Thursday, March 12, 2009

Soapbox Thursday: Men are NOT hard done by...

Pull up soapbox, brushes it off, then steps up. Clears throat.

OK, so I’ve been doing a bit of surfing (bad selkies surf when work is not busy) and am seeing a trend (again) – rants from female submissives about how HARD their men have it… that FEMINISM has created a situation where they (the women) are forced into the workforce, where the “natural order” – men as big, strong protectors (their words, NOT mine), women as soft, gentle, caretakers and homemakers, no longer have the option to fulfill their “natural” roles.


First, agreed that the stay at home mum/wife is getting scarcer and scarcer out there. But blaming FEMINISM for it? Umm, first, I KNOW there are lots of families out there that have both partners working just to put food on the table. But while I’m out on a limb making assumptions here, I believe that a lot of the ones I see whining about the ‘upset’ in the ‘natural order’ are working… why? Because big BAD feminists decided they had to?

Guess the two cars in the driveway aren’t the reason… or the kids’ swimming/dancing/acting/sports activities … and it wouldn’t be the fact that you feel you NEED and DESERVE 4000 square feet of house? Or the big screen TV? or how about the twice yearly family vacations?

Get the picture?

These are CHOICES people are making.

Our consumerist society dictates individual needs more and more. Cellphones? MUST have? High speed internet – that is a NECESSITY not a desire. Corporate America (speaking generically, big business generally) has successfully convinced a couple of generations now that material goods are not luxuries but necessities, that people are “entitled” to the big house, the big car, the most up-to-date electronics. Coupled with a trend in society GENERALLY that has created generations of individuals who feel they are entitled to go into debt to satisfy their DESIRES (not their needs), that to ‘deprive’ oneself is somehow going to cause emotional and spiritual damage, and welcome to the Great Depression, circa 2009.

And this all somehow the FEMINIST movements fault?

Let’s look at REALITIES HERE.

  • The feminist movement has ACTUALLY fought long and hard to ensure that women who go out to work get some level of decent wage – commensurate with their experience and their efforts and NOT based on the fact they have a vagina.
  • The feminist movement has (is) working hard to ensure that women – even part-timers (and woman make up most of this segment of the workforce) – are entitled to some form of benefits – you know, ‘frivolous things like dental and health care, vacation time, sick leave.
  • The feminist movement has grasped the reality that more than half the female population working are the PRIMARY supporters of their family and as such, deserves the SAME level of respect, wage and benefits as a man.
  • The feminist movement has and continues to fight for EQUAL pay for work of EQUAL value – because they figured out a while ago, that being given a smaller pay package and less benefits simply by virtue of being FEMALE is not FAIR?? Not when you’re working the same number of hours at a job that requires a similar level of expertise and education.
  • The feminist movement had fought valiantly to give women a CHOICE. To swim in the corporate boardrooms, or to stay at home, to have children or to not have children .. to pursue a higher education or not, if working because you don’t choose to, then I would bet money that it is because of “desires” for consumer goods not because you MUST. And if it is necessity for basics that drives the need to work, then that is not the doing of feminists but a society that puts little value on women’s efforts and the children who are going to come after us.

I do not and never have seen men as dominant simply because they have a penis dangling between their legs. I do not see all women as submissive simply by virtue of possessing a vagina.

The “traditional” role being bleated as the Shangri-la of relationship nirvana is, in my opinion, largely a myth perpetuated by saccharine television programs and magazines bent on selling an image.

The reality is that other than through a short period in the 50s and 60s, women have ALWAYS had to work to support their families. The Victorian era ultimately created and perpetuated the myth of the delicate woman and the manly protector who cherished and took care of them. Oh wait, that was ONLY for a very small group of women… the richer ones…. yeah, oh yeah, just remembered, the VAST majority of women were working 16 hours days in factories, their babies at their feet, toiling dusk to dawn on farms, begging on the streets….Medieval times? no days off, you know .. maids, peasants, farmworkers, fodder for the mills …

Oh, yeah and during the two world wars … women somehow managed to take care of hearth and home AND work in the bomb factories, pick up the slack as the men went to war, cope very well with juggling the myriad tasks needed to run society ….

Of course once the men returned, jobs were needed and women were THEN convinced to go back to their “natural” roles.

  • Feminism means that your daughters have more than a fighting chance of having a decent life.
  • Feminism means that they don’t get sold off for prostitution at 6 or 7 years of age (as in Thailand).
  • Feminism means that they have the same value under the law as your sons (ostensibly- the reality is slightly different but the intent is nonetheless clear). (Unlike in India, Pakistan, most of the Middle East, Asia and most of the Africas).
  • Feminism means your daughters are as entitled to an education as your sons – NOT the case in most of the world.
  • Feminism means your daughter is entitled to make her own choices and get married- or not – to her choice of partner.
  • Feminism means your daughter is entitled to her sexuality and not subject to be mutilated as in many countries (to wit, Somalia one of the worst offenders)
  • Feminism means that YOU have more of a chance of getting a decent wage for your hard work.

Feminism means if you CHOOSE, you and your partner CAN decide on lifestyle which suits you – including the ostensible “traditional” ones … and you can live it mainstream (keeping the kinkier aspects private) –

I’m not knocking people choosing to live as alpha male, submissive female. I made choices myself – including giving up a career I worked my ass off to excel in to accommodate my kids and many MANY years of a D/s dynamic – but I don’t for one moment ascribe those CHOICES to d. having a penis and me NOT.

Climbs down of soapbox, puts away until next week.


taiah said...

Well said. I believe that feminism is a wonderful thing. HOWEVER I also believe that in many ways, because of how some women have interpreted feminism to be and how they live their lives, they have emasculated men. There is no purpose to a man in many womens lives outside of procreation and as a result, we have men who aren't stepping up to the proverbial plate the way that they should be.

Feminism is wonderful as long as it is recognized for what it is instead of twisted to be a situation where a woman works because she feels that she HAS to in order to be a feminist or who treats her spouse like he is less than her because she is, after all, a FEMINIST so hear the bitch roar.

selkie said...

I'm not sure I agree with you.

My take is that if a man ALLOWS himself to be emasculated, how is it and why is it the WOMAN'S fault. Ultimately, if you don't liek the way you are being treated, if your dynamic is one that leaves you uncomfortable and dissatisfied, you have the choice to walk away.

Blaming the woman for your own issues is a cop out as far as I'm concerned - if a man feels as if the woman with whom he has a relationship is undermining his sense of self, if he feels she denigrates values he holds dear, if in truth he feels as if she does not ADD To his life, then that is a RELATIONSHIP issue - not a woman/man one from my perspective.

Further, feminism like any other movement can of course be twisted to accommodate points of view never intended - and used as a stick to achieve a PERSONAL goal.

Ultimately, feminism really is just humanism - it is a way of ensuring that half the human race isn't left out of the equation (which happens and continues to happen in a large part of the world).

Radha said...

Right on, woman! I've always like this bumper sticker I had years (decades) ago that said "feminism is the radical notion that women are people too". It's just simply that.

I agree - women have always worked - but often their labor was not valued or not considered part of the formal economy.

Thanks for getting on that soapbox today!


THE Michael said...

Yes, but I've also witnessed feminists talk down to submissives for merely being submissive, which in turn will piss off those submissives who understand that their submission/slavery/whatever is a CHOICE, that choice that was hard fought for by, yea, feminists. I would LOVE to be able to earn enough money to keep both my wife at home and in the level of comfort we so far together manage to maintain, but I earn what I earn, so we both work, outside and inside the home. I happen to have a wife who would be more than happy to be responsible for most of the domestic chores, IF she could give up her job, but otherwise, we have to share all these duties between ourselves, and we survive. I have not been "emasculated" by these circumstances, but yes, sometimes I don't feel very much like the king of my castle. To bad. I had to give up my GI Joes too.

selkie said...

as I said, Michael, a small percentage of self-designated feminists who 'talk down" to other women and question their choices is hardly indicative of an entire movement!

Nor does it really address the very crucial issues that need to be addressed.

Feminisn is not 'static" either; it is an ongoign humanistic effort to ensure an even playing field. Perceptions are constantly changing, new lessons learned.. the concept of some women "telling" others how they should or shoudl not act is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

Women in the modern feminist movement are more cognizant that that in itself was paternalistic and condenscending.

Buffalo said...

I'm not in tune with the term "Feminism." I was a firm and vocal proponent of "Woman's Liberation."

Regardless of what you call the movement, at the foundation is equal rights. It is about leveling the playing field so that everyone is measured by the same yardstick and given an equal shot at being all that they are capable of becoming.

It was about "People Liberation."

While I'm gratified by the strides made on many fronts, I am disappointed by some of the so called victories.

Lowering the bar for women, in jobs that require a demonstration of physicality, disappointments me a great deal.

Requiring businesses to make allowances for child care and having babies irritates me no end.

As far as the feminist movement emasculating men - I gotta call bullshit on that one. If the thought of a woman being equal emasculates a man he wasn't much of a man to start with.

Gillette said...

Here, here!! (Claps loudly).

I do have my issues with feminists, particularly their attachment to their Victim position...and their judgments about escorts and most kink.


To blame feminism for this is pure shaiza.

'tis true...women don't NEED men. We are empowered.


Men don't NEED women. They are empowered.

How lovely that we come together, though inner power, love and CHOICE... as two wholes to make something better than the sum of its parts rather than weaklings who aren't complete without another.

(have I ever mentioned I love you on your soapbox..I see your hair a'flyin and sparks in your eyes. Quite the beautiful thought)

Amber said...

We must not run in the same circles because I haven't read any feminist movement bashing lately by sub bloggers except towards a certain RadFem who just last month made it clear that women like me are "damaging" the Feminist Cause (their very words). This didn't go over well with subs who read that and the many RadFems who agreed with that blogger; certainly didn't go over well with me.

These particular "feminists" do not want women to have choices; they want us to have THEIR choices.

That being said, I am a feminist and so is my husband and all my circle of friends/family. Women should be paid the same for the same job, women should be able to make whatever choices they want to, just like men.

I would not care to be around anyone who does not agree with that.

And yes, as you say, if women want to stay home and be a homemaker, then be all means, stay home. But you're not going to have as much free money as your friends who have two incomes so quitcher your bitching about it. You can have one or the other. Personally, I work and I love working. Dan did ask me to take time off when we first got married and yes, I would love to still do nothing but be his little sub-slut waiting for my Dom to come home but we like the money I bring in better. :)

We can still do the subslut thing too. :)

And I totally agree that men are not dominant by mere virtue of having a penis; whoever is saying otherwise, they are being ridiculous. First of all, I've met many men who are incapable of dominating their *dog*, much less a company or a woman. Yet, somehow they have a penis (I'm assuming), so...yeah, that's a silly assumption, I agree. Not only that, look at all the many submissive het men and dominant het women out there. Let alone all the gays. What an *insult* to suggest ALL men are dom and ALL women are sub. They are not. It's about how your brain is wired, not what genital equipment you are born with. My eldest brother, whom I've written about before, is a great guy but his wife totally dominates that relationship. And you know, he is *happier* that way; I know of several couples who seem happy enough with the woman "wearing the pants" etc. It's not that unusual.

And for a sexual/marital submissive such as myself, I'm pretty fucking alpha. Men or women, does not matter; fuck with me, and I'll rip a person's head off. I have scared the crap out of men bigger and stronger than me just by my energy; I'm serious. The first time Dan saw me my warrior mode, he was like, "whoa".

I am submissive ONLY to one man; my husband and nobody else. So much for stereotypes. :)

However, that being said, I have to say that the majority of the husbands and wives I have personally known over my life do tend more towards "traditional" roles, regardless of how they started out thinking it would be. By far most of wives I've known, whether career women or homemakers, tend to be the nurturers in their marriage (and sometimes their professional lives, too).

For instance, my boss' wife is a doctor. Works hard. Highly intelligent. Assertive.

But when I've been at their home, it's very clear who is the nurturer and who is the Boss of the house. He's the boss and she submits to him.

Someone is running that family and it's not her. She's a doctor but when she comes home, she goes to the kitchen, starts cooking, asks their son to do this or that. Her husband goes out to prime the pump or whatever, comes in and watches the game, you know...I mean, they help each other, they both cook, etc., but it's so clear who the subordinate is and it's not him. I have watched her say something and he will say, "no, you're not." Lovingly,'s just clear, you know?

Same for countless women friends/acquaintances I have. I won't bore you listing them all but I'm 53 now, I've known...jesus, I don't know HOW many married couples in my life and if such "traditional" roles between husbands and wives were an anomaly, I would have noticed by now. :)

Even the gay couples I know; THEY even have a sub and a dom within their relationship. Now, I don't know a LOT of gay couples but the few I've known, yeah, there was a sub and a dom each time. It was very clear.

This is what is usually meant by "traditional" roles, at least for me when I use it.

Because it reminds me of my mom's generation and her mom's generation. I remember them making sure everyone was comfortable in their home. Nobody made a big deal out of it back then. I remember the men doing the "grunt" work, such as chopping wood, shoveling snow, whatever and the women would cook and clean and there just wasn't any tension about it like there can be today.

Like you said, women have always worked hard. Again, I don't know who is putting out some kind of fairy-tale about women's roles before women's rights but they're totally wrong if they are saying women didn't have to work. And the class differences; yes, a lot of it had to do with class and guess what? The upper classes back then were even SMALLER than the upper classes are now. And there was no middle class to speak of for most of history in most cultures. Women worked their asses off, right along with the men and small children. In fact, children didn't really have a childhood; they were treated as small adults from the moment they could work. Only the privileged classes could afford to give their children a "childhood" the way we mean it today (but that's another topic) So...anyway.

Honestly, I think women are in a great place right now. We can stay home or we can work or we can develop a career. We can choose to have children or not, we have equal rights as to voting and property and money.

I think it's pretty wonderful. :) Except for RadFems. They can just stay the hell out of my way! ;)

PK said...

I love you Selkie. You have such a wonderful mind and you're not afraid to use it.


Loving Annie said...

Brilliant summation, Selkie. It all comes down to choices.

kannakat said...

Amen, Selkie! Shine up that soap-box, girl!

selkie said...

you know what? that was fun...I'de forgotten how much I love to rant, caught up in my whining and self-imposed angst as I have been!

I think I may very well make soapbox Thursday a regular event!

Thank you all for (i) managing to get through my long winded diatribe and (ii) for the great comments! I love when somethig engenders debate, when for a moment we are sparked to think not outside the box, but all over it, in it, through it, around it ...

I find that too often my life is full of such mundaneness that I forget one of the most amusing things in the world is to THINK.

So, will have to start thinking of next week's soapbox ... what bugs YOU??

ronnie said...

Soapbox Thursday love it. Good for you Selkie, clap, clap clap.
Love Ronnie

vanimp said...

I love your soapbox and you know what that was bloody well said, yes it does come down to personal choice and ugh I hate this word but feminism HAS done some good ... want something to soapbox about for next week? Here's one I have been vehmenently ranting about tonight after a numpty posted this lol ...

Do many submissives suffer from depression ? At what point would you consider them mentally incompetent? What sort of man considers himself DOM to a medicated woman? The SSC mantra and philosophies of Good DOM responsibility seem to be some sort of depressive magnet. How to sort the wheat from the chaff good people ?Are they a danger to be involved with in the kink world and should be labeled as such .. (and to top it off then said submissives are more prone to depression) O_o

if you want, email me and I'll send you the bollocks that is being spewed forthwith, its quite silly) ... had me growling LOL xxx

selkie said...

the more I read that- the more offensive I find it. The ranty stuff not your comment vanimp! But seriously? Labelling submissives as mentally incompetent if they happen to be on meds? And curious as to the data on which they base their assertion that Doms attract depressive women ... running dangerously close to the old mindthink that becuase certain individuals choose to explore and enjoy their machochism or other little corners of their id (freely and with intent) - there is, therefore" soemthing wrong with them.

Also, comment "sort the wheat form the chaff? - good people?? As if being on meds makes you a "BAD" poeople??

Lots there to rant about - if you have a link , send please!

vanimp said...

Sorted and I look forward to your next soapbox I may just write myself later on, I am still watching the discussion with intrigue at the absurdity of it all ;) x