It's fairly common nowadays to see young girls walking around wearing t-shirts that say things like "Girls Rule the world; Boys just live here" or "Boys are stupid--throw rocks at them!" But, can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if someone made t-shirts with similar sentiments for little boys? What censure would fall on a poor boy brave enough to wear a "Boys rule" shirt? Would rocks actually be thrown at him?
Woman regularly bemoan the double standards that plague our society, but conveniently fail to see the one we've created. In this post-feminist world, where misogyny is considered a crime on par with rape, misandry, or man-hating, is simply the order of the day, reinforced from academia all the way down to the bargain basement of our culture into TV commercials and attitude tees.
Supposedly all this man-hating is just payback for the years we women have been historically oppressed-- Karma balancing things out. Still, I can't shake the feeling that this type of feminism has become little more than the latest societal schoolyard bully, putting everyone else down so she can feel better about herself. Do men really have to be treated like dirtbags for us to be liberated? Do they have to take a turn being oppressed for us to be their true equals?
I don't think so, and neither does Kathleen Parker, a mother of three boys, and author of the book Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care. I read Save the Males earlier this summer and haven't been able to shake it since. She points out the ways men are being marginalized in society, from their dwindling numbers at institutions of higher learning, to their absence from the home, as more and more women are choosing to become single mothers and fathers' reproductive rights are largely ignored.
Whether you agree with it or not, men are clearly becoming a declining presence in modern society, or at least a less-respected one. As Parker articulated, we've gone from the days of Father Knows Best to the bumbling dads of today's sitcoms and commercials who must have even the most basic things explained to them by their wives and kids.
I think this is an issue inherently tied into the Modesty movement: if we want men to respect us again, it falls to reason that we should follow suit and be respectful ourselves.
So here I am ladies, and gentleman: one reformed formerly self-proclaimed man-hater calling a truce. Men, I promise to be nicer and never, ever, ever let my daughters wear "Girls rule" shirts. In return, I request a moratorium on catcalls on the street and a return to opening doors. I promise I'll let you, and even say thanks. What do you say, guys?