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Post Column: Female Fox News writer spews misogyny

It’s been a good few months now since I reviewed an article by Fox News contributor, antifeminist critic and recently defrosted cavewoman Suzanne Venker entitled “The War On Men.” I was very happy with the way my response column turned out, and I’d like to think that I kept my criticisms fair and polite. One moment… my editor is sternly informing me that the phrase “cretinous, pustulant hell-beast” was deleted 47 times from my rough draft. I meant that in the best possible way, Joe!

Venker later claimed in interviews that her article had been misrepresented, and that she really meant to write more about marriage than feminism as a whole. How, I wonder, could critics misinterpret such innocuous phrases as “Women pushed men off their pedestal and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs” as being in any way damning of the feminist movement?

Venker’s latest piece is entitled “To Be Happy, We Must Admit Women and Men Aren’t ‘Equal’”. I’m assuming the word “Equal” is in air quotes because Venker didn’t want anyone to misinterpret her as saying that men and women aren’t actually equal, when in fact all she’s saying is that we shouldn’t act like they are. Distort that, liberal media!

In the article, Venker argues that feminism has directly led to “mass confusion,” and now men and women “have no idea who’s supposed to do what.” And she’s right: I don’t know about you, but I can’t even walk out the door anymore without feminists messing with my head. Am I supposed to wear pants, or a skirt or nothing at all? How come when women breastfeed babies in public it’s fine, but when I do it it’s weird? Why girls get mad when me stare at boobs? Brain meats hurt when hard think!

Venker goes on to argue that men and women are “equal, but different.” Hmm, where have we heard a similar phrase before? (I didn’t want to make that joke. It hurt me inside, to make that joke. That joke is so painfully obvious that anyone with half a brain cell could read the article and make it. How did you not see this joke coming, Suzanne?)

Some of you might be thinking Venker’s argument — that life in an episode of Mad Men was better for women than it is today — is kind of full of crap. Venker sees your arguments of Roe v. Wade, the Equal Pay Act and Title VII, and raises you drowning!

“It’s hard to claim women were oppressed in a nation in which men were expected to stand when a lady enters the room or to lay down their lives to spare a woman’s life,” Venker writes. “When the Titanic went down in 1912, its sinking took 1,450 lives. Only 103 were women.”

You heard it here, American ladies pre-1970! Sure, you might not have been paid as much, or been allowed to vote, or protest in any way against sexual harassment. On the other hand, though, you drowned last if a boat sank, and if you walked in a room, all the men in it would stand up for a second. It all balances out!

In her piece, Venker rails against the idea that gender is a social construct, arguing that it’s what “feminists taught you to believe.” She apparently prefers a biologist’s view of gender, stating in an interview with New York Magazine that feminism goes against what is “naturally feminine”. Women are to raise children and obey their man; men are to work and provide for their family, and anything else is, I assume, “unnatural” and therefore wrong. A small, petty part of me wants to inform Venker that not only do some men and women reject those roles, but indeed some people identify as neither male nor female, and then watch her head explode.

I’ll be honest: the irony of a male columnist ragging on a female columnist for not being hard enough on his own gender isn’t lost on me either. I’m well aware that Venker is only a single female droplet in an ocean of male-dominated misogyny. In fact, after wading through the “#INeedMasculismBecause” tag on Twitter, I’m more aware of that than I ever wanted to be.

The reason I’ve written about Venker twice now is because I hate the way men will use female antifeminists like her as a shield, as if because one woman said sexism is over, all the others who say it isn’t are suddenly invalidated. In a weird sort of way, though, I’m actually kind of proud of her! Venker’s career proves that thanks to the feminist movement, women can truly become anything they want — even misogynists.

We’ve come a long way, guys. We’ve come a long way.

Ryan McAndrews is a man studying journalism at Ohio University and a columnist for The Post. Email him at rm287608@ohiou.edu and follow him on Twitter: @McMANdrews.

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