Depending on where you sit, you either view women as playing second fiddle to men in our society (Women still earn less than men, men are in the positions of power, there are more male politicians and CEOs); or you view men as playing second fiddle to women (women always get custody, men are forced to pay support even when they don’t have jobs, men don’t get a say in whether a baby is aborted or kept, and they subsequently get no say in whether or not to pay support).
I’d like to see an end to “gender based analysis”—this view that can only conceive of men and women in competition. One gets the gold, the other not silver or bronze but dead last… a never-ending opposition, whereby husbands never do anything good for their women, and a wife is unfailingly generous to just about anyone, so long as it’s not her husband.
All that preamble to say Jennifer Roback Morse is starting a much needed new institute. The Ruth Institute. She calls it:
A Think Tank for Intelligent Women and the Men Who Love Them, Promoting Marriage At Home, at Work and in the Public Square.
And it will promote:
marriage as a fundamental, gender-based, social institution
the family-friendly, free-market, faith-filled participation of women in all aspects of society
collaboration and cooperation with men, both at home and at work
human sexuality as an engine for building up the family, through both spousal unity and reproduction
Her audience is
College-educated, career-minded women, who want to raise children and love their husbands.
Some may wonder why this is necessary. For women who want to love their husbands? Is that so hard? Clearly, it is—we have a high divorce rate.
I’ll be honest. I love Dr. J. I enjoyed her books before I met her. In person, she is all the more reasonable, compassionate, smart: someone who made some mistakes, learned from them, and is passing that wisdom on. Plus then there’s that economics PhD and a love for freedom. Certainly jibes with my finnicky personality—how to balance marriage, which will involve sacrifice, with a desire to live free or die?
Some may wonder where the male equivalent is: and I think there’s a need for that too—to teach men how to love their wives. But Dr. J is only one woman, not every woman—and she’s doing quite enough for women to learn what it means to be married—to be fulfilled in family life after years and years of proving ourselves in a “man’s world.”
Rebecca approves: This is wonderful news. I must say I’m distressed that so many people are responding to instances of bias against men and boys by insisting that men, not women are the real victim. Most of us recognize that it’s not a zero-sum game, where if men are happy, women aren’t, or vice versa, or that one sex is in a perpetual state of victimhood inflicted by the other sex. In fact, it’s the opposite; men and women are happiest together, as our recent sparkling posts have discussed. Marriage and partnership aside, most women are happier when their fathers, husbands, brothers and sons are thriving and happy and treated well by their community, as men are happier when their mothers, wives, sisters and daughters do well.
Why is it so easy to fall into silly battle of the sexes cliches? One of the smarter things feminism did, in my opinion, was point out that although men using pornography, telling sexist jokes, and trolling at bars were objectifying the women involved, these women were still someone’s daughter, or sister, or wife. Drawing a connection between the treatment of women in general and the average guy’s love for his female relatives, and desire that they be treated with more respect, helped to make this sort of behaviour unacceptable. But it should be just as unacceptable to tell jokes that rely on the assumption that all men are cads, or stupid, or to set up sitcoms or ads whose entire premise is that men are The Perpetual Culprit.