If The Patriarchy Is Dead, Why Isn't Tucker Carlson Making Me A Sandwich Right Now?
As you may know, Tucker Carlson is celebrating Women's History Month with his series on "Men in America." Last night's edition was a mournful eulogy on the too-soon death of the patriarchy, filled with a bunch of MRA talking points and a deep misunderstanding of feminism, the definition of toxic masculinity, and, well, facts.
“‘The patriarchy is thriving,’ they tell us. ‘Men are in charge and they succeed precisely to the extent they thwart the progress of women. Society is a zero-sum equation in which a man’s gain is a woman’s loss. This is wrong and we must rectify it.’ That’s the message. It also happens to be the core assumption of second wave feminism which became popular 40 years ago… None of those assumptions are true today. America has changed completely. The patriarchy is gone. Women are winning. Men are failing.”
Yeah, no. That was not the core assumption of second wave feminism, or really any kind of feminism for that matter. At that point women were really just trying to be able to get jobs and not be legally raped by their husbands. It can be a result, sure -- just as women getting the vote meant less power overall for men, but as they say -- when you're privileged, equality feels like oppression.
He then explains all the ways in which men are disadvantaged!
"Men in America are now far more likely to die of a drug overdose, drop out of the workforce because of an addiction, commit a felony and go to prison. They fail in school much more often than women do, they kill themselves at many times the rate. Overall they die years younger. Those numbers are not speculative, they are hard data gathered over decades by non-partisan researchers. You'd have to ignore a huge amount of science in order to repeat the pieties of 1970s era feminism, and yet that is what our leaders continue to do."
No one is saying that these things are not true. Especially the 55% of all female homicide victims who were killed by their romantic partners. Those issues, however, have nothing to do with women or a lack of equality. There is no privilege that women could give up that would make those issues go away for men.
Tucker then digs into the biggest Obama scandal of them all!
Encouraging educational opportunities for girls! And like, scholarships and stuff! Tucker laments the lack of scholarships available to boys, neglecting to even mention the Milo Yiannopoulis $100,000 Privilege Grant Foundation which recently shuttered its operations without disclosing what even happened to any of the money raised for it.
No one is preventing anyone from starting scholarships for boys. Tucker Carlson should go and do that if he wants to!
Need even more non-proof that mean feminists want boys to FAIL? Well! Tucker has a news item for you! Because one time, this one teacher lady straight up banned boys from playing with Legos -- a toy widely considered to help children develop cognitive abilities -- because boys have enough advantages already!
That would be super enraging if it happened the way he said it did! Too bad it did not. Instead, the teacher -- seeing that boys tended to hoard the Legos to themselves -- set aside some time during the day for a "Girls' Lego Club" in which she gave girls a chance with the toys, while boys were allowed to play with any other toy they wanted, including other building toys.
Is Tucker just going to keep making stuff up to try to make his point? You bet he is.
Because he is SO MAD about how all these feminists think masculinity itself is toxic, despite the fact that no one is saying that. That is not what toxic masculinity is!
Perhaps ironically, Tucker himself already touched upon some of the problems with toxic masculinity earlier in his rant. He's right. Men are more likely to succeed in committing suicide than women are. Women, however are more likely to have suicidal thoughts. It is generally thought that a large part of the reason men are more likely to actually go through with suicide is because they are less likely to seek psychological help, because "seeking psychological help" is coded as unmanly. This, not growing a mustache or whatever, is toxic masculinity!
The fact that we teach violence as something that is expected of men and aberrant in women is toxic masculinity. Thus, we end up with more men in prison for felonies. If Tucker actually wants to work to solve these problems, he should probably find out what toxic masculinity actually is, instead of strawmanning it into something he can get offended by.
I wish Tucker Carlson were right and that the patriarchy really were dead and gone forever. It is not. We must keep smashing it every day, and not because we want men to fail, but because we want them to be better. We want them to succeed at sucking less. And as long as Tucker Carlson is out there, with a television show, whining about how unfair the world is to men so very not long after a man who enjoys grabbing women by their genitals without their permission ascended to the highest office in the land, we all still have a lot of work to do.
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse