“Why won’t the men of today be like the men of old (except for certain things that I don’t like)” ask today’s women. Their answer is forthcoming.
But first, let us consider what attributes/functions of men that women do like (A non-exhaustive list).
1. Engine of the economy
2. Builder/maintainer of civilization
3. Husband, father, provider and “make me happy” significant other.
These are what men in recent history have done, and there is no reason why this situation should not continue women do believe. The thought in the feminist era is that all women had to do was make some changes around the edges (and perhaps sometimes a little further in) of the system, ones that they believed to be toward their benefit; yielding a system much closer to the ideal. An underlying assumption with respect to these changes is that the only the intended aspects would change, with all surrounding aspects remaining as they were.
But the surrounding aspects do change. This is the Law of Unintended Consequences in action. Oddly enough, policy makers never seem to understand this law. Or perhaps they pretend to not understand it when they introduce new policies. Policy changes alter incentives, and altered incentives result in changed behavior in order to compensate/exploit.
Let us consider some examples. It was assumed back in the 60’s that providing aid to unmarried mother of newborns was a good policy. Under the societal standards or the day, the women would be expected to use use the money to “get back on their feet” and move forward productively (as there would be great shame in not doing so). The unintended result was effectively a bounty on babies, and thus the creation of the baby mama industry.
Another example might be the fast track promotion path for women in organizations. Often, the scheme is so obvious, and the women on the fast track so marginal, that it effectively destroys men’s ambition and desire to improve himself. Which hinders attributes 1 and 2 above.
And of course, there is the “biggie”. Women, because of rule changes, are much less likely to reward a hard working man with a fine marriage and children of his own. And if this is the case, then why should men put in the effort?