Thursday, 26 November 2009
Modern Woman has Shot Herself in the Foot
“Garth, marriage is punishment for shoplifting in some countries!”
- Wayne (Mike Meyers), Wayne’s World
A recent article in the Telegraph (6/8/09) outlines a very serious issue in Britain- and most of the developed world.
“‘Some women have become ball-breakers,’ says Francine Kaye, known professionally as The Divorce Doctor, with an eponymous website. ‘It's not entirely our fault, because the demands of the workplace have changed us, and brought out our more masculine side. But unfortunately we're taking that home with us every evening into the domestic sphere, and often bullying our men into submission.’”
This article sums up why so many of life’s problems occur- whether it is in the workplace, as part of family life or involving relationships.
Some months ago, after doing a lot of anthropology research online, I learned something that would change the way I think from that moment on. Ten thousand years ago, women needed to be protected. Like today, they were generally physically weaker than men. Civilized society had not been formed. Saber-toothed tigers, and other life-threatening creatures, could not be tamed or domesticated. Women needed protecting from these ferocious animals as well as other massive dangers- including, of course, those brought by other humans. These dangers are now, largely, absent. At times of prehistoric strife, there were no police, call-centres, supermarkets or maintenance men (or maintenance women, for that matter) - the man HAD to take care of any problem. He was responsible, solely, for finding food, making warmth and ensuring safety. If he didn’t fulfill these duties, his spouse and baby- and likely he himself- would die.
Today, if a man doesn’t pull his shit together and take care of things, the woman just divorces him. It is, I’m guessing, harder to offer women anything they need that they can’t already get themselves. This could be why “51% of women under 50 are single” (in Britain). –Dailymail.co.uk.
Despite this growing female independence, women will always have needs. I call these requirements ‘the three Ps’- provision, protection, and you know what the third one is.
It cannot be denied that, as women gain more equality, both men and women behave less and less like our sexually respective anthropological ancestors. As the divorce rates rise around the world, is this a sign that women are becoming harder for men to please? I suspect that, in days gone by when gender roles were more defined, it was a lot easier for couples to stay together.
You may be wondering what decade- or century- I’m from, but regardless, family life in Britain needs to re-stablise. Can we quell the spiralling divorce rate? Are women to blame for this? Do we even need marriage anymore? Without the suffragette movement- a time when women like Emily Davidson died for women’s rights- would women be happier with less equality and hence less responsibility? Would men be happier with the imbalance?
I am all for mutual respect between men and women. I would never encourage people to purposefully make women feel bad. But the evidence seems to suggest that sexual equality is impossible. Men and women are different. It is this difference- and society’s masking of it- that is preventing many people from living happy lives.
The situation in Britain may be different to that in other parts of Europe. Of what I’ve seen of European TV, it seems that most of it is chauvinistic innuendo-based programming- thinly veiled pornography for men. Tarrant On TV, a British programme celebrating the most daring and usually the dumbest TV output from around the world, features Italy’s smutty shows on a regular basis.
Italy has the seventh lowest divorce rate in the world.
The countries with the lowest three divorce rates are Libya, Georgia and Mongolia. Women in these war-torn and oppressive countries don’t have a great deal of rights.
On the flipside, World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index says Iceland is the most sexually equal country- scoring ‘4’ on a scale of 0-1. (I don’t get this measurement either.) Guardian says Icelanders are the “least hung up people in the world.”
In ’08 Iceland had the highest divorce rate in Europe. In ’07 it was Sweden- the country the Forum claimed was best for women’s rights. Interestingly, Thelocal.se, a Swedish newspaper, claims 60% of marriages in their country are failing.
On the whole it seems that the more rights women have in a country, the harder it is to maintain a marriage as a citizen there. On the flipside, more rights for women allow them a better quality of life. It can be suggested, then, that marriage is not the way forward in any country in this day and age.
I would have thought the idea of couples agreeing on masculine and feminine roles in the household would have been a start. Various newspaper websites I have trawled through while researching this seem to suggest that women taking household tasks away from men (calling a tradesman in to fix something, for instance) cause a lot of domestic disputes.
If equality is what is being sought in this debate, then I might as well suggest that both men and women are equally responsible for the growing failure of marriage and sustainable relationships in the 21st century. My personal opinion is that total sexual equality is an unattainable goal. Everybody is different, and one cannot suggest that all women should be, and one day will be equal to all men. That ‘difference’ makes equality difficult to define, but I’ll give it a shot: the further away we get from the cave, a time when the men hunted and the women mothered, the less happy everyone will be with each other.
Anyway, pass me that spear. I’ll get something in for tea.