
into higher feminine happiness. Nor into attractive mating
Indeed, men have not embraced the idea of women in the workplace the way that feminists wanted them to. Not at all. Feminist ideology stated that once there was legal and cultural parity between men and women in the workplace, then both could compete for the same jobs based on merit, from a level playing-ground. Once women started moving into positions of power, men would naturally come to respect them for their leadership abilities and follow them just as well as they would follow a man.
In the Feminist Utopia, a strong, independent woman was valued by the men who were her subordinates. And if they didn't have respect for her, then that was due to their sexism and chauvinism, not due to the faults or flaws in the female executive in question. Laws and cultural diversity classes would be brought to bear, forcing men to acknowledge and support the superiority of their female superiors, while a sisterhood of career women mutual supported and mentored each other to break the glass ceiling, take control of the corporate state, and eventually re-shape the world in their image with the happy obedience and willing cooperation of their re-educated male colleagues.
|Women have long complained about men not doing|
a fair share of housework. Now that housework parity has
been achieved, professional women are finding that they are
not as attracted to a domestic house-husband as they would
Didn't quite work out that way.
Feminism missed a lot about this. And one of the big things that they missed was the fact that men don't like competing with women -- and when they are forced to, they rebel. Since the law and corporate culture prohibit an active rebellion without retribution, men take the road of the Puerarchy, and go subversive.
It's not an organized subversion as some feminist speculate -- there is no vast, right-wing anti-feminist cabal who has a 10 year plan to put every woman in the world back into dependence on a man. Or if there is, no one has invited me to it yet. No, resistance to female authority and female competitors happens because when placed in a competition with both men and women, men often discount the women out of the equation. They can justify this because of the "advantages" that just being female grants their colleagues.
And this helps explain one of the reasons why young men are so reluctant to marry: they no longer view women as equal partners or even potential subordinates in a relationship. Faced with highly-competitive females at work who are operating aggressively in competition, these Guys (hard to call them Men until they get made Men) it becomes that much harder to drop the competitive nature of intergender relations long enough to do more than hook up -- and certainly not enough to wed.
Women are scary to these guys.
They often have power over them (middle management seems replete with single women in their late-30s and early-40s who have devoted so much to their careers that they're still single -- and will likely die that way), they always have the power to hurt them just by suggesting you said something inappropriate, and they can use unfair advantages of flirtation and even affairs with senior management to advance their careers . . . while being publicly appalled about such things. After being challenged at work all day, forced to compete against women, the allure of a "dude's apartment" complete with beer signs, videogames, and non-stop internet porn seems like Valhalla.
Consider the raunchy Comedy Central show Workoholics, focused on three stoner loser roommates who work in a cube farm for a ball-busting bitch of a (pointedly single) female executive who regularly dominates, emasculates, and berates them. It's a paen to the Puerarchy.
Do they respect their successful and aggressive female manager? They fear her -- but any loyalty due her is purely based on her very low expectations of their performance, not because she has earned it in their eyes. The Workoholic Guys endure work, they tolerate their boss, but they have no ambition to achieve because they know such ambition is often singled out and punished. Besides, why go to all that trouble if you're just going to get your legs cut out from under you again? Better to go home and grind on Halo 3 for nine hours straight before whacking off to porn, passing out, and then getting up and doing it again the next day. They rarely even make the effort to meet girls, much less pursue them. And trying to impress them with false expectations of future potential is just too damn hard to do convincingly.
Relationships? They get enough of that shit at work.
The Guys are certainly not eager to jump into a marriage with a woman -- they saw what happened to their fathers' generation, and things are looking even less rosy now. They're content to pursue their personal interests at home, keep their damn mouth shut at work, and most don't have more ambition than to stay employed for the next decade.
At first that works out fine for both, as both are fully immersed in hookup culture, complete with friends-with-benefits and booty calls. But as a few years go by and the early 20s become the mid-20s, the Girls quickly get tired of the hookups and start to pursue "real" relationships. Only they are being frustrated by the utter disinterest that's being shown in them.
That's highly frustrating to a generation of women who were taught -- incorrectly -- that the road to masculine respect and admiration was through career success. And it is -- for other men. But while a dude will certainly look at a woman's career and earning prospects as a plus, in most cases, if they are too much over his own then he's going to loose interest quick -- we know what happens when you go down that road. No one wants to have to ask his sugar mama for beer money. Past a certain point, career success actually starts hurting a woman's prospects of finding a marriageable mate. And without one, her future in the increasingly female-dominate workforce is very limited. She might break the glass ceiling, but if she doesn't have a husband then despite four decades of feminist propaganda the female social matrix discounts the woman's status dramatically.
So how does the Feminist Utopia deal with marriage, then?
According to standard feminist ideology, marriage, when entered into at all (it being an essentially oppressive custom of the fallen Patriarchy, after all) is to be no less than the perfect union of equals . . . though in practice any marriage where the man actually takes any leadership role is usually condemned in feminist circles as atavistic. Despite that, feminists are themselves locked into the female social matrix. If they don't "marry up", then they get accused of bagging a "Nigel" (as in "men are horrid creatures who have oppressed women for centuries, using their superior strength and position to dominate us -- but Nigel doesn't believe in all of that, do you dear?")-- what the Manosphere refers to as a White Knight or a Manigina. Nigels are the epitome of the sexless submissive Beta male -- just the perfect kind of mate, according to feminist ideology.
Only feminists despise Nigels. It comes across in every post about them in feminist discussion groups. They betray their own ideology with their loins, and often leave poor Nigel by the side of the road after a few years in pursuit of the Alpha cock they've starved themselves for. Feminists may say they love Betas, but they're voting with their vaginas . . . and eventually some of those dudes, embittered by their rejection, find themselves in the Manosphere.
From a feminist perspective hypergamy isn't a problem -- it's a solution. Rejecting inadequate males after using them for resources (emotional support, sperm, additional revenue) in favor of a higher-status male is in itself status-building in feminist circles -- basically what that horrid Eat, Pray, Love woman did. Hypergamy proves their personal superiority to their first husbands, and even to their second husbands.
So the idea that Hypergamy is going to vanish now that women earn more than men is just bullshit, any more than the idea that men stopped objectifying women in the workplace just because of sexual harassment laws. No matter how many happy, smiling Manginas Ms. Mundy exhibits as proof that men have "embraced" their new testicle-light role, the rest of us know it's Blue Pill bullshit. Men, as Men, are rejecting that role and going their own way, marrying down themselves or not marrying at all, or marrying third-world brides with more traditionally Agricultural Age concepts of matrimony. That's the factor that Ms. Mundy hasn't examined. The rejection of the American Working Woman by the American Working Man, unless the matter of children is involved.
Some feminists see this as a plus -- the idea that a man and woman should need to be married in order to support each other flies in the face of feminist rhetoric about independence. Dr. Emily Nagoski, noted Sex Nerd, has proudly trumpeted the fact that she and her romantic interest don't "need" each other (which makes any talk of marriage just seem silly), they stay together because they "want" to. They love each other, and love alone should be enough to establish and maintain a relationship, independent of economic concerns. Or, as one sarcastic feminist commented,
Yeah, God forbid she actually stick around because she LIKES the dude or anything. Can’t have that.
Well, no. No, we can't. Why not? Because men, in aggregate, don't want that kind of marriage. Its one based on their ability to be entertaining, and once that stops, the relationship is OVER and they know it. Or, as I responded to the above-sarcastic feminist:
Well, that kind of the point.
Most men view marriage as a life-long commitment that may possibly include reproductive rights, certainly involves combining finances and financial security, implies certain legal and ethical obligations, certainly includes a sexual component, not to mention establishing an entirely new family built around the compromises of blending your individual family cultures. His wife will be what socially defines him and will be how other men in his masculine culture will judge him.
And you think that a man should make a decision and establish a commitment that weighty based on your willingness to “like a dude”?
What happens if you stop “liking” him? You leave? Take his kids? Half his stuff? Because you “just aren’t happy” or “I love you, but I’m not in love with you”, and “I settled prematurely (!)” or any other EatPrayLove rationalization? Because you met another dude you like a little bit better? I mean, is it any wonder that older women are discovering that men in their brackets are more than a little “commitmentphobic” . . . because actual commitment to a marriage has been pretty thin on the ground for the last forty years.
Yeah, Goddess forbid she stick around because she actually made a COMMITMENT to a dude or anything. Can’t have that.
To which she replied, basically,
Why turn down money in the family because it’s got girl cooties on it?
Because it's not about the fucking money. That's what they don't understand. They want to think it's about the money, so they're the first to say it's NOT about the money, that the money doesn't matter. And it doesn't, but not for the reasons they suspect.
Men look at resources and wages and earning and success very differently than women. Women feel that they should enjoy the same prestige among men that a man would get for that level of success -- but men aren't giving it to them, and they're not getting much more from other women. Why? Men see wages and income and professional success as a means to an end: to attract a high-quality mate. Women see wages and income and professional success the same way . . . only men aren't attracted to security issues the way women are.
It's like the metrosexual dudes who think if they look pretty enough and smell good enough and lack hair in all the right places, they'll find Ms. Right. The problem is that as much as women enjoy good-smelling dudes who look pretty, good looks are not the primary motivator of their sexual attraction cues. Money and security is. That includes emotional security, of course, so a successful career woman may indeed find a man who fulfills that emotional need (she doesn't have a financial need) . . . but the moment she marries him, the power and sex balance has been broken. He needs her for financial security and she needs him for emotional security, but emotional security isn't a recognized metric among the female social matrix.
But the sarcastic feminist won't recognize that. She maintains "There’s nothing about economic security that makes people have to act like jerks." Of course, the caveat is that she means that "there's nothing about economic security that makes MEN have to act like jerks" -- no doubt if it's a woman who is suddenly demanding economic security from a man in the process of divorce, she's entitled to whatever she can squeeze out of him, as per standard feminist practice.
If a woman happens to be a SAHM and wants more control over the household income, her husband will be labeled a "jerk" or worse if he doesn't grant it by feminists. But if a SAHD wanted to control the finances of the household, assuming a much wealthier wife, then he's labeled a "controlling loser jerk" and conventional wisdom says "she can do better". Hypergamy, alive and well.
There is one bright bit of sunshine from this gloomy picture, though. Thanks to the new economic parity between men and women, I think we'll see some punitively unfair divorce laws overturned a more and more high-profile wives get divorced by their less-well-earning husbands. After we see a few female execs get taken to the cleaners by their boy-toys, we'll see a feminist cry about further divorce reform to "protect the right of a woman to generate and control her own capital" or something like that. Predatory husbands who Game these old broads and then dump them a few years later for half their fortunes will change a few tunes. Perhaps enough to even begin to approach fairness in divorce laws.
But as far as Liza Mundy's contention that men are learning to accept and embrace their new roles, despite the implicit emasculation involved?
|"Oh, shut up about your 'lost masculinity' . . . it's not like I was going|
to let you use it anymore, anyway!"
Don't count on it, Cupcake.