Are Men Failing Society?

Are Men Failing Society? October 4, 2022

Photo by Hannah Rodrigo on Unsplash

There’s a lot of talk about how men are failing women in society. And of course, this idea is being voiced mostly by women. After the reversal of Roe v Wade, many women took to microphones and blogs to proclaim that men had failed to protect a woman’s most basic right. Society has declared that men are not upholding their roles to protect or provide for women.

This is a general attitude fogging up the atmosphere about men that I think deserves some clearing. I think we must acknowledge that the reason men are not “there” for women is that women have said they don’t need a man, don’t want a man, and can do everything by themselves.

I often think feminism is at the center of this confusion and conflict between the sexes. Feminism insisted that women and men are not really all that different. That women are just as strong and independent as men. There are even some pockets of society that believe that a woman can become a man (and that a man can become a woman). In the last 3 decades, popular notions have circulated convincing women that men are the enemy: Men are predators. Men are rapists. Men are misogynists. Men are toxic. Men abandon their children. Blah blah blah.

A few years ago, I wrote about something similar. In the article “No Uterus, No Opinion. No! That’s Wrong!” I explored the trend—why men were choosing more and more to remain silent on women’s issues. When I asked my husband why he didn’t voice his opinions about abortion rights or the wage gap, he reminded me that I had told him, “No uterus, no opinion.”

We asked men to be quiet about things that affected only women. They listened. I can’t help but wonder, are we upset that they listened?

I’ll be the first one to tell you, as a woman, what I think a man’s role is and what a man wants. Isn’t that funny how I can easily get away with making such a bold statement? How can a woman insist on what a man’s role is or what a man wants? Would the directors of the outrageous narratives let a man get away with telling women what their role is? Most likely not.

Let me clarify why I can tell you what a man’s role is. It’s because I have asked men. I have asked hundreds of men what they want out of their relationships. I have listened to men tell me what matters to them. I have listened, without prejudice, intentionally to learn how to better treat my own man and how to better raise my sons. And I will further explain what a man’s role is, but first, a sidebar.

Most men really do want to be the protectors and providers that they have been hard-wired to be.

Men also want to be appreciated and respected. Women make these demands for themselves and expect men to acquiesce, but so many women offer so little gratitude for what their men do for them and their families. As a woman, I too would stop protecting and providing if I didn’t receive a little appreciation.

There’s also this difficulty in the diversity illusion of general acceptance for all identities as they are presented. And what I mean by that is, some women are finding it very difficult to even identify what a woman is. Other women are afraid to define what a woman is, for fear that doing so will invite harsh criticisms and antagonistic label attachments. In the realm of confusion about what a woman is and who has the authority or expertise to identify a woman; it seems we have a predicament. The inconsistency with the definition of a woman rubs profusely against the notion that society (or women) should know what a man is and what a man ought to be and what his defined roles and responsibilities are.

So, what’s happening? Where have all the protectors and providers disappeared to? Where are the men and why can’t women find a suitable, honorable, provider for their dominion? Did social engineering contribute to this erosion in masculinity? Has feminism poisoned the promise of equality and visibility?

There once was a novel idea that as more societies move towards egalitarian ideals, eventually men and women would be seen as the same. But that discounts biological facts that cannot be altered. Men and women express, not only their physicality but their temperaments, differently. Men and women do have differences in physical strength and endurance. Men and women have obvious genitalia differences. No amount of social engineering can edit this fact, try as they may. And anyway, the philosophy of egalitarianism isn’t predicated on denying reality; it’s predicated on the position that all humans are seen as equal in fundamental worth and moral status. It’s predicated on classlessness. It shatters hierarchies. Our society has been sprinting toward a reordering of hierarchies, not a dismantling of them.

Social engineering has greatly influenced the way in which we take on roles and responsibilities in relationships. So much so, that engineering has been more of an interruption and inconvenience than it has been an insightful institution that betters societies. At one time, roles were simply assigned based on sex.  But to say they were assigned is debatable. Feminism opted to deconstruct the roles of societies in favor of progress and evolution. What happened was that the feminist movement manipulated the roles to such a degree that we are left with confusion and disconnection.

Social movements can swing pendulums and reassign duties and responsibilities, but what was lacking, and is still lacking, is a discussion on how to integrate the new roles within personal relationships. Consider how, while all the roles and responsibilities were being reassigned, no one spoke up to discuss how that would interfere with erotic relationships. How could this not create a problem?

More than that, as Jordan Peterson acknowledged back in October 2018, in an interview with British GQ, people are “hungry for a discussion on the relationship between responsibility and meaning.” He says, “We’ve concentrated on rights and privileges, freedoms and impulsive pleasures” which are useful components of understanding but are “shallow” by comparison.

Is Dr. Peterson correct? Are people hungry for a discussion on the relationship between responsibility and meaning, and is this the discussion that can help alleviate the tension and confusion between women and men?

First, we must address why there has been such an acceleration toward the destination of securing rights and privileges rather than securing relationships of meaning and purpose. Women are concerned that men don’t care about women’s rights. Men are concerned that women don’t care about men. How can we find common ground amidst these two dynamics of concern?

Let us first acknowledge a very important truth. All men are not the same and all women are not the same. This means that we must stop assuming that what is true for one individual experience is not the same for another. One individual man may have done something terrible, unspeakable even. The same for an individual woman. But when we decide that what’s true for one individual experience must be true for all experiences, we instantly set ourselves apart from the dynamic that we long to participate in.

Secondarily, we must acknowledge and learn to accept that men and women are very, very different. Men think differently than women and women think differently than men. This is obvious for any parent who has a boy and a girl. One of the biggest problems facing our planet is the expectation that men and women must think the same in order to accomplish goals or meet needs. The truth is men and women tackle all issues with a vastly different set of processes and skills that are divinely and intrinsically endowed by their Creator. This is a clever design produced by an omnipotent Architect that no amount of social engineering or political propaganda can remodel. The foundation is permanent.

The acceleration of securing rights and privileges rather than finding security within relationships of meaning is rooted in greed. Economic and financial institutions stand to benefit the most gain from convincing societies that they would find more happiness if they only had more money, and the way to obtain more money is to work.

There’s also a circulating message that a successful career must be a priority to the fantasy ideals of romance, marriage, and child-rearing. Besides, you couldn’t possibly afford nor enjoy the latter without the former. Without money, you won’t be happy.

Of course, there are studies that advance this trajectory. The data indicates, irrefutably, that most women overwhelmingly prefer their men to be confident, strong, and successful in their status-achieving endeavors. Women want tall, lean, attractive men who can provide financial security as well as physical security for protection. Women are at the top of sexual selection in every species. This information is useful for men as it provides them a sort of benchmark to secure a wife and create a family.

Unfortunately, at least for our American society, social messaging presents to us the antithesis of the preferential masculine force. Our American culture is strongly influenced by mainstream models that depict the anti-man. Men in dresses grace the covers of women’s magazines. Men who call themselves women clog up our TikTok feeds. Men who give Satan a lap dance in music videos. Men who like to dress up in prosthetic tits to then perform strip teases for children at libraries. These are not the masculine models that will help drive us toward an egalitarian society of harmony and equality.

The other depictions, as presented by “strong, independent women” often procure a rather vile and filthy set of standards. “I wanna gag, I wanna choke, I want you to touch that lil’ dangly thing that swing in the back of my throat…” (Courtesy of Cardi B from WAP)

If you scroll the dating apps, you’ll find women making all sorts of impossible demands for a potential meeting. Must own his own home. No children. No previous divorce. Must make at least 6 figures a year. Must own a yacht. Must own a beach home. Must love children. No Republicans allowed. Must be vaccinated. No dad-bods. Must work out. Must enjoy hiking. Must cook. Must clean. Must make time for me.

Between the social messaging, the anti-masculine models, and the impossible demands of single women, it’s no wonder so many men turn to porn and video games. I say that in jest, but I fully understand why women are left screaming, “Men!? Where are you?” Ladies, you rejected him. You told him to shut up. You told him opening a door for you was sexist. You told him if he didn’t have a uterus, he didn’t deserve to talk. You said if you don’t have all these material things, he didn’t deserve your time.

Remember that line from The Notebook, “Just tell me what you want!” It reminds me of when my husband gets frustrated and he jokingly asks, “Woman, what do you want from me?” Women are having a difficult time expressing what we want because we have so much information bombarding us that we cannot make up our minds. That’s the honest truth, at least from this woman’s perspective.

The truth is, as a woman, I usually don’t know what I want. Please don’t ask me what I want to eat. I don’t know? Food? I do know that from a very young age, I just wanted to be loved, and I wanted that love to come from a man who would be my provider and protector. And after talking with hundreds of men, I realize that often, men know that as a young boy they just want someone to love as well. They want someone they can be a shining knight in armor to. As they grow older, the world tells them they shouldn’t want those things. And as I grew older, the world told me that wanting to be a wife and a mother was a lowly position and a treacherous dream to hold.

Remember how I told you that I could tell you what a man wants? It’s rather simple. He wants his woman to ask him what he wants. He wants a woman to be interested in what he has to say. He wants a woman to ask him to reach for something she cannot. He wants to protect her from threats. He wants to defend her honor. He wants her to appreciate him. He wants her to respect him. And yeah, he does want a little romance. But more than anything, he wants to be seen and heard. He wants her to listen to him. He wants to be seen as having value to her.

What are his roles? This he leaves open for his woman to help him decide. Do you want him to be a protector and a provider? Then you must let him. Women struggle with giving over control of certain roles and responsibilities because we have been told that doing so will create a relationship of dependence. And relationships built on dependence are dangerous, or so they say. But relationships require dependency. Dependency is a component that helps us establish trust. Our children depend on us for literally everything, but no one says how dangerous that is. Why then, would co-dependent relationships be a bad thing? How else will we build trust and create boundaries?

Do you know what’s so interesting about this? Men want what women want. So when a woman tells a man to be quiet, he will listen. When a woman tells a man to put on a dress to prove he’s a feminist, he will do it. When a woman tells a man to spend his time building a successful career and developing strong social connections, he will do that. It’s just that it comes at a cost to you, the woman. You want a man to have acquired and obtained all these demands prior to meeting you. And as women continue to add on more standards and more prerequisites for relationships, he will strive to meet those standards, before he commits to you and any relationship. And anyway, if he spends this much time securing all these other requirements for a woman, what makes you think he even has any relationship intelligence to offer? He’s been too busy making money and seeking status to have emotional intelligence, let alone erotic intelligence.

Once upon a time, women use to join men on this journey—helping man develop his skills so that he could be a successful protector and provider. She partnered with him earlier in his years, encouraged him, supported him, and sacrificed for him while he, in turn, encouraged her, supported her, and sacrificed for her. We used to build our lives up together. But the messaging shifted, didn’t it? Now it seems we all believe that in order to achieve success and happiness, we must go it alone.

Men didn’t go anywhere. They’ve been negotiating with you this whole time, compromising social identities to fall in line with the emotional demands of women and their ever-changing desires. Men are not failing women, nor their responsibilities. Maybe some are, but let’s take that on a case-by-case basis. The majority of men, just like the majority of women, are decent, loving, compassionate humans who are simply looking for love. But if women—at least the ones who identify themselves as women, that is—continue telling men to be everything outside the scope of what their natural masculine energy is, it’s women who will be relegated as the failure of society. We have far more influence and sway over men than we like to admit, don’t we?

 

About Danielle M Kingstrom
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