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.
The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
It’s easier for some people to live in a world of absolutes, where no allowance is made for variances. People are grouped into one category, where they are rarely allowed to be seen in any other way. Sometimes this process has a name, and that name is discrimination.
The dictionary tells us that discrimination is the "unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age or sex."
Discrimination against women in the corporate world is often mentioned with the inclusion of an unseen “glass ceiling.” This is an invisible limit put on some women who work in professions in which they are restricted from achieving a higher status in their career due to this "glass ceiling."
In our current society, It is generally agreed upon that discrimination is wrong and should not be tolerated. Yet, we as a society are shifting towards a discrimination that is not only widely accepted, it is used with an alarming frequency with little regard to the impact it causes. This wave of "acceptable" discrimination can be found everywhere. From comedy routines, to commercials and products geared toward this view. What is this discrimination that is allowed to flourish today, and even often encouraged? It is the discrimination against men.
You have heard the slurs that say all men are jerks, players and dogs? How they can’t be trusted, and how they should just be used for their money and not valued as people. I have personally heard countless women say the most offensive things about men and laugh. I have often confronted women in defence of men, and been met with distain and quizzical looks. My standing up for men was seen as not acceptable.
I originally wrote this post in 2013, as a mother to a young male toddler, who was alarmed at the level of male distain that was becoming acceptable in our society. Now it is 2020 and our entire world is in the throes of a pandemic, and still the messages around men have not change in 7 years! Men are still being portrayed on television shows, movies and commercials as incompetent, to the point that women have to "save them" from whatever situation they have failed at. There is still a kitchen knife holder being sold that is in the shape of a man, but only now it is available in a wider variety of colours. Each knife that fits into it impales the male figure. A very well know major online site tried to be politically correct and called it the "humanoid tool carrier", but if you look at the description, it still says "Men are jerks." In 2013 one site called it the “all men are bastards” knife block. Another site in 2020 calls it the "Your Ex." How is that 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 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. They are judged on how they look, the amount of money in their bank account, their sexual prowess and for their social skills. In addition, 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 a man that they know who they would like to date, but he has never "asked her out." At social events they can be heard complaining that a man made eye contact, but that was all.
I pose this question to all the women out there who want a man in their lives.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 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 if it is even worth it to date? Who needs that constant rejection all the time? Who wants to risk putting themselves out there to constantly encounter women who question them from the start? Men are scrutinized for everything from their manhood, intentions, social status, financial status and more!
When I was dating, I did ask men out. I was always perceived by women as strange and I confused many men too! When I went to a club, If I saw a man I thought was cute, I did ask him to dance or offered to buy him a drink. When I went on dates, I never picked the most expensive restaurant and expected a man to pay for me. I always offered to pay for myself, and I meant it! Sometimes the man I was on the date with would insist on paying, and sometimes we would split the bill. When I was dating my husband, we worked out a reciprocal paying system, where he would pay one time, and I the next.
What about the players you ask? What about them? Yes male players exist, but so do female players. If you don’t want to be with a player ladies, then use your common sense, intuition, and stick to your predetermined set of life rules you have created for yourself! Do not waver on 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 the man you are talking to is a player, then don’t talk to him, or go out on a date with him! Don’t feed into his flattery or games, just walk away. If you are unhappily dating a player, but refuse to break up with him, don’t turn around and say that all men are evil! There are so many nice, decent and good men out there that are overlooked and ignored, because they are "boring."
If all you respond to are men who treat you badly, then YOU are the problem.
To the single men and women out there who want a partner. To find yourself a great partner ask yourself: 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. Ladies, do not expect a man to be like a medieval knight to save you and cater to your every whim! You are dealing with a PERSON. If you don’t like how a person treats you, then move on. Do not lump all men into a negative category filled with loathing and discrimination.
Valentines Day can be many different things to many people. Why not use it to your advantage and bring positive energy into your life. Read on to learn more.
Valentines Day is traditionally viewed as a day of hearts, chocolates and fancy dinners with your beloved. It’s also a day that many women expect to be showered with gift like jewellery, fresh roses and romantic gestures. The reverse side of this is the partner who has to sweat over card choices and overpriced flowers.
Next let us consider all the unattached persons, the single people.Valentines Day can be very hard for some single people, not only is it a day that reminds them of just how single they are, if they have lost their loved one, it only stands to remind them of that loss.
Valentines Day is also very commercialized. Many businesses rely on the day to turn a profit. Restaurants for example often create special romantic dinners at higher prices just for the day. In addition, Valentines Day gives people with an already closed heart, the means to justify being unromantic, unkind, not generous or inconsiderate the rest of the year.
How do you use Valentines Day to your advantage? Consider this option: Take all the best parts of the day, like kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, kindness, and love, and make an effort to practice them all year long. This works whether you are single, or in a relationship. Treating a person with kindness, compassion and understanding can be done without any elaborate costs. Simple acts that show you care, are the easiest way to make another person feel appreciated and loved.
Making the morning coffee, doing chores, walking the dog, and letting someone sleep, in are all things that show someone that you care about them.
At the office you don’t have to love your co-workers, but you can practice compassion, tolerance and small acts of kindness. Refill the photocopy machine with paper, Tidy up the lunchroom, offer to pick up something for an overworked co-worker when you go to buy your mid day coffee. For co-workers who are difficult to deal with, walking away or not responding with a snarky remark may be the best that you can do, and that is ok, it's a great start.
Practice it with family and friends. Try giving small random acts of kindness to strangers. You can give up your seat on transit to someone in need, or help an elderly person carry a bag. You can hold the door open to the person behind you as you enter a store. Maybe you will meet someone special along the way too, you never know.
Acts of kindness and compassion help make everyones day better. Consider 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. You may be wary of giving them money, but you can buy them a hot drink on a cold day. The tired parent who comes onto the bus carrying bags and ushering their small child forward. 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.
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.