Friday, March 11, 2011

PJTV: Ask Dr. Helen: Has the Rise of Women Turned Men Into Boys or Boys into Men?


I talk with Kay Hymowitz on PJTV about her new book Manning Up,why men are rational rather than immature, why men no longer get married as often, and why college guys have quit trying on dates.

You can watch the video here or click on the picture above.

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80 Comments:

Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Oh, how precious! Hymowitz gripes that boys hearing how "they are not necessary" affects them negatively...and here she is promoting her swinish little putrid tome extolling precisely that message.

What a vapid, money-seeking whore.

9:06 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

ZorroPrimo,

I think that Hymowitz means well and is seeking to understand this phenomenon. It is so antithetical to most people's worldview, to think that men are the target of discrimination and hate. I think education will change that. Give her a chance.

9:29 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

She seemed to be more reasonable than I expected. I still think she has some unexamined assumptions about men and their "duties" that she is operating under, and she has a bit of difficulty with regard to putting herself in men's shoes.

9:35 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

"It is so antithetical to most people's worldview, to think that men are the target of discrimination and hate."

Antithetical?

The past 40 years of feminism have been nothing BUT that!

9:53 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

ZorroPrimo,

Yes, I agree but I think Hymowitz is trying to make a points along those lines. I think the problem is in the motivation. Men, in my opinion, are going on strike in response to this state sponsored hate and discrimination. Hymowitz views men as just a bunch of "slackers" because they can get away with it, but does agree that years of being told they are "no good" has also taken its toll. I do get your point, however.

9:57 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

Hymowitz views men as just a bunch of "slackers" because they can get away with it, but does agree that years of being told they are "no good" has also taken its toll.

Or maybe some of us have actually grown up and got a bit of wisdom: I wasn't put on G*d's green earth to be your bank account, sperm donor, and man servant.

Wisdom: better late than never.

10:07 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

Hymowitz views men as just a bunch of "slackers" because they can get away with it

Get away with what? Behavior that is acceptable when it comes from women? Or does she think that when men who are strangers to her refuse to bend to what her ideas on how they should behave they are being immature?

10:15 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger TMink said...

I tend to not run my fastest in a race I know is rigged to prevent me from winning.

Trey

10:57 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger campy said...

Enjoyed the discussion.

It would be interesting to listen to KH be interviewed by other hosts. I got the impression she would have been willing to bash men a lot more if she thought it would be welcomed. Don't know why, but that's the vibe I got.

11:00 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

campy,

Well, then we need more hosts that look askance at male bashing.

11:07 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger campy said...

I don't know. If the urge to bash is there I think I'd rather it not be hidden. Better to know.

11:11 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

campy,

I think that encouraging male bashing does a disservice to men and encourages others to do the same. If it were more frowned upon, it would happen less often.

11:20 AM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Ern said...

I've been reading Hymowitz's writing in City Journal for a couple of years now. I've found her to be quite reasonable and insightful before now. I disagree with some of what she's saying, but I'm willing to cut her some slack because of what I've read in the past; it's just possible that I'm not right about everything myself.

12:55 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger BTLL Majors said...

I don’t remember reading Kay Hymowitz before but I’m still with Ern. She doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. On the other hand, the tenor of her book was design, perhaps by her publisher, to be controversial but acceptable. That’s why we are talking about it; I always hate it when I’m just being used like tool. One thing I wonder is the gender of Kay’s children. The fact that she has children is always mentioned but I haven’t heard what their gender is. Has anyone else?

1:50 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

kay agrees that the surveys say that men want to marry (someday) but kay, understand that they don`t want to marry the entitled, hostile and pushy college grads you clearly identify as the modern professional woman.

kay has written a pop book on a hot subject, and as a writer she has succeeded. i actually saw the book in my local book store yesterday and got the metaphor of the little guy with no pants.

we (men) have become the butt of the jokes of a group of pants wearing sharks who we mostly want nothing to do with...but need so much from, and we get such mixed signals from them that we lose either way (double bind).

i still hold a door open for a woman, but it`s only the older ones that will genuinely recieve the gesture as given.

2:33 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Fred said...

I like Hymowitz, having read a number of her articles over the years, but I think both she and Dr. Helen are missing the point. Men have never been particularly interested in undertaking the discipline of marrying and raising a family.

Baumeister's famous 40 per cent (http://denisdutton.com/baumeister.htm) have often been willing to undertake marriage for the sake of dowery and heirs, but the other 60 per cent of us have normally been less eager simply because it's too much bother.

As Peter Brown relates(The Body and Society), in the ancient world the intense worry was population decline, so there was a lot of pressure to marry and have kids (just as you see across modern Europe with its generous family allotments), but in a well ordered society men usually managed to have women do most of the heavy work.

Tacitus for example in describing German family life points out that the men, when they aren't out fighting, spent all their time drinking and gambling, while the women did the farming, cooking, cleaning etc. Sub saharan
Africa, where I lived for five years, is much the same even today.

Even the famous virtuous woman of Proverbs 31:10 is largely valued because she takes care of the kids and brings in the big bucks so her husband can sit out at the city gate with his pals discussing the deep issues of the day.

2:46 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Fred said...

Second part: My point is that in a state of nature most men would happily spend all their time going off on grand adventures and coming home to good conversations with their pals, some alcohol and a bit of nookie with the wife. It was Protestantism that ruined it all for us.

It was Protestantism that gave us those stern impassioned feet that trudge off to work everyday, and taught us to settle for a single woman and devote our lives to family. I read once that in the 19th century US, the social expectation for a middle class man was that he build up enough property to establish his children well and keep his widow comfortable after he died. Those days are gone.

So when Hymowitz complains that men are staying boys, she's really complaining that we've returned to a state of nature. When men are young they dream of Peter Pan and Wind in the Willows, later of Odysseus and Lord of the Rings. I doubt that any of us have ever grown up dreaming of marriage and raising children.

Essentially, then, for hundreds of years, women have asked men to sacrifice their dreams so that they can achieve their own. In return women, in theory and often in practice, promised companionship and a decent homelife.

There isn't really space to go into a lot of detail, but that Protestant vision survived because it brought reasonable happiness,was bolstered by religion and society, and produced children that were socially valued. My grandparents worked like dogs to build up a small family farm. They never had any money, but in their old age they were surrounded by a large and prosperous family. It was enough for them and they died feeling proud and successful.

However, the society and ideals that made that marriage and through it gave my grandparents a sense of accomplishment in life are mostly gone.

Hymowitz herself has written about the devastating effect that absence has had on the lower classes, but I think she has missed part of her own point. That older system also provided men with something that made up for their lost boyhood. A man could take immense pride in how he supported his family and in his children, and society echoed those feelings back to him.

From what I read, modern marriage promises far less sex than any bachelor can get. A lifelong companion seems not to be part of the picture either. For that same reason, children are as likely to be a source of emotional pain as a source of happiness. And at any rate society is largely indifferent these days to whether a man has children or not, and downright negative about a man's role in raising them.

And who in the heck wants to marry a well-used 30 something who is rapidly approaching her use by date and starting to whimper about her biological clock? I'm not convinced that particular woman would find many takers even in a perfect world.

So, if Hymowitz wants men to man up in that old Protestant sense, she's delusional. Men are returning to their natural state and seem quite satisfied to do so. If women want something akin to that old system, they need to provide the incentive. If a woman can't provide long-term companionship and a reasonable assurance that a man can build something with her, including a family that he knows he'll always be part of, what attraction does she have for him?

As the song says: "When you see a guy reach for stars in the sky
You can bet that he's doing it for some doll." (Guys and Dolls)

If the modern woman wants a man, she needs to be the right kind of doll. Until that happens, Nintendo, here we come.

2:47 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

i think hymowitz needs to come down from her ivory tower and stop sniffing at such suggestions as including the voices of the men she interviewed in her magazine article in her book.

she became extremely uncomfortable over that issue when questioned about it by dr.helen. and flapped all over the place in trying to justify her decision not to qoute them in the book.

i`n not sure whether dr.helen decided consciously to get that reaction, but it was a great way to see the woman`s true stance on the voices of real men struggling to relate to women in modern society.

she didn`t see their voices as important enough include them in "Her" book.

2:57 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Mirwalk said...

I think the comment that she made about not all women want bad boys is a little disingenuous. I think the point should be that as young women they want the bad boys (mostly). Then once the clock starts ticking is when they start looking for the nice guys. Problem is they have spent 10-15 years messing around with bad boys.
A lot of nice guys feel bitter that the hot young thing wouldn't have spit on him a few years ago, and is now clamoring to be with him since he is worthwhile. Also some of the nice guys have become jerks since they got nothing being the good guy.

3:07 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

dr. alistair,

On the topic of men, men's voices are the most important. I want to do a book using men's voices to describe the cultural and social problems that we are having right now but publishers say that men will not buy such a book. I don't think this is true--but perhaps there is a grain of truth to that and this is why these books are marketed to women.

3:07 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

I worked in publishing (the BIG houses) in NYC during the 80s. KH's whole marketing approach is precisely directed to maximize sales. More women buy books than men, and women buy more books than men (two different points).

Her book is, from title to text to artwork, a male-bashing book; at the level of its DNA, it says that men and boys are--yet again--the cause for something that makes life less than stellar.

Campy's point re KH's willingness to male-bash in a more friendly environment is spot-on.

So when I call KH a vapid, money-seeking whore...I have chosen my words quite carefully.

...and

"I tend to not run my fastest in a race I know is rigged to prevent me from winning." -Trey

Neither Sun Tzu nor Baltasar Gracian achieved wit on that level. There is more truth in that statement than in KH's entire book!

3:52 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Scott said...

I guess Ms. Hymowitz would consider me a "man-child" because I found some of the goofy video segments (crazy stunts, etc.) to be riotously funny. "Dave Barry's Guide To Guys" will have a person with a Y chromosome laughing until their sides ache; I suspect Ms. Hymowitz would use it as evidence for her thesis.

However, while she talked all the way around the negative incentives the modern culture presents to men, she just...couldn't...bring herself to tackle them head-on. (If she did, of course, it would undermine her premise that men are slacker/children, rather than rational actors responding entirely appropriately to perverse incentives.)

I agree with ZorroPrimo; if brevity is the soul of wit, there is greater wisdom contained in Trey's one-liner than Hymowitz's entire book.

4:02 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

Helen:

When publishers tell you that men won't buy a book of that kind, they're telling you a circular truth. Yes, it will be very difficult to market such a book, but what they're avoiding is the likelihood that it won't be a runaway bestseller. It's pure greed. If you want huge money, you need the women's market. It's women that won't buy it in droves, and Oprah won't sponsor it, and you won't get invited onto the View.

But both Herb Goldberg and Warren Farrell made successes of male-friendly titles.

What you need is a specific hook or angle that can be used to sizzle the steak, to make both men and women curious about what you main thesis is.

And if I can recommend one book to get you thinking in that specific headspace, read "Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds" by Michael Hauge. It's all about pitching, and if you can't pitch a book or story, then you don't have one.

4:41 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

in the current marketplace men and women are both feeling as if they don`t need eachother, and so a book of men`s voices are going to not be bought by the largest segment of the book-buying public.

one has to ask what a book like that would do for people.

men already know what we are feeling and saying, and a large segment of the female population don`t care what we say...about anything frankly, unless it has to do with shopping, travel and/or real estate.

i think it is wonderful that you want to have our voices heard and would consider writing a book about it, and i don`t think you should stop trying.


how about video interviews with men voicing their positions in this regard to broadcast on your show, or magazine articles as ways to test the reader/viewership?

4:55 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

dr. alistair,

You must be reading my mind. My next PJTV segment is with men talking about these issues--marriage, relationships, male space etc.

5:03 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Helen said...

ZorroPrimo,

Thanks very much for the advice.

5:04 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger mole said...

I thought she came across better than I expected.
She stuffed up badly on the "where are mens voices" question though, badly.

Ive finaly given up on monogamy, after a few years of one hole/log sex/ once a month, its just not worth it.

Or should I "man up" and submit to castration so I dont inconvinience my missus with my icky male sex drive?

5:49 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

mole said: log sex/ once a month

Gives new meaning to the phrase "getting wood." What with the splinters and all, no wonder it was only once a month...

8:48 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

17 reviews of KH's book on Amazon, and it averages 2 stars. The most helpful review (Amazon verified purchase) gives it 1 star (a woman reviewer) and savages it for its meaninglessness. "Nothing new here" is the title of the review, and it is, to date, one of the best, even-handed reviews of the book I have read.

Basically, (and once again) Hymowitz is barbecued for getting her pre-adult notions from Hollywood and popular media. There is really no foundation for the child-man in real life, and as I have repeatedly said, Hymowitz is savvy about publishing: she's out for the buck and her entire marketing program is designed to give women the reassuring belief that their miseries are caused by men's failures. Man-bashing 101.

It's not you, honey; it's those damned men who won't grow up and serve you like you were gulled into believing that's why they were put here for.

The cure for this tripe is for women to turn off the TV, put down Cosmo, see the world for what it is and grow the hell up.

11:32 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger Words Twice said...

BTLL Majors said... “One thing I wonder is the gender of Kay’s children. The fact that she has children is always mentioned but I haven’t heard what their gender is. Has anyone else?”

Hymowitz mentions that she has at least one daughter at approximately 21:35 in the video.

11:41 PM, March 11, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:53 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

"It's not you, honey; it's those damned men who won't grow up and serve you like you were gulled into believing that's why they were put here for."

-----

Right.

I think the basis of Hymowitz' thinking (that she would never directly SAY and that she may not even know herself) is that men have the DUTY to be wages slaves to women and women have no mandatory duties.

So a man who "does what he is supposed to" and gets a great high-status, high-paying job relatively young and sticks with it for the rest of his life, regardless of whether he is really happy or the stress kills him, so that he can support a woman - with no mandatory duties - in a good lifestyle for the rest of her life ... is normal.

Otherwise, he is a dreaded man-child, a real loser, who has to be shamed and shamed again by women like Hymowitz who have (voluntarily) taken on this duty for the good of society.

Men who can only support themselves in society (but not a women in the lifestyle she deserves) are men-children who deserve to be shamed.

Women who cannot support themselves at all in society, but who aspire to be supported by a man in the lifestyle to which they will become accustomed, are grown ups.

That's really how Hymowitz and lots of other Western women think.

3:56 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

It's not just that a man should be a man and fulfill his obligations if he should marry or have a child (which I basically agree with if someone is stupid enough to get married) ... the duty that Hymowitz and lots of other women see starts before that for men.

Men should fashion their lives to be useful to women (mostly in terms of money). They should ALL be above-average earners (huh!) and they should all easily commit and marry the women who pick them. What the man wants is absolutely irrelevant, and even showing that he has his own ideas or a desire to conduct his own life is a strong sign of immaturity.

4:02 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger br549 said...

Hymo is also butt ugly. Consider that.

5:17 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger br549 said...

Sometimes Fred, I think there is hope for you. Now if you would just connect all the dots and see where feminism fits into the greater scheme of what the left is doing to this country, your change may become complete.

5:26 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Cham said...

Putting what Ms. Hymowitz says in her books aside, she bases most of her ideas on thoughts that come into her mind. I know studies, statistics and data can be boring at times but they are responsible for shoring up any hypothesis. Perhaps her book would be taken more seriously if she backed up what she said with some actual facts.

7:27 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Trust said...

We spend decades telling males they are inherently bad, engineering them in school to be more like females, we medicate them to make them more like females, we pass laws and handle divorces and custody arrangements on the basis that males are bad, and we constantly tell me from crib to retirement that they "need to get more in touch with their feminine side." Now people bemoan the fact that males aren't behaving like "men." Has it ever occurred to people that males are behaving like the kind of men we told them they should be, and that women want them to be?

8:51 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger ZorroPrimo said...

The previous two posts...I wish I could buy you people a shot of Glenfiddich.

9:12 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Trust said...

I'd love to do a shot of that with you, Zorro.

10:00 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger John said...

Thanks, Dr. Helen! I have an elementary school age son and I have become very aware of the pro-girl/anti-boy messaging in the school and TV-kids programming culture. I constantly see TV ads talking about how special girls are, girl empowerment,girls can go to college, etc. -- but rarely inclusive of boys. In many TV shows aimed at kids the girls are depicted as being smarter, cooler, funnier, while the boys are depicted as being goofy screw-ups.

I think this is sending a message to boys that they aren't special, that they aren't smart. It's corrosive. And the schools, being a relatively passive learning environment, tend to punish the natural kinetic energy of boys and reward the social behavior of girls.

We need to shift away from "girlpower" to "kidpower" and a recognition that boys and girls ARE different and may learn in different ways, have different intrests and its OK!

10:10 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger FloridaSteve said...

Trust Wrote "Has it ever occurred to people that males are behaving like the kind of men we told them they should be, and that women want them to be?"

It has been my experience in my 48 years of being the only male in a family almost exclusively of women (No father but a mother, 2 sisters, grandmother and several aunts Oh and now 2 daughters) that women really don't have a clue what the "really" want. Hence their current predicament. Somehow (mostly through sports and strong peer groups) I escaped my fate of permanent boyhood. It can be done.

10:10 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Trust said...

@FloridaSteve:

I tend to agree. I've noticed that a woman's wants seems to change based on what TV show they start to watch, what their favorite characters on a soap opera do, what books they read, what the actor that plays Edward Cullen says, what their feminist professors may say, what their co-workers say, etc.

I may be called a sexist, which I am not, but I honestly believe women are much more easily emotionally manipulated than they realize. (Shouldn't be too hard to understand... isn't that the female argument against porn, that a woman can't live up to what men see? Same thing with emotional porn and influences... men can't live up to what women feel.)

10:23 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger The Captain said...

Hymowitz, in my opinion, has elevated her personal gripe that there are not enough docile wage slaves around for her daughter(s) into a book. It's not social theory, it's semi-legitimized kvetching.

At a party recently, a 50-ish woman whom I had just met said, "I bet you could fix my lawn mower!" After exchanging sidelong glances of disgust with a friend, I replied, "I probably could...in some alternate universe where I actually gave a shit about it." Many women don't even have the wits to mask their sense of entitlement for even a few moments. You should have thought about fixing your lawn mower before you threw your husband into the street, Ms. Genius. (I found out later she drives a Prius. Case closed.)

A lot of men are going into "mule mode." When we get tired of pulling the plow, we dig in. Beating, criticism and recrimination just make us more immovable. It's sort of gratifying that the behavior drives the agitators crazy, although for most that's a short trip.

Some women actually come out and say, "I'm high maintenance," as thought that's some sort of a badge of honor. A Ferrari is high maintenance, too, but it gives pleasure on several levels, can be used for (somewhat) practical purposes, and has value as an asset that can be potentially liquidated.

And when a woman starts talking about her "needs," look out. "Needs" is code for "unreasonable expectations."

10:25 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger dr.alistair said...

the neigbour of a friend of mine is a successful roofer. he roofs most of the homes in the subdivision where i used to live, making himself millions in the process.

one day he told his wife he was going to get the ferrari he alsways wanted. she said if you do, i`ll leave.

he called her bluff and put a 355 convertable in the driveway.

she stayed.

the thing is, he actualy loved his wife and wanted them to share the ride, whereas she was threatened, as she saw the car as a pussy magnet...and he just wanted his toy for it`s self.

guys drool over the women they want and occasionally dream of nice cars. but if you get the car, the women will trip over themselves to take a ride with you....though many want their hands on the wheel now.

10:49 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Steve said...

'We're a generation of men raised by women. I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer we need.'
Tyler Durden

10:51 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Jim said...

I opened up the link to see more of the hot blonde. No hot blondes to see here, moving along.

10:56 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger comatus said...

From what I'm linking on a related lawblog, there's no issue here a spined penis wouldn't solve.

Men's fault they lost them, though.

11:21 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger ImHappynBP said...

If men can not get acceptance from the traditional "Family" (a wife and some ownership in the children) then they will seek prestige and acceptance in the company of other men. Prestige amongst men is usually gained through acts of violence.

11:47 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Mister Snitch! said...

"Or maybe some of us have actually grown up and got a bit of wisdom: I wasn't put on G*d's green earth to be your bank account, sperm donor, and man servant."

I think this is the closest take yet on what's going on. The situation we're in just does not WORK for most men. There's no attraction to it. So, some of us lie about it and go through the motions (while getting something akin to what we want 'on the side') while others simply withdraw.

Women are great, but in contemporary American society, most of them are toxic. (Not ALL of them - just so we're clear.) And frankly, there's a lot more to life than (tainted) women.

Why don't men open up about these issues? Because the blithe, worthless response sounds like this:

"there's no issue here a spined penis wouldn't solve. Men's fault they lost them, though."

Of course! Men who point out the problem simply don't have working penises. Yeah, that's it - because no matter how you slice it, as always, IT'S MEN'S FAULT!

11:55 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger gutless said...

This won't end until we either have more actually masculine teachers in public schools, including elementary or alternatively the dismantlement of the current system. Feminist graduates of so-called education schools get the chance to warp and oppress little boys years and years before the Hymowitzs of the world discover the result.

11:55 AM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Rational Thinker said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:03 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Trust said...

@Mister Snitch! said..."because no matter how you slice it, as always, IT'S MEN'S FAULT!"
_____________

Pretty much. Check out the following column by "America's Rabbi" Shmuley Boteach. Somehow an article about Portman's choses turns into a criticism of Huckabee for criticizing her when it is solely men's fault for everything from abortion to racism to the broken family.


http://www.shmuley.com/articles/details/portmans_bold_attack_on_an_anti-semite4_and_huckabees_untimely_critique/

It's really quite an absurd slant that will make feminists cheer and give anyone with common sense a headache.

12:08 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger SarahW said...

I think men ARE put here on earth not only for themselves. That's me. I think women are not here only for themselves, either.

12:11 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Ranten N. Raven said...

As a man with a happy 30+ year marriage and a now-legally-adult son, I have to say it: I'm rapidly becoming a misogynist. Years ago a friend ranted against the modern American woman. Thought he was crazy then, but realize now he's right.

As one of those Protestant work ethic guys, I've done my duty. MyLovelyWife does her part, too, keeping the social contract. We provided a good home for our son, and the best education we could afford.

With the way the "modern" young women treat men, it's no wonder he's got the problems he does. See, he's a nice guy. Women SAY they want a guy like him, but...I wonder if he'll have to wait until some "well-used 30 something who is rapidly approaching her use by date and starting to whimper about her biological clock" decides he's worth a try. (Fred, that was one hell of a series of comments!)

We all want it better for our children. Well, we made it worse, in this respect. We sowed the wind of "Girls good; Boys bad!" Now we reap the whirlwind of a society that is very broken. It's just what Gloria Steinem really wanted. May God help us all.

12:17 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Rational Thinker said...

If you want to understand how people in general will respond to a situation you need to understand their incentives. Individually, some people will act in ways contrary to their incentives, but as a group understanding their incentives will allow you to predict their behavior pretty well.

So what are the incentives for men to get married? Well unless you really want children, there really aren’t any incentives for a man to get married.

In most marriages, men will be treated as a money machine, handyman, sperm donor, a general lackey and also someone a woman can vent their frustrations on.

That last point is a big one. How many times have you seen a woman yelling at someone who isn't their significant other (husband, boyfriend)? Very rarely. Women in relationships feel they can treat their significant other much worse than they treat strangers.

Once in a marriage, men get treated as a third wheel in child rearing and get raked over the coals in any divorce proceeding.

Again, these observations apply to men and women as a group, not as individuals.

So what are the upside incentives for men in general to get married? None that I can see.

12:26 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger PhaseMargin said...

"Unforeseen consequences." What a lovely phrase and such a lie. Of the two sexes, which is the more rational actor and which is more emotional?

Societal and legal issues have changed since before the 60s and we're only just beginning to see the consequences of the adjustments that the 60s and 70s have had on society.

Consider the legal situation. Divorce is common. Even if your children aren't involved, they see it. What is the typical result of marriage? It is the distancing (at least) of the father, if not the total divorce of the children from their father.

Old social contract: Divorce damages women and children economically and all parties in social standing.
New social contract: Divorce typically wipes out men financially and essentially kills all connection with their children, while the relative damages to women are minor.
Question: What is the rational reaction of men and women to this situation?

Consider the old societal contract on employment. Employers used to value stability and security, meaning men with families were prime employees. Today it's all about maximizing return from an employee, with "flexible schedules" and overtime. And with the way health insurance used to be families and single folks all paid the same amount.

Old social contract: Employers value and pay married men more.
New social contract: Ability to jump ship, move across the country, and work insane hours will be rewarded, married fuddy-duddies will pay more and earn less.
Question: What is the rational reaction of a man to this environment that hits men much more than women?

Finally, the sexual revolution has been great for young men. If all you want is sex you can get it. I think the men in the audience with a bit of memory can tell you the #1 driver of young males.

Old social contract: Sex will occur in marriage, or if you're discreet before marriage with the risk of marriage resulting, but blatant sexual conquests outside marriage will result in exile from general society.
New social contract: Get some if you can, just don't catch a disease. Shacking up is a great thing!
Question: What is the rational reaction for males?

If you want to build a society where males have an aversion to marriage there are relatively few changes you could make that we haven't.

12:57 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger orbicularioculi said...

Now that all of our super-educated professional women have surpassed their male counterparts in our society and culture in all ways imaginable and are on "the top", why are they UNHAPPY with the position?

Real men don't pay attention to the nonsense emanating from the feminists. You got what you've been seeking all these years - enjoy it. Don't whine, bitch and moan about how difficult it is to find a REAL MAN.

1:17 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Almost Ali said...

Put this in your publisher's pipe and smoke it: Women, The Root of All Evil

Diogenes has returned, he's searching for one virgin - just one.

1:22 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger David said...

Guys, look abroad for a wife. There are plenty of women there who will treat you right.
Avoid the harridans of America, who, in trying to out-men men, are now neither women nor men.

2:18 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger M. Simon said...

It's sort of gratifying that the behavior drives the agitators crazy...

When I first read that it looked like:

It's sort of gratifying that the behavior drives the ALLIGATORS crazy...

2:19 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger FloridaSteve said...

Tyler Durden: My dad never went to college, so it was real important that I go.
Narrator: Sounds familiar.
Tyler Durden: So I graduate, I call him up long distance, I say "Dad, now what?" He says, "Get a job."
Narrator: Same here.
Tyler Durden: Now I'm 25, make my yearly call again. I say Dad, "Now what?" He says, "I don't know, get married."
Narrator: I can't get married, I'm a 30 year old boy.
Tyler Durden: We're a generation of men raised by women. I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer we need.

3:21 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Mister Snitch! said...

I agree with SarahW, who said:

"I think men ARE put here on earth not only for themselves. That's me. I think women are not here only for themselves, either."

But that only makes the current impasse all the more tragic.

3:28 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

Rational Thinker sez: "So what are the upside incentives for men in general to get married? None that I can see."

------

I grew up seeing married couples (neighbors and relatives) and wondering why men willingly blind themselves to what is really going on. The men I saw worked their butts off; the wives sat on their fat butts and complained.

I never had any desire to be a "breadwinner" while the "breadwinnee" complained that NOTHING IS FAIR (stomp foot) and took, took, took.

Most other men I see not only want to be breadwinners, they prop the sit-at-home up. "Her job is much harder than mine." --- "She has the toughest job in the world." and all that.

When I asked men why they wanted to be the breadwinner in that situation - and if they felt used - I couldn't understand the responses. Sometimes I just got anger back from men I asked. So I just assumed - since most men want to be breadwinners - that I was out of place and would understand it some day.

And then some of the "breadwinners" got hit with divorce out of the clear blue sky. Now they were complaining that the wife got lots of "their" money. And I thought that, although I didn't understand it, the woman was doing the harder job, so why would the man complain if she only got 50% of the marital assets?

4:11 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

And I also see men getting married because at the time they think they are getting a cute, capable, friendly helpmate in life.

And then fast forward to the point where they are married to the pudgy, gassy, pushy, entitled, bossy old sit-at-home.

Most men don't get divorced at that point, they just continue to feed her assets while she bitches non-stop. I don't know if that situation is any better than divorce. I think it's just an unwillingness to have a major change when you are older.

4:17 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger JG said...

And the usual feminist response is: The man gets older too, and his body starts deteriorating.

Yes, but that's not the main reason the woman married him. In that area (usually: money or status), he is getting better on the whole. She, on the other hand, usually has nothing to offer, certainly not the body she formerly traded in the marriage for the (future) status of the man.

4:23 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger William said...

"The feminist revolution began as a necessary reform movement, but unfortunately evolved into a Marxism-imbued, revolutionary one. Second-wave feminism’s focus soon shifted from women’s equal rights (which are limited to those defined by law) to women’s interests (which are limitless), as perceived through a victim’s lens."
--Barbara Kay, National Post

5:56 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger MB said...

Just think about the entitlement it takes for some woman like Hymowitz to complain ... basically ...

that men are scum because they're not preparing themselves enough these days to support women in the future.

Holy crap. That can only come from the mouth of an entitled Western woman.

I truly don't know what is going to happen when there is a critical mass of men who become immune to the shaming of women, who start realizing that their own lives also mean something (other than being wage slaves to women) and, more importantly, are ready to take on the growing minority of chivalrous men. As in causing them to lose their teeth in disputes.

Women are being artificially propped up today. "Artificially", because they don't contribute to society what society gives to them - and this is propped up by chivalrous men (as the grunts) and feminists and regular women as the drivers of it.

Sharia, Saudi Arabia etc. exist, so some men are able to say: "NO" to women.

6:15 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Mister Snitch! said...

Re William:

""The feminist revolution began as a necessary reform movement, but unfortunately evolved..."

Yes, all 'reform' movements DEvolve into something else... usually some caricature of the problem they originally were intended to resolve. (For reference, see the history of unions in the US.)

6:18 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger MB said...

Western women as a group would view it as "misogynistic", and would start the shaming language on cue, if they were required to really contribute to society.

Men come up with the inventions and infrastructure. Women complain - on an academic setting, it is in "women's studies" as a prime example, but also all of the other areas where most women congregate, like social sciences, social work and all the rest.

Contribute or you don't get money. No more marrying it - that would REALLY be misogynistic. Fairness.

6:18 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Rational Thinker said...

Men don't need women telling them what it means to be a man.

My response to Ms. Hymowitz: Woman up.

7:46 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Peg C. said...

I wouldn't buy a book by Hymowitz if it were free. I WOULD by a book by Dr. Helen if it contained authentic men's voices because I respect her and them. This subject is endlessly fascinating to me as a former feminist and lefty (and psych major). Why most men have anything but the most superficial interactions with most modern women is beyond me. Women have made themselves radioactive.

I'm a happily married 50-something who remembers how the entire male-female thing started to fall apart, because I was there. It's caused untold misery. That said, some men actually do want children and I am the grandmother of 2, including a precious, 1-week-old boy, because of this. I hope he faces a happier future but I have grave doubts.

8:53 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Minicapt said...

When you do seek out those 'male voices', try to collect the baritones and basses.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLpLBssY9ko

Cheers

9:47 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger pashley said...

So many good comments, special props to "when Hymowitz complains that men are staying boys, she's really complaining that we've returned to a state of nature."

Its not men who refused to grow up. Men are supposed to be breeders and bread-winners until they dump us in a shallow grave, and we consider that our lot, and a good life.

But what society is there that treasures and values women as attractive and sexual partners past child-rearing? None. "Sex and the City" exists in between the ears of middle-aged women, and nowhere else.

They took society and social mores, bent it, broke it, and now it doesn't seem to work out the way they imagined. How about that.

9:57 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Eric said...

I see this as an example of the communitarian versus libertarian debate.

Why is manhood anyone's business other than the individual men?

Why is it worse for a man to be a boy than for a woman to be a girl?

It strikes me that life is difficult enough without being scolded by being asked to live up to someone else's standards (especially when those standards are long gone, and never universal).

10:05 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger dunkelzahn4prez said...

William said...
"The feminist revolution began as a necessary reform movement, but unfortunately evolved into a Marxism-imbued, revolutionary one. Second-wave feminism’s focus soon shifted from women’s equal rights (which are limited to those defined by law) to women’s interests (which are limitless), as perceived through a victim’s lens."
--Barbara Kay, National Post
5:56 PM, March 12, 2011

Add "supremacist" to that description and that would be just about right.

10:07 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Scott said...

Several years ago, I was the only male attending a lunch of my company colleagues, most of whom I counted as friends. I was also the oldest person present by maybe 10 years.

At one point in the conversation, one of the women said, nodding toward me, "this is the man you should pattern your husbands on." it was a very kind thing to say.

However, what I wasn't fast enough on the draw to say in response - and likely never occured to the women present - was "if you want a man like me as your husband, it is necessary to be a woman like my wife." Do you demonstrate by your actions that you are honest, responsible, loving, capable, and supportive - in short, the identical qualities you see me displaying?

Would be most curious to see Ms. Hymowitz's response to THAT one.

10:15 PM, March 12, 2011  
Blogger Target said...

Hymowitz is simply a woman who is criticizing men. Nothing new or unusual there. Those types of women usually also push "equality" (meaning men are not going to be allowed to have any advantage that women don't also enjoy; the converse, not so much), and therein lies their hypocrisy.

I have confronted women like this in private life when they start criticizing men.

When the woman says that some man should be working harder, or find a job that pays more, I ask what she thinks about Jill or Mary (concrete cases) who just stay at home - with no kids - and leech off their husbands.

The response is invariably, "it's none of your business how they handle their finances".

If the woman doing the criticizing doesn't even have a job herself, the response to me pointing that out is intense anger. That's none of my f%$#ing business.

7:12 AM, March 13, 2011  
Blogger Male Samizdat said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:38 PM, March 13, 2011  
Blogger autothreads said...


At a party recently, a 50-ish woman whom I had just met said, "I bet you could fix my lawn mower!" After exchanging sidelong glances of disgust with a friend, I replied, "I probably could...in some alternate universe where I actually gave a shit about it."


Nice riposte but "I bet you could give me a great blow job" might have made the point more effectively.

12:26 AM, March 14, 2011  
Blogger The Captain said...

@Autothreads - It would have taken a braver (or drunker, or more visually impaired) man than I to have followed through on that scenario. Not saying it, mind you, but actually acting on the suggestion. I'm not a fancier of beer guts on 50-year-old women. It's a popular look these days, but it pretty well manages to extinguish any interest on my part.

I've had several middle-aged women tell me over the last few years, often at our first meeting, that they "...just don't want to be alone." Said declaration has usually been accompanied by tears, the apparent purpose to ensnare a kindly man who is sympathetic to her (self-created) plight.

In response, I generally haul out the old chestnut: "If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company."

7:37 AM, March 14, 2011  

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