Opinion: The mythical 'war on men'
Suzanne Venker claims women are pushing men out of the workplace and home with their anger and defensiveness.
November 29th, 2012
05:59 PM ET

Opinion: The mythical 'war on men'

Editor's note: Michael Kimmel is distinguished professor of sociology at Stony Brook University and author of "Guyland" and "The Guy's Guide to Feminism," among other books.

By Michael Kimmel, Special to CNN

(CNN) - Some years ago, I appeared on a well-known television talk show opposite four "angry white men": four men who believed they had been discriminated against in the workplace by affirmative action programs initiated, they argued, by feminist women.

Each man told his story of how he was qualified for a job or qualified for a promotion that he did not get because of this putative reverse discrimination against white men. One ended his remarks with a line that served as the title for this show: "A black woman stole my job," he declared.

Asked to respond, I had but one question for these guys, a question about the title of the show. Actually, my question was about one word in the title of the show. I wanted to know about the word "my." Why did the men think it was their job? Why wasn't the title of the show "A black woman got a job" or "A black woman got the job"? The answer, I argued, was that these men felt entitled to the position, and that any effort to make the workplace more equal was perceived, by those men, as a loss.

I thought of those men recently while reading Suzanne Venker's addled rant against feminist women as the source of the unhappiness that saturates male-female relationships. I thought of how painful it is when you are used to having everything to now have only 80%. What a loss! Poor us! Equality sucks when you've been on top - and men have been on top for so long that we think it's a level playing field.

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Filed under: Gender • Relationships • What we think • Women
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Hirondelle02

    Mexicans coming to California is the "what goes around comes around" of past American history....

    December 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jorge

    War on men?? This country is FAMOUS for it's perpetual, media-hyped us-against-them mentality. Here, there's always a different flavor-of-the-moment group or person to spotlight, exclude or criticise. Funny thing is, it's always playing policeman overseas. For a country that has come along so well concerning government, industry and championing of individual freedoms, it is short on collective MATURITY.

    December 4, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Crecymar

    Are you kidding me? Mythical? CNN openly talks badly and racially about white men almost every single day.

    Mythical? Who the F do you think you are kidding you lying sob. There is absolutely a war on white men in this country and it is blatant.

    December 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. local

    As long as ANY employer uses the term diversification for a explanation when someone is promoted or hired then there was some form of discrimination. Whether it is black, white, male, female, transgender, ethnic does not matter. It was, is and always will be discrimination. When the person says I/we hired the MOST QUALIFYED person for the position then no biases or any type of discrimination occured. Argue if you will but anything else is bull.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Dduke

      we need better lookin women in the workplace

      December 1, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • thedarkelf

        Yeah A maximum say 32x28x38 yeah anything bigger and dont apply

        December 2, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. joseph

    i'd also like for all the mathematicians, scientists, engineers, etc that have used 3.14, etc as pi, to come forward. however hard they try they can never even come close to figuring out the entire number, so they're wrong, wrong, wrong for using it at all!!!!!

    December 1, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Toots

    There are three women in college now for every two men. Can we please stop with the preferences already?

    I suspect that the "I'm a victim" crowd will never willingly give up on being discriminated in favor of themselves.

    November 30, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |

    learn to write

    November 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |