(by Lance Erlick)
In her book Men on Strike, Dr. Helen Smith talks about how men “are dropping out of college, leaving the workforce and avoiding marriage and fatherhood at alarming rates.” She points to the number of books out about this “man-child” phenomenon. The issue is that young men don’t see the value of connecting with a society that does not value their attributes. For decades TV shows and movies have bashed all aspects of male behavior. If we were to do the same to female behavior, there would be a national outcry and outrage that we were denigrating girls and women and giving them poor role models. But our society considers it okay to bash all males because less than 1% hold onto coveted positions of power.
Increasingly, I see young men choosing foreign brides when they do marry because they can’t find American women who respect men. They may become disappointed after the wedding, but they are attracted to women who are not constantly looking for male infractions against womanhood, a behavior that is fostered onscreen and in school.
Now, much has been written over the past 50 years about how we need to give women a bigger stake in our society in order for them to feel part of the community. Yet, because of that feared 1% of males who hold power, we have spent that same 50 years marginalizing men. We did so in the hope that it would cause that 1% to step aside and give more opportunity to women. While there has been some movement in that direction, a significant side-effect of these tactics has been to marginalize the remaining 99% of males. Now a society that does not make use of 49% of its people cannot excel. Seems I’ve heard this somewhere before in reference to excluding women.
Yet, the danger goes beyond that. Males with no stake in society turn to drugs, violence, gangs and other inclusion groups where they can feel respected. In doing so, they create a tremendous burden on society, a cost everyone will have to bear.
Is it not time that we examine how we can engage more males into the future of our great society?