Fox News’ Suzanne Venker longs for the good old Mad Men days

Suzanne Venker, in her FoxNews article “To be happy, we must admit men and women aren’t ‘equal,'” proposes that men and women climb back into their 1950s gender boxes so everything can go back to being calm and quiet the way things used to be.

You know – back when women were such bored and frustrated housewives that they lived on Valium and white wine, and when the perception of women as appendages to men meant marriages were battles between rebellious wife and I’m-Putting-My-Foot-Down husband.

She writes:

It’s time to say what no one else will: Feminism didn’t result in equality between the sexes – it resulted in mass confusion. Today, men and women have no idea who’s supposed to do what.

Well, we do, actually; however, we don’t decide based on who sits or stands when peeing. That’s a tiny bit limiting. I enjoy shoveling and working and holding the remote control, and I’m not giving any of that up because I have girl parts.

The greatest benefit of the feminist movement is that it freed women to pursue their interests and passions without having to ask permission from men (or society), and it also allowed men the same freedom because they were no longer saddled with the expectation that they would work hard enough/find a job (any job, even one they hated) that would make them enough money to support a woman and 2.5 children. (Or, 3.5 dependents.)

These days, because women are working and aren’t conditioned (well, as conditioned) to believe male partners are substitute fathers, men too can pursue their interests even if it means making a little less money – because she’s bringing home income, too.

Venker goes on to say,

Prior to the 1970s, people viewed gender roles as as equally valuable. Many would argue women had the better end of the deal! It’s hard to claim women were oppressed in a nation in which men were expected to stand up when a lady enters the room or to lay down their lives to spare women life. When the Titanic went down in 1912, its sinking took 1,450 lives. Only 103 were women. One-hundred three.

Compare that with last year’s wrecked cruise line, the Costa Concordia. It resulted in fewer deaths, but there was another significant difference. “There was no ‘women and children first’ policy. There were big men, crew members, pushing their way past us to get into the lifeboats. It was disgusting,” said passenger Sandra Rogers, 62.

I don’t see the problem. Men’s and women’s lives are equally valuable.

…the truth must be heard. Being equal in worth, or value, is not the same as being identical, interchangeable beings.

Except, according to the women-and-children point she makes above, Venker believes men and women are not equal in worth. Never mind. Moving on:

Men and women may be capable of doing many of the same things, but that doesn’t mean they want to. That we don’t have more female CEOs or stay-at-home dads proves this in spades.

Unless, of course, you’re beholden to feminism. In that case, you’ll believe the above is evidence of discrimination. You’ll believe what feminists taught you to believe: that gender is a social construct.

The suggestion here seems to be that if you’re “beholden to feminism” you’re arguing for the sake of arguing, but if you’re reasonable, you’ll see that men and women are meant to do different things and should therefore conform to gender stereotypes.

In fact, to insist that men and women ignore their interests and the paths they want to follow in favor of fitting into molds, into an old model that was obviously not successful (had it been successful, there wouldn’t have been such a fight to break free), is to reduce us all to farm labor. Donkeys pull, cows milk.


Those of us with children know better. We know little girls love their dolls and boys just want to kick that ball. This doesn’t mean men can’t take care of babies or women can’t play sports. It just means each gender has its own energy that flows in a specific direction. For God’s sake, let it flow.

Does this include the parents of the boy who wanted to wear pink shoes, the parents of the little boy who wanted a toy oven, and the parents of me, who as a young girl preferred playing with Matchbox cars and squirt guns to dolls?

The battle of the sexes is over. And guess what? No one won. Why not try something else on for size? Like this: men and women are equal, but different. They’ve each been blessed with amazing and unique qualities that they bring to the table. Isn’t it time we stopped fussing about who brought what and simply enjoy the feast?

Aren’t we, as individuals, blessed with amazing and unique qualities? I, as a woman, don’t have the same qualities Venker, as a woman, has. We’re different. Vastly, vastly – oh, so vastly – different. Even though we both have breasts, if you can imagine!

I do agree that it’s time we stop fussing about who brought what, and it took Venker a long time to reach that conclusion. But I suppose if she’d opened with that, she wouldn’t have had a column.


15 thoughts on “Fox News’ Suzanne Venker longs for the good old Mad Men days

  1. Suzanne Venker works for Fox News – that says it all. But did it not occur to her that if it wasn’t for the advances made by feminism she wouldn’t be working for anyone at all? She wouldn’t even be writing this silly collumm, she’d be stuck at home doing housework and looking after children.

    1. Susan Nercher

      Feminists need to realize …

      [I’ve deleted the rest of the comment because, while I do appreciate and encourage honest conversation, trolls annoy me, and everything the user “Susan Nercher” posts online is designed to incite anger and is clearly a desperate plea for attention. – Sylvia]

      1. Susan Nercher

        In other words, you don’t believe in free speech or a democracy. A lot of the things you say clearly incites anger too. Should we delete that? Feel free to delete this comment as well only to prove that you don’t believe in debates and the exchange of opinions.

      2. Of course I do. But every comment you’ve posted online hasn’t been conversational, but intentionally inflammatory. You’re not actually trying to contribute, so I don’t have any qualms about silencing you.

        But if it will make you feel better, I’ll summarize the gist of your comment: without the contributions of men, feminists wouldn’t have birth control, or even feminism, for that matter.

        Is that close? And can you tell me what your point was?

  2. Susan Nercher

    My comment was directed to Tatiana who claimed that without feminism, Suzanne Venker wouldn’t be working for anyone at all. My point was that without the contributions of men, there would have been no feminism. What is wrong with praising the contributions of men?

    Apparently to you, any comment that praises men is intentionally inflammatory. You don’t have any qualms about silencing those who praise men’s contributions? You don’t see anything wrong with that?

    Why didn’t you silence Tatiana who said that “Suzanne Venker works for Fox News – that says it all?” Isn’t that inflammatory against Fox News? Well, I guess you don’t care about Fox News. But a comment that praises men’s contributions is inflammatory?

    1. What do the contributions of men have to do with the hypocrisy of Venker’s piece? Or is your larger argument that because many men are fine people who have made some important contributions, women should forget all this silly feminism nonsense?

      (If you’re looking for a “man-hating” site, by the way, you’re in the wrong place and will end up not being satisfied, because I’m not going to engage in a men v. women battle.)

  3. Susan Nercher

    Again, I was responding to Tatiana’s post. What does the fact that Suzanne Venker working for Fox News have to do with the article? Also Tatiana said that without the advances of feminism, Suzanne wouldn’t be working. I added the fact that without the advances of men, women wouldn’t be working either.

    And why are you putting words in my mouth? Did I say that women should forget feminism? My point is that women should realize that men contributed to feminism too.

    Who said I was looking for a man-hating site? Why are you making so many unfounded assumptions just because I happen to acknowledge men’s contributions to feminism? Isn’t feminism supposed to be about gender equality? You are not going to engage in a men v. women battle? You are the one who deleted my comment and then made unfounded assumptions about me. Don’t claim that I want a battle.

    Although in all fairness, I should commend you for at least summarizing the comment you deleted and giving me an opportunity to express my opinion.

    1. You’re probably right. I made assumptions about you – based largely on the style of your original comment, which led me to search for some of your other comments, which led me to the conclusion that you would eventually get around to insulting women and feminists by calling all of us sociopathic baby-killers who want to stomp on men’s balls.

      But, that was unfair. Yes, men have contributed to feminism, and they still do. (And they should, just as women should contribute to men’s rights issues – custody fairness, for example). My judgment of you was based on other conversations, and this is this conversation. I’ll bow out, now, and leave Tatiana respond for herself, if she returns to see your comment.

  4. Susan Nercher

    Thank you for your last comment. I do believe that all of us should contribute to each other’s needs and rights and that we shouldn’t deem certain groups as “enemies.” We are destined to live with each other in society so we should respect each other. When you look at others with contempt and suspicion, you can’t expect them to help you one day when you may need it. We should all acknowledge each other’s contributions and praise each other when we can.

      1. Anonymous

        Sylvia, “Susan Nercher” doesn’t exist. It is a made up profile. There is no Susan Nercher in the USA. Don’t ask how I know. This person is a rabid MRA who disrespects and denigrates women. This person goes onto feminist and pro-choice sites and trolls and extols the MRA perspective. I’ve called them out on a different website, and since then “Susan Nercher” has vanished.

      2. Susan Nercher


        Anonymous is a troll who has admitted to setting up a bogus Facebook account on another post and has claimed to be affiliated with the Hell’s Angels, which she later retracted. This Anonymous has also claimed to have conducted an illegal social security database on another website. This Anonymous disrespects and denigrates men and anyone who supports men. Apparently, this Anonymous doesn’t think the MRA perspective is illegitimate, indicating her gender bigotry and misandry. You may be asked to present this person’s IP address if this Anonymous persists.

  5. Feminism doesn’t have to mean you devalue marriage or children. It doesn’t mean you have to be a “Sex in the City” self-absorbed dingbat. It doesn’t have to mean that girls can’t play with dolls. Feminism can just mean that women and men are equal and should be treated as equal. Nothing more, nothing less. This entire column is a straw man (woman?) argument, taking the worst aspects of the worst feminists and ascribing their beliefs to our entire society.


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