Stickman Readers' Submissions March 22nd, 2010

Same Same But Different

In response to your e-mail of the week in your column of 21st March regarding western woman, I and I am sure most of your readers will agree with it. Let us face it though, your readership is not representative of the population – not that it makes it wrong. If we examine some facts though, it also supports the posters reasoning. Marriage in the US is down, men are citing the fiscal downside in case of divorce. These men are presumably not in the loser category since they do have monetary goods, house, car etc to lose. In the UK you only have to cohabitate for 6 months before the lady in question has the same legal rights to rip you off as if you did get married.

A surprising fact is that in the UK at least, marriages between partners who have both been married before is more likely to end in divorce than those who have never been married. Now of course there are additional negative factors such as ex-partners, maybe children, monetary outlay i.e. alimony and most definitely emotional baggage to attribute to this figure. However you would think that the fact that both partners are older, hopefully wiser and more experienced would more than outweigh the negative aspects, but apparently not.

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What I wonder are the reasons for this breakdown in modern society? Have woman suddenly morphed into rapacious creatures? I would say it is not their fault. I am not a God botherer but in this case the bible has it right – money is the root of all evil. In the 1950s there was nothing wrong with being a housewife, indeed it was expected, applauded even. In the so-called swinging 60s people started to expect more freedom and the nuclear family was born. Instead of getting married and living with your parents until you could afford a house of your own, you wanted and expected a home of your own, plus a car – hopefully one of those new fangled phone (yes, very posh), holidays abroad etc. This could be done on a single wage by an average person even if there was children involved. It did lead to their being many married woman with time on their hands. Especially those who had not yet had children.

Let us not kid ourselves in our grandparents' time keeping house was a full time job. You had to shop every day as you had no freezers. A broom and a brush was no replacement for Hoovers and a wash tub and a mangle definitely made hard work instead of automatic washers and dryers. Central heating was coal or wood fire rather than turning a switch and their were no microwave fully-prepared dinners or food processors. Now you had a lot of married woman with time on their hands as their house was full of labour-saving gadgets so they started to enter the workforce.

Now this had 3 effects. The first and very reasonable was the equal rights for woman. Certainly if a woman was doing the same job as a man and as well then she deserved the same pay and benefits. It did not however stop there as they wanted to be more equal – maternity leave, full control over the reproduction as in if a woman wants an abortion there is nothing a father can do to stop it. Alternately, if she doesn’t then the state will make damn sure he pays for the child for the next 18 or more years and as a bonus also support and put a roof over the head of the mother.

Secondly the "greed is good generation" arrived. The households with 2 incomes had more disposable income to spend on gadgets, newer cars, better houses, holidays etc. Especially when the world economy tanked and 2 incomes became a necessity rather than a luxury.

This led to the third and last effect which was that woman who were housewives were denigrated. They were told they were the equal of men and should act the same. Unfortunately society hadn’t kept up with those changes. If a woman hits you, God help you if you hit her back! Yes I know you shouldn’t hit a woman under any circumstances, correct, but under the equality for woman rules women should be applauding the fellow who does. You are still expected to hold doors open for woman, pay for meals, presents etc in the hopes of “furthering your relationship” and it is 100% a woman's choice if and when that happens. This can lead to curious situations. One lady I know used to go to nightclubs 2 or 3 times a week and come home with a different bloke every time. Not only did she complain that the men in question never called her again but justified her behaviour that men do it and are applauded for it, so she was only being “equal”. My response that it was a very lucky bloke who could go out and be guaranteed of finding a different partner every time whereas woman even of average or below average looks could do so with ease. Even those ladies not blessed with much in the look’s department would merely have to wait till later in the evening for beer goggles and desperation to kick in. This reasoning did not seem to have much effect on her justification.

So why does this not happen in many of the Asian countries we know and love? Especially since in most countries their economy is worse, woman aren’t equal and are kept “in place” by culture or religion. Well that may well be the reason. They have never been told or indoctrinated that being a wife and a mother is wrong and would laugh at the idea that they should be the same as a man. They are equal, a definite case of “same same, but different”. Also in these so called repressive cultures if women choose to and are talented enough they can do the top jobs. After all, India had a woman prime minister without ill effect. Of course I do not see their western feminist sisters agitating for equal rights in countries where women are treated like a chattel, no feminazi brigade landing in Baghdad and marching on a mosque, which seems like a pity to me as I’m sure a collection to fund the trip would be possible.

The future will definitely see some changes. In Thailand over the last 20 years there has been increased westernisation, not just more Burger King branches but in attitude too. It does have going for it both the fact that women have less economic chances and good old Buddhism. Thank god (pun intended) where if you’re a good wife and mother you will come back in the next life as a man. The country I would bet on though is China. It is going to be at least a superpower economically, leading to increased women in the workforce. Worse there is a shortage of woman brought about by the one child per family rule, not a few but tens of millions. Given 20 years I believe society there will be a lot different.

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The future for western countries I think will just be more of the same. The pendulum has swung so far in one direction it has stuck. Unless there is mass marches of women agitating for equal rights for men or hordes of housewives going on TV and saying it’s a wonderful life, things won’t change. The only chance men have to change the situation is for all men to band together, ban the sale of vibrators and tell woman hell no you're not getting my body! Just can't see that happening!

I would like to end on a question, the answer to which I think is obvious and rather sad. Which group of women are more happy and in turn make their men happy? The liberated western woman with all the power or the poor downtrodden Eastern lady whose main aim in life is to find a husband and take care of him and their family?

Stickman's thoughts:

Many Western men have become sickeningly weak and the way they put some dogs on a pedestal I find quite disgusting.

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