The American Man in Crisis
What has and will become of America's men? Nothing good if current trends continue.
We live in a time when feminists are bemoaning that America has devolved into a misogynist dystopia like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and when Hollywood and the political scene are overrun with #MeToo moments of sexual abuse. Men, guilty of “toxic masculinity,” are villains preying upon women and stripping them of their rights. Yet women are more empowered and “equal” than ever. Now the question is, what has and will become of America’s men? Nothing good if current trends continue.
Michael Ian Black, a comedian and actor, recently wrote in a New York Times op-ed:
The past 50 years have redefined what it means to be female in America. Girls today are told that they can do anything, be anyone. They’ve absorbed the message: They’re outperforming boys in school at every level. But it isn’t just about performance. To be a girl today is to be the beneficiary of decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood, its many forms and expressions.
Boys, though, have been left behind. No commensurate movement has emerged to help them navigate toward a full expression of their gender. It’s no longer enough to “be a man” — we no longer even know what that means.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, in a segment last week, listed numerous things that are not working out in men’s favor. Men die younger, are more obese, commit suicide far more frequently and are incarcerated at a much higher rate (9-1) than women. Fewer men are graduating high school and going to college. More boys are diagnosed with some form of hyperactivity disorder and are medicated for it. (“We are pathologizing boyhood,” psychiatrist Ned Hallowell says.) Men now have lower IQs than women. Fewer men than women are managers or have driver’s licenses. Young men live with their parents (usually only mom) longer than women. Counter to the narrative of the gender wage gap, Carlson notes, “Between 1979-2010, working age men with only high school degrees saw their real hourly wages drop about 20%. Over the same period, high school educated women saw their wages rise.”
Feminists now tell us on magazine covers that the “beta male” is the only desirable one. Jimmy Kimmel, whole hosting the Academy Awards, joked, “Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood and here’s the reason why: He keeps his hands where you can see them, he never says a rude word and no penis at all.” Kimmel’s gross hypocrisy aside, the implication is that a key biological trait that makes a man a man is exactly what’s wrong with him.
Contrary to this “woke” leftist hipness and #MeToo knee-jerk trashing of men, American society needs strong men or it will continue to severely deteriorate.
There are at least two root problems. First, men are failing to raise men. Fatherhood is a subject we’ve written about at length, and too many men are abdicating this role. Second, women are punishing men for wrongs both real and perceived. Worse, they assume their gain can come only at the expense of men. But it’s not a zero-sum game.
As psychologist Jordan Peterson observes, our culture now thinks “there’s something wrong with masculinity.” Thus, he says, “The expression of masculinity [is] limited in arbitrary ways.” In schools, “Male behavior is often diagnosed as attention deficit disorder” when really, it’s just boys being boys. Our schools are teaching boys that being like girls is better.
As Carlson concludes, “American men are failing, in body, mind and spirit. This is a crisis. Yet our leaders pretend it’s not happening. They tell us the opposite is true: Women are victims, men are oppressors. … Ignoring the decline of men doesn’t help anyone. Men and women need each other. One cannot exist without the other. That’s elemental biology, but it’s also the reality each of us has lived, with our parents and siblings and friends. When men fail, all of us suffer.”
There is certainly hope, but it’s going to take more than glittery award shows, self-flagellating magazine covers and social media hashtags to overcome the problem.
As a resource for general manliness, we highly recommend The Art of Manliness, a website dedicated to, well, it’s name. Articles range from family and relationships to workout routines to daily planning to outdoorsmanship and a thousand other topics — it’s a fantastic resource for boys and men alike.