It comes from the fact that prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (which wasn’t even supposed to include women, that just got thrown in in an attempt to cause the legislation to fail) women had none of the things that you mentioned. Very little access to jobs, very little access to education and thus very little access to much outside of their homes.
So a lot of the progress that women have experienced actually has nothing to do with feminism perse, but definitely law and policies that opened doors that were once closed to women. However the people pushing for the adoption of these laws and policies were the earliest versions of what are now known as feminists. And clearly, feminism had opened a lot of doors for a lot of people, especially white Americans.
Affirmative Action, which most white Americans lose their everloving minds over, benefited white Americans far more then any other group. How, you ask? Because it largely benefited white women, who raised white household income and thereby white wealth by large amounts. Affirmative action is the reason for so many of the opportunities and economic privileges that white women hold today, and yeah they were the big winners in that social experiment.
This is all very recent, though. In terms of human history it is a freaking nanosecond. But right now, we are at a time in human history where women -if they are educated in an economically viable field — may have a slight advantage over men. They may.
It has been argued that because of the way industry has changed, the way women work, their work may be valued more. But it’s probably not the case. Women work for less, and employers of course love that.what a bargain for them. Here’s an example, I knew a female CFO, who boasted about the fact that she only hired minorities and women, and this, she thought was oh so clever because she could work them harder, pay them less, and not worry about a white man trying to replace her. She tried to spin it as if she was a big proponent of affirmative action…meh, not really. She knew how to play the game. She worked her people long and hard, paid them worst than anyone and knew she could get away with that because of who she chose. Clever.
She is an example of the way in which some predominantly male jobs, were able to easily switch to predominantly female jobs: accounting is just sitting back and working the numbers. Anyone can do it really, and women are probably better suited as it requires tremendous attention to detail.
Brute strength is no longer as necessary as it once was (robots, automation), while working long and hard at jobs that require softer skills (think service industries, crunching numbers, coding) are becoming more important. So…while most women suck at building skyscrapers, they are pretty awesome at dealing with disgruntled cellphone customers, okay at crunching numbers and writing code.
But again, all of this is an extremely recent phenomenon in a world of extreme change, that is still changing, which is to say these very recent changes may not be here to stay…and all those women you know who have all those things, ain’t no guarantees that will be the case for their daughters. None of this stuff is staying the same.
As for men and education, it’s ironic. Throughout history it has been stated that education is wasted on women. They are too stupid for it, and all they needed to know was cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc. Knowing about the outside world would just blow their little female brains out. The truth is, education is far easier for women to obtain than it is for men, because educational systems are designed in such a way to favor the biology of women.
Education requires that you sit and listen (to someone who may be full of shit) and spit whatever was said back out to the instructor.
Men and boys hate this. Very few are designed to sit and listen. They like to do. They like to act and be engaged and compete. They don’t see any point to sitting and listening to some bull. And I don’t disagree with them.
I recognized that men and women learn very differently via teaching them. Men will not engage with any material unless it is about war…oh my God how men love to talk, read about and discuss war…or if they have an active role in the preparation of the material. For example, debates. Men love debates. Or really what they love is the competition. They love the idea of, here is a task that gives me a chance to beat someone, Im going to give it my all. Women? Not so much. That doesn’t engage them. You know what does? Writing about how they feel.
Now, this seems pretty stereotypical right? But to my experience it is true. Some women like to debate (I do) and read and discuss war (not so much), but the large majority do not.
Some men like to write about their feelings and explore that side of themselves, but these are mostly the ones who have been to war and have been so fucked up by it that they, know deep in their hearts, the only way they will survive is if they get all the fucked up shit that they witnessed and or participated in off of their chest. Most men have no desire for that particular kind of writing.
So, I say all of that to say this: our systems are failing men now: the educational systems, the military systems, the economic conditions are failing them. But, does that mean they are, or that this is because they are empowering women? I don’t think that is the cause. Very few women are engaged with the military-and yet, let me tell you as one who has taught hundreds of vets, struggling to reintegrate in our society, those systems are failing them and their families, horrifically.
But just because our systems are failing men, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they are awesome for women and the gains that women are experiencing (in the western world, from 1970 forward, not only are very rare throughout human history but only extend to a certain class and race (predominantly white women) which is why feminists spend a lot of time arguing amongst themselves about things like racism in feminism. But, as I said before, I don’t do a whole lot of academic feminists reading or discussion. It all gets pretty crazy to me. I won’t get into any of that crazy shit. I think it misses the point.
Bottom line: these systems are failing everyone. They fail men and women differently, so maybe men’s rights should be a thing…I don’t know much about any of those groups or what they stand for, but it seems that a little bit of it involves hating women. Maybe that’s just the extreme factions though. Women are not standing in the way of men, however. I think this is yet another distraction from what is really going on. How in the hell is a woman, working 12 hour shifts, for $9 an hour as a little nurse, doing anything other than helping everyone?
As the economy shifts — away from industry into information and who knows what else? The damn matrix…a lot of people are losing. But so to, are a lot winning. Gender is having less to do with who the winners or losers are.