Civics Lesson

— Nice little piece on the The Bizarre Math of Elections by physicist Richard Muller.

I think high school kids all ought to learn a bit of social choice theory in high school civics class. Sure, in some sense knowing the truth about democracy can make us a little cynical, but the cynicism is simply a reaction to massively unreasonable expectations created by Rousseauvian myths about the general will. We should know how the electoral rules of the game make some outcomes more likely, and other outcomes–outcomes we might very much like to see–impossible. A lot turns on how we choose the rules of elections. But we have to choose some rules. It's a bit of a paradox is that in order to get the best rules for democratic choice, those rules probably have to be chosen non-democratically.

  • Name

    Excellent post — I couldn’t agree with you more, right down the line. I speak, among other things, as someone who’s also learned a great deal about masculinity from gay men — learned, among other things, that masculinity in any form is, to use unfortunately fashionable jargon, a kind of performance. Which is not to say that it’s unnatural or fake or ironic, but only that it’s mutable. Is it any wonder that gay men are the only (intelligent) men who still believe in macho, and are still capable of pulling it off without being brutish or bullying? — Not, of course, that machismo is the only available or acceptable form of masculinity.

    One small point — it seems to me, in fact, to be a tiny point, but one that apparently preoccupies a lot of people. Who picks up the check?

    I do. Always. I’ve picked up the check when I was broke an dating a woman who made several million a year. This is not a power play, on my part or women’s: it’s much simpler than that. First of all, however equal we may be, in terms of both resources and desires, I’m usually the one who asks women out, rather than vice-versa. That means that I’m, in effect, the host, and my date is the guest. I would no more expect her to pay for the meal than I would expect someone I invited to my house for dinner to come with a bag of groceries and do the cooking.

    Second, and perhaps more importantly, it just doesn’t matter. A date, even an unsuccessful one, is not an event in which one wants to have to think about money — especially at the end, when both parties are trying to get a sense of their feelings for each other. I simply don’t want the last moments of a dinner to be spent calculating a bill. It’s much easier if one person pays the bill, and it might as well be me. The money itself is inconsequential, but the convenience is invaluable. It’s rather like driving: it doesn’t matter if we all drive to the right or all drive to the left, but it’s useful to know which convention we’ll all adapt. In this case, the convention is that the man pays. I do, and I’ve never, ever had a woman but up more than momentary and polite resistance.

    • uknowbetter

      First dates I agree, and I made that policy after running into one woman who put up crazy resistance to me paying and then we split it and then 5 minutes later she was furious for me letting her pay anything. Up until then it was an amazing date.

      I also think a guy should pay for a first date if he asks her out because generally what women have to offer is in decline (looks, fertility, etc.). A good-looking young woman will have lots of suitors and if she is with you, it is an opportunity cost for her.

      However, after the first date it’s much more up in the air. She knows enough by that point to consciously decide to spend more time with a person who is no longer an unknown.

    • simonkinahan

      I always paid for anything big (eg. dinner), but I don’t think it really matters what you do as long as everyone is comfortable. I always pre-emptively picked up the check without verbally checking – if I’d ever come across anyone this made visibly uncomfortable I’d have just said “lets split it”. The only time a woman offered to split the cheque it was essentially a probe to see if we were going to go out again, but that was unusual.

      But it was pretty easy for me because I could easily afford to carry the cost of even an unsuccessful date without having to worry. I like nice stuff – food in particular – so I was happy to pay so we could both have it even if nothing else worked out. But if I’d hadn’t been able to do that I think I might have acted differently – its really important to avoid either you or your date believing that she owes you anything because you paid for dinner. It has to be clearly an act of hospitality and nothing more or its going to seem creepy and potentially dangerous if you date has any sense.

      • whisper

        When I was dating, it was my rule on first dates to always take my wallet out and start counting money when the bill came. I just always assumed we should split it. Sometimes guys would object, and then I would tell them that I really don’t mind, and it’s fair to split. If he kept objecting, and seemed to really want to pay, then I would let him if I liked him and wanted to see him again, and I would NOT let him if I knew I wasn’t going to see him again.

        The only exception to this rule was if the guy asked me for a date in words such as “let me take you out to dinner”. Then, I assumed he was paying, because of how he worded it. The majority of guys don’t say that for a first date though, unless it’s someone you already know (like a classmate, colleague, member of your circle of friends, etc).

        The thing I liked about my approach is that the guy knew where he stood, he didn’t have to worry about who takes care of the bill. And I really didn’t care if he offered to pay or not. It’s better not to feel like you ‘owe’ anything anyway, because there are guys who will take advantage of that.

  • Name

    One more point, if I may, and it applies to men, women, gay men, gay women, and whoever else there may be

    Always remember: Your mother was right. There’s no use second-guessing what someone else wants, or trying to conform to their expectations. Just be yourself, and they will like you. And if they don’t, politely walk away and go find someone else to play with.

  • politicallt incorrect

    Sorry, but allow me to be politically incorrect.

    It would be so (supposed) nice if we lived in an egalitarian society where women and men SHARED power. One problem. Doesn’t work. like living in a world where there is no lying, cheating, stealing etc..

    Men and women were created with INTRINSIC differences. Societies that ignore such differences (ahemm.. die). Need proof? Look at our fertility rates, stock market returns, and marriage rates compared to the more “traditional” societies in our “adavanced” societies. Broken marriages, confused kids, children born out of wedlock, kids confused about their sexuality. Yup prefer a more traditional society.

    Stock market tip. Invest in societies that are not in massive debt and feminism has not taken hold. You will make a lot more money, and not investing in societies where children are confused and innovation dies, because mens role in society as provider and protector has been supplanted by the feminist state.

    • uknowbetter

      I can’t wait to make all sorts of money investing in Africa.

    • Guest

      You are a moron.

  • jaltcoh

    Will, I generally agree with your post as a response to traditionalists. But does Hymowitz ever explicitly take a traditionalist stance? He complains about inconsistencies in the current situation; that doesn’t mean he’d like to see them resolved by reverting to the past. How do we know he wouldn’t prefer more equality?

  • justin

    >It goes something like this: liberal equality is just too confusing!

    Oh good lord, what an ignorant comment.

    Gender roles did not manifest themselves out of a vacuum but evolved with mankind as the most functional approach to achieve mutual well being.

    Isn’t it a bit funny, that liberal idealism generally requires mankind to become something more than he truly is to succeed? Perhaps there are lessons to be learned from the status quo and on occasion these lessons can be painful to relearn.

    Sorry, perhaps I should support your straw man.

    Me conservative, me hate women, me confused. RAWWRRR.

    • simonkinahan

      justin – If our traditional gender roles evolved with mankind to be the most “functional approach to acheive mutual well-being”, how do you explain the fact that other cultures, or even other sub-cultures of our own, have different ones? I mean, the gender roles of women in the deep South and in California aren’t the same, even if you picked women of the same socio-economic status, and that’s not even including weird far-out places like Germany or Saudi Arabia, let lone the various “there’s this tribe” stories I’m resisting the urge to tell.

      You seem to be saying there’s some unproblematic set of tradition, natural gender roles that would settle everything if we’d only adopt them, but this just clearly isn’t true. I don’t see how you can defend it – either there’s some complete single set of cultural standard handing our in space, (no doubt remarkably similar to the ones your particular parents operated under), or you’ve got to accept some kind of cultural relativism (which isn’t even respectable amongst lefty academics any more) or you’re stuck with the possibility that the set of “gender roles” needed to acheive mutual equality might only consist of that bit that’s common to all societies. If that exists at all, its very small.

      Oh, and I can’t speak for Will, but personally my liberal idealism only requires man to be all that he can be. I don’t know what that is yet, but I know that what he is has grown enourmously, and I expect it to continue to. I don’t want or expect it to be limited by the standards your parents lived under.

  • Sam Colaruso

    Oh, just my luck. I do a little surfing and wind up on another sappy, liberal website. Liberals all think they are soooo smart; whereas they are just smart-asses.

    • Guest

      Fuck off, troll.

  • I attend a large Evangelical church which takes gender issues seriously. The young people in my church (including my own sons and daughters) seem to be very aware of the larger culture’s “buffet” of relational options, but most of them seem more than content to choose the much more traditional roles the church affirms. The church has had to work overtime to articulate WHY women should choose a domestic role and WHY men should embrace full financial responsibility, but, having done so, most of the young people who are choosing their own roles seem to be happy to pursue the old-fashioned “at home mom” approach when and if they can afford it.

    Since we live in an affluent (i.e., expensive) county, most of the young couples in my church have to get through a “double income no kids” phase. What is interesting is that they treat this phase as a pleasant necessity–like going off to college–but not a preferred goal. Given the choice between career and freedom on the one hand or home and babies on the other, a lot of intelligent young women I know gladly choose the latter.

    I think the results might well be different if they weren’t CHOOSING this lifestyle. Doing something because you HAVE to is very different from choosing something for love’s sake. Many of the young ladies I’m thinking of would sacrifice their suburban comforts to serve needy folks in less-developed countries. The same religious impulse that would make them missionaries makes them moms.

    And it makes them GREAT moms.

  • artfldgr

    Its like putting ones head in a fish bowl and going la la la…
    you guys never hear anything outside it…

    so intolerant and incurious, that you think that you are opposite.

    Try talking to people who lived in such places…

    ah well, dont matter… in a general sense, your not breeding enough to matter in the future… (in case you dont understand how the world actually works)

    hope you like oppressive religions, since those are the ones taht breed the most (islam), and are least akin to anything or any way you would like to live.

    but dont let my words stop me, or your hostility…

    your doing fine repeating history on your own…
    and no argument you make to me will change that…

  • Name

    “Since I was a teenager, I’ve found old-school machismo pathetic and somehow irrelevant to the problem of becoming a man.”

    This explains a great deal…

  • Blarg the Destroyer

    “You can be manly and still care about shoes.”

    Um, no, no you can’t.

    • Annagrammaticus

      Yes, you can. You can care about whether the shoes (a) fit comfortably, (b) will last, and (c) will keep water out when you walk through a puddle.

      • Dad

        And are they affordable? It’s good for the soul, getting years and years of wear out of a pair of well-chosen shoes.

        • Dad

          It’s not the price alone that counts, it’s a question of value!

  • “I think I first saw this kind of argument clearly laid out in Tocqueville.”

    I don’t think you did. Please cite.

  • GoFYourself

    great, so anything not “gay” is bad and anything “traditionally” manly is bad. WTF? if i wanted this BS i’d watch a Lifetime movie.
    Will, you suck (and i bet you have).

  • tmanintn

    The problem with the Mad Men analogy is that the vast majority of men who watch that show are liberals, and I’m pretty sure this isn’t the demographic that is hoping to see “a window into an attractive (to them) world of white male dominance and privilege that has largely disappeared”.

    The men you are trying to typecast in your article by and large don’t watch Mad Men, and probably have never heard of it.

    This is a common theme with your whole essay, in that you are largely constructing a straw man argument as to what makes up the typical conservative male.

  • Stephen J.

    I’ll certainly admit that as an old-fashioned straight guy I very much enjoy MAD MEN, but it’s worth pointing out that the show does *not* glorify the old-fashioned manly-man-patriarch-of-the-happy-family nearly as much as this article implies; pretty much every example of a “traditional” family depicted in the show has at its heart misery, conflict and lies, often shown as being due directly to the father’s/husband’s duplicity or venality.

    For a TV show, that’s par for the course — conflict-free families are boring — but to assume that because the show is enjoyed by men that men today want exactly what the show depicts is a bit of a stretch. If anything, men like MAD MEN the way women like soap operas: they want to live in the world depicted precisely *because* they think they would appreciate it much more, and do much better with it, than the protagonists do.

    Robert Heinlein once wrote that for any system of organization to work, authority and responsibility had to be equally balanced at all levels. In the past, paternal authority was emphasized over paternal responsibility, to the detriment of families who had to live with men more concerned with themselves than their duties. Today, I think you can make a case that in some ways and places, responsibility is emphasized over authority, to the point where it is not only possible but typical for a woman to divorce her husband and destroy him financially in the process while shutting him out of his own childrens’ lives — sometimes as retribution for prior abuse, but just as often out of sheer vindictiveness or railroading by greedy divorce attorneys. It is possible to complain that the pendulum has swung too far in one direction while still agreeing it was once too far in the other direction.

  • Evan

    Quick question: If you’re a fairly-attractive, fairly-successful young male, why not be an asshole? What exactly is the incentive?

    • uknowbetter

      Possibly meeting a female who actually is a decent human being?

      Though honestly I think you have a better chance at doing that by being an asshole and playing the field. I think the player has a better chance at meeting Ms. Right through sheer numbers than does the nice guy who rarely goes out. You stand a better chance of winning the lottery with 100 tickets as opposed to 2, right?

      • Stephen J.

        “You stand a better chance of winning the lottery with 100 tickets as opposed to 2, right?”

        Depends on how you play, and how much you can afford to waste or choose to waste on losing tickets. Get lucky with 99 women by being an asshole, it’s remarkable how often you’ve become incapable of being the nice guy you “really” were when #100 Ms. Right comes along. People tend to turn into what they pretend to be.

        All else being equal, quantity of opportunity can contribute to quality of result; but there are more effective and efficient routes to that end than simple volume.

        • uknowbetter

          Well put, but I am still trying to find more effective and efficient routes. I know volume doesn’t work for me.

      • livin’ large

        Possibly meeting a female who actually is a decent human being?

        Therein lies the rub.

        Take a tip – get yourself a mail-order bride from any one of a dozen civilized countries. I wouldn’t marry an American woman to pay off an election bet.

        There’s an old saying – it’s better to be alone than to wish you were.

        • simonkinahan

          Only a few hours in and creepy mysogynist faction is here already. Is there some giant light in the sky that goes up whenever a thread like this appears anywhere on the internet? Like a bat signal only in the shape of a dick?

      • simonkinahan

        There’s a huge difference between playing the field (or just going out a lot) and being an asshole. You can do the former, and providing you’re truthful and everyone knows where they stand, you’re not an asshole, or at least not for that reason. And contrary to what is believed, women who are worth dating don’t prefer assholes. Some women with their own insecurity issues do, but its really better to avoid that.

    • simonkinahan

      People who like assholes are usually also assholes. Or very insecure. Or both. Neither is much fun.

  • uknowbetter

    Many men aren’t angry and confused because they don’t know what women want.

    I call BS on that. So many women don’t know what they want so how are men supposed to know? For some guys, it’s wanting what their fathers had, but for many they are doing better than their fathers it terms of career, but the personal is tough.

  • $745776

    One of the worst articles I’ve ever read. Totally self-centered and based on assumptions that only a child of our perverse culture would accede to. Conservative my ass.

    The key statement is that our brilliant castrato has questioned our cultures masculine norm “since he was a teenager”. Will, us men who “grow up” can only shake our heads reminiscing on the lameness of our teenage opinions. You’re stupid enough to raise them as a point in your favor. Laughable.

    You intend to delve the “fundamental conditions of a decent society”. You aren’t qualified my boy. At 36 and childless (at least unmarried, by your “About”(conservative my ass again)) in most cultures on earth today and throughout human history no childless man, Priests excepted, would gain the ear of any Real Men. Nor any man who preferred to be gay. Are you sure you’re not?

    If this seems to you primitive or archaic I challenge you that your thoughts and logic are based solely on being the child of a perverted generation. I challenge you that any other generation considers you perverse and selfish.

    Darwin himself posts the Scoreboard. You are a self-castrated, narcissist typical of the pampered lab rats living in the fat and happy West. Committing the suicide of your “decent society” by refusing God’s command to “Go forth and multiply”. So enamored or You that You want all of You to Yourself.

    Your freedoms are secured by Real Men and Real Women who fight, love and breed while you and your kind sit on your asses and muse how much smarter you are. Jerk.

    • simonkinahan

      You know, “FAG!!!1!!!!!111!” is a lot punchier if that’s what you want to say.

  • uknowbetter

    We need to get the trolls from the gun post and put them in a mixer with the trolls from this post.

    • DMonteith

      I think it’s cute how uknowbetter thinks he’s not a troll.

      • uknowbetter

        I’m not. I’m just more extreme in my positions than “middle of the road people”. I don’t mind trolling the trolls when that is all they have to offer.

        Anyone where you can substitute the 1st amendment for the 2nd amendment in their arguments and then they wouldn’t buy it, is a troll.

    • uknowbetter wins the thread.

      The gun thread was painful to read. After reading it, though, this thread is orders of magnitude more entertaining. When you have people accusing you of right wingnuttery and then 2 days later accusing you of the exact opposite charge, you know you’re doing something right.

  • ivan

    I agree with the idea that confusion is what’s emerged as the riptide of gender equality. And it’s not just the guys either. A lot of women are between and betwixt over their sexuality and the modernist “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” expectations.

    Just look at all the “romance” chick-flicks coming out of Hollywood. While they don’t subscribe to opening doors or picking up checks anymore, they’re still essentially the same non-stop, “Treat your woman like a princess (as opposed to an equal)” mass-messaging leftovers from the 40s and 50s they’ve always been. And women (far more than men) lap it up, just like they always have.

    Women still swoon over Cary Grant movies despite their overt sexist roles. Women still “dolled-up” as sex objects at clubs, just like they’re told to on every billboard and TV ad anywhere you look, while men are still “dolled-up” as sexual icons to power and success, just like they are on billboard and TV ads anywhere you look.

    Women have certainly “succeeded” in crashing the doors of the workplace but are still short of crashing the glass ceiling of true equality, both economically and socially. Most “successful” women are still stereotypically viewed as “bee-otches” in both the workplace and in pop-culture.

    But the gender revolution continues to evolve, for better or worse. Gay culture has, as this article suggests, contributed considerably to changing social norms in recent decades, for both men and women. But the biggest change, for better or worse, seems to be that men, more and more, are now marketed as sex objects almost as “equally” as women.

    Vive la revolution!

    So now let’s not open doors for anybody, not even the elderly (who knows who you might “offend” by insinuating they’re “old”). Don’t pick up checks for anybody (who knows who you might “offend” by insinuating they’re “economically incapable”).

    And above all, don’t “romance” anyone because it’s demeaning and clearly one-sided. When was the last time society, never mind women, expected women to “romance” men? For some reason, after nearly half a century of “equalization”, it’s still demeaning for a woman to “court” a man, but infinitely desirable for a man to “court” a woman.

    Confusing? You bet. Equal? Hardly.

    • livin’ large

      “Equal” is the most poisonous and destructive word ever introduced to political discourse. Probably more mischief has been pulled under the equal sign than the swastika.

      • uknowbetter

        Generally agree. I hear people start talking about ‘equality’ and I start thinking about death; that’s really the only place where human beings are equal: we all die.

  • Lynn

    I’m confused. Isn’t it liberals who want to spread the wealth so we’ll be as equal as possible and be spared the unpredictable/extremes of life? And the conservatives who think we need to perceive that we can improve on our “lot” in life and achieve the American dream simply by learning how to navigate the free market.

  • dicentra

    Your rebuttal assumes that conservatism is just the opposite of your beliefs (we’re for gender equality; ergo, conservatives are not). In reality, Left and Right are using different measuring sticks entirely.

    You kept talking about power relations — who’s on top, who’s kicking whom — whereas conservatives don’t use that scale except when talking about the gubmint vs. the individual.

    Hymowitz was lamenting the lack of MATURITY in both men and women, the unwillingness of us spoiled westerners to grow the hell up, take on the challenges of being wed to an alien (aka member of the opposite sex), and raise children who likewise want to grow up.

    But the fact that you missed her point by a country mile only illuminates the unbridgeable gulf between Left and Right: we’re not even on the same PLANET, let alone country.

    • simonkinahan

      The point of conservatism is to endorse existing power relations. The fact you don’t want to talk about them isn’t a good sign – perhaps you find them disturbing?

      Its not mature to enter into life-l0ng commitments before you understand them if you have a choice. Its stupid. Our ancestors didn’t have a choice. We do. Why are you trying to avoid that responsibility?

      • $745776

        First you define conservatism to fit your argument. Then you demean the person you’re addressing without cause. Then you manufacture a psychological reason to dismiss their their point.

        You don’t have the slightest intent to convince are to understand do you?

        Just re: your response to my post.

        Who’s immature in this exchange?

        I propose that you don’t have the slightest claim on maturity or accomplishment to ever lecture someone on what it takes for a “life-long committment”.

        As for ancestors, I don’t know about yours but mine were free and made damn good choices.

        • simonkinahan

          I’ve no intent to convince you, no. You’re not worth it. Your whole response to Will is just a bunch of snide implications about his masculinity and maturity. You might think you’re terribly clever coz you used big words, but that doesn’t mean you made an argument with any content. You didn’t. If you want to be taken seriously, say something serious. Until you do that, I’m just going to take the piss.

      • Sheesh!

        Don’t you have some dishes to do?

      • dicentra

        “The fact you don’t want to talk about them [power relations] isn’t a good sign – perhaps you find them disturbing?”

        I find it disturbing to talk about power relations in interpersonal relationships, especially marriage. Any couple who is engaged in a power struggle (or if there’s a monopoly on power by one spouse) is in big trouble. The more you worry about whether you’ve got enough power in the marriage, the worse your marriage is.

        All us Xtians know that. Why don’t you?

        “The point of conservatism is to endorse existing power relations.”

        That’s YOUR definition of conservatism. In the real world, conservatism is defined by what is being conserved.

        In 1776, the conservatives wanted to remain as British subjects and the radicals wanted to go for independence and self-rule.

        In Latin America, conservatives want to endorse existing power relations wherein the wealthy and the Church have all the power. Remember, the Spanish set up the feudal system in their colonies whereas the British did not. That’s a huge key to the economic disparity.

        If I lived in Latin America, I would not be a conservative. If I lived in 1776, I would not be a conservative.

        In 2009, the conservatives want to conserve the theory of governance that Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Monroe, Adams, Franklin, et al. developed and on which the Constitution is based. We want to conserve it because it puts more power in the hands of the people than in the hands of the federal government.

        That’s political conservatism.

        So in a sense, yes, we want to conserve a power structure, but it would be more accurate to say that we want to ROLL BACK the power of government, especially the federal government, where power is more local and individual than centralized.

        And that’s one of the principle fault lines between the left and the right: the left wants more centralized power and the right wants less.

        We have different priorities than you do. Is that OK?

        “Its not mature to enter into life-l0ng commitments before you understand them if you have a choice. Its stupid. Our ancestors didn’t have a choice.”

        You are assuming that our ancestors had no idea what they were getting into with marriage and family. Like hell they didn’t. They knew exactly what it entailed because there were myriad examples all around them, primarily in their own families.

        What they didn’t have was the extremely unhelpful moral confusion that is sowed in our universities and media, wherein all actions and choices lead to whatever consequence you want. If you sow oats, you can harvest corn, they say, or if you take a long walk off a short pier, you don’t have to get wet because YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO STAY DRY, dammit!

        “Why are you trying to avoid that responsibility?”

        That makes no sense. I’m trying to avoid the responsibility of what, choosing from dozens of alternatives to marriage, even though anyone with a brain (and who can read studies) knows that marriage is the best way to raise kids?

        What? You didn’t know that Evolution’s Prime Directive is to pass on your genes?

        Silly lefty. Thinks he’s pro-science when he’s really pro-perpetual-adolescence.

        • simonkinahan

          We don’t disagree that it would be desirable to roll back the power of the central state, although we might differ in what costs we’d accept in order to do so. We also don’t disagree that its not desirable to think about power in relationships, especially marriages – its obviously not, unless you’re in a very dire situation. We don’t even disagree that people should take responsibility for their actions.

          None of those things is actually key to the difference between conservatives and liberals, or even between conservatives and leftists, and as long as you think it is you’ll never understand your intellectual opponents. After all, your ideal America you want to conserve or roll back to never really existed at any concrete time, any more than a liberal utopia can be created – pick any era and I’ll show you something undeniably wrong with it from your point of view. Between them, judicial activism, the new deal, segregation, the civil war, reconstruction and slavery are enough to contaminate all 233 years, unless I missed a decade somewhere. What you’re hankering for wasn’t ever manifested in a particular time and place – its rather the ideal country you want to live in and love, purified of its flaws. Nothing wrong with that – in many ways I agree with you.

          But this is the real difference between progressives and conservatives (to use the proper antonyms – we’re all actually liberals and I don’t think leftist is going to help us here as a term). Conservatives want to (re) construct your idealized traditional society and improve it at most only in very small, bottom-up steps, that never radically change the relationships involved. A progressive believes the flaws in the past were fundamental, and that intellectual and technical progress keep making new things possible, which can radically improve (and also, yes, disrupt) society, and that we have no choice but to embrace that.

          This is where the power relations come in – from a progressive point of view, in the past, certain groups of people were, not to put too fine a point on it, royally fucked. Slaves, the descendants of slaves and women are the three most obvious groups in the US, but there are others in other places – Indians in South America. The Irish, for most of their history. Dissenters, in revolutionary Massachusetts, and so on. This is what bothers progressives about appeals to an idealized version of the past. You want to “roll back” current institutions, but those institutions, from a progressive perspective, protect significant groups of people from power relationships that never gave them a chance to make choices and face the consequences. At the very least the burden of proof is on conservatives to show how you can roll back those institutions without causing significant harm. It must be said that the obvious appeal of conservatism to southern white men from mainstream religious backgrounds doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in its policies towards those against whom the playing field was tilted in the past.

          Traditional marriage and traditional families are just one example. In the past there were obvious economic constraints that forced people to live in extended families, meant you had to have lots of children both as a workforce and to have a chance of some surviving, and therefore meant women had to spend a lot of time pregnant and men (and children, and women) had to work very, very hard. That way of life was only an example of wisdom with regard to the specific place and times. There’s no reason to preserve it now that massive economic growth means we only need two children per couple, and contraception gives us the ability to control reproduction enabling young women work work, freeing children and old people from the labour force, and effectively doubling productivity. A modern egalitarian household is an example of wisdom in its particular place and time. Late marriage and small numbers of kids are the essence of it – that’s what I meant when I urged you to be responsible and look at the options the world you live in has supplied you with, not to experiment with plural marriage and bestiality (unless that’s you’re thing of course). Why try to selectively foist elements of the past on the present? I’m assuming you’re not going for the child labour but might by into teenage marriages, lack of divorce and absence of contraception. But why? I makes no sense in the current context – we don’t need those things any more.

        • dicentra

          “After all, your ideal America you want to conserve or roll back to never really existed at any concrete time”

          Again, that’s YOUR belief about conservatives. We’re not so stupid as to believe that any age in times past was Golden at all. We’re just as disgusted by slavery and Jim Crow as you are, but the caricatures that are painted of conservatives would lead you to believe that.

          “A progressive believes the flaws in the past were fundamental”

          Fundamental to what? Conservatives believe that humans are capable of both good and evil, but because evil (or just nastiness) is easier than good, that’s what you normally get.

          For that reason, we believe that the best we can do is set up a system that minimizes human frailty (separation of powers, federalism) and maximizes human innovation.

          But it is not possible to create a system that is so good, so well-built, that humans won’t corrupt it.

          “intellectual and technical progress keep making new things possible, which can radically improve (and also, yes, disrupt) society, and that we have no choice but to embrace that”

          This is the fundamental category error that “progressives” make. They think that technological change and social change both run in parallel and both mark progress.

          But only technology can truly progress, because it necessarily builds on the previous generation. As for society, we’re finding that technological progress doesn’t always benefit society. New antibiotics do; alienation by electronic communication does not.

          Furthermore, progressives think that their Bright New Ideas constitute progress, when in reality many are indicative of societal decay. It’s as if they were all psyched by knocking down the Berlin Wall (bigotries), so they decided to use their sledgehammers on every wall in sight: hospitals, schools, homes (alternative lifestyles, etc.).

          “At the very least the burden of proof is on conservatives to show how you can roll back those institutions without causing significant harm.”

          What institutions beside marriage and limited government do we want to roll back? It would seem to me that the “progressives” who want to disrupt society have the onus on THEM to prove that their new ideas actually constitute progress.

          Progressives think that human nature is infinitely (or a bit less) malleable, whereas conservatives know that it is not. We only want to “roll back” that which benefits a stable society, where the good of the children is primary, not the whims and desires of adolescent adults.

          Progressives also fall for the logical fallacy “cum hoc ergo propter hoc”: that something that happens at the same time is causal. That’s where we get the belief that because some of the Founders owned slaves, their theories of governance are suspect, or because marriages and families were stronger during the Jim Crow era, they’re an unacceptable relic of an uglier time.

          Progressives are reflexive iconoclasts: if it’s old, it must be bad. Because proggs look upon the whole of humanity and see that it’s an endless series of injustices and cruelties, they figure they have to re-invent the wheel from scratch, because they can’t seem to identify what went wrong.

          Conservatives, OTOH, would rather examine everything on its own merits and keep what’s good. We like the baby (!), we can do without the bathwater.

          But no baby stays clean forever, so around and around it goes.

          But thanks for giving a more coherent answer than before, Simon K. I thought maybe I was dealing with an imbecile.

        • dicentra

          One more thing:

          “In the past there were obvious economic constraints that forced people to live in extended families,”

          There’s the other flaw with progressive (Marxist!) thinking: it’s all reduced to economics and power, power and economics.

          Marriage and family have a deeper function than an economic one, and their “power structure” transcends culture. That peoples have practiced variants doesn’t mean that they were good variants, merely that they could.

          These variables that we’re experimenting with aren’t necessarily “progress,” but they’re also not necessarily bad. In-vitro fertilization, for example, is a blessing to childless couples (I have three CONSERVATIVE in-vitro nieces), but the abuse of one’s sexuality that contraception can enable is not.

        • simonkinahan

          dicentra – This is pretty massively off-topic now, so I’m tempted to just leave it. But your post illustrates a key disagreement. You’re talking as if technological change and governmental change are total separate, with the latter being driven by intellectual fads, and almost wholly undesirable and the former by real (but not necessarily desirable) progress, and social change is almost all degeneration.

          That’s hard to square with your acceptance that the past was in reality at least as imperfect as the present, but we’ll leave that to one side since I don’t think its going anywhere. The interesting point is that from a progressive, or even a libertarian, perspective, government is endogenous to society and has to deal with conflicts created by bottom up social change. Its not a matter of implementing our bright ideas, but of deperately trying to resolve conflicts as they occur.

          Government didn’t act to disrupt the traditional family, for example, its transformation has been a consequence of wealth and contraception. But the resulting conflicts over property rights, filial responsibilities, the social standing of women, the potential equivalence of gay marriages and so on falls in the state’s lap. Not because some academic came up with a bunch of smart ideas, but because various conflicts at different levels that had to be resolved. This isn’t economic or technological determinism – I don’t think we can predict change in advance. Just that we have to deal with it, and that it happens whether we want it or not.

          The traditional statist progressive view is that this almost always involves an expansion in the role of the state, to clarify property rights, prevent discrimination, take care of those who have no-one to care for them, and so on. The libertarian view is that the state should butt out, except where it can improve the situation by reducing its role, at least until it becomes very clear there’s no private solution, but if you’re a consistent libertarian this is nothing to do with preventing change, but ensuring it happens consensually and doesn’t create extra conflicts over access to state power.

          Your position seems to be that in response to social change the conservative should imitate the three blind monkeys and pretend its not happening because change is undesirable and anyway mostly a conspiracy by liberal intellectuals. But that leaves you the question of what you do when its happening anyway, because it will, as you almost say yourself. In practise, of course, statist conservatives use the powers of the state to try to shore up existing institutions – to pick a particularly blatant example, in the Terry Schiavo case where Congress attempted to override the clear jurisdiction of federal courts for “conservative” ( but definitely not anti-statist) ends. But the issue of gay marriage at the federal level reflects exactly the same thing – an attempt to use the central state to prevent social change in a way that’s hardly in keeping with federalism.

          So unless you’re going to disown those bits of the conservative movement (in which case welcome to the club – you’ve just discovered you’re a libertarian, and I get a free toaster), I call bullshit on your claim that conservatism is necessarily opposed to statism or to the assertion of federal authority. You’re opposed to it when it supports social change you don’t like, but perfectly okay with it when its used to support your preferred set of social institutions.

  • politically incorrect

    The prospect of finding a true partner, rather than someone to satisfactorily perform the generic role of husband or wife, leaves many of us single and searching for a good long time. But this isn’t about delaying adulthood, it’s about meeting higher standards for what marriage and family should be.

    Sounds beautiful eh? Also sounds totally self-centered and the hallmark of a self-indulgent society that dies. I don’t hear anything about marriage being intrinsically good for the bringing up the next generation, the good of society, and the way we were meant to live.

    It’s all about ME and nothing ELSE! Tired of the relationship, dispose of it. Children? Heck, let them fend for themselves, like the 40% or so born out of wedlock, standing a much worse state in life than their fathers. Because remember, its all about ME and what I WANT!

    Well, while you are waiting for Ms. Perfect (or depending on one’s orientation, Mr. Perfect) Muslims are populating the west and taking over. Perhaps we have a calling and a state in life that is higher than our own pleasures, what is quote unquote good for ME!

    No problem, will take my money and invest it in the places where the selfish, plauge of feminism has not taken over and put an end to fertility. BTW, our fertility comes MOSTLY FROM THOSE WOMENWITH LESSER EDUCATION.

    Remember its all about ME and what I WANT!

    The rise of the East and South America.

  • jinjit82

    “The prospect of finding a true partner, rather than someone to satisfactorily perform the generic role of husband or wife, leaves many of us single and searching for a good long time. But this isn’t about delaying adulthood, it’s about meeting higher standards for what marriage and family should be.”

    I think that it should be noted that a quixotic quest for the perfect partner that sometimes lasts well into middle age is a modern liberation largely afforded to men. A woman’s fertility drops precipitously from age 35 to 40, and many women who want to have children, are just not willing to risk a 1/3 chance of infertility, let alone the increased risk of genetic mutations. I suspect that women’s age ceiling also reflects the age preferences of many of even the most liberated of men (whose preferences may, in turn, be consciously or unconsciously linked to women’s fertility). In my admittedly anecdotal sample, many of my 20-something female friends have dated guys in their upper thirties, and in some cases, their forties, and I can’t think of any guy friends for which this was the case. Personally, I robbed the cradle (27 and 25), so I have no dog in this fight. Yet, I think that our extending of socially acceptable marriage ages allows many men, purposefully or not, to exploit their relatively late infertility, and allow time to tick to their comparative advantage.

    • uknowbetter

      “Personally, I robbed the cradle (27 and 25)…”

      I find it hilarious that women think 2 years is ‘robbing the cradle’. I had a girl who liked me, but was mad she was 6 months older. I was like “wow, you are retarded.”

      Agree with your general point though. I tell my female friends in their early 30s that they better start thinking of adoption if they want kids. They don’t have boyfriends now and I don’t recommend meeting a guy and then trying to get married and have kids in the next 2 years; talk about pressure.

      I feel sympathy for the 30 something women out there, but I’m not going to date them.

      • politically incorrect

        Feel sympathy?

        I don’t.

        If you want to live like a man, than be a man. Feminsts think they are men, have sold the duped society that they are men.

        Then when they are old, can’t have a family (or on the border) , or have children are divorced and men don’t want them, they are shocked. Gee, God created INTRNSIC differences between men and women. Women who don’t recognize that end up with the short end of the stick.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/26/opinion/26douthat.html?ref=opinion

        Gee, what a novel concept. God exists. He (forgive me feminists) created us with INTRINSIC differences that a society ignores to its peril.

        Feminism like Comunism like Libeterianism. Logical but leaves out one major thing. HUMAN NATURE!

      • Guest

        Keep it up, troll.

  • politically incorrect

    Without even knowing what or why it was, I was heavily influenced by gay culture, which provided me, and many other straight young men, a wide variety of templates for manhood that are at once unmistakably masculine, playfully ironic, aesthetic, emotionally open, and happily sexual.

    How wonderful. Another hallmark of a culture doomed for decay, the rappant rise of homosexuality and its acceptance. This acceptance is just a SYMPTOM of a much larger problem, one of hedonism.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedonism

    While certainly the author may not argue for such a philosophy, this is what it ultimately comes down too. Really all these articles of this ilk, really miss the main point of human existence. Which is the question, “HOW SHOULD WE LIVE?” the basic assumption is that man is the measure of all things and what man wants, is what man says it should be.

    How many societies do you know throughout history had gay marriage as the norm for say 300 hundredof years? BTW, were they a society that was a world power, or taken over? Surely throughout time if this is a NORMAL part of human existence, we should be OK? There are and will be none. Just the hallmark of a dying society steeped in their own hedonisitc pleasures getting ready for its culture to get taken over by those who live according to the values that God created humans to live by.

  • Point

    I think this post either does too poor a job of defining, or assumes a very simplistic view of, “old-school machismo”.

    From what I’ve seen of the multiple patriarchal movements, and of the arts of more patriarchal ages (mostly old movies), there are really two ways “oldschool” masculinity can be asserted in the modern age:

    1) Domination: Manliness is the assertion of being. When the father makes decisions, he asserts his authority; when a soldier kills the enemy, he asserts his country; when a man sleeps around, he asserts his DNA into the world. And whatever the phallic symbol asserts onto is feminized in the process; thus, the manliest man is he who dominates others without being dominated himself. (Hence God.)

    2. Grace Under Pressure: Manliness is not being compromised by circumstance. Only when he can keep a steady job, and get his life in order, can somebody call himself a man; likewise when a nation can be bombed daily from across the channel, and go about their business unflinching, that nation can be called manly.** In relationships, a man can certainly be warm to his partner’s emotional needs, but it does not bode well if he asks her to be too open in return; manliness still implies a level of difference. Above all, manhood requires a clear devotion to one’s duty, whether it is to one’s family, to one’s country, or to his God.

    **On the other hand, a nation that gets attacked, then freaks out, gives up its civil liberties, and goes to war against a nation not even involved out of sheer terror… well, not so much.

    • politically incorrect

      Above all, manhood requires a clear devotion to one’s duty, whether it is to one’s family, to one’s country, or to his God.

      I believe with a statement like that you have shifted the debate, where it SHOULD BE SHIFTED! True freedom isn’t “Gee, let me see how I can have the prefect partner, give gays or whomever all the freedom they want to indulge in anything they want.” The real question is, “What is our duty and how should it be fulfilled.”

      What if I joined the Marines and said, “This Afiganistan stuff is getting tough, think I want to bail”. According to the logic of these hedonists, that should be a good thing. Radical individuality without reagard to anyone or anything else.

      Tired of a marriage, drop it. The author brought up the “wonderful” things he received from his homosexual friends. How lovely. He did not though, bring up this:

      http://www.dakotavoice.com/2009/01/sexually-transmitted-disease-rates-as-high-as-our-hormones/

      However, a dying society loves its radical freedom at the expense of the way, WE SHOULD LIVE! In the age of Jerry Springer and Oprah, old values such as fidelity, honor, faithfulness have been shoved out the door. IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!

  • Nelson

    I always assumed guys who give up on dating, so confused by its lack of rules and the arbitrariness, and retreats into a world of video games, don’t care that much about sex or dating. They need not turn in their straight-card or declare themselves asexual if they decide that dating is too confusing or not rewarding enough (they are still masturbating to porn right?). That’s not a knock on the fickle-desires of women and the societal consequences of feminism either (although I’m curious how feminism is somehow the only force that gender norms). Not everyone really likes relationships or has the necessary mentality to have long-term relationships, sexual or otherwise. I’m the same age as some of the guys mentioned in Hymowitz piece and while I find their nihilism odd for people so young, they aren’t shooting up healthclubs from what I understand.
    Unless, like some of the commenters here, you need every working penis in a fertile womb, producing the next generation for _____, the sex lives, or substitution of hours of Halo thereof, of these guys isn’t really anyone’s concern.

  • eibhear

    To uknowbetter,
    I’m afraid you’ll need a great deal of luck finding a partner, as you clearly don’t like females very much. I’m also gobsmacked when people say that feminism is now redundant, or even destructive, given the amount of misogynists on this, and many other, threads.

    • uknowbetter

      Small-minded, closed-minded females like you? Yeah, I don’t like that type.

      So what’s your definition of feminism? Many (though not all) women that I meet that label themselves as feminist usually seem to have some sort of chip on their shoulder. I’d rather pass on that and find out early.

  • eibhear

    Ahem, you do realise you just made my point for me, uknowbetter?

    • uknowbetter

      And you made mine. You sure sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. You should try dealing with those issues.

      I prefer open-minded, confident women who don’t feel a need to label themselves.

  • Devonian

    Sure is troll in here.

  • womanisequal

    Why is it that the overwhelming majority of voices here are still male?

  • Hyel

    Class societies in which the privileged class holds power can fold into revolutions and anarchy when confronted with a food shortage or some natural disaster that tips the scale of oppression into unbearable. I don’t know how that works into the analogy, but I do know class society, like the more extreme forms of capitalist society to a lesser degree, perpetuates human suffering; comfort only at others’ expense. The only way in which privilege at the cost of suffering is morally justifiable is if the moral system includes a value judgement; the sufferer is worth less than the person benefiting from his or her suffering.

    If one person doesn’t other the person she or he is trying to hit on, perhaps they’d find it all a lot less confusing.

    – Hyel (woman, since it matters)

  • OtherCara

    I think you’re confusing cause with effect, kiddo.

    Women don’t like men who regard them as appliances that don’t have to be plugged in (the only drawback being that you sometimes have to listen to them talk). Most women who don’t like to be treated like appliances are feminists.

    Feminism’s not the cause of your lack of success with women. Your freely-expressed contempt for any woman who would go out with you might have something to do with that.

  • Chun McYun

    Will, your article is excellent and makes one particularly important point: the one about the benefits of gender equality for men, not just for women. I was also struck by your comments about how hetero male identity can benefit so greatly from gay culture and its diverse identities. That’s really interesting to me and helps me understand and appreciate some of my (straight) male friends even better.

    Unfortunately I was silly enough to keep reading all the comments by scary American misogynists, and had to go back and read your piece again – good thing you’re the one writing the OP, and they are but commenters.

    • simonkinahan

      Libertarians. Most of them are just vaguely conservative, priveleged boys who happen to smoke pot now and again. Their mysogyny is mostly immaturity – they tend to grow out of it, fortunately . They tend to grow out of the libertarianism too – not sure whether that’s a good thing or not.

      • uknowbetter

        You are just sooooooo mature calling people names.

        LOL. Another hypocritical Leftie.

        Why don’t you scream that you are ‘open-minded’ while you are at it?

        Hilarious.

        Again…’feminist’? Here’s the door; I don’t mind holding it open for you to leave.

        • simonkinahan

          Name calling? Seems like a perfectly accurate observation to me. Touch a nerve did I? Its frustrating, frankly. Libertarianism generally doesn’t suck. But the overpriveleged teenagers who smoke pot don’t give it a good name.

        • uknowbetter

          Actually sounds like I touched a nerve. And most ‘privileged’ people I know are Leftists. Those that had to work for what they have tend to be more in favor of free-markets.

  • oldskool

    “But feminism is now mostly leftism, and leftists are unwilling to tackle actual misogyny as it exists in Islam and Africa and Asia, because to them, Teh Other is sacred and only we, Dirty Westerners, are guilty of anything at all.”

    This is an outright lie. Spend five minutes on Feministing, Feministe, Shakesville, Pandagon, etc. and this is proven to be false.

    • simonkinahan

      Heh. This thread got linked from Pandagon didn’t it? This is going to be entertaining.

  • oldskool

    “Small-minded, closed-minded females like you? Yeah, I don’t like that type.”

    Lol. Translation: bitchez who don’t kiss my ass, like you? Yeah, I don’t like that type.

    It’s deeply amusing though to watch you exemplify the exact type of guy the post is talking about and not see it. The problem is you, sweetcheeks, man up and deal with it.

    P.S. I like being asked by dates if I’m “one of those feminists. It helps weed out the misogynstic douches that aren’t worth the time. You’re not rejecting those women, dearie, they’re rejecting you.

    • Guest

      THIS.

    • uknowbetter

      I don’t want you to be in any part of my life. You obviously have issues.

      Where did I say anything about you kissing my ass? Keep projecting the behavior of the men you choose onto me.

  • era4allNOW

    “If you want to live like a man, than be a man. Feminsts think they are men, have sold the duped society that they are men.

    Then when they are old, can’t have a family (or on the border) , or have children are divorced and men don’t want them, they are shocked. Gee, God created INTRNSIC differences between men and women. Women who don’t recognize that end up with the short end of the stick.”

    haha, politicallyincorrect, there’s nothing more amusing than when misogynists prove feminism’s point so blatantly. You are making a heck of a lot of false assumptions here.

    I don’t need to worry about anything you’ve mentioned above about my ‘impending doom’ – because I don’t want to birth any children! omg, that’s right…what are you going to do now to punish me, since I won’t be upset when it’s “too late” for me to have them?? lol

    As a feminist, I don’t think I’m a ‘man’, whatever you define that to be (and don’t you find it troubling to group your gender into such a restricted narrow definition?). I “think” I am an individual who can make decisions independent of what others think or feel I “should” be doing. I am my own person and belong to no one but myself.

    I’m happily co-habitating with a male feminist, and all is bliss in our world. He respects me as an individual, and I respect him as an individual. We don’t waste our time trying to will the other person to conform to such narrow defined terms for our genders. We are much happier that way, not setting expectations that are pretty unrealistic considering how different individuals are. I feel sorry for people like you, who actually believe such tired trope.

    • politically incorrect

      Thank You M’aam your post perfectly affirms my point.

      You are a part of the “Death of the West”. You will leave no leagacy, no offspring, no impact no nothing when you die. You want to live that lifestyle, we certainly make allowances for that in the West.

      Affirms my original point. It is you and your ilk and your thinking that destroys a culture. Here today, gone tomorrow leaving nothing in your wake. Don’t feel sorry for me, feel sorry for Europe and America that is gonig to be “Islamified” because of your selfishness, hedonistic ways.

      http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/duke/090813

      The future is reserved for those that will be there.

      • era4allNOW

        Wow, where do I begin?

        I’m wondering what your problem with Islam culture is? The vast majority are wonderful people. There are a few nutcases – JUST LIKE HERE in America. They suicide bomb in the name of their interpretation of religion, we have crazy christian fundamentalists who bomb clinics and shoot people all in the name of “life” and their interpretation of religion.

        What culture is it that you think you are protecting, here in America? I’m wondering which singular culture out of the thousands this country holds that you are referring to. Only the ‘precious’ white man’s culture? Or just the wide blanket of christianity, which encompasses many cultures, including my own. Or am I just not part of the “right” christianity for you?

        your reasoning is confusing at best. In a few short breaths you say you want me to reproduce, otherwise this ‘precious’ culture will die due to me not reproducing, and then you call me hedonistic and selfish. So what is it you are valuing of my culture? The selfishness? Or the hedonism? Is that the legacy you are hoping I leave behind before I die?

        I also find it entirely ironic that you think I am hedonistic. By not contributing to overpopulation, a major problem the world over, I am helping the planet. At some point, I may decide to adopt – I would like to see how you spin that to be selfish. Additionally, your adamant desire to continue the culture that YOU want to see survive is pretty selfish in and of itself. There’s many cultures that can co-exist, including islamic culture.

        Trust me when I say that feminism will always be there; with or without you. Your projection of your own desires onto others seems more than a little selfish – down right egotistical.

  • eibhear

    Hear, hear, oldskool and era4allNow! Excellent comments.

  • Kactus

    I laugh at all the men coming in here and saying “GOD made men and women different for a reason, not suck it up women!”

    I say if God is telling you that because we are different we should be inferior, then your God is a dick. I certainly wouldn’t want to just grab any man because my biological clock is ticking. And actually men have a huge drop in fertility as they age as well. It just isn’t bandied about in the media as often – I wonder why this is? And their fertility and the viability of their sperm is also affected by what they eat, how much exercise they get and so on, the same as women’s eggs. But is this ever mentioned in the news?

    And as to the person talking about how many people choose traditional marriages, with the woman staying at home to raise the children: that’s the whole point and I’m glad you got that. People should be able to choose how they want to live their lives.

    I did like the original article though it did inspire people to get way too political.

    • politically incorrect

      People should be able to choose how they want to live their lives.

      Perhaps a different question should be framed. How SHOULD people live their lives? That is the really the question that should be framed. What the liberals here do not seem to understand, not all lifestyles are equal. My contention is, some lifestyles are destructives, others should be encouraged.

      How does this work in public policy?

      Fact: Homosexuals carry many more dieseases than average people.

      http://www.dakotavoice.com/2009/01/sexually-tra

      However, liberal love to laud homosexuality as being such a marvelous thing! Facts are not on your side. But facts don’t really matter in a decadent culture.

      Fact: Children without mother and fathers fare much worse than those in a stable marriage unit. Marriage is no longer a sacred bond.

      http://www.examiner.com/x-12193-Seattle-Public-Education-Examiner~y2009m8d18-Info-101-Relationship-meltdown-and-the-effect-on-children

      No fault divorce, the rise of the slut culture, do whatever you want doesn’t matter. Think why African American children usually have much worse outcomes than those of other races? Culture (Mom AND DAD living with them.) Has nothing to do with race. Once one destroys the family unit, you are screwed as a society.

      Fact: The West is not producing enough children to support itself and is dying.
      http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/duke/090813

      While: Islam is taking over the West, specifically because of this.

      http://www.negroschronicle.com/?p=5930

      What is my point of all this? Is this. The function of a society is to promote those values which will sustain itself. This article is the same kind of liberal hogwash that is the sign of a decaying culture.

      Common sense tells one there are intrinsic differences between males and females. Ever think why God (forgive me for introducing such an alien concept!) created a woman to have children? That girls coo at babies, while guys walk by? A society that fails to recognize the greatest asset of her females is the raising of the next generation and being a stable force in the home, is a decaying society. That doesn’t sound less equal to me, it just sounds like commen sense. Ever hear the term of “Form follows function?” That is what we are talking about here. Not I am a male, I am better than you, just common sense! Girls trying to tell dudes to be women and girls trying to act like guys. A promotion of confusion.

      A society that views all lifestyles as being equal, homosexual, heterosexual outside of marriage, whatever is doomed. However, in our age of radical freedom, who cares about THE WAY WE SHOULD LIVE, all that matters is I am doing what I want. Hallmark of a dying culture.

      • spinozasprophet

        Part of the idea of liberalism is that we do not have an absolutely correct answer to the question, “how should people live their lives?” All but the most extreme and foolish liberals will agree that there are ways that are better or worse than others, however; I’ve never met a true relativist, and I doubt I ever will. The Enlightenment extended the idea that we can tolerate many different ideas of how best to live one’s life, while excluding others that can be considered indubitably evil. In the case of homosexuality, homosexuality is a perversion of love; however, as Dante pointed out, the sins done out of love are the least of the sins. Extending legal protection to homosexual couplings is not about blessing sodomy- it is about blessing the establishment of households between two men or women, regardless of what they may do in the bedroom. While I’m not a Christian, it seems that the Christian approach to this would be to bless the love between two people, while exhorting them to moral propriety, not to drive them into a wholesale rejection of morality. I had a spiritual mentor for a time who was a homosexual in a committed relationship, who had established a household with his male partner; it seemed to me that their love, and dealing with their situation in a mature way, had made them both better people. This seems immeasurably better than driving homosexuals into “closeted” lives of promiscuity and rejection by society- rejection only produces more evil; acceptance brings atonement.

        “Children without mother and fathers fare much worse than those in a stable marriage unit. Marriage is no longer a sacred bond.”

        Indeed, and this is a shame. But this is only part of the symptoms of a greater decay- the decay of the EXTENDED family, in contrast to the NUCLEAR family, the latter being a much weaker and more unstable unit than the former. Compare the progeny of extended-family based subcultures in the US (such as upper-midwestern Scandinavians, urban Jewish, Italian, and Irish-Americans, or Asian-Americans in general), with those of nuclear-family based subcultures… ouch. The extended family provides a large network of support in case of the failure of one of the parents; the nuclear family leaves a much more unstable position. Much of American conservative politics is based upon reaction to fears which apply to the weak nuclear-family unit, yet the strong extended-family is capable of resisting- part of why these extended-family cultures, despite having very conservative social mores, tend to have liberal voting patterns.

        “Fact: The West is not producing enough children to support itself and is dying. ”

        Nonsense. Here’s a good article on what is really happening-
        http://www.economist.com/sciencetechnology/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14164483

        Birth rates are again on the uptick in the most developed countries- after birth rates trough out around an HDI of .9, they generally move upward again- as increased affluence makes it easier to raise children with maximized “life advantages”. At an HDI of .8-.9, it’s difficult for middle class families to raise more than 1-2 children with maximized advantages, but after this point, 2-4 start to become a possibility again. (Witness, for instance, the tendency of American billionaires to have larger than average families).

        ‘While: Islam is taking over the West, specifically because of this.’

        Mark Steyn’s “America Alone” thesis will likely join the same scrapheap as Malthus, Ehrlich, and The Club of Rome’s predictions. Futurology is notoriously hard. Islam will gain a foothold in Europe, but not much more than that, before their own birthrates level off to European levels, and native Europe’s increase back to sustainability. Jihadism in the Mediterranean is already losing what little steam it had. Most of Europe’s Muslims want the same things most average people do- a decent job, a meaningful life, a little respect, a spouse and a few kids. Dying for al-Qaeda’s dead-enders isn’t on the list. That, and rather than seeing “Islam” as a faceless mass of barbarians intent on world domination, I’d suggest that you meet some real muslims, and discover just how fragmented, diverse, scared, and insecure the Islamic world really is. It’d be an eye-opener.

        As for the rest of what you wrote, I think one of the things which is being lost by all “sides” in this conversation is a concept that we’d do well to bring back- that of the Gentleman. Wearing a well-tailored suit, enjoying theater and fine art, being polite to all comers, not indulging in machismo, and cooing and babies and young children need not mean that one is a limp-wristed “metrosexual”; likewise, one need not be an insecure, macho pig to be a “real man”. Those of us who had good male role-models- not just a father, but uncles, grandfathers, teachers, scoutmasters, and great men from history… we’re not so insecure about our future, or what other people are getting up to, because we know where we stand. Gentlemen never go out of style.

  • IQ159

    “This article is typical sentiment that you get from self loathing males.
    So to save you some minutes that you will never get back, let me paraphrase this for “man” for you.

    You cannot have equality unless women get to become even more entitled than they already are when it comes to 1st dates. I mean equal pay for equal work is not possible, unless women can get indignant over not being approached her right way. And don’t forget it’s her individuality that’s important, not his. A man’s individuality and the ways he feels comfortable approaching a woman doesn’t matter. She’s the judge. Do it her way or it’s the high way. She doesn’t need to be understanding of him. She’s a unique woman with her own needs and he needs to deal with that. If she wants him to pay for the meal and he doesn’t. Well he’s screwed and won’t get a second date. This is all a necessary part of equality and for the greater good. And if she’s insulted that he’s picked up the tab for an “independent” woman, then he’s screwed too. Her choice. Why didn’t he ask her what she likes? He would have if he didn’t just think of her as little more than an upgrade from Jergens and a sock. You don’t expect women to volunteer what they want do you? You’re not a misogynist are you? And on and on…

    • simonkinahan

      Let me paraphrase it further for you: women are people. That’s all that’s being asked of you. They’re entitled to no less than you are, can get as indignant as you’re being right now, their individuality is no more important than yours, They can judge you just as you’re right now apparently judging all women. They do, in fact, struggle to understand you just as you struggle to understand them .. and so on. Women are people.

      Your problem is that you want something from women (to whit, pussy) that you can’t figure out how to get, but that it really is her choice. You’re not entitled to pussy. You’re looking for a deal you can make (buy her dinner maybe?) or some trick you can pull (maybe if you pretend to respect her independence?). But your fundamental problem is that you’re a desperate, whiny and have an overblown sense of entitlement and your pseud0-machismo doesn’t serve to hide it. Oddly enough that isn’t attractive.

      If you’re wondering, this is where you gave yourself away: “If she wants him to pay for the meal and he doesn’t. Well he’s screwed and won’t get a second date”. Apply your slightly above average IQ to that, smarty pants. If you had any sense of self-worth at all, you’d know what’s wrong with that attitude.

      • IQ159

        Let’s see.
        Women are people.. You can’t get laid.. If you were so smart…
        Ummm. I’ve heard less canned phrases come from a toy with a string in its back, but I’ll try

        “Let me paraphrase it further for you: women are people. That’s all that’s being asked of you. – Simon

        No Simon! What is being asked of me is not that I treat women as people, but accept them as superiors. Folks like you are deluded that only men can ever be or act entitled. Sexism in your mind is something so blanketly universal that all men everywhere have it better than all women everywhere… all the time. It’s so bad, in fact, that race and class get second class status. You spit out words like Patriarchy and then when the poor and non whites call you on it. You silence them by mumbling something about oppression Olympics.

        Though many people may struggle to understand others in social situations. I don’t. That is a key reason that I am good at my chosen profession and get paid very well doing it. As someone who makes a living managing, and communicating with people and customers for a very large company you should listen when I tell you that by the common definition of dominance, hierarchy, and power it is females, not males who are “entitled” in the area of meeting the opposite sex.­

        Sorry, but the notion that male romantic frustration is a necessary and important component of equality is a downright lie and just a lame excuse for bad female dating behavior. Exactly what good is a feminism that doesn’t also require women to change and improve the way they interact with men in the same way its makes those demands of males?

        “Your problem is that you want something from women (to whit, pussy) that you can’t figure out how to get, but that it really is her choice. You’re not entitled to pussy. You’re looking for a deal you can make (buy her dinner maybe?) or some trick you can pull (maybe if you pretend to respect her independence?). But your fundamental problem is that you’re a desperate, whiny and have an overblown sense of entitlement and your pseud0-machismo doesn’t serve to hide it. Oddly enough that isn’t attractive.” –

        And so the expert who learned how to be a “man” from gay culture and who periodically regreted his heterosexuality wants to tell me about pussy? Lol.
        Well, No thanks. Funny, happy and successful are working just fine for me.

        “If you’re wondering, this is where you gave yourself away: “If she wants him to pay for the meal and he doesn’t. Well he’s screwed and won’t get a second date”. Apply your slightly above average IQ to that, smarty pants. If you had any sense of self-worth at all, you’d know what’s wrong with that attitude.” – Simon

        But wait! Nothing is wrong with that attitude. As you and Will have already explained, her wanting me to pick up the tab just means that she’s an individual and you need to accept that she’s a person. What’s male self worth have to do with this? Who are you to question this woman’s motives and her desire? Why are you judging her? You just need to accept that its OK for her to be like this as it’s necessary as we struggle towards equality.

        Yeah. Whatever.

        • simonkinahan

          Well, thanks for the extensive response to things I didn’t say. I don’t give a shit about Teh Patriarchy, thanks. Never been able to figure out what the hell it is.

          That to one side, I also don’t understand where this became a matter of “bad female dating behaviour”. Women want different things. The same woman might want different things at different times. How is this bad behaviour? How is it any different from men? I’m not denying that women sometimes behave badly on dates. Men do too. Hell, I’m sure I have. So what? Women. Are. People. Do you get it yet?

          Let me break it down for you, since you didn’t get my little hint: Everything you’ve written says that all the power in the your relationships is with the woman, or at least that’s how you look at it. But here’s the rub – that’s nothing to do with the woman. That’s you. You’re walking into an interaction (date) knowing you want something (pussy) and prepared to do pretty much whatever it takes to get it (pay, not pay, crawl on the floor, whine incessantly). Since you apparently work in sales or customer service, you should be able to see the problem here – you want something, and at least in your mind, she doesn’t care.

          In case you still don’t let me break it down further. Since you pretty much gave yourself away here the minute you put finger to keyboard, you probably do the same when out on a date too. Most women object to being considered as ambulatory vaginae with inconvenient extra body parts attached. The fact you’re prepared to sleep with them pretty much regardless of what they do isn’t a complement – it makes it clear you not only have no interest in her, but no respect for yourself. About the only women who aren’t going to run a mile are manipulators who’ll use you for whatever they want and then move on. That probably just reinforces you perception of ordinary human incosistency as “bad female dating behaviour”, since I don’t doubt you see a lot of the real thing.

          • iq159

            ‘Well, thanks for the extensive response to things I didn’t say. I don’t give a shit about Teh Patriarchy, thanks. Never been able to figure out what the hell it is. “ – Simon

            Wow. I didn’t know grown men played coy. How many posts have you had on here? You know damn well know you’ve had plenty of discussions about “Patriarchy”.

            “That to one side, I also don’t understand where this became a matter of “bad female dating behaviour”. Women want different things. The same woman might want different things at different times. How is this bad behaviour? How is it any different from men? I’m not denying that women sometimes behave badly on dates. Men do too. Hell, I’m sure I have. So what? Women. Are. People. Do you get it yet?” -Simon

            Dude when are you gonna stop hiding behind the “women are people” shield?
            Women aren’t entitled to corner offices, and promotions either Simon. So when that small business owner decides to pick a HIM over a HER, It’s because the owner wants different things. It’s just ordinary human inconsistency. That man got the raise and she didn’t because sometimes men behave badly. There were only 2 candidates. It wasn’t gender. It was odds. And it’s nothing SHE should be frustrated about. She wants something from a man. Right? Men are people! Remember? There’s nothing wrong here.

            No Simon, that is a specific story of entitlement; it is not about “choice” and “individuality”. You do not perceive the entitlement that women have in dating because you are a bigot. But it is there. As I accused before, I don’t think you feel women have any entitlements. Try to name one female entitlement off the top of your head. You can’t… Can you? Because you think there are none and you are wrong!

            “Let me break it down for you, since you didn’t get my little hint: Everything you’ve written says that all the power in the your relationships is with the woman, or at least that’s how you look at it. But here’s the rub – that’s nothing to do with the woman. That’s you. You’re walking into an interaction (date) knowing you want something (pussy) and prepared to do pretty much whatever it takes to get it (pay, not pay, crawl on the floor, whine incessantly). Since you apparently work in sales or customer service, you should be able to see the problem here – you want something, and at least in your mind, she doesn’t care. “ – Simon

            No Simon,

            Power in my relationship depends on the area and the woman. I have never dated Gina Carrano, so I have always been the more physically powerful. When I was in college I dated a trust fund girl, so she was the economically more powerful. Later on I dated a PHD student, but I have a BS from a top 5 private University so maybe educationally that was a push. Currently, I am the more economically powerful one in the relationship, but she is the more socially powerful. I am an extreme extrovert, but she still tops me.
            Do you even have a coherent definition of power? Because I don’t think you do.

            “In case you still don’t let me break it down further. Since you pretty much gave yourself away here the minute you put finger to keyboard, you probably do the same when out on a date too. Most women object to being considered as ambulatory vaginae with inconvenient extra body parts attached. The fact you’re prepared to sleep with them pretty much regardless of what they do isn’t a complement – it makes it clear you not only have no interest in her, but no respect for yourself. About the only women who aren’t going to run a mile are manipulators who’ll use you for whatever they want and then move on. That probably just reinforces you perception of ordinary human incosistency as “bad female dating behaviour”, since I don’t doubt you see a lot of the real thing.” – Simon

            No Simon,

            You don’t need to date sea horses to explain their courtship rituals. Observation is a powerful tool. You should try using it more. And while I can “date” with the best of them (I am good in most any social setting) I tend to prefer women whose idea of a “date” is just hanging out. If my perception is tainted by anything its spending time with women whose idea of dating was unconventional.

            MOST men once considered “Marrying” to mean a gal to clean and cook for you. Eventually most folks figured out there was a problem with that expectation.

            MOST women currently consider “Dating” to mean a guy asking her out, picking her up and taking her somewhere… eventually folks will figure out there is a problem with that expectation… even folks like you.

  • ArtyB

    This is a great article. If only we will all let go of our fears and embrace change then we wouldn’t suffer so much. One thing we all have to contend and come to terms with is that we live in a changing world, so we should be willing to change when change comes. If we happen to find ourselves stuck in old roles then we should free ourselves and adapt to the world. Because it is all about survival of those who can adapt. If you don’t adapt you die, period. So you don’t know how to relate to women these days. Big deal. Nobody asked you to be a mindreader. Just ask and you shall be answered. Communication is the key. If you didn’t get a second date because you asked if you could pick up the tab then you are better off anyway. You wouldn’t want to be with a person who is easily offended. That the so called traditional roles was common and widely accepted did not mean that it was good. Traditional roles stifled both men and women. Men always had to be the breadwinners and women, the caregiver. Men always had to be macho, unfeeling, aggressive and whatever makes them feel like ✵real✵ men. The results? They died sooner, they were never there to see their kids grow and they were always stressed. I believe feminism gave men an easy way out of the one income that barely sustained the family. The only way most families survived was on a two income. So please be grateful to feminism for picking up your slack. Traditional roles also stifled women in that it made them give up their dreams so that others–kids and husbands–might live theirs. If your dream is to take care of your family, then there is certainly nothing wrong with that. But I really do wonder why so many non-feminist women left their cushy traditional roles and joined the work force. Were they forced at gun point by feminists to go work outside their homes? Feminism didn’t kill families or anything. Au contraire, it is the government’s bad policies that is hurting families.

    • politically incorrect

      You certainly have a right to be attracted to a feminist woman and appreciate it. That is your right. However, the author seem to be “chastizing” men who are not attracted to feminist women. Personally, I am turned off by them. Do I not have the right to be affirmed in what I like? Also, I have stated earlier that I am not a big fan of this homosexual, pro-gay movement. (Which I gave logical reasons for my views), they carry more diseases, see my previous posts.

      Do I not have the right to be affirned in my views? Because I do not tow the liberal line here, should it not be “OK” to say, “Sorry not a big fan of this feminist stuff, want more of a traditional relationship, bye”. However, he seems to be saying with the tone of his article, “Why can’t you be more like me, and appreciate this stuff?”

      Because I am not like him and don’t identify with this guy at all. While he has a right to his views (and yours), certainly those who are not into this femnist stuff should be affirmed in their more traditional relationships. (Which is why I am marrying foreign)

      Doesn’t tolerance work both ways?

      • simonkinahan

        You have the right to tolerance, sure. You don’t have the right to affirmation, because no-one does. The right to free speech isn’t a duty on others to agree with you, or even listen to you. And you most certainly don’t have the right to stop social norms from changing, or governmental institutions from accommodating changing norms, just because you don’t like them.

        • politically_incorrect

          Agreed in your statement that I do not have the right to affirmation. Touche.

          And you most certainly don’t have the right to stop social norms from changing, or governmental institutions from accommodating changing norms, just because you don’t like them.

          The first one, I can’t stop. (Social Norms) Just do my best to stay away from Oprah, Jerry Springer, “shows that feature the pregnant man”, sitcoms that glorify the homosexual lifestyle but show no downsides, I will stay away from and refuse to frequent them. That is my personl protest.

          The second one, I can do my best.

          Governmental institutions that are fundamentally against the family (women can kick men out with no recourse take half their stuff, and seperate them from their family for no reason.) Also, a modern v ersion of “debtors prison” where a woman can have a guy arrested for lack of child support, even if unemployed.

          Using my tax dollars for the murder of unborn children.

          Electing a guy (Obama) who loves to trash men for their irresponsibility, but in no way ever talks about female responsibility and the slut culture.

          I can do my best to vote against a guy like this and his ilk.

  • Greg

    You should listen to Propagandhi, Will. At least the first two records.

    • OK… “Apparently, I’m a ‘PC Fascist'”!

      • Greg

        Great song!

  • A very stupid post. Let’s count how:

    1. Straight men run away from anything “gay” — acting, theater, broadway, ballet, etc. You can argue why they do so, but they do indeed do so.

    2. Few people watch Mad Men, in fact it’s ratings are around 1.5 million.

    3. Most of the Mad Men audience seems to be female and TV is basically a Gay/Female Ghetto.

    4. Mad Men is a woman’s idea of a man, written by the 7 out of 9 female writers, with “bad boyfriends” assaulting and degrading the beautiful victim women who love them. As noted above, this is not exactly a wild sell outside the wealthy yuppie class

    But most importantly, most men are PISSED OFF because they cannot have a relationship based on rough equality that their fathers had. Instead they have to turn themselves into mockeries of masculinity, bad boy A-holes, or cuckolded dancing monkey beta boys (Sandra Tsing Loh’s “kitchen bitches” as she dubbed them) with childcare responsibilities but no love or affection (much less faithfulness) by their bored, excitement seeking spouses.

    The 90% of men who are not Alpha A-holes find women seeking excitement, stimulation, dominance by A-hole Alpha males, and then “settling” for a guy they don’t love, cannot bond to, and obviously disrespect and despise as a man.

    Men were promised a rough equality they observed in their own families, and got the choice of Kitchen Bitch for 90% of them, or Don Draper Alpha A-holes.

    Male Privilege? Please. Every single commercial depicts Joe Average White guy as a fat, nerdy schlub his wife cannot stand, corrected by wife and kids, and given no respect. He’s classed as “evil” and shown as criminal (those Brinks Home Security ads always show clean cut thirty something White Male actors breaking into homes, instead of the reality of Black low-life criminals from the Ghetto). He’s the official PC/Multi-culti scapegoat for non-White groups failure to get married and stay married, value education, delay gratification, and avoid violent thuggery. Not to mention women’s desire to have their Alpha A-hole and Beta boy Kitchen Bitch too.

    White Men formed 83% of the current layoffs, are increasingly dis-invested in a system that asks nothing but sacrifice for others and nothing for them, and live as the lowest run on the Multi-culti caste system.

    • simonkinahan

      Sheesh. Its like whack-a-troll in here. Or at least I hope some of you are trolls, or I’m worried I’m going to wake up tomorrow and find myself living in the Republic of Gilead.

    • Maxine

      Wow. As a woman with several male friends who all see m perfectly capable of finding decent women and having happy relationships without having to be total dicks OR servile chumps, I always wonder who these bitter men are who seem to be burdened with such terrible, oppressed lives.

      In any case, I have always found that people who complain about the failings of the opposite sex invariably end up dating people who validate their low opinions. What can I say, good luck to you, hope you manage to find some happiness in your life regardless of being in a “culture” or “system” that actively works against you.

  • Real Man

    They let castrated she-men work at Cato now?

  • gdgm+

    For the record, I am a man who dislikes Tim Gunn.

  • eibhear

    uknowbetter, If I were you, I’d stop digging, mate.

  • lmk89

    The post ignores the biological differences between men and women, which account for most of the “traditional” roles alotted to the two sexes. Will accepts the false premise of feminism: that gender inequality in many parts of society is the result of discrimination and “cultural norms.”

    This is false. Have you ever wondered why almost every society preceding the 20th century west had patriarchal qualities? Why they all seem to have similar “cultural norms”? The fact is that the presence or absence of a uterus affects much more than just the biophysics of reproduction. It permeates both mind and body. I’m not saying this is good. I’m just saying that’s the way it is.

  • jamesvonderhaar

    I wonder if the “confusion” you mention is a temporary pain while we sort out gender equality, or an enduring and positive contribution to human relations.

    Much of the article you linked to can be summed up by, “Oh no, women are free to be individuals, what are we to do!?” I sincerely hope that we never quite figure out what the rules of dating ought to be in an age of equality, because if we do, we’ll be stifling diversity. Instead of treating your partner as a representative of his or her class, you ought to treat him or her as an individual, with idiosyncratic wants and needs from a relationship.

    Gender roles in relationships are a crutch for those with the emotional IQ of an adolescent. If, in this brave new world of feminism, you have to *gasp* communicate with your partner and figure out what he or she wants, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing, at least in my book.