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Nonsense Men

October 17, 2012


ALAN writes:

If my father had ever been asked to name the worst thing about American culture that he had witnessed during the second half of his life, I am confident he would have said:  The surrender of authority by American white men.  To yield their authority, he would say, is as good as yielding their families, neighborhoods, schools, cities, laws, borders, the armed forces, and national sovereignty.

It was common years ago to hear the words “no-nonsense man” applied to someone who was obviously serious about doing his job and meeting his responsibilities. How often have you heard that expression in recent years? Seldom or never? That is because there are so few American men today who fit that description. The no-nonsense men have been superseded by the Nonsense Men. In 1966 The Beatles sang about the “Nowhere Man.” Today they could sing about the “Nonsense Man:” The soft, feminized, acquiescent, “flexible,” adolescent-witted boy-man, visible today in every public place and replete with manners, clothing, and vocabulary to match. Tribes of such boy-men are what Americans got when American white men agreed to surrender their authority. Read More »


More on Game

February 27, 2011


HERE ARE more interesting comments from readers regarding “Game,” which many readers say is a nihilistic, anti-Christian, hedonistic form of manipulation of women. There is no question that it often is. We are all agreed on that. However, one reader adds another impassioned defense of Game and advocates a Christian interpretation of it that rejects hedonism and recognizes the moral responsibility of both men and women in marriage. 

Mark Richardson writes:

Youngfogey wrote that “the core of Game is manly virtue.” I have to disagree with him on this.

What Game teaches is that women are sexually hypergamous, meaning that they will be attracted to men who demonstrate higher value (DHV). You demonstrate higher value as a man by adopting an attitude of “amused mastery” and by learning how to fend off the “beta tests” sent your way by women. You are supposed to assume that, as the one having higher value, it will be the woman who will want to be with you, rather than you employing romantic supplication to try to win her over.

There are other techniques as well (e.g. “contrast game”) and advice on how to present yourself. That’s the kind of discussion that tends to dominate at Game sites, rather than a focus on manly virtues.

It’s true that Game teaches that men will do better if they show masculine self-confidence, but I haven’t known it to venture much further than this.

Read More »


When Game Is About Love

February 26, 2011



It seems to me that a portion of your readers have fallen into some common misconceptions about Game.

First, as I wrote, at the core of Game is acting like a man. That means being aggressive, that means having a plan, that means pursuing what you desire, living with honor and, I think (as a reflection of my Christianity), protecting the weak and, if you can find a woman who deserves it, providing for a wife and children. In this way, the core of Game is manly virtue. The thing about virtues is that they are not natural. They must be practiced, put on from the outside in. So, of course there is a tension between authenticity and the practice of any virtue. To say that Game is manipulative simply because it involves the practice of virtues that are immediately present seems more than a little unfair. Read More »


More Thoughts on the Contemptuous Spouse

February 25, 2011


MARIANNE writes:

Your blog continues to be fascinating and I am a big fan.  

But I’m writing to express a concern, and I hope you will not take it the wrong way, because I truly admire so much of what you have to say. My concern is this: I think it’s a mistake to encourage a man to use “Game” techniques on his wife, even as a last resort, if his wife is treating him with contempt. Read More »


A Sterile Marriage

February 24, 2011


A READER writes:

Dear Professor Wood, 

Thank you for your teaching. Your site shows the young generation of women and men, my nieces and nephews and the children of my friends, a path which they see rarely on campus or on the job. One young man whom you influenced was recently baptized (Eastern Orthodox) at age thirty. 

You have written much about divorce, especially when children are involved, but I have not seen the following situation addressed. What is a man to do who was married while young to a woman who became increasingly feminist and refused to give him children for years, and continues to refuse to do so? What should we, his friends and relatives, encourage him to do (having already encouraged her to change her heart)? I might add that she is angry, bitter, spiteful and treats him with contempt. At this point, he still wants to have children, but no longer trusts her as a wife or mother. 

Were they Catholic, an annulment might have been in order (or would it not?), but they are not.

 Sincerely Yours,

A grateful reader

Read More »


The Decline in Male Achievement, cont.

May 24, 2010



I’d like to offer a contrarian view of your post on graduation levels of men and women.

If I understand correctly Jesse Powell’s statistics are aggregate graduation rates for all undergraduate degrees. However, most undergraduate degrees are awarded for liberal arts courses, history, psychology, sociology, English, etc. I don’t have the stats handy but I’m pretty sure that if you look at graduation rates for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields you will find they are preponderantly awarded to men. Read More »


Illegitimacy, Class and an Anti-Child Culture

April 23, 2010


IN THIS PREVIOUS ENTRY, Jesse Powell and I discussed the differences in illegitimacy rates and family stability along class lines, looking at the widely held view that because the college-educated and affluent suffer relatively low rates of out-of-wedlock births, they are not seeing serious levels of family breakdown. We continue our discussion here. Read More »


One Father’s ‘Remorseless Interrogations’

February 10, 2010



SOMETIMES it seems the world has been emptied of fatherliness. You know, father, the big guy who lives with your mother. You know, the guy who says no. Maybe the world took Jean-Paul Sartre too seriously when he said, “There are no good fathers … It is not the men who are at fault but the paternal bond which is rotten.”

Still here and there, fathers, typically men who haven’t gotten the message that the paternal bond is rotten through and through, show up for duty. Here’s one.

James H. writes:

As the father of four girls, I’ve faced many “dates” and do not feel as though I’ve done my job unless I’ve managed to instill some fear and trepidation. Read More »


The Boy Revolution

February 2, 2010


Six years ago, I took one of my sons, who was then 10, to a bowling alley about 30 minutes from our home. It was a weekday afternoon and the alley had been reserved for homeschoolers. I was stunned when I walked in the door. The place was filled to the rafters with boys. And, from all appearances they were having a great time. That moment vividly brought home to me how serious the disaffection is with public education for boys. It is not these children who suffer from an attention deficit disorder, it is their schools.

In the previous entry, I discussed the issue of school for boys in response to a mother whose son works hard but never seems to please his teachers. Below are excellent comments from two readers in response to that post.

Put it this way. If you were running a vast industrial enterprise for educating children, which sex would you encourage more: the sex that is eager to please, precocious and content to play quietly or the sex that is rambunctious, drawn to danger, slow to develop and bored by cooperative learning? Boys are a problem. Many women teachers are mystified by them. Better to medicate and medicalize them, attach newfangled impressive-sounding disorders to their behavior, and in every way discourage their natural competitiveness, initiative and love of risk. Boys just don’t fit in.

By the way, girls don’t fit in either. Public education is the major engine in our society for turning little girls into aggressive men. Some girls are so exhausted by striving to be perfect in grades and extracurricular activities that they reach young adulthood emotionally unstable, unprepared to be wives and mothers, and headed for a crash.md4-3_strange_mantle

It cannot last. Our state-run system for remaking human nature cannot last.     




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Every Day is Dress-Down Day

January 7, 2010

By today's standards, these men are wearing formal attire.

 The previous post on male attire criticized the self-deprecating, informal dress of men today, an outward sign of the flight from masculinity and authority. At work and on public occasions, most men look better in suits than they do in polo shirts and slacks, or even open shirts without jackets. Why have men abandoned suits? One reader offers an explanation and a brief history of dress-down dress.

Sean writes:

I work for a bank and belong to that shrinking pool of white-collar men who actually still wear a suit and tie every day to work. My employer officially switched to a “business casual” dress code fifteen years ago, but tellingly, suits are still the preferred dress for all of its client-facing officers. Woe to the new hire who doesn’t show up with at least a blazer (ties are somewhat optional if you don’t have a client meeting).

I spend a great deal of time meeting with clients who wish to borrow money from the bank and it is vital to appear sober and serious. You have a much harder time doing this in a polo shirt and khakis than in a suit. Men’s casual dress is not fitted, it shows off every sag and wrinkle in one’s body and subtly destroys any sort of distance or objectivity between the businessmen and his client, not to mention the businessman and his boss.

Read More »


When a Husband Fails as a Man

December 13, 2009


A reader takes strong exception to my advice to a woman who feels her husband is not manly. Laurence Butler, in his comments in the previous post, writes to the woman:

If the leadership role has been temporarily vacated, you had better step in lest your children grow up to imitate a stoic but sorrowful mother doting on an unimpressive father. I think it’s totally appropriate for you to tell him you are dissatisfied with his behavior, with his composure, and with his unwillingness to supply the manly presence you fell in love with and pledged to spend the rest of your life with. If he ‘wishes’ for you to leave him alone and let him keep his femininity, I think you have an obligation to the both of you to not respect that wish. This isn’t to recommend incessant nagging or anything, but woman in her highest role, the heroines in the great plays remembered throughout history, did not sit idly by and watch their lord’s mind, body, and manor decay from the foundation while she put up nice curtains. Too frequently now are the women who allowed this, or worse those who encouraged the emasculation of men/the masculation of women, being reenacted by posterity.



Married to a Wimp

December 12, 2009


Dear Thinking Housewife,

Men are not taught how to be men nowadays. What can I do about the fact that my husband is such a girl?

Regards,                                                                                   bigstockphoto_Ashberry_356525[1]

Anonymous (in an unspecified location)


Dear Anonymous,

I’m sorry, Anonymous, this question makes me mad. Not mad at you, but mad at this. In many ways, the debate over marriage is over, isn’t it? Women are already married to women. And, men are already married to men.

Read More »

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