Saturday, February 19, 2011

Too Few Good Men

Kay Hymowitz speaks for many women when she asks: “Where have the good men gone?”

Hymowitz has written a book entitled: Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men into Boys. It has not yet been published-- thereby I have an excellent excuse for not having read it-- but Hymowitz has offered a tantalizing sampling in today’s Wall Street Journal. Link here.

As it happens, her question is not an imponderable riddle. The answer is simple: women are having difficulty finding good men because they themselves are the good men they are looking for.

Hymowitz says that the culture has effected: “a radical reversal of the sexual hierarchy. Among pre-adults, women are the first sex. They graduate from college in greater numbers (among Americans ages 25 to 34, 34% of women now have a bachelor's degree but just 27% of men), and they have higher GPAs. As most professors tell it, they also have more confidence and drive. These strengths carry women through their 20s, when they are more likely than men to be in grad school and making strides in the workplace. In a number of cities, they are even out-earning their brothers and boyfriends.”

While I would agree that American culture has succeeded in producing a gender role reversal, I am less sure that we should be calling it a hierarchy reversal.

Nonetheless, women are brought up to be hard-working, self-sufficient, career-driven, and fully capable of protecting and providing for themselves.

Boys are most often taught that their striving toward manhood is pathological or misogynistic, thus something that they must repress and overcome.

While I disagree with Hymowitz when she starts talking about life scripts and developmental models, I agree that our culture has degraded and discredited the ethic of manly behavior.

As she puts it: “It's been an almost universal rule of civilization that girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, but boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess or mastery of the necessary skills. The goal was to prove their competence as protectors and providers. Today, however, with women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles—fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity—are obsolete, even a little embarrassing.”

As she implies, manliness is an ethic; it involves living your life according to certain values. To my mind this makes it radically different from a lift script.

When feminists declared war on men and on masculine values, they did not intend to produce a generation of post-adolescent males who can barely hold down jobs, who have no interest in getting married and settling down, and who are lying around the house drinking beer, playing video games, and stuffing themselves with chips and dip.

But when you change cultural policy, you are responsible for the outcome, regardless of whether it was what you intended. Feminists may not have intended to unman men; but, as the old saying goes: they broke it; now they own it. At the very least they should own up to it.

In a way, it is only too obvious. If women abandon the traditional feminine values connected with making a home and caring for children, well then, someone has to hold down the fort.

If you cannot afford a housekeeper and a nanny, then the only person who is left to do it is a man.

Ah, yes, but you will object here: these modern men are anything but homebodies; they are overgrown adolescents who refuse to take any responsibility for anything. They are hanging around the house making a mess; they are not doing what women used to do at home.

How can I reconcile this seeming contradiction?

Easily: these post-adolescent males are not really about to become effeminate homebodies; they are hyper males, almost a caricature of a negative masculine stereotype.

Their immaturity is nothing more than a social protest movement. They are trying to tell us that we, as a culture, discourage them from developing their true masculinity in the world, and that they have found a default position.

As they make their way through the educational system, boys are most often taught that manliness is misogynistic, abusive, and oppressive. They are taught that great men, the heroes of the past, committed unspeakable horrors and should not be emulated.

If men are so intrinsically corrupt and venal, then they must be disempowered, removed from the world where they cause so much trouble by making war and by running the financial system into the ground. Where can these evil creatures do the least trouble: at home.

Now, let’s try a quiz. Do you believe that men should protect and provide for women? Is that an essential part of the masculine ethic?

Or better: Do you think that Lara Logan should have been given special protection when she was covering the events in Tahrir Square? Given that several male journalists had already been beaten badly by the crowd, should she, as the mother of young children, have hesitated before placing herself in a potentially dangerous situation, one that would was more dangerous because she is a woman?

Do you believe that women have a specific vulnerability that requires them to be more cautious about where they go and what they do? And do you believe that this vulnerability requires men to protect and provide for them?

With a few notable exceptions, most people who have commented in public have said that Lara Logan had every right as a journalist to be in Tahrir Square last week, and that if you do not think so you are a reactionary deviant.

I am not just talking about the feminists who always scream about how anyone who wants to acknowledge feminine vulnerability or the responsibilities of motherhood is a stone cold misogynist.

Last week this same sentiment was expressed by Sean Hannity-- yes, that Sean Hannity, of all people-- who defended the feminist position that Lara Logan should have been on Tahrir Square on his television show… to the point where he declared that any other position was hopelessly misogynistic and unworthy of discussion.

I bet you did not know that Hannity had become a radical feminist.

Unfortunately, the public debate has descended so far into name-calling that it is difficult to take sides.

Here is the way the question is most often framed. Those who believe that because a woman has a gender-specific vulnerability she should be more cautious about where she goes and what she does, are publicly excoriated for meaning to say that if a woman is sexually assaulted then it is her fault or that she was asking for it.

Anyone who thinks this way should grow a brain.

It really takes a minimum of intelligence to understand that if a woman is sexually assaulted it is never her fault or her responsibility.

From there it does not follow that a woman should take unnecessary risks, even when a man might more easily assume said risks. A woman should avoid walking through dark alleys at night or taking the subway at 3:00 a.m. Every young woman has heard from her parents that she should never allow herself to be in a situation where her intentions could be misunderstood.

With the exception of feminists and Sean Hannity, most people understand that it is reasonable and ethical for a mother of young children to take less personal risk than would a man in the same situation.

For those who believe in Darwin, women are more valuable and less easily replaced than men. Thus, human societies have tried wherever possible to keep women out of harm’s way, to protect and defend them.

Where are all the men, the ones who might protect women? They are home, drinking beers, playing video games, and having a jolly good time. Their message to young women: you are on your own.


Robert Mitchell Jr. said...

It's very odd. Women have been loudly and strongly complaining about men trying to solve their problems when the women just want someone to listen. Well, it seems to have worked. So the options seem to be, act and upset women, don't act, and upset women, and opt out, and upset women. Maybe the problem here is not the men.....

Tiggs said...

The other down side is that it also leaves us few female traditional throwback women out in the cold as well.

Anonymous said...

TO: Robert Mitchell Jr.

Cease fire....


[Woman, n., The unfair sex. -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's DIctionary]
P.S. As Bierce wrote in the 19th Century, this problem has been around for a LONG time....

Dennis said...

When asked what women want I responded "I don't care." You know that ever since I took that attitude I have done great with women. I get along with them. I get respect from them. I enjoy my time with them. My philosophy is that if I can do no right then your opinion is of no value to me. When you give respect you will get respect.
I always find it interesting when women deign to tell men how they should act and behave. When they can clean up their own act............

Dennis said...

Respect is a funny thing sometimes. I tend to talk to myself. It is easy to think something and believe that it is a good idea. If one says it aloud it becomes easier to see the ramifications of that idea.
I was in a store and I was talking to myself. This woman from New York rather unpleasantly says, "You talk to yourself?" I responded that, "Sometimes it is the only intelligent conversation I can find." Needless to say she was not to happy with me.
A slight bit of respect on her part would have gone a long way to a meaningful dialogue.

Anonymous said...

"Where are all the men, the ones who might protect women? They are home, drinking beers, playing video games, and having a jolly good time. Their message to young women: you are on your own."

No, the ones who might protect women are in the Marines.

Anonymous said...

Or their Airborne-Rangers....

RKV said...

Stuart, you've missed something which explains the situation - it is just not worth it for young men to give up their freedom. None of the womyn are worth it. The feminists idea of a balanced transaction is anything but, and modern men have reacted predictably.

Dennis said...

The vast majority of women are very good people. They desire the same things that most men desire. They would like to live a good life reaching their potential and love and be loved by their husbands.
The unfortunate thing here is that what most of us see and hear emanates from the fringes of society who would like to think they are what society should be as a whole. They are the ones who have moved into the "media", academe, et al and think they have a responsibility to change society in their image. This is no different than those on the Left who think we need to be controlled. All of this almost always comes from the Left.
Look around you and you will see men and women going about their daily lives all trying to be the best they can be.
Just because one challenges women (men) does not mean that one does not love them for what they bring to the table.
To ask the question "Does anyone think about the ideas behind a question "What Do Women Want?", is a desire to understand why this is couched in so much selfishness. Why is respect, sensitivity, et al the responsibility of men to provide?
Life is a two way street and one has to give what they expect to receive. Something a significant number of American women seemed to have forgotten. Women want men to care about breast cancer, and most do, but how many women reciprocate and are conversant with prostate cancer, which kill as many men a year? On the face of it there appears to be a self absorption that borders on narcissism. That may also explain why so many women recognize a fellow traveler in Obama. It becomes all about me.
Again to reiterate one has to give that which they expect to receive. Until that recognition one will increasingly be a drudge and a slave and not even realize it.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Reminds me of the old rule... Do unto others as you would have others do unto you...

Anonymous said...

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....there IS a cure. I've seen it kill an aggressive squamous carcinoma within a month.

It's a naturally occurring substance. And being such, the medical industry can't make a gazillion dollars off of patenting it. Hence they've kept the discovery—made in 1997 at Purdue U—quite while they frantically try to come up with a synthetic.

It's pawpaw. Dries leaves and stems ground, encapsulated and taken 4 times a day.....

Anonymous said...

Damnit! What happened to my post before the P.S.??!?!?!?

It said it had been saved, but NOW IT'S GONE!!!!

Anonymous said...

TO: Dennis
RE: Hold On....Partner....

....what most of us see and hear emanates from the fringes of society who would like to think they are what society should be as a whole. -- Dennis

It's not so much from the 'fringes of society' as you would like to believe.

I hear it on a citzens' government oversight commission I sit on in this community of 150K.

I hear it from my local historic preservation society matrons.

I hear it in my neighborhood association.

Worst of all, I hear it in the judges' lounge from high school teachers during forensic competitions that I and the distaff judge.

Furthermore, I hear it from the students said high school teachers TEACH on a daily basis, in the rounds of national extemporaneous speech and original oratory I judge. Even in the Lincoln-Douglas debates, as yesterday in the application of 'justice' for young perpetrators of violent crimes: murder, rape, etc. One intelligent young woman was sounding a LOT like a nanny-statist in her args.

So it's much wider a problem than you seem to appreciate. Indeed, it has metastasized well into our society. And the only way it is going to be cured is by some cataclysmic event.


[The feminist movement died, milliseconds after the first impact. -- Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, Lucifer's Hammer (© 1976)

P.S. As it was written 35 years ago, it's interesting to note their prescient understanding of where the feminist movement was going...way back then.

Anonymous said...

TO: Dennis, et al.
RE: Additional Thoughts on the Feminazi Mystique

As I've mentioned in other threads, I suspect that most women are 'herd animals'. They go with the 'alpha-female'. Only those with an intellectual self-confidence of their own think for themselves.

Power corrupts. And even more so amongst 'herd animals', i.e., those women who do not have the intellectual self-confidence to think for themselves. And if being a member of the 'group' is more important to them than the 'truth'....well....what can I say....

So these 'alpha-feminazis' have come into 'power' and they love the attention. And, as pointed out in numerous other posts....

Misery enjoys company. Today, it insists on it.

This approach—browbeating anyone who disagrees with them into submission—is classic in any dictatorial philosophy....

If you can't beat them, silence them.

And the 'boys' lounging around on the couch drinking beers and playing video games have been, for all intents and purposes 'silenced'. Reminds me of honey-bee 'drones'. The women only use them to 'procreate' and any males born of the union are turned into 'drones' themselves.


P.S. Where's Judy Collins when we REALLY need her?

Send in the Drones.....

Cappy said...

Very sad. Always thought it would boil down to feminists vs. Islamists on the left. Now we know who rules there.

And I don't mean sad, like in the Geico commercial. So don't heave that box of tissues at me.

Don Wright said...

Excellent! Reminds me of some of the great writing on the subject by Marty Nemko.

Anonymous said...

Read ANY treatment recommendations from a Psychiatrist who has not had reality or their common sense beaten out of them by gynocentric delusional thinking & you will find the answer.

When dealing with DSM Axis 2 Cluster B Character Disorders, specifically Borderline Personality Disorder, the BEST thing the "non" (normal) person can do to avoid real personal harm is walk (or run) away.

Men do not need women, even for sex. Where have all the good men gone? They have come to their senses & decided that women have become garbage as individuals. Ladies, enjoy your cats.