Strong Women Are Not Ruining Marriages -- Stupid Women Are

Eye Roll 35

marriageThere is a war on men, ladies. Did you know this? And the reason is obvious, according to Fox News writer Suzanne Venker. We women have simply become too uppity and our men can't stand us. Oh yes, she said this.

In Venker's opinion, the feminist movement has left women angry and men feeling put upon and out of sorts. No longer can they provide for their women, now they are pesky "equals" and are no longer sure of their roles. This makes men not want to marry and leaves women out in the cold, wanting husbands and being unable to find them.

While Venker has a point on one hand -- the relationships of men and women HAVE changed over the years -- her conclusion is just hogwash. Any man who thinks equality is a bad thing is probably not a dude worth marrying anyway.

The changes to marriage are positive. They are great. They are the reason there are so many truly happy marriages today.

I have not seen statistics on this, so I only know anecdotally that despite a disturbing divorce rate hovering around 50 percent, there are some insanely happy marriages out there. These are marriages of equals, of best friends, of two people who both work hard to create a loving family based on mutual admiration and trust.

My own marriage is like this. My husband respects and admires me as a professional editor and writer. When I stayed home with our kids and he brought home the bacon for the first three years after we had them, I think he still respected and admired me, but I get the sense he "gets" me more now. It's just a fact. In modern marriages, both mom and dad can be professionals.

This is not to say that every marriage must work that way. Old fashioned marriages may fare just as well. But they are not better. And marriages of equals are not the reason so many men don't want to marry. I am sure there are at least 1,000 psychological and sociological reasons that may be true, none of which can be blamed on the feminist movement. Insert major eye roll.

Marriages are changing. The roles between the sexes are changing and while I do agree that some attention has to be paid to the beauty of the "feminine" versus the "masculine" and the sexy dance that exists between the genders, there is no evidence that independent women who speak their minds and work are the reason men don't want to marry.

Venker and her ilk completely misread feminism. I am a "feminist" and I also like to be feminine and sometimes let my husband feel needed. But he also knows I don't need him to survive. I am tough. I speak my mind. It's not either or. And we have a happier marriage for it. There is no one gender that is to blame for unhappy marriages. Any woman who says so is just out to ruffle some feathers and make a quick buck.

Do you think marriage has improved or become worse?


Image via Nina Matthews Photography/Flickr



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Theresa

Gee, there's a shock. A Fox News regular thinks gender equality is a bad thing. Who really cares about what any of them have to say about ANY social issues? It's not just women's equality that they have a problem with, but all forms of social equality. They view it as an attack on male dominance, and white male dominance in particualr. Why get upset? They are smearing themselves. History always frowns upon those who would seek to deny others a chance at equality.

Vegeta Vegeta

After 'fox news' my brain lost all respect for that reporter. Anyway more likely the problem (as observe from my job as a mall cop) is teenagers learn from tv or wherever that you gotta do life like a checklist. Get the shoes and the clothes some street cred, eventually a car, then you obtain a girl/guy following the same checklist because you figure its expected to fit this particular definition. And society says when your mid twenties you should be married already (which many of my friends have found out the hard way) so they do and its to people who are as fake as themselves and it doesn't last.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

I think, if taken objectively, we can catch a grain of truth to this idea... Women who are told they are perfect and need not change, need not compromise, and need not to look to themselves as a part of the problem (which is how many 'strong' women see themselves) are never going to be able to last long in a relationship. Marriage is about working together and being a team- IF the situation revolves around one person with a goddess complex, it isn't going to work.

Same can be said the other way around- but we currently living in a world where we teach our daughters to be the strong ones and that comprimising to a man is weakness.


Before some people freak out and over-exaggerate my idea (because you won't read it all the way and understand that I was making an overgeneralizing in order to find the bit of truth to the overall idea) Think about it rationally... we have women that think WAY too highly of themselves- how on earth is any man or partner supposed to deal with that? It should be about being EQUAL- not more important that the other. If we were truly equal, there would be an even give and take in all situations. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose- you won't always be happy.

nonmember avatar Lynn

Some women are more uppity. The need their make up and nice clothes. I mean its cool to have nice things but if you cant leave the house with out a pound of make up and an amazing outfit just to go to the drive thru its crazy. Ive heard woman (with & without jobs) say that if their man is goin thru a hard time and cant support shes their gone. Me and my husband had only cup noodles and a half gallon of milk with a two year old and i stayed. And thankfully hard times are gone and we have two beautiful babys and a great marriage. Our marrigae is first and we spent all yesterday at home talking nonstop lost track of time and didnt get anything done. But we are happy. And i very happy woke up at 430am and cooked his breakfast and lunch for work. I think its about the time we spend together that makes us work. We had every marriage problem this year and im so thankful that we made it and are still together.

nonmember avatar Dana

HistoryMamaX3: Everything you said about today's women is applicable to men for the last thousand years. It's interesting that you seem to place more emphasis on it being a problem for a woman to have this attitude. It's equally problematic for a boy to grow up thinking he doesn't have to compromise. You also seem to have a problem with a woman having a healthy self-esteem. What do you mean when you say some women think way too highly of themselves? Who should be the judge of where a woman's self-esteem should be, a man? Just something to thing about: Conflict will always arise when a historically dominated group decides that they no longer want to be dominated. That's not a bad thing. The end result is worth the conflict. Equality is always a cause worth struugling for.

OoOJa... OoOJanisOoO

Sometimes you LET your husband feel needed? That sounds terrible to me you might want to reword that. I read the article and I disagree with the majority of what she is saying but I did like one point she made this:

It’s all so unfortunate – for women, not men. Feminism serves men very well: they can have sex at hello and even live with their girlfriends with no responsibilities whatsoever.

I think the lack of man wanting to get married has less to do with women wanting to be treated like equals than men not wanting to give up their care free bachelor lifestyle.

I have what you call an "old fashioned" marriage. He works I stay home with the kids but I still feel like his equal. I am not a professional but if I went to school and became one my hubby would be thrilled! Even if I made more money than him he would be super proud of me.  


jhslove jhslove

The problem that I have with this article is that it paints all women, all men and all marriages with one broad brush. I'm sure there are some couples who function much better with a more traditional idea of gender roles--everyone's happy and feels like they're filling the role they were meant to fill. Actually, I know that because this is how pretty much all my in-laws' homes work.

And I know there are a lot of families that function better with a different idea of gender roles. This is how my marriage works--neither my husband nor I has any desire for the traditional "male breadwinner/female homemaker" model. That doesn't mean we don't treat each other with love and each respect what the other does.

There is no one-size-fits-all prescription for a happy marriage. The best thing I think anyone needs to do is to try to identify what would make them happy, and then find someone else who wants the same things so there won't be strife over differing ideas of what each partner "should" be doing in the marriage. Outside of that, I don't think any model works or doesn't work for everyone.

sugar... sugarmansmom

Historymama-I like your take on this.  After reading the article I almost immediately dismissed it as yet another "if only she stayed in her place" baloney argument-but there is something to be said about a new generation of men who may feel emasculated, and the need for women to realize we cannot do it all all the time.

Women do need to learn to compromise-we never expected men to work full time, then come home and cook, clean, manage a household etc so why on earth do we expect this much of ourselves?  Men are perfectly capable of taking on more of the domestic work and historically (before work and home were moved into seperate social spheres) this was usually the case.  But because we have devalued all that is socially seen as "women's work" men, almost understandably, are hesitant to pick up much of the slack for fear of being considered less of a man. 

There is an interesting sociological study that found a direct correlation between how equally domestic responsibilities are distributed, and the overall happiness of both partners.  Also correlated with a "healthier" (read:more!!) sex life.  I'd find and post, but have found through past experience that no one on here cares to read a "scholarly" article.  Le sigh.


MsRkg MsRkg

@ Historymama- I respectfully disagree. No one should put a limit on a woman and how she thinks of herself. If she has a healthy sense of pride , so be it. Who is to say that  it is WAY to high? There is no standard set  limit of where a woman should pride herself. What I consider to be healthy sense of pride and self-esteem for myself, you might consider to be high. Instead, women and men should find a partner that accepts them as is. I don't  believe nor understand the notion of playing down one's self-esteem or any other quality/trait to find and stay with a partner. If your partner in life cannot accept you and deal with you as is (high self-esteem and all) then find someone who can. There are billions of people in this world, that no one should have to hide and change who they are to find a life mate. Some men like strong powerful no-nonsense women, others like shy women, others like insecure, the list goes on. There is no cookie cutter role that men and women need to fall into  (not talking gender roles) in order to find a mate.

Estel... EstellaHavisham

When I first read that article, I thought,  haha, this is The Onion. It wasn't. Anyway, there has already been tons of articles ridiculing this and she appears to have done more nerve striking than chord striking. I, for one, am pleased that I've never actually come across anyone who thinks the same way Venker does. 

This grinds my gears, though: I once read a passage from maybe one of her books? She asked her daughter what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said a brain surgeon. Venker then asks if she wants anything else in life. Child responds that she'd like a family. Venker then suggests she pick a different career. 

People make sacrifices for family and career and love daily... usually when faced with weighted choices. I don't see the point in dissuading girls who haven't even hit puberty from any sort of dream they have because one day they might have kids. That's a sacrifice to be made on their own, far into the future, when choices are before them. I don't like the idea of constraining potential based on anatomy/biology. 

And AmericanHistoryMamaX... lets curbstomp your original rhetoric and agree that many PEOPLE think highly of themselves. Not just one gender. 

1-10 of 35 comments 1234 Last