Man of kneel
Sick of being treated like the enemy, guys are dropping out of society
- By KYLE SMITH
- Last Updated: 1:26 AM, June 30, 2013
- Posted: 10:44 PM, June 29, 2013
Men on Strike
Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood and the American Dream — and Why It Matters
by Helen Smith
How did society reach the point where, a lawsuit filed this week alleged, a man working at the desk of Planet Fitness on Bay Shore, Long Island was too afraid of repercussions to enter the ladies' room to administer CPR to a dying woman? "He said he didn't know what to do and that he wasn't allowed to go into the ladies' bathroom," a witness said in an affidavit.
A poll conducted on behalf of a British children's charity reports that many men refuse to join because they fear being labeled pedophiles. A British Airways passenger sued the airline because he was forced to change seats in accordance with the carrier's policy that no man be allowed to sit next to a child, even one accompanied by his parents. (Don't worry, there's a perfectly great middle seat for you in the last row, guys. Next time, take the bus.)
In Illinois, 28-year-old Fitzroy Barnaby was convicted of "unlawful restraint of a minor," a sex crime, and placed on a sex-offender registry after he grabbed the arm of an 14-year-old girl to lecture her on not dashing into the street in front of a moving car, as she had just done. On a blog called Parent Dish, a reader said he stopped coaching girls soccer after an 8-year-old player told him, "I don't have to listen to you. I can get you in trouble just by telling people you touched me." In England, a man passing by 2-year-old Abigail Rae, who later drowned, declined to help guide her to safety because he feared being labeled a pervert.
Everywhere you look, men are AWOL. Have they declined to show up or have they been kicked out?
Both, says Helen Smith in a new book citing these alarming examples and others. "Men on Strike" notes that men have disappeared from campus (where nearly 60% of undergrads are female), from the workplace (the percentage of men employed hit an all-time low last fall, down from 87% to 70% in the past 65 years) and from the family (the American birth rate is just above an all-time low, and more than half of women under 30 giving birth are unmarried). Tired of being labeled defective women, wary of the financial traps of marriage and fatherhood, hammered by the disappearance of construction and manufacturing jobs, disgusted by the presumption that their sexuality is a scary disease, men are shrugging and turning away.
The rules of the game have tilted against men in every field this side of coal mining (black lung being one of the few male privileges the ladies are happy to cede). Family courts hold men financially liable even for children conceived by women who falsely claimed to be using birth control, while at colleges the presumption of innocence has been withdrawn from men accused of sexual misbehavior.
"Uncle Tims" — male feminist lapdogs eager to curry favor with their female and feminized masters — are everywhere, Smith notes. Yet one man quoted in the book reports dropping out of college after being accused of "maladjustment" and subjected to horrified looks when he said he might buy a gun someday. A video-gaming blogger notes of fellow enthusiasts, "It's bizarre how some of them are in their 20s, have graduated from good schools, and have simply zero interest in women."
Needless to say, there is not a renowned and powerful National Organization for Men to lobby against these grim and worsening realities, and if there were it would be treated by a joke by those who didn't dedicate themselves to eliminating or feminizing it the way they destroyed so many traditional all-male associations.
Helen Smith was once a feminist, when that stood for equality and fairness. "Now it means female privilege," she writes, "and I believe discrimination against men is every bad as discrimination against women."
She concludes by urging men to speak up more, to get their point of view across in public forums, to stand up for their rights in courts and on campus. But as a psychologist she has intimate knowledge of fractured relationships from people she has counseled, and she advises women that they also have much to gain by keeping men from fading out of the picture. It's a myth that men won't talk about their feelings, she says: If they're silent, it's because they think they won't get a fair hearing. Listening without judgment, focusing on his positive aspects, and resisting the temptation to complain about him (especially to third parties) can be useful in keeping a man around.
Polls show that women's happiness has steadily declined over the last five decades, even as women enjoy unprecedented success in educational and career terms.
But if men catch a cold, society sneezes. We tell "men they are worthless perverts who reek of male privilege while simultaneously castrating them should they act in a manly manner, and now women are upset that men are becoming more feminized?" Smith writes. "You reap what you sow."