The standard line from feminists today is that we live in a “patriarchy” where men have every advantage and women are held back. Although I’d venture to guess that most Americans and even most people reading this column believe that is the case, it’s not even remotely true. In fact, you could make just as good, if not a better case, that we live in a “matriarchy” where women are privileged over men. Of course, like most of the “privilege” arguments that are made today, either of these arguments only holds up if you look at the complaints and advantages on one side of the ledger while ignoring all of them on the other side.
You say we’re a “patriarchy” because there are more men that are CEOs, in DC, and in high-paying jobs. Ok, well, you could just as easily argue that we’re a “matriarchy” because women are given a huge unfair advantage in divorce court, men are falling behind in our female-oriented school system, there are far more men in prison, and women get to choose between, “I am woman, hear me roar” and “I am a delicate, precious flower who needs to be protected” in almost every situation imaginable, solely depending on what benefits them the most.
Partially because of this false idea that men have an advantage over women, feminists have relentlessly pushed the idea that men and women are essentially interchangeable parts with different bodies and equipment downstairs (some people would even go further and say that there are no real physical differences and that your genitalia have nothing to do with whether you’re male or female. That is a perfectly ridiculous argument I’ve written about here).
The problem with this is that it simply doesn’t correspond with reality any more than saying porcelain and iron are interchangeable. Yes, they have SOME similarities and yes, you can use them interchangeably in SOME LIMITED situations, but if you don’t recognize the differences, it’s going to create a disaster. The same goes for men and women. We are not the same and pretending that we are is a significant part of the reason the dating world is broken, marriage is a mess, and we’re going through a sex recession in America. We have created a culture where there are far too many masculine women and feminine men. Today, we’re going to talk about half of that equation and why it exists.
1) Many masculine skills have become irrelevant: In the past, most men didn’t have to make any effort to do “masculine” things, it just happened. If you didn’t know how to shoot and how to fight, you were a victim in the making. If you wanted to eat, you needed to learn to hunt. Of course, after you hunted, you needed to dress the animal. If you needed shelter, either short-term in the woods or longer-term at home, you’d better know how to build it. Contrary to what people seem to think, Americans are at the tip of the spear of humanity when it comes to prosperity. Throughout history, most men had to learn to do everything from plowing a field, to changing their oil, to slaughtering a cow because they couldn’t afford to pay someone else to do it. Men of the past were fitter, tougher, and more capable of handling themselves in adversity because they had no other choice.
Today, we do have a choice. There are very few explicitly masculine jobs anymore. Moreover, if you want to participate in a masculine activity, in most cases, you’re going to have to make an effort. Yes, you can lift weights, shoot, do martial arts, learn to hunt, climb mountains, create your own Fight Club, etc., but it’s not going to just happen by default.
A man can go through his whole life without having to do any of those things and the greater amount of discretionary income we earn means we can hire people to do things our ancestors had to learn to do themselves. You don’t need to hunt for meat, change your own oil, or patch your own roof. In other words, masculinity is much more optional in modern society and many men willfully choose not to pursue it.
2) We have a victim-centered culture: Jonathan Haidt does an excellent job of setting up the next concept, so here’s an excerpt from his work:
I just read the most extraordinary paper by two sociologists — Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning — explaining why concerns about microaggressions have erupted on many American college campuses in just the past few years. In brief: We’re beginning a second transition of moral cultures. The first major transition happened in the 18th and 19th centuries when most Western societies moved away from cultures of honor (where people must earn honor and must therefore avenge insults on their own) to cultures of dignity in which people are assumed to have dignity and don’t need to earn it. They foreswear violence, turn to courts or administrative bodies to respond to major transgressions, and for minor transgressions, they either ignore them or attempt to resolve them by social means. There’s no more dueling.
Campbell and Manning describe how this culture of dignity is now giving way to a new culture of victimhood in which people are encouraged to respond to even the slightest unintentional offense, as in an honor culture. But they must not obtain redress on their own; they must appeal for help to powerful others or administrative bodies, to whom they must make the case that they have been victimized. It is the very presence of such administrative bodies, within a culture that is highly egalitarian and diverse (i.e., many college campuses) that gives rise to intense efforts to identify oneself as a fragile and aggrieved victim. This is why we have seen the recent explosion of concerns about microaggressions, combined with demands for trigger warnings and safe spaces
The problem with this from a masculine perspective is that victimhood is a weakness. There is no such thing as a masculine man who’s trying to convince everyone to feel sorry for him because someone was mean to him. In fact, many facets of victimhood culture are pathetic and embarrassing. Real men don’t need a “safe space” from “microaggressions.” P****** do. Masculinity is about being tough, strong, capable, and competent. Victimhood culture is about being as much of a conspicuously sensitive snowflake as possible. They’re not compatible.
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