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 read and enjoyed Dr. Helen Smith’s book “Men on Strike” last year. 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. Men aren’t stupid, and they do what is in their own best interests. If the man-up crowd wants younger men to marry, then they need to change the incentives offered to men. And that means changing women first.

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

  1. Excellent insights as always, WK. Question: what did the graphic have to do with this article? While compelling, it didn’t seem to directly support the commentary.

    1. The graphic is supposed to show what happens when men stop marrying. Since there are more single women when stop marrying, and since single women vote overwhelmingly Democrat, it means that the country turns left. Single women see the government as a husband substitute – all the providing with none of the moral and spiritual leadership that conflicts with the single women’s deep, mistaken desire to make decisions using feelings instead of reason. Basically, single women vote for big government to “fix” the situations they create by choosing bad boys (because tingles say they must) instead of good men (because reason says they should).

      1. Very good comment I can add a bit to it. The divorce courts are overwhelmingly busy accommodating the Women that know they have the advantage. Getting burned in divorce court is not in anyone’s best interest and burdens the children the most while the Lawyers seek fees for representation. The decisions have already been made the courtroom appearances are a formality to justify the expenses all paid by the groom.

        Exactly what is happening is the court is assisting women to extort their husbands (for a cut of the action of course). The women think it the best deal they can get all nice and legal. After getting burned in court by the people he trusted does more damage than just breaking a mans heart. What festers inside when anyone feels they have been wronged in a big way is vengeance. This “Men on Strike” is men exercising self-control from vengeance that leads to major crimes of passion…

        What can be seen by the enormous numbers are tens of millions of divorced women garnering more sympathy as they are awarded single Motherhood status. Another kick below the belt to the Father that is forced to subject his family to a hardship he has little to no say in and is forced by law to allow. What does America has to look forward to is tens of millions of disadvantaged children with delusional Mothers and disillusioned Fathers.

  2. Churches are heavily affected by goddess-feminism too. There are _large_ numbers of Christian wives who will _say_ for form’s sake that they want their husbands to “step up and lead;” but all they mean is that they want their husbands to take all _blame_ for anything going wrong. The very _instant_ a husband tries to assume even a _little_ bit of leadership in actual practice, these women will dig in their heels and fight him bitterly; and they feel no shame at using the refusal of all affection as a weapon to secure their own dominance.

  3. There was equity feminism and that was hijacked in the 1960s by radicals. Now we have radical or gender feminism that promotes animosity towards men and anything truly masculine.

    We have seen some of these “feminist” men and they offend many of us men. They are often described in slang, course terms.

    Sadly, even among Christians there is much confusion and many hold to distorted views. I have heard on Christian radio programs hosts and guests blaming men for not getting married any more. There are many good men who do want to marry but do not find women willing to marry. Today, any high school graduate female feels she cannot accept a man who does not have a college degree. So, what happens to the blue collar man who works in the trades? To the females of today, he is not good enough. Can you spell a-r-r-o-g-a-n-c-e-?

  4. Basically to fix the problem what needs to happen is a complete end all social welfare programs for single mothers. No wellfare, no food stamps, no Obamaphone, no Section 8, no fuel assistance, no free prenatal care, etc. No fault fault divorce should be ended, as well as alimony and child support payments from men to their ex-wives or unmarried men to baby mamas. Women should be put on notice that if they divorce their husband, or get knocked up by a dude they are not married to they are going to be ON THEIR OWN raising the kid(s). I suspect that pretty quickly women would stop initiating divorces or nagging husbands to the point where they leave her and the kids. Single women would also stop having babies out of wedlock if they knew that social services was not going to shake down the US taxpayers and the baby daddy and make them support her and her child.

    1. I’ll tell you what the problem is – why we have these laws that hurt children with family instability. It’s because women have a natural inclination to want to let their feelings rule over their decisions, especially decisions about choosing a man, and how far to go with that man. If women consulted fathers and brothers and chose wisely, there would be no no-fault divorce and no welfare (and no single payer health care, and no social security). What happens is that many women refuse the leadership of good men, make terrible decisions with bad men, and then vote in these high taxes and redistributions of wealth. They truly believe that it’s not their fault that they get into messes with the bad men THEY FREELY CHOOSE. Everyone is to blame except them and their feelings. Everyone has to pay to make up for their unexpected tragedy (which they caused).

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