suzanne venker

The Mythical Dearth of Marriageable Men

by Jasmine Peterson

You know what I’m tired of? I’m tired of being told that, because I’m a feminist, I am the reason that men are oppressed, women are lonely, men won’t marry women, or vice versa, and that the end of men is nigh.

No! Feminism and feminists have not caused some catastrophic imbalance in the dating universe. We are not the reason that people marry later in life, or not at all (or, if we are, it’s only in that people have been afforded greater choice in whether or not they DO marry, when they do it, and why they do it). In fact, what feminism has done is provide both men and women with options – you can marry, if you so choose, not out of economic necessity, not out of some patriarchal ownership of your lady love, but because you genuinely want to.

There is nothing about Suzanne Venker’s piece “The War on Men” that is not highly offensive – to women, to men, to feminists, to anybody or anything that is a living, breathing organism.

Maya over at Feministing does a great job of highlighting ten of the major ways in which Venker’s article is entirely ridiculous. For example, it’s discriminatory (e.g., ignoring the existence of anyone who is not cisgender and heterosexual), ignores more recent and accurate data on trends in marriage, and makes sweeping generalizations about men and women.

Let’s just address some of the major flaws in Venker’s argument:

 “Believe it or not, modern women want to get married. Trouble is, men don’t.”

Except that that’s not true. That’s a dated, played out stereotype that taps into discourses of a woman needing to bag a man before she’s old and unmarriageable and the myth of the emotionally distal male. It plays upon women’s fears of ending up alone, and reinforces that perhaps there’s something fundamentally wrong with those women who aren’t or don’t want to get married. Read more

Posted on by Jasmine Peterson in Feminism 5 Comments