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Are Modern Women Doomed to Lose the Battle of the Sexes?

31/01/2013 15:19 GMT | Updated 01/04/2013 10:12 BST

If we don't shape up, surrender to men and reclaim our femininity, we are. That's according to Suzanne Venker, American writer and author of How to Choose a Husband (And Make Peace with Marriage.)

She cites a study from the Pew Research Centre in America, which states that 37 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 34, rate marriage as the most important milestone in their lives. Only 29 percent of men within this age bracket feel the same way.

It doesn't take a math genius to see that based on those figures women who want to get married have a problem: there aren't enough men. But it gets worse. She says that the reason men don't want to get married is because women have turned into angry bi-atches.

Seemingly men today are scared of women. We've taken their jobs. We pay our own bills. We buy our own shoes, chocolate, wine and cable TV. What do we need men for? Oh yeah, babies. Although, we could just follow Monica Cruz and go to a sperm bank if we want.

But she says there's hope. If women forget their ambitions, education successes and boardroom conquests and surrender to their natural biological instincts (read: become docile doormats) it can all be ok. Men might change their minds. They might want to marry us again.

Clearly this kind of woman bashing doctrine is targeted at Bible belt fanatics and not at those of us who have the power of logical thought. But the fact that books like this are being published and finding a readership is a worry. And here's why.

Books like Venker's attempt to role back the tide on forty years of progress. They suggest that there is something wrong, not only with the way women are today but also men. They label women as shallow and men as cowards.

And Venker is not alone. Queens of the 1995 Bestseller 'The Rules,' Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider have updated their dating tomb for the Twitter age to teach a new generation of women to be demure digital kittens.

Do we really want to go backwards? We made this progress for a reason. Because so many women were suffocating in dead-end marriages while their husbands went to work and shagged their secretaries. That stereotype is dead and buried today and RIP. We don't want it back. For Venker to suggest that we do is a new breed of lunacy.

Since the dawn of second wave feminism in the Sixties, one of the key issues for women was how to balance her need for independence with her love of man. It's an issue that still plagues us today and the reason why feminism gets such a bad rap.

We think feminist and we imagine a dungaree-wearing, butch bitch that chops men into little pieces on a Saturday and burns her bra on a Sunday. In reality, anyone who believes that men and women deserve equal opportunities, freedom and safety in life is a feminist.

Incidentally, according to women's historian Jone Johnson Lewis no woman in the Sixties burned her bra. In the 1968 protest of the Miss America contest, bras, girdles and tights were thrown in bins but nothing was ever burned.

The idea of 'burning bras' was created by the media and it was such a good image, it stuck. It may be an antiquated and false image but it inspires movements like Naked Protest and the Slut Walks, and that's the reason we keep it around.

Feminism and marriage are not mutually exclusive. Plenty of high profile feminist possess the ability to maintain good marriages, from Betty Friedan to Gloria Steinem and Jessica Valenti.

The mission for modern woman is to find a happy balance between her professional and personal life. But Venker's book has little to do with that. Even worse, it suggests that the progress we've made is damaging us. It tells us we need to be quieter, more docile, more 'feminine.'

Here's a newsflash! If you've got a vagina, you're feminine. Everything else is personality. And guess what? This is the twenty-first century and you're allowed to have whatever personality you damn well choose.

And guess what else? If you don't have a husband or a boyfriend, it doesn't make you a freak, it just makes you single. That's a socio-economic tag not a reflection of your femininity.

The opposite of femininity is changing your personality in the hope of duping another person into believing something that you're not. If that's the kind of woman you want to be, then this book will show you how.