You are probably already familiar with the story about the huge increase in rapes in Norway, with 2/3 of them committed by “immigrants with a non-western background.” (And I wonder who those non-western immigrants might be?) I didn’t even bother to comment on it originally, because LGF had it covered. I’m commenting now because of something Phibian said when he discussed this story, and it’s something that really needs further thought. After relaying the news, Phibian added:
There is hope, perhaps. From what I hear and watching the voting changes in Denmark and even Sweden, the head-in-the-sand attitude is slowly changing. They need to go faster though. A culture whose men will not come to the defense of their wives, sisters, and daughters is a culture that will not last. (Emphasis mine.)
What I wonder is whether Western women have been so abusive of their men, both by denigrating them and by marginalizing them, that men no longer feel either a need or a desire to protect them.
I’m the post-women’s lib generation. That is, I wasn’t one of the bra-burning, consciousness-raising crowd. I came of age after everyone had been assured that women are entirely equal and men are sexist pigs to have kept them in servitude for so long. I went to college at a time (true story) when a young man who had the grace to hold the door open for a young women, even one burdened with books, would find himself roundly scolded for treating a woman like a helpless being.
I along with my generation, read Susan Faludi’s Backlash : The Undeclared War Against American Women and Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth : How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women, both of which assured me that, despite their lip service to liberation, modern American men had as their real goal the subjugation of women by whatever means necessary. I grew to suspect and disrespect men.
What saved me were a few things. I respected my father, a deeply honorable man. I read Arlie Hochschild’s The Second Shift, which pointed out that the more men bought into women’s lib, the less likely that were to help their working wives, and I read Christina Hoff-Sommer’s Who Stole Feminism? : How Women Have Betrayed Women, which exposed the vast divide between equity feminists (those who want equal work for equal pay, and equal treatment under the law), and the more extreme feminists who view men as inferior beings out to enslave and destroy women. Lastly, I got to know more men, some of whom became dear friends, and it was obvious that they were not the enemy. However, not all women have made this journey, and the NOW website amply demonstrates that many women continue to view men as alien beings placed on earth to destroy women.
Men are not stupid (feminist myths notwithstanding). They know that, in Western civilization, women think little of them. Under those circumstances, why in the world would men who have absorbed this message feel obligated to put themselves on the line for these women? I know that any individual man will act for his own wife, his own sister, and his own daughter, but he feels no obligation to women at large, since women at large have made it clear that he is unnecessary except for his sperm capacity.
(By the way, I am a complete equity feminist, with an abiding belief in equal pay for equal work, equal opportunities, and equal treatment under the law. I do not believe men are out to get me. I do not believe that either sex is superior or inferior to the other. I do not believe men are conspiring to keep women barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen, and out of the boardroom. I do believe men have problems with toilet seats and apologies, but we won’t go there.)
UPDATE: Something interesting to read in connection with my musings about the respect men and women have lost for each other.