Suzanne Venker: Enough Already!
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By Cathy Meyer, Founding Editor - November 27, 2013

Fotolia_52835293_XS.jpgAm I the only one who sees the irony in Suzanne Venker telling other women they don’t need jobs, all they need are husbands in her latest commentary? Venker may not hold down a full-time job, go into an office daily but she is a published author of 4 books who makes personal appearances, does book tours, writes social commentary and seems to have a full schedule.

Why does Venker feel she is more deserving of something other than leaning on her husband, procreating and baking cookies? She obviously feels more entitled to making a personal choice than her targeted audience. That is why I say, enough already!

In her latest commentary Venker makes some powerful statements about us baby boomers and what we learned from our mothers. Being a baby boomer, raised by a mother who worked the majority of her adult life I’m better equipped to share information when it comes to what mothers were teaching daughters back in the 60s and 70s.

I come from a long line of working women. Both my grandmothers had careers. My mother worked and enjoyed her career all through my childhood. The dust didn’t settle under her feet when it came to taking care of herself and her career. And, I don’t once remember feeling neglected as a child or that I had been cheated because she chose to work.

The one thing I NEVER heard her or my grandmother’s say was, “never depend on a man.” In fact, my mother used to say to me, “Find a good man to take care of you.” Hell, I was raised in the South; we went to college to find a mate. Even we baby boomers! That means Venker is way off the mark on…almost everything.

Since I can’t speak for all women I’m going to respond to Venker’s latest commentary based on the choices I made. I’m going to try my best to shoot some holes in her uneducated theories about what women do and don’t need.

First off I’ll share with you something I learned the hard way. I don’t NEED a husband. I thought I did until the husband I needed decided he no longer wanted to be a husband or a father. Another irony…the very thing that Venker so fervently tells me I need is the thing that taught me just how little I do need it, a “husband.”

You see ladies, you may not be able to take a paycheck to “bed with you” as Venker says but once it is in your hands you don’t have to worry about it leaving you, beating you, or cheating on you. I’ll take that sense of financial, emotional and physical security over a roll in the hay any day. And I’m someone who deeply appreciates a good roll in the hay.

I lived the sort of “balanced” life that Venker champions. I was a wife to a military officer, a stay-at-home mom to two children and I put 100% faith and trust in my husband to make our lives “secure.” When it ended, when he decided we no longer fit into his agenda that “balanced” life was tipped ass-end up. And I was left to wonder why the hell my career minded mother had not said to me “never depend on a man.” I took Venker’s advice before she was giving advice and I ended up raising two boys alone and squeaking by financially. I drank the kool-aid and my children and I nearly choked to death on it. The three of us are text book examples of why no woman should buy into what Venker is pushing.

Venker says, “Unlike women, a man’s identity is inextricably linked to his paycheck. That’s how most men feel a sense of purpose. Indeed, research shows men see it as their duty to support their families even when their wives make as much money (or more) as they do!”

There’s a lot of generalization going on in the statement above. Not all men feel it is their “duty” to support their family. Due to that fact it is beyond dangerous to tell all women to become financially dependent on a man. That is where Venker fails, she is unable to see any point of view but her own and she dismisses views that do not align with her belief system.

I had a conversation with her once about women who were abandoned, cheated on and suffered abuse at the hands of their husbands. Her response to me was, “they shouldn’t have chosen bad men.” As if us women get up one day, brush ourselves off and think, “time to go get myself a bad man.”

In other words, if you choose to depend on a man and he turns out to be less than dependable, you are responsible, not the less than dependable man. In Venker’s mind the buck stops with women, all women. How can any woman take seriously the advice of someone who holds women responsible for all the ills they suffer at the hands of some men? That, for me, says more about her skewed beliefs than whether or not women have drawn up arms and gone to war on men. In my opinion it is Venker and those like her who have gone to war on women. They are fighting their own in an attempt to win points with the other side?

She admits there are fewer men these days who want to be primary breadwinners and then encourages us to ask ourselves why. “I bet you know the answer,” she says.

I bet I know what she would say the answer is. It’s us women, it’s our fault! We are the reason fewer men want to be primary breadwinners. It can’t have anything to do with women finally getting fed up with irresponsible men and choosing to not depend on someone who isn’t dependable.

There are fewer men because some men don’t like being held responsible for bad behavior Suzanne.

There are fewer men because some men are too insecure to stand toe to toe with a woman instead of Lording over a woman.

There are fewer men because women are no longer tied to drunks, drug abusers, and domestic abusers due to antiquated laws.

There are fewer men because women no longer have to take what they can get because they have learned the virtue of their own autonomy, independence and ability to lean on no one but themselves.

There are fewer men because women no longer NEED a man and that fact scares the shit out of some men.

I’m not worried about it because those men who are lagging behind will catch up with us women. And when they do, we will come together, lean on EACH OTHER and kick some ass as equals.

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