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MMS Friends

Bringing the unwashed masses the view from Hoboken. And a washcloth.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Just scratch this post on our tombstone

Charles, here's your next must-read book.

Instapundit gave it an unusual amount of space today, and with good reason - it's hit a nerve.

It's about a woman's education in how (single) women come across to men, and what (most) women don't know about living life as a male. It's the first honest book we've ever seen on this subject (we're sure someone will know of something else along these lines, but it's a first for us). Check the Insty link, it offers as good a synopsis as we could write. But here's something unforgettable from one of Glenn's readers:
As a 48-year-old never married single man still in decent shape, successful and now retired, and having weathered the "feminist" cultural storm still raging since my teens, I can tell you that even your having read Norah Vincent's book, you STILL have no idea of the anger, the hatred, the vengeance and the pain so many otherwise attractive and available women are afflicted with. It is an epidemic of conflict and self-distortion that begins and ends with an impenetrable sense of entitlement, based on a false sense of victimhood, and for which not just any man but every man must pay forever for the restoration that's never good enough.
Yow. Say it from the mountaintop, brother! Hey, don't get us wrong - we love women, a lot (some more, and in a different way, than others, 'course). But the gender as a whole has some major issues that have been festering in the closet for a long, long time. And that's partly our (men's) fault.

In the interest of self-preservation, Glenn plays down this rhetoric with "Of course, there are plenty of loser-guys on the dating scene" and links to his wife, who (he quickly reminds us) 'certainly' makes him happy. Who can blame him? He reads some of these comments, sizes up the situation, and realizes he does not want to screw up his Good Thing. We'd kiss-up, too.

Now, Mrs. Pundit cites a Rutgers report: "Men are refusing to marry... Professor David Popenoe attributes his finding to 'a fear of commitment' by men and to the ease of obtaining sex outside marriage."

You may recognize this for the standard (and safe) male response that it is, in which we obligingly roll over on our own gender. It's what has led us to this pretty pass, wherein both genders are pretty well disgruntled. Is there a man alive who has never heard women in a conversation of this stripe: "I can't find a decent man. As usual, they're only interested in taking the easy way out. Fear of commitment. Even a male scientist admits it - how much more proof could anyone need?" And is there a single man still alive who dared to step in and disagree?

No. No, there isn't, and you know it.

The damn thing is - we DO take the easy way out! But not the way Professor Benedict Arnold frames it. We eagerly embrace women's failings along with our own, because confrontation is just a lot more work than taking the rap. Let the women be totally right, let us be completely wrong. What are they going to do, throw us in jail? That's why we accept any and all the male-bashing accusations which, if examined using pure scientific method, would collapse like a balloon in a porcupine farm.

We don't commit because we are scum, see, not due to any failings of womankind. When did you even hear a male utter the phrase, "failings of womankind", in a public forum? That's what it's come to, friends. It's us, us, US, 24/7. We ARE the weakest link! In fact, apparently we are not even necessary. Men have always taken the cowards' way out here, readily owning that "Yes, the women are smarter". (And when studies suggest otherwise, you'll notice we don't write songs about 'em any more than we'd write a book called "Are Women Necessary?". Nope, such results are swiftly dispatched to the very same warehouse housing the Lost Ark. Top men are studying them now.)

On TV, Father rarely (if ever) actually Knew Best. The show of that title framed the conceit with a sweet, gentle irony that has been scraped coarser year after year. By now, let's face it - Father Knows Zip.

In our enlightenment, let us from here on deny our mealymouthed fellow men the comfortable, safe haven of avoidance. This is the new, confrontational era of The Airing of Grievances. Therefore let us all now stand up, like men (all right, summon the inner Bruce Willis you fantasize having) and say, proudly, "I gotta lotta problems with you people!"

After years of stifling a genre-wide desire to scream that "Women's issues" really means "Women have issues", some men are leaving the closet (not that closet). Witness this burst of outrage:
"What I'm saying is that human beings are nasty weak treacherous creatures that are for the most part totally untrustworthy. Experience is my basis for this statement, both mine and others who I know or who have written reliable histories. If you can find a woman to be your companion who is not treacherous, a deceitful little actress, a sly whore or a manipulative nag or a shrieking hag, then you are among the lucky few."

"You mention the stereotype of men being afraid of commitment. Why not? Men have been culturally taught for more than a generation now that they are incapable of commitment, that they are either ravenous beasts or bumbling idiots or some combination of the two."
Struggling all our lives to hold such powerful sentiments in check, is there any wonder we die first?

The guys on Doc Helen's site aren't all unhappy. Some talk about their fine marriages (warts and all). True, some of these guys may be on a short leash, but we so want to believe. When we last checked, there were 108 venting males on her site. Don't women want men expressing their feelings? Could it be that women only want their men expressing some of their feelings, if so many had to wait so long for this one lone chance to let fly?

One thing's certain, though: There's damned few 50-something males searching for a Maureen Dowd, 'cause if they were that self-destructive, they'd have offed themselves years ago.

Brothers!! Are you behind this???




Wimps.

Helping make our point: Feminine genius offers some thoughts. (Although on the same site you could encounter: "A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!"), and this sad, humorless post lashes out in anger at the content and the disconsolate alike. (Feminine genius ably defends her site, which is NOT anti-male, in the comments below.)

The latter attack is worth a bit of exploration, as it makes a case on our behalf. The self-described lazy writer "loves to blame the patriarchy" for the world's ills. Such a post naturally attract other haters looking for a place to do their thing. Any effort to raise consciousness of men's issues will always face this kind of embittered opposition, increasing in volume of it as the effort gains traction. This is unfortunate, since bringing these matters out of the closet should create some healing that's good for all concerned. The only losers would be those who love having the male of the species as their scapegoat. (One would think that these avowed "feminists" would understand and embrace this cause out of empathy or at least to avoid the collar of being considered 'man haters'.)

Likewise swimming against the cultural tide: Warren Farrell, Christina Hoff Sommers.

Categories: , ,

25 Comments:

Nathan said...

Nice point about O'Dowd. I allude to that in my comment there: no women can accept that she is anything less than perfect. Thus, if there's a problem in her life, it's a man's fault. And if she can't find a man to blame, that's men's fault.

1/18/2006 10:22:16 PM  
wcf4440 said...

Amen! Maybe after 40 years of hearing what's wrong with men it's time we took a look at what's wrong with women! (Plenty!)

1/19/2006 12:39:08 AM  
Mr. Snitch said...

Uh oh. I can already see it's going to get ugly in here. Well, go ahead guys. Vent. You got it coming.

1/19/2006 12:42:16 AM  
Mart said...

When I first saw that the book was written by a woman in LA, where I live I thought "Well, duh!?" Due to LA being the town that it is. people come here with stars in their eyes and are ambitious and hard working. Unfortunately, after about 3 months in town the female contingent adapts to this competitive environment in a bad way and becomes ruthless, gold-digging, sly, two-faced and, ultimately, self-absorbed. At least men grow up with a more transparent and perhaps healthier competive ethic. Women, forced into an environment that is so competitive aren't a pretty sight, no matter how well they package the exterior facade.
It's disappointing to hear that the rest of the country is like this. I was looking forward to the time I could leave town and start dating again, where the women are more well-adjusted. I just want someone nice I can have a laugh with. I don't need the issues.
LA certainly makes a man jaded about women, and it is ironically refreshing to hear that a woman is writing about it with such an original piece of work.

1/19/2006 01:42:57 AM  
Mr. Snitch said...

It turns out, Mart, that they CAN all be California Girls.

1/19/2006 01:55:36 AM  
Bowline said...

Get married for sex? Please. Cheaper to pay for it, and you don't have to feel guilty afterward.

Get married for children? Why? Between Child Services and the divorce court, you won't be allowed to raise them, instill your values, or even see them. Except maybe on alternate weekends.

Get married for companionship? Are you kidding? Companionship implies an enjoyable relationship. Not the blindfolded stagger through a minefield that is the modern marriage.

Its' the right thing to do? Well, if it costs your civil rights (darn shame about that protective order, but its' standard these days), a felony conviction, or bankruptcy, how right can it be?

Cooking? Cleaning? Fahgeddaboudit... Not worth surrending dignity, financial security, a clean record, and the certainty of waking up with important body parts still attached.

1/19/2006 03:21:55 AM  
Beth said...

no women can accept that she is anything less than perfect.
Seriously, you believe that? If you ask me, a divorced woman, I think the reason for most womens' ''issues'' is a profound lack of self-worth. MoDo probably doesn't think she's perfect; she's just a stupid biatch who feels the need to toot her own horn because she can't fathom the concept of insecurity and bitterness being repellent.
Really, when you tell a woman she looks great today--or whatever-- do they freak out, or accept the compliment gracefully?

Anyway, as far as Reynolds' emailer goes, at his age he's pretty much talking about women who are either divorced w/kids--like me--or retards like MoDo. By all rights, I know I could be bitter and angry, but I don't blame all men for my ex being an asshole. I can see, though--actually, easily--how that happens to others. Same happens with divorced men...I've seen a couple of truly hateful blogs written by divorced men (you may even know one of them, but I'm not gonna be a rat). :-P

Bottom line, I have a hard time laying blame on the nebulous concept of ''feminism.'' I think easy ''no-fault'' divorce is a real factor, as well as (I hate to confess) the so-called Sexual Revolution. Like duh, when you're screwing everyone you know, you're probably NOT a ''keeper.'' ;-p
GAWD, I really showed my age and parental status in that last sentence, didn't I? haha!

[Sorry for blogging in your comments. ::smacking forehead:: ]

1/19/2006 03:42:44 AM  
Mr. Snitch said...

Beth, you can do anything you like in my comments. Go, girl!

1/19/2006 04:00:26 AM  
Helen said...

mr. snitch,

Thanks for posting on the topic of why men do not want to marry. However, in your post, you mentioned that I linked to a passage about men being fearful of commitment etc. as the reason men do not marry. I just want to add that the main message of the passage was that men do not want to get married for legal reasons--it is easier for women to get custody of kids, women can easily charge them with abuse or domestic violence etc. I do not want your readers to think that I share the stereotype that men do not marry because of fear of commitment--there are other more complex reasons men do not marry and these are the views expressed in my thread on marriage at drhelen.

1/19/2006 07:16:03 AM  
Mr. Snitch said...

I didn't believe you shared that stereotype, and I don't think my readers had that impression of you. However, this being the Internet and all, one should never make assumptions re what people believe. Or what web sites they go to after they leave one's own [shudder]. Anyway, I do encourage readers to stop back over to your site (if they have not already) to read your observations and that amazing, seemingly cathartic comment thread. Then they should go meet Beth so they can feel better about single females.

1/19/2006 07:38:26 AM  
M. Simon said...

The girls gone wild phenomonon is caused by demographics.

Are women unhappy about it?

Sure. Why not, with so many women on the prowl.

1/19/2006 03:38:51 PM  
Nathan said...

Beth,
My comment about women was an extreme overstatement. Of course not all women are that way. And, to tell the truth, from another perspective, women who think they are perfect aren't actually wrong...they just haven't found the guy who agrees with them yet.
The problem comes in when they give up looking for that guy who agrees, and force their self-view on a guy who doesn't agree. Worse when it gets to the point of marriage.

I'm getting married again, because I've finally determined why my previous marriages (yes, multiple) marriages failed. I've got the right woman, now.

Too many people don't know what they want until it's too late.

1/19/2006 04:20:29 PM  
Anonymous said...

Since 1994 I have been waiting to see when men would begin to talk about their issues regarding women. As a lawyer, I agree legalities are a significant factor when I advise young men not to marry. It is finally time to become confrontational as a group.

In the last six years I have advised, as mentor, younger men (I'm 57)17-30 regarding some of feminist issues. Young men are ready I believe to begin essentially a confrontation; to actively withdraw, and find other legal solutions to having children,e.g. paying for an educated woman; heavy prenuptual, one year 'marriage', and rights to children.

1/19/2006 04:22:34 PM  
Julian Morrison said...

This strikes me as related to guys and girls coping strategies. As a computer literate guy I've been dragooned into teaching various people how to operate the digital beastie and I've watched others learn in classes. I've noticed that when there's a screw-up, guys say "it broke" and girls say "oh no, I broke it". So seeing the earlier comment: "no women can accept that she is anything less than perfect" clued me in. Suppose a woman and a man are insecure. A usual way of coping with insecurity is denial. A usual way of denying is asserting the inverse of their problem response. Guys say "it's fine". Girls say "it's all your fault". And there's your pattern as pointed out in the article. Just two humans using different strategies, but each perfectly aimed to misunderstand the other, and escalate the problem.

1/19/2006 04:32:55 PM  
Ken Pierce said...

Ned, I remember years ago reading an Esquire article (full of purely anecdotal evidence, of course) about how much happier American men were when they married non-American women...because of the dramatically more self-centered, demanding nature of American women. Now, this was shortly after World War II, and I wouldn't presume to say that it's held up, plus my own American wife is somebody I wouldn't trade in for anything...but I'm spent a fair amount of time outside of the United States, and a whole bunch of the non-Westernized women I know would look at Maureen Dowd's attitude toward men and say, "Well of course she's miserable; it's because she's insane." I'd say that for a follow-up Ms. Vincent should go do exactly the same thing, but this time posing as an American man in, say, Portugal. I'd be very interested to see how her dating experiences might vary. (I wouldn't pretend to know because I've done most of my foreign travel as a happily married man with no interest in the dating scene.)

1/19/2006 06:06:40 PM  
wcf4440 said...

Ken,

I agree wholeheartedly. I've always remarked that the women I've met in Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands are much more approchable than the vast majority of American women I know. Unfortunately, I was never in those countries long enough to date on and find out. (Darn!)

1/19/2006 11:34:21 PM  
Russ said...

WCF:

Yep. I married a Hungarian gal, and here in Dallas I know a bunch of single guys who just really aren't looking that hard. And it's not because they have orientation issues, or because they're afraid of committment... it's because the town has a well-deserved reputation as a bastion of self-absorbed gold-diggers who want to marry a lifestyle, rather than a man.

Mr. Snitch: there are plenty of us who call it like it is. Just don't expect us to see us doing the rubber-chicken media circuit. Why would we? That's a girl's game. Guys have got better things to do.

1/20/2006 09:26:34 AM  
I R A Darth Aggie said...

Beth notes:

Bottom line, I have a hard time laying blame on the nebulous concept of ''feminism.'' I think easy ''no-fault'' divorce is a real factor, as well as (I hate to confess) the so-called Sexual Revolution.

So far as I know, both are part and parcel of the feminist movement of the 60s and 70s.

1/20/2006 10:15:06 AM  
Mr. Snitch said...

"Marry a lifestyle", that's a nice turn of phrase I hadn't heard before. Don't know if that means it originated with you or I just never heard it.

Why would anyone endure the media circuit over such an issue? Well, I don't know, this guy seems to be doing OK by it.

1/20/2006 10:17:37 AM  
Mr. Snitch said...

Darth, to be fair, I don't think many men complained about the "sexual revolution". It seemed like a good deal to many of us.

In the end, it comes back to what (most of) our parents and (most of) pop media always told us: Men and women in a relationship should love each other. Instead we've learned how to use each other. Sounded corny then, still does. But I like it a lot better than the alternative.

1/20/2006 10:25:10 AM  
Richard said...

As far as aversion to "commitment" goes, how about as the stepfather to teenagers, my income (not the father's) is used to increase the "family responsibility" for needs based scholarships. We figure when all three are in college at the same time, it will be costing me an additional $14K a year to have chosen to be married over just living here (which my wife said she would've been happy with).

1/20/2006 11:49:41 AM  
David said...

Russ, agree wholeheartedly on the Dallas golddigger / marrying a lifestyle rather than a man phenomenon. I lived there for 10 years, and shudder to recall that singles scene. I am now engaged to a Lithuanian girl: many American men seem to be marrying women from Eastern Europe. And this is no mail order bride phenomenon: in the end its about both parties wanting to be truely valued by their mates.

David

www.postmodernspectator.com

1/20/2006 12:59:56 PM  
gsk said...

I got a bum deal, guys. I am your biggest fan -- supporting authentic masculinity and responsible fatherhood at all times. Any comment about men being dispensible was included for derisory purposes only. This category on chivalry from the site indicates as such:

http://feminine-genius.typepad.com/femininegenius/chivalry/index.html

1/20/2006 02:06:53 PM  
Russ said...

Thanks. I'm fairly certain I didn't lift it from anywhere. (I'm accepting my royalties in coffee and donuts, which may be emergency-airlifted to .....)

Don't know anything about this Farrell guy, but the stuff he's pushing sure doesn't sound anything like what I wrote... "providing tools with which to communicate" sounds pretty much like a variant on the general PC to my eyes... as opposed to telling the socially-incorrect truths, like having the cojones to tell some gal point-blank that the reason her husband neglected her for the sake of a video game was that the computer made for better company... as a happily-married man, my "tools for communicating" are two mouths, two pairs of ears, as as little bullshit as we can possibly produce.

1/20/2006 02:58:46 PM  
Mr. Snitch said...

"Any comment about men being dispensible was included for derisory purposes only"

Sure, I figure any reference to men being 'unneccessary' or 'dispensable' is in fact included for purposes of derision. Even a purposeless knuckle-dragger like myself can tell when he's being insulted.

What you seem to be saying is that such comments actually run counter to the maintream of your site's philosophy. Don't want to give you a bum rap. Not being familiar with your site, and having seen the remark on the front page, I wanted to prepare readers for the possibility of encountering some stray male-bashing.

1/20/2006 03:11:10 PM  

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