Dr. Helen, who is Mrs. Instapundit, makes an interesting point about incentives with regard to that Kay Hymowitz book everyone’s been talking about lately:
What would happen if a regular Joe, not an alpha male, came into class and gave his true opinion about the topics at hand, say in a psychology or sociology class? What if that opinion was non-PC, such as: “I think that men should not have to pay child support if women can have abortions,” etc.? How far would that man get in school? Would he graduate? Would he even pass the class? Even if men won’t admit it to themselves and women like Hymowitz overlook the problem, it exists.
After 45 years of being told they are pigs, sexist, and good for nothing, men have quit trying to please others, so they slap on a baseball cap and don’t talk much. And with good reason.
According to Hymowitz, these child-men are all used to a freewheeling life of going from girl to girl and video game to video game. Hymowitz mistakenly believes that men are suffering from the limits of American individualism.
Though she reluctantly admits that the “materials available to young men are meager, and what is available contradicts itself,” she comes up with this ridiculous conclusion: “At bottom, they are too free, a fact epitomized by their undefined, open-ended, and profoundly autonomous pre-adulthood.” She ends the book suggesting that young women will have to get a better understanding of the limitations imposed by their bodies (Huh?) and young men need to man up.
My question to her: Why should they?
What do you have to offer these men you call child-men if they do man up? Are you going to ensure that they have fair access to their children should they divorce? Will you make sure that they aren’t hauled off to jail if the wife makes false accusations of domestic violence? Will you let them keep the earnings and property that they worked for over years rather than have them turned over to their wife, even if she cheated and was abusive? Will you shield the millions of men who live in fear of their significant other but have nowhere to turn for help? Will you make marriage, in other words, as valuable to men as you think it is for women?
A is to B as C is to D, Reagan is to the democrat party as men are to society. We haven’t abandoned it; it abandoned us.
The male brain is a beautifully designed thing for processing unlimited varieties and permutations of motivated behavior, and only a finite selection of unmotivated, protocol-driven behavior. In other words, two or three hundred things you need to do to keep your arm from getting caught in a corn harvester, or to keep a boar hog from trampling you when you’re hunting it, the male consciousness can handle just fine. That other stuff you do just because, because you’re “s’posda,” because of tradition, because someone said so…we can follow about maybe half a dozen of those. Cover your mouth when you sneeze. Open the door and let her go first. Take your damn hat off.
Dr. Helen’s complaint comes from something ugly feminism did in the last half century. The activist movement realized that we men, quite different from being the oppressors they were painting us as, actually behaved deferentially to our mothers and wives because of a short list of “no-nos” that had been passed down from father to son. And so they took the easy way out, returning some of that imagined oppression by adding some items to the list.
At first this seemed reasonable. Don’t smack a female co-worker in the ass. And then it got less reasonable…don’t treat her as just one of the guys unless she gives her consent to being treated like one of the guys. And less reasonable…once she says she wants to be treated like one of the guys, you’d better do it, or we’ll end your career. And less reasonable…don’t put a calendar on the wall of your cubicle with women in swimsuits that look better than her, although she can put up whatever she wants.
And less reasonable than that: Don’t say or do anything that might make her feel uncomfortable. And she is the ultimate authority on whether you have succeeded at this. Even though she might be a nut.
Until it came down to the ultimate: The intent of the offender does not matter legally! The perception of the person offended decides everything! These rules are put in place to help ensure a comfortable, safe and non-threatening work environment for everyone! All in the same breath, unbelievably enough.
I live in California where we have “Furlough Fridays,” meaning every so many weeks it’s been pre-determined there isn’t enough money in the kitty to keep our state workers employed. Campgrounds up in the foothills have become much, much harder to reserve since this came about. I get to watch it happen; from my balcony, I have a splendid view of the ribbon of Highway 50 as it winds up a hill, from downtown Sacramento up into the El Dorado National Forest. It’s the only way to get there.
I know exactly what a Friday night used to look like. And I can assure you, that this is what a Thursday night looks like in more recent years. Tail lights upon tail lights upon tail lights. State “workers,” voting with their feet, showing us exactly how anxious and eager they are to live in this world they have helped to create for the rest of us with all of its modern rules. I wonder how many of them are male state workers. Doesn’t this speak volumes? Well, I’ve got about as much of that fat state paycheck as I’m gonna get, might as well start the weekend early…and so what do they do? They get the hell out. The people who live closest to the heart of our “evolving” civilization want no part of it, once Thursday afternoon comes and they’re given a choice.
Doesn’t that make sense given the rules in place? “We’re going to make this workplace environment extra extra safe for everyone. And so we’re going to put you in a cubicle next to someone who could be borderline insane. If you say something this person doesn’t like it will end your career. If you do something this person doesn’t like it will end your career. If you don’t say or do anything, and she finds it creepy, it could end your career. Those are the rules, to keep this envi– uh, hey, wait, where are you goin’?”
Captain Capitalism (hat tip again to Kate) adds:
The “man world” is DIRECTLY related to the economic crisis we face today AND IS ALSO THE SOLE SOLUTION to our economic problems today. It is the forefront of the battlefield and is precisely where all economic analysis should be focused (that is assuming we care to solve our little economic problems we face today). You want the recession to end? You want unemployment back to 4%? You want oil back below $2 a gallon? You want the US back on the road to supreme economic and military dominance and security? You want a world where your precious little children actually have a future? Put men back in charge (of course, what is funny, is if things keep going the way they are, men will inevitably end up in charge again, but it won’t be the nice ones who appreciate democracy and the sanctity of women).
In the meantime you will forgive us if we just plain opt not to marry, breed, or just in general, participate in society. Because, well frankly, what’s the upshot?
In the meantime, enjoy the decline!
And a decline is what it is. The more machinery we get installed into this ever-self-civilizing civilization, the quicker people — men — want to get the hell away from it once they’re given the option.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News and Washington Rebel.