It’s a Man’s World, and It Always Will Be

The modern economy is a male epic, in which women have found a productive role — but women were not its author

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If men are obsolete, then women will soon be extinct — unless we rush down that ominous Brave New World path where women clone themselves by parthenogenesis, as famously do Komodo dragons, hammerhead sharks and pit vipers.

A peevish, grudging rancor against men has been one of the most unpalatable and unjust features of second- and third-wave feminism. Men’s faults, failings and foibles have been seized on and magnified into gruesome bills of indictment. Ideologue professors at our leading universities indoctrinate impressionable undergraduates with carelessly fact-free theories alleging that gender is an arbitrary, oppressive fiction with no basis in biology.

Is it any wonder that so many high-achieving young women, despite all the happy talk about their academic success, find themselves in the early stages of their careers in chronic uncertainty or anxiety about their prospects for an emotionally fulfilled private life? When an educated culture routinely denigrates masculinity and manhood, then women will be perpetually stuck with boys, who have no incentive to mature or to honor their commitments. And without strong men as models to either embrace or (for dissident lesbians) to resist, women will never attain a centered and profound sense of themselves as women.

From my long observation, which predates the sexual revolution, this remains a serious problem afflicting Anglo-American society, with its Puritan residue. In France, Italy, Spain, Latin America and Brazil, in contrast, many ambitious professional women seem to have found a formula for asserting power and authority in the workplace while still projecting sexual allure and even glamour. This is the true feminine mystique, which cannot be taught but flows from an instinctive recognition of sexual differences. In today’s punitive atmosphere of sentimental propaganda about gender, the sexual imagination has understandably fled into the alternate world of online pornography, where the rude but exhilarating forces of primitive nature rollick unconstrained by religious or feminist moralism.

(MORE: Women in Federal Workforce Face More Obstacles Than Men)

It was always the proper mission of feminism to attack and reconstruct the ossified social practices that had led to wide-ranging discrimination against women. But surely it was and is possible for a progressive reform movement to achieve that without stereotyping, belittling or demonizing men. History must be seen clearly and fairly: obstructive traditions arose not from men’s hatred or enslavement of women but from the natural division of labor that had developed over thousands of years during the agrarian period and that once immensely benefited and protected women, permitting them to remain at the hearth to care for helpless infants and children. Over the past century, it was labor-saving appliances, invented by men and spread by capitalism, that liberated women from daily drudgery.

What is troubling in too many books and articles by feminist journalists in the U.S. is, despite their putative leftism, an implicit privileging of bourgeois values and culture. The particular focused, clerical and managerial skills of the upper-middle-class elite are presented as the highest desideratum, the ultimate evolutionary point of humanity. Yes, there has been a gradual transition from an industrial to a service-sector economy in which women, who generally prefer a safe, clean, quiet work environment thrive.

(MORE: Report: Younger Women Nearing Pay Equality With Men)

But the triumphalism among some — like Hanna Rosin in her book, The End of Men, about women’s gains — seems startlingly premature. For instance, Rosin says of the sagging fortunes of today’s working-class couples that they and we had “reached the end of a hundred thousand years of human history and the beginning of a new era, and there was no going back.” This sweeping appeal to history somehow overlooks history’s far darker lessons about the cyclic rise and fall of civilizations, which as they become more complex and interconnected also become more vulnerable to collapse. The earth is littered with the ruins of empires that believed they were eternal.

After the next inevitable apocalypse, men will be desperately needed again! Oh, sure, there will be the odd gun-toting Amazonian survivalist gal, who can rustle game out of the bush and feed her flock, but most women and children will be expecting men to scrounge for food and water and to defend the home turf. Indeed, men are absolutely indispensable right now, invisible as it is to most feminists, who seem blind to the infrastructure that makes their own work lives possible. It is overwhelmingly men who do the dirty, dangerous work of building roads, pouring concrete, laying bricks, tarring roofs, hanging electric wires, excavating natural gas and sewage lines, cutting and clearing trees, and bulldozing the landscape for housing developments. It is men who heft and weld the giant steel beams that frame our office buildings, and it is men who do the hair-raising work of insetting and sealing the finely tempered plate-glass windows of skyscrapers 50 stories tall.

Every day along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, one can watch the passage of vast oil tankers and towering cargo ships arriving from all over the world. These stately colossi are loaded, steered and off-loaded by men. The modern economy, with its vast production and distribution network, is a male epic, in which women have found a productive role — but women were not its author. Surely, modern women are strong enough now to give credit where credit is due!

MORE: Where Are the Women of the Year?

Paglia’s opening statement at the Munk Debate, “Resolved: Men Are Obsolete,” held in Toronto

1310 comments
AbsolutelyTrue
AbsolutelyTrue

Well with much more women that are Gay, that speaks for itself.

PadraighKelly
PadraighKelly

The thing is that men don't really need women. Women would –like to believe– men must have them and men need them but the figures don't stack up. Men are not getting married and any who do are being very selective and marrying much later. In the 70's it was normal to be married by 23 years of age. now it's well over 30, if at all.

But now men can stay at home and use playstation and go out drinking with their mates and watch porn when they need to. 

Any form of commitment to a woman is surely a foolish move and Men know this. Millions have seen what their fathers went through when they went through divorce, raped of everything they owned and they aren't about to make the same mistake.

Being male means individuality, whereas being female means community, being part of or family. This is the reason why many men leave the home because they may feel smothered and need their time alone to recharge their individuality.

If they don't get it, they leave. Individuality is as important to a man as company is to a woman. Then the man leaves and is called a dead beat dad but truth is he MUST have time alone. 

However, the sad thing is that it is women who will suffer in the long run as men simply are not interested in bullying belittling 'sacred feminine' females because men are not fools despite psychological attempts to turn them into one.


So feminist nazi's may win but it will be a hollow victory.


Great article, thanks for spreading the light.

markezuma
markezuma

I don't consider Time to be the pinnacle of MRA, but that's OK with me, and this article seems pretty accurate.

EricBenndorf
EricBenndorf

No matter what happens, the woman is always the victim according to the Sisterhood of Eternal Victimhood.


If a man catches a glimpse of a woman changing her clothes, she's the victim of a Peeping Tom.


If a woman catches a glimpse of a man changing his clothes, she's the victim of an exhibitionist.

7eyin
7eyin

You have to be pretty slow to think nanny colleges with pandering curriculum is the place this professor of 30 years will "learn what's up with intersectional feminism." That tired lens is showing its distortion under heat and pressure. And it says it's used to manipulate ideologically fractured over informed under educated half-wits into dismissive stat boosting non-critical thinkers who condescend without substantive results.

EricBenndorf
EricBenndorf

@Becca.H But doll, feminism is a corrupted ideology that is now hijacked by the crazy man-haters like Snarkeesian. 

Saiyo
Saiyo

@Becca.H you can disagree with her but she is Dr. Camille Paglia, feminist and highly regarded intellectual maybe since before you were born.


Show some respect

Saiyo
Saiyo

@Becca.H Dr. Camille Paglia is a feminist since before you were born. Show some respect.

ecarolus
ecarolus

@Becca.H 
"Hmm, you could use a refresher course in feminism"

If the fore runner of your movement is saying stuff like this then you know you are screwing up.


Quote from a unknown feminist: "She also helped pave the way for the rights you have right now. So STFU and take a seat." 

Fkplstkgrl
Fkplstkgrl

They let us raise the children and gave us dishwashers to help, what more would we want??

Alyson
Alyson

After you nail women's faces to the ground for ten thousand years, accusing them of being ungrateful to people who can stand up straight seems kind of petty at best.

DylanRana
DylanRana

@Alyson  It is not "us" who "nailed you to the ground for ten thousand years" and it is not "you" who had to go through that. So.. Don't look for incentives in matters you didn't have to put up with and don't punish us for the things men alive today didn't do.

MeganEliza
MeganEliza

First of all, stop looking at aggressive feminism groups, as horrible as it is, that stuff is all about rape and castration from women who had to go through that and can't get past the anger they hold inside towards men. You should feel sorry for them and be a better person and move on instead of arguing with a group who is having a tough battle in life. Feminism was not originally barbaric and man hating, it was originally organized to bring on equality. To be allowed to vote, because our opinions can make a difference too. You seem more interested in roles, not gender hating, so start feeding into the more positive feminism group ideas, because they aren't saying we don't need men, we obviously do need men for all the reasons you've stated... the problem is that men seem to think they only need women to serve them in aspects of cooking, nurturing children, having sex, and reproducing; under appreciation--that is why feminism developed. The men who don't get this, have highly logical brains, which makes them look at a women's role, as just a role, rather than a deeper role that serves earth and humanity as a whole, like a man's role that serves humanity in the way you described. You see, women have pride and are capable of great ideas too, and just because men make the ideas come to life when it comes to handy work, it doesn't give them the right to make up all the laws and orders. Women are better at peace making, social issues, humanities, psychology, healing, ect. All of those are needed to make the world a happier place and to bring human consciousness to a higher level. It is true that men live in the future and women live in the past. That being said, men forget about the past and make the same mistakes over and over while trying to cover it up with more inventions (prime example: take a look at relationship behaviour), whereas a woman will always remember what happened in detail, and use it for later. Ideas from women need to be included so that the two genders can bring the world to live in the present. Men need to learn that women have better intuitive abilities, and those abilities are parallel in equality with the logical abilities of a man. Haven't you ever noticed that logical, factual, only trusts science types of people, have the littlest intuition of them all? Intuition/abstract ideas (creativity), are needed just as much as practical thinking (invention/discovery), we need to combine the two and stop doing it one genders way so we can stop screwing up the balance of the world. Men need to learn to put trust into a woman's idea, so that she too not only feels appreciated, but can help to make a difference in the world with men side by side. Whoever said women don't care to feel as appreciated for their work as men do, are crazy for even thinking that's a possibility! Of course we do! It's just that women are more submissive and men are more dominant, which gives men a huge ego to not interfere with their work, and makes women back off feeling like they are worthless. Let me tell you a story... one time I wanted to make my very own first fire, and my boyfriend took over my creation instead of assisting me. Clear example of dominance vs. submission, and exactly what is going on the world today. Maybe women would take more pride in their roles, if their roles weren't put in a way by men that seems weak, demeaning, and brainless. Maybe men wouldn't see these roles as weak if they actually took the time to learn why these roles are needed for a higher purpose, and not just the way it is seen simply. Feminism is a good movement, because women are finally beginning to explain to men that they are needed just as much. Problem is angry feminism groups aren't communicating effectively, and they are silencing feminism ideas such as mine.

montanaman91
montanaman91

Megan, please tell me your wordy comment is satire... You really aren't serious that "Women are better at peace making, social issues, humanities, psychology, healing, ect." are you? Peace making?? What the heck are soap operas about? And healing?? Just ask the millions of unborn babies you murdered. And "Maybe women would take more pride in their roles, if their roles weren't put int a way by men that seems weak, demeaning, and brainless"?? Are you kidding me? It was Betty Freidan who told you women in 1964 in her book "The Feminine Mystique" that being a mother was demeaning and being a wife is slavery to a man and that is exactly the stupidities that you women keep telling each other and then blame men for saying it. We men know how important being a wife and mother is to us, our children, and to the survival of humanity.

You're believing feminist fantasies, Megan. And it sounds like your boyfriend needs to be the man, marry you, and dominate. Only then will you snap into the truth that men really want to love their women, but that women don't want to love their men.

And you foolish feminist women: don't even bother to respond or you will exactly prove my point.

Mauz
Mauz

@montanaman91 "And you foolish feminist women: don't even bother to respond or you will exactly prove my point". Hmmm, so in other words, shut up, don't bother expressing an opinion or another point of view because I'm right and you are all wrong.  Well thanks genius, whatever would we women do without such brilliant men explaining to to us how all of life and relationships function.  I'll just go back to my childhood princess fairytale books now and forget that I ever dared to have an opinion.

pammypies
pammypies

@montanaman91


Do you realize that Betty Friedan only asked her personal friends and friends of her personal friends of higher incomes, what their lives were like after they were persuaded to go to college to "get a man"?  She NEVER asked women of all incomes or ethnic groups, therefore her study is seriously flawed.  As far as soap operas go, why are those shows directed towards women who stay home?  Because this is the only "adult" voices they hear during the day until their men come home from work.  The question you SHOULD be asking is WHO is directing this towards women--the big wig males who dominate TV programming.  These are men who assume they know who we are as women which I find disrespectful.  We have been told for centuries who we are supposed to be by advertising run by men.


Sorry you are having a hard time with this. True feminists don't.  We won't have a hard time with your insults either.  You are entitled to your opinion of which is only YOUR opinion.  Anytime you wish to see the real world...

MichaelMyers
MichaelMyers

How about women start showing their work rather than asking for the incentives. I hope you realize practical thinking involves a level of creativity.

Or maybe your boyfriend was scared you might burn yourself on your first try!

You are way too naive of how the world work.

archangle
archangle

@pammypies @montanaman91 

Ah, so you have no choice but to watch....don't have the right of self-determination? Hmmm, wonder why the magazine shelves are lined with publications telling women what to wear, think, eat etc. Not many for men. Are you saying women are sheep who cannot think for themselves due to media/peer pressure? I don't wear meggings because they are stupid - no magazine article will change that. Its women who are constantly criticizing other women - not men. Good looking woman walks by? I don;t care if its a hermes scarf or coach bag. She's just attractive. Women notice though. 

centenosalad
centenosalad

Listen I totally agree.  I am not aware of but like one example of how feminism has turned to vilifying men.  There are jerks.  There are pervs.  There are perps.  There are malignant narcissists.  But this Black Woman feels that, for the most part, our men are doing what they know best--albeit hampered some by faulty scripts and defective models--to demonstrate their desire to serve and improve society and for their children and for their womenfolk!


I am a feminist but I have never stopped loving men and have never been one to say I don't need them at all--like they are dispensable.


Nothing make me validates my femininity more and encourages its manifestation more than a "boss".  For me, it's kinda like what Jill Scott said, "Talk strong, daddy, control your girl"--WHEW!  This is a man who knows he's got me--not just sexually either--but he first loves himself and is secure enough to not have to PER-FORM about everything and doesn't try to own me.  There's a balance.  I like a man who can just BE; one who doesn't see it as necessary to throw himself around so much.

MarkWellsJr.
MarkWellsJr.

Thank you for this article. I support feminism to the point of equality, and have stood up for it often, but I have often felt the degradation that comes out of the mouths of many feminists. They lack honesty about men and about what men have done and will do for society for millions of years to come. I appreciate your words, because I believe this reverse sexism that has come out of most modern feminism is counter productive and honestly naive. I think you nailed this.

#props 

RemyNorth
RemyNorth

@MarkWellsJr. It's not "reverse sexism" when a woman commits it against a man, it's still just "sexism".

AaronDavid
AaronDavid

@MarkWellsJr.  why dont you just stop!! feminism what are you talking about?  inequality where?

since when its been 40 yrs since there was a problem wake up

Jim_Bob
Jim_Bob

HaydenAshman, how can you come away thinking this article espouses the superiority of either sex? Free your mind.

paladinrja1
paladinrja1

Tsk. After all these years... women really do not understand men at all; especailly western women. No species on this earth has been more appreciated or loved than human women and history would suggest through shifting belief structures alone that this is not the first time such a social shift has occurred between us. 


I think the underlying warning peripheral to mens psyche is that there is a serious balance of under appreciation. Its not paranoia, more like something that is nagging for logical attention. Most men ignore it and wonder why they end up king hit by the women in their lives so often. Thats really what this article is about.


Men generally seek to better themselves and compete with the ghosts of their personal failings and women seek to gain a unification ignoring all imbalances. Its rather funny to think, for instance; that a man at work will make issue of his partners inequality and his partner in the same position will absolutely rationalize leaving him out on a limb.


It may come as some surprise to many women but men are not really ambitious at all, by not denying our natures we are actually driven by purposeful sense which is not sense at all. In fact all the logic is really so we don't have to fight out base natures and can continue to find some way to merge sense with peace. If I want an expensive car, I will get an expensive car but if I get an old heap of this and do it up, its because that is what i wanted and giving me an expensive car makes me wish I was driving the care I went out of my way to rebirth.

I'm not looking at the guy my female partner(?) decides to point out and wish I was him, I actually don't dare to know what motivates him and simply hope he is happy, I am just angry that she does not understand what motivates me. At that point she has her rationale, because there will be only one outcome.


Men share a strong internal dialogue that women sometimes glimpse. Its what makes her love him and eventually what will make her hate him; because inevitably she will attempt to infiltrate it. Its the process of persistent analyticism that women find refuge in that seems to always have men standing with their heads bobbing around for something to do, reminiscent of meerkats, that really annoys us.


Men generally applaud their partners drive to exceed and succeed. It can be enlightening. Feelings of inequity are not born of jealous rebuke but the disparagement of knowing with a certainty that she is not covering all the base level of factors, especailly that of other people as men are not generally in fear of their world they simply do not invite vulnerability into their sphere of influence. At that point we leave you.


Its not that men feel emasculated, its that they feel fundamentally disappointed; that on some level it seems like we keep going through this scenario and as far as most men know, this life is their first and only life, where does this subtext come from if not via some pre-history. How does a man feel appreciated by the women in his life or the women he shares his life with no man has ever experienced it.

Mauz
Mauz

@paladinrja1 "No species on this earth has been more appreciated or loved than human women"  -  What???  

Around the world at least one woman in every three has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Every year, violence in the home and the community devastates the lives of millions of women. Violence against women is rooted in a global culture of discrimination which denies women equal rights with men and which legitimizes the appropriation of women's bodies for individual gratification or political ends.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/our-work/issues/women-s-rights/violence-against-women/violence-against-women-information

I'd hate to think what would be happening if us women weren't so loved and appreciated!