Don’t Blame Men, Blame ‘Society’

Men long ago gave up on the notion that it’s a man’s world. Women are the one’s keeping that creed alive. The chart here reflects a survey by the Center for the Advancement of Women. The number of women saying they have it better than men is unchanged from a 1993 Gallup/ CNN/USA Today poll, but there has been a drop (from 69 percent) in the number saying men have it better. One might take this to mean that women see an erosion of male privilege but haven’t seen themselves benefiting from it. When asked to cite “the best way to improve the lives of women today,” 39 percent said “change the way society treats women”; 24 percent chose “change the way women feel about themselves.” There was a drop since a 2001 poll in the number saying “change the way women and men relate to each other” (to 17 percent, vs. 22 percent). That dovetails with another finding: 74 percent said the women’s movement “should stay away from trying to change the way people behave in personal relationships.” (Obviously, domestic violence is a different matter.) When women were asked which of a dozen issues is most important to them, the only ones scoring in double digits were “equal pay for equal work” (22 percent), “reducing domestic violence/ sexual assault” (16 percent), “child care” (11 percent) and “improving women’s healthcare” (11 percent).