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  • Writer's pictureZebulon McCain

Where Have all the Good Men Gone?

Many years ago, while working on a residential construction project our small crew had the unfortunate experience of witnessing our general contractor’s new wife show up on site to berate and belittle him in front of us.  Throughout, he merely shuffled from one foot to the other and gave a nervous laugh or two.  Some of her jesting comments were about his height and race.  As awkward as it was, I found it to be an interesting demonstration of human behavior.  Our contractor was several years older than his young wife and far more established financially and professionally than she.  To this day I have tremendous respect for this man.  He is a kind, supportive, and hardworking guy.  So why her display of ill behavior (or more importantly why did he tolerate it)?  Part of her attitude could be attributed to a lack of boundaries on his part combined with shit testing on her part.   

Simply accepting abuse does not show how durable we are, rather it shows submission. Ultimately, I believe that women (despite their argument to the contrary) actually prefer their men to be capable of setting boundaries as well as being emotionally hardened providers and protectors; that we are knuckle dragging cavemen to such a degree that not much can affect us emotionally. Let us quit being so pussy whipped and actually set some boundaries with females (including calmly checking their ill behavior).  In the long run both men and women would be happier.  

Women do not want to be protectors or keepers of men; they are built to nurture children and respond to masculine men; fitness testing (aka shit testing) helps females determine if indeed we are masculine and where our boundaries lie.  Call me sexist, but females historically needed male protection and as a result never developed the urge to nurture men (and those same men certainly did not expect it).  That was fine and dandy for the last one hundred thousand years.  But today our self-serving political powers have decided to ally with the feminine imperative, gaining both dollars and votes in the process.  The hardwired lack of female empathy towards males is now paired with the politically fueled narrative that women are somehow held back or otherwise disempowered by men in society.  We now have “male bashing”, the socially condoned discrimination against men.    

It is a large society wide phenomenon, unchecked for the most part. In fact, it is continually perpetuated (to the detriment of males). Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and The American Dream-and Why it Matters by Helen Smith, PhD says that “male bashing leads to general hostility towards men, which in turn harms society.” Her book adds, “media portrayals of men are overwhelmingly negative. This gives boys and men little basis for self-esteem, possibly leading to more rising male suicide rates, poorer male health and family disintegration.” Certainly, men are generally less fragile and emotional than women, yet not to the degree that we are immune from hurt whatsoever. What media message is being absorbed by our population (including boys and girls)? It seems that not many of us really give a shit about boys and men. The false narrative that women are somehow second-class citizens is so overwhelming that we do not notice the reality of social war waged on males.

One of the curious things about the war on men is the fact that most men do not want to acknowledge that it exists.  Males do not want to push back, complain, or otherwise bitch about it.  I actually appreciate the reasoning behind the sentiment.  We men are supposed to be the more masculine gender, resilient and competitive, yet chivalrous.  Chivalry traditionally dictates that we take our role as the more dominant gender seriously including being stoic and not whining about shit that affects us negatively.  It means treating women with more care and patience than would be afforded another man.  Chivalry was and is a code of conduct that has always been part of gentlemanly behavior.  Chivalry worked well in the past to balance the more chauvinistic side of men.  When the Titanic sank in 1912 the mindset was famously “women and children first”.  The social expectation at that time was clear; men were tough, in charge, and women/children would receive protection and life-saving preferential treatment to ensure their survival (at the cost of men’s lives if necessary). 

Times have changed; the sexual revolution, feminist movement, and the ongoing “you go girl” empowerment we see today has created some curious effects.  A few women squawk about men holding doors open for them or other remnant chivalrous behavior.  Their reason being that it is connected to sexism.  If the definition of sexism is treating the genders differently, then I would have to agree.  Chivalry is the light side of sexism, while chauvinism is the dark side of it.  Today, for the most part, it seems our society still appreciates chivalry and expects men to be gentlemen, yet it escalates the male bashing and promotes the agenda that females need yet more empowerment.

This leads us to examine the female cry of “where have all the good men gone?” Pre-women’s liberation (and probably throughout most of human existence) women have sought men that were stronger than themselves; stronger physically, emotionally, and better at resource acquisition. I suspect that these men were not the pushovers we are today; that they had no problem setting boundaries with women (and kids). These were considered “good men” by female hardwiring. The modern women’s movement eventually created the (unintended?) consequence of practically eliminating these good men.

Perhaps in theory, the women’s movement was about gender equality (not about war on men).  I would argue that in society’s haste to help females we completely abandoned boys and men.  Women and girls today are outperforming male peers in high school, college, and the job market.  Meanwhile, men and boys are far more successful at dropping out of school, committing suicide, being killed on the job, or ending up incarcerated.  Record divorce rates means less father involvement thanks to a slanted legal system.  Fatherless households create a myriad of social issues for all ethnicities.  A few boys beat the odds, but males overall are not performing as well as we used to.  Our society is blind to the problem as women cannot even see it and men want to look away and remain silent.

Despite today’s overall unemployment levels being lower than the depression era, men are out of work in higher numbers than ever.  A Forbes December 6th article by Adi Gaskell cites research that indicates the numbers of working aged men outside the labor force is on the rise.  Gaskell says it corresponds with a rise in mental health issues in men, along with physical health concerns, suicide, and substance abuse.  This “loss of hope” is typically accompanied by depression, loss of status, and likely a failed marriage.  Male death rates are rising because of these factors.  It is evident that we men are not invincible after all.

Our near complete focus on females has placed women in a weird position as well. When a woman today looks for a “good man” aka a man “better” than herself (that is obviously outperforming her), she has drastically limited options for a long-term mate. This is compounded by the likelihood that she postponed settling down in her peak sexual market years and yet has grown to expect that same high level of male interest in her as she begins her decline of desirability.

So, gentlemen, female empowerment has the proxy effect of making us less attractive to females today. It is not necessarily that “all the good men” vanished, but rather that less of us are perceived as “good men” by a more empowered, entitled, and government backed female population that compares themselves to us men. The irony is that as women have gained historically unheard-of empowerment and government support over the past few decades, their instinct to seek a man better than themselves remains completely unchanged. It creates this paradigm of dissatisfaction between the genders today.

So, what is to be done?  Unfortunately for everyone involved it is unlikely that our society will collectively rally behind boys and men to help restore masculine virtues as an ideal to aspire to.  Quite the opposite.  The very submissive traits women despise in men they actively encourage in their own sons, thus perpetuating a self-defeating cycle that will further negatively affect a new generation of females.  The fact is that solo mothers are not equipped to raise boys into men.  Exacerbating this are the many online and print authors touting the bullshit idea that men’s problems could be solved by simply giving up on “traditional masculinity”; that it only places “unrealistic expectations” on men and boys.  Compliant and deferring guys are considered socially acceptable while those that do not comply will be the target of male bashing.  Of course, simultaneously, there is the politically correct claim that male bashing does not exist at all, or that mentioning it is merely a ruse to distract people from the issue of male violence against women, what they call the “real male bashing”.  Wow, what a cluster fuck.  

Ladies: as much as you dislike my message, you know damn well that this type of masculine development and awareness would be incredibly beneficial for your sons as they begin interacting with females. You want that for your sons because the alternative is certainly their romantic failure and exploitation at the hands of predatory women they may encounter.

Men: screw those so-called “unrealistic expectations”, let us get in shape, get wiser, build our financial success, and have an awesome life.  Boundary setting and self-sovereignty are empowering and make us attractive.  We can use our developed personal power to become choosy mate selectors ourselves or opt to remain single as we see fit.  

Z.

Check out www.ethosofmen.com to learn more about the two books. Look for the Ethos of Men Podcast too, four episodes are now available with a fifth scheduled for release on January 6th. Thank you guys for all of the support, please leave an Amazon or Audible review/rating if you enjoyed the books.

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