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

Painting: "Courtship", by Edmund Blair Leighton (1888)
Painting: “Courtship”, by Edmund Blair Leighton (1888)

I read and enjoyed Dr. Helen Smith’s book “Men on Strike” a few years back. 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.

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

    1. A lot of feminized “men” are behind the pulpits too.

      Abortion on demand might have incentivized sperm-jacking. 29% of American women have had at least one abortion, and many are part of the Shout Your Abortion movement, kind of an abortion-themed version of PRIDE. That’s a pretty sick number. Taken at the lower end of that number, 1 out of 4 women that a man will encounter (on average) has paid somebody to help her murder an innocent child within her. Those are pretty bad odds when men are asked to overlook a woman’s background because “Jesus.”

      Perhaps we should ask any prospective candidates for an excel file on all of the men they have slept with, all of the STDs they have contracted, and all of the abortions they have had? On the positive side of the ledger, they can provide all of the times that they stood up against faux-men-ism. It would be kind of a liabilities / assets accounting, LOL!

      Liked by 3 people

  1. If you are a Christian and plan to marry. Also don’t buy the argument of Jesus changed me and that was my past. That argument is fine for the person’s own salvation and positional view before God. But when good wants life commitments to av relationship it is not phobic or ist to have high standards.

    It is discerning and looking for true spiritual intent like Jesus did. Even the sound of the temptations given to Jesus sounded good and for the better good but they were literally shaped by the devil.

    The standard used to minister to a person and accept them is far different from one you bring inside your family and relational group for life

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I tried to fix your comment. I think the key thing is this: does saying l “I’m a christian now” at age 39 proof that she is a Christian, and that she now values men who commit, and will respect them?
      That’s why I ask people who are in dire straits and convert “what process led you to that?” Was there any books or apologetics work involved in your conversion? Or is their new Christianity just about not being judged for her past, and not scaring off good men with her past? If no apologetics work was done to cause the change, then is the new Christianity self-serving?
      It’s also permissable for men to just decide that investigating her reasons for changing (if she really has changed at all) would just take too much time.
      Too bad, but men have plans of their own, and don’t owe anyone an evaluation. Especially when the good men have been passed over in their hard-working younger years.
      I think that women should ask for commitment only from men they supported and helped. The best way to get a man to commit is to invest in him when he is still young.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks to easy believism churchianity delivered by “pastors” with no chests, anyone can self-identify as a “Christian” these days.

        That’s one reason why Jesus has us focus on fruits more than words in Matthew 7 and elsewhere. And the fruits are rotten these days.

        If anyone needs to man up first, it’s pastors and priests.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. As an agnostic, this has been my observation for sometime now as well. Most of the churches have women in them. The pastors refuse to address the issue that marriage offers nothing legally to men.

          A friend of mine was divorced last year and got $500k of his net worth. They have a couple of kids.

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          1. He lost $500K? Awful!

            When I was an atheist my favorite saying was “Christians are just atheists with one fewer hour on Sunday mornings.” I sincerely believed that there was not one single true Christian in America. Other countries, maybe. America, nope.

            Imagine my shock when I found some who really walked the talk in the homeschooling community! I almost fell over. I started calling them the “Underground,” which back then was not terribly far off. LOL.

            Most pastors are soyboys. Since women make up the majority of church goers these days, the pastors aren’t going to tick off their revenue generators.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Oh yeah, he’s spot on there – love it.

            Does he talk about abortion? He certainly talked about feminism.

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          3. You would think that pastors, who are supposed to be pro-marriage, would want men to be interested in marriage. But, they don’t want to fight the battle because men are apparently expendable. And children too since fatherlessness harms children.

            69% of divorces are initiated by women.

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  2. Interesting article, I’ve been reading your articles for at least a year 1 or so. I’m 23. And marriage is something I simply don’t want in this lifetime. I’ve seen what divorce could to to men and how so called Christians and pastors simply ignore these particular issues in Christian circles and I’ve experienced some of the worst things in relationships(ex called the cops and cop said he say she say).

    I’m not going to lie, but marriage was the main things I wanted, but being rejected for being the good guy and being used. That idea died. And from those bad experiences, I simply became unmotivated in life and “go with the flow” now. I consider myself a red pill mgtow and simply avoid interaction with women around my age and older.

    From those bad experiences I reverted to my old ways and became less confident and shy. Almost became a full fledged non believer because everything I learned from my older relatives about God about doing good things will get you blessed, being patient will get you rewarde, or the worst “God will send you the perfect person”.

    But something told me to not trust my elders and did my own research about Christianity and everything I learned was utterly false. I despise the church my family took me when I was a little child and till this day I don’t like the church. I despise what my family taught me as well.

    Reading your articles made me feel like I’m not insane or a incel. Long story short. I rather be married now but how my experience went and seeing how US is I won’t get married let alone have a family.

    Liked by 2 people

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