These are the times that try men’s souls. Never, in my memory, has Paine’s quote struck me as true as it does today. And the operative word here is men. Not humanity, but men. Not even males, but men. Men are under siege. Heartiste had an interesting article yesterday, but the really telling part came in the comments, here. Whether or not you read the article, the gist of the video (and the exchange following) is that an overweight woman’s bridal party sank at the end of the dock, and then she orders around her new husband in a completely (socially, even if you accept it in the bedroom for some reason) unacceptable way. Naturally, the regular readers of CH excoriate her mercilessly, and just as naturally there is a woman who jumps in to protest that not all men are like Heartiste’s readers. We shall return to this.
Following links (shame on me, I’m actually at work as I compose this. I take refuge in the fact that my current project has a lot of downtime, and 95% of my surfing and writing is done during that time), I eventually came across this article, and it finally clicked for me. Humanity is undergoing a sea change. I have long claimed (sometimes at great length, and with much arm waving) that humanity is speciating, into what I call (with no great originality) the Morlocks and the Eloi. This proves it ever more, but I think if you were to take someone from this day and age, project them even a hundred years into the future, and provide them with a rundown of the 2111 state of humanity, the overwhelming majority would claim that it is the exact opposite of what they want. It gets even worse a thousand or ten thousand years from now. The rest of that discussion is going to be reserved for a later post, however.
These two articles illustrate the current condition of the western man. Painting with a VERY broad brush, I shall claim that there are, fundamentally, three flavors of man extant. The men who don’t understand what is going on in the world (further subdivided into those who then check out to play GTA Dubuque forty odd hours a week, versus those who play along and marry an associate professor of Women’s Studies, versus inarticulately, incoherently and unproductively angry twenty-somethings), the men who do understand, but don’t care (PUAs, players, man-whores, call them what you will) and the men who understand and care, and want to do something about it. This last group is, sadly, the rarest of all. These are the men who women mean when they lament “Where have all the good men gone?” They are the men who will take the plunge into starting a family despite a stacked deck against them, KNOWING that they have just gambled their entire future on one person. They are the men who will put up with incompetent women being promoted over them, because they love their work and find it fulfilling. (As a side note, they will not care about the plumbing if the person being promoted over them is genuinely good at their job.) These are the men who jump in to defend the ‘blushing bride’ in the video above, but who, if they were called an idiot on their wedding day by their bride, would not hesitate a moment to call her out on it. They would do it in private, respectfully and lovingly, but there would be no doubt that that behavior was unacceptable. They would and will do all these things because they are the right things to do in their minds.
It isn’t the end of men alone; it is the end of society as we know it. For every two men that graduate with a bachelor’s, there are three women. Whoop dee do. Five percent of college graduates are engineers. About ten percent are pure scientists (harder to estimate, since what colleges call science varies hugely. Some colleges even have courses called Gender Science…. isn’t that just Reproductive Biology? At least, that is what it should be.) So about fifteen percent of graduates have a genuinely useful degree. (My numbers may be off on that part, but the next part is what is actually important.) Of those, how many are women? I don’t know, but I do know that 7% of tenured faculty in the engineering department of four year colleges (on average) are women. Prejudice alone cannot POSSIBLY account for that difference. I know too many engineers to believe that.
Okay, so my epiphany has turned into a disconnected ramble on gender politics; that is what happens when you take three hours to write an 800 word article, I guess. I may clean this up later, though.