Is the emasculation of men the new normal?
Read this post by Arun Eden Lewis to learn what he believes has happened to men in our modern society.
Search the words, “Where have all the good men gone?” and dozens of anecdotes, articles, blogs, and books will appear on your screen.
Overwhelmingly, this question is posed by women, discussed by women, and answered by women.
This, ironically, is an essential reason for these so called man-deserts—men are simply not being asked to contribute their opinions and perspectives. And the good men themselves are increasingly less likely to offer their point of view, for many reasons.
I do not seek to apportion blame here, on either side, but simply to address this question from the seldom-heard voice that is the object of the question itself: good men.
The last 100 years of suffragettes, feminists, and political correctness have challenged and continue to challenge thousands of years of patriarchy—and rightly so. Consequently, the roles of both men and women have been transformed and redefined.
While we struggle to adjust to the new and still evolving status quo, the war of the sexes has taken millions of casualties. In Western culture, divorce rates for first marriages range from 42 percent in the U.K. to 53 percent in the U.S. to a staggering 71 percent in Belgium. Subsequent marriages fare even worse.
The spectre of divorce is another contributing factor in the conspicuously expanding man-deserts. Many men, having seen their fathers broken by divorce, fear the loss of their assets, their homes, and their children and are simply stacking their chips, choosing not to gamble, and checking out of the marriage casino.
Family courts invariably award primary custody to the mother, while the father is restricted to weekend access, supervised visits, or left to literally climb the walls of Buckingham Palace in a superhero costume to protest rights for dads. Men—will they ever grow up?
The ridicule and debasement of men in the media and mainstream culture is now pervasive. Watch a commercial, sitcom, or movie, and invariably an immature man-child or dumb dad is the butt of the joke—the hapless buffoon. Fortunately, these silly men are always saved from themselves by a smart, witty woman or a conscripted, eye-rolling child.
The emasculation of men has become normalized.
Sensibly, rather than have their balls cut off (sometimes literally, and that often gets a good laugh), men are running for cover in their droves, leaving women mystified and asking, “Where have all the good men gone?”
When I was in secondary school, perhaps 14 years old, there was a girl who patrolled the playground, egged on by her gang of girlfriends, kicking the boys between the legs. Clearly, she had been informed by someone this was the quickest, easiest, and funniest way to bring those stupid boys down to earth.
One day it was my turn. Caught by surprise, I crumpled to the ground after a swift kick to the balls, in too much agony even to cry out. Oh, how the girls laughed! Even then, I abhorred a bully.
The following day, I found my attacker in the playground and, contrary to my upbringing, without warning I kicked her swiftly between the legs. To everyone’s surprise she also crumpled to the ground, in too much agony to cry out. A crowd of cheering boys slapped me on the back—their new avenger.
The girls stared at me wide-eyed in shock—a boy who fought back? No one had told them that was allowed, surely it was against the rules! Equality: it’s a son of a gun.
I remember feeling no satisfaction or honour in defeating a weaker adversary but sometimes, especially in the case of a bully, personal satisfaction and honour is not the point—standing up to their aggression is. As I grew into a man—a good man—I learned to walk away from provocation, as most good men do.
Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them!”
Remember the T-shirts launched in 2003? Followed by coffee mugs, posters, even a book.“Boys tell lies, poke them in the eyes!” Another favourite for young girls at the time.
It took a fathers’ rights activist to have this merchandise removed from thousands of retail stores. Inevitably, he was ridiculed by a myopic majority.
Presently, in some areas of the U.K., 80 percent of primary schools have three male teachers or less, one quarter of primary schools have no male teachers at all, and some towns have 65 percent single mother families.
A young boy can go to school and have no adult male role model, and then return home and have no adult male role models.
Young girls are achieving significantly higher academic standards than young boys. This feminization of schools spills over into university, then the workplace, and eventually the home, completing the insipid cycle and the marginalization of both boys and men.
I was born in 1968. I grew up with a strong mother, four stronger sisters, and no father. I was taught, not only by my family but also by wider society, to regard women as my equal, and I always have. Yet, unknown to me, a generation of women were being indoctrinated and trained with a sharp-edged tool kit designed to emasculate men.
Men have been subjugating women for centuries; now, they’re getting payback. It seems only fair. The fox has turned on the hounds and she’s packing a punch, or a kick to the balls. But the nature of men when faced with a fight is to fight back, either psychologically or physically.
Clearly there are no winners in this scenario.
The relentless competitive struggle to determine who wears the trousers is simply a turnoff for many men. Many are just opting out of the kind of psychological warfare that is common in relationships today, unwilling to engage in the minefield of mind games, which are usually executed in three ways.
The first is the habitual belittling and denigration of men, in private or in front of friends, family or colleagues, for what is supposed to pass as humour. The second is letting a man know, casually of course, that other men are sexy, have better looks, more money, talent, or fame.
The third, and perhaps the most destructive is being told over and over, “We don’t need no man. Men are obsolete.”
I’ve lost count of how often I’ve heard this since adolescence.
If you tell a man often enough that he is surplus to requirements, eventually he will stop expending his energy to convince you and himself otherwise.
Men are rapidly waking up to this phenomenon of man-bashing, so much so that a disillusioned social movement has arisen with its own freshly-minted acronym: MGTOW, Men Going Their Own Way.
Supported by websites and online forums, men are regrouping with a common cause, a sense of brotherhood, and finding their voices again.
The essential precepts of MGTOW are financial independence, rejection of chivalry, social preconceptions of what a man should be, and consumer culture which defines masculinity by a man’s house, car, clothes, watch, or cologne. It is the refusal to be shamed into conventional compliance by being told to “man up.”
Many aggrieved MGTOW refuse to marry or even date Western women, the more ardent among them consciously choosing non-committal relationships, strippers, pornography, or celibacy. Above all, goes the MGTOW mantra, maintain sovereignty of self.
I have been dating for more than 35 years, and back in the 1980s, a man was expected to pay for the movie tickets, dinner, flowers, chocolate, the diamond ring, the house. In each subsequent decade these social conventions have slowly eroded, yet to a greater or lesser extent still remain. Long-held social biases, like the wage gap for example, take time to bring to full equality.
It is important to recognize, however, that equality is a two-way street. It is abundantly clear that many men and women are struggling to walk along that street in close proximity, let alone hand in hand. Why? Because for a century we have been digging up and bulldozing said street. Now, it’s full of potholes, power struggles, and barely fit to travel. Yet travel it we must.
The original message of equality has been somewhat skewed. Women often recycle the poorly thought-out doctrine that they are the same as men. Equality is not always sameness, and sameness is not always equality.
For example, women have equal opportunity to go to war and fight side by side with men, but the physical standards to allow them to do so are not the same. And this can be seen across a whole spectrum of professions, from firefighters to ballet dancers.
Equality is not always sameness. Difference is diversity, and should be a cause for celebration, not dogmatic elimination.
Men are often told (but, again, not asked) they are afraid of strong independent women. Many men, tired of such futile debates and wary of being branded a misogynist if they dare to disagree, are simply shutting down and becoming emotionally unavailable to women, taking permanent residence in their man-caves.
The truth is, men love strong and independent women—it turns them on, in every way. What men don’t love are the predominantly masculine traits that often go along with the package. The relentless competitiveness (necessary in the workplace no doubt, but hardly necessary at home in a loving relationship), the verbal aggression, the emotional manipulation, and the psychological controlling are huge turn-offs.
Increasingly, men are just not interested in competing at work and then having to come home and compete with their partners. In the sphere of heterosexual relationships, most women are not attracted to emasculated feminine men, which is fair enough. By the same token, most men are not attracted to masculine, domineering women.
So, these are some of the general and specific issues creating man-deserts, from the perspective of good men.
But what solutions are there? Waking up to our social conditioning is a good place to start.
Many women are beginning to reject the modern brand of feminism, the so called third-wave that is tantamount to thinly veiled misandry. Equally many men, for two or three generations now, are rejecting the attitude that a woman is some kind of second class citizen.
We clearly have work to do on both sides.
Letting go of these destructive modes of thought, communication, and behaviour is an essential process for healthier and happier relationships between men and women.
However, denying these issues will in no way change the interpersonal landscape for the better, and women will continue to ask, “Where have all the good men gone?” while wandering an ever-expanding and barren man-desert.
So, where have all the good men gone?
For now they have gone their own way. But they are out there, in the same desert, contentedly swimming in the oases they have found for themselves, no doubt waiting for the fourth-wave of feminism to wash over them so we can all truly embrace equality, just like the first-wave promised.
I am sure that I am going to break up some friendships with this article.
Life is full of lessons, and one painful one that most of us have encountered at some point in our lives, is that of a need to define the bounds of friendship. It can be painful because in defining the parameters of friendship, many of us have come to the realization that we have been “friends” with people who do not know what that really means, and we have been left feeling hurt and betrayed.
Friendship is a relationship built on trust, loyalty and understanding of each other’s needs. It is not based on greed, guilt or deceit, and yet many of us have had friendships with people we unknowingly formed a bond with, only to discover that the person never really had our best interest at heart. To them friendships are formed based on what they can get from another person, as they live their life using people for their own means.
Some examples of this are: friends who need a drinking buddy so they pressure you to be it, knowing your weakness is alcohol. You find yourself only being called or asked to go out when that friend wants to drink. Another is a friend, who has a life partner and possibly a child, and they’re looking for either free babysitting and/or they like that you are single and available to be their “go to” friend when things need done. You may find yourself constantly being asked to “help” with things like home décor or renovation, shopping, cooking or various other chores that they tell you that they don’t seem to have the time for. At first this type of friendship may seem okay to you, after all helping out friends is important. The problem occurs if that help is hardly ever or never reciprocated back to you. To test this theory, ask yourself, are they suddenly and consistently unavailable to help when you need it? How about when you meet someone? Do they act jealous or try to sabotage your love life? These types of “friends” don’t want you to get a life because then you won’t be available to be the servant for theirs.
So what defines a true friend then? A true friend is someone who is there for you when you need them, and reciprocates that back to you. An example of this is being able to call you at 2am because something major has happened to them and they need to talk to you. If this happens every once in a while and you know that you can call them at 2am if you needed to as well, this type of situation is okay. Now, if the 2am phone call happens every weekend because they are drunk and need a lift home, then that is a problem.
True friends will call you to ask about you and your life. They have an interest in who you are, those you love, and what you are doing. They also don’t try to push you to do things you don’t want to such as drinking, drugs or to be in situations that you don’t want to be in. They also don’t have an expectation that they will get something from you all the time. They are happy to be around you without strings attached.
So what kind of friends do you have? Are they complimenting your lifestyle or creating negativity in your world?
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
At first glance, many senior citizens appear to be at a point in their lives where they are able to devote more time for themselves. This can be a false view as in today’s world, many grandparents have found themselves saddled with the responsibility of either babysitting several days a week or in fact raising their grandchildren. This can create a situation where mind, body and spirit are often pushed to their limits.
Even when a senior is not faced with that particular challenge there are often others such as health issues, pain, medication side effects, loneliness, low self-esteem and bereavement issues.
Hypnotherapy is a tool, which can be used alone or in conjunction with other modalities, services and/or medications. It can be used help seniors achieve a state of deep relaxation, while allowing them to be receptive to positive messages of change and healing. It doesn’t require any invasive measures or special equipment be used. It also does not require a large time commitment out of a person’s day, as a Hypnotherapy session lasts one hour. Positive changes from Hypnotherapy can be achieved in as little as one session, but in general, multiple sessions are required in order to facilitate lasting change.
One issue that plagues the senior population, is that many seniors often inadvertently find themselves interacting with others less and less. Isolation from society is an ongoing problem for seniors. It can be due to ill health, financial constraints, location, self-esteem issues or motivational issues. One way that Hypnotherapy can help with this issue is by helping to create a positive mindset, which allows for the ability to see new possibilities and explore opportunities that would not have been considered before. This can open many avenues of change. For example, a formerly reclusive senior may find himself or herself motivated to join a special interest club or a seniors fitness group to improve their health, therefore reducing their isolation and expanding their social circle.
If you are a senior citizen, who is struggling, and you want to make positive changes in your life but you don’t know where to start, consider Hypnotherapy.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
It’s probably easier for some people to live in a world of black and white, of absolutes, where no allowance is made for variances; where some people are grouped into one category, and hardly if ever are they allowed to be seen in another light. Sometimes it’s given a name, that name is discrimination.
Discrimination against minorities or religions are two well known examples. Discrimination against women is often talked about along with an unseen “glass ceiling” that many women in the corporate world especially still speak of. A “glass ceiling” is an invisible limit put on some women who work in the corporate field, where they are restricted from achieving a higher status in their career. It is generally agreed upon that discrimination is wrong and should not be tolerated, and yet, we as a society are shifting towards a discrimination that is widely accepted, and is used for the basis of humour which is in poor taste. This discrimination can be found in stand-up comedy to commercial products geared toward this view. What is this discrimination that is allowed to flourish today, and even often encouraged? It is discrimination against men.
I know dear reader, you have heard the slurs. How all men are evil or dogs or players. How they can’t be trusted and how they should just be used for their money and not valued as a person. I have personally heard countless women say the most offensive things about men and laugh. I have often confronted women in defense of men, and been met with distain and quizzical looks, as my standing up for men in general was not acceptable. Have you seen the knife holder that is in the shape of a man? Each knife that fits into it impales the male figure. One site called it the “all men are bastards” knife block. I just don’t think that is funny. If the tables were reversed and the product was in the shape of a woman being impaled by knives, the public outcry would have have no doubt resulted in the product no longer being manufactured, but since it’s a guy being stabbed, that’s okay. Right??
Look, not all men are devils, and not all women are angels. The sexual gender of a person does not speak for what kind of person they are. Just as skin colour, height, weight or profession does not speak for who a person is. I don’t think enough women even begin to think about how hard it is for men in this world. Men are judged all the time; for their looks, the amount of money in their bank account, their sexual prowess and for their social skills. How they are never supposed to be shy or intimidated to talk to a woman.
There are so many women that lament that men never ask them out, or that they always have terrible dates. Sometimes they talk about this guy that they know who they want to date but he never does ask her out. Sometimes, they talk about how some guy at an event was looking at her but he never made any moves. Hey ladies! Have you ever asked a man out? Have you ever walked across a crowded room to ask a man if he would like a drink? How about ever asking a man to dance? Try to imagine for a second how scary that must be? To find the nerve to put yourself out there knowing that you might get shot down in 2 seconds by a woman who thinks that all men are scum and how dare you talk to her?! How many men have gone through that humiliating experience and begin to question even wanting to date! Who needs that constant rejection all the time? Who wants to put themselves out there all the time and constantly encountering women who question their manhood, their intentions, quiz them about their social status or financial status?
While I am on the topic of dating, I want to say that yes, dear reader in case you are wondering, when I was dating, I did ask men out. When I went to a club, I did ask a man to dance or did offer to buy him a drink. When I went on dates, I never expected a man to pay for me every time. I always offered to pay for myself. Sometimes the man would insist on paying, and sometimes we split the bill. When I was dating my husband, we worked out a back and forth paying system, where he would pay one time, and I the next.
Okay but what about the players you ask? What about them? Yes male players exist, but so do women players. If you don’t want to be with a player ladies, then use your common sense and intuition to guide you, and stick to your predetermined set of life rules you have created for yourself regarding what you will and will not accept in your life. If you don’t have any interest in being with a player and you know for a fact that he is a player, then don’t talk to him, and don’t date him! Don’t feed into his flattery or games, just walk away. If you are unhappy with a player, but refuse to break up with him, then don’t turn around and say that all men are evil. There are so many nice, decent and good men, that are overlooked and ignored, but if all you respond to are men who treat you badly, then YOU are the problem.
How does he treat you? How does she treat you? That is the question that needs to be asked. Forget about making generalizations about people. Forget about lumping men into the evil category and women into the angels who are perfect and make no mistakes and gee, where is my knight to save me and cater to me! Ugh!! I am soooo sick of the princess mentality that some women have. You are dealing with a PERSON. If you don’t like that person then move on but don’t lump them into a category of hate and loathing and discrimination.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
The dreaded Valentines Day. February 14th looms like a dark shadow on many a calendar. What am I talking about you ask? It’s the day of love! It’s traditionally viewed as a day of hearts and chocolates and fancy dinners with your sweetie. It’s the day many women expect to be showered with gifts of jewels and bouquets of roses while being romanced. Oh what a lovely image…..for her! What about the poor guys? The men in these women’s lives who get to sweat over card choices and overpriced flowers, debating the merits of each bouquet whilst not even having a clue what the individual flowers are.
Are we having fun yet? What about all the single people? What a great day for them! Let’s have a day that reminds them of just how single they are. Oh yeah, fun times. Hey let’s face it, not every couple loves the day either. I personally can’t stand the commercialism of it. Why you may ask? I don’t like Valentines Day not because I am not romantic or don’t like presents. I don’t like the day because it is so false, and it is a day, which gives a handful of people with an already closed heart, the means to justify being unromantic, unkind, ungenerous or inconsiderate the rest of the year. Things are nice. Everyone likes nice things. Jewels that sparkle, sweet chocolates and beautiful flowers are always a joy to behold, but what if, just IMAGINE that those things didn’t exist? Then what? How do you show your love for another without having stuff?
So what do I mean by using Valentines Day to your advantage if I hate it so much? What I mean is to take all the best parts of the day, like kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and acts of love, and make an effort to practice them all year long. This works whether you are single, or a couple- married or not. Treating people with kindness, compassion and understanding can be done very simply without any elaborate costs. Simple acts that show you care, are the easiest way to make another person feel appreciated and loved. Maybe it’s making the morning coffee, washing dishes, walking the dog, letting someone sleep in. At the office you don’t have to love your co-workers, but how about practicing compassion and tolerance? I know that it is not always easy, and goodness knows some people can push your buttons and make you want to scream! I get that, believe me I do. Even if all you can manage is to walk away instead of yelling at your annoying co-worker, then that is a great start. If you are single, you can practice with family, friends, and co-workers. You can practice on strangers, and maybe, meet someone special along the way too.
What about strangers? Absolutely. Some examples: The person standing behind you in line at the grocery store who has 1-2 items and you have 20, let them go ahead of you. The homeless man you see on the street. I know, you don’t like to give money to “them” – How about buying that person a hot coffee on a cold day. The tired parent who comes onto the bus carrying bags and ushering their small child forward. Hey that kid can walk, all bets are off on getting a seat for them right? If you are physically able to, how about offering that exhausted parent your seat instead? Another option is to volunteer at an organization that needs help. Whether it is for a clause close to your heart, or to help out a local group.
Valentines Day is symbolized by a heart. Why not open yours and rediscover all that you have to offer others, and maybe by doing so, you will find all that positive energy brings good things back to you.
Let Your Spirit Grow.com
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