What women really want = #Patriarchy
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Good Men Project: We can no longer ignore or downplay the ripple effect of broken families Even GMP is right once in a while.
Related: Why Aren’t We Discussing Fatherlessness?
Here we are at the beginning of an election year. We’ve had over a dozen debates between the Republicans and the Democrats. We’ve had plenty of drama. We’ve had surprising dropouts and upsets. But we have not heard any discussion of fatherlessness.
Perhaps it seems like an odd complaint, wanting to talk about dads when we have so many other problems. Besides the huge foreign policy issues of American action abroad and immigration policy on our borders, we face depressing domestic issues such as the lagging economy, rising health care expenses, the ballooning federal budget, and flailing educational achievement. But those domestic issues are actually the reasons I wonder why we are not talking about fatherlessness.
Fatherlessness is on the rise. It is causally linked to an array of social risk factors. While there are success stories in single-parent households, children raised without a father in the home are more at risk for dropping out of school, using drugs, having emotional problems, and becoming involved in crime, just to name a few.
Each of these individual risk trends can impact health care expenses, education, the budget and economy as well as public safety. Taken together they look like the root problem for many of our societal ills. The body of research confirming fathers‘importance grows. We even have studies looking at the stunning public cost of fatherlessness. Yet our politicians do not discuss fatherlessness as a policy matter.
For the Republican side, I have a theory: the “War on Women” smear hovers ominously over all Republicans, especially men. Republican politicians have been threatened to within an inch of their funding if they mention anything that could be turned into a sexist trope. But claiming that dads matter isn’t at risk of becoming a sexist trope, it is a favored sexist trope. Feminists have been turning dads into patriarchal, sexist abusers for decades. Granted, this is falling out of favor among younger feminists. Older, Boomer feminists hide their anti-male assumptions behind pro-woman rhetoric; only the younger feminists don’t like the sleight of hand. Feminists as a group, however, are just realizing their gender gap and trying to come to terms with it. While they sort that out, our politicians remain cautious. They are too afraid to discuss fatherlessness beyond personal stories.
Answer: (a) Fatherhood has lousy lobbyists in D.C. (b) Nobody’s afraid of them. (c) They’re too busy working to support their families. (d) All of the above.
UPDATE: From a related comment, “It’s a good question. Of course, she fails to ask: why aren’t we discussing the incentives government gives mothers to kick fathers out of their children’s lives?”
Good point. Earlier thoughts on federally-funded child support sweatshops here.
[W]e have seen a systematic dismantling of male spaces over the last 40 years. The prominent justification is that women are facing discrimination by being excluded from the men’s spaces with the implication that men are using all of their male only spaces to network and market and thus leaving women out and disadvantaged. Framed in this manner male only space was deemed sexist and the demands followed that male spaces need to change and incorporate women. There may be an ounce of truth in this idea but that is no reason to dismantle ALL male spaces. The feminist demonization of men strikes again and the public has followed along like a little puppy dog.
At the same time that men’s spaces are being outlawed, women’s spaces are seen as sacred and rather than being opened to men have been expanded as women only. Due to this 40 years of dismantling of male space and the opposite expansion of female only spaces there are very few places left that men can gather and just be men together.
Think about it. [Link fixed now! – HD])
INSTAPUNDIT on The Golden Quarter:
Some of our greatest cultural and technological achievements took place between 1945 and 1971. Why has progress stalled? The Greens and the Luddites got power, just as Nixon initiated the Regulatory Explosion that brought us OSHA, EPA, and various new regulatory regimes, even as money was being diverted to transfer payments to people who didn’t produce anything except votes — from funding the X-15 to funding Section 8. Not a formula for progress.
From the comments: “Well, since most technological and social advances listed in that piece were brought about by white males, and we’ve spent the last 30+ years denigrating and minimizing the impact of white males in society, golly, who could be surprised at the results?”
The NFL must continue to reform its approaches toward player safety and domestic violence, and it is even possible that the safety level cannot be brought within tolerable bounds given advances in weight and speed training and that professional football as we know it will have to die. But the matter more immediately at hand is a broader indictment of a ritual of socialization for American boys that sits uneasily alongside modern tolerant mores. Before we prosecute that American obsession, we ought to try at least to understand it.
Because boys being boys is sexism. Or something.
“Fear of intimacy…isn’t that what you call being a man?” Yesterday, I was talking about the GMP article, “Sex, Marriage, and a Fear of Intimacy”, and that was the response I got. Sitting in a Panera with a group of women, I was watching them all nod in agreement like some bad episode of a reality show. No, I’m not going to write an open to letter to the women in Panera but I would like to explore the myth that only men fear intimacy. This myth continues to be disabling for men in their attempts to be better understood, accepted, and seen.
Ladies, men aren’t afraid of intimacy. Let your guy know you honor him and respect his opinion, and he will open right up. What he’s concerned about is being lured into a vulnerable position and getting kneed in the groin, verbally or otherwise. He considers that risk pretty carefully, using his own experience and that of other men in his life as points of reference.
Another myth – men can’t communicate – continues despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary in business, social, and political settings.
NPR reporter Shereen Marisol Meraji recently dropped in on a professional-etiquette class for teens to see what they made of traditional chivalry. “I can open my own door. I don’t see the point,” 18-year-old Chiamaka Njoku told her. “Most of these doors are automatic anyway.”
But the young woman took a less progressive stance on the topic of money: “If a man wants to pay for the whole meal, I would not stop him,” she said. Why, as other sexist institutions gradually dissolve, does this one stubbornly hang on?
A sexist double-standard, to be sure. Still, I’m always honored to hold doors for the Missus while taking her out to dinner, my treat. And she seems to like it.
Dean Esmay: The pendulum that is, and the pendulum that isn’t…
The Men’s Human Rights Movement is most definitely not a part of a “swing back” to “earlier times” that were better. It is a rejection of the old paradigms altogether. We aren’t interested in swinging the pendulum one way or the other; we want to smash it and throw it away completely. It isn’t a choice between women’s rights and men’s rights. It isn’t a choice between feminism or traditionalism, the way things are versus the way things were. And it is not left versus right.
It is the radical notion that men are human beings, and should see themselves as human beings first, and should be afforded the same rights and considerations as anyone else. It is the radical notion that men, collectively and as individuals, owe women nothing whatsoever. We do not owe women our protection. We do not owe women provision. When it comes to protecting anyone else, our first question is, “Why should we?” And when it comes to things like intimate relationships, marriage, children, we ask, boldly and without apology, “what’s in it for us?”
And if the answer, dear ladies, is nothing but “my company and access to my vagina,” most of us will simply say “no thank you.” We need more than that, and we need proof you’ll keep your promises. And that proof looks pretty thin on the ground in the popular and legal culture right now.
Does this make you uncomfortable? Too bad. Because men have every right to ask those questions, and be given answers that, as to them, shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
And to quote Tammy Bruce, who claims women’s ancient power is the power of “no?” We say this:
Civilization was built in part by men saying “no” to women. No to their sexual advances, no to relationships they did not find desirable, no to unreasonable demands. Many of the most productive men in history were men who refused to marry or have children. You may not like hearing that, but it’s the truth. Collectively, men owe women nothing. And more of us are going to continue saying “no” to women until we are given a good reason to say otherwise.
You’re going to get equality ladies, whether you like it or not. That’s what the Men Going Their Own Way and the Men’s Human Rights Movement are really all about.
You’ve come a long way, baby.
I don’t remember anyone asking whether The Pill was good for men, but “Is the Male Pill Good For Women?”
Yes. Adam Rust: Does Fatherhood Make Us Better Men?
I believed, with the entirety of my being, that all men were liars and cheaters. I knew, with impeccable accuracy, that testosterone units were unable to openly communicate, that they lacked the ability or desire to be intimate and were cowards in their own lives and I double-dared life to prove me wrong. During that time in my life I was spinning wildly as I fought an inner battle of, “he loves me, he loves me not”. I craved a conscious union yet wore a cage of male bashing and love defying beliefs around my heart. In my own special sprinkled-with-sugary-goodness and lots-of-valid-experiences-to-justify-it kind of way, I became the estrogen-based version of what I’d felt so exploited by – funny how that goes, isn’t it?
She didn’t learn this in a vacuum.
Young men get the most angry when they are dishonored in front of their peers. Or worse, when they’re treated like girls. Getting in touch with their feelings isn’t going to solve that.