October 25, 2012
JESSE POWELL writes:
I have just recently watched a C-Span television interview of Hanna Rosin on her book The End of Men, which has been written about here in numerous entries and which is receiving so much attention in the mainstream media.
The End of Men is creating some defining motifs and guidelines for America’s elite in dealing with the undeniable breakdown in social stability of the lower classes, and this interview mapped out the territory clearly. It demonstrated how the elite will acknowledge social decline, especially the breakdown of marriage and family formation, without in any way challenging the underlying causes.
During the first part of the discussion with Tucker Carlson of C-Span, it wasn’t easy to tell that Hanna Rosin was a feminist. Rosin just seemed like a confused, mystified woman telling the tale of men falling behind. She wasn’t excited or bragging, she was just concerned and confused. One of Rosin’s big themes is that men are not showing flexibility, that women are proving to be much more flexible than men. Rosin analogizes women to highly motivated immigrants driven to success. Women are in a “new country” where economic opportunities have just recently opened up and where working is for the first time socially acceptable and expected. Women feel like they have something to prove and they have to fight extra hard to make it; in this way they are like immigrants. Men on the other hand are displaced and dejected; they view the new feminine jobs potentially open to them as being “beneath them.” Men are used to having their career roles and status simply “handed to them” and now that their artificially elevated status has been taken away from them they do not feel like “starting over” at the bottom rung and trying to work their way up.
The End of Men apparently has a lot of stories about men being lazy, women’s frustration with lazy men, lots of statistics related to women’s economic related progress and men’s decline, and exhortations for men to be “more flexible” and to “man up.” Rosin recognizes the “lazy man” or the “man child” phenomenon to be a real problem. It seems her answer is to write a book detailing this problem and to recommend her solution that men “become more flexible,” more comfortable in traditionally female roles, and essentially “adapt” to the new environment.
Men are “too rigid”; this is Rosin’s fundamental complaint. What does being “too rigid” actually mean? It seems to mean not getting with the feminist program of what men are supposed to be doing. The feminist program of what men should be doing is to serve women, right? For some reason men are not expressing proper enthusiasm for serving women.
I think there are three basic concepts of who men “serve.” Men can serve women, men can serve themselves, or men can serve God. The feminist idea is that men serve women. The best model is that men serve God. The men serving themselves option can be narcissistic but if a man sees himself as serving God then the man “serving himself” is equivalent to the man “serving God” at least in the man’s intent.
The central issue in these three modes of behavior is “who’s in charge.” In all three modes of behavior the man may intentionally do things to benefit the woman and in that sense “serve” the woman but the outcome of these three modes of behavior is very different. If the woman is in charge the man is serving the woman; if the man is in charge with a narcissistic orientation then the man is serving the man; if God is in charge then the man is serving God as well as himself and the woman. When the man serves the woman, the woman is abusing the man. When the man serves himself (narcissistically), the man is abusing the woman. Only when the man is serving God is the man behaving in a correct and moral fashion.
Given that feminism is abusive to men as it seeks to turn men’s attention away from God and instead towards the woman’s own preferences it makes perfect sense that men would withdraw from “serving women” leading to the “lazy man” problem that feminists are increasingly harping on.
The solution is for men to take on for themselves the role and the purpose of serving God. This will give to men their motivation for participating in society and family life again and it will enable men to take on their rightful role within the family and within society at large.
During the discussion Hanna Rosin claimed that the children of college educated parents are better off today than in the past; seemingly than children in general in the past. Rosin admitted that lower class children on average are much worse off today because of family breakdown problems but that the children of the college educated are doing better than ever. This is because college educated parents are spending more time with their children than they did in the past; this is known because of time-use studies. Apparently parents report spending more time with their children than they did in the past. Rosin admitted that this doesn’t make sense but the time-use studies are the proof so it must be so. Rosin further proclaimed that she doesn’t see any reason why day care would be any worse for a child than its own mother.
She didn’t see how there would be any problem with a child being in day care “from 9 to 5” as she put it. Tucker Carlson challenged her on this but she kept to her position. Carlson said that surely Rosin notices that more very young children of a year or a year-and-a-half are in day care than used to be in the past; surely that is a bad thing. Rosin responded that she didn’t see how there was any problem with it; more very young children in Sweden and other European countries are in daycare than there are in the United States.
I found it interesting that Rosin placed a focus on how the children of the college educated are doing “just fine” even while admitting that children of the lower classes are not doing so well. This is pretty much exactly the theme of Charles Murray in Coming Apart and a theme in the “State of Our Unions” reports by The National Marriage Project (the ones who advocate for “companionate marriage”) and a theme brought up by Kay Hymowitz in her Marriage and Caste in America book.
What’s my response to “the college educated are doing just fine while everyone else sinks” argument? There are several different factors. It is a rule that the more privileged decline more slowly than the less privileged; the speed of decline is related to the already existing level of dysfunction (this is what produces hyperbolic growth in dysfunction). Any population will have a distribution of the more privileged and the less privileged; the more privileged and the less privileged are still part of the same overall “social system.” There has been a huge increase in the college educated population meaning that being college educated has a different importance and meaning than it used to. Educational privilege is not multi-generational; not all children of college educated parents become college educated themselves. Nevertheless, the fertility of college educated women is particularly low and definitely below replacement level, which points to a fundamental, structural weakness.
All these weaknesses of the college educated population notwithstanding, the idea that the college educated are doing “just fine” appears to be quite popular among mainstream social conservatives and feminists like Hanna Rosin who are willing to admit that there is “something wrong.” Why is “the college educated are doing just fine” argument so popular? I think it is because the college educated are still within “the system” so that if the college educated are doing “just fine” that means “the system” can still work if only everybody figured out how to do what the college educated are doing. “The system” translates as feminism; the college educated are the last hope for a functional feminist social model.
If you really want to see a social model that is working look at devoutly religious communities. The social indicators of devoutly religious communities are far better than merely rich communities and they don’t have the myriad weaknesses that merely affluent communities have. So, why aren’t people looking at the devoutly religious and using them as their model? Because the devoutly religious are “strange,” they are outside of “the system”, and they are not feminist. In other words embracing conservative religion is rejecting the mainstream culture, something mainstream social conservatives don’t want to do.
I always enjoy Jesse Powell’s insights. From what he says of Hanna Rosin’s latest contribution to the liberal agenda, feminists are expressing dismay that with women’s successful usurpation of men’s historical role (society’s pack mule), men are refusing to adopt (not adapt) women’s traditional place in the home. Quelle surprise!
Remove the feminized school system, the media, Hollywood, affirmative action and gender-specific hiring quotas and feminism will suffocate like a rabbit wearing an anaconda pullover.
I avoid feminists for the same reason I avoid undercooked pork; I loathe parasites.
How to draw a conclusion after tampering with the experiment: first, demoralize and emasculate a couple of generations of men. Then, transfer that lost masculinity to women. Finally, write books about how fascinating it is that men are so weak and unmotivated. Got it.
Jane S. writes:
Jesse Powell writes: Given that feminism is abusive to men as it seeks to turn men’s attention away from God and instead towards the woman’s own preferences it makes perfect sense that men would withdraw from “serving women” leading to the “lazy man” problem that feminists are increasingly harping on.
The origins of this are explained clearly in the Bible, Book of Genesis. God created Adam and Eve and gave them Paradise to live in. But the serpent was an astute observer of human nature. He could tell the woman was the type who is never satisfied; give her everything and she still wants more. Adam could have said “no” to the serpent, but he couldn’t say “no” to her. Amazing the way we keep making the same mistakes over and over. We don’t even make the Evil One work hard to think up new ways to deceive us.
Terry Morris writes:
Yes, men are having a harder time adapting to the idea that we need anyone (the government, a spouse, whomever) to take care of us, and we resent the idea to be perfectly honest about it.
As Laura said a few weeks ago, normal women don’t want to rescue, they want to BE rescued. The principle applies to men in the inverse. So it’s perfectly understandable that women are “more adaptable” than men are under the current liberal order, if that is what you want to call it. But adaptability hasn’t much to do with it. Women want to be
rescued; they need for someone, or something, to take care of them. Men generally don’t.
The government has beguiled women, promising that it will liberate them, and make them wise “knowing good and evil,” and provide them all the necessities and all the desires of their hearts, all the days of their lives, in sickness and in health, till death do they part.
Hath God said?
Mr. Morris adds:
But when you boil it all down (there is a better way to express it, but I don’t dare use the term at this respectable site), when you take out a knife, with which I know you intend to castrate me, it’s natural for me to be resistant to it, and ultimately it might not turn out the way you thought it would. … In a manner of speaking.