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."Struggling all our lives to hold such powerful sentiments in check, is there any wonder we die first?
"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."
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???
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: Men+get+no+respect, Problems+with+women, Self-made+man+by+Norah+Vincent