Friday, May 10, 2019

Feminist cognitive dissonance?

First a caveat: there is more than one kind of feminism so this shouldn't be taken as a blanket condemnation of all feminism.

The article is in Harper's Bazaar and it's called, "Men Have No Friends and Women Bear the Burden". It's been savagely mocked all over the place and deserves every bit of it. That said, there is something right about it. I keep meeting young men who have no male friends. Further, it's easy to see why they have none for they have no skills for making friends. There is a real problem here. But the writer, Melanie Hamlett,  contradicts herself at every step and, consequently, leaves us with no hint of where the problem might be.

Let's start with the opening sentence. "Kylie-Anne Kelly can’t remember the exact moment she became her boyfriend’s one and only, his what would I do without you, but she does remember neglecting her own needs to the point of hospitalization." See the problem? More to the point, see who actually has a problem in this set-up? Yes, it's Kylie-Anne. She neglected her own needs to the point of hospitalization and she thinks that is some one else's fault!

(Guys, can we have a word in private: If the woman in your life is so bad at managing her feelings that she ends up in hospital and if she reasons about why this happened the way Kylie-Anne Kelly does, you need to get out now. Don't argue, don't explain. Tell her she's right and that you're the problem but get out of that relationship right now!)

I think the problem is rooted in a fundamental cognitive dissonance. Millennial men are poor at making friends. They build their entire lives around relationships with women with whom they discuss their feelings. And it's not working out. Why is that causing dissonance? Because that is exactly what second-wave feminists a generation ago said they wanted men to do.

Roll back to 1982 and this article would have been complaining about men who build their lives around work, like to take part in exclusively male activities too much and never talked about their feelings with women.

Now we have a generation who were raised by women to do exactly those things and women are hating it.

Watch what you wish for.

And while we're at it, could women maybe learn to take care of themselves? If you neglect your needs to the point of hospitalization, it's your fault. It's a sign there is something seriously wrong with you.

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