#126 Is Feminism a War on Men? with Suzanne Venker
I've got today's guest, who is Suzanne Venker, to come and break it down for you. She's a nationally recognized expert on America’s gender war, which is this whole feminism topic, and she's written books such as The War On Men, and The Flipside of Feminism: What Conservative Women Know – and Men Can't Say. Just recently in February 14, 2017, she released the The Alpha Female's Guide to Men & Marriage.
She's really trying to help women and men come together and avoid this war. She's got some very strong views on this and we're going to dig into these in this interview, and I hope it helps you a lot. This new book helps women own their femininity, or find it in a beta, so they can in turn find peace and passion with a man, which is of course what we all want, right – quality relationships, peace, and passion.
Specifically, in this episode you'll learn about:
- Suzanne's journey and background (05:00)
- What is feminism? (09:13)
- Differences between men and women since the feminist movement (11:51)
- The widespread phenomenon of feminism (16:30)
- The affect on men as a result of the feminism cultural shift (18:00)
- Different types of feminism and labels (21:43)
- What women want from relationships today (25:17)
- If men are happier because feminism has made them less accountable, are they willing to return to traditional ways of marriage? (31:37)
- The affects of the hookup culture, its growth, and its relation to feminism (33:40)
- Other noteworthy impacts on male and female interactions, or relationships (36:44)
- How men can connect with women who are less feminist minded (40:03)
- The demographic trend of U.S. men preferring foreign women because they are less competitive / feminist minded (46:27)
- Healthy communication and leading styles for men to avoid some of the issues caused by feminism (49:30)
- How men can deal with feminist minded women (51:32)
- Therapy as a means of dealing with feminist issues in a relationship (52:27)
- How to connect with Suzanne to learn about more about her and her work (55:14)
- Recommendations for quality advice in relationships between men and women (55:40)
- Top recommendations for guys to improve their dating life (56:25)
Items Mentioned in this Episode include:
- The Alpha Female's Guide to Men and Marriage: How Love Works (Suzanne Venker)
- Sheilaraygregoire.com Suzanne recommends Sheila's advice on dating and marriage, from a religious perspective.
- Evanmarckatz.com Suzanne also recommends the dating and relationship advice of Evan Marc Katz.
- Michaela Boehm and David Deida Angel mentioned them in relation to covering similar topics about male and female interactions, as well as the masculine and feminine.
Books, Courses and Training from Suzanne Venker
Full Text Transcript of the Interview
[Angel Donovan]: Suzanne, thank you so much for putting the time aside to join us.
[Suzanne Venker]: Thanks for having me.
[Angel Donovan]: Great so, let's give a very brief kind of intro. What have you been up to on this little journey of yours. Quickly, how did you get into it and how long has it been going on?
[Suzanne Venker]: It's been about 15 years, a little more. Actually, I have a 16-year-old. She'll be 17 pretty soon here, which I was pregnant with her when I wrote my first book, which was about motherhood. It's been a long journey of watching these "women's issues", which are really men's and women's issues unfold over the last 15 years because, back at that time, the "Mommy Wars" were a thing. That was a label bantered about and that's pretty much what I was... I mean, I wasn't writing about that per se. I was writing about the work that goes on in raising children and being at home with kids and that was immediately turned on its head and made into an attack on working mothers. That sort of catapulted from there and ended up going in a different direction than I had intended. Then, I stepped out of it for a while because, I had my second child. Then, I just disappeared for a number of years, dabbled at home with the internet, of course. That was still somewhat new. I'm not sure we had email when I started. The technological aspects of my work in writing has just been hugely helpful, particularly with reaching an audience that I believe is just not heard from and very much under represented. That's really why I ended up. Everything I wrote from that point was about reaching those people that the media don't even know exist.
[Angel Donovan]: Do you get a lot of emails from both men and women?
[Suzanne Venker]: Yeah, tons but, the funny thing is ever since the beginning, it's been probably about 60/40, 55/45 in favor or men. You know, it's not a coincidence that I'm ending up here talking with men because, that's often what has happened as a result of what I've done. I never set out to write for men but, it came about that what I was saying was of course, in their favor and they weren't used to hearing that I don't think. So, they came out of the woodwork and I get... Oh my gosh! The stories I've gotten has propelled me even more forward. They're just so under represented.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah it's great. I can imagine. I was just at a Tony Robbins event. I don't know if you know Tony Robbins and he's got this event called Date with Destiny. It's his big event and he has a big part on basically, this dynamic between females and males today. He goes through a big session talking about the issues of what the modern world has done to this and how it's...
[Suzanne Venker]: Oh, really?
[Angel Donovan]: ... caused this mess. Yeah, you might want to look into his stuff. I'm sure you'll agree and connect with some of it and there were women crying.
[Suzanne Venker]: Yes, wait a minute! I think I did see something in the last couple months, where he's standing in front of an audience and then, he asks them directly about their story, right? And they stand up? Was that him?
[Angel Donovan]: That's his usual thing. He just released a film, which is I'm Not Your Guru, which is on the Date with Destiny seminar specifically, which is a week-long thing. It's probably got some snippets of what he does in terms of the female/male dynamic. You might find some stuff there.
[Suzanne Venker]: Okay.
[Angel Donovan]: Or in some of his other work but, it might be good to look into it. You might connect with some of it or just inspire you in some way.
[Suzanne Venker]: Sure.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, it was quite impressive because, of the way he does it and with the audience and everything and you've got these people who have these sudden realizations about what they've been doing their whole life. Maybe it hasn't been them. It's just been kind of culture and stuff, which has been pushing them in that direction. There was one girl who stood up and just a quick story. She stood up at the end of this part. It's one day. It's like the fifth day that we just focus on that dynamic. She stood up and she getting a divorce. She only just had these realizations of everything she'd been just going and it caused the divorce and it was too late. She was crying and she was like, "But, I'm really glad I've learned this right but, it's just too late," and she was really upset about it.
[Suzanne Venker]: Oh, Oh my gosh!
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah but, there was a lot of that kind of people having these realizations and stuff. Anyway, great stuff. He's spreading the word as well. Now, let's get into your stuff. I'd like to take a step back, especially on these topics where I find it very confusing because, there's all sorts of view points out there on the internet these days. What is feminism?
[Suzanne Venker]: That's such a hard question today because, it has been so messed with, if you will in terms of people really wanting to define it for what they think that it is, what they feel that it is, what they basically want it to stand for and be. Who I am to define it for you? You can define it anyway you like if you want but, the facts are still the facts of there's a movement that has a very specific agenda. That agenda is to effectively break down the family because, when you have... someone wrote something recently that I was reading that talked about all the isms, communism, Marxism, feminism. Anything that ends in an ism is in effect fighting against mother nature and the family unit because, it's just like family isn't... is a direct opposite of the government. You really can't have both of those in the same place. They don't exist well together. A feminist, their two greatest things that they've propelled is the idea that A) women in America are oppressed and that B) there are no sex differences at all. That all the differences you think that exist between women and men are in fact just social constructs and that there's no basis in biology whatsoever. What I think is blowing that, of course, to smithereens is all of the brain research that's been done in the last ten years proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt how vast the differences are between men and women. They're never going to be able to convince, in my opinion, a large segment or majority of people to go against science and the facts that are there. Not to mention people's experience with... especially being the mother of both boys and girls and seeing how really that those differences present themselves. So, feminists are not known for being, as you probably know, happy wives and mothers. They're very angry, single or divorced or homosexual or just they're not in the norm or the traditional family structure. They're constantly fighting against rather than just quietly living their lives separately or differently the way most people do. Nobody would argue with that. There's no complaints about it but, trying to overturn society to accommodate you is ultimately what they want. Of course, they'll never be happy until... well, they're never going to be happy because, it's not going to happen. It's just an endless list of complaints, which is what that march on Saturday was all about, the women's march. You know, same kind of thing that we saw in the 60s with the protests then.
[Angel Donovan]: How do you think women are different, since this has taken place and I don't know, if that's the case? Are men different also?
[Suzanne Venker]: They're different from one another. A woman's identity, the average woman's identity is very much gained through their relationships. They're very... feminist don't like you to use the word emotional because, they see that as a negative but, I see it as a very positive thing but, they want to women to effectively be like. Since men are typically less emotional and more practical, they want people to think women are that way as well. You'll find this really interesting. I heard from a man who's got a very high-up position in some company and he sent me this... or no, he was commenting, excuse me, on an article I had written at the Federalist. He described in there how differently he's had to handle the female versus the male beneath him when dealing with them, talking with them about their strengths or weaknesses, what to do better. Just whatever you need to do when you're running a company, he approaches women in a completely differently way than he approaches men because, he pointed out, they are more emotional. You have to handle the female psyche a little differently than you do the male psyche. Doesn't mean one's better or worse. That's really such a huge difference between the feminist mind-set and just a non-feminist mind-set is that feminist think these are bad things, that they're negative. That this makes women beneath men when in fact, the irony is that... first of all, you shouldn't think of either as better or superior but, if you were going to slap that label on it, you would actually that most people thought it was the reverse years ago. That women were held on a pedestal as being better than men and capable of channeling men's energy into something positive and bringing them to the marriage tables so that they were more tamed, if you will and devoted one group of people, as opposed to sewing their oats forever more. There's a whole theory behind this that makes perfect sense to people who don't have this negative view of the sexes but, a feminist mind, it's all convoluted. It's not positive. It's all very negative. I'd say that's probably the biggest differences between women and men is that women are relational beings and that's where they talk. They feel. They intuit, where as men are much more black-and-white. They're more practical and they get their identity largely through their vocation. It really makes perfect sense when you think about it from a biological standpoint that women are the ones who are able to give birth. They carry this baby for nine months. They give birth. You cannot put that person in the same category as a human that doesn't do that. That's such a hugely different thing between them that of course, it's going to make them more attached to their children, physically and emotionally in a way that's just unique. It's better or worse. It's just different and so, their trajectory in life when they're looking forward in their lifetime and how they're going to live, they think about caring for their babies, in a way is more of an emotional, nurturing way. A man thinks of it, the minute he comes out, it's like, "Okay, I got to go work and make sure I have enough money to take care of this little thing." You just come at it with a completely different... and both are equally needed, both.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah.
[Suzanne Venker]: We've just minimized that and made it about pitting men and women against one another rather than embracing their complementarity.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, so it sounds like, from your perspective basically, feminism has been a removing those difference and... I mean, how would you describe it in kind of like the transformation of women through this trend?
[Suzanne Venker]: Exactly like you just said that feminists are effectively wanting to... they talk about it in terms of an us-versus-them mentality because again, they're not pro-family, right? They want to break up essentially and bring in all these other forms of families that are equal or comparable to the traditional family. In doing that, you have to really break down the whole concept of sex differences and to convince women really that if they, in any way do think in terms of relationships or marriage or even child rearing that they're going down a path that is ultimately going to oppress them. Rather than they're going down a path that's actually going to be a wonderful, beautiful addition to your life, they want women to really think differently or negatively, really about marriage and motherhood, about family.
[Angel Donovan]: Right and do you think this concept has started with a pool of actual feminists and it's spread more widely to the kind of the mainstream? To what extent do you think it's become a widespread phenomenon?
[Suzanne Venker]: Well for example, at its onset in the early part of the 20th century, it was not against families at all. Feminism, and I don't know if they used that word really. It was really suffragette and they were focused on the right to vote but, they were very pro-family. It wasn't until the 60s and the 70s that that whole family break down on the part of feminists became a thing. Then, it gets inculcated into the culture in such a way that over time, people really don't question it. They just adapt it as their own and then when, of course the fact that they have all the power, that puts a whole another level, layer to it because, people are happiest really when they're thinking like the people around them, right? To go against those in power is extremely difficult. There's illusion, which is one of the arguments I've made in my work that there more feminist-minded men and women than there really are because, the ones that you see represented in the media are all that way. They do, I mean most think that way and have bought into that. That silent majority is there but, you don't see it. You have a skewed version of what "normalcy" or the average person thinks is like.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, so you just alluded to the fact that men have jumped on that train as well. Is this a small part of men or is it more mainstream?
[Suzanne Venker]: My theory on what's happened with men as a result of this movement or cultural shift is that you have a couple different pockets of men. You have the ones that have just rejected it, all out rejection. They call that, "men going their own way," right? You have that group, particularly on line that are just rejecting marriage all together. Then, you have a group of men who fall into it hook, line and sinker and sort of become feminist-minded themselves. Though they don't maybe use that word or talk about it but, it's just their mindset is to just go along with it because, what is their option? What is their option? If you fight it, A) how are you ever going to get with a woman? I won't be crass about it but, if you want to get what you ultimately want, you almost have to... and need in the family and have sex and all of that, you're going to have to sort of go along with what the woman wants. That leads into the other group, which I am concerned with the most where, I have this theory that men are ultimately, (especially when they're married, husbands I should say) want to please their wives. They want them to be happy. They tend to go along with what their wives want to do. Not in a way like the other group I was talking about where they've just do whatever the woman says because, they do. But this other group that wants to remain the man in the relationship but, the woman is adopting that role and that's where the issues really become really skewed because, who's going to be the masculine? Who's going to be the feminine? We've asked men to become more feminine which, they have. Then, you have this group of men who are pushing back against that because, it isn't natural for them to want to do that. It's almost like three groups. A group that's just completely emasculated and totally feminized and just doing whatever they'll told and the group that is rejecting marriage all together and saying, "Forget it." Then, this whole middle ground and the middle ground is really what my new book is talking to because, I'm concerned with men stepping up a little bit more and becoming the alpha males that they really want to be. Having the women step back a little bit so that you can have this nice complimentary, that's what I was trying to say, relationship, instead of this competitive one, where you have these alpha males out in full force. Then, a man is... most men are alpha by nature, whereas women are alpha, definitely by nurture. They've been nurtured to be alpha and to get rid of their more feminine/beta side. So now, we're just drowning in alpha alphas and alphas and alphas now together completely ruin love. It destroys it, which goes back to what you had mentioned earlier before we were...
[Angel Donovan]: Right, it becomes a competition rather than...
[Suzanne Venker]: It becomes a competition.
[Angel Donovan]: ... a collaboration.
[Suzanne Venker]: And as long as you're in that mode, your relationship is always going to be contentious. It's never going to work long-term. It might work for a while but, it'll have all that strife and you're wondering, "Why is this not working?" It's because you're both alphas. It's just too strong and someone's got to be able to take a step and let someone else lead.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, everyone's been told they should get their own way and if they're not getting their own way, it's kind of like an ego thing. There's something wrong and they're being submissive. Around the topic of alpha, there's a lot of misunderstandings there and everyone wants to be the one who isn't being submissive and letting other people get away with things. Yeah, so all of that. Just to touch... because, I think there's maybe a lot of different feminisms. I know some people spoke out about this. You know, "I'm this type of feminist. I'm not that type of feminist." How do you look at it? Are there many different types of feminism today? Are some of them actually fine and some of them good and then, how do you look at it?
[Suzanne Venker]: That's a good question. As I said before, it's not for me to tell someone how they should personally define. All I can say is this is what the movement is about. This a fact. This is what they want. To me, either you're on board or you're not. I'm the kind of person where I'm not going to jump on board unless I completely agree with it and if I don't, I just don't associate myself with that group. The fact that people want to take the label and make something personal out of it to use it, to me is because they've fallen for the concept that in order to believe that men and women are equal in value, you need that label. You need that label to some degree. You can say you're this but then, you try to get rid of all the extraneous stuff that doesn't apply to you but, "I'm feminist because, I believe women have equal rights to men." Well, I don't know anybody who doesn't think that. I literally don't know anybody who doesn't think that. I guess you could either say, "All of us are feminist or none of us are." It gets so convoluted but to me, it's just simple to say, "You're either on board with this movement that's doing this thing and believes this thing or you're not." For me, it's very cut and dry. For a lot of people, it's just not because, they're so afraid to say they're not because, they think that means that people will think that they don't think women are equal to men. That's how successful feminism has been in teaching that that's what it's about. That women are equal to men. Well, guess what? Women have always been equal to men in value. People knew that. You just twisted the whole story to fit this other agenda.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, you simplified it so we had to be equal on exactly the same criteria, which is kind of appealing to the mind. It makes it really simple to understand and you don't have to think about it. Then, you can be just like, "Oh no, we're not equal because, we don't have exactly the same jobs. We don't have exactly the same everything. We don't do exactly the same things." It's an easy thing to spread because, it's so simple as well and it's often the most dangerous idea.
[Suzanne Venker]: Absolutely, yeah and then, they just cooped. Anything that happens that's a natural progress in society, they cooped and act as though they're the ones who were responsible for it. One of the biggest things I've been told from haters over the years is, "You wouldn't be where you are if it wasn't for feminism," and I love that one. I just laugh because, they really do believe that. They don't understand how it came to be that women were more front-and-center in the marketplace today and over the last several decades than they were before, even though the answer, birth control, technological advances, all of which were supplied by men, thank you very much, did more to liberate women, (if you want to refer to that as liberation) than a boatload of feminists could ever hope to do. They don't know their research. They don't know history. They just know what they've been told and they think that feminism created women's ability to get a degree or to be in the workforce. It just isn't true. It just isn't true. I also come from a long line women who had college degrees long before. Going back to the early part of the 20th century and there are lots of women like that but, you don't hear about them because, that would undercut the message of course that it took feminism to get women to become educated and have lives outside of the homes.
[Angel Donovan]: Great, so what do you think women want from relationships today? Like what are kind of her ideals that she's trying to get to?
[Suzanne Venker]: I think women want what they've always wanted, which is simply security and commitment and to be cared for and know that you're in it. It's done. You don't have to go back out there and live this... not that there's anything wrong with being single and that it's not great for x-amount of years and for some people forever but, for the average woman, it isn't and even for the average man I don't think that is the goal for long-term. I think everybody, it's a human condition to ultimately want to be loved and known and seen by one person and otherwise, what are you doing out there in the dating world? I mean, what's the alternative to that, right? Whether or not it ends up in marriage and children or not or just long-term permanence outside of that, I think ultimately that's what really both sexes want. But women are now up against a society or culture that doesn't even want them to admit it. I mean, that's almost taboo to say that that's what you're looking for. I feel like men and women are just walking around in this state of... there's this pull between what they want and what they're supposed to want. It's very unfortunate because, there was a time when everybody knew that's what everybody wanted and you just talked about it and it was celebrated.
[Angel Donovan]: And what are they supposed to want now?
[Suzanne Venker]: They're supposed to want independence to a degree that... I mean, just no-holds-bar independence, independence from men, independence from children, just independence and the idea that you lose your independence when you get married is really kind of... it's just not an accurate way of looking at it. You become inter-dependent with someone else but, you don't lose your independence. You do have to make, of course tremendous sacrifices. That's really what feminists are no good at doing and don't want women to have to do because, if you make sacrifices, you're somehow oppressed. Most of us who make sacrifices everyday consider that to be a growth experience, not something that takes away from you.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, what compromise is.
[Suzanne Venker]: Compromise.
[Angel Donovan]: It's like collaborative sacrifices because, it takes both ends to make something work. You're saying that they're basically a lot less happy today but, they don't realize why.
[Suzanne Venker]: That's right and in fact, we actually have the research on that in 2007 that women are less happy. They've gotten more powerful, more education but, they're less happy than they were before. I believe that that's what that is about. It's not that you don't want to get educated, obviously. It's not that you don't want to have an independent life. You do but, you want to marry that desire with the same desire that doesn't ever go away because, it's human, which is to love and be love and to have a family. How are you going to marry those two things? I think that's very much what is inside of women. Men too but, women in particular and no one's coming out to tell you how you're going to do that? It's either one or the other. It's just one extreme to another. No one's teaching them how to rectify those two desires in a way that works, where they don't have to deal with guilt and regret and all of the rest.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, and are men effected with the same thing? Are they less happy? Is there similar research on that?
[Suzanne Venker]: Actually no. The research shows just the opposite.
[Angel Donovan]: Oh really?
[Suzanne Venker]: That women are... yeah. That men are happier as result of what's happened with women.
[Angel Donovan]: That's so interesting.
[Suzanne Venker]: It worked in reverse. It didn't do what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to make women happy and it actually made men happier. That kind of makes perfect sense because, there was a time when men, if they wanted to be with a woman had to step up to the plate and they had to work for it. They had to lay down their lives and say, "I will marry you or I'm committed to you," before they would get that other thing. Now, I mean the sex piece and the difference between women and men when it comes to sex is really quite crucial. Really crucial because, feminist don't like to hear this. Women are the gatekeepers of sex. I mean, that's what this whole... they love to talk about sexual assault and rape because, that gets... once you remove what used to be a pretty simple formula which is, man wants sex, woman wants love. Man has to love before he gets sex and she has to... it's very simple and she has created an environment that sort of allows that so that this ultimately happens. Once you remove that and come along and say, "Well, women are just like men. They want sex just like men do," and they can act just like men, then it changes the rules entirely. What you see is men are not stepping up to the plate any longer because, women aren't demanding it of them. That goes back to what we were saying earlier about how women actually civilized men and bring them to the family table by making those demands and it's a trade off really when you get married. Nobody like to talk about it like that because, we want us to talk about like the romance and all the rest which is fine but, there's more to it than that. It is a deal. It is a business deal to some degree. It's saying, "I will take care of your family. I will have a family with you and commit my life for you and in exchange, you're going to get lifelong companionship," (and presumably respect but, that another conversation because, it's not happening), "and sex." It's an exchange of goods really, right? Now, that women are no longer taught to think in that way because, that's supposed to be bad, which it's not, then what's happening? Men are not settling down. Men are not bettering themselves. Men are not going to school and getting on an educated good career track to become a family man because, what's the point? What's in it for him? He can get sex whenever he wants. He doesn't have to commit himself and the women say, "We don't need you. We don't need a husband. We don't even need you to have children." So, where are men left to go? They're not going to come to the marriage table as well as they did in the past and they're also not going to better themselves. When women are always asked, "Where the good men have gone," I love to say, "Well, what did you do? You got rid of them? They will respond to what you demand of them and you are no longer... you've taken that away. So, that changed the game."
[Angel Donovan]: This is a kind of basic question, if guys are happier, will they want to go back to the old way if...?
[Suzanne Venker]: That's a great question and that goes back to I guess our pockets of men, the different groups that we talked about. I think the ones are anti-marriage probably... because, I hear from them. If I try to talk about turning this around, that group will say, "Well, it's so far gone. Who cares? We're done." They have this mentality that I can't penetrate at all because, they're just tuned out and maybe, they really weren't marriage-orientated to begin with. Who knows, but I don't think that men... I mean, I don't know how you really define happiness. So, that was kind of an interesting study in 2007 but, I think they definitely are freer on the one hand because, they don't have to settle down, earlier. I guess, if you want to put it that way, which is ultimately not what they really want to do because, they always have to pulled to the altar. So, it looks kind of good at the beginning but, the problem is, after so many years, that gets old. I mean, I'm not suggesting men are happy living in an unmarried state forever. Some are. Some I think are in a way that women would never be. I do think that but, I think the average guy does want to get married and have a family and that that will run its course after x-amount of years. The beauty is is that they can marry young. They could just marry someone ten years younger, still have sewed those oats for however long and then, get right back on the saddle. A woman can't do that, which is where feminism really fails women. Now, you're hitting your mid-30s and your body, guess what, is completely different from a man's. I mean, obviously, men don't give birth. So, they can get a younger model and you don't want the younger models. Even if you did, it's irrelevant because, your body isn't going to cooperate. You can't treat them the same, I guess is the point, men and women in terms of their trajectory in life just because of that fact along. Normal people know this. This is not. This should not be controversial. It is what it is but, it has become controversial.
[Angel Donovan]: Just moving on to something because, we've often talked about the hook-up culture and its growth on the podcast with various scientists and so on. Do you think that's related to feminism in any way?
[Suzanne Venker]: Oh absolutely, absolutely. You know, keep in mind, feminism's goal is all about independence for women and the fact that there's no supposedly differences between men and women. Those two things together make casual sex just something to aspire to. The more you are living like a "man", the more equal and powerful you are but of course, that doesn't take into account the fact again, that men and women are different and women do not respond to sex the same way that men do. It's been extraordinarily harmful. That's probably one of the biggest issues outside of fertility, which is the other big problem, that it's just been devastating for women. Young women especially who feel pressured to think that they're supposed to be able to enjoy casual sex and now have to inebriate themselves in order to do it but, there's not connection between the fact that. Especially on college campuses, 99% of the time, that sex is accompanied by you're having to change your state of mind in order to get there emotionally. That to me speaks volumes about the fact that you really can't get there in a sober state. That's getting into a, excuse me, whole another conversation about what's going on on campuses but, I've often said, "If you remove the alcohol, you're going to have a completely different reaction of women when it comes to hooking up because, they're going to have a much harder time doing it because, their regular, sober mind does not want that." They want the connection and the relationship and that's a great thing. That's something that we should admire and hold up as a model, not something to try to get rid of so that they can act like they're equal to men.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah. that's a really interesting viewpoint. I'd be interested to see what happened when we take away the alcohol. Maybe, it'll happen in 20 years.
[Suzanne Venker]: Yeah, I mean, there's a great book on that actually.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah?
[Suzanne Venker]: It's kind of become like a movement. It's called This Naked Mind.
[Angel Donovan]: Okay, I'll look it up afterwards.
[Suzanne Venker]: Yeah and it's all about her goal is to treat... she wants people to view alcohol the way we now view smoking, which of course is...
[Angel Donovan]: I already do. I quit alcohol two years ago, yeah.
[Suzanne Venker]: Excellent, excellent.
[Angel Donovan]: Once you look into the studies and what it does to the brain and like you want your brain to be good in old age. You don't want it to be messed up. It's our most powerful resource and the studies really don't look good.
[Suzanne Venker]: Oh, it's bad and this book really packs a punch. It's got it all in there and it's very hard to continue down that path once you've read it.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, it would be interesting how society, like you're saying, how social culture changes, how society changes as result of that. It'd probably be pretty big changes. It'd really interesting.
[Suzanne Venker]: Huge change, huge.
[Angel Donovan]: In productivity and work as well, can you image? It'll solve a lot of companies' problems too. We've done a pretty broad stroke across the issues. Are there any other noteworthy impacts that we haven't noted on male/female interactions or relationships?
[Suzanne Venker]: Probably, there's so much. My biggest focus really right now is to... you know, you brought up that word submissive earlier and I don't want to use it at all because, I think it's what feminists use to scare women away from understanding what the male/female dance is ultimately about. That men, by nature are alpha and women, by nature or... let's just say masculine and women, by nature are feminine and that those are things to be welcomed and embraced. To understand that you being in your feminine and he being in his masculine is going to make your relationship smooth sailing and that this idea that being feminine is... I just reject that it's about being submissive. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with being soft instead of hard, with being easy instead of difficult because, when you have two... And then, there's just this other piece to it. People will say, "Well, then are men hard and are men difficult and are men competitive?" Well yes but, when it comes to marriage, they're not naturally prone to want to compete with the woman. They're not trying to one-up the woman. All they want to do is take care of them.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, exactly. We have that instinct.
[Suzanne Venker]: Yes, where as when a woman's taking on that same role, she doesn't come at it... in fact, the research shows that when she... you're dealing with these bread-winning wives who make more than their husbands, when you shift that balance of power so dramatically like that, for women the arguments between husband and wife become more about power for her. Then, when a man makes more, it's more about how the money's being spent. How she's spending the money. So, it's more focused on the money but, when a woman and your reverse, it's immediately a power trip for her. Men aren't like that. They're not interested in having a power trip over their wives. They want to simply care for them because, that's their identity and you need to let them do that and that makes the relationship smooth. The minute you start fighting, it's all about that fight, that internal fight that I say, go out and do all day long if you want, when he's not around. He doesn't care but, when you come home at night, you have to be someone else entirely. That's just not going to fly.
[Angel Donovan]: That's excellent. Have you come across Michaela Boehm's work or David Deida? I just wondered.
[Suzanne Venker]: Neither of those, actually.
[Angel Donovan]: It's just because you talk about similar stuff. I interviewed Michaela Boehm on the podcast. You might her stuff interesting too and I'm sure you'll agree with a bunch of it as well. It might be cool for you.
[Suzanne Venker]: How do you spell her last name?
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, I know. It's complicated, right? B-O-E-H-M. She kind of like took up the mantle of David Deida's original work. They were talking about masculine and feminine really is. Pretty much in similar words to you.
[Suzanne Venker]: Are they over there in the UK?
[Angel Donovan]: No, they're in the US. Everything's pretty much in the US.
[Suzanne Venker]: Oh, okay.
[Angel Donovan]: You've got a big home to a big country. That's why it works. There's not many people here. We do export a lot of actor and actresses these days, I've noticed. Somehow, there's a trend there.
[Suzanne Venker]: Yes, I know. Lately, in the last ten years, all of my daughtersÕ favorite singers are all over there.
[Angel Donovan]: Right.
[Suzanne Venker]: What's going on? When I was growing up, there was nothing like that.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, I don't... someone's doing something. It's quite specific. It's probably the accent or something like that. They're just using it. Okay, cool. So, I wanted to go through some of the practical takeaways and implications for this. I'm aware that maybe you haven't written or talked about some of this but, we can explore it anyway. Like one of the things for men, I think... I was thinking about whenever I looked into your work was that in order to have relationships that work, they need less feminist-minded women or less women that have bought less into these ideas. So, it's going to create less competition, if the guy's kind of going along with what we're saying here. How would you suggest he goes about kind of selecting and finding women that might be more suitable for healthy relationships?
[Suzanne Venker]: I can't say where. Initially, I would want to say church groups but, they've actually been just as infiltrated as secular America or whatever. I don't where exactly but, I would say that there are a couple of ways to... depending on what your goal is. You know, if you're goal is to get married and settle down, you can tell right away if you're dealing with a feminist-minded gal based on two things, what her views are on abortion and day care. That'll give it away right away. She'll start talking about... I mean immediately, if she's talking about women's "rights." in any way shape or form and what they're entitled to or how their lives are going to be all about them, as soon as they start talking in that way and they're not talking from a family-orientated perspective, you know right away you're going to have trouble on your hands. I've often thought about writing an open letter to men because, you have to think about... and sometimes I think, they don't realize how it translates to after they get married. If a woman's really self-involved, chances are she's going to remain self-involved afterwards. You want to pick up on somebody's who's more feminine in her outlook in terms of being nurturing and selfless, not so me, me, me, me, me. If you're with someone who's me, me, me, you know right away run. Run, you're going to be in big trouble down the road. Especially because, women change after they're married. They're not the same when they're dating as they are when they... after they've had children. That's just one of the first things that comes to mind is just how they talk, you'll know right away.
[Angel Donovan]: How about how they talk about relationships, what they do in life?
[Suzanne Venker]: Yes.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, so it's interesting you talk about... my current girlfriend, she's very much interested in caring for people and things like. I was thinking that when she talks and stuff about relationships and everything and it's always about caring and the issues around someone hasn't cared enough. You do kind of get that. I'm trying to bring across like how it would be recognizable, whether when they're talking about problems in relationships, as girls often do, is the issue that someone isn't caring enough. How do they talk about that kind of issue or is like when you were explaining, you were just saying that they're very self-involved? What would that look like more?
[Suzanne Venker]: First of all, they're talking about everything they're going to do in life and the things they've done in the past. They talk about all the things they're going to do in the future with no discussion about you or potential children, assuming you want them. That's kind of a red flag. Are they orchestrating their life around having a family someday or is it just completely revolving around what their plans are personally?
[Angel Donovan]: Right, so if they very strong plans which are independent plans in the future, which you can clearly they don't really fit with a family view down the line and that kind of thing.
[Suzanne Venker]: Absolutely, you'll know that by their choice of career. You'll know that by... like you said, there's a big difference between choosing a caring profession and wanting to be a CEO. Not that there's anything wrong with that but, that's not necessarily going to work well for you for what your goal is.
[Angel Donovan]: Right.
[Suzanne Venker]: I want to encourage men to be so much discriminating about who they spend time with and who they sleep with, for sure because, you can get... once you throw that into the equation, then it can be really hard to see straight for sure. I'm really against co-habitation. I think that's bad news for everybody. Not for the reasons that you might necessarily think. I think really removes any objectivity and it's too chancy to then, slide into it because, you're already there. It changes the way you look at it once you lose that objectivity.
[Angel Donovan]: Co-habitation is when you live with someone before marriage? Is that the definition?
[Suzanne Venker]: Right, now if you're already engaged, that's another story but, I'm talking about you're just shacking up. You know, whatever, for lack of...
[Angel Donovan]: Okay, that's essential my situation. This is going to be my second time doing it. I can tell you from my perspective, it felt like a huge commitment, just because I haven't done it before. Typically, I was living on my own and my girls will all stay over and then basically, come and stay at my place. Often, sometimes they kind of move in but, this is the first time I took a decision with a girl to move into a place and it felt like a big commitment because, we got joint account, paying the rent together. You know, it's more like a mutual relationship. What are the issue with that?
[Suzanne Venker]: The issues with that are that my question to you would be... I mean, there's no question that when a person chooses to do that instead of asking someone to marry them, you're clearly saying, "I'm not all in." There's no question about it. You can't deny it. You're basically saying, "I'm getting there. I might be there. I don't know but, I'm not all in. I don't know yet so, let's try this out." Again, the problem with that is that the chance of your extricating become a lot more A) complicated, difficult when you try to... and when you end the relationship instead of getting married and 2) the baggage at least for the woman that she's going to carry is going to be much greater than it would have been had you not lived together. Because, I don't care what people say, in the back of a woman's mind, what she ultimately wants is for you to ask her to marry her. She will say, "Oh, I don't want that," or "Oh, this is great. This is better right now because, we're both... this will save money," and there's like all these reasons for why people live together, instead of getting but, in the back of her mind, she wants commitment. Now, I'm talking about your specific situation. Maybe you have a specific... you found the woman who's really nothing like that. She really wants exactly the way you want it but, my feeling is that ultimately, you're entering with two totally different... in fact, the research shows, that women, when polled about this after the fact, they ultimately assumed that is was going to wind up in marriage and the man wasn't thinking that at all.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, great points. another thing I was thinking about, demographics. Now, I've seen a lot of guys take more interest in Latin women, more interest in Asian, just as two lines, even to the point where there's a lot of... and also Eastern European women. I think I feel that a lot of those countries have stronger feminine values still embedded and feminine styles and the women think more along the original lines you're thinking still.
[Suzanne Venker]: I completely...
[Angel Donovan]: And so, there's a lot of guys either go into those countries or now, there's a lot, of course these women in the states as well. So, they're may be more value for a lot of men. There's a fair amount of research showing that Asian women are really highly valued. When you look at all the stats compared to... they're given a premium for just being Asian, when you look at how attracted men are and how interested they are in women in general. There was some nice stuff in OkCupid stats. They've a blog about it, I think. Yeah, so I was just wondering what you think about that kind of trend.
[Suzanne Venker]: So, I think that was an inevitable out growth of everything that's happened, over here anyway in America because, more American men are doing the same thing. They're marrying foreign-born women and I believe that the reason is because they do not have this desire, need or even mindset about competing with the man. They actually want a man. They want a man's man and they want to be feminine. They like it that way and this has nothing to do with what they do during the day. That's the other piece, which then kind of goes back to my original argument which is that men really don't care what you do during the day or whatever. It's all about how you're going to be when you're with him. For whatever reason, foreign women have not been effected by this feminist mentality that American women have. So, they've been able to retain that feminine side of themselves while still "advancing" in the world and going out and working and making their own money. They're able to separate those two things, which is really the underlying message of my new book, that it doesn't have to be either/or. In feminism, they want you to think that it's either/or but, it doesn't have to be. I think going forward, we're going to need a whole new way of operating and foreign women have it down.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, interesting, isn't it? Yeah.
[Suzanne Venker]: Yeah.
[Angel Donovan]: How they've managed to... it's true. I know many successful business woman and entrepreneurs and so on, they're often from these countries and they do retain that feminism, a really strong feminine... sorry, not feminism, femininity.
[Suzanne Venker]: Right.
[Angel Donovan]: You talk about the female polarity as well. Yeah, so it's really interesting when you see that. You see that they're strong successful women and at the same time, they still have this amazing feminine energy around them in how they are. So yeah, great, great stuff.
[Suzanne Venker]: The way that I explain it is by saying that just because the roles have changed, doesn't mean the rules have. We can change all day long, decade after decade but, the rules of love and the way it works between men and women is never going to change. It's static. So, we're going to have to marry those two competing...
[Angel Donovan]: Awesome, the other issue I thought up for guys is that because a lot of people have bought into these rules, to some extent, maybe not as much and so on. I thought it would be kind of, when you get into a relationship with a girl and she is from the west and she's had these influences, is it ever to believe this is going to be part of the mentality to some point. It's not black or white. There is some gray there and she's going be brought into things and maybe not thought about them as much. Most of us buy into stuff and we're kind of programmed, conditioned by our environments, right? I was wondering like what you thought about could be a healthy kind of communicating and leading styles? Like how should men lead or act in relationships to avoid some of the issues caused by feminism?
[Suzanne Venker]: I think men need to be a lot more vocal about what they want and they way think about the change in gender roles and how that should not effect the dance that men and women. I don't think men would ever think to talk like this because, they're afraid to say anything because, they're called misogynistic or throwbacks or what have you if they hold onto anything that's "traditional." But, there are some things in life that just don't ever change and that's okay and this is one of them. If you, as a man, I just think it's important to make yourself and your views be known without fear that you're going to offend her and if you do feel that way and she does get offended, then you know right away she's not the woman for you anyway.
[Angel Donovan]: Right.
[Suzanne Venker]: You've got to be more vocal about... instead of just going along with whatever women want. I just think that's given them the upper hand to ultimately be in charge of you and the relationship and that's not going to make you happy down the road.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, some great advice there, express yourself.
[Suzanne Venker]: Yes, absolutely and if it's a match, it's a match and if it's not, great. You go to the next one.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, absolutely, yeah. How can they deal with our... mitigate some of these effects? How can they work with women to overcome them? Is there a way to think of this as more of a team as well? Are there kind of team approaches or communicative styles or collaboration? I'm just kind of reaching here but, I was wondering if you had any ideas.
[Suzanne Venker]: I don't know, that is a really hard one. I think that... I mean, you can try but ultimately, if she's in that mindset, it's going to be really hard for you to undo it. Let's just put it that way. The first thing I said, if you see the resistance, you can maybe try a little bit but, if you continue to get resistance, run because, the chances are, you're just not going make any headway. She's got to come to that determination on her own that the road she's going down is not going to work. You're going to be able to change it. You just have to keep looking for the one that hasn't bought into it.
[Angel Donovan]: Right, so you think selection is the key, like really, really, really key. 80/20, like it's 80% of the battle here. I was just wondering as you said that actually, in terms of therapy... you know, there's a lot of therapists out there and people talk about going to therapy together. Do you think that would be helpful or not because, do you think most therapists have bought into feminism and these ideals that you say are damaging and so that it could actually make it even worse for the guys in the relationship.
[Suzanne Venker]: That's a great, great observation point and yes, I do think counseling great on its face but, there's this other piece to the problem, which is what you just said. It's that so many of them will side with the woman and if she's not satisfied or happy, "Well, move on. Just divorce him." That's not helpful. You have to be really, really picky in finding a "non-feminist counselor," which my husband and I were successful in doing and someone we know well but, we always say she's like a diamond in the ruff because, they aren't... I mean, generally if they're... well, no I was going to say if they're older but, that's not fair. That's not true. It could be younger or older but, yeah. You really have to vet your counselors for that because, that's going to be more destructive if you're dealing with what you just described, which happens a lot, unfortunately.
[Angel Donovan]: Because, I've been interested in doing therapy for a while in this current relationship also, even though we've just started, I just think it's a healthy thing to do but, I struggle with this issue of finding. I've looked several times but, I haven't found anyone I trusted to do a better job than me and my girlfriend, for instance because, of these influences I'm concerned about.
[Suzanne Venker]: Male counselors might be better. They'll be able... I don't know if she would be open to that but, there's no reason why she shouldn't. I mean, people always think of them as being female but, I think you have a better chance of not having that piece to it if you look at men.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, so you've done therapy yourself. You see it as a valuable tool to anyone?
[Suzanne Venker]: Yep.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, okay great.
[Suzanne Venker]: I do but again, it's because I found one that wasn't like what you described and that's key.
[Angel Donovan]: Alright, cool. Any tips on that, how you found them or just diamond in the ruff?
[Suzanne Venker]: No, that was... well, she had had a column for many years in our local paper and over so many years, I had read her columns. Then, you get to know someone and some of the time, I contacted her. I already knew how she thought. That's really hard, that's coincidence.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, no, no. I mean, that's how you find... you had people you should learn from. You read their stuff for a while and you understand their values and you see that their life reflects how you want to be.
[Suzanne Venker]: Absolutely.
[Angel Donovan]: And then you say, "Okay, can I get some consulting or whatever from you because, I know that you represent what I need." Yeah, great. That's the way to do it, great. Okay, well rounding off, I don't know if I've missed anything?
[Suzanne Venker]: No, I think we've covered a lot.
[Angel Donovan]: Yeah, excellent. Okay rounding off, what are the best ways for people to connect with you and learn more about you and your work, your latest book and the other works?
[Suzanne Venker]: Yeah, everything's kind of consolidated at my website, which is just my name: http://www.SuzanneVenker.com.
[Angel Donovan]: Excellent, nice and easy. Are you on Twitter or are you active anywhere else?
[Suzanne Venker]: Yep, and you'll find the links to that on that page too. Everything's pretty much there.
[Angel Donovan]: Awesome and weÕll shove them in our show notes as well, make it all easy. Who besides yourself would you recommend for high quality advice in this area like relationships between men and women? Is there anyone you've come across?
[Suzanne Venker]: Yeah, there's a couple. One is Sheila Greg... I don't know if I can say her last name. Like Gregoire, G-R-E-G-O-I-R-E, although she does come at it from a religious perspective. That's just a head's up. I don't know if that matter but, anyway that's one. I think Evan Mark Katz; K-A-T-Z is another good one. He and I are definitely on the same page about the beta male stepping up and the alpha female stepping down, to try to get that mix. He's another good one.
[Angel Donovan]: Excellent, thank you for those, great. What are your top three recommendations to guys starting from zero from this? We got a lot of young guys on this podcast or just guys who have never really jumped into the dating market and so on. What would be the first three things you would tell me that you should get started with if you wanted to make it good?
[Suzanne Venker]: Kind of like what we were talking about before is really being discriminating when you're out there so that you immediately tune into what kind of person she's like. Like we were talking about before but, if it's just all me, me, me, me, just run. That and being really vocal about what you want and not being afraid to say, "Here's what I'm looking for. Here's what I want. Here's what I believe." A woman who's... I mean, the average woman would be really receptive to that, I would think and if it doesn't match, then it doesn't match but, to just not be so much of a receiver of her energy but, to go in in a respectful way, which I think the average good guys does naturally anyway and speak your mind. Say, "This is what I'm looking for. This is what I want." Yeah, those would be my two things.
[Angel Donovan]: Excellent, well there's three, if you've got another one but, that's great.
[Suzanne Venker]: No, let's go with two. That's the only two I could think right now.
[Angel Donovan]: That's awesome. It's a great takeaway, basically expressing yourself. Well, thanks so much for your time today. This has been a great... I've enjoyed this discussion and I'm sure it'll be really valuable for the guys.
[Suzanne Venker]: Excellent, all right nice talking with you.
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