The War on Men

 

shutterstock_162854771You don’t have to be a “revolutionary” presidential candidate to know that there’s something seriously wrong about the way boys are growing into men in this country.

Most of the media is obsessed with fraternities, creepy boys with “affluenza,” and lax brosMost of that reporting follows a familiar template: bad (white) boys and their victims. It’s a reliably monotonous litany because that frees them from the responsibility of looking at what happens to (mostly non-white) boys who grow up in poor neighborhoods. Short answer: nothing much good. From Citylab:

How adults in the U.S. fare economically depends, to a large extent, on the quality of the neighborhoods they grew up in. But boys and girls who live right down the street from each other don’t always end up, economically speaking, in the same place. And that’s most likely because their childhood environments affect them differently, a new working paper by economist Raj Chetty and his colleagues finds, with boys having an especially tough time.

None of this is surprising. But still:

Differences between men’s and women’s employment rate, income level, and college enrollment at age 30 all varied based on the income and marital status of their parents, but the gender gap in employment varied most starkly. Among those whose parents were in the bottom fifth of income distribution when they were young, the 30-year-old men were less likely to have a job than the women. This was especially true if these boys were raised by a single parent.

The paper — and the post it’s based on — go on to make a lot of lefty-sounding points. The research, however, is pretty clear, though we all might draw different conclusions from it. Yes, the incarceration rates are higher in those neighborhoods. Yes, those neighborhoods are more likely to be, essentially, segregated. But it still gets back to this sentence:

This was especially true if these boys were raised by a single parent.

And what do we see in the culture, in the community, in the halls of left-wing city governments and left-wing federal offices? An obsession with everything but the root problem: families have been torn up by federal and state programs that encourage broken, scattered, fatherless families.

The question is, are those boys in trouble because their fathers are absent or in jail? Or are those men in jail because their fathers were absent?

Either way, one thing we should all agree on: whatever we’re currently doing in under-privileged neighborhoods we should stop doing. Whatever we’re currently focusing our time and energy and resources to we should stop doing.

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Ansonia:Re # 27

    Unless he killed himself, kids aren’t left, by the death of a parent, thinking of themselves as insignificant or unworthy of the parent’s love.

    Stats really show that death of a father just does not have the effect divorce does.

    • #31
  2. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    and … not to sound bitchy … but there is open discrimination against men in the job market, today.

    It is amazingly obvious in the legal profession, if you pay attention to it.  All other things being equal, I think the new convention is that the woman will always get the job over the man.  I’m also seeing plenty of cases where far more qualified men are passed over.

    • #32
  3. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Ryan M:and … not to sound bitchy … but there is open discrimination against men in the job market, today.

    It is amazingly obvious in the legal profession, if you pay attention to it. All other things being equal, I think the new convention is that the woman will always get the job over the man. I’m also seeing plenty of cases where far more qualified men are passed over.

    You don’t sound bitchy.

    Also, keep in mind that many women find it abhorrent that men make more money than they do yet find the prospect of marrying a man who doesn’t make more money than them distasteful.

    • #33
  4. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M
    @RyanM

    Martel:

    Ryan M:and … not to sound bitchy … but there is open discrimination against men in the job market, today.

    It is amazingly obvious in the legal profession, if you pay attention to it. All other things being equal, I think the new convention is that the woman will always get the job over the man. I’m also seeing plenty of cases where far more qualified men are passed over.

    You don’t sound bitchy.

    Also, keep in mind that many women find it abhorrent that men make more money than they do yet find the prospect of marrying a man who doesn’t make more money than them distasteful.

    And, of course, you’d be hard-pressed to find an example of a man making more money than a similarly situated woman.  Thomas Sowell makes a similar point regarding household income vs. individual income; when you focus your statistics in different places, you can always find support for your pre-determined position.

    • #34
  5. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    re: Death v. divorce

    My first husband died. Everything y’all have written about the difference was true—he was (and remains) honored, he was (and remains) spoken of with great love, his family and friends were (and remain) still part of my life and the children’s lives for the past twenty years and counting…

    Meanwhile, death benefits and life insurance ensured that we continued to be financially supported, and the kids grew up understanding that this was “because of Dad.”

    and still, my children—especially my sons– longed for more than just me. Thank God for the willing surrogates, of whom St. Joseph is the patron saint.

    • #35
  6. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    Tom Riehl:The corollary to this fine post is the failure of men, from the poorest neighborhoods to the ranks of the GOP contenders for president, to object strenuously to the shocking idea of using our women as our protectors, as soldiers. Drafting women to defend our country, a duty always honorably undertaken by men, is abhorrent and indicative of deep-seated moral decay. The idea of using our women as combatants flies in the face of history and reality as far back as documented.

    The good news is that this imbroglio helps immensely to winnow the still too-crowded field of candidates.

    Abdication of male responsibility to protect our families, especially in this extreme case of war, is immoral and a sign of irreversible decay of our western civilization. Too strongly stated? I and many of my brothers-in-arms don’t think so. We don’t subscribe to collective guilt, but do suffer from painful embarrassment.

    You have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, Mr Reihl, and the men who should be embarrassed probably never will be. Thank you for everything you have done, and everything you have said: if I could kiss your feet, I would.

    • #36
  7. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Since I live in liberal-land, I know a lot of men who apologize half a dozen times a day for being male.

    I work in non-liberal law-enforcement-land, with men who never apologize, and are completely confident about being male. This may be because their jobs demand traditionally male characteristics—strength, protectiveness and an ability and willingness to use violence effectively.

    Because law enforcement is not soldiering, women are effective law enforcement officers—I agree that sending women into combat under all but the most desperate circumstances is a terrible idea.

    Incidentally—since there’s been talk of this “drafting women” issue—women have served and could continue to serve in non-combat roles, so I suppose we could be drafted for these.  Still, my understanding is that there have been enough men, supplemented by female volunteers, to serve in the nation’s armed forces during wartime up ’til now. It’s hard to believe, given the increased availability and use of technological substitutes, that  personpower shortages will make or break us in the next war absent any draft, let alone a male+female one?

    • #37
  8. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Kate Braestrup:

    Incidentally—since there’s been talk of this “drafting women” issue—women have served and could continue to serve in non-combat roles, so I suppose we could be drafted for these. Still, my understanding is that there have been enough men, supplemented by female volunteers, to serve in the nation’s armed forces during wartime up ’til now. It’s hard to believe, given the increased availability and use of technological substitutes, that personpower shortages will make or break us in the next war absent any draft, let alone a male+female one?

    If women are drafted for non-combat support roles only, then a higher percentage of men will find themselves drafted into combat.  The out-of-shape guy who should be (and would be in a male only draft) a desk jockey will find himself on the front line so that his desk could be reserved for a woman (who’s supposedly his equal).

    “Equal” rights needs to mean equal responsibilities.  If women are equal to men, there’s no good reason to keep them out of the draft, or even combat.  If they’re not “equal,” then we should use our heads and common sense to keep them out of the situation altogether.

    As it stands now, we’re becoming “equal” when it comes to the opportunity to serve in the front line, but women simultaneously somehow need protection from all the ugly stuff (like being drafted) such “equality” would entail.

    • #38
  9. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Judithann Campbell:

    Tom Riehl:The corollary to this fine post is the failure of men, from the poorest neighborhoods to the ranks of the GOP contenders for president, to object strenuously to the shocking idea of using our women as our protectors, as soldiers. Drafting women to defend our country, a duty always honorably undertaken by men, is abhorrent and indicative of deep-seated moral decay. The idea of using our women as combatants flies in the face of history and reality as far back as documented.

    The good news is that this imbroglio helps immensely to winnow the still too-crowded field of candidates.

    Abdication of male responsibility to protect our families, especially in this extreme case of war, is immoral and a sign of irreversible decay of our western civilization. Too strongly stated? I and many of my brothers-in-arms don’t think so. We don’t subscribe to collective guilt, but do suffer from painful embarrassment.

    You have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about, Mr Reihl, and the men who should be embarrassed probably never will be. Thank you for everything you have done, and everything you have said: if I could kiss your feet, I would.

    Judithann & Tom,

    Unfortunately, now that the Supreme Court has destroyed monogamous marriage and put SSM on the same legal footing the door is wide open for anything.

    Israel in the war of independence in 1948 was pressed from all sides by far superior numbers, with superior weapons. The pressure on the military to use the women was tremendous. Still the most respected religious minds resisted this.

    The Chazon Ish.

    Religious Zionist rabbis encourage their women to do Sherut Leumi (national service) in lieu of direct army service – which they also oppose. Sherut Leumi (if I understand correctly) entails various types of social work and Chesed. As a separate all female entity they do not generally interact with male soldiers. Most religious Zionist women opt for that.

    This is a complicated issue even if the very life of the nation is at stake.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #39
  10. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    Martel: As it stands now, we’re becoming “equal” when it comes to the opportunity to serve in the front line, but women simultaneously somehow need protection from all the ugly stuff (like being drafted) such “equality” would entail.

    There are women like Phyllis Schlafly and Elaine Donnelly who have been speaking out against women in combat for a long time. There are women like me who support them. Not all women want it both ways; even the feminists I know have always had it as their goal to see women drafted into combat positions. If we support drafting women, we will be giving feminists everything they ever wanted. That isn’t the way to deal with this.

    • #40
  11. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Judithann Campbell:

    Martel: As it stands now, we’re becoming “equal” when it comes to the opportunity to serve in the front line, but women simultaneously somehow need protection from all the ugly stuff (like being drafted) such “equality” would entail.

    There are women like Phyllis Schlafly and Elaine Donnelly who have been speaking out against women in combat for a long time. There are women like me who support them. Not all women want it both ways; even the feminists I know have always had it as their goal to see women drafted into combat positions. If we support drafting women, we will be giving feminists everything they ever wanted. That isn’t the way to deal with this.

    I sympathize, heartily.  However, sometimes the only way to get somebody to see how nonsensical a notion is is to put it into practice.  If you’ve won the debate that women belong in combat (which feminists have), then you’ve asserted that women belong in the draft.  Period.  The only other solution is to go back to the common sense notion that women don’t belong on the front lines.

    But don’t be surprised if there’s an actual war with an actual draft in which actual women will be drafted, all of a sudden feminists start talking about the value of motherhood and the unique role women can play on the home front.

    Nothing brings a harebrained theory down to earth like reality.

    • #41
  12. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    Martel: I think you are wrong about feminists, and I don’t believe that drafting women will bring anyone back down to earth, especially when “conservative” fathers are now telling their daughters to sign up for the draft: the vast, vast majority of those girls will do whatever their fathers tell them to do, and they won’t complain about it. If you are thinking that drafting women will cause younger women to see the light, I think you are wrong, because for them, seeing the light will entail facing many painful realities that they either can’t or won’t be able to face.

    It is very easy for me to speak out on this, because my father was and is a good man, and I know that he agrees with me and supports me. I fully expect the daughters of men who want their daughters drafted to go crazy in one way or another, but I don’t expect them to see the light. The light will be way too painful for them.

    • #42
  13. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Judithann Campbell:Martel: I think you are wrong about feminists, and I don’t believe that drafting women will bring anyone back down to earth, especially when “conservative” fathers are now telling their daughters to sign up for the draft: the vast, vast majority of those girls will do whatever their fathers tell them to do, and they won’t complain about it. If you are thinking that drafting women will cause younger women to see the light, I think you are wrong, because for them, seeing the light will entail facing many painful realities that they either can’t or won’t be able to face.

    It is very easy for me to speak out on this, because my father was and is a good man, and I know that he agrees with me and supports me. I fully expect the daughters of men who want their daughters drafted to go crazy in one way or another, but I don’t expect them to see the light. The light will be way too painful for them.

    Tell the average college-aged she’s heading off the Hoogivesastan whether she likes it or not because “equality,” and she’ll disabuse herself of the notion mighty quick.

    I see feminists twist and run away from their own ideology continually the moment “equality” poses an actual threat to their coddled existences.  Their support for Clinton despite Lewinsky is nothing compared to what they do when it actually personally affects them.

    • #43
  14. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    Martel: Tell the average college-aged she’s heading off the Hoogivesastan whether she likes it or not because “equality,” and she’ll disabuse herself of the notion mighty quick.

    No, she won’t, not if Daddy is telling her that equality is the way. I think you seriously underestimate the power of men in general and fathers in particular.

    Also, I mis spoke in my earlier comment: I said that my father agrees with me. Actually, I am the one agreeing with him. Everything I know and believe, I learned from him.

    • #44
  15. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Judithann Campbell:

    Martel: Tell the average college-aged she’s heading off the Hoogivesastan whether she likes it or not because “equality,” and she’ll disabuse herself of the notion mighty quick.

    No, she won’t, not if Daddy is telling her that equality is the way. I think you seriously underestimate the power of men in general and fathers in particular.

    Also, I mis spoke in my earlier comment: I said that my father agrees with me. Actually, I am the one agreeing with him. Everything I know and believe, I learned from him.

    Your father seems to come from an older, stronger generation.  Such men did have enormous influence over their daughters.

    Many modern fathers (especially those espousing “equality”) aren’t nearly as masculine, and thus don’t have the same influence.  A man who denigrates himself and his own authority vis-a-vis his wife will gain some affection from his daughters, but he won’t earn nearly as much respect as your father did from you.

    • #45
  16. Guruforhire Inactive
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I believe the draft was a leading issue for the anti-suffrage women as well.

    • #46
  17. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    I am so confused. I thought we were talking about fatherless boys?

    Is “women and the draft” going to end up being, like flag-burning, an issue for people to get wound up about for no particular reason? We have, and are very likely to continue to have, an all-volunteer military.

    • #47
  18. Benjamin Glaser Inactive
    Benjamin Glaser
    @BenjaminGlaser

    Aaron MaClean at the Free Beacon does a good job explaining why this is an issue.

    It has nothing to do with their being an imminent draft.

    • #48
  19. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    In school one of my teachers (can’t remember at which point) observed that chivalry was a way for women to control men: chivalry introduced standards of behavior that were not common at those times.  He explained that the romantic literature of the time was a way of spreading these standards. The roster of acceptable behaviors has narrowed ever since.

    Unfortunately, other cultures haven’t shared those standards, and, as violent behavior by men is a survival trait, one would expect that societies lacking those standards would ultimately triumph.

    See Europe today for an example of how this might play out…

    • #49
  20. Man With the Axe Inactive
    Man With the Axe
    @ManWiththeAxe

    EJHill: Amazingly, the “Party of Science” can hold the dual thoughts that evolution is settled but that there are no evolutionary differences between men and women.

    Brilliant insight.

    • #50
  21. Liz Member
    Liz
    @Liz

    Susan Quinn:In her interview with William Galston, Mona Charen discussed with him that not only the poor are at risk in single parent families: all children raised in single parent households, across economic lines, are at risk. And the left and right researchers are agreeing on this!

    Galston, who is center-Left rather than hard-Left, is a lonely voice on this issue.

    While many leftists will say that such children are at risk, they don’t attribute this to single-parenthood per se, but rather to an unjustified overemphasis on the importance of marriage in our society. Traditional families are to blame for the failure of non-traditional families, and we need to stop glorifying them. Or so goes the reasoning of their tiny, little minds (as my mother likes to say).

    • #51
  22. The Whether Man Inactive
    The Whether Man
    @TheWhetherMan

    Judithann Campbell:It is very easy for me to speak out on this, because my father was and is a good man, and I know that he agrees with me and supports me. I fully expect the daughters of men who want their daughters drafted to go crazy in one way or another, but I don’t expect them to see the light. The light will be way too painful for them.

    Just curious: do men want their sons to be drafted?

    • #52
  23. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    The Whether Man:

    Judithann Campbell:It is very easy for me to speak out on this, because my father was and is a good man, and I know that he agrees with me and supports me. I fully expect the daughters of men who want their daughters drafted to go crazy in one way or another, but I don’t expect them to see the light. The light will be way too painful for them.

    Just curious: do men want their sons to be drafted?

    Hopefully, no parent wants any child to be drafted. If it were up to me, I would get rid of selective service altogether, and if fairness is the main concern, then that is what should happen.

    My Dad fought in WWII. He always made it clear to both my brother and me that he was against women in combat. For many reasons, we both have tremendous respect for him. If either of us ever objected to the unfairness of my father’s views, he would have no problem telling either of us or both of us where we could go. But then, he knows a lot more about war than most of the fathers who see no problem with their daughters being forced to sign up for the draft.

    • #53
  24. Sowell for President Member
    Sowell for President
    @

    Martel – First time I’ve ever disagreed with you. The feminists today are dangerous exactly because, like Marxists, they do not even acknowledge any facts contrary to their faith. And anyone who mentions such facts is by definition anti-woman and evil (again, they take the Marxist view). They will not be satisfied until they impose their will on everyone as far as necessary to eliminate dissent. That they may aim to accomplish their goal over five generations instead of five years (in this way departing from the Marxist path) does not change what they are. And their heavy load of accomplishments thus far, through the academy and the courts and the bureaucracies, have gotten them at least halfway. Just look at how many women have left behind motherhood without protest, and how many men accept their new subservience. Or just look at the issues we are debating now as serious questions (within self-described conservative circles!).

    • #54
  25. Martel Inactive
    Martel
    @Martel

    Sowell for President:Martel – First time I’ve ever disagreed with you. The feminists today are dangerous exactly because, like Marxists, they do not even acknowledge any facts contrary to their faith. And anyone who mentions such facts is by definition anti-woman and evil (again, they take the Marxist view). They will not be satisfied until they impose their will on everyone as far as necessary to eliminate dissent. That they may aim to accomplish their goal over five generations instead of five years (in this way departing from the Marxist path) does not change what they are.

    We’re discussing different groups of feminists.

    Regarding the true believers (usually older and/or somehow established) whose power depends on the political agenda, you’re entirely correct.

    But the younger ones do in fact change on a dime and drop the whole “equality” spiel as soon as it contradicts what they want.

    One of the many examples is the type of men they often go for.  They’ll name a whole list of behaviors they find repulsive, only to hook up with men who epitomize all of them.  Simultaneously, they’ll won’t give most feminist males the time of day.

    Of course, they’ll still insist that what they want in a man is the exact opposite of what they actually want in a man.  However, when confronted directly with this truth by somebody who knows what he’s talking about (like humble me), they do admit it.

    • #55
  26. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    Re # 55

    It isn’t just that what people say they want is different from what they want. It’s that what they think they want is different from what they want.

    • #56
  27. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    What exactly happened in the sixties that made men and women have children out of wedlock?

    • #57
  28. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Brooking’s has a tech shock theory that sounds pretty good.

    • #58
  29. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    So once a female iwatch can send a signal to a fertility regulating machine in her body to not conceive, do you think we’ll have this thing figured out? The Pill sometimes doesn’t work and condoms break but humans always make technology better.

    • #59
  30. Sowell for President Member
    Sowell for President
    @

    Martel – You’re certainly right about many of the unthinking followers of feminist opinion leaders. This is the sort of confusion we might expect to apppear in the wake of a multi-generation movement that aims to upend manhood, womanhood, nature, history, religion, etc. As we have seen already, however, here and elsewhere, instinct alone (e.g., a preference for physically or economically stronger men over weaker ones) is too flimsy to protect against the onslaught.

    • #60
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