Men on strike: the social changes that caused men to opt out of marriage

SurveyMonkey election poll cross tabs for unmarried women Nov 2016
SurveyMonkey election poll cross tabs for unmarried women only Nov 2016

I tweeted and shared Dr. Helen Smith’s book “Men on Strike” this week multiple times, and I finished reading it myself. The reason was that it was on sale for $3.29 for the Kindle edition. The book explains a few of the developments that have led to men underperforming in school and in the workplace, and opting out of marriage and fatherhood.

Dr. Helen comes to this problem as a secular libertarian, not as a Christian conservative.

A review of Dr. Helen’s book appeared in Salvo magazine. The review is written by Terrell Clemmons, who has the best Christian worldview of any woman I know – I frequently rely on her advice.

Terrell writes:

While the feminist movement may originally have been about equal respect for both sexes, what it has morphed into, she argues, is female privilege. From rape laws that empower women but not the men they may falsely accuse, to divorce laws tilted in favor of the wife, to the feminization of the U.S. education system, men have become the sex under the gun, while women enjoy the status of a protected class.

But unlike their mothers or grandmothers, men today are not taking to the streets burning their undergarments and shrieking demands (thank God). They’re doing just the opposite, which is far worse. They’re going on strike. The strike zones are manifold:

Higher Education.In addition to the enrollment imbalance, which is approaching a 60/40 ratio of women to men, college has become, in the words of one professor, “a hostile working environment [in which] males increasingly feel emasculated.” Smith quotes a student named John, who had this to say about his college experience: “I had already been cautious around women, having grown up with Tawana Brawley in my backyard and daily stories of sexual harassment; I played it safe and passive every time. But it doesn’t matter. The only way not to lose is to not play. So I’m out.”

Work,including community involvement. With higher female graduation rates and salaries, men today are falling behind their fathers economically and professionally. Consequently, their efforts to prove themselves worthy mates through hard work and higher earnings don’t win female attention the way they used to. Discouraged, too many retreat to a man cave, and inertia sets in from there.

Marriage.Marriage rates are down, and honest men opting out will tell you why. Smith cites a Rutgers University study of single heterosexual men which turned up the top reasons they hadn’t married. They can get sex and the companionship of cohabitation without marriage more easily than in times past, and they don’t want to open themselves up to the risk of divorce and financial loss. It really isn’t that complicated a decision. In fact, it’s often not an actual decision at all. It just happens.

The simplest explanation for the difficulties that boys face in an education system that is dominated by women (teachers and administrators) is discrimination. And in the workplace, the government requires employers to report on male and female head counts, and promote women who are not qualified. I have seen receptionists with tattoos and no college degrees promoted to six-figure manager jobs in companies where I worked.

There is one more which to me was the most surprising one in the book – paternity fraud, and the laws that support paternity fraud:

Take the following cases of nonconsensual insemination: Nathaniel from California, age 15, had sex with 34-year-old Ricci, which, due to his age, was legally considered nonconsensual. Emile from Louisiana was visiting his parents in the hospital when a nurse offered him oral sex, if he wore a condom, which she conveniently offered to dispose of for him afterward. S. F. from Alabama passed out drunk at the home of a female friend and awoke undressed the following morning. In all three cases, including the one involving the minor, a woman got sperm and, nine months later, a child, and the man got ordered by a court of law to pay support for eighteen years.

Less devious, but similarly amiss, are those cases in which a man, having been betrayed by his wife or girlfriend, was nevertheless held financially responsible for a child genetically proven to be another man’s offspring. While not as sensational as sperm-jacking, it is another form of paternity extortion.

In each of those cases, the man was found liable to pay child support – including the case of the 15-year-old boy, who was forced to pay child support to his statutory rapist when he turned 18. This is how the court system works, and more and more men are understanding the risks.

I often encounter “pro-marriage” people while gathering stories for the blog. These pro-marriage people come in two varieties.

On the one end of the spectrum are people like Terrell Clemmons and Jennifer Roback Morse, who understand marriage, but who also understand the social changes that have made marriage unattractive for men. Both Clemmons and Morse have a background in STEM fields, so they are able to understand incentives and tradeoffs. They understand that society has to rollback the changes to education, divorce laws, etc. if they expect men to be interested in marriage again. They understand that men are not just accessories of women, but instead have their own desires, feelings and reasons for marrying.

On the other end of the spectrum are feminist men, who are not able to understand the changing incentives that face men in a world that has evolved under the influence of radical feminism. It is just simpler (less thinking) for these men to accept the radical feminism as a given, and then urge men to “man up”. I think a much better idea would be for the “man up” crowd to realize how marriage has changed, and how the schools and the workplace have changed, then make all of these things more attractive to men. It doesn’t do any good to try to “dare” men into jumping off a cliff.

12 thoughts on “Men on strike: the social changes that caused men to opt out of marriage”

  1. I read “Men On Strike” when it came out….and the copy I read was passed around by the single men of my church and at the large “man up” group I attend at a larger church.

    Two camps I have noticed in single-man Christian circles WK…..

    Men like myself who understand what Dr. Helen is saying………….and men who shrugged it off because she “doesn’t have a biblical-worldview / guys just need to ‘man up’ and get over it”

    1. The church people with the “Biblical Worldview” don’t have a Biblical worldview, otherwise they would be taking practical steps to turn men back toward marriage. They should be doing what works, not doing what makes them look pious and feel good.

  2. Oh Lord, you teed me up this morning, WK – thanks for the softball, and please feel free to delete this or not post it – it may be too harsh for the nicey nice pew sitters to read, while they furthermore pat themselves on the back, sitting out the election, smiling and watching Amerika burn under Hillary because they wouldn’t get their hands a little dirty with the Trump vote.

    You didn’t say it at the end, but why not call them out: the cowards in the “Church” who get their donations from tentmakers, while preaching a Gospel which turns a blind eye to the 3000 innocents slaughtered every day in this country at the altar of the DemoKKKratic Party?

    You probably do not appreciate Milo, but here is what he had to say about radical faux-men-ism:

    And, it is a bit crude, but here is where one aspect of it has led us – and one more reason that Catholics got it right while we Protestants burned our own families – OK, well, SOME Catholics, the doctrine anyway:

    http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2015/12/08/birth-control-makes-women-unattractive-and-crazy/

    God bless you, WK, and thank you for the shot of “wake the Heavens up!” this morning! :-)

      1. Milo isn’t true Alt-Right. Gavin McInnes, and Paul Joseph Watson are right-wing people who are willing to use Alt-Right tactics to make their points. They are classical liberals, but edgier.

        And yeah, Milo explains why true conservatives need to vote Trump. A Hillary-stacked Supreme Court will be the death of the First and Second Amendments.

  3. It is no wonder the Left hates marriage. Not only because their values go against the natural order as all leftist beliefs do, but because women will turn to the state to provide them with the various securities (emotional, financial, etc.) that would ordinarily be present within marriage. Naturally, they will vote for more government to the point where they do not need men for anything except to impregnate them- and even then they can just go to a sperm bank.

    Now, compare that political map to one consisting only of single male voters. Nearly all states are red. How, then, are these single men going to marry single women with such diametrically opposed views?

    1. That’s just it, conservative unmarried men aren’t going to marry liberal unmarried women who have already married the government. Men who have to pay for big government have no money for marriage roles anyway.

  4. Reblogged this on Right Angles and commented:
    Been a while since I posted anything. But I have not gone away. I’m passing this on because I always like what my friend WK has to say. And when WK gives the shout out to me, well that’s all the better.

  5. Single men have not “gone on strike”, so much as “gone Galt”. If you don’t understand the term, then read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” to understand the connection.
    Become familiar with “Atlas Shrugged” (ignore the poor film which was made, read the book instead) because it explains a lot, and puts the last eight years of Obama in perspective; it also presents a picture of our bleak future if the Hilldebeest is elected.

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