Excellent Commentary on “The End of Men”

September 30th, 2012 by Pelle Billing

Hanna Rosin has received quite a bit of attention during the past couple of years. First, there was the much talked about article The End of Men, which postulated that women were taking over the economy and that we are at the start of an era of female dominance.

That article was followed by a TED talk and finally a book.

There are some things I like about Rosin’s work. For example, she is helping society update its view on gender issues. It simply isn’t true anymore that men make all the money or that women cannot land good jobs. We don’t live in the fifties anymore.

However, Rosin’s presentation of the issues has never sat quite right with me. For starters, “the end of men” is an offensive expression. Also, she seems to be fairly ignorant on important men’s issues, which isn’t really acceptable in this day and age.

I haven’t really had the time to commit myself to analyzing Rosin’s book, to see if my doubts about her presentation hold true. But now I don’t have to. Somebody else has already done the work.

Maria Bustillos’ commentary on Rosin’s book The End of Men, demonstrates exactly what was bugging me about Rosin’s work. Here are a few selected quotes from Bustillos’ piece:

AFTER CENTURIES OF OPPRESSION, women have won the day at last and “pulled decisively ahead [of men] by almost every measure.” This is the key argument made by Hanna Rosin in a new book, The End of Men and the Rise of Women. Mainly, it turns out, she means that there are more women enrolling in and graduating from college now than there are men, and that their ranks in the business world, in the professions, and in politics are swelling: natural enough developments in an increasingly egalitarian society that has seen its male-dominated manufacturing sector decimated in recent decades. The big question for this reader is why — at the very moment when we almost have people respecting one another as equals — we would be talking about “The End” of anybody. I don’t want anybody to end; I don’t buy for an instant that Men are Ending, and I can’t bring myself to believe that much of anyone else will, either.

Equality is the pole star of my own politics, and that made it really tough going for me to read The End of Men objectively, or maybe even fairly, because it’s evident that Rosin believes women to be literally — and inherently — superior to men. This view is not only one I don’t share, it is anathema to me. It is the exact reason why I have never been able to call myself a feminist; it transgresses against my deepest conviction, namely, a belief in universal human equality. I believe that each of us — all human beings who share the same seemingly limitless abilities, and the same unfathomable doom — should be able to develop his or her potential and live freely and on equal terms in a condition of mutual respect and support. That is not quite the Rosin view. “It’s possible that girls have always had the raw material to make better students,” she writes, “that they’ve always been more studious, organized, self-disciplined, and eager to please, but, because of limited opportunities, what did it matter?” Or: “Many of us hold out the hope that there is a utopia in our future run by women, that power does not in fact corrupt equally.” (Really, “many” of us hold out this hope? I for one would be too scared it would turn out like that old Star Trek: TNG episode, “Angel One.”)

Progress is not a zero-sum game. Society gains when the injustices against men are addressed equally with the injustices against women. Surely it would be wrong to hold one kind of progress hostage to the other. I hope we haven’t forgotten how many young black men are in jail, or how many gay men are discriminated against, or how many poor men are denied a decent education. If we concentrate on the problems that all kinds of people are having, rather than dividing everyone up into the equivalent of rival football teams, won’t we have a better chance of setting things to rights?

I don’t have very much to add to this, except that I hope that Rosin reads Bustillos’ commentary. I honestly believe that Rosin is trying to put the spotlight on an important trend in the world, but she would do well to incorporate some of the criticism that is now surfacing.

If you haven’t already, I recommend you to read the full piece by Bustillos. It’s an unusually good perspective on gender issues.

Today I’m Releasing My Swedish Book on Gender Issues

September 24th, 2012 by Pelle Billing

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Today is a big day for me and my work on gender issues. I’m releasing a book about men’s issues and gender politics.

The book is in Swedish, so most of you won’t be able to read it. Still, I would think it’s interesting news to many of you that things are happening in one of the most (radical) feminist countries on the planet.

The title of the book roughly means “The Gender Equality Bluff”. This alludes to two different phenomena:

  • Men’s issues aren’t part of the gender discourse.
  • Swedish gender politics focuses on achieving statistical “gender equality” (an equal amount of women and men in all professions), instead of making sure that no discrimination is present.

The main message of the book is that gender policies need to include both women’s and men’s issues.

For those of you who do speak Swedish, you can order the book here.

Ad Portrays Father in Positive Light

September 5th, 2012 by Pelle Billing

All too often men are portrayed in a negative light in the media. This modern day phenomenon is so pervasive that I’ve even run a whole blog series on it, called Misandry in the Media.

Recently, however, I came across an ad that demonstrates the importance of fathers, and the special bond that is the father-son bond. Check it out below:

Kudos to Google for producing an ad that makes you want to buy the product, while also showing boys and men in a positive light.

In the long run, companies choosing this kind of strategy will be more successful. Men and women alike will be more drawn to a product that they associate with positive role models, than a product they associate with clumsy, almost retarded men.

Misandric ads are usually targeted at women, but women have sons, spouses, fathers, etc. More and more men are also waking up to what is going on. This is why the misandric strategy – though perhaps successful for the past couple of decades – will eventually fail.

Yet Another Study Demonstrates Importance of Fathers

August 21st, 2012 by Pelle Billing

Anyone who’s even vaguely familiar with men’s issues – and gender equality that goes both ways – know that fathers have a unique role to play in their children’s lives.

A few examples include:

A new study demonstrates that the father-child relationship is important for yet another reason. Namely, that persistence is primarily learned from fathers.

Medical Xpress writes:

BYU professors Laura Padilla-Walker and Randal Day arrived at these findings after following 325 families over several years. And over time, the persistence gained through fathers lead to higher engagement in school and lower rates of delinquency.

“In our research we ask ‘Can your child stick with a task? Can they finish a project? Can they make a goal and complete it?’” Day said. “Learning to stick with it sets a foundation for kids to flourish and to cope with the stress and pressures of life.”

Persistence is a terribly important trait in life. Without it, you are unlikely to accomplish much at all. Especially the male gender role is built on persistence, so men who do not learn this are less likely to succeed.

So what is it that fathers do right, when they teach persistence?

The key is for dads to practice what’s called “authoritative” parenting – not to be confused with authoritarian. Here are the three basic ingredients:

  • Children feel warmth and love from their father
  • Accountability and the reasons behind rules are emphasized
  • Children are granted an appropriate level of autonomy

I would say that these characteristics are what people think of when they think of a good father. Loving the child, but also expecting accountability, and preparing the child for its adult life.

Most of us simply know, instinctively, that fathers are important. But it is good to have it verified once more by reasearch.

Excellent Article by (Former) Radical Feminist

August 9th, 2012 by Pelle Billing

What is your emotional world like if you are a radical feminist? I found this brave and interesting article where a (former) radical feminist describes her transition from a place of hate, to a more loving approach towards gender issues.

First, she describes what her emotional life was like:

When I was younger, maybe 10 or 12 or 15, I used to say I hated men. I probably did. My feminism was born from anger—at them and at a world in which they seemed too powerful and too happy to take advantage of other people’s powerlessness. Second in line for my feminist wrath was women who seemingly made it harder on other women by giving in to men, using their looks and sex appeal to gain a piece of that power.

This is a terrible place to be in. You’re constantly fighting and hating men – as well as women who “give in to men”.

However, this particular radical feminist had a breakthrough, while reading a book by black feminist bell hooks:

There was a line towards the end of the introduction where she wrote about subconsciously waiting for men to die in order to feel like women could live a free life. The line took my breath away. I just started sobbing. I had spent so much time and energy reinforcing this idea in my head that men were my enemy, and it had made me so bitter and mistrusting of them and any woman that I felt was “on their side.” I had so much pain wrapped up in my politics. I knew I couldn’t continue like this any longer.

Waiting for men to die sounds insane. But I fully believe her. The only acceptable solution if you believe in hardcore radical feminism is that men disappear. Because as long as they are around they will intrinsically oppress women.

I commend this particular woman (Jessica Hopper) for her honesty and I’m truly happy that she has left her hate behind. At the same time, it’s important to realize that she is not an isolated example. Radical feminism is fairly widespread, and important features of its ideology are part of mainstream feminism.

This means that chronic anger towards men is part of the sphere of gender politics. Obviously this is terrible for men, but as Jessica Hopper demonstrates it’s also a bad place to be in for the person harboring these emotions.

The solution is to embrace a new view of gender issues. A view that includes men’s issues as well as women’s issues, and that demonstrates that both gender roles have their drawbacks – not only the female gender role.


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