Saturday, October 1, 2022

America's Masculinity Crisis

You have to wonder what planet David Brooks is living on. At the least, you know that wherever it is,  you don’t want to live there.

Brooks is a dopey pseudo-conservative who opines mindlessly at the New York Times. Yesterday, he breathlessly advised us that American girls are doing much better than American boys, in school and in life. 

Now, Brooks tells us that Richard Reeves has just written a book about the crisis. And that therefore, since Reeves does not seem to understand what is going on, it is fair to quote him.

In truth, we have known about this crisis for some two decades. And we owe our understanding to Christina Hoff Sommers, whose book The War Against Boys explained it in excruciating detail. In fact, long time readers of this blog-- bless you!-- know that I have been covering the issue for many years now. Link here.

When Brooks says that he learned a lot by reading the book, we can only conclude that he is especially ignorant of what has been going on in America.

I have not read the Reeves book, so I do not know whether or not he addresses the Sommers arguments. But, Brooks does not, and his analysis ignores completely Sommers’ basic point, namely, that girls' defeat of boys amounts to one of the great successes of the feminism. The feminist war against boys has succeeded in rendering a large number of American boys dysfunctional, disinclined to work, inclined to do stupid things, hostile toward girls and so on.

One understands that Brooks, from the depths of his intellectual cowardice, does not dare say that the results he and Reeves reports were precisely those that feminism sought to produce-- to raise up girls at boys’ expense. 

If one is so inclined one might take a gander at Doris Lessing’s observations from a British classroom, some twenty years ago. What did Lessing see in this sixth grade group-- boys beaten into ignominious submission and girls being bright and attentive. It is  frightening picture, and Lessing, a feminist icon, by the way, does it full justice.

As I said, it takes a special form of blindness to fail to recognize the problem and not to place the blame where it belongs--on the ideological fanaticism of movement feminism.

So, we are living in a gynocracy, in a culture run for and by women. Since few thinkers, beyond Christina Hoff Sommers, have been willing to address the problem, it looks like news to Richard Reeves and David Brooks.

Now Brooks, who left his masculine fortitude in a lock box somewhere, feels for the boys in question. He feels great empathy for their condition, and does not quite understand what can be done to solve the problem.

One proposal, straight from Reeves, is to hold boys back in school. Because boys are biologically inferior to girls and thus need the extra work. How come these elite pseudo-intellectuals did not ask why this has never really been a problem, or at least why it was not a problem until feminists took over schooling and beat boys down:

Reeves has a series of policy proposals to address the crisis, the most controversial of which is redshirting boys — have them begin their schooling a year later than girls, because on average the prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum, which are involved in self-regulation, mature much earlier in girls than in boys.

Obviously, boys are going to resent this treatment. They are going to be demoralized. Having identified male demoralization as a great national problem, Reeves and Brooks have found a way to demoralize boys even more. Did it ever cross your mind that intellectual life in America is dead or dying?

Dare we even mention, as Doris Lessing noted, that the boys who were beaten down by their female school teachers are going to grow up, to become stronger than girls, and are going to feel some basic hostility toward the distaff gender.

Brooks, who likes to coin dopey phrases, calls the difference between men and women an “aspiration gap.”

Reeves talked to men in Kalamazoo about why women were leaping ahead. The men said that women are just more motivated, work harder, plan ahead better. Yet this is not a matter of individual responsibility. There is something in modern culture that is producing an aspiration gap.

Somehow or other, the people who were denounced as male chauvinist pigs and who are now condemned for their toxic masculinity are less motivated to work harder. And let us not forget these men are no longer allowed to be men, are no longer allowed to be breadwinners. Since modern women are completely self-sufficient, modern men have no role that suits them. The result is indolence and inanition, added to hostility.

So, the war against fatherhood-- maligning male roles-- has persuaded more than a few men that they do not want to be active fathers:

One in five fathers doesn’t live with his children. In 2014, more young men were living with their parents than with a wife or partner. Apparently even many who are married are not ideal mates. Wives are twice as likely to initiate divorces as husbands.

Brooks concludes that boys should be more like girls. Note the girl talk in his drooling over emotionality and nurturance:

The culture is still searching for a modern masculine ideal. It is not instilling in many boys the nurturing and emotional skills that are so desperately important today. A system that labels more than a fifth of all boys as developmentally disabled is not instilling in them a sense of confidence and competence.

In truth, the culture does not need to search for a modern masculine ideal, especially one that reeks femininity. The culture needs to recognize that the great feminist attack on boys has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams, and now the country has to live in the broken culture that it has produced.

Of course, Brooks cannot resist taking a cheap shot at Donald Trump and Josh Hawley:

Masculinity has gone haywire. Reverting to pseudo-macho cartoons like Donald Trump and Josh Hawley doesn’t help.

Precisely what makes Josh Hawley a cartoon figure? Huh. Sorry to hear that Brooks does not like the Trump persona, but Brooks' dopey theories, along with the feminist revolution, produces precisely what he does not like. 

If Brooks knew half of what he thinks he knows, he would have known that machismo-- pseudo-macho is illiterate-- is especially likely to metastasize in cultures that are female dominant. When men are deprived of their roles as protectors and providers, or when they fail at the one or the other, they resort to caricatures of masculinity, blustery, blunt, rude, crude and lewd. 

So, one has to assume that Brooks is spending so much time doing dishes and mopping floors that he has lost the ability to think-- if he ever had it.


370H55V I/me/mine said...

"So, we are living in a gynocracy, in a culture run for and by women."

And yet, all those interminable stories about the difficulties the military is having in recruiting always seem to focus on alternative opportunities in the private sector for young men, the poor physical shape disqualifying all too many of them, etc. etc.

No one ever seems to notice that such men are keenly aware of the gynocracy in which they live. They see two masked San Francisco radical feminists sitting behind a demented pretend US president bumbling through his State of the Union address. They see a society that tells them that they will be barred from all well-paying positions and political power and that even tells them that they can and will be prosecuted for "traumatizing" the wrong girl asked out.

So how do you think they will react when they are asked to give their life to defend this regime?

IamDevo said...

Last I knew, David Brooks was looking for his balls in the sharp creases of Obama's pants. Apparently he never found them.

BobJustBob said...

My observation we're turning boys into the worst kind of girl and girls into the worst kind of boy.