It's time for men to give women the ultimatum. I know that such language doesn't sound conciliatory, but given how men have been treated in our culture, desperate times call for desperate measures. I submit for your approval the New Gender Deal. It is addressed to women. They have to right to accept or reject it. They have the right to seek out men who don't agree with it. However, women should not be surprised if many men champion the sentiments of the New Gender Deal. It ultimately does not matter how the New Gender Deal is received by women, or even by men. The New Gender Deal need only stand on its own merit, not popular acceptance.
To the woman in question:
You have a choice, but your choice must be consistent, not hypocritical. Hypocrisy is unethical. The choice is between two options. They are as follows:
1. The traditional choice: If you look to a man to abide by traditional understandings of masculinity, then you must abide by traditional understandings of femininity. Special obligations imposed on men necessitate special obligations imposed on women. Gracious displays of chivalry from traditionalist men must be rewarded with gracious displays of subordination from traditionalist women. If a man pays for the dinner date on Friday night, then a woman should fix his lunch on Sunday afternoon.
Women in previous generations understood that their role was to serve their husbands. The husband's ambitions and dreams took precedence over that of their wives. Remember the saying, "Behind every great man is a great woman"? Women of yesteryear achieved their self-fulfillment vicariously through their husbands' successes. The price of asking a man to be the "breadwinner", etc. is that you must be subordinate to him in the direction of the relationship. You have the duty of deferring to his opinions before he has any duty of hearing yours. If you have eschewed the responsibility that comes with headship, you must eschew all benefits that come with it as well.
2. The egalitarian choice: If you want more say in your relationships with men, then you must accept more responsibility. If you want fathers to be more involved with domestic duties, then mothers need to be more involved with paying the bills. If you want to earn more money than the men around you, then be prepared to earn more money than your husband. If you want power and influence, then you must use it to help those who don't have it (including men).
What are these options about? Real trade-offs. Real parity. Real justice. That's what men deserve from women. None of the immoral showing of partiality where a select caste of human beings have the best of all choices because they were born female. In addition to making one of these choices, you must also abide by the following code of ethics:
1. You must eschew the cultural trend of demeaning and insulting men. You must acknowledge that conduct commonly regarded as inappropriate, demeaning, and dehumanizing does not suddenly become justifiable for women in how they treat men. Case in point, if it is tasteless to joke about harming women, then it is tasteless to joke about harming men. If it is wrong for men to play the field and jerk women around in the dating game, then it is wrong for women to do the same to men. If it is wrong for men to judge women primarily or solely on external attributes (looks or money), then it is wrong for women to judge men in the same way. If it's wrong for women to be blamed for the stupid choices men make, then it's wrong for men to be blamed for the stupid choices women make (no headship psychobabble please). This is not about affirming that the sexes are identical. It is about affirming the equal worth of both men and women.
2. A man's worth is not defined by how lucky he is with the opposite sex. Hollywood can't define it by how many women he beds. Churches can't define it by how successfully he convinces a woman to take his last name. Men do not need to you to be "real men." They can have happiness and self-worth apart from having an intimate relationship with you or any other woman. Any insistence to the contrary cannot be dignified.
If you reject these terms of engagement, then a man has a right to reject any personal relationship with you. He has a right to question your desirability as a mate. He has a right to disregard your opinions about gender relations. Your protestations in this case will be for naught. Men do not have to listen to women who do not respect them. Men can go their own their way in this matter. The choice is yours. Choose wisely.
5 weeks ago