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Men's Rights
Mom with a View

Men's Rights

I don't know how "separate but equal" ever turned into superior, but I never bought it.

by

After years of taking a beating by women and the feminist movement, it seems like men are finally starting to stand up for themselves again. After years of accepting every negative stereotype about the male species -- otherwise how could they ever get a date? -- men are fighting back. And it's about time.

I don't know how "separate but equal" ever turned into superior, but I never bought it. Each gender has its strengths and weaknesses. We can learn from each other. We can celebrate the differences. We can grow together. Why do we have to prove that one is better than the other?

Not only is that perspective inconsistent with my experience (anyone who has ever been a victim of the cattiness and back-stabbing of women, especially when it comes to dating, recognizes the myth of those loving bonds of sisterhood), I think it's inconsistent with Judaism as well. It's inconsistent with the plan of a loving Father. As parents, all of our children differ from each other and we love them all in different ways. There is no ranking along a scale. We applaud their unique strengths and we deplore their individual weaknesses.

Likewise with the Almighty. He created us all with the same, powerful love. He loves us all with the same, powerful love. He may tailor our tests and commitments to suit our particular talent and skill sets, but no one is superior to another. The Jewish people as a nation composed of 12 tribes would not be able to exist in harmony were such a system to be adopted.

People who feel confident with themselves don't need to constantly assert their superiority over others.

Someone forgot to tell the men that the gig was up. They're still trying to be that feminized man. And women don't want them.

The irony here is that as men have gradually adopted the emasculated view of themselves promoted by women's marches and magazines, as they've accepted their own inferiority and kowtowed to all the demands of the females in their lives, women find them less appealing.

Women have become even more critical of men than they were in the pre-feminist days. Male-bashing is a regular sport at all-female get-togethers and more homes are being run by unmarried women than ever in history.

Why are so many women dissatisfied with today's man? Why are so many men confused about who they are or who they should be and therefore just running away from it all?

I have a suggestion. In the heyday of the women's liberation movement, the goal was for women to be more like men -- tougher and more aggressive, and for men to be more like women --sensitive and more passive. Fairly quickly, women realized they were mistaken in their goals. They didn't want to be more like men; they just wanted recognition for the value of their uniquely feminine traits.

But someone forgot to tell the men that the gig was up. They're still trying to be that feminized man. And women don't want them.

Women are more successful in school, earning higher incomes, holding down steadier jobs. The men are bewildered, aimless and, perhaps understandably, commitment-phobic.

What's wrong with this picture? What women really want is a man they can respect. And even more, despite their accomplishments, despite their intellectual achievements, women want men to be the leader. Ask any honest women; she'll tell you it's true. Women want someone to lean on; someone who'll check the house if there's a suspicious noise in the night, someone to kill the bugs (actually that would be me!), someone to change the light bulbs, someone to take ultimate responsibility for the direction and well-being of the family, someone to say, "The buck stops here."

And men want to play that role. They desperately need to be respected and respectable. If a man doesn't feel respected or deserving of respect, he may run away from his responsibilities (a paradox that is certainly at the root of some deadbeat dads). The obligation (send child support) without the respect ("this is your father") is just too painful. It goes right to the heart.

While some may argue that this delineation of roles was only an evolutionary phenomenon because women were dependent on men for food and shelter, I would counter that today's woman needs it more.

The more responsibilities women have, the more we need someone else to help us shoulder the burden and to sometimes lift it off our shoulders. The more education we have, the more we need someone wiser to speak to. The more accomplishments we have, the more we need someone else to look up to -- to give us strength, to take us out of ourselves, to give us comfort, vision and hope.

Some of us are afraid to acknowledge this desire for fear it gives permission, God forbid, for abuse. The fact that a troubled few may distort an idea to suit their perverse purposes is a condemnation of the people, not the idea. Certainly there are challenges to being an effective leader. A man's job is to rise to these challenges (and ours is to tell him when he's not!).

It's time to restore men to their proper roles in society, to grant them also the separate but equal status they deserve. Teachers and parents know that children's behavior is shaped by the external expectations imposed on them. High expectations more frequently lead to higher results. Our sons and husbands also merit high expectations. They can measure up. But we need to give them a fighting chance.

Published: February 4, 2006


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Visitor Comments: 32

(31) Katrinaandgirls, July 10, 2006 12:00 AM

I agree that to truely love a man, a women MUST be able to respect and honor him. If she doesn't respect him (or can't respect him because he doesn't insist upon self respect as a man) the woman will walk all over him and then secretly despise him! I know this to be true in my own heart.

Men truely do NEED to be admired, respected and loved, no hen pecked or bullied by the women's greatest tool.....the art of manipulation and guilt. I agree that if women would let the man lead more that they would be pleasantly surprized by the results....just like when a woman trusts her man and shows that trust the man will usually show himself exactly that......trustworthy and live up to what is expected of him as she honors him. Jewish men ARE sensitive and loving because the wonderful mothers that have taught them and raised them to have those instilled qualities......women need to thank their lucky stars more for what you have. lol I liked this article and agree with every point made! Don't EVER give any woman your dignity or self respect or you will lose yourself, pride in yourself AND the women you so love!

(30) Joe, February 12, 2006 12:00 AM

Real men like a capable mate

I would respectfully suggest, that there may be some women who like to have the responsibility of thinking and being creative removed from what is expected of them. That is not the "woman of valor" that we sing about every shabbos. She is one capable lady. Many women hate her because the Jewish ideal "has it all."

I mean it really *is* easier to be submissive and to whine when not feeling properly pampered, where the most stimulating talk is about challa recipes. Some weak men dig that in a mate. She's easy to control and won't ever really challenge him to grow. At best she'll nag him to study a bit more, but not ever join in meaningfully on what he's studied.

Of course, a full blown partenership between equals is something that requires more kishkas. Unfortunately, there are some men who just can't take it when their spouse is just as smart or resposible as he is. Unfortunatley, many men could not handle being married to a surgeon who makes life and death descisions on a daily basis. They are too insecure for that.

It is not that my future wife the *theoretical physicist* is mannish or un-feminine. Rather, she is brilliant, and capable, and she will make a great help-mate wife and mother too. Frankly, the awful stereotype that *you* are proposing is a pathway to having weak women and nebbish men who can only handle a whiny princess. A real woman would send them crying to mommy. And that same real woman would show how meaningless, shallow and whiny your "old fashioned" girls are.

(29) Anonymous, February 10, 2006 12:00 AM

Response to May Kra

What a one sided story you present!!
You write: "The husbands? They are either divorced and don't want anything to do with their children, or unemployed who are depressed and can't/will not look for a job. How many men you know who could cope with such a situation? But women cope, because they haven't got a choice. It seems to me that they feel more responsible for their kids."
I will tell you: Many women feel that the kids are more theirs then their husbnds. Many will lie and take advantage of a completely corrupt american family court system and get custody of the kids when they deserve that no more than their husbands.
It is sometimes to painfull to continue the relationship.How many women would be able to cope with that situation? But men cope because they must.It seems tome that fathers care more for the kids as the women are knocking fathers out of the picture (except for every other weekend. Thanks but no thanks.)
As far as depression and not looking for a job: Listen there are depressed women and those who demand every lastest
fasion and make their supposed loved ones lives miserable until they get what they want. Get with the program!! there are advantage takers on BOTH sides.
It would be nice if your view wasn't so one sided

(28) Michael vL, February 10, 2006 12:00 AM

The truth has been finally told

I am a divorced father of two. After 8 years I have never given up on my family, and have paid out 50 to 75% or more of my income to support them. But my children have forgotten their father's name. My ex is still looking for the last pound of flesh. During the last ten years I have spent much time working in Asia and have discovered that all women have not lost their identity as caring and supporting partners to their husbands and that men have kept their promises as the strong head of household who keeps their wives feeling secure. I am afraid that so long as Hollywood keeps reflecting men as bumbling fools who can't make decisions and are more brawn then brains, and women as sophisticated beauties, women and men will go through their lives in America going to bed alone and cold at night, with no smile to greet them in the morning.

(27) Menashe, February 9, 2006 12:00 AM

Thank You!!!

A B S O L U T E L Y B R I L L I A N T !!!

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