Have men really been oppressing women throughout human history? Could there possibly be another explanation? Roy Baumeister argues in his book, “Is There Anything Good About Men?” that men build culture, while women are more concerned with sustaining it via intimate family relationships.
Building culture has the higher risk value, and historically, it has been men who have most often been willing to take on these risks. This is not the “fault” of men or of society; women could have done so if they desired, but their natures are not comfortable with risk. If they were, history would look much different. Instead of facing the challenges of culture-building, women were content to let men take them on. But now that the risk factor is far, far lower, women are moving into the world men created and demanding accommodation.
Consider this lengthy quote from Baumeister’s book:
“It is possible to interpret much of history as men oppressing women, especially if one does not look too closely and seeks only confirming evidence. But just as plausibly, one can spin a very different interpretation. Here’s another possible way to tell the story. Women kept themselves conveniently apart from the brutal, risky, and often painful strife and competition. Men fought bloody battles. Other men risked their savings in commerce, with some making fortunes and others going bankrupt. Men fought, risked, struggled, sought, suffered, and triumphed. Women mostly kept out of that. Certainly in the early years there was nothing to prevent groups of women from forming into military groups to fight battles for territory. Nor did anything prevent groups of women from engaging in manufacture and trade to create wealth. In fact a few women did, but only a very few. Only after a long wait, when the men had built up society into magnificent social structures with large corporations and other institutions, then only did the women come forward and demand to be given a place at the table they had not helped to build. Only after most of the risks and costs had been greatly tamed and everything was fairly safe did women venture forth. And even then they were not satisfied with getting an equal place: They demanded that the social structures the men built must be revised to make them more hospitable to women. Women insisted on affirmative action, special centers and support groups, and the changing of rules to suit their needs. These demands continue today and seem likely to go on forever, as women insist that there be special offices and accommodations and oversight bodies to take care of their special needs and demands and feelings. Women have played on men’s natural love for women and protectiveness toward women, exploiting men’s concern to convince men to switch things around for the betterment of women.”
Even if you don’t believe this hypothetical, at least let it teach you that there can be more than one way to spin history. And spinning history is precisely what the feminists are doing.