At the not-so-new news that “more men in this country are opting out of the workforce and signing onto government entitlements,” Gerri Willis (whom I like) asks: “Where are all the good men?”
Let me attempt to reply.
For the sake of argument, let’s presume that all things are equal between men and women in our state-commanded labor force—also the faulty premise shared by those who comment on the lackluster performance of men in this economy. (“You Go Girl” gloat the pundits, left and right.)
Let us pretend along with the rest that women have not benefited from decades of fem affirmative action in government and big-business bureaucracies.
Notwithstanding legislation that privileges women, the wholesale feminization of American society comes at a price, especially to men.
Ours is a soft society. The women folk have molded men in their image. And what an awful image it is. Too many American men, like their women, don’t shut about their (invariably shallow) feelings, worship Oprah and watch chick flicks with equal zeal, deify and mollycoddle their solipsistic, badly behaved kids, become parasitical social activists (rather than mountaineers or entrepreneurs), cry on cue, and broadcast their (usually barren) inner-lives to the world.
For the purpose of a purchase I was making for him, I described my husband to a more traditional American woman. And she asked: “Where did you find this guy?” Although we were not discussing men qua men, I realized that what I had described was normal to me, but not to her.
“Oh,” I explained, “he isn’t North American. He’s an old-school WASP from South Africa.”
This type was raised (by like-minded parents) to keep a stiffer upper lip, dutifully assume his role as a man (in other words, get things done), and be both individualistic and self-sufficient to a fault. I joke that my husband doesn’t believe in the division of labor; he thinks he should do everyone else’s job. (A nerd’s joke, because to free marketeers like us, the division of labor is sacred.)
Men, however feminized, need moral instruction and manly role models. This a hierarchical, traditional society provides. The collapse of the work ethic among so many of America’s men is no doubt related to the progressive, matriarchal society rising.
American women didn’t like their WASPs (they’re not getting mine), so they molded the men into women, albeit with a preponderance of testosterone.
Nagging begot the Nanny State on Steroids.