The Twentysomething Male, His Times, and His Environment
As much as this traditional woman hates collectivist feminism, I don't like it when the anti-feminists blame all of society's male-female, relationship ills on women either. It's a cop-out as far as I am concerned.
I think Susan Reimer nails down part of society's problems in terms of relationships, though she stops there, and doesn't trace back to what or whom is responsible. Though she doesn't mention women in her article, many single women (in their 20s, 30s, and 40s) want to play around like tramps without having to settle down with any one guy, and they are very open — and almost boastful — about this. They are not chasing marriage; they are chasing a me-me-me, irresponsible good time, and the occasional open wallet to fund it.
So many single men — even older ones — are still living at home (oh how true that is) so they can make the debt payments on their new car, the 4-runner, the boat, the waverunner, the motorcycle, the snowmobile, and any other toys they deem a priority. Savings? What's that?, they say. And why are some men so quick to (rightly) shun garbage feminism, then they refuse to play out that which is the traditional male role, because it's "too much work"? They want the better parts of both ends of the stick, and that spells trouble.
So many young men these days, and even thirtysomething and fortysomething men, are generally immature as all heck. My best friend is a 46-year-old, single male whom I've seen through a rotten marriage, a crazed divorce from a woman who was a nightmare on wheels, and years of disappointing singlehood. He tells me tales of his buddies and colleagues, and their singles exploits, and he too describes Reimer's tale, and with great disgust and disbelief, I might add. Then he tells me about his married pals that think they are still single, apparently. They want to get married so someone else can clean the house, do the shopping, and cook the meals, while they keep their eyes peeled for a better arm ornament to show off to their buddies. There are lots of exceptions, of course, and he's one of them. But I hear these stories from far too many other folks, while I can also observe it around me, on my own. I'm sorry, but anybody who claims they don't know tons of guys like Susan Reimer describes is walking around with their eyes patched over with tar shingles.
Marxist-Feminism is garbage, but hell, let's not blame all of the problems on feminism. That tells me there are some personal issues going on with too many folks. Is personal responsibility, all of a sudden, not an issue? How about the fact that the good old American family has disappeared? How about cultural degradation? How about the time preference problems of a society that has seen a whole generation or two of washed-out morals and priorities? We now live in a country where a huge portion of its inhabitants are High Time Preference Peoples, and they couldn't give a damn about cleanliness, virtue, respectability, ethics, or neighborly concerns. All they care about is: What can I get for me today that will make me feel good instantly?
Is this the fault of feminism? No it is not. For one thing, we can go back to the special interest programs of the State, and start with welfare (which includes all levels of freebies, especially middle class welfare). Then we can look at the big, fat, third-world immigration program of the State, which was meant to "diversify" otherwise homogenous, tightly-knit communities and cultures. The Detroit my folks grew up in, for example, had Italian neighborhoods, German neighborhoods, Russian neighborhoods, a Flemish neighborhood, and a large Hispanic area, and that was when people were allowed to peacefully integrate with their own kind, and open shops that catered strictly to their neighborhood ethnicities. I still make the drive down to the little Flemish meat shop, where I still buy my meat and Flemish products, so I can support that which I believe in — homogeneity and ethnic neighborhoods.
The homogenization and non-integration of neighborhoods is not allowed any longer. The agents of the State will have none of that.
The State gave us forced integration, which was intentionally devised to wipe out entire cultures. All this has created a messy hodge-podge of conflict within society, where the good has been watered down with the bad, giving us a Gresham's Law of sorts. Voluntary association has always been seen as one of the great "evils" in society, so the Nanny State put subsidized housing in our otherwise beautiful neighborhoods, and when that didn't work well enough, they tried to bus our children into the ghetto schools, 25 miles away. Use central planning to force people of different lifestyles, different cultures, and different income levels to live in the same neighborhood, and you will have the world's largest, ticking time bomb. And you can find boatloads of libertarians that champion this sort of thing in the name of multiculturalism, and they call the rest of us — that don't buy into it — the usual, rehashed names.
Then there's public schools, which went from being merely a bad idea for an education process, to being a gigantic, halfway home for American kids, where the State raises our children, from Head Start to school breakfasts to school lunches to latch key, and onward to the subsidized, State-controlled universities.
The other day, I was browsing university Master's/PhD programs in political science at major universities, and each and every one of them stressed, first and foremost, diversity, diversity, diversity. I don't give a damn about diversity, and I'm tired of having it shoved in my face. As I was writing this, a friend called me and says, "Have you seen the latest Detroit News garbage?" Well no I hadn't. The garbage, disguised as an article, was complaining that too many public school teachers are white, and just darn, it seems that too many of them are women, too. White women teaching kids? Has anybody ever heard of anything so horrific? So now, ignore the fact that school-teaching has always been primarily a white woman's occupation, and let's do something to change that, right now. We need more black, Islamic, gay men, I suppose, to teach our kids. Then everything will be better. Read this article; it will make you sick.
In thinking about people and their problems, at least for anyone who is an observing writer who publishes online, look at the vile hate mail you get; what does that say about people and their overall character? I just can't fathom writing a total stranger in tones as filthy as I get in my email every day.
And most of us can observe men closing doors on the faces of elderly ladies at the mall. When a man opens a door for me, I make sure he gets a big smile and a hearty thank you, because frankly, part of the reason is that I'm shocked. When a man stands and pulls out a chair when I — or any other woman — approach a table, that's another big — but wonderful — shock-a-roo.
As to general courtesy problems, how about the elderly, stooped-over man who can hardly make the walk from the parking lot to the retail store, who looks on in fright as cars go blazing by him, nippin' at his backside, because they don't dare have the courtesy to stop for 20 seconds and let the gentleman struggle on by in peace? I saw a sweet, old grandpa nearly run down by some hat-on-sideways, thirtysomething punk the other day.
And look at the way people drive, with road rage problems. Drive in the left lane at only 15 mph above the speed limit, and see how many horns, flashing headlights, and middle fingers you'll get. I had a stepdaughter give up a good job and move to Nowhereland, North Carolina because she couldn't stand the rush-rush, workaholic, get-out-of-my-way, Midwestern, suburban craziness anymore. I had a girlfriend get chased down by a man, while driving, because some guy didn't like the way she turned or stopped. Without locked doors and closed windows, she would have been assaulted. A couple of years ago, I had a grown man beeping his horn at me, like a crazed maniac, at an intersection, because I refused to turn right on a red light. Oh yes, that corner had a "No turn on red" sign, and it's a huge intersection outside of a beach, where bikers, rollerbladers, and walkers abound. The guy followed me a half-mile to the Kroger parking lot, got out of the car, and approached my car (from behind), and that was the first time, ever, I was forced to pull my loaded 38 out of my purse.
My Dad, Mr. Patriarchy, had his finger on this thirty years ago when he observed and commented upon the decline of family, community, individual responsibility, and yes, the decline of the RESPONSIBLE male heading up a two-parent household where the kids were raised by Mom, Dad, and the extended family, and not a bunch of strangers at a daycare center, where one person tries to control ten brats at a time, and meshes their little, individual persons together like collective sardines.
And my Dad, that same Mr. Patriarchy, is disgusted with what he sees in young men nowadays. He believes that they are looking for any excuse to not have to take on head-of-household responsibilities. Go into Best Buy on a Saturday, and look at all of the thirty-and-fortysomething males in the Sony PlayStation game aisle, buying another $150 worth of games so they can go home and sit in front of the computer all day and shoot off heads and legs, and "ohhh" and "ahhh" over military maneuvers, fantasy creations, and blowing up things. My Dad sees this, and he's shell-shocked (pun intended) by the level of immaturity he observes.
I have three immediate neighbors wherein both husband and wife work full-time, and the men come home, plop their huge beer bellies in front of the tube with remote in hand, while the women are out cutting the grass, doing the edging, and cleaning up outside. This describes too much of middle-class America, if folks would only open their eyes.
After all, read any newspaper or scholarly journal, and you'll constantly see the trumpeting of the oncoming New Matriarchy, single-parent families, and the concept of the celebrated, collectivist village — micro-managed by the State — to raise our children. I say no thanks to all of the above.
We live in a time of vicious breakdown of the greatness of the independent, American family and the disappearing closeness of community, neighbors, and friends. Priorities, time preferences, and the formerly patriarchic family have been changed drastically, and this, in turn, has made male-female relationships into an obscene comedy show, with or without feminism. The Simpsons TV show mocks this precisely, and for a reason.
Let's face it: every man and every woman, no matter what idiocy exists around them, has the ability to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, shake off the nonsense, and grow into an individual of free will and free mind. My Dad did, even with being the product of poor, immigrant parents, and I hope men like him are not a lost art. All this whiny female trashing is no more fruitful than the male-hating victimology that comes from the mouthpieces on the feminazi side of the fence. Unless I can get a quick dose of some of that Rothbardian optimism, I see all of society's cultural problems only getting worse. In fact, I see America as being one huge, ticking time bomb.
July 9, 2003
Karen De Coster, CPA, [send her mail] is a paleolibertarian freelance writer, graduate student in Austrian Economics, and a business professional from Michigan. Her first book is currently in the works. See her Mises Institute archive for more online articles, and check out her website
Copyright © 2003 Karen De Coster