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Speaking of “Men On Strike”….

July 1, 2013

Unsurprisingly, the usual suspects have weighed in with their comments on Helen Smith’s new book, “Men On Strike….” It is certainly an important subject….For the moment I am just going to pick one author and article to which to respond.

While  all that is true, I think it misses another, possibly bigger, dynamic, namely that being a man is hard. 

I’m not going to argue against the meme that “being a man is hard”, but what I found particularly interesting is that the author completely missed exactly what it is that makes it hard to be a Man.  Apparently The King Prawn feels that the difficultly lays not in setting and enforcing standards nor in standing up to those who would do the society harm, no, rather he feels that the difficultly lays in finding the time and the energy to meet the expectations of others.

In his view, the man who works dawn ’til dusk in order that his family might enjoy as much candy as it wishes is an example of why “being a man is hard”.  Apparently he completely misses the parts which actually make it difficult to be a man.  He lists sacrifice, unselfishness, and physical labor as positive characteristics and yet never mentions the judicious use of power or the need for taking responsibility.

In his final paragraph he states the following:

While the things pointed out in the book may be true, I think the real reason
many men are abandoning traditional roles is plain old-fashioned selfishness.

Ie….the lack of incentives.

Society pushes self first in every aspect of our lives.

Not every aspect….

Selflessness and sacrifice are scorned.

For example, white males are expected to put others first and to be the only members to exhibit selflessness and sacrifice.

Boys are taught about their rights rather than instructed in what is right.

Actually..no…and the blame for that state of affairs lays squarely at your feet.

The author is wrong.

Nope.

Real men were never in the marriage/family game for what they could get out of it; rather, they were in it because it is the right and good thing to do, even if it’s hard.

What complete and total garbage.  Remember, to do what is right and good one must live in just such a society.

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3 Comments
  1. Chloe permalink

    ” Real men were never in the marriage/family game for what they could get out of it; rather, they were in it because it is the right and good thing to do, even if it’s hard. “…

    I think he’s right, that was the value system that many boys in our parents’ generation were raised in, and many passed that value on to their sons in our generation. But too, there were fewer women taking higher wage-earning jobs away from men. The value system worked. Also, I have an opinion that many men of our generation that adopted their father’s value of living their life in what is the “right and good thing to do, even if hard work,” do, do that…even today. I think it’s just part of them; becomes second nature.

    But, you are right too…

    ” Remember, to do what is right and good one must live in just such a society. ”

    Overall, it seems that value system has had to change for men, when the role of women did; tho, I would guess circumstances could keep the original attitude going for some lineages — their faith or occupation might make a difference that could keep them from following the norm. But for most, I think the ‘you first, before me’ attitude is not something future generations are as likely to see.

    • I think he’s right, that was the value system that many boys in our parents’ generation were raised in, and many passed that value on to their sons in our generation.

      I’m afraid I disagree…in that what he suggests only encompasses half, if that, of the value system which was taught and passed on to the sons of each new generation. One cannot simply pick and choose portions of a value system, isolate them from the larger system of which they were a part and then act as if the value system was passed on.

      • Chloe permalink

        Actually, I don’t think we disagree on the point that you made in your comment :

        ” One cannot simply pick and choose portions of a value system, isolate them from the larger system of which they were a part and then act as if the value system was passed on. ” I agree with that statement…

        ..That wasn’t the point I was making…I was just responding to the *subjective* part of the ‘whole’ value system’s objective – being a response to: ” real men don’t go into a marriage for what they can ‘get’ out of it,” to which I was in agreement, having watched a ggparent, gparent and nuclear parent act in that manner (one upside to having had extended family marry when they were both very young).

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