Culture War Backfire: Polls Show Left Losing Gender Debate to More Traditional Millennials
Last week I wrote about why I am not buying into the conventional wisdom that the Left is winning the culture wars. This is objectively true on the issues of guns and abortion, and now more proof has arrived via the left-wing New York Times. After years of a bitter and intentionally divisive gender war engineered by the national media, public schools, popular culture, and Democrats, a poll of millennials shows what some might consider a wildly counter-intuitive result.
Millennials, generally defined as people born between 1982 and 2000, were supposed to be the generation that forged what has been called “a new national consensus” in favor of gender equality. … Don’t think for a second they are united. As a set of reports released Friday by the Council on Contemporary Families reveals, fewer of the youngest millennials, those aged 18 to 25, support egalitarian family arrangements than did the same age group 20 years earlier.
Here are the numbers from two different surveys. These are so unexpected, you should read them closely, and I promise there are no typos…
In 1994, 42% of high school seniors believed that the "best family" was one where the man was the primary breadwinner and the woman took care of the home. In 2014, that number INCREASED to a full majority of 58%.
In 1994, fewer than 30% believed the husband should be the one making all the big decisions in the family. In 2014, that number ROSE to 40%.
In 1994, 83% of young men rejected the idea of the husband being the primary source of income. In 2014, that number DROPPED almost 30 points, to just 55%. That same number even dropped among young women, from 85% to 72%.
To try and figure out why, let's start by reminiscing about how much the world changed between 1994 and 2014.
In 1994, Bill Clinton's presidency wasn't yet two years old. In fact, we were just coming out of 12 years of the Reagan/Bush era, an era that saw a conservative resurgence. How is it that after 12 years of conservative leadership, attitudes towards gender roles were so liberal?
In 2014, Obama's presidency was well into its second term, and his and his media's War on Women narrative against the GOP apparently had a lot to do with winning that second term. So how is it that after years of unceasing feminist propaganda from academia, pop culture, the media and Democrats, young people's attitudes towards gender roles backfired into something more traditional?
Here are my thoughts…
1. HEALTHY REBELLION
Let's start with the healthiest impulse in young Americans, which is their natural-born desire to rebel against what they perceive as the power structure. In their public schools, in their movies and television shows, in their news media, and in their president, time and again and again, today's millennials have been ordered and bullied into thinking a specific way. And now they are pushing back.
2. HEALTHY INDIFFERENCE TURNED TO POLARIZATION
Life was a lot more laid back in 1994, and not just on issues of gender, but also on issues of race. This is not to say things were perfect, but we were nowhere near as uptight and divided as we are today. In fact, we were much closer to Rev. Martin Luther King's ideal of judging one another based on character.
My guess is that when these young adults were asked about these issues in 1994, they merely shrugged with a natural impulse that said, "Who cares if it is the man or woman who makes the money or the decisions?"
And that is the ideal place to be. Indifference towards these things is the healthiest attitude a society can have. Live and let live. People should be allowed to make their own choices.
Unfortunately, in the 20 years since, in order to hold on to power through division, the institutional left has worked overtime to divide us over race and gender issues that were well on their way towards being solved. This polarization has only served to turn healthy indifference into something toxic.
We are no longer allowed to "not care," we can no longer simply shrug.
We must now TAKE A SIDE, and so young people are.
3. MILLENNIALS ARE ON THE FRONT LINES OF TOXIC FEMINISM
Young adults are the ones forced to deal the most with all of this anti-male, identity-politics, vagina hat feminism. They are the ones attempting to navigate through the dangerous minefields of a world where campus kangaroo courts can strip you of all your rights and declare you a rapist; where sexual harassment is entirely too subjective; where the "victim" is automatically believed (which means you are automatically guilty); where Lena Dunham can launch a massive publicity tour based on a false accusation.
We now live in a world where everything is sexism, including choosing not to have dinner alone with a subordinate.
We now live in a world where abortion is a sacrament and women who choose to home school or stay-at-home or own a gun or shoot a caribou or accept Jesus into their hearts, are treated as freaks by our cultural, political, media, and feminist elite.
Even in 1994, left-wing feminism was unattractive, but today it is ugly, unreasonable, strident, obnoxious, shrill, un-American, and by design (in order to snare you), impossible to navigate -- especially for young women, who might be turning to a more traditional role as a means to reject the stress of not fitting perfectly into the Left's fascist, rigid and inflexible idea of what a woman is supposed to be.