The Forgotten Men
The attempt to realize a sexual utopia for women was doomed to failure before it began. Women’s wishes aim at the impossible, conflict with one another, and change unpredictably. Hence, any program to force men (or “society”) to fulfill women’s wishes must fail, even if all men were willing to submit to it. Pile entitlement upon entitlement for women, heap punishment after punishment onto men: It cannot work, because women’s wishes will always outpace legislation and lead to new demands.
But while the revolution has not achieved its aims, it has certainly achieved something. It has destroyed monogamy and family stability. It has resulted in a polygamous mating pattern of immodest women aggressively pursuing a small number of men. It has decreased the number of children born, and insured that many who are born grow up without a father in their lives. And, least often mentioned, it has made it impossible for many decent men to find wives.
One occasionally hears of studies purporting to show that men are happier with their “sex lives” than women. It has always struck me as ludicrous that anyone would take such survey results at face value. First, women complain more about everything than men. But second, many men (especially young men) experience a powerful mauvaise honte when they are unsuccessful with women. They rarely compare notes with other men, and still more rarely do so honestly. Everyone puts up a brave front, however lonely he may actually be. Hence, men almost always imagine other men to have greater success with women than is actually the case. This situation has worsened since the 1960s, with the propagation of the illusion that there is “more sex” available to men than formerly.
But if women are only mating with a few exceptionally attractive men, and if many women fail to mate at all, there must be a large number of men unable to get a woman. We might, in the spirit of William Gilmore Simms, term them the forgotten men of the sexual revolution. I have reason to believe that a growing number are willing to come out of the closet (to use a currently popular expression) and admit that, whoever has been doing all the “hooking up” one reads about, it hasn’t been them. Simple prudence dictates that we give some consideration to the situation of these men. In societies where polygamy is openly practiced (e.g., in Africa and the Muslim world), young bachelors tend to form gangs which engage in antisocial behavior: “It is not good for man to be alone.”
In our society, a definite pattern has already emerged of “singles” groups or events being composed of innocent, never-married men in their thirties and cynical, bitter, often divorced women. What have the bachelors been doing with themselves all these years? So far, in the West, they have not been forming criminal gangs. They would probably be more attractive to women if they did: Everyone seems to have heard the stories about men on death row being besieged with offers of marriage from bored, thrill-seeking females.
I suggest that today’s bachelors are hardly different from men who, before the sexual revolution, married young and raised families.
Natural instinct makes young men almost literally “crazy” about girls. They believe young women are something wonderful when in fact most are not. The male sex drive that modern women complain so much about exists largely for women’s benefit. As Schopenhauer wrote:
Nature has provided [the girl] with superabundant beauty and charm for a few years . . . so that during these years she may so capture the imagination of a man that he is carried away into undertaking to support her honorably in some form or another for the rest of her life, a step he would seem hardly likely to take for purely rational considerations. Thus nature has equipped women, as it has all its creatures, with the tools and weapons she needs for securing her existence.
So far from being unwilling to commit, many men are only too happy to marry the first girl they meet who is nice to them. The modern bachelor is no different.
Furthermore, many men assume women value honest, clean-living, responsible men (as opposed to death-row criminals). So slowly, patiently, by dint of much hard work, amid uncertainty and self-doubt, our bachelor makes a decent life for himself. No woman is there to give him love, moral support, loyalty. If he did make any effort to get a wife, he may have found himself accused of “harassment” or “stalking.”
Kick a friendly dog often enough and you have a mean dog on your hands.
What were our bachelor’s female contemporaries doing all those years while he was an impoverished, lonely stripling who found them intensely desirable? Fornicating with dashing fellows who mysteriously declined to “commit,” marrying and walking out on their husbands, or holding out for perfection. Now, lo and behold, these women, with their youthful looks gone and rapidly approaching menopause, are willing to go out with him. If they are satisfied with the free meals and entertainment he provides, he may be permitted to fork over a wedding ring. Then they will graciously allow him to support them and the children they had by another man for the rest of his life. (I have seen a woman’s personal ad stating her goal of “achieving financial security for myself and my daughters.”) Why in heaven’s name would any man sign up for this? As one man put it to me: “If the kitten didn’t want me, I don’t want the cat.”
Western woman has become the new “white man’s burden,” and the signs are that he is beginning to throw it off.
Sexual Thermidor: The Marriage Strike
The term “Thermidor” originally designated the month of the French Revolutionary calendar in which the terror ended. By July 1794, twenty or thirty persons were being guillotined daily in Paris under a so-called Law of Suspects requiring no serious evidence against the accused. Addressing the Convention on July 26, Robespierre incautiously let slip that certain delegates were themselves under suspicion of being “traitors,” but declined to name them. His hearers realized their only hope of safety lay in destroying Robespierre before he could destroy them. They concerted their plans that night, and the following morning he was arrested. Within two days, he and eighty of his followers went to the guillotine. Over the next few weeks, the prisons emptied and life again assumed a semblance of normality.
Something analogous appears to be happening today in the case of feminism. Consider, for example, the sexual harassment movement. As it spreads, the number of men who have not been accused steadily diminishes. Eventually a point is reached where initially sympathetic men understand that they themselves are no longer safe, that their innocence does not protect them or their jobs. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this point is being reached in many workplaces. Men are developing a self-defensive code of avoiding all unnecessary words or contact with women. One hears stories about women entering break rooms full of merrily chatting male coworkers who look up and instantly lapse into tense, stony silence. A “hostile work environment” indeed.
A more serious development, however, is what has come to be known as the marriage strike. The first occurrence of this term appears to have been in a Philadelphia Enquirer editorial of 2002. Two years later, a formal study gave substance to the idea: Fully 22 percent of American bachelors aged 25–34 have resolved never to marry. 53 percent more say they are not interested in marrying any time soon. That leaves just 25 percent looking for wives. This may be a situation unprecedented in the history of the world.
Men do cite the availability of sex outside marriage as one reason for not marrying. But this does not mean that the problem could be solved simply by getting them to take vows (e.g., by shotgun marriage). Men now realize they stand to lose their children at a moment’s notice through no fault of their own if the mother decides to cash out of the marriage or “relationship” in Family Court. For this reason, many are refusing to father children with or without benefit of clergy. In Germany, which faces an even lower birthrate than America, the talk is already of a Zeugungsstreik, literally a “procreation strike,” rather than a mere marriage strike. Some women suffering from what has come to be known as “babies-rabies” have resorted to lying to their men about using birth control. Of course, men are wising up to this as well.
No woman is owed economic support, children, respect, or love. The woman who accepts and lives by correct principles thereby earns the right to make certain demands upon her husband; being female entitles her to nothing.
Western women have been biting the hand that feeds them for several decades now. It seems to me fair to say that the majority have willfully forfeited the privilege of marrying decent men. It is time for men to abandon the protector role and tell them they are going to be “liberated” from us whether they wish it or not. They can hold down their own jobs, pay their own bills, live, grow old, and finally die by themselves. Every step which has brought them to this pass has involved an assertion of “rights” for themselves and male concessions to them. Men would seem justified in saying to them, with some Schadenfreude, “you made your bed, now you can lie in it—alone.”
Unfortunately, the matter cannot simply be allowed to rest here. Without children, the race has no future, and without women men cannot have children.
One well-established trend is the search for foreign wives. Predictably, efforts are underway by feminists to outlaw, or at least discourage this, and one law has already gotten through Congress (the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005). The ostensible reason is to protect innocent foreign lasses from “abuse”; the real reason to protect spoiled, feminist-indoctrinated American women from foreign competition. Most of the economic arguments about protective tariffs for domestic industry apply here.
Feminists think in terms of governmental coercion. The idea of eliciting desirable male behavior does not occur to them. Some men are concerned that proposals for forced marriage may be in the offing.
Meanwhile, men have begun to realize that any sexual intimacy with a woman can lead to date rape charges based upon things that go on in her mind afterwards, and over which he has no control. Women do frequently attempt to evade responsibility for their sexual conduct by ascribing it to the men involved. Without any social or legal enforcement of marriage, this leaves chastity as a man’s only means of self-defense.
A male sex strike was probably beyond the imagination even of Aristophanes. But I wouldn’t underestimate men. We, and not women, have been the builders, sustainers, and defenders of civilization.
The latest word from college campuses is that women have begun to complain men are not asking them out. That’s right: Men at their hormonal peak are going to class side by side with nubile young women who now outnumber them, and are simply ignoring or shunning them. Some report being repeatedly asked “Are you gay?” by frustrated coeds. This is what happens when women complain for forty years about being “used as sex objects”: Eventually men stop using them as sex objects.
Not long ago I spotted a feminist recruitment poster at a local college. Most of it consisted of the word FALSE in bold capitals, visible from a distance. Underneath was something to the effect: “. . . that we’re all man-hating maniacs,” etc.; “Come join us and see.”
When the most inspiring slogan a movement can come up with amounts to “We’re not as bad as everyone says,” you know it is in trouble.
What Is to Be Done?
We have arrived at a rare historical moment when we men have the upper hand in the battle of the sexes. Much depends upon the use we make of it. The only thing still propping up the present feminist-bureaucratic regime is the continued willingness of many of the hated “heterosexual white males” to live according to the old rules: not only to work, save, pay taxes, and obey the law, but also to sire and raise children. Once we stop doing these things, the whole system of patronage and parasitism collapses.
My greatest fear is that at the first female concessions, the male protective instinct will kick in once again and men will cheerfully shout “All is forgiven” in a stampede to the altar. This must not happen. Our first priority must be to put the divorce industry out of business. A man must insist on nothing less than a legally binding promise to love, honor, and obey him before “consenting” to give a woman a baby.
One proposal for strengthening marriage is the recognition of personalized marriage contracts. These could be made to accord with various religious traditions. I see no reason they might not stipulate that the husband would vote on behalf of his family. Feminists who think political participation more important than family life could still live as they please, but they would be forced to make a clear choice. This would help erode the superstitious belief in a universal right to participate in politics, and political life itself would be less affected by the feminine tendencies to value security over freedom and to base public policies on sentiment. Property would also be more secure where the producers of wealth have greater political power.
Economic policy should be determined by the imperative to carry on our race and civilization. There is something wrong when everyone can afford a high-definition plasma TV with three hundred channels but an honest man of average abilities with a willingness to work cannot afford to raise a family.
Female mate selection has always had an economic aspect. Hesiod warned his male listeners in the seventh century B.C. that “hateful poverty they will not share, but only luxury.” This notorious facet of the female sexual instinct is the reason behind the words “for richer or for poorer” in the Christian marriage ceremony. The man must know he has a solid bargain whether or not he is as successful a provider as his wife (or he himself) might like.
Within the family, the provider must control the allotment of his wealth. The traditional community of property in a marriage, i.e., the wife’s claim to support from her husband, should again be made conditional on her being a wife to him. She may run off with the milkman if she wishes—leaving her children behind, of course (anyone willing to do this is perhaps an unfit mother in any case); but she may not evict her husband from his own house and replace him with the milkman, nor continue to extract resources from the husband she has abandoned. Until sensible reforms are instituted, men must refuse to leave themselves prey to a criminal regime which forces them to subsidize their own cuckolding and the abduction of their children.
The date rape issue can be solved overnight by restoring shotgun marriage—but with the shotgun at the woman’s back. The “victim” should be told to get into the kitchen and fix supper for her new lord and master. Not exactly a match made in heaven, but at least the baby will have both a father and a mother. Furthermore, after the birth of her child, the woman will have more important things to worry about than whether the act by which she conceived it accorded with some feminist professor’s newfangled notion of “true consent.” Childbirth has always been the best remedy for female narcissism.
Harassment accusations should be a matter of public record. This would make it possible to maintain lists of women with a history of making such charges for the benefit of employers and, far more importantly, potential suitors. Women might eventually reacquaint themselves with the old-fashioned idea that they have a reputation to protect.
Universal coeducation should be abandoned. One problem in relations between the sexes today is overfamiliarity. Young men are wont to assume that being around girls all the time will increase their chances of getting one. But familiarity is often the enemy of intimacy. When a girl only gets to socialize with young men at a dance once a week, she values the company of young men more highly. It works to the man’s advantage not to be constantly in their company. Men, also, are most likely to marry when they do not understand women too well.
It is necessary to act quickly. It took us half a century to get into our present mess, but we do not have that long to get out of it. A single-generation Zeugungsstreik will destroy us. So we cannot wait for women to come to their senses; we must take charge and begin the painful process of unspoiling them.
How Monogamy Works
Traditionally, a man has been expected to marry. Bachelorhood was positively forbidden in some ancient European societies, including the early Roman republic. Others offered higher social status for husbands and relative disgrace for bachelors. There seems to have been a fear that the sexual instinct alone was inadequate to insure a sufficient number of offspring. Another seldom mentioned motive for the expectation of marriage was husbands’ envy of bachelors: “Why should that fellow be free and happy when I am stuck working my life away to support an ungrateful creature who nags me?”
Strange as it sounds to modern ears, the Christian endorsement of celibacy was a liberalization of sexual morality; it recognized there could be legitimate motives for remaining unmarried. One social function of the celibate religious orders was to give that minority of men and women unsuited for or disinclined to marriage a socially acceptable way of avoiding it.
Obviously, an obligation of marrying implies the possibility of doing so. It was not difficult for an ordinary man to get a wife in times past. One reason is what I call the grandmother effect.
Civilization has been defined as the partial victory of age over youth. After several decades of married life, a woman looks back and finds it inconceivable that she once considered a man’s facial features an important factor in mate selection. She tries to talk some sense into her granddaughter before it is too late. “Don’t worry about what he looks like; don’t worry about how he makes you feel; that isn’t important.” If the girl had a not especially glamorous but otherwise unexceptionable suitor (the sort who would be charged with harassment today), she might take the young man’s part: “If you don’t catch this fellow while you can, some smarter girl will.” So it went, generation after generation. This created a healthy sense of competition for decent, as opposed to merely sexually attractive, men. Husbands often never suspected the grandmother effect, living out their lives in the comforting delusion that their wives married them solely from recognition of their outstanding merits. But today grandma has been replaced by Cosmopolitan, and the results are there for all to see.
Much confusion has been caused by attempting to get women to say what it is they want from men. Usually they bleat something about “a sensitive man with a good sense of humor.” But this is continually belied by their behavior. Any man who believes it is in for years of frustration and heartbreak. What they actually look for when left to their own devices (i.e., without any grandmother effect) is a handsome, socially dominant, or wealthy man. Many prefer married men or philanderers; some actively seek out criminals.
In a deeper sense, though, humans necessarily want happiness, as the philosopher says. During most of history no one tried to figure out what young women wanted; they were simply told what they wanted, viz., a good husband. This was the correct approach. Sex is too important a matter to be left to the independent judgment of young women, because young women rarely possess good judgment. The overwhelming majority of women will be happier in the long run by marrying an ordinary man and having children than by seeking sexual thrills, ascending the corporate heights, or grinding out turgid tracts on gender theory. A woman develops an emotional bond with her mate through the sexual act itself; this is why arranged marriages (contrary to Western prejudice) are often reasonably happy. Romantic courtship has its charms, but is finally dispensable; marriage is not dispensable.
Finally, heterosexual monogamy is incompatible with equality of the sexes. A wife always has more influence on home life, if only because she spends more time there; a husband’s leadership often amounts to little more than an occasional veto upon some of his wife’s decisions. But such leadership is necessary to accommodate female hypergamy. Women want a man they can look up to; they leave or fall out of love with men they do not respect. Hence, men really have no choice in the matter.
Once more, we find nearly perfect agreement between feminist radicals and plenty of conservatives in failing to understand this, with men getting the blame from both sides. Feminists protest that “power differentials” between the sexes—meaning, really, differences in status or authority—make genuine sexual consent impossible. In a similar vein, the stern editor of Chronicles laments that “in the case of a college professor who sleeps with an 18-year-old student, disparity in age or rank should be grounds for regarding the professor as a rapist. But professors who prey upon girls are not sent to jail. They do not even lose their jobs.”
In fact, this is just one more example of hypergamous female mate selection. In most marriages, the husband is at least slightly older than the wife. Normal women tend to be attracted precisely to men in positions of authority. Nurses do tend to choose doctors, secretaries their bosses, and the occasional female student will choose a professor; this does not mean the men are abusing any “power” to force helpless creatures to mate with them.
I submit that a man’s “preying upon” a younger women of lower rank should be grounds for regarding him as a husband. Men are supposed to have authority over women; that is part of what a marriage is. Equality of the sexes makes men less attractive to women; it has probably contributed significantly to the decline in Western birthrates. It is time to put an end to it.
Marriage is an institution; it places artificial limits on women’s choices. To repeat: Nature dictates that males display and females choose. Monogamy artificially strengthens the male’s position by insisting that (1) each female must choose a different male; and (2) each female must stick to her choice. Monogamy entails that highly attractive men are removed from the mating pool early, usually by the most attractive women. The next women are compelled to choose a less attractive mate if they wish to mate at all. Even the last and least of the females can, however, find a mate: For every girl there is a boy. Abolishing marriage only strengthens the naturally stronger: it strengthens the female at the expense of the male and the attractive at the expense of the unattractive.
Marriage, like most useful things, was probably invented by men: partly to keep the social peace, partly so they could be certain their wives’ children were also their own. The consequences of marriage must have appeared soon after its institution: The efforts previously spent fighting over mates were replaced by strenuous exertions to provide for, rear, and defend offspring. No doubt neighboring tribes wondered why this one had recently grown so much more powerful. When they learned the reason, imitation must have seemed a matter of survival.
It was, and it still is. If the Occident does not restore marriage, we will be overwhelmed by those who continue to practice it.
1. “On Women,” in Arthur Schopenhauer: Essays and Aphorisms, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Penguin Books, 1970).
2. Dianna Thompson and Glenn Sacks, “A ‘Marriage Strike’ Emerges As Men Decide Not to Risk Loss,” Philadelphia Enquirer, July 5, 2002.
3. Barbara Defoe Whitehead and David Popenoe, “The Marrying Kind: Which Men Marry and Why,” 2004, http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/SOOU/TEXTSOOU2004.htm.
4. Title of a book by journalist Meike Dinklage, Der Zeugungsstreik: Warum die Kinderfrage Männersache ist (Diana, 2005).
5. “Anarcho-Tyranny, Rockford Style,” Chronicles (April 2005), 44–45.