My readers have given me some feedback on two previous posts I made (see here and here). It got me thinking about some things and I wanted to add a couple of other points, especially with regard to Kay Hymowitz's article on "child-men." So, with that in mind ....
"Ken" is right in the comment he posted about women sleeping around. Many cultural conservatives believe men don't get married because of easy sex. "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" is the aphorism thrown around to bolster this theory. Hence, women are advised to withhold premarital sex in order to motivate men to get married. But this won't work. Why? Because it takes two to tango, boys and girls. Let me put it this way: A lot of women don't want to play the field. They don't want to get married. They want to play the field AND get married. They want their premarital sex, their extramarital sex when the slightest bit of unpleasantness confronts them in married life, and their post-marital sex after they cash in on the hubby in the divorce courts. In short, they want it all. Why do they want to get married if they are getting sex already? Because for many women, the incentives of marriage are not solely or even primarily about sex. They're about economics and social prestige.
The problem is that when women sleep around, men have no incentive to get married. It's not just because the men have more access to sex without commitments. It also because the women have more access to sex without commitments. What incentive does a man have to pay the economic and social costs of entering into a marriage with a woman when the state and society encourages her to be irresponsible (e.g., paternity fraud, welfare mothers, frivolous divorces, family laws partial to women)? The man is penalized in such a case. He can be economically and socially ruined by a woman even if he is a good father and husband. He can even be wrongfully prosecuted and thrown in jail.
Yes, conservative pundits often parrot the idea that male sexuality must be tamed and channeled into positive endeavors. George Gilder is the one often cited as the source of this idea (viz., in his book Men and Marriage). But Daniel Amneus, author of the book The Garbage Generation, rightfully calls this idea "the Gilder Fallacy." Amneus claims it is women who need to control their sexuality. When women fail to control their sexual drives and remain monogamous, then men lose their motivation to makes sacrifices. The society decays into a pre-civilized matriarchy where barbarism replaces decency. We see it now with the thugs of the Gangsta Culture. We see it in the demotivated, catatonic X-Box boys. They have no responsible, stable men as fathers in their lives (e.g., "nice guys"), only transient Alpha Jerks that society has encouraged women to chase.
It goes without saying that my comments are not applicable to conscientious, faithful Christian women. Sadly, however, the number of secular and nominally religious women who engage in the shenanigans I describe has longed passed the point of critical mass. They are ones who have set the tone for gender roles, marriage, and family in this society. In another age, these women would have been marginalized as "strumpets," "hussies," and "floozies." But now a gynocentric society empowers these women to behave irresponsibly and forces us to clean up the mess they create.
So, ultimately, the question is not "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" The question is: "Why put any money down on a cow that will break down the fence and graze in some other farmer's pasture?" All of the articles targeting immature "child-men" ignore this crucial point.
I did a little research on Kay Hymowitz. You might think she is a typical leftist, man-hating feminist. Not so. She writes for the Manhattan Institute, which is a conservative think-tank. It only serves to make my point and provide me with an "Exhibit A." Misandry is not confined to the cultural left. Leftist women see a man as a threat. Rightist women see a man as a tool. Both types of women have been known to shame and blame a man for imagined slights, things that are beyond a man's control, or things that are actually the fault of women. Granted, there are good women that don't give into the misandry of Wall Street, K Street, or even Main Street. But too many do, and too few do anything about it.
Further Readings and Resources
1. You can hear Ms. Hymowitz at NPR discussing her ideas on "child-men" (I find her tone and demeanor towards her subject matter to be revealing).
2. I have a nice essay by Matthias Mattusek on the present state of womanhood saved in my bookmarks. It puts the whole matter into perspective (Warning: There is one four-letter word in the article ... where a feminist is quoted, that is.). I admit that Mattusek's essay is an oldie (published 1998), but it's still a goodie. Read the article here.
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