The War of Men: Masculinity
Paul Jones posted this article, The War on Men: 10 Ways Masculinity is Under Attack declaring that a war has been placed on Masculinity and that society is destroying men.
He declared 10 points, to which I have to object.
First off, we are not at war with masculinity. Neither feminism, nor today's equality driven society is formulating to attack or destroy masculinity. It is not a goal.
To highlight his points,
1. Failing Fertility:
Lower sperm counts are caused by a variety of things from health, toxins in the environment, and stress. Financial problems or work stress directly impacts fertility. The more stress that is placed on the body, the lower the sperm count. This is not to say that it is directly related to society waging a war on men. It's just something that happens over time. It is also different for each male. Just as egg production is different for each female. Some women can have kids, some can’t. Same exact thing. Sperm counts are also related to male-dominance. Is that an attack against masculinity? Well maybe it is, but he’s still producing sperm. And just how many kids does he need to have anyway? (kidding)
2. Chemical Warfare “feminizing” boys:
Phthalates are in a huge variety of products; deoderant, lotions, perfumes, creams, powders, cosmetics, air freshners, laundry detergents, also in most items constructed of plastic. There are also a lot of phthalates in medical equipment in hospitals. They enter the body through the skin, often through absorption. Many studies have been conducted to determine the affects phthalates pose to infants and little has been discovered as to the direct relation. Some have found that it impacts birthweight and fertility, but there is no direct evidence of it affecting a child's masculinity. Phthalates are everywhere and it is not a woman's fault if she comes across them during pregnancy, nor are these products directly taking away a child's testosterone and inhibiting him from being a "boy". Genetics play a factor too and all children are different in terms of what they choose to play with. It's not something that can be "cured" to make a kid more tough. Just as being "gay" is not something that has a "cause" related to literally anything. This feels like an attack against women.
3. Degradation of Positive Role Models:
There are thousands of men in the media on a regular basis, who we choose to idolize and use as a role model is up to us. We don’t have to emulate Homer Simpson or Ray Romano. Those are tv characters, not actual people. They are fiction. Just as Marge Simpson and Peggy Bundy are fictional mother figures. This argument is absurd. I could make the same argument about female role models. There are tons of women portrayed as “helpless” or the all too popular “damsel in distress”. This is no different than men being portrayed as “dumb” or “helpless”. If you think men have no role models, then turn off the tv and read a book. We choose how we raise our sons into men and I believe, as a parent, we should provide the role models we’d like our sons to follow. Letting him learn from the media isn’t the best parenting technique anyway. Yes, the media sucks. But I wouldn’t say it has lead to a degradation of all positive male role models. We’re just looking at the wrong ones.
4. Metrosexual Malaise:
First of all, we’re in 3rd wave feminism now-which directly relates to equality. Men who choose to be promiscuous out of fear of being seen as too “aggressive” is the biggest cop-out. Society did not create men who refuse to commit to relationships. Every single woman out there is different. I have actually yet to meet a woman who didn’t appreciate a man’s masculinity. Not even a lesbian. It is hard for women to find a good, long-term, stable relationship—I’ll give you that. However, this point declares gender confusion as a much bigger problem than it is. Yes, we obviously don’t want men to be overly assertive or aggressive and nothing makes a woman crazier than an aggressive jealous guy, but that is not gender confusion. You can still be a man without those things and it’s stupid to be fearful of “being a man”. Masculinity is not what makes a man. This point is laughable..
5. Cultural Marxism:
Again, we are now in 3rd wave feminism—equality based. *sigh*
However, I do not have much to argue on this point. A lot of things in feminism have directly been blamed on men when women have also been just as guilty. I can agree that it is very much a state problem. Though I do have to counter with, how many people who are in power are actually men?
6. The ‘Men are Paid More’ Myth:
Men get promoted and receive raises much faster than women. That is a fact. Men are more likely to be placed in power over women. That is also a fact. While not every workplace and job has a higher wage for men over women, it is still something that occurs. Some of the discrimination towards women is going away as we become a more modern society, however, that discrimination still exists. Having been in a female-driven work environment, the power of men is still held higher than that of women. Going into the bit about male suicide, you also have to remember that overall, men are more successful in suicides than women. This has nothing to do with the workplace or power. It is an overall chemical difference between males and females. Men carry more testosterone and go for more lethal kills, such as using violence like guns and women go for a softer approach, such as using drugs. That accounts for nearly all of the difference in the number of suicides between males and females each year. It’s a gender difference, not a workplace difference or anything related to the destruction of masculinity. Men and women want suicide for often the same reasons. Their approaches are just different.
7. The “Privilege” Trap:
Often times the issue of a “white male’s” opinion is that white men are generally held to higher standards. They also hold more power than a minority. The opinions of this group almost feel like an attack to minorities and feminists, due to the lack of understanding. White men are seen as the wealthier group and are a major collection of those in power. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s directly racist, but I can agree that it is harder for them to hold an opinion in society. My suggestion for this would be to come at things with a more open mind and broader range of ideas, to eliminate it all being seen as a threat.
8. The Legal System Discriminates Against Men:
This is a man-eat-man world. This is not a war women have created. Men lose out on custody battles everyday and it is often quite a shame. However, women are typically the primary caregiver to their children. That cannot be overlooked. Women have a natural nurture instinct and well—they gave birth so they kind of know what’s going on.Men are definitely capable of being nurturing and parenting, but 9 times out of 10, a woman is going to be slightly better. I know plenty of fathers who are great at it, but when it comes to court hearings, they’re going to have to prove that they’re the better option. I’ve been working with kids for the last 10 years ages birth to 18. Therefore, if I randomly had a kid yesterday and was battling for custody, I’d probably win. Unless I happen to be up against a guy with a degree in something child-related, I’d win. Fact of life. (And we can’t forget that most of the time, the attorneys and judges that make these custody decisions are, in fact, men. Women are often times more sympathetic to the fathers than men are—true story!)
9. Domestic Abuse Against Men:
This one is just depressing. I can’t argue this point because I know its truth. However, this is not a point about the destruction of masculinity. This is a point of how masculinity has masked men’s emotions and how society has blocked men from coming forward about things because they are supposed to be the aforementioned “masculine” man. You do not lose masculinity by admitting to things that have happened. I have never EVER looked at a man after he told me his feelings, and saw him as less of a man. If anything, I adored him even more for his confidence in being able to assert himself and tell me what’s happening.
Society will survive on equality. We are not destroying men or inhibiting them from holding masculinity. We are making better human beings. Men need to be able to understand women and act in accordance to their emotions, just as women need to be able to turn off their sensitivity at times and go at things with a more level-headed approach. Men are not under assault on every level. Men are under assault, just as much as women. Masculinity is important just as much as femininity and sensitivity. The world is not attacking masculinity, we are redefining it. We do live in a male-dominated world and feminism does seek to destroy that. However, that is not an attack on masculinity. That is a fight for equality, and THAT is our real battle; the one we should fight for.